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Jamie Z

Useless Hints

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Here's one that did me absolutely no good while searching...

 

"If you really want to know, the hint is spelled backwards. .noisorroc tneverp ot secafrus cillatem ot sdnob taht gnitaoc cniz drah A"

 

Not only did it take awhile to decrypt, but it didn't really tell me anything useful. I'm not knocking the cache or the hide, because it was VERY clever... but the hint was completely useless to me.

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Here's one that did me absolutely no good while searching...

 

"If you really want to know, the hint is spelled backwards. .noisorroc tneverp ot secafrus cillatem ot sdnob taht gnitaoc cniz drah A"

Oops...I resemble that remark.

 

I thought I was being clever once by making a 1 word hint and spelling it backwards...but mispelled the word. Last time I do that!

 

Ed

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I 'scale' the usefulness of the hint depending on the placement of the cache. If it's in an urban park, then keeping it obscure is defensible as the cacher will probably be able to think about and return if required.

 

If it's a long hike up a steep path in a remote area, then the clue had better be more of a giveaway! (Especially because we're a small community and most local cachers know where I live!)

 

The problem is generally that I don't want to just give away the location to the cachers who consider the hint to be just part of the description, rather than a last resort.

 

There's also the issue of puzzle and multi caches, where someone might want part of the clue but not all of them. It was easy in the days of paper printouts and manual decoding, but what backward places still have that sort of cacher? :D I have seen hints with the second part further encoded in something simple like ROT1, which seems like a fair compromise.

 

If I do include a giveaway hint, I state that it is such in the hint itself, using the brackets.

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The worst hint ever is NO HINT encoded. That sucks especially after an hour of looking.

At least it was short. :unsure:

 

I've seen "You really don't need a hint for this one"...a bit more exasperating when decoding in the field.

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I still don't know what this one means, but I doubt it'd help find the cache (which I didn't)

 

Some of you city folks may not know about this kind of guard but it's always there...What came 1st? The chicken or the egg?

 

GPS coords led me to a cattle guard.. that was a no-brainer, but the chicken and egg part seemed like busywork to me, and not a clue to help me out after I'd looked for 15 minutes.

 

Jamie

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"It's there. Just look." B)

 

(%&*#% ) B)

Edited by Alan2

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Found another,

 

I doubt you really need one!

 

Fortunately, it was on a cache I didn't hunt for.

 

Jamie

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probably already said somewhere, but my absolute favvvvvorite is a clue that tells you where the parking (or trail head) is but dont say a word about the cache. I'm sorry, but I generally decode when I'm AT THE CACHE SITE! not in the parking lot of a diner wondering "where, oh where is the correct place to park". Although I will admit that giving clues as to the best place to park isnt a bad idea per se. Sometimes its downright helpful. but for godssake, put in it the words [parking] and [cache] PLEASE!

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From a recent roadtrip I made with Woof!:

 

Log a miss and I will send you a clue...

 

Not very useful when we had to decrypt that in the field. Oh well.

 

Jamie

Edited by Jamie Z

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And another:

 

This one is for a well-hidden micro hidden (with permission) on private property.

 

eh...nope...not on this one

 

It seemed (to me) that the general area had taken a beating from cachers looking for this micro.

 

Jamie

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I recently came across one that said this:

"Did I say 'bring a pen'?"

 

Or here in NW WA, these can be fairly useless:

"Behind the Mossy Log"

"under the madrona tree"

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All hints by the same cache hider:

  • Simon says, cross your finger,click your heels
  • tol a secnuob SPG dnif ot tluciffid eb dluoC .ot teg ot ysaE ,syas nomiS
  • ysae oot !stninh yna evig ton NAC

Yeah, I DNF'ed on all of them. :angry:

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Along the trail look for a young boys playground dream. Approximately 40 feet straight back you will find the cache under a homebuilders dream.

 

Okay so not a USELESS hint, wordy, just under would work quite as well and be a much easier field decrypt. The main prob with the hint was the coords! as initially published, a mere 596 feet away from the cache!

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From Swamp Gas. "This one shouldn't stump you."

A frequent clue that usually means "In a tree stump."

