The 2019 Cryptex Mini Puzzle Hunt

An online puzzle hunt launching on International Cryptex Day, Friday, March 1, 2019 at 9:00pm EST.

GRAND PRIZE: Nevins Line Bolivian Rosewood Cryptex® Security Box

Congratulations to the winner, Dan Katz!! Although the hunt is officially over, you can still play if you wish.

How to Start

How Will We Start?

This year, the puzzle hunt administration is being hosted courtesy of
ClueKeeper Logo

No pre-registration is required, but you can download the app to your mobile device ahead of time.

Please register with an email account so we can identify you. If you register as a guest, then you are ineligible for the prize.

To FIND the Cryptex hunt, you will need the Hunt Code: CXHUNT




There was an error on the last page, "How to Make a Cryptex". If you download the magazine again, it is updated to the latest version.

For clarification, here is an image snippet of the correct version:

Puzzle Team

This Cryptex Hunt is brought to you by these lovely people!


Cryptex Sponsor

Creator of the first Cryptex® Security Box and has been making custom works of art like this full time since March 1, 2004. Escape rooms and puzzle hunts have become his new obsessions. Check out his products at


Puzzle Lead and Director

This year, the helm of the Cryptex puzzle hunt is taken on by Darren. He and his wife, Melissa, have been hooked on escape rooms ever since they discovered them in May 2015. And now he designs and shares his puzzles online and you can find them at his site.


Tech Support and Programmer

David, also known as Strype in our Slack chat, has been a stalwart foundation in making sure this hunt runs correctly. He has been with us since the very beginning and fixes all problems in our hour of need.


Puzzle Hunt Platform

The platform for this year's puzzle hunt will be running on ClueKeeper thanks to Richard Bragg, one of the co-founders of ClueKeeper and also the primary creator of the Top Escape Rooms Project.



Sarah Willson is a writer, editor, and puzzle designer who delights in solving problems of all kinds. She has spotted typos in escape rooms, puzzle magazines, and the Ancient Hylian language in the background of a Zelda minigame-all of which she loves dearly, with or without perfect spelling.


Features Contributor

Manpans is a designer of narrative and helped with the text and other beta testing of puzzles. She also helps run the podcast Room Escape Divas.


Graphic Designer

Errol's only responsibility is the art direction and he has contributed to just two puzzles, so anyone who has nightmares because of him can rest easy. You can find more of his stuff on The Codex.


Puzzle Contributor

Rita Orlov is a designer and maker of puzzles and objects of all sorts. An avid traveler, board gamer, and escape room addict, she has a background in art and woodworking and is the creator of PostCurious, an immersive tabletop puzzle game company.


Puzzle Contributor

Shannon McDowell is a board game and puzzle designer who is obsessed with escape rooms, travel, Disney, and cats. She does research on escape rooms at Wilfrid Laurier University and assists in the development of the Red Bull Escape Room World Championship.


Puzzle Contributor

Logan Giannini designs puzzles, games, and escape rooms from the snowy tundra of Minnesota where he lives with his wife and co-operates The Enigma Emporium.


Puzzle Contributor

Colin Sanders (DoctorXOR), the winner of last year's Cryptex Hunt, is excited to contribute to the future of Cryptexes. Armed with a background in electrical engineering, cryptography, and the Tim Tang Test, he plans to kickstart his own website of riddles during the next year.


Puzzle Contributor

Introduced by a mutual friend as the "two most competitive people" he knew, they decided to join forces before destroying each other. Known for creating Escape Room In A Box, they're now the Wild Optimists, creating the next generation of playful experiences as they gamify live events and design escape rooms and tabletop games.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are some significant changes between this hunt and last year's hunt, so please read on.

What is a Cryptex?

Designed by master craftsman Justin Nevins, a Cryptex® brand security box is a self-contained cylindrical lockbox secured by a mechanically changeable code. Used in escape rooms or collected by fans, a Cryptex is a beautiful, functional, solidly constructed work of art.

See for more info.

What is the Cryptex Hunt? What is a puzzle hunt?

A puzzle hunt is a game where participants compete to solve a series of puzzles. The Cryptex Hunt is an online puzzle hunt that features Cryptexes throughout the experience.

See for other puzzle hunts.

