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# Where do I start to decode coordinates from a puzzle?

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Hi, This is the first cache with the last 3 numbers missing from both the N and W coordinates. I don't even know where to begin to solve it. Can someone provide a hint to get me started?

GC42XQF

I used the Description Code and all I got was another bunch of letters. I thought that maybe it was like a word scramble and the numbers were be hidden therein but that didn't work.

Any help advice would be appreciated.

Thank you!

Edited by realityshownut

According to section 2-D of the geocaching.com terms of use, "You agree not to: [...] xxiii. Publish on our websites the solutions, hints, spoilers, or any hidden coordinates for any geocache without consent from the geocache owner.” However, here are some general puzzle tips (based in part on a puzzle-solving class event presented by The Rat a while ago):

Identify the theme. Check the cache title, the hint, the HTML source, the graphics (including names/URLs), any links (including URLs), whatever is at the posted coordinates, etc. If you can figure out the theme, then you should look for numbering systems that are associated with that theme (zip codes, athletes’ jersey numbers, episode numbers, product codes, etc.).

Around here, coordinates will have 15 digits, and will look like "N 37° xx.xxx W 122° xx.xxx". So when I'm solving a nearby puzzle, I look for a group of 15 things, and then I look for ways to get the digits 37xxxxx122xxxxx from them. In general, I look for ways to get the number 37 (or the digits 3 and 7) from something near the beginning of the puzzle, and the number 122 (or the digits 1, 2, and 2) from something near the middle of the puzzle. (Of course, you'll need to adjust this for the coordinates near you.)

Other useful resources include:

Puzzle Solving 101 Series (bookmark list)

Puzzle Shortcuts Series (bookmark list)

Solving Puzzle Caches (online article)

How Do I Solve All These \$@! Puzzle Caches? (tutorial-style puzzle cache)

Puzzle FUNdamentals (archived event cache) and the Puzzle FUNdamentals resources on the GeocacheAlaska! education page

The GBA's Puzzle Cache FAQ (for puzzle designers, but useful for understanding how puzzle caches work)

If you’re interested in extremely challenging puzzles, then consider the online discussions of Venona’s ACTIVITIES in the GBA forums. The puzzles for this annual event are very challenging, intended to be solved by multiple people working together online. (You'll need to register on the GBA site to view these forum threads.)

Overview: Venona's 2011 ACTIVITIES

Overview: Venona's 2012 ACTIVITIES

Hi, This is the first cache with the last 3 numbers missing from both the N and W coordinates. I don't even know where to begin to solve it. Can someone provide a hint to get me started?

GC42XQF

I used the Description Code and all I got was another bunch of letters. I thought that maybe it was like a word scramble and the numbers were be hidden therein but that didn't work.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!

the above advice is good info.

In addition, don't be afraid to email the owner of the cache. They will often provide hints on how to get started on their particular puzzle. We hide a lot of puzzle caches, and we want people to find them, so we are always willing to provide as much help as they want.

Don't be discouraged if the owner doesn't want to provide hints as there are some who choose not to. You can also email previous finders for help, too. Not all will answer or help, but you will find lots of people who are very willing to help you!

The solutions just can't be published in a public forum such as this.

Good luck! We love puzzle caches, and the more you do, the more you will learn about the tricks to solving them.!

Thank you for the help. I wasn't looking for the answer, just some guidance as to what to do. Sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks for the advice :-)

If you really still need help, I use the website http://www.geocachingprofile.com/codebreaker.vigenerecipher.aspx a lot to solve decoding puzzles. You might find help there...

Thank you for the help. I wasn't looking for the answer, just some guidance as to what to do. Sorry for the misunderstanding and thanks for the advice :-)

I personally hate most puzzle caches, mostly because I'm either too impatient, or two stupid to solve most of them. I'm not going to go through the trouble of seeing if my hunch is correct, but I think that the hint on this particular one is important. This and the advice given in the links provided by niraD might be all you need to solve this.

Thanks for posting this cache. I enjoy decoding ciphers, and this one had me going for a couple of hours - mainly because I was over-thinking it. I'd be happy to provide a pointer should you still need one.

Thanks for posting this cache. I enjoy decoding ciphers, and this one had me going for a couple of hours ...........

Then here's one you might find interesting.

If you want to solve the 3rd stage, I will send you the info to be found at "X" & "Y".

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