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Alphanumeric Caches

#1 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:45 AM

Hello,
After looking at some of the other Alphanumeric Challenge caches that had been placed I tweeked it and placed one out in my area (Hershey, PA). The only difference with my version is I do not allow cache finds from before the active date of the cache (10/18/09), so that means any finds that a cacher gets after 10/18/09 will count towards the challenge. I did this to make a challenge for both new and seasoned cachers.

I'm creating this forum thread for cachers to discuss both mine and the other versions of the Alphanumeric Challenge. I know sometimes a certain letter or a certain number may be hard to find. Well you can ask for help here.

A little background into myself. I have Asthma and alot of joint issues with both my knees and shoulders so alot of long distance hike caches are not always my thing. I love solving puzzles and working on challenges. I challenge myself both mentally and physically everyday. Along with this I have 2 wonderful daughters who go with me on my geocaching adventures. One of my daughters sufferes from Asperger's Syndrome and I have found that geocaching helps focus some of her energy and having puzzles keeps her challenged also.

Now before you go off on a rant about why not allow previous finds from those who may have thousands of finds. I just want to say again, I wanted a challenge that is level and fair for both new and old cachers alike. I myself am working on my own cache even though I will not get a smiley out of it. In my eyes, it's still a challenge.

Thank you and enjoy this thread. :D

Odie (Jason)

This post has been edited by Odie442: 20 October 2009 - 10:13 AM


#2 User is offline   Cache O'Plenty 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:52 AM

I see no reason why you can't require a "start date". Makes it a level playing field for everyone.

Oh, and, in this case, I wouldn't begrudge you for logging your own successful completion (as long as none of the qualifying caches were placed by you!).

#3 User is offline   larryc43230 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 08:56 AM

I just finished the Alphabet Soup Ohio challenge, and had a lot of fun doing it.

One of the rules laid out for that challenge is, "4. No finds before the published date of this cache (08/08/08) will count." In reading the log entries for that challenge, I didn't read any complaints about the rule (or any of the other rules, for that matter).

I'm sure the cachers in your area will also appreciate your efforts in putting this together.

--Larry

#4 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:09 AM

I was told I am required to change the rule to allow all previous finds for the challenge. I do not think it's fair for the newer cacher, but I was raised to follow the rules by my father and follow the rules I will. Since I was asked by our volunteer reviewer to change it I will. I also made an optional rule for those who wanted to complete the challenge as originally planned.

Odie

#5 User is offline   knowschad 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:14 AM

I've heard of challenge caches that instead did not allow any caches created after the date that the challenge was created. This was done to prevent people from putting out new caches simply for the purpose of solving the challenge. That makes a lot more sense to me.

#6 User is offline   ArcherDragoon 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 09:36 AM

View PostOdie442, on Oct 20 2009, 12:09 PM, said:

I was told I am required to change the rule to allow all previous finds for the challenge. I do not think it's fair for the newer cacher, but I was raised to follow the rules by my father and follow the rules I will. Since I was asked by our volunteer reviewer to change it I will. I also made an optional rule for those who wanted to complete the challenge as originally planned.

Odie

Sounds like the Additional Logging Requirement Guideline being applied...you could appeal to Groundspeak about that if you wanted...I would...but that is just me...

#7 User is offline   Skippermark 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 10:06 AM

View PostOdie442, on Oct 20 2009, 12:45 PM, said:

The only difference with my version is I do not allow cache finds from before the active date of the cache (10/18/08), so that means any finds that a cacher gets after 10/18/09 will count towards the challenge. I did this to make a challenge for both new and seasoned cachers.

You said 10/18/08 and 10/18/09, which I'm guessing is a typo and you meant 10/18/09, so I'll use that date for my reply.

I've seen caches with restrictions like this, and personally I don't like them. You say it will make a challenge for both new and seasoned cachers as well as being level and fair for everyone, but that's not true.

