Congratulations to the Winners!
Congratulations to Team Maize, winners of Normal Mode, and Just For the Halibut, winners of Hard Mode.
The Story, in Brief
There's this really popular animated TV show, Fuzzy and the Fuzzkins, which features little adorable balls of fluff who solve puzzles and thwart crimes. In fact, it's so popular that it's made it to a fifth season, starting tonight.
The only thing that could have made it more popular happened: last year, the Fuzzkins arrived on Earth for real. People went wild, merchandise sales went through the roof.
But we here at Bostonians Against Plush Hairy Life know better. They must be up to something. There's no coincidence that they happened to show up during the run, and match the TV show so closely.
Making matters worse, we've discovered that their mothership is floating over Harvard Square. You've got only a few hours to figure out how to stop them. Thankfully, their love of puzzles will be their downfall. You need to solve them and figure out what they're up to, and stop them from doing something horrifically sinister and ill-defined...
There were two modes of puzzles for this hunt: Normal and Hard. Some puzzles were shared, some were not. Teams were told about the first two puzzles at the start of the hunt. When they solved their first puzzle, they were told about puzzles 3 and 4. The next solve would unlock 5 and 6, then 7 and 8, then 9, then 10. This non-linearity meant that a team which solved five puzzles would be able to see the entire hunt, which was a major goal of ours.
|#||Normal Puzzle||Hard Puzzle|
Contestants' Row (Solution)
Round 1 Transcript / Round 2 Transcript / Round 3 Transcript
|2||Loop Space (Solution)|
|3||Scramble (Solution)||Runsaround [H] (Solution)|
|4||Runsaround (Normal) (Solution)||Department of Redundancy Department (Solution)|
|5||Fuzzy Logic (Solution)||Genetics Lab (Solution)|
|6||Not Quite Right [N] (Solution)||Picture It (Solution)|
|7||Fuzzy Math [N] (Solution)||Not Quite Right [H] (Solution)|
|8||Numerology (Solution)||Tower of Babel (Solution)|
|9||Picture It (Solution)||Fuzzy Math [H] (Solution)|
|10||Genetics Lab (Solution)||Numerology (Solution)|
Teams also received the episode guide to the first four seasons of the (very fictional) Fuzzy and the Fuzzkins TV show and a map of the area, showing hotspots of Fuzzkin activity: Episode Guide, Map.
The first metapuzzle does not have an explicit puzzle associated with it -- you can solve it just from the puzzle answers. Its method is given here in spoiler text:
Each puzzle contains flavortext linking it to one episode of Fuzzy and the Fuzzkins. (In fact, one of the ten not used in Contestants' Row.) Order those answers/episodes by air date and the answer words form a double acrostic — reading down the first word of all the answers gives the word MOTHERSHIP and reading down the second word gives BLUEPRINTS. Teams that called HQ and asked for MOTHERSHIP BLUEPRINTS were told, "Oh, hey, I guess we do have some mothership blueprints lying around! Sorry we didn't mention that before."
The second-level meta is linked here. Teams needed to discover the weak point of the mothership and what exactly to do to exploit it. Its solution is given here:
The mothership map is exactly the same as the map, only using Greek letters instead. Each answer corresponds to a room which has the same number of letters as the answer. If you line all of those pairs up in the same order that yielded MOTHERSHIP BLUEPRINTS, you'll notice that some of the letters match up. Taking those gives you GRAVITIC DOME, the name of one of the rooms!
That still doesn't tell you what to do about it, though. Again keeping the same order, take the letters underneath the first letters of each of the two word answers. That is to say, if your answer was BLUE STEEL, you would take the first and fifth letters from the corresponding room name. This gives you two letters per room, for a twenty letter instruction: NOW THROW IN A BLACK HOLE.
Teams that told us that they wanted to throw a black hole in the gravitic dome were told to go to the location right under the gravitic dome, which is location I. Once there, a member of BAPHL would tell them that they happened to have a black hole generator just lying around (in reality, a Staples "That was easy" button). They would push the big red button, and a black hole would be sent into the gravitic dome, destabilizing the mothership and sending it careening into space, thus saving the day! Hurrah!
The team for BAPHL 1 was:
- Hubert Hwang: puzzle writer, testsolver, organizer, webmaster, you name it.
- Diane Christoforo: puzzle writing, testsolving, and illustrations for Picture It. Also the voice of Fuzzlyn.
- Thomas Mack: puzzle writer
We'd also like to thank our runtime volunteers: Eddy Karat, You Zhou, and Kristen Sunter. Special thanks also go to Cassandra Phillips-Sears for drawing most the illustrations for Picture It.