While many Puzzlehunt puzzles are entirely unique, others are often
twists on traditional puzzle types. You may find it useful to become
familiar with these common puzzle forms. In this document, the term
enumeration refers to a number representing a word's length (example: Number
representing word length (11)).
- Anacrostic / Double Crostic
A message is broken up into pairs, triplets, or quads of letters.
These groups are then sorted alphabetically, and the solver must
reconstruct the message by rearranging the groups (but not the letters
within each group). Enumerations may or may not be provided.
Example: ANE AQU NAN OFA OTE PLE SIS THI XAM (4 2 2 7 2 2 8)
- Connect the Dots
A series of points which create a picture when connected in a specific
order. Basic puzzles have numbered dots which are connected sequentially.
- Cryptic Crossword
In this form of crossword, each clue has two parts: a straightforward
definition, and a bit of wordplay that results in the same answer as the
definition. The type of wordplay is often hinted at by key indicator words
within the clue. The surface meaning of the clue is irrelevant. Cryptic
clues almost always come with enumerations. Unlike traditional crosswords,
many squares of cryptic crosswords are unchecked (used in only one
has much more information, including some very helpful explanations of the
various forms of wordplay found in cryptic clues and how to recognize
Also known as a simple substitution cipher, a cryptogram is a message in
which every letter has been replaced by a different letter or symbol, with
the same replacement used for every instance of a letter. Sometimes the
important information isn't the message itself, but the cipher key used to
encrypt the message. Since solvers exist on the web, cryptograms are
generally considered uninteresting for Puzzlehunt and are rarely used.
- Drop Quote
The letters for a message have been removed from a grid and placed in an
arbitrary order (often alphabetically) above their respective columns. To
solve, reconstruct the message by moving each letter down into one of the
white squares in the column beneath it.
- Kakuro / Cross Sums
- Logic Grid Puzzle
A series of statements are given involving various components-people,
places, things, etc-with the object of figuring out which components
combine (e.g. “Who sat where, and what did they eat?” or
“Who was the oldest?”). The clues provide just enough
information to deduce a complete solution by creating a grid of all
possible combinations, filling in the known bits of data, and extrapolating
- Paint By Numbers / Nonogram
Numbers appear beside each row and column of the grid, representing
lengths of groups of consecutive filled cells in that row or column. Each
group is separated by at least one unfilled cell. Solvers must use logic to
determine which cells to fill in, ultimately creating a picture.
Perhaps most famously used on the television game show Concentration, a
rebus is a series of pictures and letters which combine to form a message.
Some rebuses are phonetic, with each picture representing the sound of the
word it represents (OAR + EIGHT = ORATE). Other rebuses are letter-based,
with each picture representing the sequence of letters of its word (C +
HAIR = CHAIR).
- Slitherlink / Fences
- Word Search
A set of words or phrases are hidden in a grid (or other shape) of
letters. In a basic word search, each answer appears exactly once in the
grid, reading in a straight line in any direction. Letters can be used in
multiple answers. Often, the unused letters spell a message.