# Puzzle Caches

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I think I would really like the puzzle caches but I am having a lot of trouble with them. I can't seem to find any information on them anywhere or any type of help guide. I know I have been a stay at home Mom for the last three and a half years but I would like to think that I am not completely brain dead! These puzzle caches are telling me otherwise. I feel DUMB! I don't even know where to start! Any suggestions? Thanks!

I don't guess there is an easy answer to solving a puzzle cache, as they each present their own specific and (in many cases) unique challenges.

There is a local guy (Punctatus) who has placed 7 or so caches, each of them a mystery/puzzle. I have figured out 2 of them, but the other 5 are about to drive me insane.

I reckon you have to start with the assumption that at least some part of the coordinates are "known" in that they have to be within a certain distance of the fake coordinates that are given. For instance, any puzzles that are within a few hundred miles of my house would have to be lat 26 and long 80, so you can extrapolate the puzzle to meet those givens.

An example of one I was eventually able to solve is here.

Yup, the only clue is that photo.

Once you crack the code it seems easy, but until then....yikes!

The Puzzle Solving 101 Series by ePeterso2, will take you through much of what's out there in the way of puzzles. Represents an excellent puzzle primer

ePeterso2 puzzle caches with Puzzle Solving 101 series

Edited by Isonzo Karst

***I don't guess there is an easy answer to solving a puzzle cache***

Yes there is...I put a puzzle cache out there for you Clueless People...

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...7a-56cef592ae5c

There is one in Florida just like mine....

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...f4-c3da2d86df35

And 1 in Oklahoma

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=GC18W6A

Edited by Drooling_Mongoloid

I just wish cache owners would return an email when I solve a puzzle and ask them to confirm the coordinates before I go driving all over looking for the cache. some puzzles I have solved have an answer checker link on the cache page which is greatly appreciated but for those that don't the owner should be able to confirm an answer in a timely fashion.

To the OP...we have a cacher up here named OhJoy. She has hidden a whloe slew of puzzles, and loves to solve them. She might be able to help you get started.

Regarding requests for coord confirmations...I usually give the cache owner a week. If I haven't heard back by then, I put that cache on my ignore list. There are plenty of others.

As others have said, it all depends on the hider. In the Twin cities, there are a lot of cipher puzzles. Most of mine are straight up math puzzles where cachers need to look up and apply different equations. If you are having trouble with puzzles, don't be afraid to email the owner for a starting hint, something to get you on the right track and more later if necessary. I sometimes feel like I'm annoying owners by asking for hints. There was one where I was actually to young to understand the 1980's pop culture references so I got a lot of hints. As an owner, I really like getting asked for hints. It lets me know that people are interested in working through one of my puzzles. So for me, people asking for hints is a form of flattery, so try it. Eventually, you might get an idea of the puzzles people use. The other option is to hide some deceiving puzzles of your own and contribute to the fun.

The puzzle caches have to be solved? The coordinates given are not real then? I made the assumption that solving the puzzle was optional and you could cheat using the coordinates if you like. I have not gone after a puzzle cache yet to see if my reasoning is accurate.

***The puzzle caches have to be solved?***

Puzzling...Huh?

Google.com can be your bestest friend when it comes to a lot of puzzles!

The puzzle caches have to be solved? The coordinates given are not real then? I made the assumption that solving the puzzle was optional and you could cheat using the coordinates if you like. I have not gone after a puzzle cache yet to see if my reasoning is accurate.

I heard that only Platinum Members can bypass the puzzle and go directly to the cache.

I've got to agree that some puzzles make you simply look and ask "What am I supposed to do with this." In fact, I got that precise question about one of my puzzles. I answered precisely: "Figure out where the cache is." I answered pretty much every question asked of me, usually within a few hours, if not sooner. However, many questions were framed in such a way that a truthful and precise answer was of no particular use. For example, "Is it to the left or to the right of the flagpole?" resulted in a simple, accurate, truthful "Yes!" Sherlock Holmes said something about eliminating the impossible. So it is with puzzle caches. Incidentally, only four people have found the particular cache I mentioned and we have some world class puzzlers around here. ... So don't feel bad if you have trouble with some of the puzzles.

