If you like puzzles and you've never tried (or heard of) puzzlehunts, you have been missing out. They are team-based puzzle-solving competitions, some of which take place in person, and others which are organized online. Notably, the MIT Mystery Hunt, one of the largest (and best) puzzlehunts in the world, takes place every January at MIT.

Puzzlehunts are not tremendously mathy, nor do they require you to know a lot of boring trivia. The hardest work in a given puzzle is often figuring out what to do. The puzzles don't come with instructions. Every puzzle requires you or your team to extract a well known word or phrase from whatever instructionless data you are given. 

It helps to see examples. Herehere, and here are the puzzles from three recent Australia-based online puzzlehunt events. You might find it useful to browse some of these puzzles and their solutions. The best way to learn, of course, is to solve a few puzzles yourself. A friend of mine makes puzzles that tend to be more approachable for the uninitiated. Here are two:

These are by no means simple. But it should be at least somewhat clear what you are supposed to do. If you solve those and want more of a challenge, here are a few more:

Double Play

Happy hunting!