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# How do I use information given to solve puzzle?

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I feel like this is a stupid question, but I cannot find the answer despite searching, so I must ask...

I am trying to solve puzzles for unknown caches to obtain the proper coordinates. I understand that solving the different clues will give me numerical answers that I am to use for the GPS location.

However, I do not know what it means when the clue states: A. An English teacher at Lisbon Falls High School in Maine who time travels back to 1958 = (A). Last name +1.

I do not understand what "Last name +1" means. Do I add up the letters in the last name and add one?

Another example: B. While in Derry, Jake lives on B Street - also where the main characters in the novel Insomnia live. Street name -3.

Again, I don't understand what Street name - 3 means.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

JoveTNT

Edited by JoveTNT

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However, I do not know what it means when the clue states...

The best person to ask would be the owner of the cache. They may have made the puzzle intentionally vague, and may not appreciate that portion of the puzzle being publicly solved here in the forums. It could also be that they didn't realize that part of the puzzle may be unintentionally vague and your question could spur them to clarify the cache page.

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Okay, I will ask. But I am not asking for the answer to the puzzle, but rather what is the methodology to solve the puzzle. I thought perhaps I did not understand a common methodology for solving puzzles, like the clue name, plus one or minus five - I don't understand what I am subtracting or adding from. To say it another way, let's say the answer for the clue name is Smith plus 3. So do I add up the word Smith (5) and add 3 for a total of 8 as one of the coordinates?

Thank you.

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But I am not asking for the answer to the puzzle, but rather what is the methodology to solve the puzzle.

With many puzzles, figuring out the methodology is the entire puzzle. Once that's revealed, getting to the solution can be trivial. In the case of the cache you're asking about, they've provided a geochecker link, so you can try what you think might be the correct method and plug it into the geochecker to see if it's right.

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Ah, I see. Thank you for clarifying that both the methodology and as well as the answer is part of the puzzle. I will use the geochecker as well. Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. Your help is appreciated.

JoveTNT

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Could be anything. Maybe add up the numbers. count the letters and that could be the co-ords. Or those could be random sentences with nothing top do with the puzzle. Like everyone said once you find the method the rest is easy

Edited by T.D.M.22

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Check this out.

Or, look here for a recent discussion about puzzle solving.

Also, According to section 4 of the geocaching.com terms of use, "You agree not to: [...] (m) Publish, on any Groundspeak owned web property, the solutions, hints, spoilers, or any hidden coordinates for any geocache without consent from the cache owner." However, 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.).

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Is that a Stephen King puzzle cache? That's cool and I would love to have one of those around here...

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Yes, every puzzle if different, and to some extent you have to get inside the mind of the puzzle creator. I haven't found any general guidance for solving puzzles because there really isn't any. Tips from the puzzle's creator is your best bet.

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I do not understand what "Last name +1" means. Do I add up the letters in the last name and add one?

OK, so you've gotten some good general help from people dancing around because it's not considered ethical to give specific help in the forums on puzzle caches, but your question is really much more basic, and it doesn't sound to me like the CO intended this part of the puzzle to be confusing. While it can be something else, this notation typically should be read "Take the value you know, 'Last name', and add one to it." How you get a value from a last name can vary from place to place, but most often it is done by taking the numeric value of the first letter: if the name is Adams, A=1, for example. But you might consider a different approach if the last name is "Six"...

The examples given look like a simple lookup cache, and those almost always use this simple technique. More complicated puzzles can use other approaches, so don't fall in love with it. (And COs can make mistakes even when they're trying to keep it simple.)

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Is that a Stephen King puzzle cache? That's cool and I would love to have one of those around here...

IF it is, then I know exactly what it's referring to!!

Can't spoil it here in the forum, tho.

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