Microsoft College Puzzle Challenge

Simply awesome. I put together a team including Adam, John, and Rupesh. We’re all freshman living in Marks Hall. Our team was named ‘’ (I wonder if anyone visited). It was held at universities across the nation; you can see the final rankings for just USC here. We ranked 5th, having solved five puzzles.

Considering our experience and the difficulty of the puzzles, I think we did exceptionally well. We made good use of some cryptic hints given along the way. Still, we came up with many good ideas ourselves, and worked together as a team. Surprisingly, John has tons of “useless” knowledge that becomes very useful in these types of events. (Although he missed a Simpsons reference — and he watches the Simpsons all the time.) I helped solve two of the puzzles. Perhaps I could post the puzzles here, so that you, as readers, could try them out.

Here’s our final solve record for the 12-hour day:
Count: 5
Puzzle Date/Time
Crimson Hat 11/12/2005 2:52:47 PM
A Sudoku Like Puzzle 11/12/2005 3:28:54 PM
Elementary, My Dear Watson 11/12/2005 7:35:05 PM
Opponents 11/12/2005 7:45:52 PM
Don’t Drink and Derive 11/12/2005 11:14:28 PM

The other participating universities did better than us, but that’s because they regularly hold these types of competitions. They are rarely held at USC. But the event today was a resounding success, so I think there’s a good possibility it’ll happen again.

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