TimeHunt Bugs

This page lists suspected and confirmed bugs in the TimeHunt, as well as some past bugs which have been fixed, and other things that have changed since the game started. It attempts to do so without revealing any spoilers, although there are other pages around which give spoilers about the game. Still, it has to reference some puzzles which are not available to beginning players, so for such players there will be mild spoilers about what is to come.

Current Bugs

These bugs and suspected bugs still exist as of the last update to this page.

Technical Problems

There are a number of software problems that can plague TimeHunt players.

The biggest is that the communication between Flash and/or Shockwave components does not work completely correctly for Linux users and most Mac users. This results in games that load with pieces missing or non-functional (usually save/load buttons or the navigational buttons which link to the planet map, time machine, and captain's log), and games that fail to operate properly when they have to communicate back to the server. This occasionally affects various Windows platforms as well, and I don't think there is any OS version that has been totally unaffected. I found that thgis worked a lot better on Linux after I upgraded to Flash 6 shortly after it became available for Linux.

Some people have trouble with the sound on the Shockwave games which have sound - specifically the musical flowers and the black-screen audio puzzle on Neptune. The advice for dealing with this is to update to the latest sound driver, then completely uninstall and reinstall Shockwave. This worked for me on one computer and not on another, so YMMV.

Some Windows 2000 and XP systems have trouble with the Schrödinger's Rabbit puzzle; it will complain about a script error right from the start and you won't be able to play the game. Upgrading the the latest service packs may or may not cure the problem.

Other technical advice can be found on the Technical Advice page linked from the Order/Law page from the swirly thing on the home page.

Site Not Available

Occasionally the machine that runs www.timehunt.com is down. This page is merely a frame that loads http://linux.timehunt.com and you can sometimes use that URL to play when the other machine is down.

Session Timeouts

Sometimes your session times out and you have to log in again to open a puzzle or confirm an answer. Sometimes this happens after an appropriately long idle time and it is OK. But other times it seems to happen randomly and often; I have had it happen that I log in, click the airlock, and immediately have to log in again. Also, you sometimes get into a state where your correct password is not accepted; in some variants of this, your password appears in the plain (instead of ****) when you type it. The only workaround for this is to log back in again from the home page. Since a couple days after the official launch, the recurrence of these problems has been less, but they still occur.

Rhythm Skeletons

If you divide some intervals (including the 6th) into 3rds, and then divide the first two thirds in half, one of the boxes representing one of the sub-intervals will vanish. You can work through this by either filling the box with the necessary beat before it goes away, or dividing in half first and then into thirds.

Sun-level Musical Flowers

The save and load buttons are labeled in Greek (symbol font).

Mars Chemistry Lab

There are a couple bugs here.

Mars Poem

One of the lines contains the word "nowhere" - this should actually be "no where" (two words).

Jupiter Magic Square

There are two ways to complete the magic square, but only one leads to the solution.

Jupiter Machine Conversation

There are two alternate solutions to one part of this puzzle that don't seem to be ruled out by any reason except that they don't work as passwords.

Through the Looping Class

There is at least one extra answer in this puzzle (hidden in the same manner as the valid answers) which is not accepted as a password. This is a confirmed bug; Danny hid more answers in the puzzle than he ended up needing and forgot to remove the unused ones.

Diploma of ___ Chemistry

On two of the chemistry diploma puzzles, there is a hint to enter your answer in the form '6.4 E7'. The hint should read '6.4E7' - you must enter it without a space for it to be accepted. Also, for some reason after you have submitted a wrong answer, you have to click Submit twice after each subsequent answer to get a response.


The answer to this puzzle gives a message similar to the one for approaching a satellite, but no satellite name is shown. Then a black screen appears which fails to load a Flash movie. This is a confirmed bug; it is supposed to unlock a time machine feature.

Iapetus, Titania, Oberon

These texts contain various typos. Chapter 5 and chapter 6 both begin with an extra C at the start of the word CHAPTER. Also, Chapter 5 has duplicate associations of some of the letters. Chapter 4 swaps two of the usual directional associations; not sure if this is a bug or intentional. In Chapter 4, verse III, one occurrence of the word extremities is misspelled.

Earth Attendant Message

Vacuum is misspelled.

Uranus Origami

The second picture that some people are getting from a certain folding method is a bug. Only the picture that is easier to get is intended.


If you type a % in chat, it and the following character are deleted from the displayed text; if you put it at the end of the line, your chat ends up on the same line as the previous line of chat. Another character clears the chat screen.

Captain's Log

The icon in the Time Machine is typoed Capitain's Log. If you type a \ in a captain's log entry, it is deleted when saved. If you try to edit a captain's log entry containing a " then the entry is truncated at the ".

