Coin Puzzle

Hey there, I’m 23 🙂

There have been a lot of changes since I turned 22. I both started and stopped working at Google since then! Here’s a puzzle themed around 23 and change:

Take 23 cents arranged in the 2 above, and change them into the 3 (pretend all pennies are indistinguishable, and all nickels are indistinguishable.)

You can make 5 moves, and each move consists of picking a contiguous group with 1 nickel and 2 pennies, and moving that group, without rotation, to a new spot.


It’s Pi Day again, and what a nice looking pi date it is. 3/14/20 has every digit from 0 to 4 exactly once, meaning it can represent a permutation. If only there was a nice Greek letter that we could use to denote a permutation. 🙂

It feels like a good time to be running a completely not-in-person online-only event. If other events you were planning to go to have cancelled, or you are planning to being inside for a while, hopefully this hunt can provide some amusement.

That being said, this year’s P.I.HUNT is not going to be as big as the last few years. (P.S. This isn’t a bluff where there’s secretly a second round of puzzles after you get through the first set. I did legitimately make less puzzles this year.) After last year, many people sent me advice (which also just so happened to be the final meta answer) about what to do if I’ve been working too much with not enough play, so this year I decided to scope down & not work too hard. I was hoping to make 6 puzzles for P.I.6, but I guess I took it too easy, and only managed to finish 5. Hopefully this won’t affect things too much and you’ll still be able to figure out most of the meta without the 6th puzzle.

If you did 2019’s MIT Mystery Hunt, you’ll remember it was about combining various pairs of holidays. There was even a Pi Day Town! If it were up to me, Pi Day Town would have been in the center and connected to everything else, so I decided to take things into my own hands and do a Halloween/Pi Day mash up this year. The puzzles are themed around various fears, and once you solve the puzzles, you’ll be able to determine “What is my biggest fear?” (You won’t need any additional info for the meta. You can contact me to confirm answers if you want (jack dot l dot lance at gmail dot com) but there’s nothing to unlock.)

So, that’s probably enough introduction. Here’s PUMPKIN PI HUNT:


The news

The Ring




P.I.HUNT 6 in a month!

Hey there,

Is it Valentine’s Day already? We’re getting EXTRA CLOSE TO NEW PI. There’s only a month until the 6th P.I. Hunt!
Solve the anagram to learn what you should do to prepare:

EXTRA CLOSE TO NEW PI = ????? ????????????


Hi! I’m 22 now!

Last year I posted a puzzle about measuring alcohol, and each even year has been a harder version of the same type as the odd year, so be warned for a very difficult liquid and cup puzzle!

I’ve graduated college now, and moved to a job, which means I can finally afford two cups. You’re now given 2 cups, both perfect cubes made of glass of negligible thickness with a volume of 22 units of alcohol. That’s way too much for me! Your goal is to measure exactly 1 unit for me.

You’re also supplied with a tap, that acts as an infinite source. Assume that the cups are see through, so you can fill one cup to the height of the other. Also if you rotate a cube to some angle, you are able to hold it still at that angle if you want. You don’t have a marker and can’t make any markings on the cups.

Good luck! Next time will be less mathy probably, but you’ll have to wait another year for it.



Hello! Last year was the 30th anniversary of Pi Day, which makes this year the 31st. That’s got the first two digits of pi, rather than just the first one, and so is even more of a milestone and clearly not just me making up reasons to call every Pi Day special. (I’m not the only one…) I may have gone a little insane making the puzzles this year, I’m sure my mental state wasn’t too affected though. I can’t wait for you all to see what I’ve been working on during the past year.

There are 14 non-meta puzzles, all of which start off unlocked and are linked below. I’ll send the first meta once you get at least 4 answers that go to it, and it will answer the question “What should Jack do if he’s gone crazy from work?” and the second meta once that’s solved and you get at least 4 answers for it, which will answer the question “Now that Jack’s followed your advice, rather than dull, how is he feeling?” (I will let you know which puzzles go to which metas when you unlock them)

Email me at jack[dot]l[dot]lance[at]gmail[dot]com to confirm your answers. You can also email if you get stuck and want hints, or just any comments, errata, or questions. Also, feel free to work individually or as a team, and solve now or anytime after now.

So, without further all, work and no play makes Jack. A dull boy all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy:

All 1
Work And
Nº Play
Makes, Jack, A, Dull
Jack A**
Dull Boy
All% Wo. Rk.
– and |, no /
Play Makes
Jack A Dull Boy

Puzzle 150 – Liquid Measurement

I turn 21 today!

If you haven’t seen before, I post an age-themed puzzle each year (Here’s last years). 21 is drinking age (in US), so I have a drinking related puzzle for you.

Normally in these sorts of puzzles, you have an unlimited amount of liquid, and 2 or 3 cups, but like all college students, I’m too frugal to give you all that! In this puzzle, there’s only 1 cup.

The cup is a cube, measuring 10 units in width, length, and height, and which also has a vertical dividing wall that goes halfway up cutting it in half. I’ve attached a diagram to make it more clear, along with a front and top view.

You are given the cup and a straw, and the cup begins filled to the brim with beer. Besides the beer that comes in the cup, you aren’t given any extra (or any source to keep beer you’ve poured out.) Your goal is to drink exactly 21 cubed units of beer.


It’s the day right before the Ides of March, which you might also call Pre-Ides day, or P.I. day for short! In fact, according to Google, it’s the 30th anniversary of Pi Day, so a special one indeed.

This year’s P.I. HUNT is themed around Gravity Falls, though you don’t need to have any Gravity Falls-specific knowledge in order to solve it. In fact, you don’t need any outside knowledge to solve it! That means both that you don’t need a computer to solve it, so it has no trivia, no codes like braille, morse, semaphore, etc., and also that it’s intended to be solved completely without a computer (except maybe looking up words you don’t know, or the like). See more info about printing below.

(Note that you can solve if you haven’t watched Gravity Falls, or have watched it, but if you’ve started watching and intend to finish, there are spoilers past this point. Also, the show finished airing more than two years ago! What are you doing? Go finish it!)

In the show, it was believed that Stanford Pines had written 3 journals about his findings in Gravity Falls. However, it was recently discovered that there was some more pages that had been unaccounted for, meaning the actual number of journals was a number slightly larger than 3…

It is VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you print the journal out. You should print it double sided, and as you go through it, flip pages from your right to your left, as if you were reading a book. I also recommend using a pencil, through if you write on the pages with pen, (or ruin them for any other reason…) the good thing about it being a pdf is that you can just reprint those pages.

Because lots of printers are weird and different, the printing might be the most daunting puzzle. I’ve provided a test page below. You can print the test page to make sure the printing will work okay before printing the journal. You don’t need color printing, and also there is a margin worked into the document so you don’t need edge-to-edge printing. When you print the test page double sided, the dot should be exactly in the center, and the asterisks should line up when you hold it to the light (if they are off by a little, that’s okay). The arrows shouldn’t be cut off, and should be as close to the edge of the page as they appear in the pdf (a quarter inch). Sometimes the printer tries to add an extra margin, so if there’s an option to set margins to 0, or set the scale to 100%, or an “Exact Size” option, you should select that. I had some troubles when opening the pdf in Chrome and printing it from there, so you should try saving it to your computer, and printing it using that menu. If you’re having trouble with the margins (printers are weeeeird!) you can email me and I can try to help.

You can email me (at jack[dot]l[dot]lance[at]gmail[dot]com) if you have found an error, are stuck and want hints, or have any other comments, but because there’s no unlocking this year, you don’t need to email for anything besides the final answer.

Test Page (not a puzzle)