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Bad hints...


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I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

So now we know what thinking generates that kind of hint. No, sorry. Call me stupid, but I've never really paid any attention to the difference between a birch and a cedar. They're just synonyms for "tree" as far as I'm concerned.

 

I once looked for a cache that had a hint for a tree type I did know. Naturally, it was in a forest full of them.

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One bad hint I particularly remember when there were loads of very similar trees in a bouncy gps spot: "base of tree"!

 

Are you kidding me?!! So I basically have to search all the bases of the trees, something I would have done if there was no hint at all.... useless!

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I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

So now we know what thinking generates that kind of hint. No, sorry. Call me stupid, but I've never really paid any attention to the difference between a birch and a cedar. They're just synonyms for "tree" as far as I'm concerned.

 

I once looked for a cache that had a hint for a tree type I did know. Naturally, it was in a forest full of them.

Well, think of birch. What do you think of? Bark. Birch bark. Peels. Paper birch. Peely barked trees.

 

Now, cedar. Cedar chest? Cedar shavings? Smell the bark or the scale-like leaves.

 

Now you can have some help for the next time you encounter hints calling out cedars or birch trees! :anicute:

 

Please tell me you can, at least, tell the difference between a coniferous and deciduous tree? :sunsure:

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I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

So now we know what thinking generates that kind of hint. No, sorry. Call me stupid, but I've never really paid any attention to the difference between a birch and a cedar. They're just synonyms for "tree" as far as I'm concerned.

 

I once looked for a cache that had a hint for a tree type I did know. Naturally, it was in a forest full of them.

Now, with that said (my post above), I think the majority of tree-identifying hints I've come across have been pointing out a tree that was not like the others around it.

 

For example, "Bottom of birch" in a forest of needle-y trees would get me looking at trees that might be different from the rest. I think that, when used well, a tree species ID as a hint is a good hint when it creates a "one of these things is not like the other" moment in the field.

 

Therein is what I meant by

I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

 

I'm not saying that a hint using "bottom of birch" or "cedar", for example, are helpful in the least when in a forest of birch or cedar, respectively. That kind of hint is like saying "rock" when standing on a field of rocks. Just plain silly, that.

 

Another hint that I find troublesome is when someone tells me what kind of container I am looking for.

Seek small
ammo can
Green match container

 

These hints aren't really helpful when you have many places that a cache fitting the already-provided information (D/T ratings, size chosen, title, description...) might be hidden.

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I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

 

But that's just me... B)

 

It seems that many COs cannot tell the difference between a cedar, spruce, yew or pine. Many thing that all evergreens are pines.

"Pining for a cache". Nope that's a hemlock. "In the pine tree". Nope that one's a cedar. "Fir-y Friend"? Nope it's yew.

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How about "ankle high" for a cache that lowered through an overhead opening? It was indeed at ankle height (given the length of the cable used to lower it), but you needed to search overhead to find it.

 

So that is actually a brilliant hint. An extra twist of the cryptic sword. There's one I've done and the hint is "near base of post" - the fact that the cache is INSIDE the post is for you to joyfully discover. That "Under Tree" one likewise is superb I think. But have to agree that people who use L or R, before / after, assuming you're doing a trail in one particular direction... nv helpful. Chin height etc, ditto.

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I am no horticulturist so hate it when people describe plants or the type of tree where you should look for the cache. We might not be able to recognise plant species and then at different times of the year the plant could well be either dead or leafless and so unrecognisable. Very frustrating :blink:

I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

 

But that's just me... B)

 

What's worse is when the hint references a certain type of tree, but the hider mis-identifies the tree. In that case even if I *can* ID the tree (which I usually can) the hint is useless!

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This isn't in the "hint" portion, but it's part of the description of how you find the cache once you get to a certain location:

 

Follow below steps:

1) Stand in such a way that the city light between the two nearest roofs is eclipsed by the closest tree trunk, which is partially eclipsed by another tree trunk (you should not see the light at this point). Now face the "COX" letters on an office building, adjust position so only "C" letter is visible (rest "OX" are eclipsed, and the city light is eclipsed as well, right?).

