Written by Alex Irpan
Plagiarized from Liam Thomas


This is a minihunt that references past puzzles, but as suggested by the puzzle flavor, the referenced puzzles are not from puzzles written by teammate. Instead, they're from other puzzlehunts. Using the sources identified by the Turnitin plagiarism checker, we must identify the original hunt for each puzzle, then solve it with that puzzle's mechanics. Each source gives the last name and first initial of every author for that puzzle, along with an academia-style wording of the puzzle title.

After identifying some puzzles, we can infer that every puzzle is from a different puzzlehunt series, and every plagiarized puzzle is from a distinct year. Answers to each minipuzzle follow below, but in general, searching “(last name) puzzlehunt” or “(last name) puzzle hunt” is a good first step to identifying the source hunt. Of course, the easiest way to ID is to remember doing the puzzle before, but in general the puzzle assumes solvers are not familiar with any of the source material.

Plagiarized PuzzleIntended Search PathSolution
Chau, Herman. “Sandwiched Cities,” SUMO + Stanford ACM Puzzlehunt 2016 (solution)"Chau puzzlehunt" → "Herman's Puzzle Hunt Resources" which lists puzzles written by Herman ChauThe first clue solves to WUDAI. The second solves to PURPLE.

The hidden city is UDAIPUR, which gives a U.
Gardiner, Sean. “Wockyjabber,” SUMS 2010 (solution)"Gardiner puzzlehunt" should turn up a Sean Gardiner who's written for SUMS Puzzle Hunt. Sean has written a bunch of SUMS puzzles, so this is a bit tricky to ID. It's easier if we've IDed some of the other puzzles, to constrain what years to check.Hombay is a portmanteau of Hollywood + Bombay, which portmanteaus to Bollywood.
It's the 6th word, so take the W.
Goodman, Elizabeth S.Q. “Follow the Letters,” Harvard Puzzle Hunt 2008 (solution)"Goodman puzzlehunt" should turn up results for the Harvard Puzzle Hunt (which amazingly is still online)1.1 Senses = KNOWS
1.2 Sense = SIGHT
1.3 Sense = TOUCH
The words trace an N.
Halpin, Mark. “Filostrato's Puzzle,” Labor Day Puzzles 2011 (solution)"Halpin puzzlehunt" gets us to the Mark Halpin site of Labor Day Puzzles. Then, looking up the title determines that the theme for 2011 is the one that matches.SAFE
Heng, Janice. “Comprehension,” REDDOThunt 2017 (solution)"Heng puzzlehunt" will turn up times Janice Heng competed in SUMS and Galactic Puzzle Hunt. If we then search Janice Heng puzzlehunt, we find she's an author of both Singapore Puzzle Hunt and REDDOThunt. From here, we need to check both to find the matching puzzle.General economic decline and stars moving away from Earth are both definitions of "recession" → R
Irpan, Alex. “Recommendations,” Puzzles are Magic (2020) (solution)"Irpan puzzlehunt" will turn up a few results for Alex Irpan, who has a list of puzzles they wrote on their website.The album image matches the art for Eclipse. The rebus solves to "See in the Dark".

The sound clip is the instrumental right before "Nothing can stop me, or force me away". The next lyric is "Nothing", so we get an N.
Kelly Hahn, Brian. “Paddles,” Puzzled Pint October 2015 (solution, diagram)"Kelly Hahn puzzle" will turn up some tweets and solution pages for Puzzled Pint. This one is a little tricky to find, but luckily Brian Kelly Hahn has only contributed to Puzzled Pint once, and submitted that entire month's puzzle set, so once we find it we are essentially done.The state is Montana. Arrange the paddles such that their intersection matches Montana's outline. The resulting semaphore is O.
Morgan-Mar, David. “Word Sets,” CiSRA 2012 (solution)David Morgan-Mar's Wikipedia page mentions he's written for CisRA and mezzacotta. This again still leaves a few years to search through. To try to reduce the search a bit, we edited the citation on his Wikipedia page to point to CisRA 2012.Solving the grid gives a circle. The answer is O.

