The BeaCon Guide to Boston

Mobile Con Site
including: Schedule, Meal Times, and The BeaCon Guide to Boston

How to Register for Con

Official Program & Schedule

Flat Competition

Unofficial Program

Attendance Notes

Con Puzzles

Con Photos

2023 Motréal
2022 Contry
2021 WashingCon
2020 Contario
2019 RockOn!
2018 Milwaukee
2017 BeaCon
2016 SiLiCon
2015 Recouvery
2014 MaineCon
2013 ConTex
2012 Orecon
2011 Convidence
2010 ConPac

Older Convention Puzzles

Archive of older cons
Con Information

Unofficial and After-Hours Games and Activities

You must be signed in to add your activities to this list.


T McAy Introduction to the Unofficial Program
I am organizing an hour-long introduction to the unofficial program, as I did at SiLiCon. The session will be held in the main meeting space immediately following the Thursday evening official program and will feature some games popularly played in the after hours. I’d like suggestions for games to present and some volunteers to present the games . Please contact me (tmcay @ puzzlers).
T McAy Unofficial and After-Hours Game Presenters -- PLEASE READ
I created a printed guide of non-official games and activities at SiLiCon and plan on doing the same for BeaCon. The guide will be distributed in the hospitality suite and on the tables of the main meeting space before the Thursday night official program. If you are posting an activity in this page and have concerns about its reproduction in a printed guide please contact me at tmcay @ puzzlers. Also, if you are planning an activity that requires special resources, such as a large portion of the main meeting space, remember to contact B-Side and Hathor in advance to make sure that the facilities are available.

Original Games - Jeopardy!

Allegra, Gloriosa
Will attend as many puzzles as possible. Our love is cryptically. We still have a hard time with flats.
Capital R, G2znii Mystery Jeopardy!
A Jeopardy! with some local flavor.
Noam Non-Mystery Jeopardy!
Saxifrage, Cazique The Return of Last-Minute Jeopardy!
Once again, we're writing a themed Jeopardy! barely in time for Con.

Original Games - Trivia/Quiz

Zair Game Showdown
It's a game show mashup as two teams of 3 compete in a variety of popular game show formats for big points and the right to attempt that format's bonus round.
Tortoise, Songlian It Takes Two
It takes two to fill Maso's shoes, and it takes two to participate in this collaborative trivia game. Knowing the answer is only half the battle; the other half is getting your partner to fill in the rest of the answer. Three to five pairs can play at once. If last year is any indication, the game will run around 75 minutes.
Tortoise, Dromeda (not in NPL) Only Connect
Based on the British quiz show of the same name, Only Connect challenges teams to use lateral thinking to find the connections between apparently random clues. We'll have three full games available, playable by two or three teams of three.
Dart Only Connect
My take on the British game show, with three games: one vanilla, one pop culture, and one based around puzzles that frankly has gone a little off the rails towards the end. Don't worry. You'll be fine. Two or three teams of approximately three people.
Trivia/Wordplay for teams of three.

Original Games - Other

Kryptogram A Step in the Right Direction
Another giant Post-It note game with a one-word answer.
Bluff Double Elimination
Teams vie to be the first to identify an 8 letter word, as letters get added to the skeleton.
Spiel, Elle Mirror Charades
There are two charaders for each answer, but only one of them knows the answer. That person can’t be seen by the guessers, so she must rely on the other charader to mirror her movements to the guessers. This event was part of a team-building puzzle hunt I ran for my colleagues at work. I'll bring the materials (an envelope of clues) to con so others can play.
Lambda Punana Split
Sixteen large cards covered with pictures and letters: what could it all mean? Best enjoyed with 4-5 players, I will run this on demand every evening and perhaps on Friday morning / early afternoon.
Spiel, Elle Team Codenames
In this cooperative variant of Codenames, your team divides into two halves. Each half comes up with a clue for the other team to use in a mini-game of Codenames, then they exchange clues and try to solve what they’ve received. This event was part of a team-building puzzle hunt I ran for my colleagues at work. If you want to play, let me know and I'll give you the materials you need.
WXYZ, Kryptogram Think Inside the Box.
An experiment in collaboration and communication. Two lock boxes. Two groups. Two sets of walkie-talkies. You will need to crack the puzzle from different parts of the hotel. Be thoughtful as part of your work might be with the other part of the team. 30 mins

Mini Extravaganzae

Kryptogram An Exquisite Inheritance
Last year's Exquisite Fruit questions wound into a mini-ganza. I want to run this around 10pm on Wednesday. I'm thinking it will take about 1/2 hour in teams of 2-4. I will run it again after hours later in the weekend if I get the chance.
Trazom, Rubrick Chessboxing
A bundle of puzzle fun from the most recent Berkeley Equinox Party.
Slik, WXYZ Gen Con Puzzle Hunt XVI Playtest
The tradition continues! And by that we mean that we traditionally bring a raft of untested puzzles that will be used as the puzzle hunt for the slightly larger Gen Con convention in August. This will take place THURSDAY EVENING after the con program finishes. Please help us look smart!
Tortoise The Hipster's Guide to Boston Squares
Six puzzles plus a meta, each inspired by one of the squares in the Boston area.
Tortoise What's That Spell (first round)
Folks who haven't already signed up to receive my extravaganza What's That Spell can get a taste of the puzzles. I'll be bringing the 5 puzzles that lead up to the first metapuzzle, and an illustration of the artifacts that are used to solve that meta. If there is sufficient interest, I can oversee a group solve FRIDAY NIGHT after the con program finishes.

