Department Store Hunt

04/20/24 01:00PM – 04/21/24 01:20PM EDT
Kickoff location is Doherty 2210

What are the puzzles like?

There are a huge variety of puzzle types, like wordplay, logic, or multimedia. For examples of the kinds of puzzles we'll give you, check out our Past Hunts.

How do I solve a puzzle?

Every answer to a puzzle is an English word or phrase. When you think you have the correct answer, type it into the answer box on the puzzle page. Lowercase letters will be changed to uppercase, and any other characters will be stripped before checking for correctness.

But be careful about guessing too much if you're not sure of the answer. If you submit too many incorrect guesses for the same puzzle within a short amount of time, our server will rate-limit your guesses. When this happens, please wait several minutes before submitting again.

Sounds fun! How does my team win?

This puzzle hunt will consist of around 25 puzzles. You will begin with 4 regular puzzles unlocked, and you will unlock the first metapuzzle after solving 3 of those 4 puzzles. The metapuzzles use answers to the regular puzzles. Teams will be considered to have finished the hunt when they solve the final metapuzzle.

Teams will be ranked by the order in which they finish the hunt. Teams that don't finish the hunt will be ranked by the number of regular puzzles solved.

Help, I'm stuck on a puzzle!

4 hours after the hunt begins, we will give each team two hint credits, which you can spend to ask for a hint on any puzzle that you have unlocked. Every 4 hours after that, each team will receive two additional hint credits. To maximize the likelihood that our hints will be helpful, please describe in detail everything you have figured out and tried so far. If you can link us to an organized version of your work (Google Sheet, screenshot, etc.), that can help us write hints as well.

How do I register?

Register your team of six (or fewer if you want) here!

What do I need?

How difficult is this hunt?

We try to make our puzzles accessible to novice puzzlers, but fun for people of all experience levels. If you like DASH or Puzzled Pint, you'll probably like our hunt. Check out our Past Hunts to get a better idea.

How long will it last?

The hunt will last 24 hours.

I heard there are prizes!

Yep! Current CMU students on top finishing teams will get prizes! We expect to give out 25 prizes each hunt. They include board games, physical puzzles, stuffed animals, and more!

I think there is an error in this puzzle.

Contact Puzzlehunt CMU staff at If there is in fact an error, we will make an announcement to everyone.

Is there anything else I should know?

Nothing on this and the registration page is a puzzle crucial for completing the hunt. No, really, this is not a puzzle.

Wait, I have more questions!

Email with "Puzzle Hunt" somewhere in the subject line.