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Jamie Z

Useless Hints

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quote:
Originally posted by Gwho:

As I've been led to understand it, the clue is supposed to tell you _exactly_ where it is.


 

I don't know if hints are supposed to be a 100% dead giveaway; they're called hints, after all. But if they're worth encrypting, they ought to be good enough hints that they would be considered spoilers if they were written in the clear. I often decrypt the hints when printing the cache page simply because it's gotten too annoying to waste time decrypting in the field only to find a useless hint, or a wordy hint full of chatter that belonged in the cache description, or "no hint needed." Or a little poem about how I'm a cheater.

 

A good hint works when you're stumped, but I prefer ones that are a good solid nudge to ones that are an utterly dead giveaway. When in doubt, though, I'd rather people err on the side of an explicit hint rather than a maddeningly vague one. There seems to be a trend toward taunting cachers via hints, and that's just nasty.

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"It is under a swinging stone, only few meters from the water."

 

And guess what was there - a small cape full of nothing but stones and tens of them were swinging...

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There seems to be a lot of bad feelings for "wordy" hints. What about the hints on this 5/3.5? Too wordy? Even for a difficulty 5?

 

warm.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

There seems to be a lot of bad feelings for "wordy" hints.


 

For a specialized puzzle cache like yours, I wouldn't be too worried about the length of the hints. They're helpful and integral to the puzzle. They don't drone on and on about useless information. On a difficulty 5, one should reasonably expect a challenging clue.

 

The clues take up nearly as much space on my own non-puzzle multicache (the one with the hedgerow maze in the middle of it). The only complaints I've had are to add MORE clues!

 

The point of the thread has been to complain about wordy or useless hints that have NOTHING to do with finding a traditional cache. Searched for ammo box, can't find ammo box, decrypt clue, ought to have a better idea where to find ammo box.

 

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

What would life be like if there were no hypothetical questions?

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quote:
Originally posted by Captain_Morgan&Family:

"It is under a swinging stone..."


What's that?

 

Jamie

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Z:

quote:
Originally posted by Captain_Morgan&Family:

"It is under a swinging stone..."


What's that?

 

Jamie


 

What ? Swinging stone ? It's a stone that swings...

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quote:
Originally posted by Captain_Morgan&Family:

quote:
Originally posted by Jamie Z:

quote:
Originally posted by Captain_Morgan&Family:

"It is under a swinging stone..."


 

What's that?


 

What ? Swinging stone ? It's a stone that swings...


 

Okay--so which way does it swing?

 

--

wcgreen

Wendy Chatley Green

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What's the problem with this "swinging stones" discussion? Is it that we non-native english writers use that word some kind of wrong, or is it so that some people have never seen a swinging stone ?

 

At least for me a swinging stone is a stone that has such a shape; egg-shaped, low-U-shaped etc., that when it lies above other stones it swings or rocks i.e. it moves or acts almost like a cradle.

 

Regards, Olli

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quote:
Originally posted by Captain_Morgan&Family:

What's the problem with this "swinging stones" discussion? Is it that we non-native english writers use that word some kind of wrong, or is it so that some people have never seen a swinging stone ?

 

At least for me a swinging stone is a stone that has such a shape; egg-shaped, low-U-shaped etc., that when it lies above other stones it swings or rocks i.e. it moves or acts almost like a cradle.


 

'Swinging', to me, would be 'hanging from something and moving back and forth'--like a child in a playground swing. I've never seen a rocking rock.

 

--

wcgreen

Wendy Chatley Green

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Hint on a UK 5/5:

 

"What do you mean, you can't speak French? You should have paid attention at school. Ho ho."

 

(Part of the cache description's in french).

 

icon_cool.gif

 

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

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quote:
Originally posted by Captain_Morgan&Family:

How do you then call a stone that act's like i described earlier ?


 

Rocking (as in 'rocking rock') Cradles rock or move back and forth as you describe that rock doing.

