# help with puzzle!

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Hi everyone,

i am after a little help with the included puzzle, the answer of which are coordinates to a local cache.

If anyone can begin to help me understand how to solve this i would be grateful, an example of a similar puzzle as i have no idea where to begin with this. Hope someone can help,

Darquorze.

Whichever way you look at it, the sum of 2, 3 and 7 is 12.

Note that O is less than N; the cache is located at

North 52 33.HOH West 001 48.RWW.

the puzzle image included with this puzzle can be seen here,

Its generally considered poor form to ask for hints here in the forums. I suggest you email the cache owner.

Biggest problem with the puzzle is that there are 2 valid solutions.

Oh, wait -- I see that the cache owner fixed that with his constraint. Still, not very satisfying.

Sometimes figuring out how to solve the puzzle or what type of puzzle is the puzzle in and of itself.

Should ask the owner if they are willing to toss out a hint.....

As others have mentioned, posting puzzle solutions/spoilers here is considered inappropriate. The problem is that the solutions/spoilers remain online and searchable for the life of the cache. But with that said, here is some general advice:

A while back, The Rat offered a puzzle-solving class as an event cache. His slides are available here:

http://thegba.net/resources/general_information.php

Among the tips he offered:

Identify the theme. Check the cache title, the hint, the HTML source, the graphics (including names/URLs), any links (including URLs), whatever is at the posted coordinates, etc. If you can figure out the theme, then you should look for numbering systems that are associated with that theme (zip codes, area codes, telephone keypads, episode numbers, etc.).

Around here, coordinates will have 15 digits, and will look like "N 37° xx.xxx W 122° xx.xxx". So when I'm solving a nearby puzzle, I look for a group of 15 things, and then I look for ways to get the digits 37xxxxx122xxxxx from them. In general, I look for ways to get the number 37 (or the digits 3 and 7) from something near the beginning of the puzzle, and the number 122 (or the digits 1, 2, and 2) from something near the middle of the puzzle. (Of course, you'll need to adjust this for the coordinates near you.)

Other useful resources include:

Puzzle Solving 101 Series (bookmark list)

Solving Puzzle Caches (online article)

How Do I Solve All These \$@! Puzzle Caches? (tutorial-style puzzle cache)

Puzzle FUNdamentals (archived event cache) and the Puzzle FUNdamentals resources on the GeocacheAlaska! education page

The GBA's Puzzle Cache FAQ (for puzzle designers, but useful for understanding how puzzle caches work)

Apologies if the rules of the forums have been breached by my question as i am new to this, but i was not asking for the answer to this puzzle merely a starting point on how to begin to solve this puzzle. As i am aware of the experience of people on this forum i thought i would just ask the question to the people who were most likely to be able to help. Message received and understood regarding further posts. Thanks to those with constructive suggestions, i have not yet solved this but i am further than i am when i first looked at the puzzle. As for the other comments please remember everyone has to start somewhere, and regarding the general rules of the forum posts if us geocaching newbies show some poor form on here cut us a bit of slack until we are up to speed

thanks for the responses!

Apologies if the rules of the forums have been breached by my question as i am new to this, but i was not asking for the answer to this puzzle merely a starting point on how to begin to solve this puzzle. As i am aware of the experience of people on this forum i thought i would just ask the question to the people who were most likely to be able to help. Message received and understood regarding further posts. Thanks to those with constructive suggestions, i have not yet solved this but i am further than i am when i first looked at the puzzle. As for the other comments please remember everyone has to start somewhere, and regarding the general rules of the forum posts if us geocaching newbies show some poor form on here cut us a bit of slack until we are up to speed

thanks for the responses!

First of all, don't take the critique about asking for help on a puzzle in the forum personally. It's been done dozens, if not hundreds of times in the past and inevitably someone will respond "asking for help on a puzzle is bad form" or some variation thereof. However, asking for help isn't really the issue. It's responding to the request in a archive, searchable forum that is the real issue.

Your response, was also quite comment when you wrote, "i was not asking for the answer to this puzzle merely a starting point on how to begin to solve this puzzle."

As someone else pointed out, quite often with puzzle caches identifying the starting point effectively solves the puzzle. For example, there is a Cipher called the Pigpen cipher. Anyone that has spent any amount of time reading about ciphers would easily recognize the symbols used to encode text that was decrypted using the Pigpen and many could quickly decode the message. If, however, someone had never encountered it before it would be difficult to suggest a starting point without giving the solution away as one you have determined that it's a Pigpen cipher (you can look it up on the web) it's just a matter of translating the symbols to letters from a fixed set of symbols. Based on my experience solving puzzle caches I would say that the most difficult part with *most* of them is identifying a starting point. That said, some of my favorite puzzles are constructed such that there is an obvious starting point, that once entered, draws you into a puzzle that might have multiple levels, red herrings, and is thematically related to other aspects of the cache.

So where do you turn when you don't even know what direction to take? As someone else wrote, ask the cache owner. A couple of things to keep in mind: If the cache has not yet been found most cache owners are reluctant to provide any hints until at least one person has solved the puzzle and found the cache. However, once the cache has been found many cache owners are quite willing to provide hints and even outright solutions. The second thing to keep in mind is that like how a cache is hidden, not all puzzles are intended to be easy. If you encounter a puzzle cache rated as a 4 or higher, the cache owner most likely intended it to be a significant challenge. I've spent over a month working on a 5 star difficulty puzzle cache, so it's a good idea to check the difficulty rating and not expect a level of help from the CO that's going to reduce the difficulty level much.

