EPP13: Your Lucky Day?

13 April 2013


Congratulations to Ivory Team! EPP13 proved to be a fiercely contested puzzlehunt, but in the end these six teammates held on for the win:

Here are links to some of the puzzles of the hunt (the ones that are most suitable to simple PDF download -- many are not included because they involved heavy use of physical props or the Auburn environment).

Title Difficulty Enjoyment # of Solves # of Hints Team Scores Throughout The Day
Bilbo, The Lucky Number (clues that were posted about are included in PDF) (answer grid) 3.24 4.04 7 0

Final Scoreboard

Beginner's Luck 1.69 3.31 11 1
Luck Of The Irish 3.00 4.13 9 4
You Lucky Dog 4.89 2.60 0 2
Not ROT-13 4.39 3.88 10 10
Luck Of The Draw (Page 1, Page 2) 3.00 4.00 12 0
Piece(s) Of Luck (jigsaw puzzle assembling to this image) 2.00 4.38 13 0
jfmamjJASONd 3.10 3.58 7 3
Blind Luck 3.24 4.18 7 4
Karmic Balance 2.67 3.69 8 1
Lucky Find 4.00 3.47 8 4
Thank Your Lucky Stars 3.93 4.00 7 6
Walking Under (Word) Ladders 2.44 3.42 10 0
Broken Mirror 4.27 3.17 3 0
"Difficulty" and "Enjoyment" scores are based on player survey results from after the Party. The aspects were rated from 1-5 (1=Easy... 5=Hard, and 1=Disliked... 5=Liked). Numbers of Solves and Hints are combined from all 13 teams that competed.

Ivory team member, James Dabbs, writes this analysis about the EPP13 Meta-puzzle.



I could not miss noticing that the 13th day of April of the year 2013 would be the perfect Saturday to hold my 13th Puzzle Party. What luck! Given this nice coincidence of thirteens, I decided to go with the theme of lucky and unlucky things. To that end, players will find plenty of unlucky 13s, lucky 7s, black cats, and other superstitious charms scattered through this Puzzle Hunt.

The Party will be of medium-long duration: 13 hours. It will also start a bit later than is typical: at the 13th hour of the day (1pm). The Trophy will be awarded to the team that has the highest score at the end of the whole thing. Since this will be in the middle of the night. The "awards ceremony" will actually be Sunday 10:00 am; giving teams some time to sleep. No puzzle answers can be submitted after 2:00am.


Team formation for EPP13 will be similar to past Parties: each individual will have a "cost" based on whether or not he or she has participated in past Parties and how many trophies he or she may have won. The cost for a person who has never participated in or helped organize a past Party (including all EPPs and APPs) is 7 Points. Players who have attended past Parties are worth 8 + [the number of trophies won]. A PDF listing of all past players (and trophies won) is available for review (this is not completely up-to-date, but it does accurately reflect trophy counts right now).

If a person is not on that PDF list, he or she is worth 7 Points, otherwise: 8 + Trophies (the last column in gray in the spreadsheet indicates Trophies). Finally, if a player is attending EPP13 and is from out of town (away from Auburn/Opelika), they have their cost reduced by 1 (this reduction is not indicated on the list above).

The total value/cost of a Team roster for EPP13 may not exceed 52 (= 13 * 4) Points.

Team colors may be reserved on a "first come, first served" basis; email me when you have at least two people ready for a particular team, and tell me what color you would like to be.

I will accommodate up to thirteen teams.

