Upcoming: Galactic Puzzle Hunt 2017

Are you ready for some puzzleball?

Perennial puzzlehunt contenders [three airplanes] Galactic Trendsetters [three more airplanes] are bestowing upon us a six-day Aussie-style puzzlehunt starting on March 14. It has a year on it, which makes it sound like the event might be recurring, and the debut theme is the “Puzzleball Championships.”

There are some interesting rules innovations, such as replacing the canned hints with yes/no questions (potentially an improvement, but this sounds like a potential bear for the organizers) and breaking ties via adjusted average solve time, where the adjustment is that anything in the first day counts as a full day (I actually hate this idea, because it means ties will likely be broken by teams’ times on the most flawed puzzles, but we’ll see what happens!).

I enjoyed BAPHL 11, which I believe came from some of the constructors involved in this project, so I have high hopes. Now if it had just been a week later to coincide with my spring break…


2 thoughts on “Upcoming: Galactic Puzzle Hunt 2017

  1. The hint system looks good to me, for three reasons (in addition to those given by the organizers). First, I’ve always found the Mystery-Hunt-style hints (yes/no questions) to be strategically interesting. Plus, it gives teams something to think about if they get stuck. Second, the proposed system rewards teams that do well. If you have to burn a hint on a puzzle that other teams solved, it will be costly. Finally, solving a puzzle with help from yes/no questions still feels like solving it. Sometimes, solving a puzzle after a hint can feel like using a walkthrough to beat a video game. (“Oh, that would have been cool to have figured out myself. Awww.)

    You raise a reasonable objection to the proposed scoring system, but, in practice, most Australian-style hunts seem to turn on how top teams fare on the most “flawed” puzzles. What is your favored alternative system? Shinteki POTM style?


  2. >> “Now if it had just been a week later to coincide with my spring break…”

    I think you mean “If it had just been a week earlier to coincide with MY spring break…”


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