Smogon Puzzle Hunt [Signups Closed]

Level 51

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- approved by the Circus Mods -

Introduction
Welcome to the first ever Smogon Puzzle Hunt!

What’s a puzzle hunt? In a puzzle hunt, you’re faced with a series of puzzles, where each puzzle is generally in the form of a collection of data. Each puzzle in this puzzle hunt always has a final answer which is an English word or phrase, often hidden behind multiple steps of solving. However, unlike typical crosswords or Sudokus, the puzzles usually don’t come with instructions, so it’s up to you and your team to figure out what to do with each puzzle. Puzzles may span a wide range of different abilities and knowledge, so make sure to pick your team members with this in mind!

Additionally, some of the puzzles in this hunt will be metapuzzles. These puzzles usually cap off a round, and they’re solved by using the answers to that round’s regular puzzles, so try to solve as many of the regular puzzles as you can before attempting the metapuzzle!

This puzzle hunt is staffed by Level 51, lovemathboy, talkingtree, Scarf Nihilego, and CheeseMuffin. Please check the FAQ for more details on how to contact us regarding hunt-related matters.

Format / Rules
  • The Smogon Puzzle Hunt will start on Saturday, July 21st, 2018 at 0000hrs GMT+0 (that's the start of Saturday, not the end) and last until Monday, July 30th, 2018 at 1200hrs GMT+0.
  • Teams may have up to 6 users.
  • Some puzzles will be available at the start of the hunt. Solving puzzles will award points, allowing you to unlock more puzzles as you progress through the hunt.
  • The goal of the hunt is to complete the final metapuzzle at the end of the hunt, not necessarily to complete all the puzzles along the way.
  • Each team has 20 incorrect guesses for each puzzle; after 20 incorrect guesses, a team can no longer submit answers for that puzzle. This is to discourage spamming guesses, but if you genuinely need more guesses, please contact us.
  • Starting on Sunday, July 22nd, 2018 at 0000hrs GMT+0, each team will be given two hint requests every 24 hours, at 0000hrs GMT+0. Your team may expend a hint request at any time to ask for help on any one puzzle you’ve unlocked.
  • Hint requests can be sent in along with a description of the team's progress on the puzzle to get a nudge in the right direction; alternatively, they can be used to ask a specific question (e.g. "Do I have to rearrange the entries on this list?"). We reserve the right to not answer hint requests which we feel ask for too much (e.g. "What's the answer to this puzzle?"), though, and we'll deal with such requests on a case-by-case basis.
  • Teams that complete the hunt will be ranked by the time at which they finish. Teams that do not complete the hunt will be ranked by the number of puzzles they’ve solved.
  • Each team will have their own channel on our Discord server. This is the primary method in which teams should interface with staff members for any hunt-related matters, such as asking for hints.
Additional Rules
  • You are allowed and encouraged to use external sources of help such as Google and other sites.
  • You may obtain help from an external party so long as they are not involved in the hunt (e.g. on another team).
  • Do not leak any answers or information about puzzles to other teams, as this will ruin the hunt experience for other teams.
  • We reserve the right to disqualify any team for unsportsmanlike conduct, which includes but is not limited to leaking answers or sabotaging other teams.
Signups
  • Signups will run throughout the hunt, so it’s possible for teams to sign up mid-hunt. Signups are closed for this hunt due to technical difficulties and overwhelming response.
  • To sign up a team for this puzzle hunt, you may either register via this thread, or send us a PM on Discord (send to Level 51#0375 or talkingtree#1556). We'll send your contact point a link to this event's Discord server so you can join in!
  • Registering via this thread will make the team eligible for additional Smogon-only prizes (see the Prizes section below).
  • To register, please have one member of the team make a post or send me a PM containing the following information:
Team name: Sample Team
Members: @Level 51, @lovemathboy, @talkingtree, @Scarf Nihilego, @CheeseMuffin
Discord contact point: Level 51#0375

Prizes
  • The first team comprising only Smogon users to complete the hunt (by completing the final metapuzzle) will receive a forum banner for each of their team members. This banner will last a year before expiring.
  • Additionally, all teams which reach various checkpoints in the hunt will receive a special token of appreciation from us!
FAQ
Q: I've never done puzzles like these before, how should I prepare for the hunt?​
A: Here's a helpful beginner's guide (PDF) detailing various tricks often employed in puzzles.​
Q: I have no idea where to start with these puzzles! / I'm stuck! What am I supposed to do?​
A: In addition to reading the above guide for inspiration, if you're really still stuck during the hunt, that might be a good time to use a hint!​
Q: Will I need to be active consistently throughout the week?​
A: Nope! The primary objective of this event is for everyone to have fun, so feel free to participate as actively as you like!​
Q: How many of the puzzles in this hunt will require knowledge of Pokemon or competitive Pokemon to solve?​
A: Some of the puzzles (less than half) in this hunt will require Pokemon-related knowledge to solve, but the knowledge required isn't excessively technical. The others can be solved by someone who’s never played Pokemon in their entire life.​
Q: Does my team have to do all its communication within our Discord channel?​
A: You’re free to work outside the Discord channel if you wish, but allowing us to see your team’s discussions can help us to provide more accurate and helpful hints to your team.​
Q: How many puzzles are there in total in this hunt?​
A: 24.​
Q: Can I sign up in a team of less than 6 people?​
A: Sure! Of course, having more people would certainly help in solving the puzzles more quickly.​
Q: Will any of the puzzles involve looking at the page source or anything like that?​
A: No.​
Q: I have a question that’s not on this list!​
A: If you wish to contact us for any hunt-related matters, including potentially erroneous puzzles, please tag @᠎Staff in your team’s Discord channel and voice your concern. Feel free to message me on Smogon or on Discord (Level 51#0375, and I’m contactable via the official Smogon server) if you have any other questions that need answers!​
 
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