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Mystery Caches


Ma&PaD
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It has been brought to our attention, after visiting with one of our well-known cachers, and after reading the Guidelines - that when posting a puzzle cache, the cache owner has to write a note to the reviewer as to how they solve the puzzle - our problem with that is that we know of reviewers who cache under a different cache name and therefore can go out and get that puzzle cache without ever having to solve the puzzle - we, feel, that this entirely out of context and not a fair way of caching....thanks for listening....just voicing an opinion....

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It has been brought to our attention, after visiting with one of our well-known cachers, and after reading the Guidelines - that when posting a puzzle cache, the cache owner has to write a note to the reviewer as to how they solve the puzzle - our problem with that is that we know of reviewers who cache under a different cache name and therefore can go out and get that puzzle cache without ever having to solve the puzzle - we, feel, that this entirely out of context and not a fair way of caching....thanks for listening....just voicing an opinion....

 

Consider it a tiny perq for being a reviewer. Are you suggesting the reviewer should not be able to find the cache at all?

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It has been brought to our attention, after visiting with one of our well-known cachers, and after reading the Guidelines - that when posting a puzzle cache, the cache owner has to write a note to the reviewer as to how they solve the puzzle - our problem with that is that we know of reviewers who cache under a different cache name and therefore can go out and get that puzzle cache without ever having to solve the puzzle - we, feel, that this entirely out of context and not a fair way of caching....thanks for listening....just voicing an opinion....

 

I hate to point out the obvious, but when you filled out the submission form for your cache, you were required to list the final coordinates for the puzzle. The Reviewer already has the final coordinates so doesn't need to know how you arrive at them so they can "cheat". They need to know how you arrived at them to verify it is solvable by someone who does NOT have the final coordinates.:)

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We have placed over 200 puzzle caches and have never been asked for a solution method or even a solution.

 

Of course the reviewer does have the final coords.

 

PAul

Maybe your reviewer is smart enough to figure then out all by himself. All the reviewers are trying to do is make sure the puzzle solves correctly and you didn't make some error. On a real complicated one having to produce the methodology is necessary.

 

The OP makes the broad assertion that he knows reviewers go out under other names and get the cache without having to solve it. Without providing specifics (reviewer name, cache id and cacher name) that isn't worth listening to. Just another rumor. Making general scurrilous accusations about a group of people who give so much of their time to this hobby is cheap.

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First off they have the final anyway. Do they find your mystery caches? If not, then what's the problem? If so-then they should have some perk for volunteering their time. And what does it matter if they cache under a different name? I thought ALL reviewers where cachers. I actually think it's a good idea-It would have saved me and some others a bit of trouble more than once.

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Like its recent predecessor, I think it's sad that this thread is phrased in terms of possible reviewer misconduct when it ought to be about actual player misconduct.

 

In the good old days, geocachers could generally be trusted to construct factually accurate puzzles using methods that met the listing guidelines. Over time, there's been enough examples of misconduct in method, that we now need to ask about the method. Over time, there's been enough falsification of the hidden additional waypoints that we now need to see step-by-step solutions that lead to the same coordinates shown as a hidden additional waypoint.

 

So awhile back, the guidelines were updated to specifically require the inclusion of the puzzle solution details as part of the initial submission. If you don't provide adequate detail, expect to be asked.

 

If you're looking for people towards whom you can be righteously indignant, look to your local envelope pushers, the people who enjoy "getting one over" on Groundspeak and its review process, the people whose philosophy is to disclose as little as possible, to lie when convenient, and to change the details post-publication. Thanks to them, ALL cache reviews take more time per review than was the case even five years ago. That's especially true for puzzles.

 

Reviewers have ethical constraints that govern our conduct regarding caches for which we have "inside information." We do not use that inside information, learned during the review process, to our advantage as a player. We refrain from being FTF on puzzles and multicaches that we reviewed, for at least a week or so. I rarely hunt for puzzle caches at all, partly because of threads like this one, though I joke that it's because I'm too stupid to solve them. I rejoiced last week at being third to find on a true difficulty 1 puzzle cache. It's a rare event.