Oddly enough, I know how to use a dictionary, and know the difference between a 'stump' and a 'log' or 'fallen tree'. I owuld have found it quicker if I had known it was in a log, not a stump.

There are any number of similar hints that are completely worng. Am I the only one who owns a dictionary?

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From Swamp Gas. "This one shouldn't stump you."

A frequent clue that usually means "In a tree stump."

Oddly enough, I know how to use a dictionary, and know the difference between a 'stump' and a 'log' or 'fallen tree'. I owuld have found it quicker if I had known it was in a log, not a stump.

There are any number of similar hints that are completely worng. Am I the only one who owns a dictionary?

When I found it, it WAS in a stump. Checked it again for a TB on a trip later, and it was in the log a few feet away.

 

Is that location still as nasty as it was when I was there a year ago?

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From Swamp Gas.  "This one shouldn't stump you."

A frequent clue that usually means "In a tree stump."

Oddly enough, I know how to use a dictionary, and know the difference between a 'stump' and a 'log' or 'fallen tree'.  I would have found it quicker if I had known it was in a log, not a stump. 

There are any number of similar hints that are completely wrong.  Am I the only one who owns a dictionary?

When I found it, it WAS in a stump. Checked it again for a TB on a trip later, and it was in the log a few feet away.

 

Is that location still as nasty as it was when I was there a year ago?

Ah. That could explain it. Community cache, with no one to edit the original?

I've cached in far nastier places than that. In fact, we didn't see anything particularly wrong with the site.

I cited it as a prime example of a bad clue. I've seen several others using a completely wrong description.

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My favorite clue was Mute mutt over caffeinated. We couldn't figure out what the clue meant even after we found the cache. A few months later we met the cache hider and asked him to explain the clue.

Mute mutt = barkless Over caffeinated = high.

It was high in a barkless tree. :huh:

Mike

Edited by Escapades

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Ah. That could explain it. Community cache, with no one to edit the original?

I've cached in far nastier places than that. In fact, we didn't see anything particularly wrong with the site.

I cited it as a prime example of a bad clue. I've seen several others using a completely wrong description.

Check out some of the pics in the older logs, and you'll quickly see EXACTLY what I mean by "nasty!"

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A hint for a cache I found, in its entirety.

 

cache is located five feet away under fallen tree.

 

I didn't use the hint to find the cache, but after I read it, I thought... five feet from what?

 

Jamie

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Here's one a chatroom link exposed:

 

Hey! I thought you were a hard hitter!? This is major league play...no hints here!

 

Groan.

 

Jamie

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''Two steps will get you there''

 

This the only hint for a multi cache. No stairs near the coordinates. Two steps off the trail? Which side? Two steps versus how many feet in accuracy? No description of what we are looking for, but they do say to look carefully! Oh, I love wasting gasoline and time on these things!

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My favorite has been "under a broken log" when the area was full of broken logs and fallen trees. The good old gps jumped around like crazy and sunset overtook us before we had to finally give up on this cache. It was difficulty 1 and terrain 1. Terrain was a 1 after telling us depending on which way you entered the woods you might have to cross a small stream and watch out for the barbed wired area. LOL :D

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Keep your eyes open. You may find more than you seek.

 

Besides being unhelpful in finding the cache in question, this hint has a special meaning.

 

The cache was placed in the same exact tree as another cache. Probably the hint is suggesting that you could find the other cache too.

 

How this cache was approved, I don't know, but people have logged both caches and commented about how convenient it was to do both. Kind of like logging an event multiple times, sort of.

 

Jamie

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On a cache I found. The cache description says that there aren't any hints, yet there is clearly a hint. So out of curiousity, I decrypted it. This is what it says:

 

No hints yet

 

Jamie

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my favorite useless clue was

 

Y

 

yeah, that's all there was...

Not knowing if that is relevant to the single Y hint, but sometimes I've seen letters carved in tree to indicate the hiding spot.

 

So, I covered a recent cache with a loose piece of bark and carved A.E. (for Amelia Earhart - the cache is Amelia's Lost Entrance) on the bark covering the cache.