Take a look at the resources that niraD posted. There are quite a few general approaches to solving puzzle caches, and with experience you'll acquire more "tools" that will help recognize and solve future puzzle caches.

An approach that many geocachers take is to team up with one or more others to work on a puzzle. You can bounce ideas off each other and work together to solve it. There's another geocacher that lives about 400 miles from me that I occasionally correspond with to work on puzzle caches. There are quite few puzzle cache that I've helped solve with him that I will almost certainly never find and a few in my area that he's helped me with.

Again thanks for the helpful comments. To be honest the resources that Nirad posted on here was exactly what i was looking for, an overview of the different kind of puzzles i am likely to encounter, not someone to solve a puzzle for me and it has been quite interesting and useful to read through. I am new to this so i thank everyone for taking the time to read and respond to my post.

So what's the GC code of that one?

the code for the cache in question is GC19NKA

the code for the cache in question is GC19NKA

Thanks! Another puzzle I've solved in Europe which I may get to one of these years.

Apologies if the rules of the forums have been breached by my question as i am new to this, but i was not asking for the answer to this puzzle merely a starting point on how to begin to solve this puzzle. As i am aware of the experience of people on this forum i thought i would just ask the question to the people who were most likely to be able to help. Message received and understood regarding further posts. Thanks to those with constructive suggestions, i have not yet solved this but i am further than i am when i first looked at the puzzle. As for the other comments please remember everyone has to start somewhere, and regarding the general rules of the forum posts if us geocaching newbies show some poor form on here cut us a bit of slack until we are up to speed

thanks for the responses!

I'm curious to know which of the 6 posts made you feel that way. Perhaps I'm just forum-hardened, but I can't tell. I see one person politely letting you know that it is not considered good form, another pointing out that there seems to be two solutions, another going through great lengths to provide you with links to sources of help, someone else pointing out that sometimes the whole point of the puzzle is trying to figure out what the puzzle is... all very helpful and friendly answers by my way of thinking.

Don't ever underestimate the use of Google in solving or getting ideas on how to solve a particular puzzle.

You might have to solve the puzzle on his other one. http://www.geocachin...ef-3bbae8f2a986

That one provides you with a cypher key that might apply to this puzzle also. I have never done any puzzle caches yet since I am just starting. The math nerd in my has me wanting to solve them even if i cant get over there to actually find the cache.

Edit: HAH solved it when I quit making it more complex than it was. A little google sped things up though.

I had never solved this kind of cypher before so now I know what to look for if I have one of these again.

Different people who post in forums have different opinions/approaches. That's the way it is with all forums. I don't believe there is a forum "rule" about discussing puzzles. It's just a "community" guideline, that isn't universally agreed upon. T'is the way, when dealing with humans.

The important thing is the cache owner's opinion/feeling. Would he/she want the solution to their puzzle being discussed on a public forum? Would it upset him/her to find out that how to solve their puzzle was being publicly discussed? As mentioned, sometimes (a lot of times), the very first step of figuring out how to solve the puzzle is intended to be a crucial part of the challenge.

Getting to know your way around, be it in caching or solving puzzles or getting to know forum members, is often a matter of reading the forum threads. And perusing the different forums. There are pages and pages of threads, and quite honestly...there's not much that hasn't been discussed already. Scrolling down the page of threads, then going to the next page, and the next, you will probably find this specific topic discussed a few times. (And then checking in the "Getting Started" forum...same thing.)

The search function can be quite helpful, too. I've had much better luck using it since the change in the forum platform.

Edited by Pup Patrol

Whichever way you look at it, the sum of 2, 3 and 7 is 12.

There are several ways to solve it. Actually one (creative Google searching) isn't really "solving it" I suppose but it will get you to the solution quickest. I solved it doing the simple math with pencil and paper, admittedly taking too much time. It's not really that hard.

What you have to do is look at the puzzle and relax a little. There is one number with only one possible answer. There is another number with only two possible answers. The hint helps bound the problem so it's less brute force trial and error needed.

FWIW, in the past I've solved similar puzzles by writing a little program that automated everything, which for me was more of a fun exercise than going back to 3rd grade math class. But this time I just did it on paper.

If it's still fun, keep digging away at it. When it gets frustrating, put it down for a few days.

Whichever way you look at it, the sum of 2, 3 and 7 is 12.

There are several ways to solve it. Actually one (creative Google searching) isn't really "solving it" I suppose but it will get you to the solution quickest. I solved it doing the simple math with pencil and paper, admittedly taking too much time. It's not really that hard.

What you have to do is look at the puzzle and relax a little. There is one number with only one possible answer. There is another number with only two possible answers. The hint helps bound the problem so it's less brute force trial and error needed.

FWIW, in the past I've solved similar puzzles by writing a little program that automated everything, which for me was more of a fun exercise than going back to 3rd grade math class. But this time I just did it on paper.

If it's still fun, keep digging away at it. When it gets frustrating, put it down for a few days.

Over here in UK it's not considered good form to claim a smiley on a cache stating

"The odds of me looking for this one from 4700 miles away near Seattle WA are zero, but thanks for the puzzle. Nice to get the mental workout now and then !!!"

Maybe it should have been a note!

Edited by terencem

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