How do I sign up?
Registration was open for up to 50 teams but was closed once that maximum was reached. Anyone who missed the deadline can contact us to be put on a waiting list in case of cancellation by another team, or if you’d like to join a team willing to take on unattached hunters.
So how much does this thing cost?
There’s a registration fee of $20/team that goes to the cost of printing the puzzles and making sure we have all the supplies, props, and other items to make this event super-awesome.
When will I actually be charged the registration fee?
At the time of registration, and you should have paid it by now.
Just what is BAPHL?
BAPHL stands for the Boston Area Puzzle Hunt League. As the name implies, it is a recurring series of puzzle hunts taking place somewhere in the Boston Area.
What is a puzzle hunt?
A puzzle hunt is an event where teams of puzzle solvers are given difficult puzzles that require various logical, lateral-thinking, and creative skills to solve. BAPHL, like some other puzzle hunts, adds an element of exploration by tying the puzzles to specific physical locations that teams have to get to.
That sounds pretty cool! When's the next one?
Saturday, April 25, 2015!
Will the hunt be indoors or outdoors?
Outdoors. All teams are highly encouraged to dress for outdoor activities.
What if it’s raining?
We’ll get wetter than usual. There is no rain date or alternate course; it would take a severe weather emergency to make us reschedule BAPHL.
Will the hunt involve running from place to place?
Sometimes, but not always.
Where and when will the hunt start?
The hunt will start at 11AM on Saturday, April 25 in Winthrop Park, near the corner of JFK Street and Winthrop Street in Cambridge. (For locals, that’s where Grendel’s Den is; there’s also a Peet’s Coffee there for those who solve better when fully caffeinated.) Team captains should arrive at least 20 minutes early to check their team in.
Parking in the Harvard Square area is ... sparse, to put it best, especially if the weather is nice (like we’re hoping it will be). Your best bet may be parking in the Alewife T Station parking garage and taking the T into Harvard Square. There’s currently no reported replacement of service between Harvard and Alewife with a shuttle bus, but if this changes, we’ll send an update to teams so you can plan ahead for parking.
Do we need a vehicle?
No! BAPHL XII will be taking place in a fairly constrained area that is fully able to be covered on foot.
Will we be entering private buildings, or places that require admission?
No. There will be no need to pay a fee to enter a building, or to enter any area that is not publicly accessible for free. If your team discovers something to the contrary, you are on the wrong course.
What’s the difference between the Flurry and Blizzard divisions?
If you’ve done events like The Game, MIT Mystery Hunt, or past BAPHLs and are more experienced with the types of puzzles events like these contain, you’ll want to choose the Blizzard, or Competitive, division. If you’re less experienced with puzzles like these, choose the Flurry, or Casual, division — the puzzles are clued in a little more detail, and we’ll be providing more hints so you can enjoy the hunt without getting too stuck along the way.
What size should our team be?
The hunt is designed to be solved by a team of four to six people. Smaller teams are allowed, and if you’re a lone hunter looking for a team, email and we’ll try to hook you up with a team that’s open to taking on more hunters.
What supplies should we bring?
The following supplies may be helpful on the day of the hunt: pencils, colored pencils or pens, clipboards, a straight edge, scissors, tape, paper, and graph paper. Each team should have at least one Internet-enabled phone that can take and send photos.
Blizzard teams might also want to bring a deck of cards.
You will be given some reference materials for use in the hunt, but you may also use smartphones to look stuff up during the event.
Outside of solving, it may be handy to have sunscreen, a water bottle, snacks, comfortable shoes for walking, and inclement weather gear if the weather’s not looking so great.
What time should the hunt end by?
The wrap-up will be back in Winthrop Park where we started at 6pm. There we will present the winners and have our closing ceremony.
What do we get if we win?
You’ll win a fantastic prize*! Oh, and if you win the Blizzard division, we’ll ask if you want to write an upcoming BAPHL.
Are teams allowed to use the internet?
Yes. Unlike some previous BAPHLs, you are free to use the internet. We tried to design puzzles where you wouldn’t normally need to, but a couple of them may benefit from a Google Search or two for some teams — it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll have more fun using the Net or not.
Can we ask random strangers on the street for help? Or call a friend?
The “phone-a-friend” approach is discouraged, since that kind of planning effectively makes your team bigger. Don’t call people you know and ask for help — you can ask HQ for hints if you’re totally stuck.
However, if you think polling a random stranger on the street can help you answer a question, that’s fine — especially if you are just asking for directions, or about some local factoid. As long as they don’t sit down and solve puzzles with you, that’s not against the spirit of the rules.
You said we could ask HQ for help?
Yes! We’ll even answer specific questions for you if we think they’re reasonable. But if you’re doing well, you might find our answers less helpful.
What if it’s getting late and my team is totally stuck?
Ask us for hints. We won’t think less of you for it.
Is this one of those corporate-sponsored “scavenger hunts” that’s actually advertising things to us?
Heck no. BAPHL is written for the love of puzzling, and is funded entirely by your registration fees.
Who are you guys?
The writing team for BAPHL XII is Phlogizote, a mix of hunters from the BAPHL teams Phlogiston and Azote.
Specific HQ contact information will be given in writing to each team Captain on the day of the hunt, along with other essential information.
Email for questions about the BAPHL XII event.
Email for questions about past or future BAPHL events.

* fantastic prize yet to be determined.

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