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Jamie Z

Useless Hints

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Ever been on a cache hunt while it's pouring rain? You can't find the cache, so you decrypt the hint and it tells you where to park?

 

Have you decrypted a five-sentence paragraph only to learn the history of the area you are standing it, with no help at all about where the cache might be.

 

Leatherman (among others) have expressed this sentiment, and I've been there too.

 

Therefore, this thread is dedicated to those useless hints. Post 'em here (but not the cache) so next time we're all fighting mosquites while trying to decrypt a useless hint, we can laugh.

 

My entries:

 

The cache is to the right of a small tree branch that arches to the ground and it is under a log.

 

To the right? How does the cache owner know where I'm standing. I didn't see any arching tree branch, either.

 

You may want to take along a tennis racket or fishing pole.

 

Gee thanks. I think I'll go fishing since I can't find the cache.

 

In the fifties, gorillas passed this test.

 

...and today I can't find the cache. I appreciate the ego boost.

 

If you like beautiful, catch this cache at sunrise. And pack a lunch - this location is perfect for a picnic lunch stop. Head into the edge of the woods just down the tree stand from the covered gathering place.

 

Suppose I should not even attempt to find this one so I can come back tomorrow for lunch at sunrise.

 

Jamie

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I've just LOVE icon_wink.gif this one...

 

"Clue?"

 

--of course CLUE... I wouldn't decode this if I didn't want a CLUE!!!

 

Or there was this one

 

"This is easy, you don't need help."

 

--I must just be dumb?? because it's not easy for me and your 'clue' isn't helping me either - on to the NEXT cache... maybe the logs will have REAL hints!!

 

**Try something 3 times before giving up on it! The 1st time may be bad weather, the 2nd may be dead GPS batteries, the 3rd you may spot that hiding spot!!**

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First:

"E-Mail me if you need help."

 

Second

"I think that you will agree that this is a lovely park."

 

Now where did I park my car??????? monkes.gif

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I agree, I have not come across any real bad ones yet but am waiting my turn. Any stupid "clues" like those stated so far should be left unencrypted or just left out!

 

On my only hide, I had a few lines of clues, intersections of logging roads then the actual cache clue. On each line, I told what the clue was , like [intersection1], [Parking for climbers], and [Cache clue]. I'll probably will follow suit on the second. at least a person would have half an idea what he is unencoding beforehand. Seem like a good idea?

 

The closest I ever got to a 4.0 in College was my blood alcohol content.

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The clue for a cache on Hilton Head Island, SC, for which three consecutive no-finds have been posted:

 

If you haven't passed to the right of the fence, you haven't gone far enough. If you pass the log over the trail, you've gone too far.

 

There are probably 2 million likely hiding places in the area described in the hint, including numerous palm fronds that make wonderful covering.

 

Unfortunately, the cache owners are from the Midwest and placed the cache while on vacation.

 

Gary // Team Grayrun

 

In a split second, all your priorities change.

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  • My GARMINII+ averaged the waypoint down to 13.5 feet.

  • It is near a cactus plant, underneath a tree. (Big help-there were cactus plants and trees EVERYWHERE! icon_rolleyes.gif )
Denied!

  • None needed.

  • No extra hints for this one!
After spending the time decoding this one, I was looking for the hider so I could strangle him!

  • This one's too easy to need clues - just remember to hide the cache well before leaving please.

Lil Devil lildevil.gif

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The ones I like are those that say

quote:
WHile approaching the coordinates, look for the tree on the left
Left? which left? Did you approach from the south like me or from the north? There's no orientation from a relative position. Might was well leave no hint.

 

Alan

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"It's under a rock". This in a rock field about the size of a football field.

 

----------

I will prepare food with my iron fist!

Then I will work my way up to ruling you all with my fist!

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...so I just spent the last 10 minutes looking at the hints for each one done, and came up with this list...

 

Many are for some otherwise fine caches!

 

I have already given you quite a few, but if you can't find it, post it on the cache page and email me. I will gladly provide you with an additional hint and photos. ... for what is otherwise one of the best caches I will probably ever see.

 

If you need more help, please send me the answers you have to the above questions and I will send you my answers. Please send questions to soandso@someplace. ... again, for an otherwise wonderful cache!

 

Under a tree ... for another good cache.

 

Make sure to look all around in order to find the cache! ... for a very nice cache!

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but isn't.

 

"You can find it."

 

Where the cache is hidden, there's a very unassuming rusty old can. Guess where the goodies are.

