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Challenge and Puzzle Caches With PnG Finals


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I enjoy the challenge qualification portion of (most) challenges and I like solving (most) puzzle caches. I went a few counties over yesterday to clear out all the qualified challenges and solved puzzles I had accumulated there. About 3/4s of the challenges and puzzles I looked for were either GRIMs, LPCs, or on those big green generator(?) boxes in urban areas. A couple were at least somewhat interesting areas (and one cleverly matched the adjacent building to the puzzle), but most of them were places where, if it had been a Traditional cache, it would have been the kind of urban micro park-n-grab that I would skip (and which I specifically filter out of my cache database in GSAK).

 

I understand the desire to provide an easy find for someone who has already done the hard work (solving the puzzle, or sometimes qualifying for challenges). But this seems like the same problem as Challenge Cache powertrails: one half of the cache is appealing to cachers interested in quality (challenge/puzzle) and the other half of the cache is appealing to cachers interested in quantity (location & style of hide).

 

Maybe it's just me, but a really interesting challenge or puzzle that ends with a GRIM along an urban drainage ditch or a LPC in a random parking lot is unlikely to get a Favorite point.

 

What do you think? Are most puzzles/or challenges in your area park-n-grab finals? If you like puzzles and/or challenges do you like a park-n-grab final location?

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Yeah--hadn't even thought about the taking up nice locations aspect of it. I put my Jasmer Challenge final on a biking path, but the spot stayed empty for a year after I archived the traditional I had there. Still--some might complain.

 

The out-of-state aspect can't be denied--I recently finished a really tough challenge and got a FTF on it over a thousand miles from home, and I was definitely happy that the final was in an easy grab, who knows when I will be in the Miami area again? Maybe never!

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I know puzzle cache owners who don't want to take up "good spots" with their puzzles, so others can use the "good spots" for traditional caches.

 

I know puzzle cache owners who want the actual find to be simple and easy, since the focus is on the puzzle and they don't want anyone who has solved the puzzle to DNF the hide.

 

Personally, I've found puzzle caches that ended in a hike in the woods, and I've found puzzle caches that have ended in an LPC, MKH, GRC, PNG, or other TLA final. My preference would be for an in-theme hide that fits the theme of the puzzle. But a location in the woods that has nothing to do with the puzzle is just as pointless as a PNG location that has nothing to do with the puzzle.

 

But this seems like the same problem as Challenge Cache powertrails: one half of the cache is appealing to cachers interested in quality (challenge/puzzle) and the other half of the cache is appealing to cachers interested in quantity (location & style of hide).
We appear to have different ideas about what "the problem of Challenge Cache powertrails" is. But that's a topic for another thread.
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My preference would be for an in-theme hide that fits the theme of the puzzle.

 

This ^^^

Plus swag size (doesn't have to be big - palm size is fine - something that will fit a small TB) in a quality container that gets maintained.

I guess I want it all. The full package. Why scrimp?

Edited by L0ne.R
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people complain when nice locations are taken up by caches they can't do.

 

For challenges, this is an issue that would be fixed by implementation of the Challenge Stars feature.

 

I would prefer not to have my comments in this forum used to promote this idea, thanks.

 

The quote is unattributed. Likely no one (except you) would have known it was yours until you pointed it out.

 

Sorry.

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I don't mind easy hides at the end at all--after spending ages on a tough puzzle or challenge, the last thing I want is to dnf the final, especially if I'm visiting from out of state.

 

Amen to that

 

Yeah, this is a good point. I know a lot of cachers who travel for challenge caches. Even if it's just a short day trip, it's a bummer to wind up empty-handed.

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I know puzzle cache owners who don't want to take up "good spots" with their puzzles, so others can use the "good spots" for traditional caches.

 

I know puzzle cache owners who want the actual find to be simple and easy, since the focus is on the puzzle and they don't want anyone who has solved the puzzle to DNF the hide.

 

Dunno. I've never had that problem, and I live in the most densely populated state. (Well, I did have someone put a PNG at the starting point for one of my mystery caches...)

But many of my mystery caches will take you someplace interesting.

My "so-called" GeoArt was twenty-four distinct puzzles.. Some very easy; some very difficult. The hides are mostly easy-to-find micros. If you want to walk or bike the series, it's about eight miles round trip. (Parking can be tough to find.) The views may be repetitious, but they are spectacular views of NYC from the Jersey side of the Hudson. I did have to skirt around four other caches hiding (not counting my own.) Four other hides in eight miles is nothing!

