Jorge Zhang

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MUMS Puzzle Hunt Review 2019

Julian Assange is best known for being the founder of WikiLeaks- but did you know that he also played a role in starting the Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society online puzzle hunt?

Julian Assange

The MUMS is an online puzzle hunt made by students at Melbourne University. It is also extremely difficult- just for a basic idea, our 3 person team of puzzlers spent an enormous amount of time (10 days) cracking at the 25 puzzles and solved only 3 of them (even after 3 hints per puzzle were provided).

We used a lot of paper

There were a couple of things I noticed about the MUMS.

  • The puzzles tended to be time consuming and felt “bashy” at times.
  • Some of the puzzles required (elementary) knowledge of some specialized subjects. For example, one of the puzzles that I really enjoyed involved transcribing chemical molecules in a different way.
  • There were a lot of Cryptics (which are crossword clues that cannot be taken for their literal meaning).

This sounds like it wouldn’t be a lot of fun, but it made every solve extremely satisfying. Overall my friends and I enjoyed this hunt, but wished it was a little bit easier. I highly recommend you check it out if you enjoy puzzles, as the puzzles this year were very interesting (and if you get stuck, the solutions have been published as well).

Did you participate in the MUMS puzzle hunt? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!

© 2020 Jorge Zhang