Get ready for Bloomberg’s Summer of Puzzles!

Starting this Friday, August 7th, we will be posting weekly puzzles each Friday at 12 PM EDT for the next 9 weeks. The puzzles will all be logic-based with no directions, and will take your creativity and ingenuity to solve. Check back each week for the next puzzle and get to know each of the engineers who created them!

If you miss a week, don’t worry! Puzzles from previous weeks will remain unlocked for you to solve at any time throughout the duration of the 9 weeks, until October 9th.

For the first three days that each puzzle is available, hints will be released every 12 hours. All released hints will remain available for the full 9 weeks.

Some important things to understand about how Summer of Puzzles works:

  • Solve the weekly puzzle to earn points and monitor the leaderboard to see if you are one of the top scorers!
  • Your place on the leaderboard will be determined by how quickly you solve each puzzle.
  • If you solve a puzzle after all hints have been released you can still earn the maximum number of points, but your ranking will be below those who completed the puzzle before you.
  • There is no penalty for submitting an incorrect answer and looking at hints does not affect your score.

Visit today to register to participate in Bloomberg’s Summer of Puzzles. Invite your friends to compete with you. And, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @TechAtBloomberg (we might just drop a teaser or two there) or to tag your posts on social media with #SummerOfPuzzles and/or #BloombergBpuzzled.

Our first place winner will receive a monitor, keyboard and mouse to help them kit out an optimal work from home setup! Second and third place winners will each receive noise-canceling headphones.

And if you’ve ever wondered why software engineers love puzzles so much, Puzzle Team Leader Chris Benedict, a software engineer on our Visualization team, shared some insight into why puzzles are fun and interesting:

“This is a direct parallel to what we do at Bloomberg! Software engineering is all about solving creative problems, using logic to create the software. Most of the time, these problems don’t come with directions; it might not even be obvious there is a problem at all. Part of our challenge is to first figure out that there is a problem. The only difference between software and puzzles is that one solution is expressed in code, while the other’s expressed in any number of ways. We’ve all chosen to be engineers because of our love for solving problems creatively through code; this is another outlet for us to do just that.”

Happy Puzzling!

Meet our puzzle creators!

Software Engineer Taigen O

Creator of Week 1 Puzzle: A Nutritious Meal

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
It’s been 10 years as of July!

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
I graduated Cornell with a Mathematics degree and an interest in computer science and finance. My interviewers sold me on working at Bloomberg and one of them even continues to be a mentor to me.

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
The number of communities you can be a part of. I enjoy volunteering with Bloomberg’s Corporate Philanthropy partners, making puzzles with the puzzle team, and rock climbing with colleagues.

How did you get involved with puzzles?
I have always enjoyed doing word puzzles and logic puzzles. After being introduced to our puzzle team and the MIT Mystery Hunt, I was hooked!

What is your favorite pantry snack?
Peanut M&Ms.

It was Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, which we no longer have 🙁

Software Engineer Carlos Guzman

Creator of Week 2 Puzzle: Student Exchange

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
I joined in February 2017, so 3.5 years.

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
Another puzzle creator, Daniel Padawer, was my mentor when I was in my first year at NYU. We ran the ACM club for students. He was (and still is) very interested in learning new things and quite a skilled engineer, so I looked up to him. He graduated that year and joined Bloomberg. Two years later, when I was graduating, I was deciding between continuing my research and applying for a Ph.D. program or joining the industry as a software engineer. Daniel referred me to Bloomberg and I enjoyed the interview process and the culture – people seemed very nice and friendly. Bloomberg felt more caring about people, so I took the offer.

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
At Bloomberg, you can make your own path and you will get support from your peers along the way. I started as a software engineer working on the MARS application team, while participating in NLP hackathons and other projects on the side that were interesting to me. One of those side projects was a machine learning (ML) platform, which gave rise to the team I now work on. We went from being a side project to creating a team from scratch. Through many ups and downs, my managers have supported my colleagues and me in creating an environment where we care more about how people are than how much they produce.

