# Mutil-Cache or Mystery / Puzzle

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Looking for some guidance from the geocaching community.

We have a number of Barn Quilts (colorful signs hanging on barns in different designs) in our county.

The goal is to take a tour of a number of the Barn Quilts, observing each one.

The tour could be either by bike or by vehicle but would not require entering private property.

At each sign, a cacher would note, size, color, building color etc. and use that information to determine a part of the final coordinates.

Each barn quilt would provide one digit or so of the final coordinates.

My question: How should this specified...Multi-cache or Mystery / Puzzle?

The official definition of a Multi:

A Multi-Cache ("multiple") involves two or more locations. The final location is a physical container. There are many variations, but most Multi-Caches have a hint to find the second cache, and the second cache has a hint to the third, and so on. An offset cache (where you go to a location and get hints to the actual cache) is considered a Multi-Cache.

My specific question: since there is actually only the final cache with the rest being waypoints to gather information, is this really a multi?

This seems similar to mulits in a cemetery where you plug in dates to find the cache hidden nearby but I have seen those listed as both multis and puzzles.

Would appreciate some thoughts...granted not critical how it would be specified either way but am just looking for some input.

Thanks!

Happy Caching! - hawkeyetob

Mystery/puzzle. We got something similar here. http://coord.info/GC3931C

My opinion, people are more likely to do a puzzle than a mutil.

It looks clearly a multi-cache if you give all the coordinates for the stages, maybe a puzzle if the geocacher have to solve those coordinates.

That sounds a lot like a local multi-cache: Downtown Campbell Walking Tour. There are 15 stages. Each provides a digit to the coordinates of the final. All the questions are simple: counting things, copying digits from plaques, that sort of thing.

But I've noticed regional variation. Around here (San Francisco Peninsula), if a multi-stage cache involves only simple information (counting things, copying digits from plaques, etc.) and basic arithmetic, then it is listed as multi-cache. It is listed as a mystery/puzzle cache only if it involves something more complex, something puzzle-like.

But when I was visiting Massachusetts recently, two-stage caches with a virtual first stage were listed as mystery/puzzle caches, no matter how simple the information at the virtual first stage was.

By definition, it's a multi. Our reviewer would send you a note if you submitted it as a puzzle. And it does matter. My PQs do not contain puzzles but they do contain multis. I really wish this type of cache was a puzzle as I think of them as puzzles disguised as multis. If you do create this cache, make sure that you use the Field Puzzle attribute to give people a heads up that they are not doing a traditional multi.

This is a multi-cache, it fits the offset multi-cache description perfectly The stages should be entered as Question to Answer, and be public.

See the cache type definitions here Getting Started with Geocaching > Geocache Types . http://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_types.aspx

I'll contradict Don J and say that the Field Puzzle attribute is not appropriate. There's no puzzle here at all.

I'll contradict Don J and say that the Field Puzzle attribute is not appropriate. There's no puzzle here at all.
Ditto. I don't see any puzzle here at all. It's a textbook example of a multi-cache with virtual (question to answer) waypoints.

But like I wrote earlier, in Massachusetts, even simpler examples of this kind of cache were consistently listed as a mystery/puzzle cache, so YMMV.

I'll contradict Don J and say that the Field Puzzle attribute is not appropriate. There's no puzzle here at all.
Ditto. I don't see any puzzle here at all. It's a textbook example of a multi-cache with virtual (question to answer) waypoints.

But like I wrote earlier, in Massachusetts, even simpler examples of this kind of cache were consistently listed as a mystery/puzzle cache, so YMMV.

We have a number of Barn Quilts (colorful signs hanging on barns in different designs) in our county.

The goal is to take a tour of a number of the Barn Quilts, observing each one.

The tour could be either by bike or by vehicle but would not require entering private property.

At each sign, a cacher would note, size, color, building color etc. and use that information to determine a part of the final coordinates.

Each barn quilt would provide one digit or so of the final coordinates.