 

Sometimes I dream about starting a public forum thread each time when a cache hider does something truly over the top. They would make for good reading.

Edited by Keystone
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It has been brought to our attention, after visiting with one of our well-known cachers, and after reading the Guidelines - that when posting a puzzle cache, the cache owner has to write a note to the reviewer as to how they solve the puzzle - our problem with that is that we know of reviewers who cache under a different cache name and therefore can go out and get that puzzle cache without ever having to solve the puzzle - we, feel, that this entirely out of context and not a fair way of caching....thanks for listening....just voicing an opinion....

 

Consider it a tiny perk for being a reviewer. Are you suggesting the reviewer should not be able to find the cache at all?

 

I agree. I'd much rather see a reviewer get a small perk, then people post puzzles that require us to read their minds, or post an unsolvable cache just to mess with people.

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We have placed over 200 puzzle caches and have never been asked for a solution method or even a solution.

 

Of course the reviewer does have the final coords.

 

PAul

Maybe your reviewer is smart enough to figure then out all by himself. All the reviewers are trying to do is make sure the puzzle solves correctly and you didn't make some error. On a real complicated one having to produce the methodology is necessary.

 

The OP makes the broad assertion that he knows reviewers go out under other names and get the cache without having to solve it. Without providing specifics (reviewer name, cache id and cacher name) that isn't worth listening to. Just another rumor. Making general scurrilous accusations about a group of people who give so much of their time to this hobby is cheap.

 

Obviously I did not read the entire original post, and I did not see the accusation.

 

I was simply saying that our reviewer never asks us although he does have the final cords. It is quite possible that our reviewer decides when he needs to ask for solving info. In other words there have never been problems with my logic puzzles and he sees no need to check them.

 

PAul

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In the good old days, geocachers could generally be trusted to construct factually accurate puzzles using methods that met the listing guidelines. Over time, there's been enough examples of misconduct in method, that we now need to ask about the method. Over time, there's been enough falsification of the hidden additional waypoints that we now need to see step-by-step solutions that lead to the same coordinates shown as a hidden additional waypoint.

 

When you argue along these lines, you will find me on your side. I'm not a reviewer and I know much less stories than you will know, but I find it both shocking and annoying how much cheating has found its way into geocaching. While geocaching has changed over the years, I have not changed however my own approach to geocaching and I still invest a lot of care into my caches and I have never attempted to play a trick on a reviewer.

 

The argument that reviewers need to check that the puzzles are correct and do not contain mistakes that has been used previously is however something that does not convince me as my area is regarded. There are much more puzzles caches in my country than in the US, but while I have heard many stories about cachers cheating with coordinates and other aspects of their cache submissions, I have not yet encountered a case where a reviewer checked the correctness of a puzzle (actually, they would not have the time to do so and there are many puzzles where they also lack the required competences). I've done betatests for a number of caches and it can take quite some work and time to do so after knowing already everything the cache is about. This type of work is nothing that can be expected from a reviewer and thus I still think that also from this point of view providing too many details does not make sense in many cases (of course that depends on the type of puzzle).

 

Cezanne

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It has been brought to our attention, after visiting with one of our well-known cachers, and after reading the Guidelines - that when posting a puzzle cache, the cache owner has to write a note to the reviewer as to how they solve the puzzle - our problem with that is that we know of reviewers who cache under a different cache name and therefore can go out and get that puzzle cache without ever having to solve the puzzle - we, feel, that this entirely out of context and not a fair way of caching....thanks for listening....just voicing an opinion....

Is there a Reviewer who doesn't cache?

I haven't met any yet who cache under their Reviewer name (other than at events or special occasions "meet your Reviewer..."). Guess it's possible...

- I'd bet you have way more cachers (your "friends") who pass around the final coords to one of your puzzles, than a Reviewer that has to resort to cheating to find your cache.

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I was simply saying that our reviewer never asks us although he does have the final cords. It is quite possible that our reviewer decides when he needs to ask for solving info. In other words there have never been problems with my logic puzzles and he sees no need to check them.

