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Please note:

MIT and the admissions office will be closed November 24–25 for Thanksgiving break, and will open on November 28.

MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Mystery Hunt begins tomorrow by Matt McGann '00

A fun puzzle to solve.

The annual Mystery Hunt (history here) begins tomorrow at 12:17pm in MIT’s Lobby 7.

To give you a flavor of the Hunt, I decided I’d post here one of last year’s most clever puzzles (this was just one of 114 puzzles from last year), one I think you’ll enjoy.

Like many Mystery Hunt puzzles, this one comes with no instructions, no hints, no introduction. It does, however, come with a title: “Cookie Monster.”

The answer, by the way, will be a six-letter word. Good luck, have fun, don’t cheat, and don’t spoil the fun too much! Solution tomorrow.

22 responses to “Mystery Hunt begins tomorrow”

  1. Dhrubo says:

    Isn’t it MCGANN?

  2. S says:

    Stop it please, my stomach is fighting hard with my brain… Cookie or solution ? confused

    TeTeC, hungry (in both cases…).

  3. thekeri says:

    I think my brain imploded just from looking at that.

    Let’s try this again, then?

  4. Lily says:

    Hey Matt:

    I had a lot of fun doing a similar puzzle hunt in the summer. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough money to come to the hunt this year but I will support my team online. I hope you will have a great time this year amist all the application decision-makings.



  5. neerja says:


    plz answer this query:i am an engineering first year student in computer science. can i ask subject related queries and where.


  6. zoogies says:

    Oh never mind, I was just looking at the face.

  7. Victoria says:

    Looks interesting.

    I was in a puzzle hunt this summer. There were 300 participants: I think it was fifty teams. There were a lot of suggested answers. My team came up with the most creative. This reminds me of one of the clues provided.

  8. Dear Mr. McGann

    I was hoping that you could shed a little light on a certain online tracking of my application. You see, I’m an international Applicant, and therefore am not to fill out the “Mid-Year Grade Report”. However it still shows up as not processed, even though the other US-only section, the “Self-Reported Course Work”, does not even appear on the online tracking. Is this something I should be worried about, or is it not anything to take any particular notice of?

    Michael B.

  9. Matt says:

    I loved this… took me a while to finnally get it though, ill talk more about it when the solution is revealed.

  10. murasame says:

    ermmm…it is






    something to do with krotus/Fifth East/ 7.6 ?

  11. Teck Lee says:

    Well, the solution can be found in one of the links Matt provided, so if you want to check it, you may do so.

  12. Teck Lee says:

    The only thing that’s going through my mind now is “Mmm… cookies.”

    Nope, still “Mmm… cookies”.

  13. Steven Lu says:

    this took me quite a while, especially because i needed to google up some of the cookies, but i got it.

  14. Dinyar says:


    The Mid-Year Grade Report shouldn’t worry you as an international student. Someone else (Ben?) already wrote that this is a bug in their online application tracking system and nothing for us to worry about.

    Good luck with your application by the way.


  15. Sam says:

    I figured out the general concept but I was too ignorant of cookies get the final answer. That’s because if Mitra ever sees any cookies in the suite, she yells at me and throws them out and then eats raw spinach and cottage cheese.

  16. murasame says:

    i was way off….

  17. abstract says:

    some of the cookies are sooo hard to find…

    I’ll go google some more.

  18. shikhar says:

    Hi Matt,

    SO IAP is going on strong. Mystery Hunt is cool dude.

    I wanted to ask one thing : can you please tell me about any summer research (not summer schools) programs which are like open to internationals also. I am looking for computer science mainly…also just so u know the thing I once talked abt ‘taking a gap year if not MIT’ is confirmed. I am continuing with my research work and have left other applications so its pretty much MIT for me this year. Which is why I am also looking for good research opportunities to keep myself engaged somewhere.

    I also have this confusion about MITES is this program only for minorities or can anyone apply. Like internationals and all.


  19. Greg Burnham says:

    I was on a Mystery Hunt team last year (and this year too – there’s at least one team with high school students on it) and I actually helped solve this puzzle! We got the general idea pretty quickly, but, as abstract noted, some of the cookies have hard-to-find names. We ended up walking to a nearby store and buying a big assortment of cookies that had names on the package. Still, there are a bunch of cookies that look a lot like the circus animals and we kept calling in “CAN BE EKTEN” or the like. But we got the right variation eventually – and celebrated by eating the cookies we’d bought!