Perhaps I misunderstood, both the cache and the use of the attribute. I guess if it's a simple, "if the quilt is blue than the # is 3" type of thing, then it may not be appropriate. I was thinking about something more complicated which would be like working a puzzle in the field, thus field puzzle. Is there any consensus on when the attribute should be applied? I personally think that even simple math can be puzzling to some. I don't mind doing traditional multis where cache #1 has the coordinates to cache #2 and so on, but sometimes I lack the patience to stand in the hot sun and do complicated computations to figure out the next stage. Would something like that be considered a field puzzle?

I would say it's a multi-stage cache, with a field puzzle attribute.

To me, a mystery/puzzle indicates I need to do something (solve a puzzle) before setting out to find the cache.

In your example, the 'field puzzle' is relatively simple so the multi-stage aspect is more prominent.

If someone needed to get information at one location and then go home for hours of decryption and/or higher mathematics then I would see it as more of a puzzle.

Thanks all!

My plan is to submit as a Multi and go from there.

I appreciate the discussion.

I would say it's a multi-stage cache, with a field puzzle attribute.

To me, a mystery/puzzle indicates I need to do something (solve a puzzle) before setting out to find the cache.

In your example, the 'field puzzle' is relatively simple so the multi-stage aspect is more prominent.

If someone needed to get information at one location and then go home for hours of decryption and/or higher mathematics then I would see it as more of a puzzle.

Interesting. I interpret the "Field Puzzle" attribute very differently. The only use that makes sense to me is as a modifier on a puzzle cache, indicating that the puzzle has an element that requires work "in the field", rather than being solvable from home. After all, if there's an element of a cache complicated enough to classify it as a "field puzzle", then by definition, isn't it a "puzzle"?

From the information posted by the OP, I'd classify it as a multi with no Field Puzzle attribute. It doesn't sound like anything would need to be solved at each stage. I envision it being something like:

Coordinates: N AB CD.EFG W HI JK.LMN

What is the colour of the barn?

1. Red: A = 4

2. Green: A = 7

3. Brown: A = 1

...or something to that effect. I may have interpreted the OP's intentions incorrectly, but if the cache is like my example above, then it doesn't involve anything I would classify as "puzzle-like".

As I was typing this, I see the OP has decided to submit it as a multi. I agree with this decision.

I would say it's a multi-stage cache, with a field puzzle attribute.

To me, a mystery/puzzle indicates I need to do something (solve a puzzle) before setting out to find the cache.

In your example, the 'field puzzle' is relatively simple so the multi-stage aspect is more prominent.

If someone needed to get information at one location and then go home for hours of decryption and/or higher mathematics then I would see it as more of a puzzle.

Interesting. I interpret the "Field Puzzle" attribute very differently. The only use that makes sense to me is as a modifier on a puzzle cache, indicating that the puzzle has an element that requires work "in the field", rather than being solvable from home. After all, if there's an element of a cache complicated enough to classify it as a "field puzzle", then by definition, isn't it a "puzzle"?

From the information posted by the OP, I'd classify it as a multi with no Field Puzzle attribute. It doesn't sound like anything would need to be solved at each stage. I envision it being something like:

Coordinates: N AB CD.EFG W HI JK.LMN

What is the colour of the barn?

1. Red: A = 4

2. Green: A = 7

3. Brown: A = 1

...or something to that effect. I may have interpreted the OP's intentions incorrectly, but if the cache is like my example above, then it doesn't involve anything I would classify as "puzzle-like".

As I was typing this, I see the OP has decided to submit it as a multi. I agree with this decision.

Given my general inattention to attributes, I'm surprised I wrote that!

However, I would hope that the 'Field Puzzle' attribute would help at least a few caches realize they don't need to look for a container with new co-ordinates at the various stages.

Perhaps listing the various child waypoints as 'A Question to Answer' would have the same effect as the 'Field Puzzle' attribute.

