The iHunt is a series of puzzles designed to bend your brains, so you may well need help at one point or another!
The first thing you'll need to do is register and log in. The most convenient way to do this is to use your Steam account.
You'll also want to join the #ihunt Discord channel. Go to Insomnia Discord and type "!join ihunt".
We suggest you form a team, typically of up to four people. This makes the iHunt more easy and more fun! When creating a team, make sure only one person from your group does so - once you're on a team you can't join another.
The race begins on Saturday 11 April. Starting at 2pm, you'll get access to one puzzle at a time. When you have correctly solved a puzzle, the next one will unlock. The first team to complete all of Saturday's puzzles will be the winner. Note:
- Answers are case-insensitive
- Answers are not just random letters and numbers: you'll know you've got somewhere if what you see forms a word or other obvious pattern
It happens to us all. Of course we can't tell you the answers, but there are some general hints that might help.
First of all, there may be clues on the puzzle page, but there is also "flavour" text to make the puzzles form some kind of story; this is not part of the actual puzzle. On the other hand, you might find a hint in the title of the puzzle, the content below the flavour text, or perhaps hidden information in the HTML source. Other parts of the page that don't change from question to question are also not clues so don't spend ages trying to decipher the order of the links in the header or anything like that!
Make sure that you type anything you think you could be relevant into the answer box. Even if it's not the right answer, the puzzle writers add all sorts of hints that you can unlock if you're along the right lines - or also to tell you that you're totally off the mark sometimes! In addition, puzzles on Sunday (the hardest) will show hints over time without you guessing anything. These should help you make some headway!
You should also look at puzzles from past iHunts and list of things to try below, especially if you're new to puzzle hunts.
If you're very stuck or if you think a puzzle is broken, you can contact the iHunt admins directly, either by going to their desks in the Community Admin area, or on #ihunt on Discord. The shortcut @iHunt will get their attention. Make sure not to reveal any details, no matter how trivial, of puzzles in public! We want to keep it fun and fair for everyone. An admin will message you privately to help.
Oh, and the admins are constantly monitoring teams' progress and what they're trying. We actively try to make sure no-one falls too far behind. If a particular puzzle seems to be unduly difficult or even has a mistake, we might add hints or extra answers.
You can try some puzzles from i64 with complete walkthroughs. Here's an older puzzle (with solution) that you can view without logging in.
Things to Try
This is a list of common things to try if you are having trouble. The following tips are completely general and could be helpful for any puzzle:
- Run it by someone in your team, or someone else you know
- Try not to overthink — keep it simple!
- Go away and think about something else, then come back with fresh ideas
- Eat or drink something — keep your energy up!
Useful Free Software
- Collaborative document editor such as Google Docs
- An image editor such as Paint.NET or The GIMP
- A sound editor such as Audacity
- Phone OCR software such as Google Lens
- A barcode scanner app such as Google Lens or CodeScanner
- A good text editor such as Notepad++
These next tricks are more specific; some puzzles might not use any, but they're always useful to bear in mind. The majority of puzzles will use an idea at least similar to one of them.
- Google it!
- Check the source code
- Think about the puzzle title
- Convert data to another representation:
- Between hex, binary, decimal or other bases
- From Braille, Morse, sign language, ASCII or numbers to letters
- Cook it in CyberChef
- Break numbers into prime factors
- Rearrange the information
- Chronological order
- Take initial letters
- Treat information as something else
- Phone numbers
- IP addresses
- Seat numbers
- Atomic weights/numbers
- Radio stations
- Codes of railway stations or airports
- Say it out loud
- Try common cipher tools (http://rumkin.com/tools/cipher)
- Graph numbers or letter frequencies
- Make patterns and pictures
- Connect the dots
- Overlay it on a map or picture of something
- Make it into 3D
- Fold it
- Look at letters on a computer keyboard
- Open files in a program to inspect or manipulate
- Try changing the file extension such as from .jpg to .mp3 and opening it
- Open it in an image editor
- Look at metadata
- Use a hex-editor
Finally, remember... Don't Use Internet Explorer!