 

--

wcgreen

Wendy Chatley Green

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quote:
Originally posted by crr003:

Hint on a UK 5/5:

 

"What do you mean, you can't speak French? You should have paid attention at school. Ho ho."

 

(Part of the cache description's in french).


 

Which reminds me of a cache which gave it's clue in terms of a specific television show. Naturally, everyone must watch this specific television show. What's wrong with you, otherwise?

 

----------

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be also be like him.

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I did one yesterday near Daytona Beach that said:

"Follow your GPS to the location, then think like a cache-hider."

DUH...really?

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I just planted my second cache today. I used the words of wisdom in this thread to make what should be a useful hint. I hope everyone needs it. saeek.gif After all, it is a 3.5/4

 

"A good compromise leaves everybody mad." - Calvin

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How 'bout these:

 

"You may e-mail me in advance for my cell number. Take it with you along with your cell phone if you think you will have trouble."

 

Another of this cacher's hints was "no way Hose too easy already"

 

A third cache by this same person is located in the town of Walkertown. The hint is "there are many walkers in this town".

 

Groan

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Our local favorite is for a cache on top of a local mountain -

 

'It's not on Sentinel'

 

Which is the mountain across the river. Thanks there, Asatruar...

 

Though to be fair this cache really doesn't need much in the way of a clue. No problems getting a good GPS reading and the Force works just fine.

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The hint that I was complaining about was probably from a very very experienced cacher.

 

This was a great series of puzzle caches. The elements of the series were great. He posted pictures for all of them. However he labeled them as spoilers. Because of the names I didn't look at them.

 

The hint for two of the for caches was "look at the pictures"!

 

Just imagine the feeling I experienced after deciphering that hint while standing in the woods.

 

I have to admit it took going to two of these caches with the same hint before I learned my lesson.

 

geomark8.gif

If you do not extend your expectations unto others, you will not be disappointed by the stupid things they do.

Mokita!

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I usually look at a hint when I get to the coordinates. So I was kind of mad when I got to one, and tried to decode the hint, and it just started saying "start from the park, take any trail, bla bla..."

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Ahhh, I have a few:

 

'INCLINE to romance, and just as you do, slip a good feel'

 

'at the edge of the clear flat area, which is higher than where you were, and within something certainly higher than you are'

 

'i have one partial trunk left'

 

'i am not a ROCK star, i am a grind planet'

 

canadazuuk

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quote:
quote:

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

Originally posted by Alan2:

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.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=4697

 

Ok who's ready to go??

 

Alan

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

 

Hah! Check out Mapquest for this one.


 

I wonder about this one's veracity. I know volunteers are supposed to check out the caches before putting them on the site, but how dod you verify this one? Yes there is a River with the cache's name nearby according to mapquest. But did anyone else notice that the cache was placed by JOKE eener? Now back to the thread this started out as:

I have hidden one near marker #10 on a nature trail. The trail twists a lot, so your GPS can encourage some serious bushwacking if you are not patient

So is "Ravel's Bolero" a good or a bad icon_wink.gifhint?

My 2 cent

 

Be careful what you wish for!

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quote:
Originally posted by wimseyguy:

is "Ravel's Bolero" a good or a bad hint?


The only Ravel I know is the composer... and I don't know much about they guy, this after I just A+'ed my music appreciation class.

 

If your hint is a joke.. I don't get it. If it's truly helpful in some way, I don't get it.

 

You must be cleverer than most of us.

 

Jamie

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Why Jamie you look like such a swinger I thought for sure you would have rushed right out to by a copy of the album (yes back in the days b4 CD's) for your next session with your SO. I'm glad Pater47 is on the same page as me. Once at the cache site your challange isn't too hard. icon_wink.gifThe hint was there to discourage leaving the trail too early lest they do cause themselves some "tedious exercise"(Geoprincess) via unecessary bushwacking, since the trail meanders quite a bit through the preserve.

 

Be careful what you wish for!

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I decrypt the description including the hints and print them without looking at them. I then fold the page over so I can not see the hint. I would only use the hint AS A LAST RESORT! If someone else feels they need the help at the start…so be it.

