Puzzle Difficulty (1-5) Enjoyment (1-5) Diff + Enjoy Comments
1. The Fool 1.833
  • We are one of the teams that never got this one because the first people who looked at it over complicated the puzzle (they were looking at missing stars) but looking at it now it seems easy.
  • A nice opening puzzle.
  • Good simple open to get the theme started.
  • I didn't do this one, but it looks very simple and easy.
  • Nicely done. I wasn't the one to solve it, but worked through it while going back looking for any "hidden" puzzles. Thought some of the random dots in the picture or along the edges might have been Morse code ... not!
  • 2. Joker Poker 1.900
  • I didn't get this one at first. We decoded it immediately, but we didn't understand what to do with the first letters until close to the end of the night.
  • Didn't mind seeing the cards code again (until I realized you had to use it to decode every. single. location) but I think this puzzle was too easy.
  • My teammates solved this on the way back from the opener. Obviously easy so long as you kept the info from the opener.
  • This one took longer than it should have since we hadn't figured out the joke theme yet.
  • 3. Wild Cards 2.750
  • At first we tried decoding the cards in order and trying to find a cypher for the message, but then we realized the card was scored on the side, and sorting them alphabetically wasn't hard from there. Overall this one was fun.
  • I've seen a few puzzles involving decks of cards, but never one where the message was laser-etched! Great use of the code from the opening puzzle.
  • Difficulty seemed to vary greatly between decks; if any team could see some words from the start, it's a huge advantage over teams that have to figure out a sort order. Cool concept but maybe not consistent enough.
  • I saw the deck of cards after it had been solved and thought it was an easy one to get.
  • Sorting by standard initial card deck order provides enough info to get "chicken coop" which could be enough to solve without ordering.
  • Can't rate this one since I was working remotely and don't know what it involved.
  • Extremely cool!
  • 4. No Laughing Matter 3.182
  • I didn't work on this one, but I know my team members had trouble with it. I don't think it would be as hard looking at it now, but several members worked on it during the day.
  • Love the mechanism for pairing things -- probably would have been better to make the extraction something other than a cryptogram, though, since it's possible to short-circuit the puzzle.
  • I short-circuited this puzzle by just solving the cryptogram so I can't rate the difficulty. But I did go back and solve the clues which were fun.
  • I admit I did this one the easy way ... did look at it more when trying to spot a "hidden" puzzle.
  • 5. Having A Ball 2.800
  • This one was really cool. The fact that we could put the puzzle together in so many ways was awesome.
  • I always enjoy the 3D puzzles. The "Wheel of Fortune" mechanic probably didn't need to be used twice, though.
  • Easy to solve but hard to get the pieces to fit without breaking.
  • I watched my teammates work on the assembly. Seemed to be more a physical challenge to assemble than mental to get letters. Still can't believe I missed out on playing WOF/Hangman
  • I know these are coming each year - and OK with them - just not a big fan as they are time consuming without as much of an "aha" moment
  • Can't rate this one since I was working remotely. I'm not sure if it was this one or #16 that it sounded like lots of people tried it and then one person got it completely right on their first try. (!)
  • 6. Fool's Gold 3.600
  • Nice and straight forward, with the added bonus of being a bit labor intensive. I enjoyed it.
  • Nice and straight forward, with the added bonus of being a bit labor intensive. I enjoyed it.
  • I still don't understand what we were supposed to do with this puzzle. I understood what was happening at the beginning, but none of us knew how to relate that to the table.
  • Seemed under-specified (needed more than two examples or a clear statement of what constituted a proper substring). Found enough examples by hand to figure out the joke, but it was tedious.
  • I worked on this one and didn't get all the combinations but enough to figure out the joke.
  • I didn't work on this one but I want to go back and try it ... it looks clever.
  • 7. True True Troubadours 2.000
  • I didn't work on this one, but I think it was just a matter of looking up the correct song/lyric and decoding, so it should have been relatively straightforward.
  • A nice puzzle, not too difficult, but still fun. If we didn't have a walking song encyclopedia on our team it would have been the sort of puzzle that required team collaboration, which is always good.
  • I did this one after the hunt. I never realized how many songs have "joker" in the lyrics!
  • Another one I didn't work on, but it seems straightforward.
  • I like lyrics puzzles. I do not like having "Queen of Hearts" stuck in my head for hours. ;-)
  • 8. Fool, Aloof 3.444
  • My favorite puzzle of the hunt (I always love your palindrome puzzles)
  • Excellent palindromes! Was lost for a while trying GOLDENED LOG and completely missing GOLD LOG.
  • Palindromes are fun. It was hard to get all of them, but the puzzle can be solved with only a little over half.
  • palindromes were a lot of fun
  • For some reason I spotted the way these were going to be organized very quickly, which made it go fast. Nicely done.
  • 9. Foolish Mistakes 2.750
  • Nice puzzle with what seem to be a few false positives that made the final extraction harder than it should have been.
  • Easy word find.
  • Thank you for including word list
  • Spotting the words was trickier than I expected. I'm glad I kept track of the right thing as I was solving. Very nice the way it was incorporated into the meta puzzle.
  • 10. Dark Humor 2.417
  • Our full-sized blacklight didn't cause the markings to glow, so that threw us off for a while, which equaled fewer points.
  • Was a cool idea, but the person on the team who solved it didn't want to go get a black light so we never actually finished it.
  • Love the idea; the "special" letters on our copy were hard to see even with an LED UV light and a dark room, but we got it.
  • Loved the concept and thought it was fun, but we were one of the teams that couldn't see the UV ink with the blacklight. We thought we were missing something until we found the free hint. That made us confident enough that we called it in.
  • Ink was very dim and did not show up with numerous blacklight attempts. Not a fan of blacklight puzzles (though this one was reasonable due to theme)
  • We had the aha on this one quickly, but found it really hard to see anything our blacklight. Once we bought the exact bulb, we could just make it out. Still, I thought it was a fun idea.
  • Gave this one a dislike because of two elements - black light ink was almost impossible to see and calls to Eric/HQ to verify need to purchase bulb went without response - had "black light" aha moment for at least 2 hours before we "solved"
  • I wasn't on site but I know we had some technical difficulties with this one. Fun idea, though.
  • 11. A Dirty Joke 2.556
  • I think we could have figured this one out if we had found the hint for it, but we did not solve whichever puzzle had the hint for this one.
  • Interesting idea... probably too easy
  • Looked like fun - did not get a chance to play completely
