Skip to content ↓

The Punt Puzzle by Vincent A. '17

A collaborative affair

There are two things MIT students love—punts and puzzles. What a puzzle is—that’s pretty straightforward. A punt is more intricate, and is typically often used as a verb. It refers to an action or a series of actions an MIT student performs, one that usually leads to statements like, “I had to stay up all night working on that (favorite expletive) p-set.” Punts take various shapes, from kittens meowing on Youtube to the entire Saw Franchise to baking cookies to video games—and in my case, to devising these potentially senseless punt puzzles.

It all began when I logged into an online page for my Electromagnetism Class and saw the p-set. After staring at the problems for a couple of minutes, my mind folded into several lazy layers, and this punt-promoting idea sprouted like a savior. So, what you have before you, folks, is a punt puzzle. I don’t know how easy or difficult it is, but I expect that—whether you’re a casual reader, current applicant or unusually developed rhinoceros—you can probably solve it with some help or maybe even independently. At your disposal, the internet, your brains chugging and fizzing, the comments section, your fellow commenters and my occasional check-in to bemoan your exponential progress or laugh maniacally at your crawling pace. That probably suffices for now.

Let the games begin!!

***

Er…I was expecting a fancy cloud of smoke and all such after that last line, but, um, yeah, let’s…let’s start—

***

Greetings, and welcome. I want to play a game.

Because you opened this page, a fast-acting poison has sprayed from your screen and into your body. As you read these obviously deluded words, the poison has begun to kick in, coursing through your veins, clogging over your heart. The spray however is roughly the size of Seven New Yorks, so extrapolating over the dispatched aggregate of users worldwide, I can easily declare that the entire world has been affected. You have 48 hours to decode everything and find “The Secret Word” that reverses the effect of the poison. Live or let these mad ramblings go unpunished. Your time starts now. Or whenever. Cuz, you know, you might be reading these 48 hours after someone else began…so there is this weird disparity of time among readers and…you know what, let’s not worry about logistics now. There’s no lower or upper time bound!  Who needs logic right?

PART 1:

Gabriel Marquez: All humans have three lives…
***

First observe order, waiting beautifully

But periods prior, a law

The numbers exist, instantly ordered

Pairwise pairings considered, things converge

 

 

2132411115244111
PART 2:

Tis but one side of the coin

44198765432122598765432162598765432140098765

432119876543216498765432152998765432136987

654321225987654321259876543213249876543

2144198765432140098765432119876543

211969876543212598765432164987

6543214009876543213249876

5432125987654321169876

54321819876543213

61987654321196

98765432122

59876543

2194419

876543212259876

543216259876543214009

876543211987654321649876543

215299876543213698765432122598765

432125987654321324987654321441987654321400

9876543211987654321196987654321259876543216498765

43214009876543213249876543212598765432116987654321819876543

21361987654321196987654321225987654321944198765432122598765432162

59876543214009876543211987654321649876543215299876543213698765432122598765

43212598765432132498765432144198765432140098765432119876543211969

8765432125987654321649876543214009876543213249876543212598765

432116987654321819876543213619876543211969876543212259876

54321944198765432122598765432162598765432140098765432

119876543216498765432152998765432136987654321225987

6543212598765432132498765432144198765432140098

765432119876543211969876543212598765432164

98765432140098765432132498765432125987

6543211698765432181987654321361987

65432119698765432122598765432

194419876543212259876543

2162598765432140098765

432119876543216498

7654321529987

65432136987

6543212259

8765432

12598765432132

498765432144198765432

14009876543211987654321196

9876543212598765432164987654321400

98765432132498765432125987654321169876543

218198765432136198765432119698765432122598765432

194419876543212259876543216259876543214009876543211987654

3216498765432152998765432136987654321225987654321259876543213249876

5432144198765432140098765432119876543211969876543212598765432164987654321400987

6543213249876543212598765432116987654321819876543213619876543211969876543212259876543219441

98765432122598765432162598765432140098765432119876543216498765432152998765432136987654321225987654

321259876543213249876543214419876543214009876543211987654321196987654321259876543216498

7654321400987654321324987654321259876543211698765432181987654321361987654

3211969876543212259876543219

PART 3

PART 4
Memes, the cultural hallmark of our current generation’s achievements, profoundly deep in their ability to probe the errors of the world. High-quality satire such as:

But those pictures have nothing to do with anything! This does:

Prior connects to current.

Hint: Once done, a sense of déjà vu may be appropriate.
PART 5
Ode to the past

At this point, you must be close.

The last two things you have uncovered need be cojoined in marriage.

At the end of one of these does the union belong.

mitadmissions.org/

scripts.mit.edu/

www.filedropper.com/

scribd.com/

zeta-uploader.com/

box.com/

PART 6
What’s The Secret Word?

Questions, clarifications, ideas, solutions in the comments!

I’ll be swooping around periodically like a hawk.

Have fun (hopefully)!