(The original puzzle used alchemical symbol extraction, but there is no alchemy symbol that is just a plain circle.)
Nguyen, Benji and Zhan, Shuxin. “The Dating Sim,” Huntinality (2021) (solution)This one's a bit tricky to find if we didn't do Huntinality this year, since both the puzzle page and its solution are marked as "noindex" for search engines. Searching Nguyen and Zhan with "puzzle" should pull up previous times Cardinality has competed in puzzlehunts, from which we can guess we want a Cardinality hunt. Luckily, the puzzle is discussed in Huntinality's wrap-up, which provides some search signal.The military academy is “The Citadel”. The figure Luigi is dating is a line. Going down in dimension gives a point, which then goes to West Point. The red letter is T.

(Just for fun, the other 3 wrong answers have first letters WAH.)
Plover, Corey, Fung, Nathan, and Booth, Michael. “Circles,” BAPHL 8 (2013) (solution)Searching "plover fung booth puzzle" by itself should be enough to pull up BAPHL 8In the park where BAPHL 8 was held, there are several posts of varying height, lying in overlapping circles. Posts are colored based on the color of the ground in the park.

By either using Google Street View, or carefully checking the BAPHL solution, we can find which circles contribute to each post, then do-it-again to recover the circle values for the new puzzle.

Doing so gives ANSWER P → P.
Schwab, Josiah. “TOO,” Berkeley Mystery Hunt 2014 (solution)"Schwab puzzlehunt" should find a Josiah Schwab who wrote for Berkeley Mystery Hunt. If we look up his personal page, it lists all puzzles he's written.GROOT

When found in the grid, the Os cover up the letters ANSWER Y → Y.
Shi, Lindsey and Liu, Curtis. “Dance Hall,” Puzzle Potluck 2 (2019) (solution)"Shi Liu puzzlehunt" will turn up a variety of hunts they've participated in, usually with the same people. Searching all those names together should turn up pages for Puzzle Potluck. Once we find it is Puzzle Potluck 2, we still need to confirm the year. This is surprisingly tricky, but can be confirmed by clicking Wrap-Up from Puzzle Potluck 2's home page. The wrap-up for Potluck 2 has pictures of answer submissions dated to 2019."Group" and "period" are hints towards the periodic table. Searching names mentioned in the text should turn up mostly chemistry results as well.

Bayer hints the Bayer process, for Aluminium.

Crookes and Lamy discovered Thallium.

Marie hints Marie Curie, who discovered Curium and Polonium. The "equestrian sports night" comment hints polo, so this is Polonium.

We stink is a clue for Sulfur.

Drawing a path on the periodic table draws a U.
Steinhardt, Charles. “The 10,000 Puzzle Square,” Caltech Puzzlehunt (2018) (solution)Charles Steinhardt has written puzzles for many hunts, so this one is tricky to find. The "Ten Four" in the title hints at "The 10,000 Puzzle X" series, of which one is "The 10,000 Puzzle Square" from Caltech Puzzle Hunt.First arrange the puzzles such that the top-left is 00.txt and bottom-right is 99.txt. The square can be solved the same way as the original puzzle, by checking unique digit products then expanding outward based on options for differences to neighbors. The triangular numbers draw out the letter H.
Yang, Ben. “Alphabet Soup,” Galactic Puzzlehunt 2009 (solution), from “Ten Years Later,” Galactic Puzzlehunt 2019 (solution)This is easiest to search from the title. Although Caltech Puzzle Hunt has a puzzle named "Alphabet Soup", the author list doesn't match. Instead, we want the subpuzzle from "Ten Years Later".

This leaves one question: is it GPH 2009 or GPH 2019? To resolve this, if we read the solution, we see that "Ten Years Later" from GPH 2019 was written by several authors, while the "Alphabet Soup" puzzle within Ten Years Later is credited to just Ben Yang. This indicates the plagiarized puzzle is just "Alphabet Soup" from GPH 2009. (Alternatively, we can infer the year should not collide with the Puzzle Potluck 2 puzzle if we've IDed that puzzle.)
It's a bowl of alphabet soup. The letters are all O. The answer is O.