 

PAul

 

Maybe if the reviewer had asked the error in GC4V40Z (ML152 GOOD LUCK) would have been caught before it was published. Also the reviewer should not have to ask as the guidelines state the following:

"Before you submit the cache listing, post a Note to Reviewer with an explanation of how the puzzle is solved. This log will auto-delete on publication."

 

As an aside, I wish the knowledge base information would be brought up to date to match the guidelines. It can be difficult to find information when they differ.

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Also the reviewer should not have to ask as the guidelines state the following:

"Before you submit the cache listing, post a Note to Reviewer with an explanation of how the puzzle is solved. This log will auto-delete on publication."

 

This statement is subject to interpretation however. I would understand it as a short description on how the solution could be obtained but I would see no reason to spend too much time with details without getting asked for. For example, I would provide the methods used to produce a ciphertext and the plaintext but would not provide explanations on the method itself if it is nothing self-invented. Sometimes the details would not even fit into a single reviewer note.

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I appreciate the fact that reviewers want to make sure the puzzle can be solved! This is good!

On my last series of mystery caches, the reviewers asked for more information on the puzzle on about 1/3. I was happy to supply that information. One reviewer did think I was asking cachers to read my mind. But it was solvable, and she agreed to list it.

Complaints about reviewers abusing their powers are completely uncalled for. As noted above, reviewers already know the final coords. Accusing them of abusing their powers for asking how a cache is solved is completely uncalled for! Let's get real here! If you don't want reviewers to know how to solve a mystery, so they know it's solvable, don't hide mystery caches. Second thread along this line that makes absolutely no sense. Reviewers know what the final coords are. They do not have to know how to solve the puzzle for the final coords.

I think the OPs on these thread are trying to hide something!

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We usually don't post how to solve them to the reviewer. I have been questioned on it once or twice. I know it is not so they can go out and find it but I think it is because of the rule that everyone should be able to solve it. Some may make a puzzle only friends could solve or have some knowledge of something from the CO that others might not have access to. Just a thought I had when questioned about this hide. I figured they might have thought it was from a personal album or something not everyone would have access to.

WarNinjas Spaced Out! GC4WH05 WarNinjas Spaced Out!

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I was simply saying that our reviewer never asks us although he does have the final cords. It is quite possible that our reviewer decides when he needs to ask for solving info. In other words there have never been problems with my logic puzzles and he sees no need to check them.

 

PAul

 

Maybe if the reviewer had asked the error in GC4V40Z (ML152 GOOD LUCK) would have been caught before it was published. Also the reviewer should not have to ask as the guidelines state the following:

"Before you submit the cache listing, post a Note to Reviewer with an explanation of how the puzzle is solved. This log will auto-delete on publication."

 

 

LOL

 

Yes there was a typo on the cache you mentioned. I found it immediately after it was published, before anyone went for the cache. The error was not in the puzzle but in the calculation of the coords after solving the logic puzzle.

I immediately logged a note to the cache page to warn everyone of the typo and that it had been corrected. The note is what brought the error to your attention

 

An explanation to the reviewer on how to solve the logic problem and calculate the coords would perhaps have helped but I dont think the reviewer would have time to do that with all our puzzle caches.

 

It is interesting that a San Diego cacher had to check my puzzles (On the East Coast of Canada) to see about the accuracy of my statement.

 

BTW we are taking a cruise out of San Diego in September and of course we will arrive early to do some caching, so maybe we will bump into you.

 

PAul

Edited by Ma & Pa
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It is interesting that a San Diego cacher had to check my puzzles (On the East Coast of Canada) to see about the accuracy of my statement.

 

BTW we are taking a cruise out of San Diego in September and of course we will arrive early to do some caching, so maybe we will bump into you.

 

PAul

 

Being a fan of puzzle caches (but not the "guess what this means" type)I was intrigued by the fact you have published 200 such caches. It just so happened the first one I visited had the typo on it. And just a couple of days ago I left a "solved" note on The_Incredibles_ cache on your left coast! :) I'll send you my email address via PM and perhaps we can meet up when you visit in September.

