This puzzle took the form of a chatroom. As each player entered the room, they were randomly assigned to be one of three speakers, each with their own speaking logic. The room also contained the Town Mayor, a chatbot who periodically offered up trivia questions for the players to answer.
Any text entered by the players was be transformed according to the following logic (although in the actual Hunt, the players had to figure out the rules):
Speaker 1: All of their text is translated into French (via Google Translate)
Speaker 2: All of their text is converted, character by character, into a numeric index (a=1, b=2, c=3, etc), summed together and then used as an index into the Declaration of Independence. Multiple words can be generated via separate sentences.
Speaker 3: All of their text is reversed, word by word.
Only valid English words (filtered through the pyenchant dictionary) were accepted for transformation. As an additional twist for the players, speakers were not shown their own transformations. Once the team had successfully answered all trivia questions, the Town Mayor would give the team the final answer word.
While we can't offer the full experience, here's what the Town Mayor would have said during the puzzle:
Anyway, the first agenda item! Last Wednesday, Miss Elizabeth over at the Rusty Nail performed one of my favorite ditties, “If I Could Turn Back Time”. How would you describe exactly what it is that she did? [4 4]
Second item -- the schoolhouse is gettin’ a new shipment of books in. I think a bunch of ‘em is by that Russian fella -- Doc Tolstoy, I reckon? What was that famous one that he published in 1869 [3 3 5]?
Third item. Our sheep is gettin’ rustled and eaten by that big grey furry son-of-a-gun that lives up there by them hills. I got a right mind to go over there, fill him with some buckshot, and throw him into a pot and enjoy some of what? [4 4]
Fourth item -- Madame Zoosa, over in the fortune teller’s booth, says that she can see a future with movin’ pictures, where people will give awards for the best movin’ pictures around. She says in 1997, this one might get that award... [3 7 7]
Miss Jenkins over at the General Store got a shipment of ladies underthings last month, but they are not flying off the shelves the way she had hoped. She’s trying to clear inventory, so what would we call what she is running now? [4 4]
Sixth item. We got some rascals from the Cutler Gang messin’ up our dogs and cats, those no-good varmints. They done came into town and took a knife to poor Mr. Walter’s dog’s feet! And Miss Kent’s cat, too! What would y’all say that they do? [4 6 4]
On the grapevine, it looks like Old Tom and the widow Jensen are gettin’ mighty close. I wouldn’t say they’re a couple, but more like they like to hang out, and take advantage of each other’s company, if you get my meanin’. What would you call an arrangement like that? [7 4 8]
The scouts we sent out gone and done somethin’ stupid. They spilled a pot of coffee all over them constellation charts they’ve been usin’ to navigate. Now what does poor Lettie the Cartographer got to do? [6 4 4]
Over at the bank, they’ve been lookin’ to mint some new money. I can’t say I really agree with them -- they want to mint money that’s twenty-five to the dollar! You ever hear of somethin’ as crazy as all that? What would you even call those? [4 4 5]?