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puzzle caches


mazoo

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I have seen a few puzzle caches posted and have no idea how to dicipher. There's one for instance that says something like bark bark arf arf woof woof bark and so on. How do you possible figure out what that puzzle might mean? Is there anyone that can enlighten me?

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I have seen a few puzzle caches posted and have no idea how to dicipher. There's one for instance that says something like bark bark arf arf woof woof bark and so on. How do you possible figure out what that puzzle might mean? Is there anyone that can enlighten me?

 

Cryptology has been around since the dark ages and almost anyone can come up with their own cipher, or go on-line and search the common ones. Usually when you find the one clue that helps you break the one you are after, it's a real "DUH" moment for realizing that you hadn't caught it sooner.

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You have to keep in mind that the goal is usually to derive a set of coordinates -- spelled out, numeric series, or perhaps just the last three digits of the lat and long. So ... you start by trying to figure out how you might get them from the code you have in front of you. Is there a pattern which might be an indication of a number, a way to convert a letter or symbol into a digit if taken in the right context.

 

Some ciphers are easy, some take a good deal of thought (or luck) to solve. In almost all cases however, there's usually a subtle hint somewhere as to the approach you might want to take (in the title, the writeup itself, or in the hint). Some hints might be gentle nudges while others might be a shove. That part's up to the creator of the puzzle and how difficult they want to solution to be.

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I have seen a few puzzle caches posted and have no idea how to dicipher. There's one for instance that says something like bark bark arf arf woof woof bark and so on. How do you possible figure out what that puzzle might mean? Is there anyone that can enlighten me?

 

I found the puzzle that you're referring to and saw that it has a difficulty rating of 4. Since the description looks like the cache itself won't be hard to find once you have the coordinates, all the difficulty is in the puzzle. A four star puzzle can be very difficult.

 

When dealing with puzzle caches start with what you know and build on it. For example, the actual coordinates are typically going to be within a couple of miles from the published coordinates. First, you know that you need to solve for 15 digits (and possibly the "N" and "W" prefixes) , that the first two digits are of the North coordinates are 45 and the first three of the West coordinate are 122. Now start trying to figure out how the first part of the puzzle might yield a 4 (or a four), and so on. Sometimes solving for just one of the digits will provide the solution you need to solve the rest.

 

Look for clues everywhere. The cache title, text in the description (sometimes text is hidden in the html of the page as well) , any images (including the background image), or the "users web site" link are all potential places to look. Then start looking for web sites related to the cache theme.

 

Look for patterns in the puzzle. Does the first letter of each word map to a number or the number of letters in the words? Do any of the sequences of words or characters repeat?

 

Finally, many puzzle cache owners are willing to provide hints to help you solve the puzzle (as is the case with this one). If you're stuck send the CO email and they might just give you a nudge that will get you started. I own a number of puzzle caches and am happy to provide hints (and even outright solutions) for anyone that asks.

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The Bark, Arf, Woof puzzle was a tribute to me from one of my good friends, Lobotomy. He is willing to give hints to any of his puzzles. For that matter, I am too. The hint he first gave me was that Morris the Cat knows the solution. Good luck.

Edited by Sled Dog
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