Fixed Bugs

These bugs are no longer present, but may have hindered you in the past. Go back and try it again!

Venus Gateway

During the beta, the gateway was looking for the wrong answer, and the time machine was looking for the right answer but needed a decimal point which was not allowed in the code entry field in early versions. The time machine was fixed late in the beta period, and the gateway puzzle was fixed upon launch.

Diploma of Atomic Chemistry

During the beta, the correct answer for this puzzle was not accepted. (See also the current bug regarding the chemistry puzzles).


The answer to this puzzle gave a spurious Solution path: incorrect message until October 18th.

Katya Story

During the beta, the answer for this puzzle was not accepted until after the puzzle was removed from the surface of Jupiter. For a while after that, the password gave the Katya puzzle itself. This was fixed at launch.

Our Cosmic Habitat Essay

During the beta, the correct answer to this puzzle gave a series of Login OK messages instead of the response it was supposed to give (which is still rather unusual, compared to other answers, but the current behavior is correct).

Uranus Cross-Stitch

During the beta, after you filled in the fourth cross-stitch message, you got a script error and the game stopped. This was confirmed to be because a puzzle was removed. Since the launch, this has been working.

Puzzles Not Loading

Two of the puzzles on Neptune and the Our Cosmic Habitat essay on Uranus did not load at times during the beta. All have been fixed since the launch.

Domino Game

During the beta, this game was giving out the wrong clues. This was fixed for the launch. Just after the launch, level 8 of the Domino game was broken. When you started the dominoes falling, the first segment fell towards the bunny and thus towards the edge of the board, making it impossible to complete. This was fixed within a couple days. There is another minor display bug remaining, but it is too spoily to post here.

Pluto Gateway

Several typos in the text in the beta (which were not a puzzle) were fixed for the official launch.

Angels and Devils

At the very beginning of the beta, this game gave the wrong answers, due to an early test version of the game being installed instead of the real one. Throughout the beta, the game got hung up and started repeating itself near the end of the third message. This has been fixed.


The clues you get from the Atlas game originally conflicted with clues from other games. This was a bug and was fixed.


The clues you get from this game originally depended on your solution path, but they were not supposed to and were fixed.

Fool's Paradise

For several months starting at the launch, the drop-caps at the start of each section of the book were showing up in a Dingbats-like font instead of the fancy script they were in before. Fixed.


Originally, when you solved this puzzle, it connected and then said "entry incorrect". This was a bug. Now there is a checker button, and when you have the entry correct the grid spins.


These features have changed at some point since the public beta of the game began.


At the official launch, a new system was put in place which required players to complete all the correct tasks on their way to getting a password rather than simply entering the password. They probably were not tracking some of these correctly during the beta. As a result of this, they completely reset their solution database, so everybody had to do all tasks all over again. There have also been two minor resets, one a couple hours after the launch and one on October 18th, which caused players to lose saved data for some games - Earth gateway, crossword cubes, and Mars chemistry lab cog locations, to name a few.


There were some minor changes on the contributors page between beta and release - Fred Abraham was removed (I guess writing an article doesn't count as contributing?) and a few other names were moved around. I think the biographies also became more extensive. Credits were also added to a few puzzles, and all the visible puzzle credits throughout the game were made into links that pop up the contributors page in a new window.

Added Features

At the official launch, the new system which required players to complete all tasks before a password would be accepted was put into place. Also, the User's Guide and Captain's Log were added.

Earth: Africa

The snowflakes shown for the pentomino puzzle changed at some point before I or most other people found the pentomino puzzle. On July 23 and again on July 25, the dot patterns changed so that it actually (sort of) makes the intended result.

Mars Chemistry Lab

The machine in the fourth room changed subtly; its top measurement changed from 10 to "above 10" (the column fills to the top).

Spurious 'Time Machine Function Unlocked' Passwords

Several passwords used for testing purposes gave the message Time machine function unlocked. See User's Guide during the beta. Of course, there was no User's Guide then, and the one I found (an answer to one of the chemistry puzzles) did not have any noticeable effect except to make some of the blue lights on the Time Machine console light up occasionally when they were testing various things. These were disabled for the official launch.

Katya Story

During the early part of the beta, this puzzle appeared on the surface of Jupiter. Later it was removed, and it showed up in the release as a satellite.

Coded Messages Changed

Three coded messages - Mercury meta puzzle and two satellites with ciphertext divided into 5-character blocks - changed between the beta and the launch.

Energy/Direction Page Changed

This page linked from the login page, which shows a status report of the game, changed on August 12. The perhaps misleading count of unseen pages was replaced with a count of planets solved, and also now the name of one leading player is listed.

Chat Graphics

The letters SMP appeared in the right ear of the chat window on August 12. They don't seem to have any effect.