You are actually doing the opposite of what you set out to do. By adding the date restriction, you're being unfair to those with a lot of finds and are penalizing them because they will have far fewer caches available from which to draw from and use for the challenge.

Those who are new and haven't found that many will have a much easier time meeting the challenge because they will have almost all the caches in the area at their disposal and available to use.

View PostOdie442, on Oct 20 2009, 01:09 PM, said:

I was told I am required to change the rule to allow all previous finds for the challenge. I do not think it's fair for the newer cacher

Why is this not fair to a newer cacher? If anything, it's more fair. The older cachers may have found the cache already, now the newer cacher gets to find it too. Why do you want to penalize those who have found a cache in the past?

#8 User is offline   sbell111 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:04 AM

I agree with Skippermark. All this requirement does is make it onerous for someone who has diligently kept the local area 'clean'.

#9 User is offline   larryc43230 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:40 AM

View Postsbell111, on Oct 20 2009, 03:04 PM, said:

All this requirement does is make it onerous for someone who has diligently kept the local area 'clean'.

:) I wasn't aware this was supposed to be something I should aspire to. If by "keeping the local area clean" you mean finding every cache in my geographical area, I'd better get cracking, I've been way too busy traveling and finding caches in other areas. And I suppose I've compounded my negligence by putting lots of local caches on my Ignore List. Or does that count as keeping my area clean?

This just struck me as an odd concept.

--Larry

Edited to add: At one point about a year ago, I had found all but about 100 of the active caches within 50 miles of my home location, not counting a small number I had placed on an Ignore List (I don't have a boat, so any caches requiring one are beyond my reach; one example of how a cache can wind up on my Ignore List). Over the past year or so, caching activity has exploded in this area. The pocket query that once gave me fewer than 100 caches now maxes out at the 500 limit. I've had to use the split-the-list-by-date method to grab all the caches within 50 miles. This in spite of my staying just about as active as I had been. I would find it impossible to "keep the local area clean" even if I wanted to. I had no trouble at all complying with the rule in the Alphabet Soup Ohio challenge relating to the date the cache was hidden.

This post has been edited by larryc43230: 20 October 2009 - 12:04 PM


#10 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

Quote


Sounds like the Additional Logging Requirement Guideline being applied...you could appeal to Groundspeak about that if you wanted...I would...but that is just me...


It's not a ALR since it is a Challenge cache not a Puzzle / Mystery cache. I don't want to involve Jeremy in this, he has too much on his plate making new buisness cards. :) Just kidding Jeremy.

Quote


I've heard of challenge caches that instead did not allow any caches created after the date that the challenge was created. This was done to prevent people from putting out new caches simply for the purpose of solving the challenge. That makes a lot more sense to me.


That's all fine and dandy, but you can put out all the caches you want for this one. They still go under your profile name and it's the first letter in the cacher name is what your trying to get.

I myself am still waiting for a Challenge type cache to go along with the other types (Traditionals, Multi's, etc., etc.) for those that like to have a challenge. You have the Challenge of the Century cahces where you need to have 100 finds of a certain type of container (Micro, Small, etc etc). But that's just my take on it.

#11 User is offline   fegan 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 03:34 PM

View PostOdie442, on Oct 20 2009, 12:45 PM, said:

Now before you go off on a rant about why not allow previous finds from those who may have thousands of finds. I just want to say again, I wanted a challenge that is level and fair for both new and old cachers alike. I myself am working on my own cache even though I will not get a smiley out of it. In my eyes, it's still a challenge.

Sorry, I'm going to rant...

I was specifically told by a reviewer, before I published my A-Z and Busy Day Challenge caches to NOT put a date restriction on them.

If your cache were local for me and an A-Z County Challenge...I would have to skip it as I've found most of the caches in my county, so it would be ages before all the letters would be available to me again.

It's your cache...your reviewer approved it...good for you and all the newbie cachers in your area...but date restrictions are a pain for cachers who have a lot of finds.


...NEXT...

