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Useless Hints


Jamie Z
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Well, how difficult or not it is supposed to be to find should be up to the CO, right? And should be accurately reflected in the difficulty rating. If you've found 2000+ caches and are bored with spending too much time looking for difficult caches, then just go for the 1, 1.5 and 2 difficulty caches. But if it is a 3, 4 or 5, then I think it should be a little hard to find.

 

I look at it like I'm detective who's trying to solve a crime. The hint is something that is available to me, and when I start to look for a cache, I want to use all the information that is available to me... the co-ordinates, the satellite map, past logs, and the hint. Now if I'm feeling lazy, I don't always bother to read everything, sometimes I will start looking with only the co-ordinates, and then if I can't find it, then look at the rest for clues. But I'm not going to intentionally avoid the hint or anything else and start looking blind, just because I want to make it more difficult for myself.

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I almost always read the hint before I start looking because of a cache I DNFed a few years ago. The hint was something to the effect of "Go to the cache (this way). (That way) is trespassing." Of course, I had gone in "that way".

Well, that's sort of the CO's fault -- information that should be required knowledge should be evident on the cache page and not relegated to the hint.

 

(Not that everyone reads the cache page anyhow, but that's another thread. B) )

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I've made quite a few finds and to this day, i only read the hint as a last resort. In my mind, part of the fun of caching is in the search. If i do decide to decypher it, then i want it to be helpful in some way. I definitely agree with J Grouchy in that it is nice when it gives me a nudge in the right direction. I don't want it telling me exactly where to look.

 

On useless hints,,,, I've found quite a few with, "Too easy, no hint is needed". :rolleyes:

 

Found a couple with something like, "hidden in typical Joe Blow cacher's style". What about cachers who have no idea who Joe Blow is or how he hides his caches? :blink:

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Therefore, while I'd prefer them all to be merely "helpful nudges", I'd rather have a useless hint than one that totally ruins the fun altogether.

 

You may find this changes once you've got more finds under your belt. I remember being at around 100, like you are, and avoiding reading the hints unless it became absolutely necessary. I got alot of satisfaction from making the find with just the coordinates alone. Often I wouldn't even look the size. 2000 finds later, I've gotten lazy and read the hint before I even get to GZ. :P

I just can't grasp how someone's behaviour/ethics might change with the smiley count.

 

Ethics? There is nothing unethical about reading a hint the cache owner provided. :blink:

 

As for behavior, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who's gotten lazier as their find count has gone up.

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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In mine, flagging tape above the cache would be removed, thinking someone with little experience placed it there "to help out..." or a lazy/forgetful hunter didn't remove on his way back to the car.

 

Yeah...I'd think it was pretty annoying to basically be told I'm not observant enough to figure it out on my own...whether or not that is the intention.

 

Interesting. Flagging tape is pretty common here. There was a very prolific team here that used to put flagging tape above their caches. Maybe that's where we got it from.

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But if it is a 3, 4 or 5, then I think it should be a little hard to find.

 

I do agree with you here. I enjoy a clever hide sometimes and will search for hours if necessary. What I don't enjoy is a difficult hide which is hard because of bad coordinates or needle-in-a-haystack. There is nothing clever or interesting about these and they will go quickly on my ignore list.

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Yesterday we spent a long time looking for a cache deep in the woods in a large park. There were no bushes so we were going in circles in an area with high trees. MA finally checked the hint which lead us to look in the boughs of the trees. It had us looking high up in the trees thinking it might involve some kind of rope cache or be on a long stick leaning on a tree. No luck

 

The hint that made us think it was in the boughs: Rock-a-bye baby

 

The cache was under a rock.

 

PAul

 

.

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On 6/25/2014 at 5:47 PM, 4wheeler said:

Was looking for a cache in the So. Cal desert in a lava rock field. Hint read "under black rock" and looking around there were maybe two million black rocks. Thanks

Ohhhhhhhh, I feel your pain on that one.

 

Up hear in Redwood Country we have folks who use "at the base of a stump" ... REALLY ... the bloody place has been logged continuously since the 1850's ... stumps everywhere you look.