 

warm.gif

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"Reach around behind the rabbit's ears. You can pluck the cache from where his brain should be. Need more help? E-mail me I'll send you more info."

 

Ok, So I wrote it. But at least I was nice and wrote "The spoiler hints will not yield much help but you can e-mail me for more help." in the actual cache description. The find was supposed to be hard. Only two non-finds though.

 

One of the logs wins the reward for Useless non-find report. "Did take pics, was I even close?" Too bad he didn't actually upload any pics for me to see. icon_confused.gif

 

beatnik

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My favorite so far is "It's under a rock" problem is I was standing in a field of rocks as far as the eye could see. Dolt.

 

-------------------------------------

Hope is the destination that we seek.

Love is the road that leads to hope.

Courage is the motor that drives us.

We travel out of darkness into faith.

 

-=The Book Of Counted Sorrows=-

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

"You can find it."

 

Where the cache is hidden, there's a very unassuming rusty old can. Guess where the goodies are.


Fuzzy, that's clever. But that falls under the heading of "It's only useful once you know where the cache is." Having read that hint in the woods, I would have been irritated, and probably not have looked for a can, but after finding the cache and noticing the can, I would have put it together. Not sure how many folks would use this clue to its potential.

 

Jamie

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Z:

Fuzzy, that's clever. But that falls under the heading of "It's only useful once you know where the cache is." Having read that hint in the woods, I would have been irritated, and probably not have looked for a can, but after finding the cache and noticing the can, I would have put it together.


 

That's exactly what happened to us. I used "the force" to find it, and only after finding it did I let loose with the required groan at the hint.

 

warm.gif

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quote:
But that falls under the heading of "It's only useful once you know where the cache is." Having read that hint in the woods, I would have been irritated, and probably not have looked for a can, but after finding the cache and noticing the can, I would have put it together.

 

I've seen more than one hint saying, "I hope this cache doesn't stump you." That's more obvious than "You can find it," but now that I'm sensitized to that sort of phrasing I know to start looking for a stump or a can or anything in an enigmatic hint that might be a noun.

 

My least favorite hint (on a great, fun cache, but one we'd never have found if we hadn't run into other geocachers at the site):

 

Cache is in plain sight, although if you're standing over it you won't see it. It is visible from almost all sides.

 

The cache was suspended twenty feet overhead from a rope. Because of that hint, we'd been searching UNDER things, since we'd been told it was possible to stand "over" the cache.

 

We have also been victims of the famous "look for a rock" in a rock-field, and encrypted hints that mention parking spots, good trail heads, emailing the owner, and/or the fact that there is a good place nearby to buy pie.

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For a cache in a state park in Florida where the coords had in dead center in the middle of the trail. "It's under a palm frond". Guess how many palms fronds are laying about in a Florida State Park. At least tell me to the right or left of the trail. icon_redface.gif Had to post this as a no find since I knew exactly where I was and where it should have been. BUT, a couple days later someone else found it.

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Fuzzy,

 

Maybe if the clue said something like: You can find it. Really, you can. I know you can.

 

Jamie

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Description/hints will be posted in a month.

 

Bad enough, but the cache was posted in May to boot. The owner is otherwise very good about maintenance.

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

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To be fair, I didn't really understand the idea of 'hint' as it was supposed to be used when I first started. I was just putting some interesting trivia there that I didn't want revealed until the person found the cache. Only by reading posts like these did I learn how to best use the hints.

 

go in the morning!!

 

Try bringing a picnic basket

 

If you lean on it be careful.

 

line yourself up with the second tree (from where?)

 

The second (easier) path, you will have to find on your own.

 

Try the strawberry shakes

 

On a Sunday you may hear the rhythm of a drum circle at the beginning of the hike

 

This is one of my favorite spots

 

stealyourcache.gif Serious cachers needed! www.theheavenlyhost.com/geocache

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I designed a event hunt. Since I was officiating and did not want ot give out any clues, I wrote the following for the hint:

 

All the information you need to know can be found by dialing 555-1212. My receptionist will answer any question you may have... cheater!

icon_biggrin.gif

If you think that is bad, the event hunt was even more undescriptive.

 

"I put instant soup in a microwave and almost went back in time." -Stephen Wright

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Dru,

 

Grrr... those are the worst. Except for the strawberry shake one. Maybe the girl at the counter will help you.

