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Puzzle Freaks: Help me out

#1 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:08 AM

I placed my first puzzle. As it's my first, and I'm not great at solving them, I'm looking for feedback on the puzzle. What better place than here?

I had no idea how to rate the diff, so I started it at 3.5. Suggestions and critiques are more than welcomed!


Greg's Leg

This post has been edited by J The Goat: 19 October 2010 - 09:09 AM


#2 User is offline   Skippermark 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 09:22 AM

These types of puzzles are my worst types at solving. I can't get past the story and never see the clues.

I have solved a few that look similar, so when I see one like this, I try a few things, but the 3 I tried failed the checker. It's possibly the way it's written, and I'm not sure exactly what's what, but it's more likely me. :rolleyes:

I'll send you a message of what I think it is.

#3 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:16 AM

Back to ya via email.

#4 User is offline   mountainman38 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 10:28 AM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 10:08 AM, said:

I placed my first puzzle. As it's my first, and I'm not great at solving them, I'm looking for feedback on the puzzle. What better place than here?

I had no idea how to rate the diff, so I started it at 3.5. Suggestions and critiques are more than welcomed!


Greg's Leg

Looks like a good puzzle. I'm kind of slow at solving ones like this, so they tend to gather dust until some clue kicks it's way to the surface (eventually).

I haven't solved it, so I can't comment on the difficulty rating. I'll get back to you on that...

#5 User is offline   MisterEFQ 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:05 AM

I really have no clue where to start with puzzles like this. So over my head.

And I dont know who to ask for when I need help.

#6 User is offline   Clan Riffster 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:33 AM

Insufficient data for someone like myself, who is dumber than a bag of hammers.
Perhaps you would be willing to fill in the blanks?
Since Greg is a friend, is it safe to say the geocache factory is in California?
If so, it's likely that the stick stacker in question is made by Carbotech. They pretty much own the market there.
Was it a single or tandem stacker? Hydraulic or electric elevator? Auto paper feed? Foot pedal?
Help a brother out! :rolleyes:

#7 User is offline   Mental Ellert-ness 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:41 AM

View PostClan Riffster, on Oct 19 2010, 01:33 PM, said:

Insufficient data for someone like myself, who is dumber than a bag of hammers.
Perhaps you would be willing to fill in the blanks?
Since Greg is a friend, is it safe to say the geocache factory is in California?
If so, it's likely that the stick stacker in question is made by Carbotech. They pretty much own the market there.
Was it a single or tandem stacker? Hydraulic or electric elevator? Auto paper feed? Foot pedal?
Help a brother out! :rolleyes:

This is why I can't solve these puzzles. I never know the right questions to ask.

I never seem to get a response to "What are the real coordinates?"

#8 User is offline   I! 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 11:46 AM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 09:08 AM, said:

Suggestions and critiques are more than welcomed!

Ten minutes later and I can't see it. I'd stick this on the watchlist and wait for spoilers in the logs.

fwiw: there should be no apostrophe in "somehow found it's way" - unless that was a clue!

#9 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:00 PM

View PostClan Riffster, on Oct 19 2010, 12:33 PM, said:

Insufficient data for someone like myself, who is dumber than a bag of hammers.
Perhaps you would be willing to fill in the blanks?
Since Greg is a friend, is it safe to say the geocache factory is in California?
If so, it's likely that the stick stacker in question is made by Carbotech. They pretty much own the market there.
Was it a single or tandem stacker? Hydraulic or electric elevator? Auto paper feed? Foot pedal?
Help a brother out! :)


It's actually an older Nanotech model, they've recently been pushed out. Single stacker with tandem capabilitys. Magnetic elevator with a crank paper feeder. :huh:

Like I said before, I'm horrible at solving puzzles. I threw this one together on a bit of a whim. I'm hoping that you guys aren't looking and saying "this thing is horrible. bad puzzle." If'n that's what you're sayin, please let me know, I want this to be a fun puzzle for people to solve. Difficult is okay, crummy puzzle is not.

:rolleyes:

#10 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:02 PM

View PostI!, on Oct 19 2010, 12:46 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 09:08 AM, said:

Suggestions and critiques are more than welcomed!

Ten minutes later and I can't see it. I'd stick this on the watchlist and wait for spoilers in the logs.

fwiw: there should be no apostrophe in "somehow found it's way" - unless that was a clue!


Thanks for pointing out yet another typo. Fixed.

