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Beta test a new puzzle


rawkhopper
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I have a new puzzle cache I am working on. This test is early beta, I am a little unsure of how one step might go over. Anyway I would love to have some people try it out. I learned last time that some people will email and some will send me a message through the forums, and that was tough to keep up with. So this time I set up a website with the puzzle on it and would prefer email responses. The coordinates are not real so don't go for the cache, if you find something there it is not my cache :). The beta puzzle is at http://rawkhopper.com/whiteout.html

 

Email me through the geocaching.com for feedback.

 

Thanks!

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The first issue I have with this puzzle is it should be "hidden" instead of "hid". I'm a professional editor, sorry for being anal.

 

Outside of that, I enjoy the puzzle.

 

You should check out Mother of All Puzzles, a cache hidden in Ohio. It might give you some inspiration.

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The first issue I have with this puzzle is it should be "hidden" instead of "hid". I'm a professional editor, sorry for being anal.

 

Outside of that, I enjoy the puzzle.

 

You should check out Mother of All Puzzles, a cache hidden in Ohio. It might give you some inspiration.

How about now? :) maybe even more poetic license?

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The link is not working for me.

Oh and if you get a solid white page that is what you are supposed to get.

 

I think I figured it out. Probably more by luck than skill though.

Edit to say that I did NOT figure out any coords

Edited by jeffrae
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Oh I plan on having it on gc.com but I can't send someone to my unpublished page. I have the page ready I just need a home for the actual cache and confirmation that it works. So please email the coords and let me ask you a couple of questions.

Edited by rawkhopper
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Please email me coordinates I would really appreciate being able to ask you a few follow up questions!

I stopped working on the puzzle when I was presented with a tedious transcription task. That in itself is feedback. I dislike puzzles in which tedium is required.

Sorry you didn't enjoy it. I didn't think it was that tedious myself but I will take that into consideration. It takes longer to make it than it does to decipher it though so maybe I am looking at it differently.

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Very easy. Several in this vein have been used in my area.

Please email me coordinates I would really appreciate being able to ask you a few follow up questions!

 

Are You Bright Enough to Solve This?

Well though it may be similar there are a lot more steps to mine than that one. I can't believe that one is rated a 4 in difficulty. Unless I am missing something it was very simple. I was planning on making mine a 3 to 3.5. Anyway I am still waiting on coordinates from anyone that solved it. Please email them to me rather than post them.

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Please email me coordinates I would really appreciate being able to ask you a few follow up questions!

I stopped working on the puzzle when I was presented with a tedious transcription task. That in itself is feedback. I dislike puzzles in which tedium is required.

Sorry you didn't enjoy it. I didn't think it was that tedious myself but I will take that into consideration. It takes longer to make it than it does to decipher it though so maybe I am looking at it differently.

This illustrates a classic mistake in puzzle design. You know how the information is encoded, so to you decoding it can be done by eye, and is simple. The solver, however, does not know how the information is encoded, and will need to test several ideas in order to figure it out.

 

The transcription may not be required to solve the puzzle, but I cannot possibly know that until I have solved the puzzle. Therefore, the transcription is necessary to put the data into a form where I can test various hypotheses.

 

As a result, your claim that "it takes longer to make it than it does to decipher it" is incorrect. You have no idea how long it will take to decipher the information since you don't know how long it will take the solver to find the right decoding method.

 

FWIW, I would have encoded the information programmatically, not by hand (using GIMP) as you did. Which means it would have taken next to no time to encode it.

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I got as far as "What you are looking for is not here." I also was able to read the hidden text about comic books.

 

Nothing else I've tried has worked, and I haven't come up with coordinates yet. Let me ask you a question: You do know that layers no longer exist after you convert the file into a jpeg, right? I've seen puzzles that used hidden layers in a picture before, but the .jpg format won't support that.

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I got as far as "What you are looking for is not here." I also was able to read the hidden text about comic books.

 

Nothing else I've tried has worked, and I haven't come up with coordinates yet. Let me ask you a question: You do know that layers no longer exist after you convert the file into a jpeg, right? I've seen puzzles that used hidden layers in a picture before, but the .jpg format won't support that.

 

THis is as far as I've gotten as well. I've tried 3 different programs to maybe remove another layer or convert but have come up dry. I'm 2000 miles from ever finding this cache so maybe a hint on how to solve it? It's been bugging at me all day now.

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I got to the br--ll- (don't wanna spoiler it here) and then stopped.

If it's br--ll- it's some weird variant. That was one of the things I would have done had I transcribed it. But it's not garden-variety br--ll-.

 

My guess would be that you have to ignore some of the colors you get. Didn't pursue that though.

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I got to the br--ll- (don't wanna spoiler it here) and then stopped.

If it's br--ll- it's some weird variant. That was one of the things I would have done had I transcribed it. But it's not garden-variety br--ll-.

 

I tried looking onto that too but didn't seem to work out for me. Maybe I'll try again.

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I got to the br--ll- (don't wanna spoiler it here) and then stopped. I would've decoded it if it was for an actual cache around here, but can't be bothered with this right now :D

Maybe. I think what you are seeing isn't br--ll-, but some kind of jpeg artifact.

