IMPORTANT: Puzzle Boat 1 sign-in hasn't worked for reasons related to a MySQL update. However, I've decided not to update the site, and instead leave the information below as is. This is related to an entire round being related to a certain person's character, and that certain person's horrible behavior over the last decade.-Foggy


Confused and disoriented, you stagger through doors marked "Two Second Cruises" and find yourself in a travel agency. Surveying the office, you find yourself with a choice of different travel agents. Of the four, only one looks friendly. Ignoring a woman in an spotted animal print, a man with a fierce mane of hair, and a woman hungrily devouring a Subway combo meal, you opt for the man wearing a Virgin Airlines button.

He somehow knows exactly what’s on your mind. "Puzzles you want, puzzles you'll get!" With quick keystrokes, he reserves you a spot on a cruise to a tropical island. When you stand up to thank him, you lose consciousness.

Waking up, you find yourself on the deck of the cruise ship. There's noise coming from behind you and the island itself. The travel agent has left a note for you however.

Enjoy the island as long as you want. If you want to know where to go, try looking for some helpful individuals. Flag them down, and they'll not only show you the hottest spots on the island, but help you decide what to do next.

What is the Puzzle Boat?

The Puzzle Boat is an online puzzle extravaganza, similar to the MIT Mystery Hunt or Microsoft Puzzle Hunts. It can be solved entirely online.

Puzzles (red links on the map) are in PDF format (with one exception). Puzzle types include cryptograms, crosswords, and visual puzzles. Some puzzles are traditional, others are unconventional, others defy categorization. The use of outside references are acceptable, and absolutely necessary in some cases.

As you solve puzzles, new puzzles will become available. Some puzzles require solutions to other puzzles. Solving these meta-puzzles will give you the names of several individuals on the island. Finding all of these individuals will allow you to complete the extravaganza. Once you have an individual's name, you can use the link to view all the answers to a given round. (For example, if Ray Bradbury were a metapuzzle answer, use the link

You can solve the Puzzle Boat with others. To register a team, click Register above and enter a team name, password, and team members. Others on your team can use this name and password to access puzzles, and see how far the team has progressed. You can also solve on your own, but it's not as much fun...for most.

If you have questions regarding the Puzzle Boat, write to me at


A big thanks to the three people who test-solved these puzzles, Tablesaw, Fuldu, and Tahnan. Without these guys, this Puzzle Boat would have stayed in drydock. Thanks guys.

Thanks to TMcAy and Forge (Haystack) whose puzzles provided inspiration for some of the puzzles contained within.

Thanks for playing, Foggy


Happy New Year! Matt Jones and Dean Sturtevant have both given us puzzles as part of the Pointy-Haired Boss puzzle. Enjoy!
P&A Magazine has launched! P&A Magazine offers a bimonthly puzzle extravaganaza, and is available here for $4.95 an issue.
If you have already solved Bon Appetit (Diner), find that person again. An outstanding error with that has been corrected.

Many solvers have noticed that there is no solution to Bob the Dinosaur provided. The solution to the Cross Numbers turns out to be not unique; some solvers have simply focused on what squares must be negative and gone from there. Given that an unsolvable is not much fun, rot-13 the following to get the solution to this puzzle: ORURZBGU.
In High Wire Act, the typo in "incredibly tense" is just that, a typo, and is not part of the puzzle solution.

Lost in the Maze still appears to confound, more because of a lack of cluing. ROT-13 the following to reveal a fairly direct instruction for solving the puzzle
"Gur frira nafjref pna nyy or rkcerffrq va n fcrpvsvp jnl. Vtaber gur znmr; vafgrnq, gel uvtuyvtugvat eryrinag yrggref."

In Boxstep, the stray "an" and the error in the example have been fixed.
In Candy Store, a superfluous 5 has been removed.
In The Public Commons, "doctine" was changed to "doctrine".
In The Twist, there should be one more line between the last square in the 7th row of boxes and the 4th square in the 8th row of boxes. (The file is not updated.)
In King Minos, Workhorse, the second row in the middle column has been changed. The puzzle's title has been corrected everywhere to King Minos, Workhorse.
In Roger's Puzzle, Figures 1, 3, 4, and 5 have been updated. Additionally, some people have reported issues with squares not being the same size. You may want to double check Acrobat's printer settings to ensure that it is printing at 100%, not scaling.
In Jagged Little Pill, a minor typo (Gerry should have been Jerry in one of the clues) has been corrected.
In Speakerboxx, the last Row should be enumerated 98.
In Lost in the Maze, the flavortext has been yet again altered.

All of the solutions are now available to those who have solved a meta-puzzle.
Flavortext for Lost in the Maze has been updated.
Thanks to Joe Cabrera for providing a better gif image for the logo up top.
Trivia Garden has been updated; clue 30 was, well, a pretty lousy clue and no amount of re-wording will fix it. So I changed it to a Weird Al question. Fun!

If you've solved a meta-puzzle, you can see solutions for all of the puzzles that ring by going to[solution].pdf. (7 of the 9 meta-puzzles and their solutions are available; the other two will be available soon)

I've added the locations of the island where puzzles are found to the puzzles themselves, as numerous teams commented on the difficulty of matching puzzles back up to where they got them.
Credit Card Fraud has been updated. One clue is completely changed; another has a single-letter change.
In the puzzle Elephant, B and C were switched, and FF and GG were switched.
In the puzzle The Public Commons, the fourth phrase was misenumerated.
In the puzzle On the Road Again, the third number in the second row was changed
In the puzzle Mordac the Preventer, the flavortext has been extended.
In the puzzle Chain Link Fence, one number was corrected.
In the puzzle Trivia Garden, the last clue has been reworded.
In the puzzle Bullseye, the first dartboard of the second page has been corrected.
One puzzle asks solvers to create their own puzzles, although jokingly. Here is a puzzle I did receive from Lunchboy a/k/a Francis Heaney.
On the Frustrated? page, I've added an explanation of how new puzzles are obtained.

10-22-05 Congratulations to Cruciverbalist, a forumite of the Grey Labyrinth, who has completed the Puzzle Boat.
In the puzzle Born to Run, there should be two pages, not one
In the puzzle All Cretans are Statisticians, two clues were incorrectly worded.

10-20-05 In the puzzle Centerfold, clue 4 is new. (It should start "Makes...") In the puzzle Speakerboxx, the clue J.Lo biopic should be Williams sister.
A general slowness with the site should be improved, but not fixed. This is related to Miva's database system. If anybody out there knows Miva and can offer advice, please e-mail me at

10-19-05 In Roger's Puzzle, figure 3 was a duplicate of figure 1. The file has been corrected with a new figure 3.
In Alisha's Puzzle, the clue "Ctr Jff wh pprd n Th Tll Mn" should be "Ctr Jff wh pprd n Th Tll Gy"
Teams who got the Letters from Hormel puzzle when trying to download Stretching Exercises can now download Stretching Exercises instead.
The enumeration for the Chess piece question in Foxtrot Tango should be 9.
I've added a leaderboard for those interested in such things; I've also added the ability to edit your team information.

10-18-05 A behind-the-scenes database issue that was undetected until now has been fixed; solvers should see red links for unsolved puzzles, and green links for solved puzzles. Solvers do not need to reregister.