Reordering by year gives:

2013Plover, Fung, BoothP
2015Kelly HahnO
2019Shi and LiuU
2021Nguyen and ZhanT

Submitting NOW COPY OUR HUNT tells us to construct a puzzle plagiarizing a Teammate Hunt puzzle from this year or last year. After submitting a plagiarized puzzle, we receive this reply:

Short Story Submission from E. Tate

My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.

I give Pirrip as my father’s family name, on the authority of his tombstone and my sister,—Mrs. Joe Gargery, who married the blacksmith. As I never saw my father or my mother, and never saw any likeness of either of them (for their days were long before the days of photographs), my first fancies regarding what they were like were unreasonably derived from their tombstones. The shape of the letters on my father’s, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, “Also Georgiana Wife of the Above,” I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine,—who gave up trying to get a living, exceedingly early in that universal struggle,—I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with their hands in their trousers-pockets, and had never taken them out in this state of existence.

Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea. My first most vivid and broad impression of the identity of things seems to me to have been gained on a memorable raw afternoon towards evening. At such a time I found out for certain that this bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard; and that Philip Pirrip, late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried; and that Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger, infant children of the aforesaid, were also dead and buried; and that the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dikes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the marshes; and that the low leaden line beyond was the river; and that the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing was the sea; and that the small bundle of shivers growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry, was Pip.

These are three plagiarized passages of text from the answer, GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens.

Author's Notes

Liam proposed the idea for this puzzle, but didn't have time to work on it. I stole it from him and here we are.

There have been a lot of puzzles that act as minihunts referencing previous puzzles, but I've personally gotten tired of them. They often feel self-indulgent when they reference their own hunt, or kind of the same if they reference MIT Mystery Hunt (since /dev/joe's archive is almost too good). To avoid both those problems, I wanted to write a puzzle that referenced everything except Mystery Hunt and Teammate Hunt. There's been a lot of puzzlehunts over the years, and I thought using those would act more like an homage to the puzzlehunting community.

(Then I referenced my own puzzle anyways because I couldn't resist. Everybody gets one.)

One key design challenge was that almost everyone in our testsolving pool was pretty into puzzles, so we knew our testsolving data would inherently be biased towards liking and having an easier time with this puzzle. To counteract this, when there was a hunt series that spanned multiple years, I tried to pick puzzles such that it would be unlikely people had solved them before. This meant mostly selecting from university hunts catering to undergrads, and biasing towards the first year a hunt ran if it was run for several years. I was convinced this worked when a testsolver failed to ID a puzzle they helped write, and had to use Google to refresh their memory. If your impression was "I've solved a bunch of hunts and even I didn't recognize many of the references", that was intentional - the aim was to flatten the gap between new solvers and old ones.

During the course of writing this puzzle, I messaged three puzzlehunt archives about issues I found with their site. I also added a list of puzzles to my personal site just for this puzzle, and asked another teammate to fix their website as well.

Below is an incomplete list of hunts excluded from this puzzle.

  • MUMS Puzzle Hunt: after they changed their archive links, many of Google's cached links stopped working. The new pages were mostly in PDF form and weren't really crawled enough to search well.
  • Microsoft Puzzle Hunts: although they are mentioned online in a few places, AFAIK there are no public archives of any of their puzzles.
  • Microsoft College Puzzle Challenge: these are archived well, but since they were all PDFs, they had the same searchability problem as MUMS.
  • Instances of The Game: In general, I had a hard time finding info on past runs, and of the ones I did find, they usually didn't use the word "puzzle" in their name, making them hard to find.
  • Dan Katz's mini puzzlehunts: There were no solutions online for many of these hunts.
  • Canada/USA Mathcamp puzzlehunts: These were my introduction to puzzlehunts, but only recent years have solutions, and I wanted to reference more popular hunts instead.