So, No. I've never heard of or run into that problem.

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people complain when nice locations are taken up by caches they can't do.

 

For challenges, this is an issue that would be fixed by implementation of the Challenge Stars feature.

 

I find that concept to be inane. If it's a cache, then follow the requirements to log it. If you don't like Challenge Caches, then eliminate them. Or develop a new class of Virtual cache. Presumably controlled by GS. Then eliminate all Challenge Caches. Allowing people to log caches that they have not qualified for is just bizarre.

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For challenges, this is an issue that would be fixed by implementation of the Challenge Stars feature.

... Allowing people to log caches that they have not qualified for is just bizarre.

In ye olde days, qualifying to log a cache was finding it and signing the logbook. Qualifying for a challenge is something other (than geocaching at all?).

 

But that leads away from the thread's topic.

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Most of the puzzles I've done have led me to a good cache in a nice location, but then I live in an area with lots of bushland. Sometimes, though, the best spots are in areas where physical caches aren't allowed, so they become virtual waypoints leading to a cache in a more mundane spot. One of my multis (http://coord.info/GC5P0CE) falls into that category, where I was pretty much limited to a road corridor for the final hiding place, but I tried to make up for it with a themed container.

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people complain when nice locations are taken up by caches they can't do.

Yep hear this a lot from puzzle owners who plant micros in parking lots. I don't recall finders saying they would prefer to find puzzle caches in parking lots, or ditches.

Funny that we never hear multi owners say they don't want to take up a nice location for a cache that few people will visit. Or finders complain that multi-caches take up too much space and too many nice locations.

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Funny that we never hear … finders complain that multi-caches take up too much space and too many nice locations.

 

But there are whole threads to new cache OWNERS complaining about not being able to put out caches in parks, etc., because of puzzle finals and multi caches. It's not just about finders--other cache owners might be the ones doing the complaining.

Edited by Dame Deco
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Funny that we never hear … finders complain that multi-caches take up too much space and too many nice locations.

 

But there are whole threads to new cache OWNERS complaining about not being able to put out caches in parks, etc., because of puzzle finals and multi caches. It's not just about finders--other cache owners might be the ones doing the complaining.

 

Yes, but usually not because there's no place in the park to hide their cache, just that they can't pin point another spot without playing battleship (or solving the puzzle, doing the multi). Not because the multi or puzzle is taking up a nice spot where a traditional cache could go.

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I'm definitely of the view that a tough puzzle should have an easy find for the reasons already stated here. I own a lot of puzzles and I want people to solve and find them. Even for my traditionals, I want people to find them. I try to make those easy, too. What's the point of a hard hide? Sadism? When I first started geocaching I thought a cache on a mountain trail was a "good" location because I hadn't been on those trails before geocaching. But having trekked those same trails for 13 years now, I am almost sick of them. One oak tree looks like another now. ho hum. This gets to the question of what is a good hide. For a puzzle, a hide in theme is the best reward, in my opinion. If it's themed on baroque music, a hide in a parking lot in front of a baroque music store is a delight. If the theme is finance, a hide on a lamppost at the corner of Dow and Jones is, too. You get the idea. I have some puzzle hides in nice parks but most are in locations that would be boring or skippable to the CO, but whenever possible, are in theme with the puzzle. When I hide in a park, I try to find a corner or end that leaves room at the other end for another hide if possible. Nowadays with the density so high, almost any suitable location will have to suffice. There some very good challenges, but not many. I would just as soon see those discontinued, at least for new ones, so the location is a moot point.

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If you follow the actual rules on permission, etc. At least where I live there are very very few actual places left other than out of the way urban fencelines.

 

Every trail has a cache almost precisely a tenth of a mile apart, and every park pretty much has a cache dead centre taking up the entire thing.

 

For a town of 90k, a 1000 item PQ doesnt even get you out of town, and anything public is on a trail, and is at max saturation. There are actually very few roads leaving town and all of them are freeways which are not something you can stop on so even guard rails are out pretty much.

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I try to think of every cache as someone (the CO) took the time to make it for me. Especially a puzzle or challenge. They had to find a place that didn't have a cache already. That can be hard sometimes. If you solved the puzzle or qualified for the cache then it somehow interested you. I wouldn't look into solving a puzzle I didn't like the page it was made on. Then I complete it if possible. It was the CO creation. If someone don't like it they don't have to do it. The CO must have liked his/her idea and made it. I am happy others play this game so I have stuff to find. I don't fault them if the final is not up to my standards or I should have made a cooler cache there before they did.

