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Patrick Stevens

Former mathematics student at the University of Cambridge; now a software engineer.

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At the end of last (that is, Lent 2012-2013) term at Cambridge, I took part in the Cambridge University Computing and Technology Society Puzzlehunt (for some reason, as of this writing, they haven’t yet updated that page for this year’s Puzzlehunt, but last year’s is up there). A short summary: the Puzzlehunt is a treasure hunt around Cambridge, crossed with a whole bunch of online computing-based puzzles. It’s very difficult, and it lasts for twenty-four hours.

It was great fun, and while my team was hampered considerably by the fact that (having found out about the event only a day in advance) we had all planned various May Week celebrations to coincide with the first five hours or so of the twenty-four hour competition, we still gave it a good shot and came fifth of about nine, as far as I remember. (Team G, for the win!)

For possibly the first time ever, I adopted a sensible strategy of separating the programs I wrote for each puzzle, and saving them as I went. This means I have a record of my attempts at each puzzle - they’re all in the form of Mathematica notebooks.

My attempts are extremely rough-and-ready, being thrown together in the shortest time possible.

Mathematica Notebook files (.nb) can be read through the Wolfram CDF Player, which can be installed free from the Wolfram website; the plugin is quite large, so I can release them as PDFs instead if anyone wants. (Using the CDF player gives syntax highlighting and interactivity, not that many of these files will be interactive, because they were made so quickly.)

More to follow, when I’ve put a bit of explanatory commentary in them.