I have only used the hint once. I was FTF and the cords were wrong. I was visiting from out of town and would not have had time to revisit the cache. I found it and posted the correct cords after wandering through the swamp for ½ hour. The hint gave me enough information to find without the cords.

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

 

The hint for two of the for caches was "look at the pictures"!

 


 

Actually, the hints for the *five* caches in the series (now archived) were:

 

  • A multi-trunked tree. [see photo for a spoiler.]

     

  • Look under a fallen log at the spot where it has broken off from a stump about 2 feet above the ground. This spot is located about 60 feet uphill (and slightly west) from a large, lone cedar tree. If you stand at the cache site and look down at the road, you will see this cedar tree between you and the road. [see photos for spoilers.] Spoiler #2 was taken from near the cache site looking down at the road, and the cedar tree to which I refer is clearly visible. (way too wordy, I know)

     

  • A multi-trunked tree. [see photo for a spoiler.]

     

  • Look at the base of a large, hollowed-out stump. [see the photo for a spoiler.]

     

  • Look at the base of a large, lone stump. [see the uploaded photo for a spoiler.]

 

I have to confess that I don't see a problem with these hints, as they are still workable whether or not you have the photo with you. However, I've learned from your feedback to avoid writing hints that refer to uploaded photos at all. Now that I use Pocket Queries exclusively, I too am frequently frustrated by hints dependent on external data.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

I've learned from your feedback to avoid writing hints that refer to uploaded photos at all.


 

I really liked the Templates. I whined a little to much about the terrain, though. I did learn to wear pants no matter how hot it is. I guess you can never be to prepaired.

 

geomark8.gif

If you do not extend your expectations unto others, you will not be disappointed by the stupid things they do.

Mokita!

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one of my caches has this for the hint:

 

I hope this clue doesn't stump you.

 

people shouldn't need the hint, but once your in the area of the cache, the hint will almost give it away.

 

MIGO_logo_animated88x31.gif

GeoX Geocaching gear!

That torpedo did not self-destruct. You heard it hit the hull. And I....was never here.

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"its in the woods and covered with leaves........duh"

 

I'm gald I didn't have to use it

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OFF TOPIC

quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

<>

I did learn to wear pants no matter how hot it is.

<>


 

Thank you

 

icon_wink.gif

 

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

As always, the above statements are just MHO.

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

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My husband is a great caching companion 99% of the time. The one hint I didn't appreciate, though, was the one where he watched me walk around like an idiot for 20 minutes, then when I got to the right spot and almost found the cache, he said "Do you want the hint?" I thought I was totally off-base, so I said yes, only to find I had almost had my hands on the cache before he spoke up. icon_mad.gif

 

I don't recall any other hints that were irritating, but that's probably partially due to our using the Mobipocket reader - he has a ROT13 program on his Palm, so he just cuts and pastes the hint. No manual decoding necessary. I'm sure some of them would be irritating if I had to decode them letter by letter.

 

Shannah

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take smaller trail on the left follow that trail until for about 30 ft the cache is hidden behind a tree with a trunk that flares out about 100ft away.

 

So it is a 130ft away right?

 

Good thing he gave good coordinates!

 

Fair winds, Capn Skully

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I have to admit, after reading thru this forum I decided to back through my caches that have hints and evaluate them by a new standard. Due to reading some of the complaints about useless hints I now take greater care to put in truly useful information.... although I did not quit making them ryme....sorry....hehehehe.

 

icon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gificon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

"Trade up, trade even, or don't trade!!!" My philosophy of life.

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quote:
Originally posted by Breaktrack:

I have to admit, after reading thru this forum I decided to back through my caches that have hints and evaluate them by a new standard. Due to reading some of the complaints about useless hints I now take greater care to put in truly useful information.


 

My hints were pretty short and to the point, and my reaction to all the whining and complaining was exactly the opposite of yours: I went to all of my cache pages and immediately removed all hints.