2) Look to your right and you would see red blinking light on the very top of the other office building in between two Xing trees. Head towards them and stand exactly in the middle between them.

3) On your left you would see two white roofs - crowns of "King" and "Queen" towers, adjust your position so only the left tower is visible, and the right one is eclipsed. Orient your body as if you are trying to count vertical pillars of the "invisible" (eclipsed) tower. One of your body parts is now pointing at a tree.

 

These are pretty confusing and poorly written...especially when you see the area. It's full of trees...and they all are "Xing"! It's a dang wooded area! What do you mean by "city light"? And what body part? What the f***? Plenty of people have found this cache, but I gather it has nothing to do with the directions and is more about people just checking all the trees in the area.

Edited by J Grouchy
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Now you can have some help for the next time you encounter hints calling out cedars or birch trees! :anicute:

Nope, sorry. I didn't even read it, and I wouldn't remember it if I did. It's not as if I haven't heard all this before, I've just never bothered to remember any of it.

 

Please tell me you can, at least, tell the difference between a coniferous and deciduous tree? :sunsure:

Not without looking the terms up.

 

By the way, some else brought these up as bad hints. I don't consider them inherently bad, just useless for me. Sometimes I noticed one at home and look it up, and occasionally I even remember what it means long enough to use it in the search. For me, they're just hints in a foreign language that I don't know.

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Now you can have some help for the next time you encounter hints calling out cedars or birch trees! :anicute:

Nope, sorry. I didn't even read it, and I wouldn't remember it if I did. It's not as if I haven't heard all this before, I've just never bothered to remember any of it.

 

Please tell me you can, at least, tell the difference between a coniferous and deciduous tree? :sunsure:

Not without looking the terms up.

 

By the way, some else brought these up as bad hints. I don't consider them inherently bad, just useless for me. Sometimes I noticed one at home and look it up, and occasionally I even remember what it means long enough to use it in the search. For me, they're just hints in a foreign language that I don't know.

Ease up; I'm not trying to shout you down.

 

I'll count myself as lucky, then, that I can identify trees as I can. I suppose I'll feel additionally lucky that I can tell the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees.

 

But, it's like Harry Dolphin said, not every cache owner is as good at ID as they might think. That said, perhaps it is best if owners only use those types of hints when they know what they're talking about! And, even then, being too specific with identification must be problematic. Whereas I can identify most rock types by their 3 categories (sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic), I am not as good at specific rock types beyond the most common.

 

So, yes, there are plenty of ways that "Birch" or "Pine" can be bad hints. I completely agree. But not all tree ID hints are "bad", per se. I have encountered many like H D mentioned above, and I leave scratching my head and constructing my pending log to address the inaccuracy.

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I am no horticulturist so hate it when people describe plants or the type of tree where you should look for the cache. We might not be able to recognise plant species and then at different times of the year the plant could well be either dead or leafless and so unrecognisable. Very frustrating :blink:

I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

 

But that's just me... B)

 

What's worse is when the hint references a certain type of tree, but the hider mis-identifies the tree. In that case even if I *can* ID the tree (which I usually can) the hint is useless!

So true.

Last Summer we hit a cache and the hint was, "in a pine".

- It was in an arborvitae.

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I hate hints that are in non-english. I do not go about with a latin lexicon in my pack.

 

Also hate hints which are of any or more of the following:

 

"See picture" Yeah, with my Orgeon 450 I'm going to see the picture I didn't get when I downloaded the Pocket Query. Get real.

 

"Email me if you need help" Um. Please assume I may not be from your area and my nearest access to email could be hours away. If this is in the backcountry then the hider is an unthinking clod.

 

"Too easy" I wouldn't be looking at the hint if it were easy, I give a good look first and then go to the hint for confirmation I'm in the right spot or haven't overlooked something. Usually these are already a missing cache and because of the ambiguity here I can't help the CO by confirming it really is gone.