In any case I agree that what was described is way over on the 'Multi-Cache' side of the dividing line.

Given that the lines between puzzles and any other type of cache can get muddied, it's worth the effort to point them out any way possible. I just recently discovered a puzzle cache disguised as a letterbox-hybrid. Sure, there's a stamp in the cache...but you need to work a puzzle to get the co-ordinates!

To me, if there are clear instructions as to how to translate the information seen in the field (i.e. barn colours) into the numbers required for the co-ords, then it's a multi.

I just recently discovered a puzzle cache disguised as a letterbox-hybrid. Sure, there's a stamp in the cache...but you need to work a puzzle to get the co-ordinates!

This is one of the oddities of the site. A hold-over from the very early days of Geocaching.com, when a significant percentage of caches listed were cross-listed letterboxes and there were no attributes.

Today, it would make more sense to a lot of geocachers to list that as a puzzle, with a letterbox attribute. I confess I prefer to keep some of the charming chaos of the early site. This, caches in wrong state, and some other oddities rather please me.

However, the way it works now, ANY cache of any type (possibly except Wherigo? or cache that uses a Beacon) that has a stamp in the final can be listed as Letterbox. So in the field Letterbox hybrid may work as Traditional, Multi, or Puzzle.

Interesting. I interpret the "Field Puzzle" attribute very differently. The only use that makes sense to me is as a modifier on a puzzle cache, indicating that the puzzle has an element that requires work "in the field", rather than being solvable from home. After all, if there's an element of a cache complicated enough to classify it as a "field puzzle", then by definition, isn't it a "puzzle"?

Traditional caches with the field puzzle attribute: one had combination lock on the box. The combo was on the cache page, as an address I think. Something like, "I have fond memories of my childhood on this street, living at 670 Ash Lane....".

Another where the box was a Chinese puzzle box. Cache at coords, but a bit of work to do once you arrived. Nothing that the average human being wasn't going to figure out on the spot.

I just recently discovered a puzzle cache disguised as a letterbox-hybrid. Sure, there's a stamp in the cache...but you need to work a puzzle to get the co-ordinates!

This is one of the oddities of the site. A hold-over from the very early days of Geocaching.com, when a significant percentage of caches listed were cross-listed letterboxes and there were no attributes.

Today, it would make more sense to a lot of geocachers to list that as a puzzle, with a letterbox attribute. I confess I prefer to keep some of the charming chaos of the early site. This, caches in wrong state, and some other oddities rather please me.

However, the way it works now, ANY cache of any type (possibly except Wherigo? or cache that uses a Beacon) that has a stamp in the final can be listed as Letterbox. So in the field Letterbox hybrid may work as Traditional, Multi, or Puzzle.

Interesting. I interpret the "Field Puzzle" attribute very differently. The only use that makes sense to me is as a modifier on a puzzle cache, indicating that the puzzle has an element that requires work "in the field", rather than being solvable from home. After all, if there's an element of a cache complicated enough to classify it as a "field puzzle", then by definition, isn't it a "puzzle"?

Traditional caches with the field puzzle attribute: one had combination lock on the box. The combo was on the cache page, as an address I think. Something like, "I have fond memories of my childhood on this street, living at 670 Ash Lane....".

Another where the box was a Chinese puzzle box. Cache at coords, but a bit of work to do once you arrived. Nothing that the average human being wasn't going to figure out on the spot.

I don't believe that any of the older Letterbox Hybrid caches in this area have ever had a stamp. They were simply caches that listed the starting coordinates and then gave a series of letterbox style instructions/clues to get you to the final location.

As far as the Field Puzzle attribute. I'm not sure if Groundspeak has given any guideline on when it should be used. If they have, perhaps someone can direct me? I have not seen it used often, but when it has been used it has been for some sort of physical puzzle, such as puzzle box. I would not mind seeing it used for mental or math puzzles as well. I think that it can be beneficial for those that want to search for these type of multi caches as well as those that would like to exclude them from their PQs.

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