Archives / 1997 Mystery Hunt


The 1997 MIT IAP Mystery Hunt '97 was developed by Mark Gottlieb. The hunt is mentioned in his thesis, Secrets of the MIT Mystery Hunt.


The 1997 Hunt was a hunt for Elvis. Each of the puzzles was accompanied by a tabloid-style headline involving Elvis.

Before the actual hunt, the teams were sent on a bogus hunt, themed after Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

The coin was located in 2-225, inside a 3.5" floppy disk that was in the disk drive of an Athena workstation. The disk had been opened and glued back together, but still worked and was loaded full of dummy puzzles. Some images from when the coin was found appear below.

Archivist's Notes

A few of the puzzles require additional materials not currently archived, as follows: Puzzle 8 (the January 1997 issue of Games World of Puzzles magazine; info needed is described in the solution), Puzzle 23 (a cassette tape of song samples), and Puzzle 25 (the puzzle given out to "collaborating" teams).

Some of the puzzles had errors which were corrected by the archivists from the Beginner's Luck team and incorporated into the text of the puzzles. These puzzles were: puzzle 4, puzzle 9, puzzle 13, puzzle 18, puzzle 21, puzzle 24, puzzle 27, and puzzle 34.

Graphics on puzzles 4, 24 and 27 had to be heavily restored, because the archived copies had writing on them.

A special thanks to Debby Levinson and Julian West for supplying the previously missing portions of this hunt.

The Hunt

The Fake Bill & Ted Hunt

The Riddle Trail (given out early to teams that complete the Bill & Ted Hunt)

The 1997 Mystery Hunt


The Bill & Ted Hunt "Solutions"

Individual puzzle solutions:


A group of unidentified hunters

Tom Weisswange (aka Al DeSuda)

Unidentified hunter

From left: ?, Justin Legakis, ?, Scott Weiss, Eric Albert, ?, Mia Stern (pointing)

Standing on table: ?; standing, from left: Justin Legakis, Marc Tanner, ?, Silvain, Scott Weiss, ?; foreground, from left: ?, Stephen Gildea, Tom Idzikowski, ?, Eric Albert.