 

I generally want people to find my caches. I've only left a mean hint once and that's since been retired. If I intend for it to maintain a high level of difficulty I simply leave the hint blank.

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One bad hint I particularly remember when there were loads of very similar trees in a bouncy gps spot: "base of tree"!

 

Are you kidding me?!! So I basically have to search all the bases of the trees, something I would have done if there was no hint at all.... useless!

 

Not useless at all. It tells you that you don't have to search the branches of the tree. Around here we have pepper trees. The leaves play tricks with my eyes. You could hang a florescent ammo can in a pepper tree and I wouldn't see it. I would totally welcome a hint that said "Base of Tree".

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Yes, hints that actually give misinformation is worse than no hint at all, especially if it is clear that the CO was not trying to be cute or present a double meaning. I recently spent 45 minutes looking for a Level 1 difficulty TB hotel where the hint said "six feet from concrete." I DNF'ed. Later I found out it was 6 inches from concrete. I had only looked at locations that were approximately six feet from concrete. I don't know if the CO doesn't know the difference between inches and feet or didn't know the word "within". I don't mind clever clues with double meanings, especially for puzzles where you are expecting to be required to think of possible meanings, but not for caches of this sort. I also think clues like "chin high" are fine. Sure it could be the chin of a short person or tall person, but at least you know you aren't looking at anything below three feet or above six five or so, and if you have any idea of the CO (e.g. male, female) you can probably narrow it down to a foot or so of height. I don't expect hints to be spoilers, but I hate it when they are labeled as spoilers and then don't give you enough information, or give you wrong information. I sometimes put a cache on my list for the day only because it is labeled as having a spoiler hint (e.g. I only have a half hour in a distant city before I need to get back to an event or flight, etc.) Then I get there and DNF because the "spoiler" is useless. If you're going to post a spoiler, make it a spoiler.

Edited by The Rat
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I see some bad hints that cause more damages than necessary. I saw a few liar hints out there and I will say this, it does do damage because people will attack what the hint is point at and keep right on searching.

 

I see some hints out there that doesnt make any senses at all until you find the cache itself. I dont find those very helpful.

 

A good hint is a hint that narrow the search down a bit.

Agreed.

I've run into some hints that, I think required that you watched the same TV programs or rock bands or something -- I still don't know because I never figured the hints at all, but they sounded like pop culture things. Only folks who happened to share the same obscure interest would ever get the hint.

I've also run into situations where there was a micro in a forest with bad coordinates and a hint that says "no hint needed" which was an out-and-out lie (and the number of DNFs prove it).

I only have 2 hides (so far), the first of which really needs no hint (it's a difficulty 1), and the other does just what you said, narrows the search down a bit in case someone is having trouble. If I ever put out any other caches (that aren't D1), I'm going to continue to do that - have the hint help narrow the search.

I really don't understand the attitude of some hiders that are like "I dare you to find this, and I'm going to make it impossible, and not give you any help". What's the point?!?

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One on my To-Do list this weekend suggests finding a different, nearby cache by a different CO first. Uhm, guess it's good that I saw that before heading out...the rest of it says "Look into nature" (in the middle of a preserve) which is the exact hint of the other cache I'm supposed to find first, also in the middle of a preserve. It's like a bad hint two-fer!

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I see some bad hints that cause more damages than necessary. I saw a few liar hints out there and I will say this, it does do damage because people will attack what the hint is point at and keep right on searching.

 

I see some hints out there that doesnt make any senses at all until you find the cache itself. I dont find those very helpful.

 

A good hint is a hint that narrow the search down a bit.

Agreed.

I've run into some hints that, I think required that you watched the same TV programs or rock bands or something -- I still don't know because I never figured the hints at all, but they sounded like pop culture things. Only folks who happened to share the same obscure interest would ever get the hint.

 

 

You probably wouldn't have liked my hint: "Goats Head Soup". One guy didn't get it so I changed it to "Exile on Main Street".

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I see some bad hints that cause more damages than necessary. I saw a few liar hints out there and I will say this, it does do damage because people will attack what the hint is point at and keep right on searching.

