Rules

Format

  • Matt and Emma’s Birthday Bash (i.e. the puzzlehunt) starts on Fri, Oct 23, 2020, 10:00 PM UTC and ends on Mon, Nov 2, 2020, 2:00 AM UTC. Yes, their birthday party spans more than one day. It’s going to be great!
  • Solutions will be available after the hunt ends. However, we will leave the website running for some time after hunt ends so teams can still submit answers and go through the hunt at their own pace (see the FAQ for a more detailed explanation).
  • The hunt is designed for a team size of 6. You may not create multiple accounts or be on multiple teams.
  • A few puzzles will be available at the start, and the primary way to unlock new puzzles is by solving puzzles and progressing through the hunt, although puzzles may also be unlocked over time.
  • Teams that complete the hunt will be ranked by the time at which they finish. Teams that do not complete the hunt will be ranked by number of puzzles solved and tie-broken by earliest last solve time.

Solving

  • Every answer is a string of letters A-Z. Lowercase letters will be changed to uppercase, and any other characters will be stripped before checking for correctness.
  • Teams will be rate-limited to at most 20 guesses per 24 hours (per puzzle); i.e. each guess refreshes after 24 hours. This is to prevent random guessing, or dictionary attacks that spam too many requests; however, you will have the option to request additional guesses if you run out. (We expect to grant most requests, unless we find your guess log particularly egregious.)

Hints

  • Starting on Mon, Oct 26, 2020, teams will receive two party favors per day, at 10:00 PM UTC each day, until the end of the hunt.
  • You can use a party favor to get a hint on a puzzle. This can be something like a nudge in the right direction (i.e. you give us your progress on the puzzle and we’ll try to get you unstuck) or an answer to a question (e.g. "Which answers to these crossword clues are wrong?").

Other

  • You may use any source of information, including the Internet and other people, as long as they aren’t helping other teams and aren’t actively participating in the hunt.
  • You may not publicly stream a solve of our hunt when the hunt is live.
  • Please avoid spoiling the hunt online until the hunt has finished.
  • It won’t be necessary to look at the HTML source/Javascript/CSS on any webpages for any puzzle, but you’re welcome to look anyway.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify any team for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • We reserve the right to change any of these rules. If there’s a big change, we’ll announce it to all teams.
  • If you have any questions about these rules, or if you want to contact us for any reason, email the hunt organizers at help@teammatehunt.com. We'll try to get back to you soon.