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Generally I try to make my puzzle hides in at least moderately interesting places and not terribly difficult to find. That being said, the puzzle I put out last October has been solved once but he had to DNF it because I intentionally made it a difficult hide. I'm a firm believer in not doing the same kind of setup every time. If every hard puzzle ended in a key box on a guardrail, I would eventually be seen as predictable. Why should the "pay off" be a given just because they solve the puzzle? I couldn't care less if someone said they are from the other side of the country. Find the cache, claim a find. I'm not going to hold your hand in finding it just because you took a jet from California. You most certainly are not here BECAUSE of my one puzzle cache...and if you are, well maybe your priorities are a bit out of order.

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I don't care if a cache is an easy find or not even after solving an easy or hard mystery or qualifying for a challenge. I prefer caches in nice locations, parking lots are not nice locations. If in the end, after solving a difficult mystery, I have to DNF, so be it.

I find it funny that people would expect an easy find because they already did the hard work in solving the mystery. We solve most of the mysteries in winter when days are short and we go outside less and we had lot's of them being archived before we even got to the areas they were in. Some were even for D/T rating we still miss.

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people complain when nice locations are taken up by caches they can't do.

Yep hear this a lot from puzzle owners who plant micros in parking lots. I don't recall finders saying they would prefer to find puzzle caches in parking lots, or ditches.

Funny that we never hear multi owners say they don't want to take up a nice location for a cache that few people will visit. Or finders complain that multi-caches take up too much space and too many nice locations.

 

We certainly hear, all the time, that cache owners have opted to put out an uninteresting "series" of caches because a multi doesn't give people enough "smilies."

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I enjoy the challenge qualification portion of (most) challenges and I like solving (most) puzzle caches. I went a few counties over yesterday to clear out all the qualified challenges and solved puzzles I had accumulated there....

You yourself are a perfect example for why many CO's make challenge and puzzle cache finals simple park&grabs: people like to solve puzzles and meet challenges in distant places, then drive over and pick up the finals, just like you did. I watch many puzzle caches in my section of California, and I see this all the time where a small team of people will drive through an area picking up 20 puzzle cache finals in a day. They aren't looking for nice walks, they don't want to spend much time looking for the caches, and I'm not sure they'd notice if the cache was in a good location. You say you drove a couple counties over to clear out a bunch of such caches, so I'm can't really understand how you can complain when they were designed to allow you to do that.

 

Me, I cache for the walk. Sometimes that means I have to work a little harder to plan a nice walk that goes past some of the solved puzzles I want to pick up, but I normally don't have any problem doing that. Yeah, it means I'm often walking around neighborhoods instead of regional parks, but I enjoy the challenge.

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We certainly hear, all the time, that cache owners have opted to put out an uninteresting "series" of caches because a multi doesn't give people enough "smilies."

Sounds not like my game. It has been a good caching day when there is a smiley in my face and in those who went with me (even the dog's)... One per face is enough. :D

 

Lame hides mostly don't do this.

Edited by Ben0w
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Since the coordinates are correct for challenge caches, you can see on Google Maps where the final is and whether or not it is worth while. There is nothing like honoring your accomplishment of completing a year long streak or filling out your fizzy grid like finding a key holder on an electrical box by Walmart. :rolleyes:

 

I use the cache size to determine if the puzzle is a park and grab or not. A regular cache size puzzle will probably be in the woods. A micro will probably be a GRC, LPC, or bison in a tree by a strip mall. Sometimes I want a hike and sometimes I like a park and grab. A fun puzzle is a fun puzzle regardless of the cache. The micro puzzles in the middle of the woods though :mad:

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There is nothing like honoring your accomplishment of completing a year long streak or filling out your fizzy grid like finding a key holder on an electrical box by Walmart. :rolleyes:

 

This is exactly why I made the final to the Original Fizzy Challenge a beautiful hike in a local gem of a park. It just felt "right" to me to give people a wonderful hike and a spot to enjoy while signing the logbook and reflecting on the accomplishment.

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I enjoy the challenge qualification portion of (most) challenges and I like solving (most) puzzle caches. I went a few counties over yesterday to clear out all the qualified challenges and solved puzzles I had accumulated there....

