CS50x Puzzle Day 2022
Table of Contents
- What is CS50x Puzzle Day?
- How does it work?
- What are the rules?
- What are the puzzles?
- Photos (and memes)!
- How to practice?
- Looking for teammates?
- How to host your own?
- Quotes from last time!
- How to submit?
- Who are the winners?
- What are the right answers?
What is CS50x Puzzle Day?
Solve a packet of problems!
CS50x Puzzle Day is an online adaptation of an event we hold at Harvard each year, an opportunity to collaborate on a team with classmates, family, and friends on a packet of puzzles (i.e., logic problems). The event is open to everyone around the world, whether taking CS50 or not. No prior CS experience required. Teams of size 2, 3, or 4 are encouraged, or you can participate on your own. If collaborating on a team, you MUST adhere to local COVID-19 protocols, wearing masks as prescribed. 😷
Starts anytime after 00:00 on Friday, 1 April 2022, in your own time zone. Ends anytime before 23:59 on Monday, 4 April 2022, in your own time zone.
Register officially at cs50.ly/register anytime before 23:59 on Monday, 4 April 2022, in your own time zone. Every member of your team should register individually by submitting the form as well.
See cs50.medium.com/this-was-cs50x-puzzle-day-2020-95176423293c for a summary of a past CS50x Puzzle Day as well as some past puzzles for practice. Indeed, the best way to practice for this year is to solve past puzzles first!
How does it work?
- Anytime after 00:00 on Friday, 1 April 2022, in your own time zone, your team will download a packet of puzzles as a PDF from cs50.ly/puzzles.
- Your team will then have until the end of Monday, 4 April 2022, in your own time zone, to solve as many puzzles as you can. You’ll submit your answers online via a Google Form at cs50.ly/submit.
- Take photos while you work on the puzzles (or screenshots of your team collaborating online)! We’ll then share them online if you’d like.
- On 2022-04-05T13:00:00-04:00/2022-04-05T14:00:00-04:00, we’ll hold a live, Zoom-based walkthroughs of the puzzles’ answers. If unable to attend live, you can also watch on demand afterward.
- CS50 certificates will be awarded to the teams that answer the most questions correctly.
- Puzzles will not require prior programming experience, just logic and smarts. All you’ll need is a computer with Internet access, a pen or pencil, and scratch paper.
What are the rules?
- Teams of size 2, 3, or 4 are encouraged, but you may form larger teams of reasonable size. (You’ll declare your team when you submit your answers.) Consider, though, that the larger your team, the less each team member will be challenged by puzzles! Teams deemed by CS50’s staff to be of unreasonable size will be disqualified and ineligible for certificates.
- Teams may not share hints or answers with other teams. Teams deemed by CS50’s staff to have shared hints or answers with other teams will be disqualified and ineligible for certificates.
- Teams MUST adhere to local COVID-19 protocols, wearing masks as prescribed. 😷
See CS50x Puzzle Day 2019’s discussion of honesty for context!
What are the puzzles?
Here is a PDF of the packet of puzzles that you can download and/or print!
And here’s an accessible version of #8 if you need it, with text instead of audio!
- Afraid there was a mistake in #5: ITINERARY 2’s big arrow should be pointing southeast (down and to the right), not northwest (up and to the left). Apologies!
- The answer to the metapuzzle isn’t necessarily a single word or name in English!
- The accessible version of #8 should have a line reading as follows! E… A… R… F… H… Q… O… A… K… E… (ding)
We’ll announce any additional errata (mistakes) here, but hopefully this is all!
Photos (and memes)!
Take photos while you work on the puzzles (or screenshots of your team collaborating online)! Or create CS50x Puzzle Day-related memes! Share them at cs50.ly/photos if you’d like!
How to practice?
The best way to practice for this year is to solve some past puzzles first!
- CS50x Puzzle Day 2020
- CS50x Puzzle Day 2019
- CS50x Puzzle Day 2018
- CS50x Puzzle Day 2017
- CS50x Puzzle Day 2016
Looking for teammates?
Post in any of CS50’s communities if looking to form a team! Perhaps share a little bit about yourself in your post.
How to host your own?
You’re welcome to adopt or adapt CS50x Puzzle Day for your own students or organization, per CS50’s license! Allow us to suggest a few things to consider as you plan ahead, and always feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Though CS50x Puzzle Day is hosted over a few days, we find that, in-person, a single day suffices! Here’s a sample timeline of our own Puzzle Day on campus:
|12:30-2:45||Puzzle solving; solution packet in by 2:45 on the dot!|
We typically order pizza assuming 3 slices per person. Sometimes that overshoots it, sometimes it’s just right. We also usually order one large-sized veggie platter for every 20 or so pizzas.
Setting the Tone
Be sure to encourage that “winning” isn’t the goal – problem solving and creative thinking is the goal. Having fun is the most important thing. If giving out prizes to winning team(s), we suggest also setting up raffle prizes and minimally message the element of prizes to ensure most people don’t attend expecting or looking for a prize.
Solutions to the 2022 puzzles won’t be released until 2022-04-05T13:00:00-04:00. You may plan to host your event after CS50x Puzzle Day 2022, or reveal the solutions at a separate event!
You don’t need much to run CS50x Puzzle Day! We find that pen, paper, and computers with internet are more than sufficient. Consider having tables for groups to work together! In more recent times, keeping masks and other PPE handy is definitely a must. Be sure to follow the COVID-19 guidelines of your local area.
Quotes from last time!
- “A good activity to do with friends!”
- “Difficult, Challenging, but most of all, Memorable!”
- “Extremely fun but mind boggling at the same time”
- “Great fun, and I think I even have a few non-grey hairs left!”
- “Had the best online experience of my life. Got a chance to get to know many people from different countries. Absolutely loved the experience.”
- “I can describe CS50 Puzzle Day in one word as Awesome. It’s just wonderful, I feel so confident after making new friends from other parts of the world, solving puzzles with them which improved my team coordinating skills. I have learned so much from the competition and my new friends and I would love to take part in this competition every year.”
- “It was a lot of fun and a great way to use your mind in a different way than you usually do day to day.”
- It’s brainwreckingly good!”
If you have a question about a puzzle, email email@example.com, and we’ll do our best to reply! Afraid, though, we won’t be able to offer any hints or tips!
How to submit?
Submit your answers at cs50.ly/submit by 23:59:59 on Monday, 4 April 2022, in your own time zone!
Who are the winners?
Check back here a few days after Monday, 4 April 2022, in your own time zone, to see who’s won CS50 certificates!