 

Jamie

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Well, in Dru's defense the cache with the strawberry shake clue was a quite easy virtual. Anyone who needed a clue on that one has some serious problems icon_razz.gif

Oh, and the shakes are real good, but the establishment itself was super crowded and I don't think that their A/C was working, as it was hotter inside than out, and it was over a 100º that day.

 

Shannon

 

VegasCacheHounds

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I searched through all of my finds to get that list and most of them were very useful hints or so easy that they didn't need a hint. I was just looking for examples of useless hints. I had to really search for people who didn't put useful hints in there.

 

The strawberry shake one was a very easy virtual and the hint was just some local trivia.

 

I mentioned before that I did the same thing in some of my early hides. But, more recently, I changed my style to not include trivia about the location in the hint section.

 

stealyourcache.gif Serious cachers needed! www.theheavenlyhost.com/geocache

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I think that's a great hint. After you can't find the cache, at least you got a place to go to have a snack and console yourself.

 

Alan

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I hate going through the trouble of decrypting the hint only to find the words NO HINT NEEDED, or something similar. Hey, if I'm decrypting the hint, I need it!

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

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Decrypted in the field earlier this week after hiking in the hot sun through two miles of switchbacks in a desert canyon, with only 12 ounces of water remaining in my backpack:

 

"Hints, hints, we don't need no stinkin hints."

 

I proudly logged a "not found."

 

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

I keep missing my ex-wife. But my aim is getting better.

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On my first cache I placed this was the hint

 

in order to find this you must aproach from the east or south for the last 5 feet. Look low and think of Fred Flinstones Boss's Last name

 

Or was it too much???

 

Lapaglia icon_cool.gif

"Muga Muchu" (forget yourself, focus).

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Hmmmm... Startin to wonder about my last clue now.

This is it:: GC60A9

Pyhrf, jr qba'g arrq ab fgvaxva pyhrf! Ohg vs lbh qb, guvf bar vf 1N! 1. L15h 3n14 f20n14q 15a 9g & 19r5 v20 v6 l15h 16r5e 3y15f5, o2g 3n14'g 18r1p8 v20 g8v19 j1l. 2. P1a9f20r18 f20b15q 15a 1 F8R12S 9a 13l 7n18n7r 6b18 n 23u9y5 f15 q5p9q5q 20b 8v4r 9g 19v13v12n18y25. 3. V6 l15h 1e5 o15n18q 15s 19r1e3u9a7, g18l 13l "3n3u5 n 13b22v5" p1p8r. 20u1g 23v12y 7v22r 25b21 n14 v14f9t8g 9a20b 13l 8v4v14t 20r3u14v17h5. 4. Y1f20 p12h5 & n 4r1q 7v22r 1j1l: 23u5a 20u5 T16F 9f 26r18b5q, 25b21 n18r 12r19f 20u5a 1 9a3u 6e15z 20u5 p1p8r!

 

At least I gave the encryption key in the first line! (If they noticed it!)

 

Think it's too much?

 

icon_biggrin.gif

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Ok... about 12 minutes of decoding (not including about five minutes to figure out the key).. but out in the field, it'd take probably twice that, since I don't decrypt the hint when I print it.

 

I don't know what that clue means, so I'm hoping it would be of use to someone who was in the area.

 

Honestly, I don't know that I would like this clue so much. It would be a lot of work to figure it out. Imagine sitting in the woods for 30 minutes... it could be raining or hot or cold or something. Why not just not give any clue at all?

 

Jamie

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The hint I am going to talk about is from one of the best cache hunts I've ever been on and I don't mean to insult the cache hider but this hint really led me astray. Here it is:

 

"... [the following hint is for when you get real close] You will have to climb up high to find this cache!!"

 

Once I got close I was near an awesome waterfall in a huge amphitheatre-like canyon. Once there I decided that the only thing he could be talking about "climbing up high" on was the waterfall itself. I found a way to get to the top of the falls and searched and searched in a highly dangerous area in vain. It turns out he was not talking about climbing the falls but the wall of the canyon.

 

Or how about these two :

 

1. "Under the moss covered branch in the first clump. "

2. "The cache is hidden behind a moss covered log. "

 

I live in western Oregon. Everything is covered in moss. Trees, logs, rocks, houses, even slow moving cars will eventually be covered in the stuff. I know it's behind, under, or beside a moss-covered somthing. That's a given. icon_wink.gif

 

"There's no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm will stalk you silently."

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I remember one "cache is in mix beside log"

What the heck is a mix? There were logs with grass next to them, but thats all I saw.