#12 User is offline   ratjam 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 05:23 PM

This cache is in my local area. I have 2500+ finds, and would need only a few finds to complete the requirements as they are currently defined. There are a number of local cachers who would have to find fewer than that to complete the requirements.

I think the original requirement that all caches must be found after the publication of this cache is fair. You might think newbies would have an advantage. I don't think so. They may be able to get to 90-95% complete more quickly than those with thousands of finds. BUT to get some of these caches would require long road trips. For example, the nearest cache with a CO beginning with a 9 may be 200 miles from here. There may be one closer, but I have not uncovered it yet. I would think the newbies would be less likely to make this trip in order to qualify for this cache than someone who has thousands of finds.

There are many other caches published that are not equally fair to everyone. Puzzle caches that are too hard for some to solve. Caches with physical requirements that not all can accomplish. Caches taht require boats (I don't have a boat). Caches that are not wheelchair accessibie. If all caches had to be equeally fair for all. Then all we would be doing is lifting light pole skirts and pulling MKH's off guardrails.

I personally hope to complete this cache some day. I will create my bookmark list, including both past and future finds. I will designate them as such. I will not seek this cache until my list includes only caches published after this publication date. That day may never come, but I hope it does.

Keeping your area "clean". It's not something to aspire to. It's not a requirement. It's not for everyone. It's just another form of personal challenge. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where caching is very popular. There are hundreds of caches in my area. I once had no new caches to find within 10 miles of my home. That lasted 1 day. I have not since been able to do it again. That's a good thing.

Time to get off my soapbox and start caching...

#13 User is offline   HouseOfDragons 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 12:41 AM

From that Ohio cache linked to, how is this not contravening the new ALR rule?

"While you can find the cache without further information or approval, should you choose to log it as found without completing the challenge correctly your log will be deleted and that fact stated as a note here. We want to preserve the honor of "finds" for those who earned it."

#14 User is offline   larryc43230 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 03:33 AM

View PostHouseOfDragons, on Oct 21 2009, 04:41 AM, said:

From that Ohio cache linked to, how is this not contravening the new ALR rule?

"While you can find the cache without further information or approval, should you choose to log it as found without completing the challenge correctly your log will be deleted and that fact stated as a note here. We want to preserve the honor of "finds" for those who earned it."

I'm sure someone with more specific knowledge will jump in here, but the recent ban on ALRs included an exemption for challenge caches. Here's the relevant section from the Guidelines for Hiding a Geocache:

Mystery or Puzzle Caches
....
Challenge caches incorporate special logging requirements and are listed as Mystery/Puzzle caches. Typically they require the seeker to have previously met a reasonable geocaching-related qualification (Waymarking and Wherigo qualify too, of course) such as first finding a cache in every county in your state. If you are thinking of creating such a cache, please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

--Larry

#15 User is offline   AZcachemeister 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 04:26 AM

If your cache were in my area, I would do just the same thing I did with the one that is.

I ignored it immediately.

Then I went about my caching business in a normal fashion.
Occasionally I would check on my progress, and when I had one cache to go to complete the challenge, I went and found one that 'fit', went and found the challenge cache, and put it all behind me.

#16 User is offline   HouseOfDragons 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:03 AM

View Postlarryc43230, on Oct 21 2009, 03:33 AM, said:

View PostHouseOfDragons, on Oct 21 2009, 04:41 AM, said:

From that Ohio cache linked to, how is this not contravening the new ALR rule?

"While you can find the cache without further information or approval, should you choose to log it as found without completing the challenge correctly your log will be deleted and that fact stated as a note here. We want to preserve the honor of "finds" for those who earned it."

I'm sure someone with more specific knowledge will jump in here, but the recent ban on ALRs included an exemption for challenge caches.

--Larry



Ahhh. Makes sense now. Thanks :)

#17 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:55 AM

View Postratjam, on Oct 20 2009, 05:23 PM, said:

This cache is in my local area.

I personally hope to complete this cache some day. I will create my bookmark list, including both past and future finds. I will designate them as such. I will not seek this cache until my list includes only caches published after this publication date. That day may never come, but I hope it does.