Does it cost anything to play?

No, it is absolutely FREE with no "in-app purchases" or anything. The hunt will be run on the ClueKeeper platform, but that, too, is a free download.

We wanted to encourage as many people to play this hunt as possible and hopefully have a good time doing it! All time, effort, and costs have been donated in order to keep it free for the general public.

How is the Cryptex Hunt structured this year?

The Cryptex Hunt will start on March 1, 2019, which is a Friday, at 9:00pm EST. The puzzle hunt will be available as a single event so that you will have access to all the puzzles at once, and the first to finish all the puzzles with no hints will be the Grand Prize winner.

The puzzle hunt will remain online through the month of March for those who want to play at a more leisurely pace. Everyone who completes the whole hunt by March 31 will be eligible to participate in the Draw Prize drawing.

What kind of puzzles will be included? Can I use the Internet?

The Cryptex Hunt will include many different types of puzzle designed exclusively for this event. Exploring and discovering the exact nature of these puzzles is part of the challenge for the players. All of the puzzles will resolve to a word or short phrase that you will need to enter to progress.

These puzzles are designed for this event - you won't be able to Google the solutions. However, you are welcome to use Google or other tools to help you as you work on them. In fact, you more than likely will need Google to help you solve puzzles. Many Internet tools exist that may be useful for working puzzles.

Can I play alone? Can I play as a team?

Every person who wishes to play will register and play the puzzle hunt as an individual. However, you are certainly welcome to play together, share answers, and operate as a team.

Please note, however, the final prize will be awarded to the owner of the qualifying winning user account.

How hard is this puzzle hunt? How much time will this take?

The puzzle hunt will not be as hard as last year, but will still be harder than puzzles found in an escape room. If you are familiar with Puzzled Pint, the puzzles will be of similar difficulty.

Will there be a prize?

GRAND PRIZE - Nevins Line Bolivian Rosewood Cryptex® Security Box. For first registered account to complete the entire hunt without hints.

SECOND PRIZE - Standard 5 Code Ring Cryptex® Security Box. Winner's choice of colors. Random draw from pool of all registered accounts to complete the entire hunt by March 31st.

I have a question not in this FAQ!

We do too. Hah. Sorry. Please stay tuned as this will be updated periodically. If you desperately wish to know something, find us in the Escape Room Slack Channel. You can register for an account at The Codex.


Cryptex Magazine - Hint #1

Gaze into Justin's eyes for guidance.

Cryptex Magazine - Hint #2

"Morse" tells you what to do. "Start here" tells you where.

Colorize Your Cryptex - Hint #1

Note the layout; does it remind you of anything?

Colorize Your Cryptex - Hint #2

"Give us a call..."

Colorize Your Cryptex - Hint #3

The number of Cryptexes is important; the color gives the order

From the Editor - Hint #1

Some of the phrasing is unusual; read it carefully for direction.

From the Editor - Hint #2

Pay close attention to the next-to-last paragraph.

From the Editor - Hint #3

Go line-by-line, not by sentence or paragraph, as printed on the page.

Editor Photo - Hint #1

Note the layout; does it remind you of anything?

Editor Photo - Hint #2

Tallying your thoughts should help you calculate the answer.

Editor Photo - Hint #3

An ancient device might help calculate the answer; treat each shelf independently. Imagine each bookcase rotated to the left (counter-clockwise).

The Tale of Ord - Hint #1

Have you visited the location of the tour? Notice anything on the wall? Make sure the photographer was named Simko.

The Tale of Ord - Hint #2

The image of the runestone isn't just there for decoration. Find out where it leads.

The Tale of Ord - Hint #3

You need a couple of web sites to solve this puzzle, neither of them Postcurious.

Feedback and Reviews - Hint #1

When you identify what's different, it will help you identify what you need.

Feedback and Reviews - Hint #2

The intro should guide you how to use what had been taken out. Don't worry, you don't need to know the people on a first-name basis

Feedback and Reviews - Hint #3

Go "over the years", and use the size of what's been taken away (replaced) along with the characters' last names.

Conundrum - Hint #1

What stands out? Every phrase has a purpose.

Conundrum - Hint #2

Pay close attention to the final phrase.

