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Referencing other caches as part of a puzzle cache


nekom
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First the tl;dr (too long; didn't read) version: Is it ok for a puzzle cache to require information about other nearby caches in order to solve?

 

My apologies if this has been discussed before, but I don't ever remember seeing a topic about it. I recently had to archive a puzzle cache involving 5 micros with various information that had to be found because some sort of critter kept making off with them. I really want to get the cache back up, because I feel that the puzzle was very unique (never seen another one like it yet) but I need another approach.

 

All 5 of the micros represented people who made some statements. Some statements involved the final coordinates (such as the last number is a 3, the first number is greater than 7, etc), some involved statements about each other, the idea is that you need to find out who is telling the truth and who is lying based on some simple rules, then you'll know who to believe when tracking down the final coordinates.

 

So my idea would be to use statements about nearby caches in town (caches that I don't own) to aid in identifying those who are lying or telling the truth. For instance person #1 might say that person #4 HATES microcaches. If you later find out from the clues that person #1 is telling the truth, if person #3 says that person #4 really enjoyed so and so cache, and you knew that cache was a micro, you'd know he was lying. I figure this is a good way to redo the puzzle without all those impossible to maintain micros in the woods that apparantly won't sit still.

 

So my question is first in foremost is this in line with the guidelines? And secondly, if it is, is this generally acceptable or something that is frowned upon? I've really never seen it done in my area, so I'm not sure what the consensus is. I'd appreciate any input.

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If this cache were presented to me for review, I would ask you if you had the permission of the other cache owners to reference them as part of your cache. Also, what happens if one of the other caches is archived, or if one of the referenced players deletes all their finds or changes their finds to notes? These are all real-world examples from your area.

 

There are already plenty of caches talking about who hates micros, so I do hope that you are just using that as an illustrative example. You have more creativity than that, I am sure!

Edited by Keystone
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If this cache were presented to me for review, I would ask you if you had the permission of the other cache owners to reference them as part of your cache. Also, what happens if one of the other caches is archived, or if one of the referenced players deletes all their finds or changes their finds to notes? These are all real-world examples from your area.

 

There are already plenty of caches talking about who hates micros, so I do hope that you are just using that as an illustrative example. You have more creativity than that, I am sure!

 

Good points. Would it be necessary, or at least in good form to get the blessing of cache owners before including facts about their cache as part of a puzzle? I had thought about what would happen if a cache got archived, and the nature of my idea would allow for me to tweak the puzzle should that happen. My plan is going to be a N XX° XX.ABC' W XX° XX.DEF sort of a thing, so once that were all setup, the only thing referencing other caches would be simple true/false statements about area caches that would help to determine whether certain people in the puzzle were telling the truth or lying which could be revised in the event that one were archived. Oh and as for the microcache example, indeed just an illustrative example that I figured everybody would get, nothing more <_<

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Ok re-reading everything I think I see where I might have worded that wrong and caused some confusion, the 5 `people' are fictional characters, who would have facts about local caches (not cachers) placed in the area that would either be true or false, all listed on the cache page. It wouldn't involve in any way other cacher's stats or facts or having to speak with them, just knowledge of nearby caches to determine whether some of the fictional characters' statements were true or false. Hope that clears up what I'm going for here.

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I think I get it. Something like Fictional Character 1 says there are no caches in Fictional Park A.

 

If you research that area and find a cache listed in that park, then Fictional Character 1 is a liar. If there aren't any, you can't be sure he is always honest, but on that question Fictional Character 1 is telling the truth.

 

Fictional Character 2 says GCXXXX is a fun multi cache that he recommends everyone give a try.

 

If you pull up GCxxxx and it is a regular cache, then FC2 is a liar, and so on and so on.

 

Sounds like a great idea for a cache.

 

Of course, I would reiterate Keystone's caution to speak to the cache owners first to be sure they were ok with it and gof's recommendation to speak with your local reviewer.

 

In fact, having good communication with your local reviewer is always best practice.