You can also work on leadership skills, technical skills, research skills and even play around with puzzles and other interests! We have a variety of communities for different tastes, and, so far, everyone in them has been nice, welcoming and understanding of each other. On top of that, we have volunteering events where you get to meet new people outside of the work environment, while giving back to society, so it’s a win-win for everyone!

How did you get involved with puzzles?
Dan was involved in the puzzle community at Bloomberg before I joined. They were running a puzzle hunt around the time I was in training. Since we both enjoyed diving into math and thinking problems in college, he invited me to some of the testing sessions. After testing some of the puzzles, I discovered there was an art to puzzles and became interested in building them too. Too easy and there’s no challenge; too hard and it’s frustrating. Making puzzles fun, while also getting puzzlers to reason to solve them, is a wonderful thing to do. Our puzzle team has now created and organized multiple hunts and participated in even more!

What is your favorite Bloomberg University (BU) course you have taken?
My favorite BU course is the NLP training taught by Amanda Stent. You learn a lot of the theory behind NLP in school, but get very little practice. This course taught the theory in reasonable depth, and we were able to experience the more practical side, led by a very experienced person in the field. She also shared multiple tools that we use in production at Bloomberg, all of which are incredibly useful in starting side projects that could become future products.

Software Engineer Will Moseson

Creator of Week 3 Puzzle: One Koi, Two Koi

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
6.5 years.

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
I majored in physics with a minor in computer science. In my final year of school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in computer science, so I started applying to software companies. I attended a networking event and had the chance to chat with some Bloomberg engineers. They described the company, the work, and the culture, which all sounded fantastic! It’s my first and only full time job and I’ve loved it so far!

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
The work we do and the people we do it with. All of the engineering teams at Bloomberg are creating important and impactful software. Teams get to choose the best tech stack for their product and are also involved with their product’s direction. As an added bonus, Bloomberg employees are also fun! Many people I have met at work have become close friends!

How did you get involved with puzzles?
I was helping with a hackathon at Cornell. Bloomberg brings games and puzzles to hackathons to give students a fun break from hacking. Intrigued by the puzzles I was passing out, I tried (unsuccessfully) to solve them. But, I was hooked and started helping out with testing and, eventually, writing puzzles.

What is your favorite part about our Bloomberg offices?
The open office layout makes it very easy to collaborate with others and to overhear interesting conversations. It also makes it a much more fun and interactive place to work.

Lesley Lai

Software Engineer Lesley Lai

Creator of Week 4 Puzzle: A Vibrant Collection

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
9 years. I joined Bloomberg in July 2011!

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
I applied to Bloomberg Engineering during my last year of undergrad. Some of my friends had worked/interned at Bloomberg before and they had a great experience, plus New York City is a very attractive location! I went through a series of interviews and got the offer.

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
Since this is my first real job as a full-time software engineer, I didn’t know what I should expect (other than it being a well-paying job in New York City). But the more I work here, the more I appreciate the open culture and ownership engineers have. I remember my first big project as the engineering project lead with just under a year of work experience. I felt very trusted with the responsibility I was given and I was empowered by the welcoming and open-minded discussions we had with other engineering teams, product owners, and end-users. I think Bloomberg provides a really good environment to encourage people to step up and create something great with the people around them.

How did you get involved with puzzles?
Our puzzle master, Chris Benedict, asked if I would be interested in creating some puzzles for a new intern puzzle challenge they were working on back in 2016 (Woah! It’s been five years! Time flies!). At that time, the only puzzles I knew about were crossword and Sudoku, and I had even fewer ideas about how to create one. But with the help of other puzzle creators, testers, and lots of late-night hours, I became more familiar with different types of ciphers and were more comfortable using them in my puzzles!

As we expanded the puzzle production team, I also got involved with the design team that is responsible for creating website art, posters/signage, and teasers for our puzzle hunts. I always enjoy working on art and design and this team opens a lot of opportunities for me to learn more graphic design skills and tools.