 

Since then I have archived all of my caches, but I plan on placing new caches soon in many of the same general areas. And except for any expressly "family" or "kids" caches, all be of the good old "here are the coordinates, go find it" variety with no extraneous information or hints, and I'll probably only provide coordinates to two decimal places.

 

I'm really sick and tired of all the whining and complaining.

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on January 07, 2003 at 01:48 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by Capn_Skully:

take smaller trail on the left follow that trail until for about 30 ft the cache is hidden behind a tree with a trunk that flares out about 100ft away.

 

So it is a 130ft away right?


 

Well, was it? If I had read that, I would have assumed that after walking 30 ft down the smaller trail on the left, the cache would be found 100 ft off the trail.

 

Since the coordinates were good, why were you using the clue, anyway?

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My first two caches took me three tries each and I had to bug the cache owners to help me. Once I found them I had to kick myself several times because they were so obvious and easy. Apparently I don't read very well either...

 

Plus my eyesight isn't very good.

 

BTW my daughter plays the Bassoon, Flute, Piccolo, Piano and other strange instruments. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Fair winds, Capn Skully

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I just modified the hint for my cache.

 

I did have the whole clue encrypted as a limerick but after reading all these posts I went back and left just the last line encrypted.

 

This Limerick provides a clue... you have to decrypt the last line:

 

In Louisiana where the ground is like jelly.

You can eat better than any New York deli.

The swamp is the place to try.

You can get there and still keep dry.

 

Fair winds, Capn Skully

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i dont have any unusable hints but i have a suggestion for some of you guys that take the time to decrypt it have you ever tried click the decrypt button next to it try it. its a lot easier lol.

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quote:
i dont have any unusable hints but i have a suggestion for some of you guys that take the time to decrypt it have you ever tried click the decrypt button next to it try it. its a lot easier lol.

 

Some people don't decrypt the hints beforehand intentionally, because they only use them as a last resort. I personally used to decrypt the hints before printing the cache sheets when I first started, but too often I would glance at them before I really meant to, spoiling the challenge. Some hints are a dead giveaway.

 

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

?You are your own worst food.?

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It burns my bun when the hint reads "To easy you don't need a hint" icon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

 

Call me a "wuss" I just started decoding before I print the page no mess-no fuss icon_biggrin.gif

 

"Everything's Eventual"-Stephen King

"Maybe isn't a answer,only yes or no"-R.W.Blackburn

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I'm guilty of a useless clue in my second cache, but I plead extenuating circumstances. The first one I placed, the GPS was bouncing madly, so I gave a detailed clue that in hindsight was too much. So when I placed the second I was overcompensating. Second, there are clues in the description that are unencoded... should be plenty, I thought.

 

What Would Yoda Do?

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quote:
Originally posted by Criminal:

"The fallen log points the way"

 

ARGGGGG!! There are at least 12 fallen logs pointing 24 different ways! icon_mad.gif


 

Gotta reply to this one...

I had one that told me to look near a pile of fallen trees. I searched and searched around the 3 piles closest to the coords. I later found the cache off under a tree lying all by itself! What kind of pile was that!?

 

Another frustrating one was when the hint tried to describe a certain tree and said how far away from said tree the cache was. You wouldn't believe have many trees I found that matched that description!

 

One of my other favorites told me where to park and how to get to the cache from that parking location. A lot of good that did me when I didn't know to park there until I was within 70 feet of the cache!

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I don't like useless hints either. I just did a cache down by Federal Way for a micro adn the cache planter had basically said something to the effect, "I just put this in here so you would decrypt the clue only to find there really is no clue" Thank god I use a pda now and the hints are automatically decrypted. I would be ticked if had to manually decrypt and get that bleep. Fortunately, I foundn the micro after an hour of searching.

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"Think Horace Greeley from the bridge."

well, needed to know what side of the creek to go on (east or west). i added the coords to a terra server map to get my own clue :-/

guess it is probably a good clue, but it is beyond me.

-Tom

 

BTW: tisawtsew

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