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Puzzle / Mystery caches


Geogetit
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Would like to start working on Puzzle / Mystery caches...never attempted one as yet...maybe they intimidate me...but would like to try...problem is i do not have a clue where to start..could there be a place to go to too get a beginners course and i mean beginners course.I have tried solving some using the Roh method bbut can not figure out which one the CO is using seems to me that it could be any where from 1-100 .Hope i not being to vague but i hope there is an answer out ..and it's not coded..(LOL)...Would really like to try / solve some in my area....Thanks for any help

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Here are some general puzzle tips (based in part on a puzzle-solving class event presented by The Rat a while ago) that I've posted before:

 

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)

Calgary Puzzle Solving 101 (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)

LANAKI's Classical Cryptography Course

How to Puzzle Cache (book)

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Thanks for all the tips/links. I have mostly stayed away from puzzled as I find it incredibly frustrating that there is not even a seed in the hints on how to start solving their puzzle, so I often just pass over them feeling not part of the "in" crowd :( (and feeling like asking the CO for help is kinda cheating B) ) However, I would like to start trying them so will read some of the links you kindly shared :)

Edited by Expat64
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Thanks for all the tips/links. I have mostly stayed away from puzzled as I find it incredibly frustrating that there is not even a seed in the hints on how to start solving their puzzle, so I often just pass over them feeling not part of the "in" crowd :( (and feeling like asking the CO for help is kinda cheating B) ) However, I would like to start trying them so will read some of the links you kindly shared :)

I've seen some puzzle cache cultures where the outsider is at a distinct disadvantage, but in most places I've found puzzle caches, most of the puzzle COs that are more interested in entertaining and try to make sure not to frustrate. In most cases, I find that if the puzzle isn't laid out clearly, there are plenty of clues in the title, description, and hint to get push you in the right direction. So if you like puzzles, don't give up on puzzle caches even though you might have to travel to find good ones or work harder in your own area to get decent ones published nearer home.

 

Oh, but one very important thing: it's never cheating to ask the CO for help. The CO controls the difficulty, so if thinks you should do it without help, he doesn't have to help, but most COs are happy to help. In fact, in some of the poor puzzle communities I've run into, it seems as if most puzzle cache CO want people to ask for help because some of the puzzles are literally impossible to solve otherwise. I admit that the more cliquish the puzzle community is, the less likely I'd care enough to ask for help, so I'd understand if you eschewed puzzle caches in a culture like that, but do it because you don't want to play that game, not because you think you'd be cheating if you did.

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Oh, but one very important thing: it's never cheating to ask the CO for help.
+1

 

In fact, when people ask for help with specific caches in the forums (as opposed to requests for general puzzle-solving advice), it is common for those who reply to suggest contacting the CO as a first step.

 

But when you do contact the CO, it's a good idea to explain briefly what you have already attempted, and where you are stuck. That allows the CO to know what kind of hint might nudge you in the right direction.

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Thanks for all the tips/links. I have mostly stayed away from puzzled as I find it incredibly frustrating that there is not even a seed in the hints on how to start solving their puzzle, so I often just pass over them feeling not part of the "in" crowd :( (and feeling like asking the CO for help is kinda cheating B) ) However, I would like to start trying them so will read some of the links you kindly shared :)

 

I have several puzzle caches and am working on a couple more. There is a great range of difficulty as well as a range of hints I provide. What there is not, ever, is any advantage to being part of an "in crowd," maybe because if there is an "in crowd" around here, I'm not part of it. I don't know, but the closest thing I can think of to an "in crowd" is a family. Asking the CO for a hint is certainly not cheating (unless you're trying for FTF) and I always give hints, and more hints if needed, until the puzzle is solved, except that the FTF has to do it all without any additional help from me.

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