The first step of the puzzle involves identifying several images
from locations on the MIT campus while tracing paths that visit
those locations. Solvers familiar with the campus may be able to
trace some of the paths remotely; others will need to do the actual
walkaround. Some locations may require an MIT ID to access, but even
without access the route can be reconstructed from later clues, or
traced using a map.
Each image has a blacked-out word on it. Again, some of these can be
intuited or identified; others will require visiting the location in
The blacked-out words are:
Here are the seven MIT routes, explained, with the blacked-out words
included. (Colors refer to map below.)
- red Start at 38-401 and
find HEAD. Go down the stairs, walk between 34 and 24.
- Walk down the driveway between 24 and 26 towards 12. Enter 26
via the cutaway.
- Turn right into 12 and then exit into the courtyard between 12
- Walks towards the dome and enter 4 at the basement level.
- Go up the stairs to the infinite and find the MIT SHAKESPEARE
Ensemble poster. Walk down the Infinite and enter 11. Go through
it and exit onto the driveway between 11 and 13.
- Head north and stop at Vassar St.
- orange Start in 14N and
find INTREPID on the poster. Exit the building and walk until you
reach Ames St. Follow Ames to the crosswalk and enter 66. Walk to
56, exit, and walk towards 32 to find RAY.
- Enter 32 and exit at the Gates entrance near the Kapoor
- Walk to Vassar and Main, then turn left and walk beside
- Cross Ames and enter E19 to find HADLEY and stop.
- yellow Start in lobby 37
and find CHALLENGER.
- Go to 35, then 33, find DOUBLE, then 9, then 13.
- Stop at the connecting corridor halfway through 13 and go
- Go to Lobby 7, then 3, and stop at the mural of the group of
- green Start on the second
floor of 2 and find CONE.
- Head north until you reach the driveway between 26 and
- Follow the driveway to the nearest entrance of 24. Continue to
the garage door of 24.
- Walk to the entrance of 13, then the nearest (back) entrance
- Enter 37, go the the second floor, find SURVEYOR, then exit 37
at the other end.
- Turn left and follow Mass. Ave. until you reach 1 and
- blue Start at the entrance
to Hayden. Go to the basement and find VALERA.
- Go up the stairs at the other end of the basement and walk
back through the library and out where you came in.
- Now go to the Lewis Music Library and walk to the southwest
- indigo Start at
8-204. Walk to 4, to 2, to 6, then stop at 8-206.
- violet Start at the bike
cage by Maseeh. Walk into the Student Center and find BABY in
- Exit the Student Center, walk through the park where Bexley
once was, and cross Mass Ave at Amherst St.
- Enter 1, go to the second floor, and find 1973 on the School
of Engineering posters.
- Go back the way you came and through 5 and then to 7.
When drawn on an MIT campus map, these routes spell, in order, the
phrase USE MOON.
Solvers can then plug the values for numbers 1-14 into the next set of
descriptions and “use moon”—uniquely identify
segments of lunar excursions from various missions, including Apollo
11 & 12, Apollo 14-17, Lunokhod 1 & 2, and Chang’e 3.
|Lunar Excursion Description (numbered words in CAPS)||src mission||letter shape||moon site|
|From INTREPID 200m to SURVEYOR site||Apollo 12||east-south||Oceanus Procellarum|
|200m of path closest to HEAD||Apollo 12||west-south||Oceanus Procellarum|
|Return from Station 10 near HADLEY||Apollo 15||east||Hadley-Apennine|
|First ~1.3 km, January 1973||Lunokhod 2||southeast||Le Monnier|
|2nd ~1.3 km, February 1973||Lunokhod 2||south||Le Monnier|
|From flagpole, approach DOUBLE and follow footpath until north of its east edge||Apollo 11||descending C-shape||Mare Tranquillitatis|
|First 0.5 km past VALERA||Lunokhod 1||northeast||Mare Imbrium|
|Waypoint 204 to Waypoint 206, 13-14 Jan 2014||Chang’e 3||west, then hook n||Mare Imbrium|
|75 yards on either side of point of closest approach to CONE||Apollo 14||NE and SW||Fra Mauro|
|From due south of Station 9, in direction of BABY RAY, to Station 9 itself||Apollo 16||ascending C-shape||Descartes Highlands|
|From 1 km north of CHALLENGER to point due north of SHAKESPEARE||Apollo 17||north and east||Taurus-Littrow|
flavortext mentions Braille as a hint to other alphabets for the
blind. In this case, solvers want to heed the instruction USE MOON
in a different way, using the Moon System of Embossed Reading, or
Moon Type, to
read the paths on the lunar surface. (See Moon type key to the right.)
The eleven lunar paths are mapped below, along with their
Moon-to-Roman alphabet decodings.
- From INTREPID (lunar module landing site, marked by X) 200m to SURVEYOR site. [M]
- 200m of path closest to HEAD. [E]
- Return (to landing site) from Station 10 near HADLEY. [T]
- First ~1.3 km, January 1973 [R]
- 2nd ~1.3 km, February 1973 [I]
- From flagpole, approach DOUBLE and follow footpath until north of its east edge. [C]
- First 0.5 km past VALERA [S]
- Waypoint 204 to Waypoint 206, 13-14 Jan 2014 [P]
- 75 yards on either side of point of closest approach to CONE [A]
- From due south of Station 9, in direction of BABY RAY, to Station 9 itself [C]
- From 1 km north of CHALLENGER to point due north of SHAKESPEARE [E]
This spells the answer to the puzzle, METRIC SPACE.