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We have placed over 200 puzzle caches and have never been asked for a solution method or even a solution.

I would not be at all surprised if a reviewer trusted well respected puzzle COs with excellent records and didn't bother to ask them for more info. Although I took a quick look as your puzzles -- they look like fun! -- and in your case, your reviewer may be checking up on you by simply solving your puzzles without asking for details.

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Is there a Reviewer who doesn't cache?

I haven't met any yet who cache under their Reviewer name (other than at events or special occasions "meet your Reviewer..."). Guess it's possible...

- I'd bet you have way more cachers (your "friends") who pass around the final coords to one of your puzzles, than a Reviewer that has to resort to cheating to find your cache.

 

I can relate to the last statement.

 

We dont mind how cachers get the coords for our logic caches.

 

There are a number of cachers who manually solve our logic puzzles and some of them from away have taken vacations to come and get them.

 

But we know there are others who manage to use EXCEL or use software such as PERL to solve them.

 

There are caching mobs that get together on weekends to attack an area, and they all claim the caches that only a few may have solved.

 

After the caches have been out for a while, local cachers start sharing the coords with their friends.

 

It is all OK with us.

 

.

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I would think also that it would be possible to restrict either a.) cheaters or b.) reviewers who legitimately have access to the final coordinates from actually getting into the final cache by having some sort of combination lock or other mechanism that requires a finder to refer to additional information that they would only have encountered if they actually solved the puzzle in the intended manner.

 

For instance a 3 digit code placed in the puzzle, or even perhaps a list of codes and change it from time-to-time. Or something on a sign at the site of an earlier stage if it's a multi-, that sort of thing.

 

Just because they can cheat (or already have access to in the case of the reviewers) to find the cache doesn't mean they need to be able to get into it.

Edited by TopShelfRob
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I would think also that it would be possible to restrict either a.) cheaters or b.) reviewers who legitimately have access to the final coordinates from actually getting into the final cache by having some sort of combination lock or other mechanism that requires a finder to refer to additional information that they would only have encountered if they actually solved the puzzle in the intended manner.

 

Just for kicks, a few years ago, I implemented such a system on one of my caches. It's a lot harder than you think to design a cheating-resistant puzzle protocol.

 

Your proposed solutions will not work, since people can get a code or combination from whatever source gave them the coordinates. Except in special cases (like my cache above) any such solution is just going to make the puzzle cache less fun.

 

Which is where I come down on these things. Friends share solutions? I don't care as long as they treat my cache well and have fun. Reviewers cheat and grab the coords? First of all, my reviewers wouldn't, and second, even if they did I don't care.

 

As long as I don't get a ton of cut-and-paste logs, and people seem to have fun finding my caches and solving the puzzles, I'm good with it.

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I would think also that it would be possible to restrict either a.) cheaters or b.) reviewers who legitimately have access to the final coordinates from actually getting into the final cache by having some sort of combination lock or other mechanism that requires a finder to refer to additional information that they would only have encountered if they actually solved the puzzle in the intended manner.

 

Just for kicks, a few years ago, I implemented such a system on one of my caches. It's a lot harder than you think to design a cheating-resistant puzzle protocol.

 

Your proposed solutions will not work, since people can get a code or combination from whatever source gave them the coordinates. Except in special cases (like my cache above) any such solution is just going to make the puzzle cache less fun.

 

Which is where I come down on these things. Friends share solutions? I don't care as long as they treat my cache well and have fun. Reviewers cheat and grab the coords? First of all, my reviewers wouldn't, and second, even if they did I don't care.

 

As long as I don't get a ton of cut-and-paste logs, and people seem to have fun finding my caches and solving the puzzles, I'm good with it.

 

Yeah, I have considered that -- putting a single three-digit combo code in a puzzle, they could share that code as easily as they shared the answer to the puzzle. But putting a list of codes that would have to be cross-referenced and then changing it every so often. And have about 100 copies of the list of the codes (labelled "take one") and then change it periodically and replenish the list as necessary.

