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Feature: Split Unknowns and Puzzles


BootyBuddies
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It would be useful to have the Unknown cache type be split into 2 types - Unknown, where the cache is at (or the adventure starts at) the posted coords and Puzzle, where the cache is not at the posted coords, but must be figured out given information in the cache page.

 

There would be a time savings for those of us that travel alot and like to solve puzzles beforehand if time permits. Otherwise, we filter out all unknowns and may be missing some good caches.

 

I couldn't find a previous discussion on this, so please post a link if there has been one.

 

Debby

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I just this in the cache type description, "The only commonality of this cache type is that the coordinates listed are not of the actual cache location...". Unfortunately, it looks like people are using this category incorrectly. But than if a traditional is "at a bare minimum, a container and a log book", where would flat caches fit it?

 

It still looks like another category is needed.

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I agree with this. I travel a lot also and I typically filter out the "unknown/puzzles" and run a separate Bookmark-PQ of the puzzles I've solved. But I often worry that I'm filtering out some non-puzzles that I may have enjoyed had I been able to include it in my PQ without getting all those puzzles I didn't solve.

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It would be useful to have the Unknown cache type be split into 2 types - Unknown, where the cache is at (or the adventure starts at) the posted coords and Puzzle, where the cache is not at the posted coords, but must be figured out given information in the cache page.

I don't understand the difference between your explanation of an Unknown cache and a traditional.

Unknown, where the cache is at (or the adventure starts at) the posted coords...

If the cache is at the coords on the page, it's just a traditional.

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I would think that any cache where the container (even if it's a "flat" cache, whatever that is) is at the location, no matter how innovative the hide or the container is, it's a traditional cache. I would consider the "unknown/puzzle" caches are the ones where you have to jump through some type of hoop to get the coordinates for the container.

 

Unknown could be a puzzle, could be gathering coordinates at various "reindeer" cache locations to find "Santa"

(see: "reindeer and Santa")

 

So I guess my question is: Can you give an example of a cache that should be labeled Unknown that you don't feel really fits in the current unknown?

Edited by Markwell
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I don't get the OP's distinction between the two types of "unknown". Cache type isn't container type - that's why they're two different fields. If the container is not at the posted coordinates, it's not a traditional.

 

I'd still like to see the wording of the description tightened a bit so that "traditional" means "proceed to posted coordinates, sign logbook, log 'found it'" and let "mystery" be the catch-all for "solve a puzzle to get the combination" or "must do chicken dance within 1.37 minutes of signing book" or whatever. A last-minute traveller could then load a PQ of just traditionals and do a day's caching without ever looking at a cache page for chicken dance requirements, photos, or whatever.

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Aaaah, I see. without giving it away, I think I know what that cache is and if it is what i think it is, I think the page has it miscategorized. My take is that the cache type for that page is "traditional" and the container type is "unspecified". The absence of a "traditional" container does not change the type of the hunt.

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I'd say that traditional is everything you can find with only the coordinates loaded in your GPS. You don't need the description to find a traditional. That would make flat non-container caches traditionals.

 

I'd call everything where you have to read the description a multi or unknown/puzzle. A multi is quite well defined in the guidelines, so that would leave unknown "the catch-all group" as it is described in the guidelines. But... there are some caches, where the owner requires you to do something special after finding and logging the cache: take a photo, take a shower in nearby fountain, log in poem form or set a new cache ("breeder cache"). These tasks can only be known if you read the description, so they can't be called traditional, they should be called unknown and if such caches have no additional elements that make them multi or something, then they are "unknown where given coordinates point to the container."

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I'd call everything where you have to read the description a multi or unknown/puzzle. A multi is quite well defined in the guidelines, so that would leave unknown "the catch-all group" as it is described in the guidelines. But... there are some caches, where the owner requires you to do something special after finding and logging the cache: take a photo, take a shower in nearby fountain, log in poem form or set a new cache ("breeder cache"). These tasks can only be known if you read the description, so they can't be called traditional, they should be called unknown and if such caches have no additional elements that make them multi or something, then they are "unknown where given coordinates point to the container."
That works for me, but how do we get TPTB to update the official guidelines? Right now, cache owners can argue that it's a traditional if the cache is at the posted coordinates, no matter how involved or puzzle-like the rest of the experience turns out to be. And that it can't be a puzzle/mystery cache if the coordinates listed are the actual cache location.
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But... there are some caches, where the owner requires you to do something special after finding and logging the cache: take a photo, take a shower in nearby fountain, log in poem form or set a new cache ("breeder cache"). These tasks can only be known if you read the description, so they can't be called traditional, they should be called unknown and if such caches have no additional elements that make them multi or something, then they are "unknown where given coordinates point to the container."