 

On the other hand, on a recent cemetery multi (Lost Cemetery (So Sadly Misted)) - in the final location I used the hint R.I.P. because that's what I wrote on the bark there - unfortunately that was a bad choice of marker for the cemetery and I've added a more descriptive hint to avoid people thinking they need to disrupt any of the residents.

 

Bad or useless hints are the most frustrating.

 

On the other hand, we have deceptive hints sometimes here - like "magnetic" when something is permanently attached to a tree and then the cache magnetically attached to that, say. Very tricky.

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One of my favorites in this nice park was a clue stating to be on a certain side of this fence.

Except, in this park, the road goes through it in a circle, so if you come from one side, you'll be "before the fence" but if you come on the other side, you'll be after the fence.

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I have'nt made many friends with This hint.

So instead of learning from this thread, you're willing to make fellow cachers angry when they're decrypting the hint manually?

 

Nice.

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Anyone that has a photo of some people rafting in the Yellow River, as we Americans konw it, should not bitch about useless hints, unless they lead one to China. If a clue teaches you history about an area then its not useless, I did notice you were a student.

 

Ia lso found it to be a bit of snobbery to say, in effect, "I don't have time for your useless clues"... Hay afterall I could be rafting on the Yangtze River.

 

Geocaching is about fun, get with the program. So what if a clue is useless to you, to another person it may be a treasure.

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Geocaching is about fun, get with the program. So what if a clue is useless to you, to another person it may be a treasure.

 

There may be some "useless" hints that are "a treasure" but I doubt it. And there are some hints that are just ... mean. Tonight I was out hunting a 1/1 micro. An inch of snow on the ground. The temperature around 20 F (-5 C). Wind blowing. My flashlight running out of battery juice. Branches hitting my freezing face. I finally decide to look at the hint. Decode it and find out that it reads,

 

you shouldn't need a hint. This one is way to easy :huh:

 

Right ... I say sarcastically. If it is easy enough not to need a hint -- and I'll grant that it is in the daylight, in the warmth -- then don't put down a freaking hint! Leave that space blank. Don't make me decode it in the cold while I am in the middle of looking for the cache.

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If you're going to put a hint I think it should be somewhat helpful. Not everyone uses the decrypt button before they print their sheets and head out into the "wilds". Just my 2 cents

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my favorite useless clue was

 

Y

 

yeah, that's all there was...

Is it possible that there was a tree branch or something on the ground that was Y-shaped? If so, this actually could be a nice clue that gets you thinking without spelling out everything. As a matter of fact, there was a clue once that said something like "look for the Y". This got me looking around until I found something that looked like a Y, and behold! There was the cache. That one was maybe a bit too blatant, so a simple "Y" may have been better.

 

Just trying to see both sides...

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Here's a good one. Not bad if you check the hints at home before you even look for the cache, but when you're in the field.......

 

Above flood level. Cache location visible in this pic: (visit link)

 

(Yes, there's actually a link to a picture on the cache page, but no need for that here.....)

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How 'bout this one......

"Think geological" .......huh? this was in a woods where rocks were prevelant

and; "I'm peeking"... WTF izzat?

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I had one the other day that said "clip,clop, clip, clop"

 

It was hidden under a wooden bridge. I have no idea what it means. The best I could come up with was the side trail was sort of horseshoe shaped.

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I'm not particularly fond of these kinds of hints:

Sebz Pybire Fg.,gnxr gur fbhgurea zbfg ragenapr gb gur cnex, arkg gb gur fureevsf zbhagrq cngeby fgnoyrf, naq chyy vagb gur "Qrivyf Ongugho" nern naq fgneg uvxvat sebz gurer.

Vs lbh'ir tbg gur snzvyl, gnxr na rnfl cngu qbja gb arne gur cbaqf rqtr naq yrg lbhe TCF fubj lbh gur jnl.Gur genvy vf n jvaqvat bar, fb vg zvtug trg qrprvivat ohg gur pnpur vf abg sne bss gur cngu.

Uneq pber pnpuref pna gnxr gur "Qrivyf Ongugho Cngu" znexrq ol n fvta naq trg n tbbq qbfr bs rkrefvmr.Gur ynfg 250 srrg be fb jvyy or gbhtu vs gur tebhaq vf fabjl be jrg.