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

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quote:
Pyhrf, jr qba'g arrq ab fgvaxva pyhrf! Ohg vs lbh qb, guvf bar vf 1N! 1. L15h 3n14 f20n14q 15a 9g & 19r5 v20 v6 l15h 16r5e 3y15f5, o2g 3n14'g 18r1p8 v20 g8v19 j1l. 2. P1a9f20r18 f20b15q 15a 1 F8R12S 9a 13l 7n18n7r 6b18 n 23u9y5 f15 q5p9q5q 20b 8v4r 9g 19v13v12n18y25. 3. V6 l15h 1e5 o15n18q 15s 19r1e3u9a7, g18l 13l "3n3u5 n 13b22v5" p1p8r. 20u1g 23v12y 7v22r 25b21 n14 v14f9t8g 9a20b 13l 8v4v14t 20r3u14v17h5. 4. Y1f20 p12h5 & n 4r1q 7v22r 1j1l: 23u5a 20u5 T16F 9f 26r18b5q, 25b21 n18r 12r19f 20u5a 1 9a3u 6e15z 20u5 p1p8r!


 

I dunno, I think I'd be pretty miffed if I decrypted all that only to find it needed further decrypting. It would take longer to do that than to find the cache!

 

"Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing" - Helen Keller

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"Take some extra crackers & cheese along for the crows. They will appreciate it."

I got a chuckle out of this one when I cheated and decrypted it the night before.....and we call it cheating!

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The whole reason for the double encryption is that the cache is literally 1.5 feet from a paved trail which is only .2 miles from parking. If you needed the clue when you got here I was gonna make you do some extra work! It's a real easy find. The clue was more in the vein of "Do you honestly need a clue?" icon_wink.gif

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The whole reason for the double encryption is that the cache is literally 1.5 feet from a paved trail which is only .2 miles from parking. If you needed the clue when you got here I was gonna make you do some extra work! It's a real easy find. The clue was more in the vein of "Do you honestly need a clue?" icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Crusso:

The clue was more in the vein of "Do you honestly need a clue?"


Crusso,

 

(And I sure don't mean this as an attack) But that's the whole point of this thread. Do I honestly need a clue? Well.. if I'm decrypting the thing, then yes.

 

The only time I decrypt a clue is when I need it. In fact, in the examples I gave to start this thread, I didn't decrypt them all in the field. A couple of them were decrypted later, and only then did I realize how unhelpful it would have been. If I were stumped on your cache, then I would need the hint, and I would be forced to decrypt it in the field. I think if you want to give someone a little more work to do, then maybe the cache should be more difficult. icon_wink.gif

 

Jamie

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quote:
Originally posted by Crusso:

The clue was more in the vein of "Do you honestly need a clue?"


Crusso,

 

(And I sure don't mean this as an attack) But that's the whole point of this thread. Do I honestly need a clue? Well.. if I'm decrypting the thing, then yes.

 

The only time I decrypt a clue is when I need it. In fact, in the examples I gave to start this thread, I didn't decrypt them all in the field. A couple of them were decrypted later, and only then did I realize how unhelpful it would have been. If I were stumped on your cache, then I would need the hint, and I would be forced to decrypt it in the field. I think if you want to give someone a little more work to do, then maybe the cache should be more difficult. icon_wink.gif

 

Jamie

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quote:
Originally posted by Crusso:

The clue was more in the vein of "Do you honestly need a clue?" icon_wink.gif


I don’t see the point of playing condescending tricks on people. If it doesn’t need a clue, don’t give a clue.

 

My own contribution to this topic is another case of a misleading description and clue. From the cache description: “Good balance and footwork are essential – test every step. I rate it a 4 X 4.”

 

Fair enough. The spot is a big boulder pile. But frustration sets in because the area has scores of nasty hiding places, yet the coordinates are the top of the pile. So, resorting the clue:

 

“The cache is in plain view if you are looking in the right direction. It is located about 40 feet or so more or less, from the summit. For some reason the GPS goes bonkers here, so the coordinates are those of the general summit, not of the cache. Put the GPS away. Look carefully in the usual places.”

 

I prefer important information to be in the description and I don't care for rambling thoughts in the clue. Also, I found that the reception everywhere in the area was fine with my 5-year old Garmin. Nor was the cache in plain view as several experienced geocachers walked right over it. To top it off, the cache owner came to watch the hunt and refused to clarify the clue other than to say the cache wasn't in the bushes. As it turned out the next day, the terrain was only a 2 or 3 to get to the cache and it was hidden by brush. I think the owner deserved a dope slap for this one.