#11 User is offline   mountainman38 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:09 PM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 01:00 PM, said:

...Like I said before, I'm horrible at solving puzzles. I threw this one together on a bit of a whim. I'm hoping that you guys aren't looking and saying "this thing is horrible. bad puzzle." If'n that's what you're sayin, please let me know, I want this to be a fun puzzle for people to solve. Difficult is okay, crummy puzzle is not.

:rolleyes:

J,

I think it's a little early to say if this is a horrible puzzle. It's not an easy one for me to solve, but that certainly doesn't make it bad. 3.5 stars for difficulty means it's going to be rather difficult to solve, so I think you're fine with this one (from my puzzle caching experience, anyway).

This all assumes that there ARE coordinates in there somewhere, and you're not just punking the whole geocaching community! :)

I really couldn't help myself. Seriously.

This post has been edited by mountainman38: 19 October 2010 - 12:09 PM


#12 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:16 PM

View Postmountainman38, on Oct 19 2010, 01:09 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 01:00 PM, said:

...Like I said before, I'm horrible at solving puzzles. I threw this one together on a bit of a whim. I'm hoping that you guys aren't looking and saying "this thing is horrible. bad puzzle." If'n that's what you're sayin, please let me know, I want this to be a fun puzzle for people to solve. Difficult is okay, crummy puzzle is not.

:rolleyes:

J,

I think it's a little early to say if this is a horrible puzzle. It's not an easy one for me to solve, but that certainly doesn't make it bad. 3.5 stars for difficulty means it's going to be rather difficult to solve, so I think you're fine with this one (from my puzzle caching experience, anyway).

This all assumes that there ARE coordinates in there somewhere, and you're not just punking the whole geocaching community! :huh:

I really couldn't help myself. Seriously.


Well, when I see a NA log from a sock in WA, I'll know who it's coming from :)

#13 User is offline   I! 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:18 PM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 12:00 PM, said:

Difficult is okay, crummy puzzle is not.

OK, I'll say it. To my taste, this isn't a good puzzle. I look at it and don't see any hint of a way in. I want a puzzle that gives me something to get started on; one where I can feel I'm gradually making progress (like solving a crossword ... or tackling a multicache) rather than waiting for one big flash of inspiration.

#14 User is offline   The Blorenges 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:29 PM

I really like this sort of puzzle cache.

That doesn't mean I know how to solve it (I don't).

It's just that I like a neat, elegant puzzle page. No fuss. No bother. No diagrams, no grids, no photos with cunning concealed co-ords that non-techy me doesn't have a hope of finding.

No lines and lines and lines and lines of numbers and letters which are encoded in some way that only the extremely dedicated cryptologist or a former employee of Bletchley Park would be able to solve.

Just a nice little story, written in good English... which has hidden co-ords somewhere.

Simples!

(Or not, in this case? :rolleyes: )


MrsB

#15 User is offline   mountainman38 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:33 PM

View PostI!, on Oct 19 2010, 01:18 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 12:00 PM, said:

Difficult is okay, crummy puzzle is not.

OK, I'll say it. To my taste, this isn't a good puzzle. I look at it and don't see any hint of a way in. I want a puzzle that gives me something to get started on; one where I can feel I'm gradually making progress (like solving a crossword ... or tackling a multicache) rather than waiting for one big flash of inspiration.

I hear you about liking a nice toehold to get the puzzle solving started, but there are definitely puzzles out there with less.

A recent series in Spokane you should check out: Penfield's Party #2, #3, and #4 (just for starters). Good times (eventually, after I scratched my head a lot).

#16 User is offline   Mental Ellert-ness 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:46 PM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 02:00 PM, said:

Like I said before, I'm horrible at solving puzzles. I threw this one together on a bit of a whim. I'm hoping that you guys aren't looking and saying "this thing is horrible. bad puzzle." If'n that's what you're sayin, please let me know, I want this to be a fun puzzle for people to solve. Difficult is okay, crummy puzzle is not.

:rolleyes:


I'm still a noobie, but I do enjoy doing puzzles. I have 30 puzzles solved thus far with 21 of of them actually found. My only hide is a puzzle as well. This is the first story type puzzle, so I really have no idea where to start, or what to do. I'd like to be able to solve it, but at the moment I'm lost. It could be fun if I knew how to do this style of puzzle.

So, I cannot make any statements as to its difficulty vs. crummy rating. :)

#17 User is offline   mountainman38 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:46 PM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 01:16 PM, said:

View Postmountainman38, on Oct 19 2010, 01:09 PM, said:

J,

I think it's a little early to say if this is a horrible puzzle. It's not an easy one for me to solve, but that certainly doesn't make it bad. 3.5 stars for difficulty means it's going to be rather difficult to solve, so I think you're fine with this one (from my puzzle caching experience, anyway).