What do you like best about working on the Bloomberg Terminal?
The best part is the rewarding feeling that things I created are being used and benefiting many people out there! We are also able to receive feedback directly from our end users, which has allowed me to think about and better design from the user’s point of view, further improving the quality of our products.

Alban Lefebvre
Alastair Stanley

Software Engineers Alban Lefebvre & Alastair Stanley

Creators of Week 5 Puzzle: Robot Lab

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
Alban: 8 years. I have been working for Bloomberg since September 2012.

Alastair: I started at Bloomberg as part of a graduate training scheme in October 2017. I’ve been working with my current team for just over 2 years.

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
Alban: After three years in the Medical Imaging field, I wanted to return my focus on back-end software engineering, and Bloomberg is known to be a very good place to develop these skills, where one can have great impact.

Alastair: I came to Bloomberg straight out of university. My background was in mathematics, so I wasn’t sure if it was for me. However, the company’s campus recruitment events convinced me to apply.

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
Alban: I am excited to work at Bloomberg for many different reasons, but my top two reasons are that I am able to learn all the time and I am encouraged to spend time on extracurricular activities of my choosing, like volunteering, recruiting, and puzzles.

Alastair: There is always room at Bloomberg to field your own ideas and take some time to push your projects forward within the engineering community. Not only are there classes and talks available almost daily, but also we’re encouraged to present our own talks whenever we want to share something we’re excited about. It’s a great place to grow.

How did you get involved with puzzles?
Alban: I started getting interested in puzzles while participating in the MIT Mystery Hunt in 2015. Then, in 2016, for the first edition of our Summer Puzzle Hunt in NYC, I started by being a puzzle creator. In later years, I was lucky to take charge of a bigger part of the logistics and to help organize the next four years of the Summer Hunt in NYC. Now, from Lugano in Switzerland, I still help the NYC Puzzle Hunt as a puzzle creator and tester, and I also help the London Puzzle Hunt effort.

Alastair: I answered an open invitation to be a beta tester for one of Bloomberg’s recent puzzle competitions. I enjoyed it and immediately wanted to get more involved. One or two emails later and I was helping with the design for the global finals.

What is your favorite part about making puzzles for Bloomberg?
Alban: I love being on the Bloomberg puzzle team because I am able to work on one of my personal hobbies to help recruiting for Bloomberg. It’s an opportunity I’m very grateful to have.

Alastair: It’s satisfying when the code you write is appreciated and has a large impact on your audience. Building a puzzle, with every detail crafted specially to take someone on a journey, brings that to the next level. The best part is watching people solve it!

Chris Benedict

Software Engineer Chris Benedict

Creator of Week 6 Puzzle: Worm Search

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
7.5 years

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
I had been working for another company for a few years out of school when a friend from college convinced me to come and see the office. I was blown away from the first moment I stepped out onto the enormous 6th floor. One thing I took note of was the amount of collaboration going on: people at each other’s desks, diagramming things up on whiteboards, and talking about how to approach various projects. I’d been used to spending most of my day working by myself, so I was intrigued. After speaking to his co-workers to learn about projects they were working on and the technologies they had at Bloomberg, I thought it sounded super interesting, so I decided to apply. When we are in the office, I still work in the same row of desks as that college friend.

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
If you have a good idea, Bloomberg will let you foster it. Say your team could benefit from some technology or project that you know of. Great, just talk to your boss and try to incorporate it! One example of this is that my team runs hackathons, and I’ve had the chance afterward to build out some of the projects I’ve come up so they become fully-fledged features. Another example is the Puzzle Team. The fact that Bloomberg lets us make puzzles as a part of the work we do is very cool. When I originally suggested the idea, instead of being met with trepidation or push-back, they were like, “how many people, how much will it cost, and what do you need from us to make it happen? OK. Go make it happen!” Bloomberg actively recognizes and supports us in fostering our own ideas and initiatives, even when they may not be directly related to improving the Terminal.