You yourself are a perfect example for why many CO's make challenge and puzzle cache finals simple park&grabs: people like to solve puzzles and meet challenges in distant places, then drive over and pick up the finals, just like you did. I watch many puzzle caches in my section of California, and I see this all the time where a small team of people will drive through an area picking up 20 puzzle cache finals in a day. They aren't looking for nice walks, they don't want to spend much time looking for the caches, and I'm not sure they'd notice if the cache was in a good location. You say you drove a couple counties over to clear out a bunch of such caches, so I'm can't really understand how you can complain when they were designed to allow you to do that.

 

Maybe it's uncommon, but I have no problem driving an hour then spending the day caching until dark before driving home. That will often net me 20+ caches for the day, but usually it brings me to parks or small preserves. I stopped at a preserve during my trip to get an Earthcache and Letterbox, and it was easily the highlight of the day and exactly the kind of geocaching I like even if I was only there for maybe a half hour. Caches are not just GRIMs/LPCs and multi-hour hike/bike/kayak; they are on a spectrum.

 

The biggest reason I rarely go to the county in question (and thus why I had accumulated a bunch of qualified challenges and solved puzzles there) is because it is mostly urban sprawl and awful traffic, even on weekends.

 

What I learned from the experience is another reason not to try to solve non-local puzzles and to scrutinize Challenge caches as much as I would Traditionals.

 

There is nothing like honoring your accomplishment of completing a year long streak or filling out your fizzy grid like finding a key holder on an electrical box by Walmart. :rolleyes:

 

This is exactly why I made the final to the Original Fizzy Challenge a beautiful hike in a local gem of a park. It just felt "right" to me to give people a wonderful hike and a spot to enjoy while signing the logbook and reflecting on the accomplishment.

 

Agreed. The more epic the challenge, the more quality the final location should be. (I mean quality as in a place worth going, not a difficult hide.)

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What I learned from the experience is another reason not to try to solve non-local puzzles and to scrutinize Challenge caches as much as I would Traditionals.

Sounds like a good learning experience: pick a nice place to cache, not a place where there are solved puzzles. You'll be much happier now. I've always preferred that approach, too, although it's less of a choice for me because I can enjoy walking in urban sprawl as much as I enjoy walking in parks.

 

A lot of people don't agree with us about that, but don't let it bother you.

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At the end of a puzzle cache it really should either be a cool location, cool cache container, a larger cache with a lot of cool stuff in it, or a combination of those 3. A P&G at the end of a nice puzzle seems anticlimactic.

 

At the end of a puzzle cache it should be what the cache owner envisions for his or her own cache.

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At the end of a puzzle cache it really should either be a cool location, cool cache container, a larger cache with a lot of cool stuff in it, or a combination of those 3. A P&G at the end of a nice puzzle seems anticlimactic.

 

At the end of a puzzle cache it should be what the cache owner envisions for his or her own cache.

 

Yes, but seriously...who "envisions" their cache being a pill bottle under a lamp post skirt? Anyone who does perhaps ought to make an appointment with a mental optometrist.

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At the end of a puzzle cache it really should either be a cool location, cool cache container, a larger cache with a lot of cool stuff in it, or a combination of those 3. A P&G at the end of a nice puzzle seems anticlimactic.

 

At the end of a puzzle cache it should be what the cache owner envisions for his or her own cache.

 

Yes, but seriously...who "envisions" their cache being a pill bottle under a lamp post skirt? Anyone who does perhaps ought to make an appointment with a mental optometrist.

 

Not all caches are for all people. Some people really enjoy quick grabs.

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Yes, but seriously...who "envisions" their cache being a pill bottle under a lamp post skirt? Anyone who does perhaps ought to make an appointment with a mental optometrist.

What those COs envision is the seeker solving the puzzle or meeting the challenge. To them, the container is just a place to put the required log.

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Yes, but seriously...who "envisions" their cache being a pill bottle under a lamp post skirt? Anyone who does perhaps ought to make an appointment with a mental optometrist.

What those COs envision is the seeker solving the puzzle or meeting the challenge. To them, the container is just a place to put the required log.

After all the time and effort in creating a challenging puzzle cache I would also thing you would want a cool finish to the cache. Who likes reading a book that captivated you only to have a bad final chapter.

