After an intense week of competition and puzzle-solving, the 3rd Annual Pi Day Puzzle Hunt came to an end. Puzzle hunt participants gathered at the closing ceremony on Friday, March 24 in room 320 to congratulate the winners and receive prizes or food.
The first puzzle of the hunt this year was “Isn’t the artwork in the hallways of RM amaze-ing? It really has the power to transport you to new places!” Based on this clue, participants located and solved the Pi Maze mural in the school to find the hidden numbers and letters, which yielded a website link to the next puzzle.
Although the puzzles this year were not as heavily involved with math, their unconventionality still challenged the puzzlers. Freshman Eric Yi said, “To be honest, there wasn’t much math involved. A lot of it was logic, but it was still interesting. There was one puzzle involving poetry and another one where you have to find invisible pen writing somewhere in the school.”
“A big part of solving these puzzles was figuring out the significance of the information we were given and what certain wordings or drawings meant. So, the most challenging aspect of the puzzles was figuring out what the information meant and what it didn’t mean,” sophomore Daniel Yang described.
“For me, the most challenging part wasn’t actually solving the problems. It was keeping track of other teams’ progress who were also doing the same puzzle,” sophomore Jeffrey Tran said.
Each year, groups of four students compete as teams, often with team names including math puns. This year, in first place came team “π-oneers,” with team members junior Thomas Del Vecchio, junior Lisa Yang, sophomore Grant Yang and sophomore Daniel Yang. In second place was team “The Emπre,” with sophomores Daniel Lopez, Kevin Lu, Rithik Sebastian and Jeffrey Tran. The third place team was “lalalandismyjam,” with juniors Jason Hong, Kevin Hu, William Liu and Andrew Yi.
As the only other team that also solved all of the puzzles in addition to the top three teams, “The Squadrilaterals” with seniors Simon Liu, Tyler Hoffman, Joshua Chen and Kaitlyn Wang, received the title as The Finisher team. The Puzzle Hunting Super Stars, the team that won the most stars throughout the hunt, was team “Better Than Them ,” with freshmen Stephanie Wang, Jack Yang, Eric Yi and Cathy Yung.
Although “The Emπre” won the most stars overall, they also placed second in the competition. As a result, team “Better Than Them ,” who won one less star, received the title as the Puzzle Hunting Super Stars rather than “The Emπre.”
Sophomore Daniel Yang, one of the members of the first place “π-oneers,” attributed their team’s success to their high motivation. “I think we were one of teams that were most dedicated and focused on this hunt. We cared a lot more than most other teams about winning,” Daniel Yang explained.
However, the winning team did face some obstacles throughout the competition. “Even though we won, I think the time restraint challenged us a lot because we weren’t able to move on… teachers would leave after school and this allowed other teams to catch up,” junior Lisa Yang said.
Although the Pi Day Puzzle Hunt is a relatively new event at RM, it has been highly popular amongst students with a passion for math. “I would definitely participate in the puzzle hunt next year. I also encourage other students to participate next year as well. I think the hunt creates a lot of friendly competition between teams, which is really fun even though it can be stressful at times,” Daniel Yang said.