Conundrum - Hint #3

Arrange the phrases one-per-line, what do you notice "first"? Then "last"? Now get the "top ten" and arrange them.

Lexicon Green - Hint #1

Think of it like TriBond or "Four Pictures One Word".

Lexicon Green - Hint #2

Golf, motor. fundraiser, car, road...

Cryptexes In The Wild - Hint #1

If you catch a Cryptex unawares, it might tell you something.

Cryptexes In The Wild - Hint #2

These Cryptexes are seen from behind; what's on the other side?

Cryptexes In The Wild - Hint #3

Make sure you include "The" only on those things that are proper titles. Arrange them by what you got from the Cryptexes.

Puzzle Connection - Hint #1

Note that both puzzles are the same size.

Puzzle Connection - Hint #2

The puzzles relate to each other row-by-row.

Puzzle Connection - Hint #3

Pay attention to the highlighted columns in the sudoku; each row references the corresponding row in the crossword.

Puzzle Connection - Hint #4

The highlighting tells you which are the important numbers in the sudoku. those numbers tell you which letter on the corresponding row of the crossword is relevant.

The Enigma Emporium - Hint #1

If you've "red" the message carefully then you have all the tools you need in your (8-bit) box.

The Enigma Emporium - Hint #2

Instead of seeing I's and O's, consider them 1's and 0's.

Dear Manpans - Hint #1

The second to last reply has no mistakes in it.

Dear Manpans - Hint #2

Have you heard of a lipogram?

The Werewolf Experiment - Hint #1

Those symbols are less alien than they seem...

The Werewolf Experiment - Hint #2

Some of the symbols align with the text.

4 Uses For a Cryptex - Hint #1

Each picture has something in common.

4 Uses For a Cryptex - Hint #2

Initially, the intro might help you find what you need.

4 Uses For a Cryptex - Hint #3

Use the two-letter code.

An Interview with Justin Nevins - Hint #1

There are three shades of gray/black used in the separators.

An Interview with Justin Nevins - Hint #2

The gray block separator before each interview question has two parts.

An Interview with Justin Nevins - Hint #3

*Base*d on those bars with three shades of gray/black, you ought to be able to get something out. Don't forget the Editor's note at the end.

An Interview with Justin Nevins - Hint #4

If two values (black/white) is binary, what might three values indicate?

Cryptexes and Escape Rooms - Hint #1

If you're searching for a sign, think of when it begins.

Cryptexes and Escape Rooms - Hint #2

Look to the final sentence to light your way.

Cryptexes and Escape Rooms - Hint #3

Wikipedia is your friend; check out the Zodiac page.

Which Prexcyt Dragon are You? - Hint #1

The length of each dragon's favorite word(s) is given in parentheses.

Which Prexcyt Dragon are You? - Hint #2

For the 7 questions, the option letters (A-E) aren't relevant. Make sure you're being very specific, as each dragon also has a favorite number.

Which Prexcyt Dragon are You? - Hint #3

Look at the bonus question's choices; you might want to read them aloud to see what it refers to. Then relate that to the 5-letter word you got from the dragons, and Google if you need to.

Cryptexflix - Hint #1

All of these "movies" reference a common event.

Cryptexflix - Hint #2

You need to relate the movies to the event; each poster refers to a specific item.

Cryptexflix - Hint #3

Each of the posters has one or more numbers on it. You'll need to refer back to the page for the final answer.

Room Escape Divas - Hint #1

The borders are important.

Room Escape Divas - Hint #2

The top and bottom borders highlight an important letter.

Room Escape Divas - Hint #3

Connect the left and right lines. Erase all the non-important letters.

How to Make a Cryptex - Hint #1

This is a metapuzzle. Three of things you need will have a place, but not an orientation. The end is easy as ABC ... and ACE, and PAL?

How to Make a Cryptex - Hint #2

All of the puzzle answers need to be fit into the grid, horizontally. No intersecting or overlapping answers. After you make your Cryptex, the final password is IN BETWEEN letter pairs.

