The 2020 Cryptex Hunt will come to you in the form of a novel, an original story with embedded puzzles. The puzzle hunt will run for 8 days, releasing a chapter a day.
Start Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020. The day before International Cryptex® Day
Final Puzzle: Saturday, March 7, 2020
Release Time: 8:00pm EST
Grand Prize: A Cryptex®
This is an original novel written especially for this puzzle hunt.
This Cryptex Hunt is brought to you by these lovely people!
Justin Nevins is the 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 cryptex.org.
Errol Elumir creates puzzles for large-scale, theatrical escape events, and wrote 13 Rules for Escape Room Puzzle Design. Errol has a daily webcomic. co-hosts an escape room podcast, helps compile the Escape Room Enthusiast Survey, is on the board for the TERPECAs, and writes escape room articles.
Kirsten Mills is better known as Justin’s sister. She likes puzzles, games and especially stories, but her passion is language. She relishes opportunities to pick apart sentence structure. She lives in New Zealand although Errol keeps thinking it's Australia.
Darren Miller and his wife, Melissa, have been hooked on escape rooms ever since they discovered them in May 2015. Now he designs and shares his puzzles online and you can find them at his site.
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.
Manda Whitney is a Toronto based performer and writer (which includes two webseries, three stage plays and various sketches). She also writes and designs narrative for large-scale escape events. When she is not working on projects, she is usually updating her blog at mandawhitney.com when she remembers to.
Lizette Tanner is an amateur writer. Most of her writing involve health reports and other government documents that have nothing to do puzzles. She lives in Alberta with her husband, her daughter, and a fluffy creature that is more or less a dog.
Ekko Elumir is Errol's daughter. She didn't edit the book, really. She just read it during class when she was really bored. Having said that, she is one of the few people to get all the nerd references in this book.
Colin Sanders (DoctorXOR), the winner of the 2018 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.
Margaux Yiu is Errol's friend who tries to make him play all her new board games before she trades them. Margaux’s websites need to be updated. Here’s one: margauxyiu.com.
There are some significant changes between this hunt and previous years, so please read on.
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 Cryptex.org for more info.
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 puzzlehuntcalendar.com for other puzzle hunts.
No, it is absolutely FREE with no "in-app purchases" or anything. The hunt will be available on this website at no charge.
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.
No. This year's hunt can be played on the browser. You will need a way to read PDF files and you need access to the internet to validate your answers.
However, you can download the PDF file and read it offline.
The Cryptex Hunt will start on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 8:00pm EST. It will be released over the week following as a daily series of chapters of a book, each containing an embedded puzzle, through Friday, March 6.
The Finale puzzle will be released on Saturday, March 7.
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 midnight (EST) will be eligible to participate in the Draw Prize drawing.
No. The puzzles are embedded in about a fifty thousand word novel Errol wrote during NaNoWriMo of 2019 just for this hunt.
The novel will be digital and available as a downloadable PDF. You are not required to purchase a physical copy, nor does a physical copy exist. When solving this hunt, however, please imagine the novel as a physical novel.
It would behoove you to do so.
The Cryptex Hunt will include many different types of puzzle designed by Errol Elumir 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 passcode.
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. Many Internet tools exist that may be useful for working puzzles.
Justin is debating creating more voodoo dolls.
The server requires teams, so that means you can create a team with your friends, or create a team with just one person.
Please note, however, the final prize is still just one cryptex, and the team can choose who can bring it home.
The puzzle hunt will be significantly harder than puzzles found in an escape room. If you are familiar with Puzzled Pint, the puzzles will be of similar difficulty and higher. The last puzzle may be a bit of a brain buster
The length of time it will take can range anywhere between 10 minutes to multiple hours. We are giving a full 24 hours for each puzzle.
GRAND PRIZE - Nevins Line Cryptex® Security Box. For the first registered account to have completed all the early puzzles and to complete the Finale puzzle without hints.
SECOND PRIZE - Standard 5 Code Ring Cryptex® Security Box. Winner's choice of colors. Random draw from pool of all registered individual accounts to complete the entire hunt by March 31st. The Grand Prize winner is not eligible.
DAILY PRIZES - There will be prizes each day leading up to the Finale for the first person finishing that day's puzzle. The Grand and Second Prize winners are not eligible.
Yes! In order to be eligible, you need to have completed all the early puzzles, regardless of whether or not you take hints, and you need to be the first to solve the final puzzle without hints.