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Help with puzzle caches?


hunter259
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I'm finding that with a lot of puzzle caches I look into, I don't even know where to start.

 

Anyone have any tips or methods or anything that could get me started? Or is this something I would just have to figure out on my own.

I know it really varies because of all the types of puzzle caches, but it just seems like almost everyone I come to (except for really obvious ones) I have no clue how to attack them.

 

Anything would be appreciated.

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I'm finding that with a lot of puzzle caches I look into, I don't even know where to start.

 

Anyone have any tips or methods or anything that could get me started? Or is this something I would just have to figure out on my own.

I know it really varies because of all the types of puzzle caches, but it just seems like almost everyone I come to (except for really obvious ones) I have no clue how to attack them.

 

Anything would be appreciated.

 

If you do an advanced forum search for "puzzles" and author "niraD", you should be able to find niraD's oft-posted recommendations for help with puzzles.

 

For example, here's a recent post:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=316351&st=0&p=5308692&hl=puzzles&fromsearch=1entry5308692

 

 

B.

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I'm finding that with a lot of puzzle caches I look into, I don't even know where to start.

 

Anyone have any tips or methods or anything that could get me started? Or is this something I would just have to figure out on my own.

I know it really varies because of all the types of puzzle caches, but it just seems like almost everyone I come to (except for really obvious ones) I have no clue how to attack them.

 

Anything would be appreciated.

The way you've worded your request is good. Specific cache help is not something that can or should go on in the forums.

 

There are some good resources out there, and other threads have the links. There are even some caches that are designed to teach techniques.

 

Again, I wish I could remember the links, but I don't. Someone is bound to stop by and offer better advice.

 

Meanwhile, I'd recommend taking some time to reach out to the owners of the caches you are interested in. In my humble opinion, any owner should be able to provide a nudge to a novice puzzle solver. I think it's in the spirit of the game to help new cachers learn some tricks. So, start there with the owners, and see what you might get for help. ...And wait to see what others will post for some helpful links. Cheers! :anibad:

 

^Pup Patrol beat me to it! :laughing:

Edited by NeverSummer
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It has been said that "a journey of 1000 miles, begins with the first step". That is very true. Also equally true is "watch the first step, it's a doozy". Just something to think about.

 

For me, the first step once you get to the puzzle page, is READ the whole thing from beginning of the page to the bottom, then read it again.... and again. Let it sink in. Good idea to make notes of what you see. Afterwards, try reading between the lines, sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. Setters hide stuff everywhere possible and then some at times.

 

Don't ignore anything no matter how trivial it seems, information can be hiding anywhere on the page and logs.

The problem is to gather it up and then winnow out the chaff and misleading stuff. It may sound trite, but it's just a problem to be solved and most problems can be 'attacked' by the same method.

 

Most of the satisfaction in puzzles is often figuring out that first step. Once you are onto the method of concealment, solving it is often just legwork and fairly boring... but, sometimes there is a complex second or third step. You can also run into Red Herrings, decoys and simple misdirection. But that is good, why else would you do puzzles.

 

Cut your teeth on easier ones, using fairly 'standard' puzzle forms, like cryptography, or math skills, or simple logic puzzles. There are much harder ones which will put you off, but you have to start small, develop some skills and gradually increase the difficulty level.

 

One harder skill to learn, is when to bail out on an approach and start again with a clean slate. But be warned, as you get into harder levels, it isn't uncommon for puzzle setters to push you toward a state of frustration where you abandon the correct trail for something else. I prefer to start again but continue to work the frustrating path as well.

 

A lot depends on what skills and knowledge you bring to the game, like everything in life.

It is not uncommon for the biggest hurdle to be overwhelmed by the apparent difficulty of the posed problem.

Usually it isn't anything that bad once you winnow out the extra data. I used to hate math problems (verbose) until I learned to do that first while reading it over again for the third time. THEN it got much easier since you only needed a part of what was given.