  • I didn't work on this one, so I want to go back and see if I can sort it out now after the fact.
  • 12. j/k lol 2.583
  • I did this one myself, and it was fun. It was easy since it was just a matter of looking up a list of text abbreviations.
  • Fun idea for a puzzle!
  • I helped out with some of the acronyms.
  • It was easier than expected to come up with the acronyms. Maybe I'm hipper than I thought. (Probably not based on my use of "hipper".)
  • This one went quicker than I expected after reading the directions.
  • Neat idea, harder than I would have expected it to be.
  • 13. A Fool And His Money 3.667
  • I did everything but put the amounts in order in the first ten minutes of reading it... The bulk purchase/unit items threw me off. I thought they shouldn't work like the others in a budget because without knowing how many he purchsed it's pointless for an actual budget, right?
  • I did everything but put the amounts in order in the first ten minutes of reading it... The bulk purchase/unit items threw me off. I thought they shouldn't work like the others in a budget because without knowing how many he purchsed it's pointless for an actual budget, right?
  • Funny how it came down to the same final strategy as the Troubadour puzzle but the decimal threw me off...
  • We calculated the tax on the sum of the whole list, not on each item, so we never figured out this one.
  • Nice puzzle that is much simpler than it first appears... as long as you do the math correctly!
  • Hard because we needed a hint, but it seems so obvious now.
  • We were stuck for a while on this one, but I appreciated the final extraction.
  • worked on parts of this - got the tax idea - just missed that tax was already included in the $ listed
  • I wasn't in on the final solve on this one so I still don't know how it worked. I'd like to go back and figure it out.
  • Neat idea, not as hard as we made it. 8-)
  • 14. Funny Bones 3.600
  • I like these types of puzzles. Once we looked up a list of bones it wasn't difficult to figure out the rest.
  • I love cryptics so this was great. Because the set of possible answers was so constrained the clues were all gettable even though they violated some cryptic conventions.
  • The puzzle played fast and loose with standard cryptic rules, but was still a blast.
  • I didn't work on this one, but I think I would have found it difficult.
  • 15. Bag Of Tricks 3.727
  • This puzzle was really cool. I enjoyed working on it. The only complaint I have is that the blocks with only two shapes were tricky because if you went to say, page square, and looked at circle-circle, it was different then looking at square-circle, so we had some trial and error with those (especially since it was hard to know if we were looking for the right thing or if we had missed a shape).
  • Cool to see a puzzle involving projections.
  • Great job on the shapes! It was a lot of fun passing them around and arguing over which shapes we saw.
  • Some of the shapes were easier to figure out than the others. The hint sealed the solving mechanism.
  • toughest one I played - shapes were tough for me to see - puzzle concept was well done
  • Since I was working remotely I can't really rate this one, although I did help get the final answer once the data was in place.
  • 16. Motley Fool 3.571
  • One of my team members was a pro at putting this together and found a pretty optimal solution, so he had fun working on it.
  • I always enjoy the optimization problems. The "Wheel of Fortune" mechanic probably didn't need to be used twice, though.
  • Didn't work on this, but it looked like a lot of fun.
  • I was able to put the pieces together in a way to get 12 letters without too much difficulty. It was fun working with the pentominoes.
  • glad another team member did this one
  • Can't rate this one since I was working remotely.
  • 17. Shakespearean Fools 3.750
  • I got this one after my teammates had figures out the quotes but were stumped on how to get the joke. Isaw that the letter paths lined up to the figures at the bottom pretty instantly. I felt like the part they did must have been the harder part, ha.
  • I got this one after my teammates had figures out the quotes but were stumped on how to get the joke. Isaw that the letter paths lined up to the figures at the bottom pretty instantly. I felt like the part they did must have been the harder part, ha.
  • I figured out one section of this. The list of fools would have been really helpful to figuring it out, but we didn't get that so we just couldn't find the right quotes.
  • Great puzzle, and tougher than it seems!
  • The only hard part is the searching for the quotes. The in-the-field hint would have reduced my search time greatly.
  • I looked at this one briefly before realizing I wasn't the right person to solve it. It looked pretty difficult.
  • I didn't work on this one either.
  • Very neat; needed a concordance to track down some of the quotes, but if they had been famous 'twould have been too easy.
  • 18. Prank Phone Calls 2.538
  • Much easier for an Auburn local, very hard otherwise.
  • The ET joke was perfect!
  • This one was fun, but very time consuming.
  • Excellent runaround puzzle. We did not think this would be gettable for non-natives, but it was.
  • Didn't work on this, but love the premise.
  • I like puzzles in the field. This was also fair for all due to good resolution of pictures and inclusion of landmarks or street names.
  • A fun run-around puzzle. It's amazing how hard it is to find paypones!
  • I really liked this one. The photos seemed to include just enough information that a local person could figure out where they were. The way it resolved was very fun.
  • I'm not a fan of runaround puzzles in general, but this was a good one.
  • 19. Who's Laughing Now? 4.286
  • This was a great team puzzle! We had a good time solving this one together!
  • Always good to have a puzzle that forces the team to work together to solve it and this was that puzzle.
  • Some of the laugh tracks were harder than others to identify. It took 3 different people on our team to get to the breakthrough moment.
  • I'm not as good with audio puzzles ... I'm lucky I wasn't hearing this in my dreams.
  • There were a few obvious ones, and some I still don't know (which I suppose was the point). Getting the names exactly right was the hard part!
  • 20. Cutting Up In Class 3.500
  • One of my team members had fun working on this, and it seemed relatively straightforward, after getting some tape.
  • Cool puzzle... LOT of cutting.
  • I watched someone else work this through. It looked like fun, but maybe the cutting part was a tad tedious.
  • I didn't work on this one either.
  • 21. All Along The Watchtowers 4.500
  • I saw this one, wasn't one I really worked much on, but the idea of it was very cool, I thought. (though glad I wasn't the one working it out!)
  • A most excellent digital logic puzzle.
  • Best and most memorable puzzle in the set for me. Took a while to figure out our process for it, but there was still a lot of "how do we solve this more efficiently?"
  • The circuit was pretty complicated, but once I made some spreadsheet formulas, I was able to reach the solution.
  • I understood what to do here but was daunted by the amount of data involved. Fortunately other team members got it worked out.
  • A terrifying grind-fest, but I love the idea behind it so much that I'll forgive that. 8-)
  • General Comments

