The Hunt for the Lost Treasure of John Harvard


Ahoy, matey! If ye be lookin' fer adventure and a chance at riches beyond measure, ye be in the right place. This is a hunt for the Lost Treasure of John Harvard, the greatest and most secret pile o' booty in all the seven seas hidden by the most pernicious pirate ever to found a university. Rumor has it that when he settled down from his life of adventure and crime to pursue academics, John "No-Beard" Harvard hid all his loot somewhere on the Harvard campus. The only clues he left behind to indicate the treasure's whereabouts were a cryptic treasure map and eight entries from his journal, each of which looked suspiciously like a puzzle. Any band of puzzlers clever enough to find and decipher the journal entries would surely discover wealth beyond their wildest dreams...

The journal entries themselves have been hidden around the Harvard campus, but you should be able to find them with the aid of the map. There are eight mini-puzzles on the map, each of which leads to one of the journal entries. (The map is color-coded: things that are yellow on the map should lead you to one entry, while things that are orange should lead you to a second entry, and so on.)

Journal Entries

After you find each journal entry, you'll need to decipher it. Each entry is a puzzle with an answer that's a single word or a short phrase. (EYEPATCH or LONG JOHN SILVER might be answers to puzzles, but TODAY FOR BREAKFAST I ATE MY FIRST MATE AND HE WAS TASTY would not be.) Whenever you find a journal entry, Request a Call from the map webpage to inform Hunt HQ of your discovery. We'll put a copy of that entry on your team's website. Whenever you think that you have found the answer to a puzzle, Request a Call from the webpage of that puzzle. We'll tell you whether or not your answer is correct.


You will eventually use the eight answers to the journal entry puzzles, along with the map, to solve a Meta-puzzle. All that means is that you'll use those eight answers in some way to discover what to do to reach the final stage of the hunt. (Traditionally, many puzzle hunts end in a Runaround, a fast-paced, hectic search for the final goal-- in this case, John Harvard's treasure.) You might not need all of the answers to the journal entry puzzles to solve the Meta-puzzle, but the more puzzles you solve, the easier it will be.

If you're puzzled about the puzzles, here's our standard advice for solvers.

So raise the skull and crossbones,
ready the plank,
and start solving! Arrrr!

A Line Is...
Alan and Edward are Friends
Dividing the Spoils
Lost in Paraphrase
Mixed Messages
There and Back Again

Treasure Map (meta)