 

Hopefully by now you've seen the references to NiraD's listing, and that is excellent schooling/exposure to some of what is out there.

 

Good luck.

 

Doug 7rxc

Edited by 7rxc
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Once you've worked on the puzzle, don't be afraid to contact the cache owner for help. If you can list all the things you've tried to show you've made a real effort, the CO will be more likely to give you help.

 

I will always provide a nudge on all of my puzzles if asked. I like to give minor nudges int he right direction, so the solver has the joy of the "Aha!" moment.

 

(Minor caveat - I will not give any sort of hints on one of my puzzles as it is meant to be very difficult).

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Best just to email the CO or other cachers for a hint. You'll get better at it the more you do.

 

Best just to email the CO and let them, rather that other cachers decide if they want to provide a hint. The cache owner sets difficulty rating of the cache. If they created a 4 star difficulty puzzle cache it's *supposed* to be difficult and other cachers shouldn't take it upon themselves to circumvent the intended difficulty that the CO created by giving away hints.

 

 

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Best just to email the CO or other cachers for a hint. You'll get better at it the more you do.

 

Best just to email the CO and let them, rather that other cachers decide if they want to provide a hint. The cache owner sets difficulty rating of the cache. If they created a 4 star difficulty puzzle cache it's *supposed* to be difficult and other cachers shouldn't take it upon themselves to circumvent the intended difficulty that the CO created by giving away hints.

 

In an ideal world, yes. However, in reality, people are more comfortable asking their friends for help and that includes anything from a small hint to passing on the final coordinates directly.

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Best just to email the CO or other cachers for a hint. You'll get better at it the more you do.

 

Best just to email the CO and let them, rather that other cachers decide if they want to provide a hint. The cache owner sets difficulty rating of the cache. If they created a 4 star difficulty puzzle cache it's *supposed* to be difficult and other cachers shouldn't take it upon themselves to circumvent the intended difficulty that the CO created by giving away hints.

 

In an ideal world, yes. However, in reality, people are more comfortable asking their friends for help and that includes anything from a small hint to passing on the final coordinates directly.

 

When a cache owner creates a difficult hide it's not about making those that want to find it comfortable. It's about creating a cache that is *supposed* to be challenging. When someone, other than the cache owner, provides hints or the outright final coordinates they're saying, "I don't care what the cache owner wants, the finders comfort and ease of getting that smiley is more important". Given that this game would not exist, if not for people hiding caches for others to find, I find it odd that the growing trend of placing the wishes of the finders over the wishes of the hider seems to be more and more common and acceptable.

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Best just to email the CO or other cachers for a hint. You'll get better at it the more you do.

 

Best just to email the CO and let them, rather that other cachers decide if they want to provide a hint. The cache owner sets difficulty rating of the cache. If they created a 4 star difficulty puzzle cache it's *supposed* to be difficult and other cachers shouldn't take it upon themselves to circumvent the intended difficulty that the CO created by giving away hints.

 

In an ideal world, yes. However, in reality, people are more comfortable asking their friends for help and that includes anything from a small hint to passing on the final coordinates directly.

 

When a cache owner creates a difficult hide it's not about making those that want to find it comfortable. It's about creating a cache that is *supposed* to be challenging. When someone, other than the cache owner, provides hints or the outright final coordinates they're saying, "I don't care what the cache owner wants, the finders comfort and ease of getting that smiley is more important". Given that this game would not exist, if not for people hiding caches for others to find, I find it odd that the growing trend of placing the wishes of the finders over the wishes of the hider seems to be more and more common and acceptable.

I agree, for the most part.

 

If I have a difficult unknown cache that someone is having a hard time with, I'm more than happy to give a nudge to that user. The nudge will be better if the person can show me where they are at in the process--meaning, proving to me that they've at least engaged their brain on the concepts or puzzles in the cache listing. Once I know where they are in the process, I am better prepared to give them a well-intentioned and subtle nudge or hint.

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Best just to email the CO or other cachers for a hint. You'll get better at it the more you do.