    Having the metapuzzles all be something other than what they appeared was brilliant. I sort of wish the times on those had decremented as well - or perhaps the first team could take a 100-point card, the next team a 90-point card, etc. But that may be because we got there first. ;-)

    Thanks for another tremendously fun event!The opening puzzle looked very fun. I wasn't on site but the photo texts were coming in madly. Having 21 puzzles to work on at once was an awful lot, so there were many that I didn't have a chance to work on, which was too bad. I felt like the puzzles were quite straightforward in terms of figuring out what was required ... even if the task to be done was complicated. None of the ones I worked on (which, admittedly wasn't all of them) felt as hard to approach as the "Lion" puzzle from last year (which I loved). I liked the way the Meta puzzle worked, and the way you figured out where to go was really neat. It was tough but we got there. The toybox was so cool! I would have been really disappointed if we had gotten that far and not been one of the first six so we could continue. The Hidden puzzles weren't really hidden, just more of a bonus in nature ... I did spend some time going back and looking for things that were hidden in the earlier puzzles. The bonus puzzles we did were fun in that they obviously weren't what they looked like, but once we figured out what to do we realized they should have been obvious (except the maze one ... I still need to go back and see how that one works). I think we had gotten tired by that point so it was harder to see the answers that were "hidden in plain sight." I liked the 100 point "bonus cards" that were found at the bonus locations. Overall it was a very fun experience and I am looking forward to doing it again. It is obvious how much time and effort went into creating all of the puzzles, especially the physical elements. Just placing the clues out in the field must have been a huge task. Top marks! Thanks so much for all the fun. See you next year!