How did you get involved with puzzles?
Since I was young, I was extremely interested in puzzles; my mom got me into them by giving me logic puzzles starting when I was four or five. I still have vivid memories of solving them, as well as making a ton of my own. Fast forward to a few years ago, when I had the idea of running a Puzzle event for our summer interns. I had participated in various other hunts, like the MIT Mystery Hunt, but wasn’t sure it would work in this context. In the summer of 2015, Bloomberg participated in Midnight Madness, a puzzle hunt for charity put on by Good Shepherd Services. We earned 2nd place, and I was excited to see that all my fellow engineers were as interested in puzzles as I was. So I decided to test this idea out. While I was attending a hackathon at Cornell, I created a few puzzles for our booth to see how the students would respond. They were a total hit and the students were enthralled by them. So, I wrote a lengthy email suggesting the idea to the head of intern events in HR, and she loved the idea. From there, I built the team and we created our first Intern Puzzle Challenge in the summer of 2016.

How do you stay healthy while working from home?
I used my wellness credits from Bloomberg to get the Insanity workout program, and I’ve done it every single day!

Dan Padawer

Software Engineer Dan Padawer

Creator of Week 7 Puzzle: News that Strikes a Chord

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
As of this month, 6 years.

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
One of my college roommates’ parents worked at Bloomberg and told me I should check it out. I liked what I saw, applied, and here I am.

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
In addition to getting to work on technology that’s used around the world, I get to work with a diverse set of people from backgrounds with diverse interests that I don’t know I ever would have gotten into otherwise.

How did you get involved with puzzles?
I’d heard about the Mystery Hunt a few times online, but never really knew how to get started with it. Then, at a weekly board game meetup, a colleague asked me if I’d heard about puzzles before, showed me a few, and I’ve been involved ever since.

Nico Aiello

Software Engineer Nico Aiello

Creator of Week 8 Puzzle: Alphabet Soup Kitchen

How long have you been at Bloomberg?
6 years.

How did you end up at Bloomberg?
I started in academia, completing a Ph.D. in number theory. I decided I wanted something different, so after trying an internship in software development, I started studying and applying to software jobs. I was fortunate enough to get an offer from Bloomberg and have been here ever since.

What makes Bloomberg an exciting place for engineers?
The people. I get to work with smart, driven coworkers who bring their entire self, including their experiences, viewpoints, and interests, to work with them every day.

How did you get involved with puzzles?
My very first puzzle hunt was at a summer math camp before my senior year of high school. As a math person, I was around puzzles quite a bit throughout college and grad school, and mostly maintained a passing interest. The popularity of Escape Rooms reignited my interest and I started to make escape-style hunts of my own. After creating a large puzzle hunt for my team at Bloomberg, I got invited to join our Puzzle Team.

What is your favorite Bloomberg Corporate Philanthropy event that you’ve participated in?
My colleague (and grad school friend) and I helped the Philanthropy team create the Bloomberg Startup Python Code Camp. The program is a weekly, semester-long course, normally held in the Bloomberg office in New York City, that aims to introduce Python to high school students who do not have access to computer science instruction at their schools. The class has been running for almost four years now and is always one of the highlights of my week.

Software Engineers Chris Benedict & Dan Padawer

Creators of Week 9 Meta Puzzle: Crack the Safe

Our first eight puzzles have dropped. At 12:oo PM EDT on Friday, October 2nd, our Meta Puzzle will open! If you got stuck on one or two of our previous puzzles, don’t worry – every puzzle is unlocked already and all their hints are available too! The answers to the earlier puzzles will feed directly into the Meta Puzzle.

Our Summer of Puzzles winner will be the first person to Crack the Safe!

Bloomberg’s Summer of Puzzles has ended; thank you to the more than 2,500 people who participated!

Congratulations to Daniel Sanky, a Master’s student at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences & recent Cornell University grad! As the first person to solve the meta puzzle, he won a monitor, keyboard and mouse to help kit out an optimal work from home setup.

We hope you enjoyed solving our puzzles this summer!