 

I see some hints out there that doesnt make any senses at all until you find the cache itself. I dont find those very helpful.

 

A good hint is a hint that narrow the search down a bit.

Agreed.

I've run into some hints that, I think required that you watched the same TV programs or rock bands or something -- I still don't know because I never figured the hints at all, but they sounded like pop culture things. Only folks who happened to share the same obscure interest would ever get the hint.

 

 

You probably wouldn't have liked my hint: "Goats Head Soup". One guy didn't get it so I changed it to "Exile on Main Street".

Neither of those make any sense to me.

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I see some bad hints that cause more damages than necessary. I saw a few liar hints out there and I will say this, it does do damage because people will attack what the hint is point at and keep right on searching.

 

I see some hints out there that doesnt make any senses at all until you find the cache itself. I dont find those very helpful.

 

A good hint is a hint that narrow the search down a bit.

Agreed.

I've run into some hints that, I think required that you watched the same TV programs or rock bands or something -- I still don't know because I never figured the hints at all, but they sounded like pop culture things. Only folks who happened to share the same obscure interest would ever get the hint.

 

 

You probably wouldn't have liked my hint: "Goats Head Soup". One guy didn't get it so I changed it to "Exile on Main Street".

Neither of those make any sense to me.

 

You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

 

I saw a similar hint once that was a reference to a current popular band that I might have heard of if I was younger and listened to popular music.

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You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

You're right: I don't like your hint. Some of us don't have access to google when we're out in the woods.

 

I'm plenty old enough, I just wasn't into what you were into. And that's really the problem with this kind of culture hints: just because you think the Rolling Stones were the best band ever doesn't mean everyone else knows the names of every one of their albums.

 

Now if you used Shakespeare, I still might not get the hint, but at least when I looked it up afterward at home, I'd blame myself for not knowing it instead of blaming you for thinking I'd know it.

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You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

You're right: I don't like your hint. Some of us don't have access to google when we're out in the woods.

 

Pop-culture reference hints work best as puzzle hints to be used while solving a puzzle with access to Google, etc. Hints intended for use in the field need to be interpretable in the field!

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Luke 8 Verse 22, Acts 27 verse 1-5

 

Yea like everyone carries a little pocket bible with them at all time.

 

I googled the quotes (bible class wasn't my thing) and it made me laugh! Looks like a hint for the world's longest multi cache.

 

That was the second hint for this cache. The first wasn't much help either because it turns out the cache was a nano attached to this piece of playground equipment. As it turned out, it was clear up on the sails of this "ship", a good 8-10' above the deck. Still not sure how the hint helped because it was pretty obvious it was somewhere on the ship.

 

8579636427_a877f345d0_z.jpg

 

In the end, the community consensus was that it was not a good place for a nano (plus they couldn't get it back up there), so it was moved to a lower part of the ship. Now there is no hint at all. Just a couple hundred square feet of steel decking and tubing with a nano stuck to it somewhere.

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You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

You're right: I don't like your hint. Some of us don't have access to google when we're out in the woods.

 

I'm plenty old enough, I just wasn't into what you were into. And that's really the problem with this kind of culture hints: just because you think the Rolling Stones were the best band ever doesn't mean everyone else knows the names of every one of their albums.

 

Now if you used Shakespeare, I still might not get the hint, but at least when I looked it up afterward at home, I'd blame myself for not knowing it instead of blaming you for thinking I'd know it.

 

It wasn't my hint, and I have never owned either of those albums, but I did see them play at a large outdoor concert once. My suggestion to try a google search was just to discover what the hint meant, and was in no way endorsing using 1960's/1970s pop culture for a hint.

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You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

You're right: I don't like your hint. Some of us don't have access to google when we're out in the woods.

 

I'm plenty old enough, I just wasn't into what you were into. And that's really the problem with this kind of culture hints: just because you think the Rolling Stones were the best band ever doesn't mean everyone else knows the names of every one of their albums.

 

Now if you used Shakespeare, I still might not get the hint, but at least when I looked it up afterward at home, I'd blame myself for not knowing it instead of blaming you for thinking I'd know it.