This all assumes that there ARE coordinates in there somewhere, and you're not just punking the whole geocaching community! :)

I really couldn't help myself. Seriously.


Well, when I see a NA log from a sock in WA, I'll know who it's coming from :rolleyes:

That was great. Thanks for a good chuckle.

#18 User is offline   SwineFlew 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:50 PM

Ugh! I see some patterns but still getting dead ends. I m sure someone in the FBI office will solved it in mins.

#19 User is offline   kunarion 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:03 PM

View PostI!, on Oct 19 2010, 04:18 PM, said:

OK, I'll say it. To my taste, this isn't a good puzzle. I look at it and don't see any hint of a way in. I want a puzzle that gives me something to get started on; one where I can feel I'm gradually making progress (like solving a crossword ... or tackling a multicache) rather than waiting for one big flash of inspiration.
I'm more like The Blorenges, on this kind of puzzle. It's kind of a lateral thinking thing, where you gotta first figure out what the puzzle is (of which I have no idea at the moment). It mixes things up a bit for some people who are bored with a standard puzzle type that they see all the time.

I don't know if I'd put much effort into solving this one (yet). I'd fixate on the errors, assigning meaning to things like that "it's" apostrophe. Anything odd about the text may be a key to the puzzle. That adds a dimension of difficulty if it's just a grammatical mistake and not actually part of the puzzle. No offense it doesn't bother me all that much. And I'd expect your difficulty rating is OK, unless the container itself is real hard to find.

This post has been edited by kunarion: 19 October 2010 - 01:06 PM


#20 User is offline   theshows 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:25 PM

I LOVE puzzles, but Geocachers sure are tricky puzzle makers! I didn't even see the starting point for this one. Anyway you could put a small hint on there? However, without the hint, I'd guess your difficulty rating is fair. I've only actually solved a few, highest rated at a 2, and that had a clue.

You could wait it out and see if it gets solved, if not, maybe add a hint. If the hint makes it easier, then you could lower the rating.

#21 User is offline   dfx 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 01:42 PM

haven't got a clue. i see a few "a"s in there that seem out of place, but those could be just typoes. i can think of a few ways to get numbers out of that text (sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, first and last letters, etc) but nothing seems to reveal coords.

#22 User is offline   NYPaddleCacher 

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 02:43 PM

View Postmountainman38, on Oct 19 2010, 12:09 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 01:00 PM, said:

...Like I said before, I'm horrible at solving puzzles. I threw this one together on a bit of a whim. I'm hoping that you guys aren't looking and saying "this thing is horrible. bad puzzle." If'n that's what you're sayin, please let me know, I want this to be a fun puzzle for people to solve. Difficult is okay, crummy puzzle is not.

:rolleyes:

J,

I think it's a little early to say if this is a horrible puzzle. It's not an easy one for me to solve, but that certainly doesn't make it bad. 3.5 stars for difficulty means it's going to be rather difficult to solve, so I think you're fine with this one (from my puzzle caching experience, anyway).

This all assumes that there ARE coordinates in there somewhere, and you're not just punking the whole geocaching community! :)

I really couldn't help myself. Seriously.


Someone told me that they heard from someone else that J the Goat has done this before.

Puzzles like this are hard to rate accurately, I only spent about 30 seconds or so and didn't see how to approach it right away. It's the kind of puzzle that one might look at for an hour and never see the hook that is the key to solving it. Sometimes I'll see a puzzle like this and figure out the approach right away. Sometimes it might take several hours over the course of a week before I finally get the aha moment, but once I do it's usually solved in a short period of time.

#23 User is offline   Clan Riffster 

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 06:58 AM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 19 2010, 04:00 PM, said:

It's actually an older Nanotech model, they've recently been pushed out. Single stacker with tandem capabilitys. Magnetic elevator with a crank paper feeder.

Ah ha! The answer then, must be 42! :P

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 19 2010, 06:43 PM, said:

Puzzles like this are hard to rate accurately

Agreed. Even more so for the creator, who already knows the solution. A while back I created a set of puzzles to pay homage to our local puzzle hiders who have melted what little grey matter I have left. All of these were set up intentionally to be easy. Judging by the logs, I think I hit the D/T ratings accurately. Along that same vein, (creating easy puzzles), I built this one, which I thought was the simplest one I'd ever built. Yet, it's the one I get the most requests for help on. I can only assume that the solution looks simple to me, because I'm on the inside looking out. :D

#24 User is offline   niraD 

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 02:01 PM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 19 2010, 03:43 PM, said:

Puzzles like this are hard to rate accurately,
Yep. One of my FTFs was a puzzle that the owner intended to be simple, just hard enough to slow down the initial rush of finds to avoid creating a geotrail. The "Aha!" moment turned out to be much more illusive than he expected. I got FTF several days after it was published, and the STF came months later.

