Welcome to the 2023 DUAL Puzzle Hunt!


We’ve got something exciting for you this year!  For starters, this DUAL puzzlehunt is actually two-hunts-in-one!  And both of them are “Aussie-style” hunts (modeled after the Australian hunts put out by the Universities of Sydney and Melbourne), which means you’ll get four puzzles a day across six days, with a final metapuzzle on Day 7.  The solution for each puzzle (for either hunt!) will be a word or a phrase which should be written in all lowercase letters with any spaces between words removed.  (There will never be numerals or other special characters in a solution.)


You’ll see the “easy-half” hunt first.  It has been specifically designed for young kids.  If you’ve got young kids in your family who are on summer vacation and would like to know what their mom or dad is doing all weekend when they say they’re “puzzle-hunting,” you can absolutely invite them to come along and try out a hunt for themselves!  (Edric is a fourth grade teacher, so he has some experience with honing materials to this age level!)


But every time an “easy-half” puzzle is solved, it will take you to a puzzle in the “hard-half” hunt.  This second hunt will run concurrently with the first hunt (albeit “in the background”), meaning that both hunts will follow the same puzzle-release schedule and duration.


As always, this hunt is open to anyone and everyone.  The hunt has been formatted so that not just teams but also individuals will feel welcome to participate (as opposed to other hunts which often encourage, require, or even necessitate teams).  And, following the tradition of Edric’s hunts, the first person (or team!) to solve the final metapuzzle will receive $100 cash and a free puzzle!


Two “asterisks” about that, however.  First extra note is that the prize is truly for the final metapuzzle.  The cash-prize-and-puzzle will not go to a finisher of just the “easy-half hunt.”  Second extra note is that there will actually also be a token metapuzzle running throughout the hunt, which is intended to be solved on Day 6, but which could very well also get “cheesed” by someone particularly perspicacious sometime on Day 5.  So we’re offering a “bounty” on that early solve.  If the first person to solve the token meta gets it solved before the Day 6 puzzles are released, that person will also receive $100 cash and a free puzzle!  (If no one solves the token meta before Day 6, however, then this second prize will not be awarded.)


(Now -- in the case that someone is quick enough to be the first one done with both the token and the final meta, then we will reapportion the prizes just a little bit.  The winner-of-both will receive $150 and a free puzzle . . . and the remaining “$50 and a free puzzle” will go to the person/team who is second to finish the final meta.)


No hints will be given for the “easy-half” puzzles -- they won’t be necessary!  Three hints will be given for each “hard-half” puzzle (except for the token meta), and links to the hints pages will appear right on every “hard-half” puzzle.  Hints will be posted daily at noon EDT and then new puzzles will be posted at 5:00 pm.  The hunts will end when the solutions to all of the puzzles get posted on the very same hints pages at noon EDT on Wednesday, July 26.


We hope you’ll come join us for the fun!  Happy puzzling!