Escape Rooms

Iammars, Apocope Activate the Emergency BeaCon!
This is an escape room in a suitcase, but since it's designed for NPL members rather than the general public, it's a bit more puzzle hunt-y than a traditional escape room. Takes up to six people, and hopefully now shorter than the 1.5 hour playtest time. :p
Qoz Escape the Toolbox
Can you imagine being trapped in a toolbox, with no way to escape? Yeah, I know it's really small and you may not be able to fit a team of 2-4 people inside. And solving puzzles literally inside a toolbox wouldn't be fun, since you'll be there for 20-60 minutes! (Time depends on team size and skill.) But, if you are able to figure out how to unlock the toolbox, you can take all the puzzles out, solve them, and figure out how to unlock the locked box inside a locked box in order to claim your prize. Each of the puzzles is an original, unique, physical puzzle. Unlike real escape rooms, there is nobody watching through a hidden camera. But you'll manage. The toolbox will be wherever the paper puzzles are stacked so you can solve it whenever you want.

Walkaround Puzzles

Capital R, Ryma (non-NPL) A Lazy Somerville Puzzle Stroll
A 1-mile walkaround in the Porter Square/Davis Square area.
/dev/joe A Walk in the Park
A walkaround in the Boston Public Garden - with flats!
Legolass, Codiak, Jasters Make Way for Ducklings
Family-friendly puzzles, augmented reality and a walking tour based on Robert McCloskey's classic children's book. You'll need the ClueKeeper app on your phone in order to play. Open the app and use the Hunt Code: BEACON to download the free hunt.

Handouts - Pencil-and-Paper Puzzles

Tortoise A few puzzles
On postcards
Gabby Crushed Petals
(... and maybe some other puzzly thing on the other side of the page if I get inspired between now and departure.)
Qaqaq Odd One Out
An anagramming puzzle that I presented at a recent LA minicon.

Handouts - Cryptic Crosswords

Trazom, Hot Cryptics from The Nation
Also, two bound collections of 60 cryptics each, available for purchase!
Jangler One cryptic
Ucaoimhu One or more cryptics

Equipment & hardware

Tortoise Con announcements on Slack
Some of us will be trying to use the npl-chat Slack team to announce games and other relevant events during the convention. If you have a email alias, you can visit to create a Slack account, and then download a mobile app so you can use it at the convention. We recommend subscribing to the #congames, #conannounce, and #fieldtrips channels, and encourage game presenters to use the channel to announce when they will be running their games.
Noam Eggspert
Available when not in use.
Legolass, Jasters, Shaggy Free ClueKeeper app for Walkaround Hunts
ClueKeeper is offering free use of their app again this year for walkaround hunts! We are happy to help puzzle creators with technical advice, playtesting or whatever they might need to get their hunts into the ClueKeeper app (either entirely, or as a companion guess checker and hint system) before con begins. We can help remotely well in advance, and we'll also be at the hotel starting on Tuesday, 7/4. Please contact Linda @ for more info.
530nm330Hz Only Connect infrastructure
I have created a website for hosting "Only Connect" games so that players and spectators can use their own devices to follow along with the clues and timers, and most importantly to play the wall. If you are planning to bring an "Only Connect" game and want to upload your game to my server, please be in touch.


Hathor, Blanket Fireworks in the General Vicinity of the Charles!
July 4: Wanna see the fireworks without the hassle and crowds along the Esplanade. Blanket says he knows a great soooper seekrit place with a great view of the fireworks, but no view (and out of sound reach) of the Pops Orchestra. It's about a 25 minute walk from the hotel, and we'll have music via portable devices. But note, this will be AFTER the main concert. Meet in the lobby at 9 pm and we'll walk over. Out of towners: If you want the full experience, hanging out on the Charles with a view of the Pops is fantastic - but you'll want to get there early in the day to stake out a spot. Things get going around 8:30. More info at
Qoz, various Second Annual NPL Stair Climb
The Revere hotel is twice as tall as the Salt Lake City Marriott! Who's up for another stair climb? Like last year, it is not a race. Most climbers will walk, but you can run if you want. You can climb up to the 24th floor once (or even half a time) or climb as many times as you want in an hour. Climbing up is better exercise and easier on your knees than walking down, so the goal is to climb up and take the elevator down. More details, including exact date and time as we get closer to con...
Sue++, Sparrowhawk Third Annual NPL 5k -- Boston Edition
Please join us for the Third Annual NPL 5k run/walk. This year we're excited to be in Boston, possibly the most famous running city in the world! Our course is anticipated to be very near the finish line of the Boston Marathon (but not exactly in that location, unless you want the experience of dodging Boston drivers), and we hope the setting of the run will be particularly inspirational this year. More details will follow. The tentative date at this point is the morning of Friday July 7.