The puzzle caches have to be solved? The coordinates given are not real then? I made the assumption that solving the puzzle was optional and you could cheat using the coordinates if you like. I have not gone after a puzzle cache yet to see if my reasoning is accurate.

Uh . . . yup . . .

Generally the very first thing on a Puzzle Cache page is the disclaimer, "THE CACHE IS NOT AT THE COORDINATES."

There are times when a Puzzle cache is at the Listed Coordinates, but that cache might have a name like "Liar, Liar."

Sometimes the Puzzles are easy, other times they are very difficult, but to find the cache container, you have to solve the puzzle, one way or another.

The reason I asked is this puzzle GC12DRR. No mention of coordinates being wrong. Thar's why I asked the question. Sorry for newbie question, but I'm just sorting out all the info and functions of the site and of geocaching AND learning to use my GPSr. I'm still a bit on the wrong side of the old power curve !!

I for one am going to check out that puzzle primer...

I have one about a mile from my home coords but I'm too big of an idiot to figure it out. Its a ceasars cipher but I think I'm making it harder than it really is. The coords I ended up with were in another country... on a different continent.

Check out this Puzzle cache if you need tips on how to solve Puzzles.

Read the log entries. Sometimes they give hints that can help. Also, you sometimes have to think out of the box. One puzzle was just a weird drawing of lines and curves. No other hint. I was totally clueless. So I read the logs. Someone's log entry mentioned another puzzle like it that they solved. So I looked at which caches that user had solved (luckily there weren't hundreds of them) - and I looked at the similar cache's puzzle and that one had a hint that helped me figure out how to solve the original cache's puzzle. Turned out to be tracing the finger movements of typing the numbers into a phone keypad! Who would have thought? Some of them are really hard, it has nothing to do with being a stay at home mom or whether or not you're a genius. Google often helps - including looking at google image search results if your puzzle has pictures.

deleted

Edited by JoenSue

I see that the owner of this cache has 0 finds. Could that be why this 2.5-star cache hasn't been found in 4 months?

Anyone seen a puzzle like this?

It should wind up in coordinates 39.xx.xxx and 74(or75).xx.xxx

Any thoughts would be appreciated

GC163WE

Solve the puzzle below to discern the location of the cache.

46A73F4

8E2FEQ

JHQ8B

BG24

B3E

15

E

deleted....

Edited by JoenSue

Batona has made a very fair and reasonable request - so I have deleted this post.

Annie

Edited by Annie & PB

Anyone seen a puzzle like this?

It should wind up in coordinates 39.xx.xxx and 74(or75).xx.xxx

Any thoughts would be appreciated

As the designer of the puzzle, my thought is not to discuss this puzzle publicly.

Thank you.

I think I would really like the puzzle caches but I am having a lot of trouble with them. I can't seem to find any information on them anywhere or any type of help guide. I know I have been a stay at home Mom for the last three and a half years but I would like to think that I am not completely brain dead! These puzzle caches are telling me otherwise. I feel DUMB! I don't even know where to start! Any suggestions? Thanks!

The ones we have done have all been very very different. We have had to use morse code, semaphore, braille, solve sudoku puzzles, use other languages (real or otherwise!!!), horse branding marks, do basic maths, try and fail to do advanced maths!, try and fail to use WWII ciphers, do jigsaw puzzles, look up information on the net to get dates and other random stuff, read poetry (also have failed at that one so far!!), do bearings/projections, haven't even attempted the ones involving triangulating from different caches yet, go to the site and read information on signs or count things ...... the list of possiblities for mystery/puzzle caches is endless really.

Usually (but not always) there is some clue as to how to approach each puzzle - either in the title or the hints or just by seeing what it looks like.

You are more than welcome to send me an email via our profile with what specific ones you are working on if you would like a suggestion or two.

Annie

The reason I asked is this puzzle GC12DRR. No mention of coordinates being wrong. Thar's why I asked the question. Sorry for newbie question, but I'm just sorting out all the info and functions of the site and of geocaching AND learning to use my GPSr. I'm still a bit on the wrong side of the old power curve !!

That is clearly a puzzle (geocaching.com identifies them as "Unknown") even thought there is no mention of the published coordinates being incorrect. If the cache listing has a "?" for the cache type you can pretty much assume that the published coordinates are not for the cache location.

