What is a puzzle?
Puzzles can be just about anything imaginable. You might be presented with images of famous people, crosswords, chemical symbols, or even just a list of numbers! The common aspect of these puzzles is that you are not told what to do with the information supplied and that each puzzle will produce an English word or phrase as an answer. Half of the challenge is figuring out what to do. To help teams, each puzzle with have a title that gives some hint as to what to do.
The Stanford Puzzle Hunt will be divided into multiple rounds that teams solve simultaneously. The answers to each round will themselves form what's called a meta puzzle. Sometimes the meta puzzle consists of only the answers from that round (called a pure meta) or sometimes additional information will be provided to be used in conjuction with the puzzle answers (called a shell meta). Usually, a meta is solvable with about 2/3 of the answers.