About the Puzzle Hunt

The 2021 Cryptex Hunt is an online puzzle hunt for beginners.

Start Date: Monday, March 01, 2021, International Cryptex® Day
End Date: March 31, 2021
Draw Prize: A Cryptex®

Playing the Cryptex Hunt

  1. Watch a recording of our Cryptex Hunt Announcement to learn what's happening.
  2. Create an account and register your team for the Cryptex Hunt.
  3. Play the games on the Cryptex Jam Submissions page!
  4. Enter your final answer for the puzzle on our Cryptex Hunt server (where you registered.)
  5. Join us on our discord server for the latest updates and to ask questions!


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


Cryptex® Sponsor

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 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.



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 Lewis, 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 writer and narrative designer. She has helped design narrative for three large scale theatrical escape events and consulted on individual escape rooms. She also writes on narrative and gaming in her blog, mandawhitney.com.



Sarah Willson is a writer, editor, and designer of digital curios, and also a player of them. She has been writing text adventures since 1989 (not that they were any good back then). She also reviews escape games for Room Escape Artist.



Myra Ramdenbourg is a senior at Rice University and founder of an escape room club called Rice Escape. In her free time she likes to play and design escape rooms, and she hopes to one day open her own escape room.



Mike Collins spends his life thinking about puzzles, pedagogy, PCs and podcasts. He produces the Infinite Escape Room podcast and also runs the Pedagodzilla podcast. When not podcasting Mike enjoys PC and board gaming, cooking and making ‘stuff’.



Hi! My name is Nathan D'Silva, and I'm a first-year honours mathematics student at uWaterloo. I enjoy making puzzle hunts in my free time, so I've had a lot of fun developing for this hunt. For games I've developed, check out https://etothepiroot-1.itch.io!



Brent has loved puzzles and mazes for all his life and creates annual puzzle hunts for SaltCON, a yearly board game convention in Utah.



Dan Egnor is a longtime puzzle hunt and escape room enthusiast and occasional designer. He lives in Oakland, California with his partner and two cats. He is honored to work with the crew of the 2021 Cryptex Hunt and hopes you have a good time playing.


These amazing people helped us test the hunt and supported our players!


Beta Tester

Jakal is a puzzle enthusiast and creator as well as an owner at Kingdom Escape Games. They love anything to do with puzzles, especially if it happens to be an ARG.


Beta Tester

Sarah is always ready for something cryptic and puzzling. When they are not playing escape rooms or other puzzle things, they are working, designing, and creating at Kingdom Escape Games in Key Largo, FL.


Beta Tester

Margaux is a photographer who is learning to design board games. Her imaginary best friends include Thursday Next and Emma Thompson. She solves puzzles in pen; no guts, no glory!


Beta Tester

Vivien is a mathematician and puzzle designer. With his project Solving Fun, he designs puzzles in Spanish, English and French. He loves creating custom puzzling activities (escape rooms, puzzle hunts...), in particular in education and academia.



BELTHAZAR is a player of the Cryptex Hunt and was solving the games just like everyone else. However, when finished, they were immediately in the channels providing help to anyone who asked. I honestly don't know if they slept! Great job, Belthazar!

Frequently Asked Questions

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 Cryptex.org 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 may feature Cryptexes® throughout the experience.

See puzzlehuntcalendar.com 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 available 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.

Will I need an app or mobile device to play?

No. This year's hunt can and should be played on the browser. You will need access to the internet to validate your answers.

How is the Cryptex Hunt structured this year?

The Cryptex Hunt will start on March 1, 2021, at 8:00pm ET. It will be released over the week.

The final puzzles will be released on Saturday, March 6.

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 (ET) will be eligible to participate in the Draw Prize drawing.

Every year, there's a different format. What's the format this year?

That's a secret. However, the theme of this page should give you a hint.

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 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.


In fact, as you may have noticed, the hunt will be targetting those who are new to puzzle hunts. It will attempt to be the most accessible yet. We'll see how that goes.

How many puzzles are in this hunt?

Twelve. More or less.

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

The puzzle hunt will be targeting those who are new to puzzle hunts, however, it will still be of a higher difficulty than an escape room and even take home puzzle games.

If you are familiar with Puzzled Pint, the puzzles will be of similar difficulty. The last few puzzle may be challenging, but not as challenging as Errol's other final puzzles.

The length of time it will take can range anywhere between 15 minutes to multiple hours.

The hunt itself will go for a week, so be prepared for the weekend, where a bulk of the puzzles will be released.

Will there be a prize?

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

SECOND DRAW 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. The Grand Prize winner is not eligible.

Is this in teams again? Is there a max limit to the teams?

Yes, there will be teams. However, each person in the team will have their own unique login.

The minimum size a team can be is one person. The maximum size a team can be is ten people.

When a member of the team enters an answer on the server, does the whole team advance? Or does each person of the team need to enter in an answer?

Only one person needs to enter in an answer, and the whole team will advance.

Note: once an answer is entered, then the whole team can see the answer.

Is there a solution guide to last year's puzzle hunt?

Not yet. That's Errol's fault. He is extremely sorry. He will get one out.

Was last year's prize draw winner released?

Not yet, but a winner was selected. More details will follow, and we are truly sorry for the delay.

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 on the Cryptex Hunt Discord.

Fine Print

  1. TO ENTER THE CRYPTEX HUNT (the “Contest”) you must complete each puzzle correctly and submit your answers through the website 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.
  2. First prize contest starts March 1, 2021 and closes March 7, 2021 (the “Contest Period”). No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
  3. The contest sponsor is CRYPTEX® (hereinafter referred to as the “Contest Sponsor”).
  4. 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.
  5. Prizes include two Cryptexes® and may include other prizes to be announced.
  6. 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.
  7. On or after March 7, 2021 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.
  8. First prize will be a custom made Cryptex® and will be awarded to the entrant who has completed all puzzles in the puzzle hunt first.
  9. Second prize will be a Cryptex® and will be a draw amongst all entrants who have finished the hunt during March 2021. Odds of winning second prize will depend upon the total number of eligible entries received.
  10. Winners of previous Cryptex Hunts are not eligible to win the First prize (Grand prize) or Second prize (Draw prize) for a period of 5 years.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.