Ratjam.... you don't need caches that are posted after the 10/18/09 date, just ones you find after the 10/18/09 date... :)

Oh BTW.....

I changed the rule back to the original of "No previous finds", but I added an optional rule or "previous finds allowed". Only those who complete the Challenge with the no previous finds will be awarded prizes.

I also added a nice disclaimer saying "I'm not forcing anyone to do this cache, you do it at your own free will".

#18 User is offline   sbell111 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 06:51 AM

View Postlarryc43230, on Oct 21 2009, 06:33 AM, said:

View PostHouseOfDragons, on Oct 21 2009, 04:41 AM, said:

From that Ohio cache linked to, how is this not contravening the new ALR rule?

"While you can find the cache without further information or approval, should you choose to log it as found without completing the challenge correctly your log will be deleted and that fact stated as a note here. We want to preserve the honor of "finds" for those who earned it."

I'm sure someone with more specific knowledge will jump in here, but the recent ban on ALRs included an exemption for challenge caches. Here's the relevant section from the Guidelines for Hiding a Geocache:

Mystery or Puzzle Caches
....
Challenge caches incorporate special logging requirements and are listed as Mystery/Puzzle caches. Typically they require the seeker to have previously met a reasonable geocaching-related qualification (Waymarking and Wherigo qualify too, of course) such as first finding a cache in every county in your state. If you are thinking of creating such a cache, please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

--Larry
It is true that 'challenges' are an exception to the ALR guideline. However, that does not mean that challenge caches get a pass from this guideline. For instance, if I owned a A-Z challenge cache and required that each person took a pic at the final cache site holding a bunny with a pancake on his head, it would violate the ALR guidelines. The question is, does requiring people not to use old finds to complete a challenge create an ALR which violates the guidelines. From the responses to this thread, some reviewers believe that it does.

#19 User is offline   OReviewer 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:09 AM

View Postsbell111, on Oct 21 2009, 10:51 AM, said:

The question is, does requiring people not to use old finds to complete a challenge create an ALR which violates the guidelines. From the responses to this thread, some reviewers believe that it does.

For what it's worth, ALR never came into my mind when I asked him to change it. It is an interesting discussion but at the moment, not one I want to get into. What I sent him was essentially:

Quote

I don't know that you can do this challenge the way it is set up now (not allowing previous finds), I don't think a substantial number of geocachers can do it either. I'm not sure that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do it even with allowing past finds but I'm willing to give the cache the benefit of the doubt if you do so.

Which is a reference to this part of the challenge guideline:
please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

#20 User is offline   sbell111 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:23 AM

Works for me.

BTW, my 'some reviewers' comment goes back to those posters who have stated that their reviewer would not let them do this, not to your decision about this cache.

This post has been edited by sbell111: 21 October 2009 - 07:24 AM


#21 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 09:19 AM

Quote

Which is a reference to this part of the challenge guideline:
please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.


This is why I am working on the cache myself. Granted it may take me a while to do it with work, family and medical situations, but I'm working on in nonetheless. when I made up the example list I used caches that I had found for the examples. Of those the only letters I am missing mysefl are I, X, Y, and number 2 though 9. Granted most are still in this area that I have not found and I plan on using then when I work my way on the "no previous finds" list. then I can also mark it off the example list too. :laughing:

Odie

#22 User is offline   flask 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 09:37 AM

a word about your "level playing field". except for the rush to firstfind, more experienced cachers are put at a great disadvantage.

last year i did a challenge that did not permit me to use caches i had already found, which meant i had to drive long distances and make long hikes to get caches that would qualify while newer cachers in my area could finish up with roadside caches that were convenient.

that's not a terribly level playing field.

it would have been unfair for me to use the advantage of previous finds in order to declare myself instantly eligible for the final, but after a number of finds goes by, why should i not use caches i have found previously? after the challenge has aged a little it oughtn't matter when you found your qualifying caches. they're qualifying caches, and you found them.


and really, if you're going to bring in physical conditioning, before i became ill i used to be able to do physically demanding caches but now some of those caches are simply out of my reach during (what i hope is) my recovery.

i used to be able to do high terrain caches; now i can't. if i can't use caches i found when i was healthy, i'm probably not going to fill in those squares with fresh caches. i don't have much hope of finding new high terrain caches anymore.

but i did them once; they are on my resumé.