 

I don't think there is really any "type" that would define this type of cache. I'm personally of the mind that if you find the cache, regardless of what the additional tasks may be, you should be able to log it as a find. If people wish to go through with your additional challenge that just makes for fun stories and photos for the cache listing.

 

I'm not knocking the concept. I think it is fun, but it does seem a bit like work if you make people jump through hoops after you find the actual cache.

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I don't think there is really any "type" that would define this type of cache. I'm personally of the mind that if you find the cache, regardless of what the additional tasks may be, you should be able to log it as a find. If people wish to go through with your additional challenge that just makes for fun stories and photos for the cache listing.
But is there any chance that the GC.com guidelines will be updated to clarify the situation? The status quo is that such such caches are listed as traditional because the container is at the posted coordinates.

 

Personally, I don't mind caches where I have to do something extra after finding the container at the posted coordinates. But a strict interpretation of the GC.com guidelines would have these caches listed as traditional caches even when that (IMHO) is not at all appropriate:

  • If I need to solve a puzzle to open the combination lock on the container before I can sign the log, then it should be listed as a puzzle cache.
  • If the cache owner requires me to do something else (e.g., post a photo of a certain combination of his signature tokens, trade a coin with a date one year higher or lower than the one I found in the cache), then the "Mystery or Puzzle Caches" description ("The 'catch-all' of cache types") fits nicely, except for the phrase "The only commonality of this cache type is that the coordinates listed are not of the actual cache location".

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To me..

 

Traditionals are found at posted coordinates.

Unknowns/Mysteries can be solved, to get right coordinates, before going outside

Multis have to be solved out in the field.

 

Although some multis can be solved beforehand because of knowledge (of an area, statue, etc) or good googling. ;)

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I don't think there is really any "type" that would define this type of cache. I'm personally of the mind that if you find the cache, regardless of what the additional tasks may be, you should be able to log it as a find. If people wish to go through with your additional challenge that just makes for fun stories and photos for the cache listing.
But is there any chance that the GC.com guidelines will be updated to clarify the situation? The status quo is that such such caches are listed as traditional because the container is at the posted coordinates.

 

Personally, I don't mind caches where I have to do something extra after finding the container at the posted coordinates. But a strict interpretation of the GC.com guidelines would have these caches listed as traditional caches even when that (IMHO) is not at all appropriate...

I get a kick out of doing those kinds of caches on occasion. But I agree, it's nice to know IN ADVANCE. My "Stupid Rules" cache requires people to complete a bunch of silly steps to get credit--so I intentionally made it a puzzle cache (albeit a really easy one) so people would be forced to read the page beforehand.

 

Having an easier way to figure out what "traditional" caches have additional logging requirements might be useful.

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I think there are actually 2 issues here that are getting people confused:

 

1) the misclassification of caches - Traditional/Unknown container or Multistage

2) "Puzzles" where the solutions must be figured out ahead of time vs. in the field

 

The first issue can be solved by documentation and education. I know that there this sport develops over time and that changes have occurred -- that happens. I just think there needs to be some clear documentation for the person posting a cache on what makes a cache a traditional/unknown container vs. a puzzle. Add to that a reminder to the volunteer reviewers (they have a lot on their plates so they might have forgotten the distinction) on the same issue. Finally also, provide some documentation or education on the process to handle a misclassified cache should one "slip through" -- do they notify the cache owner, the reviewer, post a "needs maintenance" log, etc.

 

The second topic is what I really feel was intended to be highlighted by the OP and FizzyMagic. What about those "puzzle" caches where the cache ISN'T at the posted coordinates vs. "puzzle" caches where the coordinates given are a starting point.

 

Let's look at a few near me:

 

GCWPAM -- You go to the coordinates then have to collect data and search (puzzle or multi)

 

GCWCVP -- coordinates get You go to the coordinates then have to collect data and search (puzzle or multi)

 

GCJ5C6 -- (one of my favorites by the way) cache is at the location but definitely an unknown container

 

GCNCY9 -- coordinates get you close but not to the actual cache, you have to do some "thinking outside of the box" while you are there (is this really a "puzzle")

 

GCM90K -- cache is definitely NOT at the coordinates and you should figure them out ahead of time (definitely a puzzle)

 

 

What is really funny about this is just in the past week I have begun to think about this same issues and tried to work on a solution to add info to my user data column in GSAK to start sorting these. I normally use the corrected coordinates feature in GSAK to store coordinates for puzzle caches that I have solved. If I only load these "puzzle types" into my GPSr, then terrific I am all set...but what about the "puzzles" that start at the coordinates posted. How do I differentiate between these and ones that have to be solved ahead of time?

 

This is really where the request to split Puzzle cache types come from. It is these "multi" "puzzles" that are at issue.

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