 

Imagine coming upon for the final stage of a multi, a 5 x 10 trailer deep in the woods and opening it up and finding there are a bank of 100 little doors arranged in a 10 x 10 grid, numbered and each one with a combination lock, and you cheated to get the combination, but you just don't know which of the 100 locks the combo goes to. LOL, still working on the exact implementation, but for now buying 99 extra combination locks as decoys is a little cost prohibitive.

 

I like your solution there with the token for them to log to prove that they did solve it, very hard to cheat that. They can still log it but everyone can see that they cheated. They are still on the 'honor system' and it doesn't prevent any cheaters from getting their precious +1 find, yet still preserves a little recognition of accomplishment for those that have completed it honestly and are able to distinguish them from the log entries of cheaters.

Edited by TopShelfRob
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I would think also that it would be possible to restrict either a.) cheaters or b.) reviewers who legitimately have access to the final coordinates from actually getting into the final cache by having some sort of combination lock or other mechanism that requires a finder to refer to additional information that they would only have encountered if they actually solved the puzzle in the intended manner.

 

Just for kicks, a few years ago, I implemented such a system on one of my caches. It's a lot harder than you think to design a cheating-resistant puzzle protocol.

 

Your proposed solutions will not work, since people can get a code or combination from whatever source gave them the coordinates. Except in special cases (like my cache above) any such solution is just going to make the puzzle cache less fun.

 

Which is where I come down on these things. Friends share solutions? I don't care as long as they treat my cache well and have fun. Reviewers cheat and grab the coords? First of all, my reviewers wouldn't, and second, even if they did I don't care.

 

As long as I don't get a ton of cut-and-paste logs, and people seem to have fun finding my caches and solving the puzzles, I'm good with it.

 

If you had a code that was found during one stage of the puzzle and then needed to open the final stage there would be nothing to stop people sharing it. It would stop the reviewer simply going to the final coordinates to claim the cache or giving a friend the final coordinates so they could be FTF. I guess it all depends just what problem you're trying to solve.

 

It's hard to see why a reviewer would need to know what the code was to open the final box, just that it was provided in the intermediate stages.

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I would think also that it would be possible to restrict either a.) cheaters or b.) reviewers who legitimately have access to the final coordinates from actually getting into the final cache by having some sort of combination lock or other mechanism that requires a finder to refer to additional information that they would only have encountered if they actually solved the puzzle in the intended manner.

 

Just for kicks, a few years ago, I implemented such a system on one of my caches. It's a lot harder than you think to design a cheating-resistant puzzle protocol.

 

Your proposed solutions will not work, since people can get a code or combination from whatever source gave them the coordinates. Except in special cases (like my cache above) any such solution is just going to make the puzzle cache less fun.

 

Which is where I come down on these things. Friends share solutions? I don't care as long as they treat my cache well and have fun. Reviewers cheat and grab the coords? First of all, my reviewers wouldn't, and second, even if they did I don't care.

 

As long as I don't get a ton of cut-and-paste logs, and people seem to have fun finding my caches and solving the puzzles, I'm good with it.

 

Yeah, I have considered that -- putting a single three-digit combo code in a puzzle, they could share that code as easily as they shared the answer to the puzzle. But putting a list of codes that would have to be cross-referenced and then changing it every so often. And have about 100 copies of the list of the codes (labelled "take one") and then change it periodically and replenish the list as necessary.

 

Imagine coming upon for the final stage of a multi, a 5 x 10 trailer deep in the woods and opening it up and finding there are a bank of 100 little doors arranged in a 10 x 10 grid, numbered and each one with a combination lock, and you cheated to get the combination, but you just don't know which of the 100 locks the combo goes to. LOL, still working on the exact implementation, but for now buying 99 extra combination locks as decoys is a little cost prohibitive.

 

You can be sure some knucklehead wouldn't admit defeat and would just take a bolt cutter to every single lock until they found the one they needed...

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You can be sure some knucklehead wouldn't admit defeat and would just take a bolt cutter to every single lock until they found the one they needed...

 

I could imagine that being an unfortunate possibility... perhaps a sign indicating that a few of the compartments that are not the cache may be home to poisonous tarantulas could possibly serve to deter that from happening.

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