#25 User is offline   popokiiti 

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:29 PM

I wish I were better at puzzles....but I just get brain freeze. Maybe I should practice when the winter rains hit...

#26 User is offline   Fledermaus 

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:36 PM

Suffering from "Brain Freeze" as well, or maybe it's "oldtimer" disease setting in!

Can any of you "Puzzle Freeks" break the following encryption:

DWSPD - KQBIT - PRLSP - QATOS - OVSQQ - SRBIV
QLQBI - SUDSQ - DLKAO - LTMDW - SPSKS - UDSQD
LKJIR - BSKER - SKVSR - OIWJI - JEIOQ - LLNZN

It was provided to me without any sort of clues.
I have tried some of the routines within "Code Book on CD ROM" and failed.
I tried variations on Ceaser's Code, aka: ROT (from 2 to 26) plus Atabash, and no luck.
Obviously, it is written in a 5 character group format, but that's about as far as I have gotten.
I'm working on a Frequency Analysis of the letters used and hope to obtain some success that way.

/\/(w)\/\

This post has been edited by Fledermaus: 20 October 2010 - 10:38 PM


#27 User is offline   speakers-corner 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 01:07 AM

You might nead an Enigma-code machine. There are similar Caches here in Germany, but without the rest (how the wheels are to be see) you cannot de-cypher it.

#28 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:41 AM

Just an update to anyone who gives a carp. I ended up disabling the cache this morning. I enlisted the help of the (yup, we really only have one or two) local puzzle cacher for some assistance. My puzzle has all kinds of problems. It'll be an easy fix, but to cut down on frustration, I'm gonna leave the line through the listing until I can get it right.

#29 User is offline   Packanack 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 09:36 AM

There is a local cacher of some reknown who places puzzle caches that are difficult.

I, not being too good at that sort of thing would love to solve those. He and I have discussed them through E Mails. One thing we did arrive at was there is a code that says you don't go on the forum and ask for a solution to the cache puzzle. The reason being one of destruction of the entire object of the hiders work.

It is ok, to collaborate amongst your group, but it is considered bad form to ask for the forum to solve the puzzle for you. And as many times as I would wish for the easy way out, I will not seek that answer, I will muddle and muddle but that is part of the game.

#30 User is offline   NYPaddleCacher 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 11:30 AM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 21 2010, 06:41 AM, said:

Just an update to anyone who gives a carp. I ended up disabling the cache this morning. I enlisted the help of the (yup, we really only have one or two) local puzzle cacher for some assistance. My puzzle has all kinds of problems. It'll be an easy fix, but to cut down on frustration, I'm gonna leave the line through the listing until I can get it right.


When you're ready to give it another shot you might post something here about it and ask for some beta testers before you submit it to be published. There are probably lots of readers here that will probably never visit Ukiah (or even know where it is...of course, I do since I was born just over the hill) that could try to solve it and give you some feedback.

#31 User is offline   Big Doggie and Lil Pup 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:26 PM

I would give it a four or a five.

The problem for me is I've never done a puzzle cache, not moderate or hard ones. I ask this - how are we supposed to solve these if we've never seen something like this? If we haven't come across it before and know how to try and solve it, there is no way to solve it correctly. Kind of like solving algebra or trigonometry without ever having a lesson in it. So for each different type of puzzle there is another road block to solving it. I think there needs to be a solving puzzle example forum section - not real caches but showing how to work at each type of puzzle.

It's not your fault that you picked this puzzle but if you see less people doing it than another of your cache, this could very well be the reason.

Good luck.

#32 User is offline   Fledermaus 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:39 PM

View PostPackanack, on Oct 21 2010, 10:36 AM, said:

There is a local cacher of some reknown who places puzzle caches that are difficult.

I, not being too good at that sort of thing would love to solve those. He and I have discussed them through E Mails. One thing we did arrive at was there is a code that says you don't go on the forum and ask for a solution to the cache puzzle. The reason being one of destruction of the entire object of the hiders work.

It is ok, to collaborate amongst your group, but it is considered bad form to ask for the forum to solve the puzzle for you. And as many times as I would wish for the easy way out, I will not seek that answer, I will muddle and muddle but that is part of the game.


