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Puzzle and multi stage caches? Am I an educated idiot?


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Could some give me some advice direction in learning about puzzle and Multics stage coaches. My nephew and I keep coming across them, I just don't understand how to decipher them.

 

Here's the definition of the various cache types:

http://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_types.aspx

 

Puzzle (unknown) caches and multicaches are generally two different things.

 

Puzzle caches can be "anything". There's an excellent post by niraD that he often posts when it comes to puzzles.

 

Multicaches require that you input coordinates into your gps to find the next stage, and the next, and the next, however many stages there are until you find the final location. They usually have some way of telling you how to figure out those coordinates for the next stage. But there are a number of ways the cache owner can do that.

 

The multicache can have the necessary information on the cache page, or it can require finding information in the field, or it can require finding the next set of coordinates on a tag or something hidden in the field. Or it could be an offset cache, with the required info posted on the cache page.

 

Best way to learn about them is to go ahead and do them. Once you know that you need more than just the "starting" coordinates that are listed on the cache page, it's a matter of doing the necessary work to find the final coordinates.

 

As with any new endeavour, start off with the ones that are rated a little easier (a 2 instead of a 4 or 5 difficulty).

 

 

B.

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Here are some general puzzle tips (based in part on a puzzle-solving class event presented by The Rat a while ago):

 

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, athletes’ jersey numbers, episode numbers, product codes, 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)

 

If you’re interested in extremely challenging puzzles, then consider the online discussions of Venona’s ACTIVITIES in the GBA forums. The puzzles for this annual event are very challenging, intended to be solved by multiple people working together online. (You'll need to register on the GBA site to view these forum threads.)

Overview: Venona's 2011 ACTIVITIES

Overview: Venona's 2012 ACTIVITIES

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one thing I think we should maybe start to fight against:

why is it fun to make puzzles harder and harder and more dumb waste of time,

it is like a way to payback, haha I can make it more hard and more crasy all the time ??

where is the add a little touch of fun and education ??

or add wisdom related to the area or geocaching related ??

just to make stuff hard, just to be hard = BAD !!

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one thing I think we should maybe start to fight against:

why is it fun to make puzzles harder and harder and more dumb waste of time,

it is like a way to payback, haha I can make it more hard and more crasy all the time ??

where is the add a little touch of fun and education ??

or add wisdom related to the area or geocaching related ??

just to make stuff hard, just to be hard = BAD !!

 

This sort of post would be more appropriate in the General forum.

 

A person who is asking for help, be it in this forum or the Getting Started forum, isn't really going to get much use out of a rant.

 

I don't think it's appropriate to start an angsty discussion on what is supposed to be a "Help" forum.

 

 

B.

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one thing I think we should maybe start to fight against:

why is it fun to make puzzles harder and harder and more dumb waste of time,

it is like a way to payback, haha I can make it more hard and more crasy all the time ??

where is the add a little touch of fun and education ??

or add wisdom related to the area or geocaching related ??

just to make stuff hard, just to be hard = BAD !!

 

We own both easy puzzles and hard puzzles. More people have found the easy ones than the hard ones, but some people enjoy a challenge.

 

We've solved both easy and hard puzzles. And we've been stumped by many puzzle caches as well. I still don't get how to get started on the steganography puzzles (coordinates hidden somewhere in a page of text). Life goes on regardless.

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Could some give me some advice direction in learning about puzzle and Multics stage coaches. My nephew and I keep coming across them, I just don't understand how to decipher them.

 

My first recommendation is avoid getting overwhelmed and frustrated... always. Good advice for any cache, or just looking for something. You can always come back to it (most of the time).

 

Step one, get to the Cache page and READ Everything several times. Rules indicate that ALL the information you require to solve the problem presented is there on the page in some form. That does not mean all the tools required are on the page however.

You should never be forced to obtain something from a specific source, but you can be expected to chose one of your choice that will do the job, or NOT. After reading the page, make some lists of everything you suspect might bear on the problem.

That can be the cache name, the text description, images presented and such. Somewhere you will find out just where the puzzle is.

Nothing but your interest will get you to learn the skills needed. Finding out what the puzzle is is often the hard part, and the fun part for the likes of me. Accept that sometimes you simply won't get it, that makes it much better when you finally do.

 

I try and fail all the time, go off to try something else then... sometimes weeks down the road I find something that answers part of the original problem... bingo. Sometimes you see it right away, based on experience, sometimes not. Not a problem that can't be solved, you just need to gain experience.

 

Don't start with hard ones, Read niraD's references, but don't forget to start reading and sorting out the local offerings for later use. Try a few for exercise, just don't get hung up on solving right away. Another thing is learn when to abandon or reconsider any chosen path or method. Many people simply can't or won't back off, rethink and start fresh. Harder puzzles often use misdirection and we know it. That does not mean you were wrong either, sometimes puzzle creators deliberately make you feel that way so you give up and go away. Experience helps decide when to abandon and restart... but until I solve it, I don't throw out the first attempt just in case. I go over the logic path for sure in the light of other findings on the new start.

 

I hope you like red herrings, they are everywhere in the world of puzzles. Don't start with 5/5 puzzles for sure, but sampling them can lead to seeing it from a different point of view. Makes the easier ones seem trivial, but one has to try the classics for sure.

 

Doug 7rxc

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