    A bit heavy on the card translation - otherwise party was a great success and puzzles all worked as expected (other than black light perhaps)

    I had a great time and I thought the puzzles were varied and clever! I loved the meta. We figured out that the locations made a joker and we assumed we needed to visit the "eye" before we realized that the connection to the word search puzzle. So we spent a little time wandering around before we were able to zero in on the exact spot. And then we ran into another team there! That was an exciting 45 minutes or so.

    I also loved how the bonus puzzles seemed impossible to solve at first. It was cool discovering the gimmick for each one. I particularly enjoyed figuring out the maze puzzle.

    I think there should have been a bonus for the first team to open the toy box (even though it wasn't us) and/or decaying point values for each of the bonus puzzles (though I do think we were the first to solve most of them).
    Enjoyed opening puzzle. Did NOT enjoy having to translate EVERY answer from cards to letters. Enjoyed the gag of the meta puzzles. EPPs are consistently good hunts! Would like to see a return to the longer-hunt format (ending at 2am was a nice balance between day-hunt and weekend-hunt).
    I loved the opening puzzle. It was a perfect divide-and-conquer teamwork puzzle. And you did need all the letters. I only worked on about 5 or 6 of the puzzles due to being on a large size team. I think I would have more fun if I saw more of the puzzles. I would like to see the Fool's Gold solution for the element combinations list.

    Thanks to Eric for another fantastic puzzle party! Loved getting a lot of puzzles at once, and the hints were just enough incentive to go to the locations. Probably easier puzzles than the past few years. Would like to see a slightly longer puzzle party with more puzzles, but probably not a 24 hour event.
    I look forward to EPP every year and this year was no exception. Great puzzles, a fun structure, another amazing geography-based meta, and just enough variety while still preserving the "go to places around Auburn" aspect that makes this hunt unique. Overall probably easier than most years, but that's not necessarily a bad thing -- I think a hunt where most teams finish most puzzles is better than a hunt where only a few teams get to see everything. The "toy box" puzzles were brilliant. The only thing that I was hoping to see but didn't was a reference to Cliff Johnson's game "The Fool's Errand" (although I guess the Tarot Fool kind of counts). :) Already looking forward to next year!

    Great fun, as always! While you may want to continue keeping the EPP events free, please consider setting up a donation fund so that people who feel led to contribute can help with the cost of putting on such an awesome event.

    As always, I had a great time and can't wait until next year!

    I loved all the cheesy jokes everyone kept calling out! I also really liked how entering in the clues were different this time. I don't remember exactly what it was like last year, but I remember liking this year's format better.