More collaborative puzzle-solving opportunities like Post Hunt?
June 6, 2016 9:33 AM   Subscribe

I participated in the Washington Post puzzle hunt this year and loved it. What are some other opportunities, either local to DC or virtual, to employ the same kind of creative, collaborative problem-solving that is involved in Post Hunt?

Things I liked about Post Hunt:
-Based on lateral thinking and creativity
-Highly collaborative. Everyone on my team had input and helped solve the puzzles.
-Difficulty level: hard without being fiendish. We didn't solve all of the puzzles but got several of them and made some headway on the others.
-Doesn't require any specialized skills (cryptography, etc.) - this is the most important provision because it rules out a lot of other things that are explicitly puzzle hunts, most notably Microsoft's.

What other activities have these characteristics? Where can I do them in DC or over the internet? As a note, I don't drive, so anything outside of DC proper would need to still be transit-accessible.
posted by capricorn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: This is my thing like nothing before has ever been my thing.

Puzzled Pint
posted by phunniemee at 9:38 AM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

There are places, including near DC, that do Escape the Room style collaborative puzzle challenges. They're billed for team building type stuff, but if you brought a group that might work. This one is in DC proper. There's also this one in Fairfax that probably isn't Metro accessible.

I've never done one, but I looked into them as a possible birthday present for my wife one year. I can't say if they're any good, but the idea, at least, sounds like it might be something you'd enjoy.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:50 AM on June 6, 2016

Just coming in here to say escape rooms -- I can't speak for the DC ones specifically, but I've done them both with friends and with coworkers, and it's much better with friends but it's super fun either way and exactly the kind of exhilarating collaborative brain challenge you want. There seem to be at least three in DC proper -- Glover Park, Penn Quarter (I've done the NYC version of this one), and Eastern Market, plus Fairfax.
posted by babelfish at 9:58 AM on June 6, 2016

Best answer: There are various online puzzle hunts, such as Puzzle Boat (I'd recommend 2 or 3 because they have hinting systems). These might be pretty challenging for new-ish puzzlers though, I don't have a good metric for that. More likely more fun in a group.

There are also puzzle books, such as The Librarian's Almanaq. Also more fun in a (small) group.
posted by nat at 10:24 AM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: How about Letterboxing?
posted by carsonb at 12:30 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Come to our puzzled pints each month. And join the Nova puzzle meetup. And do dash. And sign up for escape rooms. You are my tribe! :)
posted by TestamentToGrace at 12:38 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I checked Bulgaroktonos' link to the Fairfax escape room. You can get there from the Vienna Metro via the 15M Metrobus or the Gold 1 CUE bus.
posted by apartment dweller at 1:08 PM on June 6, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for your answers so far!, man, I was going to mention escape rooms in my OP but it totally slipped my mind. The concept of being trapped in a room stresses me out; I don't think it would be my thing. Sorry to everyone who suggested it!

I'm also especially interested in opportunities where I don't need to bring a team of people I already know, but could show up and be put on a team with people I don't know. TestamentToGrace, sounds like the puzzled pints and DASH might be options there?
posted by capricorn at 4:37 PM on June 6, 2016

Best answer: One of these public scavenger hunts? Looks like they have them in various DC neighborhoods and many of the major museums.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:55 PM on June 7, 2016

CISRA (no longer happening, but still has archives online), SUMS, and MUMS are all online puzzle hunts. It is also possible to join MIT Mystery Hunt teams by signing up and asking to be placed with a team.
posted by azalea_chant at 6:52 AM on June 8, 2016

The aforementioned Puzzle Boat is fantastic, and its creator, Foggy Brume, also publishes a bimonthly online publication called P&A Magazine that has the structure of a puzzle hunt.
posted by painquale at 7:43 AM on June 22, 2016

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