About the Hunt
Shardhunt? What's that?
Shardhunt is a puzzlehunt run by some members of the 17th Shard Puzzlehunt team.
- The puzzlehunt starts on and ends on , at which point puzzle solutions will be available. However, we will leave the website running until so teams can still submit answers and go through the hunt at their own pace.
- This hunt is intended for teams of 6 to 8 people. We don't mind if your team is slightly larger than this, but if it's much larger, you may have less fun. If you consider yourself a competitive team, please keep to 8 people maximum. You may not create multiple accounts or be on multiple teams.
- A few puzzles will be available to all teams at the start of the hunt. Solving puzzles and their associated metapuzzles will unlock more puzzles and allow you to progress through the hunt.
- 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 number of puzzles solved and tie-broken by earliest last solve time.
- Each answer is a string of letters A–Z. Lowercase letters will be changed into uppercase, and any other characters will be stripped before checking for correctness.
- You have 17 total guesses for each puzzle. If you legitimately run out of guesses and need more, feel free to contact us, though we won't grant your request if we see that you were, for example, guessing random thematic answers, or brute-forcing all 17-letter words.
- Starting on , teams will receive 2 hints (citations) at each day until the end of the hunt. Depending on how the hunt goes, this number may increase.
- You can use a hint to get help on a puzzle. This can be something like a nudge in the right direction (i.e. you give us your progress on the puzzle and we'll try to get you unstuck) or an answer to a question (e.g. “Which answers to these crossword clues are wrong?”). If you need to, you will be able to add followup hints to clarify or respond to any questions we ask.
- You can only have one open hint request at a time. As we are a small team, this will help us get you a reply in reasonable time.
- Some puzzles may list extra information that is important to the content of the puzzle. Nothing in these notices will be part of the puzzle itself. These notices will appear after the puzzle title, and they will look like this:
- Puzzle pages may also contain some story content; however, no story content will be required to solve any of the puzzles. Story content will always appear before the puzzle title.
- We recommend that you interact with our website from a laptop or a desktop computer, on a modern internet browser (i.e. Firefox, Google Chrome, or Microsoft Edge). Some features of our site may not function properly in Internet Explorer or on mobile devices.
- Teams may find access to a printer beneficial for some puzzles.
- You may use any external sources for help, including other people, as long as they aren't helping other teams and aren't actively participating in the hunt. You may not post questions to public online forums or internet communities as this would spoil the hunt.
- You may not publicly stream a solve of our hunt when the hunt is live.
- We reserve the right to disqualify any team for unsportsmanlike conduct.
- We reserve the right to change any of these rules. If there's a big change, we'll announce it to all teams.
- If you have any questions about these rules, or if you want to contact us for any reason, email email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
Who made all this?
We are members of the 17th Shard puzzlehunt team! We've written puzzles mainly for each other, but now are excited to share them with you. While our team name is a reference to a fantasy novel series by Brandon Sanderson, and many of us are fans originating from the 17th Shard fansite, we're not officially affiliated with them (or any other major organizations). We just like puzzles.
What is a puzzlehunt? How do I solve puzzles?
If you've never heard of puzzlehunts before, here's a very brief summary: in a typical puzzle, you receive some information and have to extract an answer out of it, which is almost always an English word or phrase. Puzzles can come in many different forms; the only real commonality is that you usually receive no direct instructions, so it's up to you to figure out how to make sense of the information you're given. You can read a longer introduction to puzzlehunts here.
If you are new to puzzles and are interested in seeing some examples, or if you're looking for some practice, we recommend looking at puzzles from other online hunts such as Galactic Puzzle Hunt, Teammate Hunt, or Puzzle Potluck.
What is the difficulty of this hunt? How long will it be?
We anticipate a difficulty similar to Huntinality 2.0. There will be about 30 puzzles.
Does to cost anything to enter this hunt?
Nope! Like many online hunts these days, Shardhunt is entirely free. That being said, it isn't quite free for us —we love making things, but we still have to pay for things like server costs so we can show it to y'all. If you'd like to help us offset those costs, you can donate to us here:
I think there's a mistake in this puzzle!
Please describe the error in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to address it.
I'm stuck on a puzzle. What should I do?
Here are some general puzzle tips that might be useful:
- Thoroughly check the work that you've already done. Fixing a small mistake or incorrect assumption can greatly help with getting unstuck.
- Get fresh eyes on the puzzle, or conversely, take a break and look at something else.
- Consider what information you haven't used yet.
- It can be useful to put everything you have into your favorite search engine.
- Have you tried...
Remember that after hints are released, you can also use them to get a nudge in the right direction.
I have a question that's not on this list!
Contact us at email@example.com and we'll do our best to answer it.