#23 User is offline   crawil 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 10:04 AM

An ABC Challenge cache (GC1HNXT) was placed near me on Sept. 6, 2009 with the stipulation that "All caches must be found in CALIFORNIA ON or AFTER 6 September 2009."

So far, 21 cachers have been able to complete the challenge, including 4 within a week. One of the cachers has 3,737 finds and another has 13,022. It can be done.

#24 User is offline   ArcherDragoon 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 10:07 AM

View PostOdie442, on Oct 20 2009, 06:20 PM, said:

Quote


Sounds like the Additional Logging Requirement Guideline being applied...you could appeal to Groundspeak about that if you wanted...I would...but that is just me...


It's not a ALR since it is a Challenge cache not a Puzzle / Mystery cache. I don't want to involve Jeremy in this, he has too much on his plate making new buisness cards. :laughing: Just kidding Jeremy.

Quote


I've heard of challenge caches that instead did not allow any caches created after the date that the challenge was created. This was done to prevent people from putting out new caches simply for the purpose of solving the challenge. That makes a lot more sense to me.


That's all fine and dandy, but you can put out all the caches you want for this one. They still go under your profile name and it's the first letter in the cacher name is what your trying to get.

I myself am still waiting for a Challenge type cache to go along with the other types (Traditionals, Multi's, etc., etc.) for those that like to have a challenge. You have the Challenge of the Century cahces where you need to have 100 finds of a certain type of container (Micro, Small, etc etc). But that's just my take on it.

I never said I thought it was an ALR...it just sounded like the request/requirment put forth by the reviewer was an application of the ALR change this past spring...

#25 User is offline   Skippermark 

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 10:22 AM

View Postcrawil, on Oct 21 2009, 02:04 PM, said:

An ABC Challenge cache (GC1HNXT) was placed near me on Sept. 6, 2009 with the stipulation that "All caches must be found in CALIFORNIA ON or AFTER 6 September 2009."

So far, 21 cachers have been able to complete the challenge, including 4 within a week. One of the cachers has 3,737 finds and another has 13,022. It can be done.

There is a MUCH higher cache density out your way than there is back here on the east coast, so I imagine there are a lot more caches available to be found.

There's an A-Z challenge cache here that wouldn't even get approved when it was first submitted because there weren't enough caches to even complete it. Once they were placed it was approved quickly, but there was no qualifying date of when you had to have found the caches. If there was a qualifying date, it would probably only be found by new people.

This post has been edited by Skippermark: 21 October 2009 - 10:24 AM


#26 User is offline   Harry Dolphin 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:26 AM

Okay. Gave it a look. I see no restrictions on where the cache is located. So, if I finish the challenge with caches in New Jersey and New York, I can head over to Hershey, annd claim a find?
As to the 'level playing field', I would have to work harder to find qualifying caches, since I've found many of the local caches. But the only ones that would really be difficult for me are 'x' and 'Q'. I sorted my GPX files by cache owner. The one 'x' owner hid some caches a few years back, and moved back to Arizona. And I'm not really planning on crawling through the storm sewer to find one of the ones I have not yet found. 'Q' is a fair distance off. There are no '0's or '9's in my files. Oh, well. Might have to go far afield for those. But that is in the nature of the game, I guess. Only two '6's. One doesn't look as though it were ever really hidden. (Not sure how it got listed.) The other is in PA!

#27 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 05:22 AM

View PostHarry Dolphin, on Oct 23 2009, 04:26 AM, said:

Okay. Gave it a look. I see no restrictions on where the cache is located. So, if I finish the challenge with caches in New Jersey and New York, I can head over to Hershey, annd claim a find?