Fine Print

  1. TO ENTER THE CRYPTEX HUNT (the “Contest”) you must complete each puzzle correctly and submit your answers through ClueKeeper through a registered account. In the event of a dispute, entries received shall be deemed to be submitted by the registered account holder at the time of entry. Limit of one (1) entry per household. First prize contest starts March 1, 2019 and closes March 3, 2019 (the “Contest Period”). No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
  2. The contest sponsor is CRYPTEX® (hereinafter referred to as the “Contest Sponsor”).
  3. Puzzle creators, employees, and their respective parents, siblings and children, and persons domiciled with them, their respective agents, parent, affiliated or related companies, subsidiaries, divisions, prize sponsors, and promotional and advertising agencies and administrators, are ineligible to enter.
  4. Prizes include two Cryptexes® and other prizes to be announced.
  5. Prize must be accepted as awarded and may not be sold or transferred, and is not convertible to cash. Contest Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes in the event a certain prize is unavailable.  Shipping costs domestic or international will be covered by the contest sponsor, but any import duties, taxes or fees will be the responsibility of the winner. Prize winners are solely responsible for all costs not expressly described herein.
  6. On or after March 3rd, 2019 all eligible entries received during the Contest Period will be evaluated and the First Prize winner announced. Contest Sponsor will attempt to contact the potential winners by the information they have provided. Proof of identification must be provided upon request. Acceptance of the prize assumes that the potential winner has read and understood these official rules and regulations (“Rules”), accepts the Prize as offered and releases the Contest Sponsor from any and all liability of any kind arising out of the potential winner’s participation in this Contest and receipt and use of the Prize.
  7. First prize will be a custom made Cryptex® and will be awarded to the entrant who has completed the puzzle hunt first. Second prize will be a Cryptex® and will be a draw amongst all participants who have finished the hunt during March 2019. Odds of winning second prize will depend upon the total number of eligible entries received.
  8. By entering this Contest, the entrants and participants automatically agree to accept and abide by these Rules. All decisions of the Contest Sponsor with respect to any aspect of this Contest, including without limitation the eligibility of entries, are final and binding on all entrants in all matters as they relate to this Contest.
  9. All entries become property of Contest Sponsor who assume no responsibility for garbled, lost, late, delayed, destroyed or misdirected data or any computer errors or malfunctions. Contest Sponsor does not assume any responsibility for incorrect or inaccurate capture of entry information, technical malfunctions, human or technical error, seeding or printing errors, lost, delayed or garbled data or transmissions, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or failures of any telephone or computer line or network, computer equipment, software or any combination thereof. Entry materials-data that have been tampered with or altered are void. If for any reason, in the opinion of the Contest Sponsor, in their sole discretion, the Contest is not capable of running as originally planned, or if the administration, security, fairness, integrity or the proper conduct of the Contest is corrupted or adversely affected, including by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond their control, Contest Sponsor reserve their right to cancel, terminate, modify, amend, extend or suspend the Contest including canceling any method of entry, and select a winner from previously received eligible entries. Contest Sponsor reserves the right to modify the Rules without materially affecting the terms and conditions hereof. The Contest Sponsor reserves the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual they find to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of the Rules or otherwise in a disruptive manner. Any attempts to deliberately damage the Contest web site or to undermine the legitimate operation of this Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made the Contest Sponsor reserve their right to seek remedies and damages to the fullest extent of the law. Contest Sponsor shall not be held responsible for any errors or negligence that may arise or occur in connection with the Contest including any damage to an entrant’s computer equipment, system, software or any combination thereof, as a result of their participation in this Contest or from using any material from the Contest website.
  10. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations. By entering this Contest, each entrant consents to the collection, use of his or her personal information (information that identifies an entrant as an individual, such as home telephone number, age and home address) by the Contest Sponsor for the purposes of implementing, administering and fulfilling this Contest. Contest Sponsor will not sell or transmit this information to third parties except for the purposes of administering this Contest.
  11. In the event of any discrepancy or inconsistency between the terms and conditions of the Contest Rules and disclosures or other statements contained in any Contest related materials, including but not limited to the Contest entry form, or point of sale, television, print or online advertising, the terms and conditions of the Contest Rules shall prevail, govern and control.
  12. All intellectual property, including but not limited to trade-marks, trade-names, logos, designs, promotional materials, web pages, source codes, drawings, illustrations, slogans and representations are owned by the Contest Sponsor and/or their affiliates. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized copying or use of any copyrighted material or intellectual property without the express written consent of its owner is strictly prohibited.