 

No, No, No, Led Zeppelin was/is the best band ever.

:rolleyes:

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You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

You're right: I don't like your hint. Some of us don't have access to google when we're out in the woods.

 

I'm plenty old enough, I just wasn't into what you were into. And that's really the problem with this kind of culture hints: just because you think the Rolling Stones were the best band ever doesn't mean everyone else knows the names of every one of their albums.

 

Now if you used Shakespeare, I still might not get the hint, but at least when I looked it up afterward at home, I'd blame myself for not knowing it instead of blaming you for thinking I'd know it.

 

Nothing wrong with expanding one's knowledge, but I understand that one might not be able to do that on the fly while standing on a mountain top. I've been there myself. "Boo Radley", what the heck? I eventually found that cache then looked it up later. My Rolling Stone cache is a lonely 18" plastic grey speckled rock. There probably isn't another rock like that within a mile of the location and rocks like that in this area are at creek sides, not trail side in the middle of a high meadow.

 

Right or wrong, at least hints like this can be researched and are not trapped entirely in the CO's own mind. Here's one from yesterday.

 

Up doing the Chief series there were at least three times the clue was on the right side. Decided to use it and maybe someone will explain it to me.
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Luke 8 Verse 22, Acts 27 verse 1-5

 

Yea like everyone carries a little pocket bible with them at all time.

 

I googled the quotes (bible class wasn't my thing) and it made me laugh! Looks like a hint for the world's longest multi cache.

 

That was the second hint for this cache. The first wasn't much help either because it turns out the cache was a nano attached to this piece of playground equipment. As it turned out, it was clear up on the sails of this "ship", a good 8-10' above the deck. Still not sure how the hint helped because it was pretty obvious it was somewhere on the ship.

 

8579636427_a877f345d0_z.jpg

 

In the end, the community consensus was that it was not a good place for a nano (plus they couldn't get it back up there), so it was moved to a lower part of the ship. Now there is no hint at all. Just a couple hundred square feet of steel decking and tubing with a nano stuck to it somewhere.

 

This is way off topic, but of course it is a bad location. However, the way that you locals fussed over it, criticized and turned the CO's cache page into a discussion forum is outrageous. The fact is, none of you has seemed to learn the simple fact that you don't have to find every cache. If I drove up to that, I wouldn't even get out of the car, but some of you spent several multi hour sessions to find what you admit is a bad cache. That is just plain silly. That is time that you never get back.

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When I first started hiding caches I used a bad hint. "Hidden Lyndy style". Lyndy was a local cacher that definitely had a style for cache hides and everyone pretty much knew what it was. Three years later, Lyndy was gone and so were most of his caches. I had forgotten all about my hint until a new cacher emailed and asked what a "Lyndy" was.

 

So, "Hidden Lyndy Style" became, "Under a Rock".

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When I first started hiding caches I used a bad hint. "Hidden Lyndy style". Lyndy was a local cacher that definitely had a style for cache hides and everyone pretty much knew what it was. Three years later, Lyndy was gone and so were most of his caches. I had forgotten all about my hint until a new cacher emailed and asked what a "Lyndy" was.

 

So, "Hidden Lyndy Style" became, "Under a Rock".

It's bad enough that local knowledge can go stale, but it's a real slap in the face of any outsider caching in the area, even when the information is up-to-date.

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When I first started hiding caches I used a bad hint. "Hidden Lyndy style". Lyndy was a local cacher that definitely had a style for cache hides and everyone pretty much knew what it was. Three years later, Lyndy was gone and so were most of his caches. I had forgotten all about my hint until a new cacher emailed and asked what a "Lyndy" was.

 

So, "Hidden Lyndy Style" became, "Under a Rock".

It's bad enough that local knowledge can go stale, but it's a real slap in the face of any outsider caching in the area, even when the information is up-to-date.

 

I was in Utah a number of years ago and a bunch of cache had hints "ORP". For the life of me, I couldn't figure it out. Around here, we were using "SRP". Suspicious/Odd Rock Pile.