Yes... if you finish the challenge and come to Hershey your more than welcome to make the find. Maybe even make a find or 2 along the way here also. :o

#28 User is offline   Cache O'Plenty 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:54 AM

So, if I understand the criteria right, this is based on the "cacher's name" that hid the qualifying cache. So, is it based on the actual name of the cacher or the name he entered on the cache page (it can be different!).

FYI - I'm only missing a "9" in my list of caches to be found within 30 miles.

This post has been edited by Cache O'Plenty: 23 October 2009 - 08:57 AM


#29 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:31 PM

View PostCache O'Plenty, on Oct 23 2009, 08:54 AM, said:

So, if I understand the criteria right, this is based on the "cacher's name" that hid the qualifying cache. So, is it based on the actual name of the cacher or the name he entered on the cache page (it can be different!).


It is based on the cachers profile name that hid the cache. Say for example I have a cache (GC1YFYV) and have it as hidden by "Laura the caching kid" (my daughter) because she picked out the container and the spot, but if you click on the profile name it will take you to my profile (Odie442) so in fact the cache would count as the letter "O".

#30 User is offline   Team Taran 

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:45 PM

I don't see how you can say that people can't fill in the blanks on this challenge. It's easy enough to create an account on geocaching.com. To hide a cache using that account is easy also. Just read and follow the guidelines or ask a friend to create an account for the 9 fingered marauder and hide a cache. You find it and you've filled your gap and finished the challenge.

#31 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 04:32 PM

Quote

I don't see how you can say that people can't fill in the blanks on this challenge. It's easy enough to create an account on geocaching.com. To hide a cache using that account is easy also. Just read and follow the guidelines or ask a friend to create an account for the 9 fingered marauder and hide a cache. You find it and you've filled your gap and finished the challenge.



That is whats called a sock puppet account. That is why I put that all cacher profiles needed to be created before this cache went active.

#32 User is offline   8Nuts MotherGoose 

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 07:48 PM

Since I love doing Challenges, I've enjoyed reading all the posts on this topic.
Here's what happened in Iowa:
Iowa recently published a Find-a-Cache-in-each-County Challenge. Restriction was No finds prior to publication date to “even the playing field”. Then the main objection became, “But I’ve already found all three caches in each of three counties. How do I finish the Challenge.” COs response, “The solution is to get someone to place new caches in those counties.”

Unexpected solution that really occurred – A new “County Challenge” was published in another part of the state without the date restriction.
A few weeks later, the first “County Challenge” was archived.

Illinois' "Challenging Challenge Challenge" Owner states on the Cache Page, "If you don't like my rules, create your own Challenge."

This post has been edited by 8Nuts MotherGoose: 24 October 2009 - 07:55 PM


#33 User is offline   Harry Dolphin 

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 04:33 PM

View Post8Nuts MotherGoose, on Oct 24 2009, 07:48 PM, said:

Since I love doing Challenges, I've enjoyed reading all the posts on this topic.
Here's what happened in Iowa:
Iowa recently published a Find-a-Cache-in-each-County Challenge. Restriction was No finds prior to publication date to “even the playing field”. Then the main objection became, “But I’ve already found all three caches in each of three counties. How do I finish the Challenge.” COs response, “The solution is to get someone to place new caches in those counties.”


We were offered the alternative: Since we had found or hidden all the caches in a county, we were permitted to log caches in a nearby county.

#34 User is offline   Odie442 

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 07:26 PM

As of me typing this the cache has now been found by 2 individual cachers who have been able to complete the cache using the "Original rule" of No Previous Finds". I give out many congratulations to them for completing this cache for I know how demanding it is to complete. I myself am still working on it too (as the CO) but being personal items have hit into my caching I'm not in a rush to complete it, but I will eventually finish it (unless something finishes me first B) )

Have fun and everyone have a good holiday season now we are past Halloween.

Odie

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