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Yes, but seriously...who "envisions" their cache being a pill bottle under a lamp post skirt? Anyone who does perhaps ought to make an appointment with a mental optometrist.

What those COs envision is the seeker solving the puzzle or meeting the challenge. To them, the container is just a place to put the required log.

After all the time and effort in creating a challenging puzzle cache I would also thing you would want a cool finish to the cache. Who likes reading a book that captivated you only to have a bad final chapter.

 

Your idea of a bad final chapter is not universal. Different cachers like different things.

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Yes, but seriously...who "envisions" their cache being a pill bottle under a lamp post skirt? Anyone who does perhaps ought to make an appointment with a mental optometrist.

What those COs envision is the seeker solving the puzzle or meeting the challenge. To them, the container is just a place to put the required log.

After all the time and effort in creating a challenging puzzle cache I would also thing you would want a cool finish to the cache. Who likes reading a book that captivated you only to have a bad final chapter.

 

Your idea of a bad final chapter is not universal. Different cachers like different things.

 

Most cachers like good things more than they like bad things.

 

While we all like different things, I can't imagine anyone that would not appreciate the CO putting some actual thought into creating the final cache such that it's a cut above a hide-a-key on a guard rail or a film can under a lamp post.

 

This is yet another instance of you implying that if you can't please everyone it's not worth trying to please anyone.

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After all the time and effort in creating a challenging puzzle cache I would also thing you would want a cool finish to the cache. Who likes reading a book that captivated you only to have a bad final chapter.

The CO's we're talking about would see it more as not bothering to have an index after the fulfilling final chapter.

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Most cachers like good things more than they like bad things.

 

While we all like different things, I can't imagine anyone that would not appreciate the CO putting some actual thought into creating the final cache such that it's a cut above a hide-a-key on a guard rail or a film can under a lamp post.

 

This is yet another instance of you implying that if you can't please everyone it's not worth trying to please anyone.

 

Your idea of good is not universal. Many cachers like quick grabs. If that's what the cache owner wants to place, that's their prerogative and there's no need for so much hand-wringing about it.

 

I'm not interested in what you think I am implying, and I doubt anybody else is either.

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Nice locations and hides are always plus, but I probably don't like evil hides after spending lots of efforts for hard puzzles or challenges. It's sad to DNF solved/qualified challenges. I don't mind doing an LPC for a great puzzle, and that doesn't stop me to give it a favorite point. When I want to hike, there are bunch of trads in great parks in my area. I do enjoy both. But I think it's all up to the CO.

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This is yet another instance of you implying that if you can't please everyone it's not worth trying to please anyone.
I think that people who place QEF PNG finals for puzzle caches are indeed trying to please someone. They're trying to please people who like an easy, automatic find after solving the puzzle, and they're trying to please people who like other hide locations to be available for non-puzzle caches. Edited by niraD
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This is yet another instance of you implying that if you can't please everyone it's not worth trying to please anyone.
I think that people who place QEF PNG finals for puzzle caches are indeed trying to please someone. They're trying to please people who like an easy, automatic find after solving the puzzle, and they're trying to please people who like other hide locations to be available for non-puzzle caches.

I completely agree with niraD, who appears to cache in the same area as I do. :rolleyes:

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Most cachers like good things more than they like bad things.

 

While we all like different things, I can't imagine anyone that would not appreciate the CO putting some actual thought into creating the final cache such that it's a cut above a hide-a-key on a guard rail or a film can under a lamp post.

 

This is yet another instance of you implying that if you can't please everyone it's not worth trying to please anyone.

 

Your idea of good is not universal.

 

Then it's a good thing that I wasn't striving to define good for everyone or suggest that anyone else could either. I suspect however that most geocachers recognize when a CO has put some thought into a hide and *most* appreciate it when that happens. One does not need a universal definition of good to recognize quality.

 

 

Many cachers like quick grabs. If that's what the cache owner wants to place, that's their prerogative and there's no need for so much hand-wringing about it.

 

 

No hand-wringing here. If a cache owner only considers their own preference I'm sure they'll have a great time finding their own cache and then thanking themselves for the brilliant placement in a found it log. In the real world, caches are found by others and it only seem appropriate that some attempt to place a cache that a significant number of people would enjoy would be a priority. One does not need a universal definition for what everyone enjoys to do that.

 

I'm not interested in what you think I am implying, and I doubt anybody else is either.

 

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that I was soliciting or even care about your approval.

 

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