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Puzzle caches that went wierd..


KA&JWest
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You ever have a Puzzle cache, where you aimed it at a particular audience and/or method of solving, and ALL of the cachers knew nothing about the subject of the puzzle, but did the Google quest approach?

 

So far, Evercrack Classic, a cache aimed at old school players of EverQuest, has been solved by 8 local players, and NONE of them had ever heard of the game before (ok.. maybe one had heard of it). The picture clues were there to slow down the Google phreaks.. That obviously didn't work! It has been fun to read the logs!

 

Anyone else had a puzzle take off in a direction totally unexpected? People solving it not in the way intended?

 

Tell us your stories!

 

JW

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There's a tough and locally famous puzzle that's being found pretty regularly by cachers getting from one traditional hide to another. They see it, open it, get the GC Code from the logbook and log the find. To his credit, the cache owner is sticking strictly to the "sign the log, log the find" notion, which has stilled some whining by past finders about not doing it "right".

 

A few people, seeing what cache they've found, log notes, and say they'll turn those into finds when they solve.

 

Accidental finding being yet another route to "solving" the puzzle cache ;-).

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I haven't had one go weird, but I did have a puzzle that did not go as expected. Not A Typo was part of a series of puzzles I created in honor of those local hiders who had melted my brain in the past. For each of this series, I emailed the cache page to the person it was dedicated to prior to publication, so they would get first shot at it. (This was when I still placed value on a FTF)

 

This puzzle was based on the positions of your 10 fingers in relation to a QWERTY keyboard. I do not have any formal training in typing, (I hunt & peck), so I had no idea which fingers were supposed to do what. Google came to my rescue, and I soon had the cache page typed up. What I did not know was that there were more than one layout for fingers and the keys they were supposed to hit, and the method Google provided was not the one primarily taught here in the United States.

 

My error had the FTF crowd hunting 6/10 of a mile away.

 

Doh!

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Hope this doesn't make you think your forum thread has gone weird ;) , but why did you expect only geocachers with knowledge of the puzzle's subject to want to solve it? While the sharing of final coords is not something I support, why would anyone consider researching the answers to a puzzle to be undesirable?

 

Yes, the smiley is an incentive. But I also like to solve puzzles that cover subjects that encourage research for the answers. Many I have little hope of ever logging for a find, because the cache containers are too far away. I just enjoy learning. One of my puzzle caches is bird based. It is time consuming for solving cachers to complete, but I never expected only cachers with birding experience to log it. IMO, encouraging others to branch out their knowledge into unfamiliar areas in a fun way is a positive thing.

 

There was a maze puzzle that I spent hours solving with a highlighter. Computer savvy folks used programs to get the solution in seconds. They probably enjoyed the satisfaction of solving it their way, and I had fun solving it mine. In fact, I was so thrilled, I drove a 30 miles round trip just to log it the next morning.

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I don't consider using Google to research an unfamiliar puzzle topic to be a sign of a puzzle cache "gone weird" either. I've learned about a lot of new topics thanks to puzzle caches that were based on them. That's a very normal type of puzzle cache to me.

 

And speaking of learning something new...

This puzzle was based on the positions of your 10 fingers in relation to a QWERTY keyboard. I do not have any formal training in typing, (I hunt & peck), so I had no idea which fingers were supposed to do what. Google came to my rescue, and I soon had the cache page typed up. What I did not know was that there were more than one layout for fingers and the keys they were supposed to hit, and the method Google provided was not the one primarily taught here in the United States.
Interesting... Most of the touch-typing charts Google found agree with the way I learned to touch-type: on the top row, the left fingers hit (`1) (2) (3) (45) and the right fingers hit (67) (8) (9) (0-=). It never occurred to me that anyone taught touch-typing the way the other charts showed: on the top row, the left fingers hit (`12) (3) (4) (56) and the right fingers hit (78) (9) (0) (-=).

 

As it turns out, ergonomic split keyboards include the 6 key with the left-hand keys, which never made sense to me until now.

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You ever have a Puzzle cache, where you aimed it at a particular audience and/or method of solving, and ALL of the cachers knew nothing about the subject of the puzzle, but did the Google quest approach?

 

So far, Evercrack Classic, a cache aimed at old school players of EverQuest, has been solved by 8 local players, and NONE of them had ever heard of the game before (ok.. maybe one had heard of it). The picture clues were there to slow down the Google phreaks.. That obviously didn't work! It has been fun to read the logs!

 

Anyone else had a puzzle take off in a direction totally unexpected? People solving it not in the way intended?

 

Tell us your stories!

 

JW

 

I'm afraid I would be in the Google crowd with this one, until reading this thread I had never heard of Everquest. I haven't really experienced people solving the puzzle in unexpected ways, NOT solving the puzzle in unexpected ways would be a bit more accurate. Our second hide, Secrets From The Past, has a two part puzzle, one part for the latitude and one for the longitude. I expected some people to have difficulty with the longitude because I know a few that simply can not see the images. I didn't expect many to have difficulty with the latitude but after five finds in nine months and talking with several people that have tried to solve it (including one math teacher)it seems to be latitude that has everyone stumped. I may have underestimated the difficulty on it.......

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The only puzzle caches I have set I expect finders to use Google if they don't have the knowledge already. I've had several finders not solve the puzzle but find it anyway, by looking at the route and my hints.

 

As a finder, the one example which sticks out is Bird Bath. I've only just now figured out how it was supposed to be solved (nearly 2 years later). Because of local knowledge, as soon as I read it I knew where the "Roving Birder" was reporting from and the name of the bird.

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It's because puzzle caches are only appealing to a certain finite group of cachers and those cachers will be the most relentless and resourceful at solving any puzzle. Whether or not ANY puzzle subject would be known to the puzzle group in your area would be merely coincidental. The fact that it is a puzzle cache is the only thing that would matter to them.

 

And then there is the sharing part of it as well. Not necessarily the blatant sharing of the coords, although that happens too, but more along the lines of working together to solve a puzzle and sharing insights/ideas into how the puzzle might be solved. This usually resutls in a group of two or three cachers all finding the hide at the same time.

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