 

Best just to email the CO and let them, rather that other cachers decide if they want to provide a hint. The cache owner sets difficulty rating of the cache. If they created a 4 star difficulty puzzle cache it's *supposed* to be difficult and other cachers shouldn't take it upon themselves to circumvent the intended difficulty that the CO created by giving away hints.

 

In an ideal world, yes. However, in reality, people are more comfortable asking their friends for help and that includes anything from a small hint to passing on the final coordinates directly.

 

When a cache owner creates a difficult hide it's not about making those that want to find it comfortable. It's about creating a cache that is *supposed* to be challenging. When someone, other than the cache owner, provides hints or the outright final coordinates they're saying, "I don't care what the cache owner wants, the finders comfort and ease of getting that smiley is more important". Given that this game would not exist, if not for people hiding caches for others to find, I find it odd that the growing trend of placing the wishes of the finders over the wishes of the hider seems to be more and more common and acceptable.

 

I agree with you 100%. I personally would like to have more control over how my caches are done. Unfortunately cache owners ultimately have no control over what happens, other than whether or not the logbook was signed.

 

As for asking for hints, I think many cache owners would *prefer* you ask your friend instead of emailing them. As a cache owner, while I enjoy the occasional email asking for help, I wouldn't want to get so many emails that it became a chore. I'm happy with people collaborating with their friends to solve a puzzle. Some people will need alot of help and I'd rather their friend help them than emailing me a dozen times. Having said that, if they *do* ask me for help, I will be more than happy to help them in whatever way they need. Mostly, I'm flattered if they are interested in my puzzle. The main things I don't like is when people straight out email each other the final coordinates (which shows no interest in the puzzle) or when big groups go out for the express purpose of finding difficult puzzles that maybe only 1 of them has solved. :tired:

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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I think puzzle caches are just one more aspect of the game where easy numbers win over investment of effort on the finder's part - as a sweeping generalization of course :(

 

More often than not - if the puzzle is a well constructed one with a genuine logic path to the solve, rather than a guess what I'm thinking type of puzzle, many finders will have invested considerably less effort than the CO who set the puzzle in the first place.

 

I find the whole thing quite odd.

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I personally would like to have more control over how my caches are done. Unfortunately cache owners ultimately have no control over what happens, other than whether or not the logbook was signed.

 

One can set an example however by not providing hints for difficult puzzle caches that one does not own. In such cases I refer to the cache owner.

Moreover, it needs to be accepted if a cache owner does not provide hints for difficult puzzles. Not every cache is for everyone.

 

A cache that is designed to be a real challenge does not remain a challenge if hints are given out so that the cache is within reach of everyone.

 

As for asking for hints, I think many cache owners would *prefer* you ask your friend instead of emailing them.

 

I think that for difficult puzzles caches this arises very rarely.

 

As a cache owner, while I enjoy the occasional email asking for help, I wouldn't want to get so many emails that it became a chore. I'm happy with people collaborating with their friends to solve a puzzle. Some people will need alot of help and I'd rather their friend help them than emailing me a dozen times.

 

From a certain point onwards one cannot talk any longer about help - it is then giving away the solution.

 

In the same way as I will never be able to climb up trees, not everyone is able to solve every puzzle. This is a fact that should be recognized.

 

I'm not against giving out hints in general, but there are limits and it is depends a lot on the rating of the cache and whether is well suited for providing just a subtle hint that does not remove the challenge. Most owners of challenging puzzle caches I know have set up these caches to provide a real challenge to a certain group who enjoys such challenges and has the required abilities and not to provide one more box to be be logged as found it.

 

The main things I don't like is when people straight out email each other the final coordinates (which shows no interest in the puzzle) or when big groups go out for the express purpose of finding difficult puzzles that maybe only 1 of them has solved. :tired:

 

I feel however that by not sticking to the principle that hints should be given by the cache owner and that there is no right for getting hints you support what you do not like.

 

Cezanne

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