Edited by humboldt flier
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How about this for the most useless hint ever first name female team captain on celebrity juice also a radio presenter. Surprise, surprise I never found the cache and it has now been disabled. This was a UK cache. Yes so what is celebrity juice ?? and how many 100's of female radio presenyters are there ? 

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Former farmland where they've planted a dense crop of identical trees about your height. It's winter so you would not 

know the difference anyway.

Hint: beech

 

I have seen some of those "under rock" hints where there's nothing but rocks. One such cache was actually named "field of rocks". 

I took that as a caching equivalent of middle finger (but I found it nevertheless).

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5 hours ago, Venus Loon said:

How about this for the most useless hint ever first name female team captain on celebrity juice also a radio presenter. Surprise, surprise I never found the cache and it has now been disabled. This was a UK cache. Yes so what is celebrity juice ?? and how many 100's of female radio presenyters are there ? 

 

Best guess would be Holly. But that's a stab in the dark.

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Arrived at GZ, searched for a bit, read hint which said  "about six feet" so I looked around at that height. The hawthorn hedge had been cut recently (it is a common winter farming job round here, hedging and ditching to maintain the boundaries when due to the season other work is lacking )and there wasn't anything left at 6' .  Oh dear. But there was a concrete drain cover surround nearly level with the ground near by, so I felt around there before leaving, and there was the cache .

Apparently the hint reader was supposed to supply a final word to make the hint read  'about six feet UNDER'

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Heh !

I (not at all fondly) recall the cache jammed between the X shaped wooden ties which reinforced a solid footbridge over a stream. The X was only visible once you slid down into the stream , got under the structure and looked up, immediately seeing the cache in front of you .

The hint , of course, was 'X marks the spot' , only understandable after you found the thing.

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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Hint:   When replacing cache, please hide it as you found it.

On every cache they own...

 

Explanation: Hint is the only information the most players read, so it is the best place for all important information.

Anyway, asking to hide it as found, is not wise because the cache is quite seldom at the correct place. My version for the same hint is just opposite.

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Not sure if I posted here already or not but there was one I was looking for called "[NAME] Rock". (I blanked out the name because it's not important.)
The hint (at the time) was this:

"Hint is in the name.
It is in visible and not hidden under anything and is near a small snowgum"

Seems all right until you consider the fact that this was in the middle of scree/a boulder field with trees dotted through it and surrounding each edge.

They've since updated the hint and added a picture showing the cache container itself as well as GZ so I guess they got sick of people complaining about it or asking them for more info.

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Smoky the Bear couldn't get here fast enough

 

entire area has burned repeatedly - like a lot of Florida, either naturally, or per prescribed burns at roughly 3 year intervals. This delightfully useless hint is compounded by weak coords. About half of  logs  mention how far off the coords they found it --> hey, look WEST of the coords ;-).... or "tough hunt". I posted coords with my log, similar to other coords posted by others in the past.   CO has enabled and disabled this cache, but never updated the coords or hint, in spite of much mention of both

 

The combo, bad hint, weak coords... why? another:

 

When the boardwalk ends on your left, cache is to your right

 

Direction of travel? cache on the north bank of a river. The boardwalk is on the south side.  Coords out 60+ feet (i only found it because another cacher did, and they posted coords, which I reposted) .  

Cache had more DNFs than finds, many  assumed the boardwalk reference meant you could follow the hiking trail to the boardwalk and find cache.  Which you could, if you were going to ignore the stay on boardwalk signs, and swim. From the obvious parking, hint was worse than useless, it directed seekers to the wrong trail entirely

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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"GOOD LUCK" is totally useless even if it's a rabbit's foot; it's the classic useless hint,  has meaning only AFTER you've seen the cache.  I'd guess this is the commonest form of useless, once you eliminate hint as taunt:  too easy for hint, where did I put it, no hint for you, no cheating,  etc

 

Edited to add that Good Luck might have meaning, in some circumstances - mostly relating to language or images on signs. But probably not ;-)

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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Here's my (least) favorite hint:

Ni si eutats eht evocla eht ni si ti. Evoba pu yaw ton tsuj, hguoht level dnuorg ta ton si ehcac siht? Teerts eht gnicaf tfel s'eutats eht ro, ehcac eht gnicaf tfel ruo tuoba gniklat I ma. Revewoh tuoba gniklat m'I tfel esohw ediced ot evah lliw uoy. Eutats eht fo edis tfel eht morf kcab thgiarts tsomla si ehcac siht. Edis eht ot ton, eutats eht dniheb si ehcac siht. Evoba pu ton, level teerts ta nwod si ehcac siht.