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When I first started hiding caches I used a bad hint. "Hidden Lyndy style". Lyndy was a local cacher that definitely had a style for cache hides and everyone pretty much knew what it was. Three years later, Lyndy was gone and so were most of his caches. I had forgotten all about my hint until a new cacher emailed and asked what a "Lyndy" was.

 

So, "Hidden Lyndy Style" became, "Under a Rock".

 

I see these kinds of hints sometimes as well. They're not really useful for someone that happens to be visiting the area and has know idea who any of the local cachers are.

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I would hope that most folks can identify the difference between coniferous and deciduous trees. From there, I would think it isn't too tough to know the difference between a birch, oak, fruit, cedar or spruce/pine/fir tree.

 

But that's just me... B)

 

It seems that many COs cannot tell the difference between a cedar, spruce, yew or pine. Many thing that all evergreens are pines.

"Pining for a cache". Nope that's a hemlock. "In the pine tree". Nope that one's a cedar. "Fir-y Friend"? Nope it's yew.

 

I prefer Pining for the Fjords.

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When I first started hiding caches I used a bad hint. "Hidden Lyndy style". Lyndy was a local cacher that definitely had a style for cache hides and everyone pretty much knew what it was. Three years later, Lyndy was gone and so were most of his caches. I had forgotten all about my hint until a new cacher emailed and asked what a "Lyndy" was.

 

So, "Hidden Lyndy Style" became, "Under a Rock".

 

I see these kinds of hints sometimes as well. They're not really useful for someone that happens to be visiting the area and has know idea who any of the local cachers are.

 

My saving grace in that regard is that my cache was far enough down the trail that a typical visitor would have found at least five Lyndy caches along the way. Until of course, those caches disappeared over time.

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You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

You're right: I don't like your hint. Some of us don't have access to google when we're out in the woods.

 

I'm plenty old enough, I just wasn't into what you were into. And that's really the problem with this kind of culture hints: just because you think the Rolling Stones were the best band ever doesn't mean everyone else knows the names of every one of their albums.

 

Now if you used Shakespeare, I still might not get the hint, but at least when I looked it up afterward at home, I'd blame myself for not knowing it instead of blaming you for thinking I'd know it.

 

No, No, No, Led Zeppelin was/is the best band ever.

:rolleyes:

Who?

:lol:

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Neither of those make any sense to me.

 

You might not be old enough to recognize the reference. Try a google search.

 

I saw a similar hint once that was a reference to a current popular band that I might have heard of if I was younger and listened to popular music.

 

Or, maybe, I'm too old to recognize the reference... :ph34r:

As someone else said: I don't Google when I'm out caching. I had no idea what the hint "Clint Eastwood" meant either. The CO explained it to me.

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I think a lot of times people don't actually think about the hint they have been given. Although i have been caching a few years im still new at this and as a new cache hider I gave a hint of "think outside the box....errr tube?"

 

the cache is located in the only open tube along the path, not a small tube mind you but a 3 ft diameter opening tube. the third or 4th person to log the cache ranted about how nothing made sense in the hint or description.

 

I guess you cant please everyone, but i do understand why people don't put clues of any sort now.

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As a CO I know that there is always at least one geocacher in this world who will consider my hint too bad for him. There are dozens of selfish people who believe that the only criteria for a good hint is some sort of a personal guarantee for them to find the cache in not more then 5 minutes after they get a hint. If they fail then the hint is described stupid, useless, misleading, etc.

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There are several distinct types of hints. It's up to the seeker to ferret out whicy type of hint they have been given. The types I have recognized in the past are:

 

1. Blatant give away: "Its under the green rock"

 

2. Puzzle hint: roses are red grapes are purple give me a dollar and I'll show you my erkle

 

3. Hints that only make sense after you have found the cache

 

4. Hints that require special knowledge or research: "The root of all evil"

 

5. The completely useless hint " nom hint required sor a cache as simnple as this"

 

6. The hint that's a blatant taunt "if you are decoding this hint you need more practice caching"

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