Unir sha.

Which translates to:

From Clover St.,take the southern most entrance to the park, next to the sherrifs mounted patrol stables, and pull into the "Devils Bathtub" area and start hiking from there.

If you've got the family, take an easy path down to near the ponds edge and let your GPS show you the way.The trail is a winding one, so it might get deceiving but the cache is not far off the path.

Hard core cachers can take the "Devils Bathtub Path" marked by a sign and get a good dose of exersize.The last 250 feet or so will be tough if the ground is snowy or wet.

Have fun.

EEK! ;) I'm so glad I decrypt all hints before printing out the cache listing and just do my best not to look at them 'til I need them.

Edited by Ferreter5

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If you think you know where I would have hidden it, then you shouldn't be looking there because if I thought you would think that I would have hidden it there then I would never hide it there. Unless you know that I know that you would be looking there if you thought I wouldn't hide it there because we both know that I would and probably did hide it there.

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My 12 year-old brother frequently goes on cache hunts with my husband and me (he lives with us, we can't leave him home :blink: ). The only way we can get him out of the car on some trips is to give him the hint to decrypt. He LOVES it! This ALWAYS gets him out of the car and into the "caching mood." He may not always understand the clue, but I know it would irk him to figure out "no hint here" or "Too bad you spent all this time decrypting to find out there is NO CLUE!!" :lol:

 

As for the adults decrypting these clues-- I used the decrypt tool for the first couple of caches we looked for. After that, I just printed out the hint for my brother. Sometimes, we just give him the clue to "keep him busy" while we search. We oftentimes have to resort to the clue he runs up and hands us! :huh:

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How about:

 

[Final waypoint:] If you're really stuck on this part, and you have enough patience to decrypt this obnoxiously long hint that we've given to you, then you are obviously not looking on the right side of the creek!

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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?" <IMG WIDTH="15" HEIGHT="15" SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif" alt="wink">

When I read the hint you provided, I just knew you were not from the South. The good ole boys down here would probably not have taken kindly to your thoughtfull hint. The cacher needing the hint might have been my neighbor's mentally challanged teenager who doesn't need his fun day caching spoiled.

 

A couple of things could have resulted from your hint down in these parts. One possibility is that you might have needed and armed escort to mainteance your cache after it was reported missing. Pickups don't have gun racks in the window down here to carry fishing rods. Another possibility is that your cache might just go missing suddenly. A third possibility is that they would have found your cache even in a driving rain but you might find a rusty cache container where your cache used to be. As owner, you might get an encryped hint inside the rusty container telling you where you could could find your cache. You see rednecks might think your manners need improvement. :D

 

You see, Southerners don't assume folks are stupid and need to be punished when they ask for cache hints. Southerners assume foks need some extra help in locating the cache even if that makes it a difficulty zero (less than 1) cache. Caching is supposed to be a fun game even for those who are cache find challenged regardless of cause. :lol:

 

Marietta Moose - Marietta, Georgia

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I had one the other day that said "clip,clop, clip, clop"

 

It was hidden under a wooden bridge. I have no idea what it means. The best I could come up with was the side trail was sort of horseshoe shaped.

That's the sound of horse hooves as they go over the wooden bridge.

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I had one the other day that said "clip,clop, clip, clop"

 

It was hidden under a wooden bridge.  I have no idea what it means.  The best I could come up with was the side trail was sort of horseshoe shaped.

That's the sound of horse hooves as they go over the wooden bridge.

Isn't it a general term for the sound of horses? I can imagine that on a cobblestone road as well. All I got out of it was horses and since the trail to the bridge and back out was, sort of, horseshoe shaped.

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How 'bout "topesy turvey" when the cache is a micro hidden under a table and coords are 40+ feet off?

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The most useless hit I ever had was "stumped?" This was a hint for a cache that was found in a reforseted area that was being logged in spots. There were about 28 stumps within a 20 meter radius of the coordinates. After 45 minutes of searching (persistant, aren't I) found the cache 40 meters from the posted coordinates, hidden in a log. :unsure: Great hint. <sarcasm>

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