 

Yes, someone wrote that out, and THEN encrypted it. 

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36 minutes ago, Ageleni said:

Yes, someone wrote that out, and THEN encrypted it.  

 

Actually I think that's a pretty good hint. Each sentence gets more explicit, so it allows the finder to start with a general hint "Evoba pu ton, level teerts ta nwod si ehcac siht. " and then work towards more and more specific hints if they feel the  need.

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15 hours ago, Ageleni said:

Here's my (least) favorite hint:

Ni si eutats eht evocla eht ni si ti. Evoba pu yaw ton tsuj, hguoht level dnuorg ta ton si ehcac siht? Teerts eht gnicaf tfel s'eutats eht ro, ehcac eht gnicaf tfel ruo tuoba gniklat I ma. Revewoh tuoba gniklat m'I tfel esohw ediced ot evah lliw uoy. Eutats eht fo edis tfel eht morf kcab thgiarts tsomla si ehcac siht. Edis eht ot ton, eutats eht dniheb si ehcac siht. Evoba pu ton, level teerts ta nwod si ehcac siht.

 

Yes, someone wrote that out, and THEN encrypted it. 

What?  You don't carry a mirror in your geo-kit? :lol:

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21 minutes ago, The Jester said:

What?  You don't carry a mirror in your geo-kit? :lol:

 

I remember before we had an app to click for hints, we actually had to to decrypt them on paper in the field.  I also remember getting so good at ROT13 that I could read a hint while it was still encrypted.  This would have kept me from accidentally reading the hint before I needed it.

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One hint i see often and saw many times in this thread is "No hint needed" I have been tempted to leave a " needs maintenance " since i could not find it. If a hint is not needed, leave the space blank. The other type that often bothers me is the hint that refers to another cacher's style of hiding. Most of my caching now is a long way from home and I dont have a clue who the named cacher is or how they often place caches.

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1 hour ago, cal25 said:

One hint i see often and saw many times in this thread is "No hint needed" I have been tempted to leave a " needs maintenance " since i could not find it. If a hint is not needed, leave the space blank. The other type that often bothers me is the hint that refers to another cacher's style of hiding. Most of my caching now is a long way from home and I dont have a clue who the named cacher is or how they often place caches.

 

You are right, hint has to be helpful - or no hint.

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=97&pgid=222

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22 minutes ago, aviatik said:

Useless hint - when cache owner thinks, that everyone knows his favorite book / movie.

 

at his aunt, where is Harry Potter sleeping?

 

Who is Harry Potter? Son of Sherman T. Potter??? ?

Well you could ask him , but it looks as if he has moved on to other things in the last 15 years ...  he set some good caches in his time though !

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On 4/2/2019 at 4:39 AM, cal25 said:

The other type that often bothers me is the hint that refers to another cacher's style of hiding.

 

YES!  this.  Or hint that refers to the CO's style. 

Hint on the first stage of a multi that I and most current seekers are DNFing, "if you've found my others...."

Cache owner placed 8 caches, 8 years ago.  Most are a cluster of urban micros, long gone, like the CO. This multi is in a state park, and does get found occasionally.   (Someday I may try it again, but this time I won't bother with the hint).
 

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On 3/12/2019 at 8:24 AM, Isonzo Karst said:

CO has enabled and disabled this cache, but never updated the coords or hint, in spite of much mention of both

 

Slightly off-topic ... I've found that some newer COs can't tell the difference between the private updating of coordinates (that any user can do on any cache, but only visible to that user) and the public updating of coordinates visible to all users.   This led to some confusion on a nearby cache where the CO was telling us that he updated the coordinates, but nobody else ever saw it.

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3 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

YES!  this.  Or hint that refers to the CO's style. 

 Hint on the first stage of a multi that I and most current seekers are DNFing, "if you've found my others...."

Or they refer to someone else's style: hidden fizzy style

 

Bonus points for referring to the style of someone who has hidden a lot of caches of diverse types and styles.

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