With regards to Packanack's comment "there is a code that says you don't go on the forum and ask for a solution to the cache puzzle". The encrypted text I presented is not and never has been part of a geocache or letterbox!!! Thanks for assuming something not in evidence. Do you remember the definition of the word "assume"?

In summation, I would like to add that someone out there, and you know who you are, was kind enough to provide information by E-Mail. thus being indirectly instrumental in my finding the proper decryption routine to solve my mystery.

No further information is requested!

NNNN/30/FINI

/\/w\/\

P.S. Gone Letterboxing
Atlas Quest: http://www.atlasquest.com/

This post has been edited by Fledermaus: 21 October 2010 - 06:42 PM


#33 User is offline   7rxc 

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:44 PM

View PostBig Doggie and Lil Pup, on Oct 21 2010, 06:26 PM, said:

I would give it a four or a five.

The problem for me is I've never done a puzzle cache, not moderate or hard ones. I ask this - how are we supposed to solve these if we've never seen something like this? If we haven't come across it before and know how to try and solve it, there is no way to solve it correctly. Kind of like solving algebra or trigonometry without ever having a lesson in it. So for each different type of puzzle there is another road block to solving it. I think there needs to be a solving puzzle example forum section - not real caches but showing how to work at each type of puzzle.

It's not your fault that you picked this puzzle but if you see less people doing it than another of your cache, this could very well be the reason.

Good luck.


Almost any puzzle worth doing, will be one you have never tried before... newness is part of the allure.
I'm playing with a few right now that have me learning a whole new set of skills, on my own.
There are several tutorials that exist, I don't have them on me at the moment but I'm sure someone will if they are not already part of this thread ( they are in several similar threads recently). The most important skill is to simply relax, examine every detail and think a bit... and never be afraid of backing off and starting the process over... that one kills many would be solvers... they cannot bring themselves to back away from it and review. This particular one has many apparent possibilities, I get rough solutions that look plausible, but in light of the 'problems' I'm not sure what that is affecting. None have passed the checker yet though.

Not everyone has to solve every puzzle, especially easily... or find every cache. It's a good off season entertainment for around here, I prefer it to avalanches anyway.

Good luck to you! Doug 7rxc

#34 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 02:16 AM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 21 2010, 12:30 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 21 2010, 06:41 AM, said:

Just an update to anyone who gives a carp. I ended up disabling the cache this morning. I enlisted the help of the (yup, we really only have one or two) local puzzle cacher for some assistance. My puzzle has all kinds of problems. It'll be an easy fix, but to cut down on frustration, I'm gonna leave the line through the listing until I can get it right.


When you're ready to give it another shot you might post something here about it and ask for some beta testers before you submit it to be published. There are probably lots of readers here that will probably never visit Ukiah (or even know where it is...of course, I do since I was born just over the hill) that could try to solve it and give you some feedback.


Great idea. I'll do just that. From where over the hill might I ask?

#35 User is offline   NYPaddleCacher 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 02:22 AM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 22 2010, 02:16 AM, said:

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 21 2010, 12:30 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 21 2010, 06:41 AM, said:

Just an update to anyone who gives a carp. I ended up disabling the cache this morning. I enlisted the help of the (yup, we really only have one or two) local puzzle cacher for some assistance. My puzzle has all kinds of problems. It'll be an easy fix, but to cut down on frustration, I'm gonna leave the line through the listing until I can get it right.


When you're ready to give it another shot you might post something here about it and ask for some beta testers before you submit it to be published. There are probably lots of readers here that will probably never visit Ukiah (or even know where it is...of course, I do since I was born just over the hill) that could try to solve it and give you some feedback.


Great idea. I'll do just that. From where over the hill might I ask?


Fort Bragg. My great grandmother was born in Philo.

#36 User is offline   J the Goat 

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 03:59 AM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 22 2010, 03:22 AM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 22 2010, 02:16 AM, said:

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 21 2010, 12:30 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 21 2010, 06:41 AM, said:

Just an update to anyone who gives a carp. I ended up disabling the cache this morning. I enlisted the help of the (yup, we really only have one or two) local puzzle cacher for some assistance. My puzzle has all kinds of problems. It'll be an easy fix, but to cut down on frustration, I'm gonna leave the line through the listing until I can get it right.


When you're ready to give it another shot you might post something here about it and ask for some beta testers before you submit it to be published. There are probably lots of readers here that will probably never visit Ukiah (or even know where it is...of course, I do since I was born just over the hill) that could try to solve it and give you some feedback.


Great idea. I'll do just that. From where over the hill might I ask?


Fort Bragg. My great grandmother was born in Philo.


