The event is over! Thanks everyone for playing and join us in 99/1919 for our closing! [You can still submit answers, but your placement and score are now locked.]

Rules for Non-Intern Puzzleday 2022

How to play

  1. HAVE FUN! (And if you're not having fun, let us know. If your team is running out of steam, let us know.)
  2. None of the puzzles require you to do anything illegal, immoral, or that would cause Microsoft security to be concerned.
  3. Everyone should have access to a computer during the event.
  4. Access to a printer is optional. You may find some puzzles easier to solve with pencil and paper, but all puzzles delivered via computer can be solved with it.
  5. You may use your computers to communicate with NIPD staff, communicate with your teammates, and help you solve puzzles. You may also use any printed reference material you care to bring with you. You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with a number of common Encodings.
  6. While solving puzzles, you can use any reference source on the internet. You can use non-teammate friends or strangers as reference sources for a particular piece of information, but not to help you solve entire puzzles (e.g., you could call someone to ask them a trivia question but not send them a whole list of trivia questions for them to research). You may not send entire puzzles to non-teammates for help.
  7. Writing a computer program to solve a puzzle is allowed, but this may take longer than solving the puzzle in its intended manner. Also, your computer likely has more tools built-in that can help you than you may realize. For example, Microsoft Edge allows you to draw on a webpage without needing to paste the content into another application.
  8. Hacking puzzles is not in the spirit of the event and is strictly prohibited. This includes:
    • hacking into any computer system to find answers
    • giving false information to another team
    • modifying something needed by other teams to solve a puzzle
    • trying to purloin answers from another team, and
    • colluding with other teams
  9. In order for a puzzle to be marked as solved, the correct answer must be entered into the correct answer submission box on the website and be submitted before the event ends.
  10. Each team must be reachable by email during the event since new puzzles, instructions, and corrections to puzzles may need to be sent out via email. Make sure mail from isn't going to junk!
  11. Teams should clean up their conference rooms after the end of the event. The regular cleaning schedule does not cover weekends, so you should leave the room in an appropriate condition to be used for a Monday morning meeting.

Traveling outside your conference room

  1. There are only two ways you may be instructed to travel:
    • The puzzle has explicit instructions to travel. For example, your team may need to attend a live event at a specified location.
    • You submit an answer and the response from the website gives you explicit instructions to travel. If you have an answer that looks like a travel instruction, enter it into the submission box in full and only travel if the response says so.
  2. You must not enter any person's private office during the course of the event unless it is the office of a member of your team.
  3. If any travel is required, it will always be to Building 99. Additionally, Studios A, B, C, Buildings 92, 111, 114, 120, 123 - 127, 21, 30, 33, 34, 41, 42, 50, 87, and all construction areas are OFF LIMITS and should not be entered unless your personal office is in them.

Team registration

Teams can have a maximum of 6 people, and we heavily encourage filling up your team as much as possible. You may register your team with only 1 person and fill out the roster later.

Winning and scoring

  1. There will be no prizes in the event, but standings will be available.
  2. Teams will first be ranked according to the time by which they solve the final metapuzzle.
  3. Secondary ranking will be by the total points gathered over the event.
  4. Should a tie-breaker become necessary, the following criteria will be used to determine the higher-ranking team in this order:
    1. The team that has the higher total points by the end of the event.
    2. The team that solved more puzzles by the end of the event.
    3. The team that reached that point total first.
    4. Random drawing.
  5. Teams that are found to be in violation of the event rules will be disqualified from the event. If disqualification happens before the event is over, that team may continue to solve puzzles at the discretion of NIPD staff.
  6. The decisions of NIPD staff are final.

Microsoft Entertainment Code of Conduct

Microsoft's mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. This includes Microsoft parties where we seek to create a respectful, friendly, fun and inclusive experience for all participants.

We do not tolerate harassing or disrespectful behavior, messages, images, or interactions by any party participant, in any form, at any aspect of the program including business and social activities, regardless of location.

We do not tolerate any behavior that is degrading to any gender, race, sexual orientation or disability, or any behavior that would violate the company's Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy, Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, or Standards of Business Conduct, even if the entertainment is not paid for by Microsoft. In short, the entire experience at the venue must meet our culture standards.

We encourage everyone to assist in creating a welcoming and safe environment. Please report any concerns, harassing behavior, or suspicious or disruptive activity to venue staff, the event host or owner, or the nearest event staff. We also encourage employees to contact their Microsoft Manager or our Business Conduct Hotline (1-877-320-MSFT or at any time if you feel a party is against our policy or inconsistent with the Microsoft culture. Outside the United States, call collect to 1-470-219-7087.

Microsoft reserves the right to refuse admittance to, or remove any person from a party at any time at its sole discretion.

We make this policy visible for all Microsoft parties so all attendees can see what is expected and what steps they should take if they see or experience behavior not consistent with this policy.