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I think I get it. Something like Fictional Character 1 says there are no caches in Fictional Park A.

 

If you research that area and find a cache listed in that park, then Fictional Character 1 is a liar. If there aren't any, you can't be sure he is always honest, but on that question Fictional Character 1 is telling the truth.

 

Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I have in mind. I apologize if there was any confusion on that. These fictional people are knights, knaves or spies. Knights always tell the truth, knaves always lie, and a spy can do either. It's a logic puzzle devised by Raymond Smullyan many years ago, but has roots in even older classic puzzles. I just have never run across a puzzle cache that relies on questions about the characteristics of other area caches, so I wanted to see if such a thing was generally acceptable.

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This should be fine, but do check with your local reviewer who may have other ideas.

 

I have actually done a couple of these, they can be very well done, there are some things to keep in mind;

 

- you will have to set-up watches on the other caches and be prepared to either change your or disable it in lock step with them.

 

- when a cache does go down, you need to be prepared to accept requests for help from those who may have solved part, but not all, of yours based on these now defunct caches.

 

- while I very much respect Keystone and his opinions, if these are not intrusive to the other caches, I don't think permission would be required, however it would be a courtesy.

 

- having stated the above, if you choose not to get permission and a cacher takes offense for some reason, you should have a back-up to remove it.

 

This cache will need to be watch more closely due to the above points. Be prepared.

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This is the kind of question that I would ask my local reviewer first.

Of course, I would reiterate ... gof's recommendation to speak with your local reviewer.

 

In fact, having good communication with your local reviewer is always best practice.

This should be fine, but do check with your local reviewer who may have other ideas.

nekom is very wise to have sought advice here in the forums, where I was happy to help him. Unfortunately, his local reviewer lacks the sophistication necessary to handle advanced questions like this one. That's the problem with a system built around volunteers. You get what you pay for.

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I personally feel each cache should be independant and not rely upon other caches to be found.

True for traditional or multi caches, but no such limitation applies to puzzle/mystery caches. If you don't like puzzles with certain types of complexity, then ignore them. You have plenty of company. OTOH, the popular Challenge and Adventure caches require finding a large number of other caches in some combination, including the one I just published, GC18DXW Santa Monica Mtns History Adventure (shameless self-promotional plug).

 

Edward

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This is the kind of question that I would ask my local reviewer first.

Of course, I would reiterate ... gof's recommendation to speak with your local reviewer.

 

In fact, having good communication with your local reviewer is always best practice.

This should be fine, but do check with your local reviewer who may have other ideas.

nekom is very wise to have sought advice here in the forums, where I was happy to help him. Unfortunately, his local reviewer lacks the sophistication necessary to handle advanced questions like this one. That's the problem with a system built around volunteers. You get what you pay for.

 

:D:DB):(:D

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Yes, you can reference other caches as part of your cache. They are out there for the public (and especially cachers ) to view at their leisure.

 

You don't need permission.

 

One of my former (I adopted it out) used the locations of 3 other caches for a triangulation problem. No modification of the orginal caches was needed.

 

Modifying the other caches in some way would not be kosher and would need to be worked out with the cache owner. IE ask to put a card in. etc.

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... And secondly, if it is, is this generally acceptable or something that is frowned upon? I've really never seen it done in my area, so I'm not sure what the consensus is. I'd appreciate any input.

 

The biggest problem I see is that caches come and go. If your cache relies on another cache to remain listed you are setting yourself up for a lot of work to keep your cache current.

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... And secondly, if it is, is this generally acceptable or something that is frowned upon? I've really never seen it done in my area, so I'm not sure what the consensus is. I'd appreciate any input.

 

The biggest problem I see is that caches come and go. If your cache relies on another cache to remain listed you are setting yourself up for a lot of work to keep your cache current.

 

I know that's a concern, but since all of the puzzle information would be on the cache page, I could quickly come up with new true/false statements should one involved be archived, maybe using information from a new cache in the area. It would change the information needed, but I don't think it would change the nature of the puzzle.

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