Totally cool. Ever make it back out here?

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 12:38 PM

View Post7rxc, on Oct 21 2010, 07:44 PM, said:

View PostBig Doggie and Lil Pup, on Oct 21 2010, 06:26 PM, said:



There are several tutorials that exist, I don't have them on me at the moment but I'm sure someone will if they are not already part of this thread ( they are in several similar threads recently). The most important skill is to simply relax, examine every detail and think a bit... and never be afraid of backing off and starting the process over... that one kills many would be solvers...
Good luck to you! Doug 7rxc


Thank you Doug. I can see the allure of doing a puzzle and getting the personal gratification of that aha! moment.
I don't talk to other cachers in my area. Being new to puzzles and don't have a clue what some want solved or done. I read posts from people who say they've called two, sometimes three people for help. Rather than get an answer for an existing cache, I'd rather see examples of types of puzzles to get a foundation to build upon and go on from there. Right now I got almost nuttin'. I am going to look for some tutorials and then come take a second look at the puzzle caches.

You have a good point about backing off and starting all over again on a cache. With some time and education, I can approach the cache puzzle from a new angle. Thanks again

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 12:52 PM

View PostBig Doggie and Lil Pup, on Oct 22 2010, 12:38 PM, said:

Rather than get an answer for an existing cache, I'd rather see examples of types of puzzles to get a foundation to build upon and go on from there. Right now I got almost nuttin'. I am going to look for some tutorials and then come take a second look at the puzzle caches.

I strongly suggest taking a look at ePeterso2's Puzzle Solving 101 series. It's great.

http://www.geocachin....aspx?wp=GCYXZ1

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 01:32 PM

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 22 2010, 03:59 AM, said:

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 22 2010, 03:22 AM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 22 2010, 02:16 AM, said:

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 21 2010, 12:30 PM, said:

View PostJ The Goat, on Oct 21 2010, 06:41 AM, said:

Just an update to anyone who gives a carp. I ended up disabling the cache this morning. I enlisted the help of the (yup, we really only have one or two) local puzzle cacher for some assistance. My puzzle has all kinds of problems. It'll be an easy fix, but to cut down on frustration, I'm gonna leave the line through the listing until I can get it right.


When you're ready to give it another shot you might post something here about it and ask for some beta testers before you submit it to be published. There are probably lots of readers here that will probably never visit Ukiah (or even know where it is...of course, I do since I was born just over the hill) that could try to solve it and give you some feedback.


Great idea. I'll do just that. From where over the hill might I ask?


Fort Bragg. My great grandmother was born in Philo.


Totally cool. Ever make it back out here?


I was in Red Bluff in August. I haven't cached in Ft. Bragg since I started geocachiing though. I'd love to do that sometime though but it's 2500 miles away from where I live now. I have an aunt that lives there part of the year so I might get back there someday. I've even done some searching to see what kind of caches are in the area.

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 03:41 PM

View Postaddisonbr, on Oct 22 2010, 01:52 PM, said:


I strongly suggest taking a look at ePeterso2's Puzzle Solving 101 series. It's great.

http://www.geocachin....aspx?wp=GCYXZ1



Brilliant! That is great, thank you very much!!
I've bookmarked all 10 tutorials and will start studying them

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 09:12 PM

You could look at this old thread for some insight too! It was intended for Cache Owners to spoil a few of their own puzzles as an educational device... some are still active caches, some not.

Spoil your own!

Puzzles are like anything, better to start easy and work up... sometimes you see them and sometimes you don't, just don't get frustrated... it's supposed to be fun, after all.

Doug 7rxc

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 04:39 AM

Since this seems to be the active thread on puzzle caches at the moment I wondered what others thought of this:

In another thread someone write that in there area there have been a few puzzle caches published with have a description, and perhaps an image or two on them, but they aren't related to the puzzle. You have to go to the published coordinates to find the actual puzzle to be solved. There's nothing in the description, or hints which tells others that the puzzle is "in the field."

Personally, I'd find something like this pretty annoying. I wondered how many hours some spent looking at the cache page trying to figure out where the puzzle was before giving up on it. I would imagine that if there is an active PAF network in the area eventually the word would get out locally that you have to visit the published coordinates to find the puzzle, but there are many like me that like to solve puzzles in an area where we might be traveling to prior to leaving and wouldn't be privy to the local knowledge.

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 06:58 AM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 23 2010, 04:39 AM, said:

Since this seems to be the active thread on puzzle caches at the moment I wondered what others thought of this:

In another thread someone write that in there area there have been a few puzzle caches published with have a description, and perhaps an image or two on them, but they aren't related to the puzzle. You have to go to the published coordinates to find the actual puzzle to be solved. There's nothing in the description, or hints which tells others that the puzzle is "in the field."