 

Negative on that, captain. I know a hidden message when I see it.

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I got to the br--ll- (don't wanna spoiler it here) and then stopped. I would've decoded it if it was for an actual cache around here, but can't be bothered with this right now :D

Maybe. I think what you are seeing isn't br--ll-, but some kind of jpeg artifact.

 

Negative on that, captain. I know a hidden message when I see it.

On closer inspection, I do believe you are correct. But it's still not br--ll-. I don't know what it is, but it's not that.

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Using Gimp, the only thing I'm able to extract out of the .jpg is a hidden text message. That part only took less than a minute of trying a couple of things. No coords though. I can see bits and pieces of something behind the text if I continue to manipulate it in various ways, but nothing that seems to make sense. I'm going to continue to work on it later @ home.

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I got to the br--ll- (don't wanna spoiler it here) and then stopped. I would've decoded it if it was for an actual cache around here, but can't be bothered with this right now :D

Hehe real cryptic there! :)

 

Anyway still waiting for someone to send me coordinates so that they can give me their opinion of the puzzle as a whole. Fizzymagic has me bummed that he thinks it is to tedious. I thought it would be fun but I guess each to his own eh?

 

Well still hoping for an overall opinion and if someone solves it thinks it is to tedious maybe they can help me figure out if I should do it a different way. I may have an alternative if it everyone thinks it is too tedious. That was not my intent. I thought it would just be a trail of one thing leads to another that would eventually end in a solution that would not be too difficult.

 

Oh well this is why I like to beta test. My alpha stage went fairly miserably so I thought I had all the kinks worked out except one. But now it seems we have revealed another!

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I too got to the Br__ll_, but I don't believe that's what it is. If you zoom in enough there are several images that are repeated throughout. I have an idea of how to attack it but as Fizzy said, it would be time consuming without knowing a solution is forthcoming.

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I got to the br--ll- (don't wanna spoiler it here) and then stopped. I would've decoded it if it was for an actual cache around here, but can't be bothered with this right now :D

Hehe real cryptic there! :)

 

Anyway still waiting for someone to send me coordinates so that they can give me their opinion of the puzzle as a whole. Fizzymagic has me bummed that he thinks it is to tedious. I thought it would be fun but I guess each to his own eh?

 

Sorry you are bummed, and sorry I was not very gentle. I just gave my instant honest feedback.

 

There are a number of ways to eliminate the tedious parts. One way is to put some kind of ASCII encoding of the thing into the image's EXIF data. In your case, that could be done in such a way that it would make no sense until people had discovered the hidden secret. Then they can take the data from the EXIF and play with it. Another way to deal with that is to put a URL in the spot with the hidden secret such that they can go there and get an ASCII representation to play with.

 

On the other hand, it may be that there is some self-evident feature of the data that points right at the solution, and I am just missing it. For example, I considered what others suggested above about ignoring parts before I even thought about transcribing; it was quickly evident that it would not work. I have observed certain other statistical anomalies that give come clues about the encoding method; my problem is that 4^6 = 4096 which is too high for the most obvious way to do it. Another irregularity is probably a result of the fact that the JPEG colorspace is not RGB, but YCrCb, which means that there are many RBG values that cannot be exactly expressed in a JPEG.

 

It's entirely likely that I am making things far too complicated; that is frequently my problem. But if you do intend that people transcribe the data, then my critique stands. I could probably write a Python program to automatically extract it in about 15 minutes, but I doubt that many other cachers could!

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Well I've run into a brick wall for now. I can see what could (I guess) be considered "data", but at this point I can't go further with it. I guess if it was a race for a FTF I might put more into it, but without any kind of direction or clue, I'm wandering aimlessly in circles here.

 

Sorry... I gave it a valiant effort. :blink:

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Ok please hold while I go back to the drawing board. I have no proof this puzzle was solved. Those that were verbose in there responses helped realize that this was more complicated than it need be. I will rework the puzzle when I get a chance. For those that were curious look up ASCII braille on wikipedia for the answer. With that bit of knowledge it should an easy solve. I will post here with new puzzle when completed.

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Ok please hold while I go back to the drawing board. I have no proof this puzzle was solved. Those that were verbose in there responses helped realize that this was more complicated than it need be. I will rework the puzzle when I get a chance. For those that were curious look up ASCII braille on wikipedia for the answer. With that bit of knowledge it should an easy solve. I will post here with new puzzle when completed.

I sent you a message. After a good night's sleep, I found what I was looking for, and see how the puzzle is solved. I was too focused on one aspect of it, and didn't bother to see the "back half". Don't have time right now to transcribe it bit by bit, as Friday's are my busiest day @ work. I'll take a closer look at it later.

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Thanks all for the help. Fizzy don't feel bad about the comment, I did not take it bad. It was actually the comment that started the change. Now I have to go out and find an actual spot to put it. It will take me a while but I can't wait.

 

Last time I took the high end of fizzy's suggestion so this time I will take the low so the final puzzle will be a 3 difficulty.

 

Everyone that commented raised the quality of this cache so thanks.

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