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puzzle caches?


Larene
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My area seems to be ripe with a ton of puzzle caches. I have been able to do the ones that have to do with sudoku, math, or something I understand, but there are a few that I look at them and just have no idea where to even start!

 

Are there any good sites that might explain different ways to solve these puzzle caches?

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im in the same position as you Larene within 50 miles of my house are 300 puzzle caches

 

a few i have completed but most i can stare at blankly for hours and not solve them, there are a few ways of doing it:

 

1. email the Co for a hint or starter

2. email one of the recent finders who might give you a shove in the right direction (but might upset the CO)

3. keep checking back as something might click next time you look at it.

 

i have opted for option 3 as i am not one to ask, i may eventualy clock them (dont think i will ever get them all) its no big deal, im here for the fun and to get outside not about the numbers, ive been here for over a year and now found 59 caches.

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My area seems to be ripe with a ton of puzzle caches. I have been able to do the ones that have to do with sudoku, math, or something I understand, but there are a few that I look at them and just have no idea where to even start!

 

Are there any good sites that might explain different ways to solve these puzzle caches?

 

You're not going to find a site which will explain all, or even a significant percentage of the ways to go about solving puzzle caches. Although there are quite a few common techniques used the variety of puzzles you're likely to find is just too great to try and cover all the possibilities.

 

However, the Puzzle Solving 101 series of puzzle provides a good overview of some of the common approaches.

 

There are a few general approaches to take that can make this a bit easier.

 

First, you're always going to be solving for a set of coordinates. Typically that means that you need to find 15 digits. If you can identify 15 items (which could be almost anything) on the page, chances are that each of those items resolves to a number. However, sometimes the puzzle creator may only ask you to solve for six of the digits. You might be given part of the coordinates, but have to solve for the least significant digits. Often this is actually more difficult because the final coordinates *should* be relatively close to the published coordinates, thus, it will share many of the same numbers. If for example, the published coordinates (using a Puzzle Solving 101 cache) are N 26° 04.675 W 080° 15.300, which means that the actual coordinates most likely start with N 26 04. for the north coordinate, and W 080 15. for the west coordinate. Knowing that, you can start looking the puzzle with the goal of turning specific pieces of the puzzle into specific digits. So, for example, if you see 15 words in a list, it's likely that the first word somehow maps to a 2, the second to a 6, and so on. That can tell you if you're on the right track after only solving for a couple of digits in the puzzle.

 

Read *everything* available to you on the cache page. Often the name of the cache, or certain phrases in the description, will give you a clue on the direction to take. For example, there was a now archived puzzle which used the phrase "Cache Background:" to describe the cache. The description is irrelevant to the puzzle but "Cache Background:" was a clue. The puzzle could be found in the image used as the background image on the cache listing.

 

Learn how to read what you can't see. The cache page for the puzzle is basically just a web page, which uses a markup language (HTML) to display what you "see". HTML can have comments which are not displayed, formatting of the text such that the foreground color is the same as the background color, and a variety of other techniques which can hide information you need to find the puzzle.

 

For the most part, just solving as many easier puzzles as you can will provide some experience that you can use to solve other puzzles. Although, rating puzzle caches is even less of a science than rating traditional caches, pay attention to the difficulty rating. A puzzle cache with a 4 star or higher rating could take days or even weeks to figure out. Stick to the 1-2.5 puzzles at first until you become familiar with some of the techniques.

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