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Here is a usefull one when you are just about there and you just need a little help...

 

"There is ample park parking within a quarter mile of the cache."

 

Maybe there is a hidden clue in here somewhere? Maybe this means it us under a rock. Yeah, that's it, look under the rocks!

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quote:
Originally posted by bigeddy:

“The cache is in plain view if you are looking in the right direction."


icon_rolleyes.gif Hmmm... and some aren't?

 

Jamie

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Here's a hint I found from another post:

 

No hints, this is easy. Well one hint - fencepost cap cache is within one foot of a light pole also.

 

What? First I have to decrypt the phrase "No hints, this is easy." but then there is a hint, but it's in some sort of foreign language, or maybe British English.

 

Jamie

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That's the entire cache description. No hint. It's in western Alaska near Nome. The only guy who attempted it had to abandon his quest as a Tundra fire blocked his path.

 

Kougarok

 

Ok who's ready to go??

 

Alan

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I like hints that you have to solve, like a clue, rather than specific directions to the site. I really liked this one:

 

"Double tri if you're out on a limb."

 

We wondered if they meant "tree," then found an interesting group of trees, 3 in front of 2 (double tri), and finally it clicked - double tri = 6, and right beside the path was a tree with 6 limbs/trunks. Great clue.

 

Then again, an earlier one that day said "There is only one side to the trail, so it's easy." Every trail has two sides, and we looked on the wrong side for half an hour.

 

RaoulDuke

Communists worship Satan, Socialists think perdition is a good system run by bad men, and Liberals want us all to go to hell because it's warm there in the winter.

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Here's one I stumbed across today. Sheesh

 

-----------------------

 

Park some where at *EDIT* lake, if you follow the trail then the name of this one tells you all you need to know good caching

 

Additional Hints (Encrypt)

 

this is easy so you dont need a clue

---------------------

 

====================================

As always, the above statements are just MHO.

====================================

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People are willing to solve all kinds of crazy puzzles in order to find caches; what's wrong with providing a similar challenge in the encrypted clue?

 

It appears that many people seem to think encrypted clues should guarantee a find. If a person started decrypting a clue like crusso's (or cheated and let the computer do it) and didn't want to put the time into decoding the second level of encryption, they could put that time into continuing the search or they could give up.

 

Encrypted clues are caveat emptor. Most are dead giveaways, but I think it would have been really funny if crusso's had actually decrypted to say "I'm so sorry you failed to find the cache. Better luck next time."

 

I've provided "giveaway" encrypted clues to most of my caches, but I've removed some of them, because it became clear that people were starting their search using the clue rather than making any effort at all. I have decided that if I provide such clues in the future, I will remove them after one or two early finders have verified that the coordinates and cache description were reasonably accurate.

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My favorite was a hint (well kind of a hint) that I read about in a log of one of the caches that I visited. This cache required that you solve some math/science problems to get the combination for a lock that you needed to open to get to the cache. Here is a portion of the log:

 

“When we got to the cache location, there was a problem with our second number. I called [The Cache Owner] on the RealEstate Finance hotline to see if he could help. [The Cache Owner] wanted to know if I had the atomic chart in front of me. Yeah Right!”

 

Rocket Man

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It aggrevates me when people feel the need to say "no help cheater" or some similar crap. If you don't want to provide assistance, I guess that's your business but why throw us a red herring and make us decode something that won't be of any help.

 

I also can't stand ireelevant info even to say "good luck". decoding in the field is a total pain in the butt, why oh why make me decode anything more then necesary? Sometimes it is useful to say "park here" take left fork, etc etc" but unless the average person is bound to be going the wrong way, why do we need directions from the parking lot? Clues generally shouldn't be needed to get you the entire way. If they are, then that person shouldn't be caching alone then.

 

I also (like most of you it seems) hate vague clues. sometimes there really isn't anything distinctive around, but it seems a lot of people just don't try.

 

As I've been led to understand it, the clue is supposed to tell you exactly where it is. It is meant to be a last resort to give it away. Why folks act all hoity toity about it is beyond me. Sometimes signal strength is kaput. Sometimes folks just need a boost. Some folks are better at this then others. Somes difficulties are underrated. Whats the big deal? Oh... some folks might cheat fromt he moment they get there? Oh puh-leaze. Like it really matters THAT much. this is a game folks, not an SAT.

 

alt.gif

 

www.gpswnj.com

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