Personally, I'd find something like this pretty annoying. I wondered how many hours some spent looking at the cache page trying to figure out where the puzzle was before giving up on it. I would imagine that if there is an active PAF network in the area eventually the word would get out locally that you have to visit the published coordinates to find the puzzle, but there are many like me that like to solve puzzles in an area where we might be traveling to prior to leaving and wouldn't be privy to the local knowledge.

It's an interesting question/issue/etc.

When I first started tackling puzzle caches in my area a few years ago, I approached them as if the geo-part of the scenario could possibly be a vital part of solving the mystery. So I'd look at the cache page, pick at the puzzle a bit, and if I didn't hit on any obvious / major insights, I'd plan a trip to the posted coordinates to see if there were any clues or next steps there. Sometimes there were. Sometimes there weren't. I was never annoyed when there wasn't something there - sometimes confirming the lack of a clue can be a good step forward. And I was often tickled when there was - discovering that the key to a cipher is contained in the pages of a book that a statue is holding, for example.

I would often happily work on puzzles for days, even weeks, without feeling that I was wasting my time with trips to the field. Every time I went out there it felt almost like a little cinematic adventure, like I was in the movie National Treasure or Goonies or something. When I started writing my own puzzles, I often ensured that visiting the posted coordinates would at least reward cachers with a clue.

It seems that the ethos has evolved a bit and people now generally expect there to be no geo-aspect to the puzzle itself (i.e., for it to be solvable remotely), unless told otherwise. If the norm has shifted to "cache page only unless specifically addressed", I can understand the frustration of people who were operating from that perspective. And I certainly understand how it makes puzzle solving more difficult when you live in a different area.

But I won't deny that there is a part of me that's sad for the little bit of cinematic magic that gets bled out of not knowing what you may or may not find when you're out there.

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 09:42 AM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 23 2010, 06:39 AM, said:

...
Personally, I'd find something like this pretty annoying. I wondered how many hours some spent looking at the cache page trying to figure out where the puzzle was before giving up on it. I would imagine that if there is an active PAF network in the area eventually the word would get out locally that you have to visit the published coordinates to find the puzzle, but there are many like me that like to solve puzzles in an area where we might be traveling to prior to leaving and wouldn't be privy to the local knowledge.


Personally, I think that the least thing would be a 'hidden' message stating the location of the real puzzle.
Something that would require an appropriate level of effort based on the Difficulty rating. Might be covered by the HINT as well. I have a bad memory sometimes... but I read somewhere that a mystery cache should contain all the required information, on the page, that was required to solve it. If the real coordinates are there, that might be enough if the D rating was higher... Most puzzles have a NOT AT Coordinates disclaimer if you have to solve it first to get them, or a starter set. THAT might have been a clue to you had to go to the real ones to start out, if it was NOT there. I don't think I would make a special trip without having something to go by, but I might go if I was out that way in any case. Just like I might try a hard micro... oh wait I like those ones.

Doug 7rxc

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 12:02 PM

View Post7rxc, on Oct 23 2010, 10:42 AM, said:

...I have a bad memory sometimes... but I read somewhere that a mystery cache should contain all the required information, on the page, that was required to solve it....

There is an attribute that says "is field puzzle". It would be a good idea to check a puzzle's attributes before getting too frustrated -- assuming the CO has attributed it properly.

Since you like tough micro's (as do I!), come on down to Spokane sometime. We've got some delightful ones here (and it's only 300 miles from Elkford!)

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:03 PM

View Post7rxc, on Oct 23 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

I read somewhere that a mystery cache should contain all the required information, on the page, that was required to solve it.

If there is information at the posted coordinates, and those coordinates are on the page, I think that this satisfies that condition. My understanding is that the intent of that guideline is to prevent mystery caches that can only be solved after exchanging information with the cache owner, things like that.

View Post7rxc, on Oct 23 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

Most puzzles have a NOT AT Coordinates disclaimer if you have to solve it first to get them, or a starter set. THAT might have been a clue to you had to go to the real ones to start out, if it was NOT there.

Yes, I actually keep those disclaimers in mind - including the lack of them. Sometimes if I have nothing else to go on, but there's no admonishment not to visit the posted coordinates (especially from a CO who sometimes includes them), I'll take a visit to see if there's anything there that helps.

