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MetaTerminal posted a topic in 17th Shard Discussion(I have no idea if this is in the right forum, but Kelek’s breath if I couldn’t find a better one. Not Sanderson-themed, but definitely applies to the Shard itself... Apologies to the mod who will inevitably have to move this post.) There was an international competition, called the Galactic Puzzle Hunt, that ran at about mid-March. We represented the Shard in it! Out of the 717 teams that competed, and the nearly three thousand participants, our team of nine Sharders came in the top 100! Ninety-third, to be exact. You can see the leaderboard here. For those who know the Sanderson Puzzle Hunts, this will be a familiar conceit - there are 42 puzzles released to all teams to solve which have an English word or phrase as an answer. You solve them as quickly as possible over the ten day period. The first team to solve all the puzzles wins. (Though the teams that finish are very much in the minority. Finishing at all, in fact, is a tremendous achievement - the teams marked with aeroplane emojis on the leaderboard were the ones who finished. We got about two-thirds of the way through, and probably wouldn’t be able to get any further even with extra time.) The puzzles weren’t standard formats - they ranged from logic puzzles with a twist, to multiple video games, to those match math puzzles (but instead of basic arithmetic, there’s calculus and sigma notation). Anything and everything is fair game - puzzles about words inside other words, country flags, TV shows, movies... Sometimes standard internet puzzle territory, sometimes not. Often, you think a puzzle will be about one thing, but it’s actually about another. Difficulty ranges as well: early in the competition, puzzles are fairly straightforward. By the end, they are almost impenetrable. The initial plot of the Hunt was Antarctic Artifact. We were 'invited' to an archaeological dig - as the supposedly best archaeologists and enigmatologists in the business - and had to piece together the meaning of the remnants of an ancient stone tablet. We soon discovered that the stone tablet was, in fact, a part of a centuries-old alien 'cold war' (in Antarctica? see?) and that we were required to uncover more artifacts and decode the galactic language in order to work out why each of the alien races weren't getting along. The round consisted of two main parts: pre-Artifact assembly, where the puzzles were easier (the 'intro' round); and after we had pieced it together, where the puzzles became considerably more difficult. During the first two days, we had a quick pace, though we were quickly overtaken by many, much faster teams. (The first puzzle took us an hour to solve. The best team took only eleven minutes.) We hovered between 120th and 160th for the first few days, jumping ahead and falling behind as we battled with teams with more spread out time zones. Solving the first artifact caused puzzles to increase in difficulty amazingly quickly. As a result, our rate of solving (initially about four per day) dropped, first to about two per day, and then one as the competition went on. Thankfully, the other teams appeared to be having just as much trouble with the higher difficulties, allowing us to creep into the top 100 as we approached the final week. From there we hovered around the 100th position until the end of the competition. For a little while it looked like we were in danger of finishing outside the double-digit bracket, until a number of solves (brought home by some hard, late night work and utilization of hints) on the final day pushed us over the finish line. Our fantastic team was myself, @AonDii, @Snipexe, @Babilarian Darkeyes, @MistCLOAKed Mountains, @MiToRo94, @Exalted Dungeon Master, @RShara and @Devotary of Spontaneity. All of these people provided amazing work and activity, and we wouldn’t have gotten the place we did if even one of them did not take part. Special shoutouts to Exalted and MiToRo, who managed to solve puzzles singlehandedly (Line Plots and Twitch Plays GPH respectively). But I am glossing over so much skill and effort that went into this - as someone said, part of our strength is having a lot of different people with different skill sets. With even one person missing, it's doubtful that we would have done as well as we did. Puzzles we/I liked: Race for the Galaxy 50/50 Peaches (this might be Stockholm Syndrome talking) Puzzles that caused us/me the most anguish: Ministry of Word Searches Colors The Last Databender General stats: Placing: 93/717 Puzzles solved: 27/42 Fastest solve: 1hr2mins, Cross Lines Slowest solve: 169hr49mins, Cuspidation Number of Sanderson references made during solving: needs improvement Number of friends and family contacted to help with obscure topics: 2 Placing of the team named WIT: 50 (always a few steps ahead!) Number of times we got rickrolled: 2 (Apologies to anyone who is skilled at puzzles but got overlooked for the team - I tried to get everyone that I knew had ability, but I was conscious of team size limits (10 maximum) and it's entirely possible that I missed very talented people. Send me a ping and I'll be sure to keep you in the loop next time.) It is many months until the next large puzzle competition, so it's unlikely you shall hear from us again until near year's end. Yours cryptically, MetaTerminal, Team Captain
Do you enjoy solving puzzles? How about books by Brandon Sanderson? How about puzzles that are all based on books by Brandon Sanderson? If you enjoy escape rooms, reading books about people solving riddles and challenges (such as the 39 Clues), games that require you to think logically or outside the box, problem solving, or ARGs and similar puzzleshunts, then you'll love the Sanderson Puzzlehunt. We have designed a number of riddles and puzzles for teams to solve that require both puzzling skills and Sanderson knowledge. These teams will compete against each other to solve all the puzzles, climb the leaderboard and win the rounds. If you want to participate in this event, sign up below! In the spoiler I'll go into more detail about what we're planning. TL;DR If you like puzzles, crosswords, escape rooms, mysteries, fictional puzzlehunts, consider yourself a Sanderson Scholar, are good at either logical or lateral thinking, want to have some fun with a team of people, or are a human being, you should join the Sanderson Puzzlehunt! Mods for this event are @MetaTerminal. Huge shoutouts to @MacThorstenson, who was the original creator of the idea and helped design but was unable to mod due to timing issues. Links: