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People who create puzzles are pretty creative, so no one approach is always right.


In GENERAL there are some guidelines for solving it.


1. Cryptograms are common, so look for repeating patterns of symbols that would represent letters.

2. It helps to start with the characteristics of the coordinates in your local area.

In my area, for example, the North coordinates are almost always N 38 41.XXX

and W 121 08.XXX. Knowing what the first four or five digits are will give you

a head start in cracking the code.

3. Next notice the difficulty rating. This one is 3 and 1/2 = pretty hard.

4. Count the number of lines. This one has 25 lines with anywhere from 55 to 62

characters per line. The longitude/latitude coordinates are generally 14 or 15 digits,

so it's not a one-line per digit type puzzle.


For this particular puzzle - my approach.

1. Look at just the letters, ignoring the numbers.

2. Look at just the numbers, ignoring the letters.

3. Look for patterns. Here you'll see a letter, then 2 or 3 numbers, then another letter.

That's an important clue, but not sure why yet.

4. Consider that it might be a 3-D matrix - in other words, there may be an

up and down or even a diagonal component.


Good luck

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



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)

Puzzle Shortcuts 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)

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