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:14 PM

View Postaddisonbr, on Oct 23 2010, 01:03 PM, said:

View Post7rxc, on Oct 23 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

I read somewhere that a mystery cache should contain all the required information, on the page, that was required to solve it.

If there is information at the posted coordinates, and those coordinates are on the page, I think that this satisfies that condition. My understanding is that the intent of that guideline is to prevent mystery caches that can only be solved after exchanging information with the cache owner, things like that.

View Post7rxc, on Oct 23 2010, 09:42 AM, said:

Most puzzles have a NOT AT Coordinates disclaimer if you have to solve it first to get them, or a starter set. THAT might have been a clue to you had to go to the real ones to start out, if it was NOT there.

Yes, I actually keep those disclaimers in mind - including the lack of them. Sometimes if I have nothing else to go on, but there's no admonishment not to visit the posted coordinates (especially from a CO who sometimes includes them), I'll take a visit to see if there's anything there that helps.


I've gone to the published coordinates on a really difficult puzzle a couple of times, but mostly to get an idea of the general area to see if it might provide a clue to the puzzle. However, I've worked on lots of puzzles in areas where I would be traveling in the near future, especially if it was a 4 star or higher difficulty puzzle. I solved 3 difficult puzzle caches located in Paris (there are a lot of puzzle caches in Paris) about a week before I got on a plane, and then had a seven hour layover to try and find them. Going out the the published coordinates to see if there is anything that might help just isn't feasible in a case like that. One of the things I dislike about puzzles in the field is that it often seems that the CO hasn't considered the possibility that someone not from the local community might want to try and find it.

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:30 PM

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 23 2010, 01:14 PM, said:

I solved 3 difficult puzzle caches located in Paris (there are a lot of puzzle caches in Paris)

Agreed! Which puzzles did you tackle? I have a few on my list if and when I ever get the chance to visit. It's nice to have dreams :rolleyes:

View PostNYPaddleCacher, on Oct 23 2010, 01:14 PM, said:

One of the things I dislike about puzzles in the field is that it often seems that the CO hasn't considered the possibility that someone not from the local community might want to try and find it.

I totally hear you, and as a puzzle constructor, it's something I really struggle with. I want to retain as much poetry and magic as I can with a good mystery, but at the same time I don't want to make the listing inaccessible or irrelevant to anyone who lives more than N miles away.

Typically in the past I've remained tight-lipped about my puzzles to people who live nearby, but have been more open with folks who inquire from out-of-town. I'll tell them, for example, that a particular puzzle can be solved from home. Or that another can be solved, but that there is a significant clue at the coordinates that would make things easier. Or further that another cache is almost impossible to solve, without the information revealed to someone who visits the (hopefully) surprising location. I've also gently nudged out-of-towners towards online searches that may reveal the information I've otherwise clued at the posted coordinates, so that if they're short on time they can bypass that step a little.

I have one cache with a waypoint that simply must be visited for the puzzle to be solved, because there is a physical clue there. For out-of-towners I have a note on the cache page to contact me to work around that problem (which results in me mailing the clue to them once they figure out where the waypoint is).

All of which is to say... I do hear what you're saying and how it makes it harder for non-locals. If you (or anyone else here) are ever planning to visit NYC, I'd be happy to fill you in a bit on the local puzzles and which require/reward field visits.

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 05:41 PM

View Postmountainman38, on Oct 23 2010, 02:02 PM, said:


Since you like tough micro's (as do I!), come on down to Spokane sometime. We've got some delightful ones here (and it's only 300 miles from Elkford!)


I'd like to get Stateside again, one day, my transportation is ill, and I have yet to get either a passport or enhanced DL... money is short these days... I have to take a bus to cache in local towns most of the time.

Right now I'm still trying to get some interest going here and some more caches in general... we are up to 4 people here now, but they keep cutting down beetle trees and with that much of the hiding spots. Once they get done it's a new ball game... er cache game.

Feel free to visit the Cranbrook and Elk Valley areas, it's a good loop trip along Hwy 3.

Doug 7rxc

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 08:32 AM

View Postaddisonbr, on Oct 23 2010, 01:30 PM, said:

All of which is to say... I do hear what you're saying and how it makes it harder for non-locals. If you (or anyone else here) are ever planning to visit NYC, I'd be happy to fill you in a bit on the local puzzles and which require/reward field visits.


Thanks. I do get to NYC a few times a year. My wife was even suggesting a trip there the weekend of Nov. 13-14 but I've got tickets to the Cornell Hockey games that weekend. Even when I do get to NYC I often find it difficult to find the time to go geocaching but next time I plan a trip I'll look over some of the puzzle caches before I go.

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