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Solutions to the 2021 Hunt

Implied Cow

The first puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: Zeus, the county’s prize cow, wishes you luck on your journey for treasure.



Outlaws

The second puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: The cattle mafia’s been rustlin’ heifers in these parts for years.... We’re on the verge of pulling down the whole operation. Can you help us pin down the gangs' network?



Wranch Wranglers

The third puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: The cattle records on the Sue D. Okue ranch are half missing! We need you to get them back in order. Pay special attention to all the cows in the pens, that's where the certified grade A-Z beef is.



Grave Gambit

The fourth puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: Long ago, Rekam's great-great-great grandpappy Retfarc Eulc died in this town. Ever since, the burial grounds have been cursed and the graves shift around at night. The locals always try to guess where they'll move next.



Bourbon Barrels

The fifth puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: Out west, distilleries sometimes marked their barrels with colored rims to differentiate them. Despite the Resistors protesting the practice over how the bands would "taint the flavor", this was never proven. Once the aging is done, they blend the barrels, so the unique flavors all add together. These distilleries were some of the finest in the world, with no Tolerance for poor taste. [ADDENDUM 4/11/21 - 1600 EDT: Their bourbon was so refined, in fact, that they had no need to label the tolerance for impurities, giving them a 5 star rating of quality]



Ticker Tape

The sixth puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: The ticker tape shows the stock market is crashing! Trying to fold the situation to their advantage, like-minded investors put their heads together.



Fortune

The seventh puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: Well, Partner, it seems like the folded treasure map we bought from Davy Jones was a fraud. And not even a good one at that; it looks like he just printed it off a budget inkjet.



Nautical Navigation

The eighth puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: Deputy Benn took some lovely 360° panoramic pictures while patrolling the crow’s nest of the frontier. Shame we don’t know where he was when they were taken.



Maelstrom

The ninth puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: This whirlpool's just claimed a hapless ship. All that's left are a few bits and pieces tangled in the rigging, making circuits 'round the center.



Tunnel Vision

The tenth puzzle to appear on the map:

Flavor Text: Some perspectives are quite limiting; don't limit yourself to one plane of existence.



Satellites

The eleventh puzzle to appear on the map:

$ Evl OS
$ v2.0.21
$
$ Beginning data downlink
$
$ Data Source: Monte Porzio Catone
$
$ Data Stream
$ -----------
$ MMVIII-0LIIA
$ MCMLXXIV-0LXXVIIA
$ MCMLXXVII-0LXXVIA
$ MMVII-0LIA
$ MCMXCV-0XLIA
$ MCMLXXIII-0XLVIIA
$
$ Transfer Complete.
$


21x13

The twelfth puzzle to appear on the map:

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Flavor Text: In the early days of the internet, interlacing was commonly used when transmitting images, dramatically improving the effective load time of webpages. Occasionally, however, when rendering multiple images, the streams of data would merge, resulting in some interesting cases of what can best be described as “Art”. While no data is lost, the information it was intended to convey certainly is, but with keen eyes, you can piece together the truth hidden in the image’s corrupted binary.



Final Puzzle

Throughout the Hunt, Hunters had been selecting puzzles on a map interface. This map interface showed puzzles along a dotted line; at the end of this line was a large X marking the end. When Hunters clicked on this X, they were given this poem:

This universe has many paths
That you could walk to different ends;
They twist and cross and warp and bend
Again,
        Again,
                Again,
                        Again.
A tapestry strung all through time,
They don’t repeat, they only rhyme.

Some claim the best’s the beaten path,
But no, my child, you must go off it;
Seeming red herrings oft turn out
To be just what you’ll need to profit.
When some strange tavern proffers a drink,
The wise and curious always quaff it.

It should also be noted that as Hunters progressed along the map, they could find clickable locations (all taverns or bars). Clicking a location gave a short poem giving some backstory. There were 16 poems on the map, and two are given below as an example:

This is a saloon, not a clue,
So try not to look so blue.
If you doubt us, please be disabused;
You really needn’t be confused.
Find something else to pursue,
Go try something new,
And solve a puzzle or two.


Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 VT Hunt!

This year we raised over $2,350 dollars in donations to various charities! Thank you so much to everyone who donated!

We had a total of 691 teams with 1433 total participants.

Of these 691 teams, 43 completed the Hunt, garnering a total of 151 Victors.

The medal-finishers of the hunt were the teams WIT, Yee Haw (pronounced Haw Yee), and Weird Lex & Aladdin C-Shackers.

We'd like to give a special shoutout to team Penthouse Boys, who had the most answer submits (at 1148!) - congrats on a victory well-earned.

We'd also like to give a special shoutout to Quarantine Decryptors for getting Rick Rolled 96 times!

At the end of the hunt, here's how many active teams were stuck on each stage (where a stage is made up of sets of three puzzles revelaed at a time):

Stage 1: 320

Stage 2: 265

Stage 3: 21

Stage 4: 21

Final Puzzle: 20

Finished: 43

We had a total of 18,479 answer submissions.