Unfortunately there are some types of caches which sometimes are classified as "Unknown" and other times as "multi" caches. These are caches where you have to visit the published coordinates to gather information for the actual coordinates. If it were up to me I would prefer to see a "puzzle" cache limited to caches for wihch you can determine the coordinates and have them in your GPS prior to going on a search.

As other have mentioned the difficulty of a unknown cache varies greatly and hopefully is reflected in the difficulty rating on the cache. Some are as simple as looking up some information on the web, often based on a theme such as a favorite professional sports team. Others might take months or more to solve. "The Key to the Cryptonomicon" is an example of the latter. I have been working on it for more than a month, have made a significant amount of progress but expect that I still have aways to go.

Don't be afraid to ask the cache owner for a hint. Depending on the type of puzzle many will at least try to give you a push in the right direction. There are, however, quite a few puzzle caches in which the listing is intentionally terse, and for those you're unlikely to get much help. I know of one in which the entire long description is just a white image. For puzzles like that you're probably not going to have much luck until you've acquired a bag of puzzle solving trick from solving other caches.

That is clearly a puzzle (geocaching.com identifies them as "Unknown") even thought there is no mention of the published coordinates being incorrect. If the cache listing has a "?" for the cache type you can pretty much assume that the published coordinates are not for the cache location.

That used to be very much the case, and I expected that to be true for a long time. However, the rules for unknown/puzzle caches have been changed and now they include anything where there might be an additional logging requirement (ALR) and some other things. That is, if the coordinates are correct, but you need to...

1) Do something special to get the smile (write a lie in the "found it" log, write "micros are st00pid" in your log, or,

2) open a lock or need the combination, or,

3) other things I can't think of right now (etc) ...

then it's now an unknown cache even if the posted coordinates are right on.

If the OP wants to see a variety of puzzles, from simple to obscurely hard, they can look at my hidden caches.

That is clearly a puzzle (geocaching.com identifies them as "Unknown") even thought there is no mention of the published coordinates being incorrect. If the cache listing has a "?" for the cache type you can pretty much assume that the published coordinates are not for the cache location.

That used to be very much the case, and I expected that to be true for a long time. However, the rules for unknown/puzzle caches have been changed and now they include anything where there might be an additional logging requirement (ALR) and some other things. That is, if the coordinates are correct, but you need to...

1) Do something special to get the smile (write a lie in the "found it" log, write "micros are st00pid" in your log, or,

2) open a lock or need the combination, or,

3) other things I can't think of right now (etc) ...

then it's now an unknown cache even if the posted coordinates are right on.

If the OP wants to see a variety of puzzles, from simple to obscurely hard, they can look at my hidden caches.

That's why I wrote "pretty much assume" . I wish it was a little more consistent. I have seen quite a few caches labeled as "multi-cache" in which the first stage is essentially a virtual cache from which you need to glean some information to derive the coordinates for a subsequent stage. I wish there was a rule on multi-caches which stipulated that all stages had to have a physical "container" (realizing that cache containers can take on a variety of forms)

<snip>

That's why I wrote "pretty much assume" . I wish it was a little more consistent. I have seen quite a few caches labeled as "multi-cache" in which the first stage is essentially a virtual cache from which you need to glean some information to derive the coordinates for a subsequent stage. I wish there was a rule on multi-caches which stipulated that all stages had to have a physical "container" (realizing that cache containers can take on a variety of forms)

Since M & M tubes and film canisters and other containers or waypoint tags can go missing, I actually prefer the type of Multi-cache where you derive information from the permanent Virtual location to get the coordinates for the next stage. A bronze plaque with numbers on it is much less likely to disappear than a waypoint tag in a bush that gets pruned. Of course, you have to carry the cache description with you for that type of Multi.

I think I would really like the puzzle caches but I am having a lot of trouble with them. I can't seem to find any information on them anywhere or any type of help guide. I know I have been a stay at home Mom for the last three and a half years but I would like to think that I am not completely brain dead! These puzzle caches are telling me otherwise. I feel DUMB! I don't even know where to start! Any suggestions? Thanks!

I had the same problem. If you just stare at the puzzle part for a while you may get it. However I still can't get this cacheEncrypted cache Oh yeah the owner hasn't logged on in forever!!!

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