TEAM ROSTERS (team names are optional but encouraged)
Team Captains are in boldface. The Captain needs to be sure that I have his/her cellphone number and email address and needs to tell me a password for his/her team. If no Captain is designated for a team, then I still need to be notified about that.
BLACK (52) BLUE (50) BROWN (50) GRAY (39) GREEN (41)
Robert Ford (10) †
David Jarrell (9) †
Rex Miller (6) †
Emily Norman (10)
Jason Schmurr (7) †
Andrew Thomas (10) †
Shaleesa Bynum (7)
Alison Chancy (7)
Craig Davis (7)
Paula Davis (7)
Jeff LaMondia (8)
J.J. Nelson (7)
Jackie Popper (7)
Kelly Bragan (9)
Daniel Brice (9)
Alex Byaly (9)
Andrew Owens (8)
Zachary Sarver (8)
Bin Yeh (7)
Tyler Atwell (7)
Drew Branch (7)
Heath Hopkins (11)
Clay Miller (7)
Jared Watkins (7)
Amanda Kaye Bain (8)
Kelly Hollingsworth (10)
Allison Miller (7) †
Deana Schnuelle (8)
Mary Grace West (8)
IVORY (51) ORANGE (52) PEACH (37) PINK (43) PURPLE (19)
Steven Clontz (9)
James Dabbs (8) †
Jessica Godwin (7)
Amy Steinkampf (10) †
Calvin Thomas (9)
Scott Varagona (8) †
Alan Bertl (7)
Patrick Buckingham (7) †
Charles McPillan (10) †
Erin McPillan (9) †
John Pilman (6) †
Karen Pilman (6) †
Frank Strum (7)
Lourdes Betanzos (7)
Bryan Leclair (6) †
Sean Molley (6) †
John Richardson (6) †
Brian Schoner (6) †
Greg Watson (6) †
Erin Beaver (8)
Ashley Eden (7)
Nate Goff (7)
Ashley Loyd (7)
Meredith Mitchell (7)
Joni Smith (7)
Bob Gillis (10) †
Marsha Gillis (9) †
RED (50) WHITE (27) YELLOW (41)    
Seth Bowman (7)
Anne Daniels (9)
Todd Daniels (9)
Kyle Fritz (7) †
Bryan McMeen (9)
Chelsea McMeen (9)
Tanner Bain (8)
Michael Hollingsworth (11)
Brian West (8)
Tom Beard (8)
Scott Brown (9)
Zack Butcher (7)
Tim Hardwick (11)
Jaimie Spencer (6) †
"Un-teamed" players. These are players who have said they will likely show up on Puzzle Day, but for one reason or another have not yet settled on a team. If you are looking to bolster your team's roster, you may want to try to recruit these folks:

  • No un-teamed players currently.

Of course, you are also encouraged to invite other friends as well.

† Out-of-town participant


Puzzles will be of a pretty standard format. There will be thirteen of them, of course, and teams will get them all up front, after solving the Opening Puzzle. Most of the puzzles will lead teams to locations around Auburn where they will find stickers displaying certain "lucky symbols" (Symbol-Codes). A team dashboard/console will be available where players enter those symbols for that particular puzzle. By doing so, they will earn a certain number of points for their team. A few puzzles may be a bit different: presenting teams with an optimization challenge in which they try to maximize a problem to earn some number of points.

As usual, puzzles will encompass a wide variety of types: wordplay, numbers, manipulative/physical puzzles, cryptic ones, and plenty of running around town.

Of course, there may be meta and/or hidden puzzles as well.

The team with the most Points at the end of the Hunt will win.


Most of the puzzles will be worth a base 100 Points for the first team to solve it. After the puzzle has been solved by one team, its value will be reduced for other teams at the rate of 1 Point for every 13 minutes after the initial solve time. You are allowed multiple attempts when submitting Symbol-Codes for an answer, but you will receive a penalty of -1 Point for each incorrect submission (whether from bad guessing or careless data entry).

Basic puzzles that do not follow this scoring scheme will have their values explained clearly in their instructions.

All scoring by teams will be halted at 2:00 am Sunday morning (the end of the puzzlehunt).


You may, for any of the thirteen puzzles, request a hint if your team feels it is completely stuck. To receive a hint for a puzzle a team member must come to Eric's house. Upon arrival tell Eric what puzzle you need help on, and he will ask how far you've gotten on it. He will try to get as good a feel as possible as to where you are in the solving process of that puzzle so that he can give you a valuable hint (without just giving you the answer). Once Eric has the necessary information, and if he feels he has a worthy hint to give, he will ask if you want to receive it. When you definitely state that yes, you want the hint, he will tell it to you.

Hints will cost your team Points. The number of Points subtracted from your team's score will be randomly determined by rolling a number of dice equal to which number hint this is for your team (i.e. the first hint will demand one 6-sided die be rolled, the second hint -- regardless of whether for the same or a different puzzle -- will require two dice to be rolled, etc). The player receiving the hint will roll the dice as Eric watches, and Eric will deduct the Points (you will soon see it on your team's dashboard).

You may request multiple hints for the same puzzle (which will necessitate multiple dice rolls, of course). Eric does not guarantee that his hints will be crystal clear, but they will be relevant.


Here are some recommendations:

The Trophies

Here's what you're playing for: a pair of custom, 1-inch, lucky (?), commemorative, six-sided dice.