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GATKINI

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I was just wondering is it now mandatory to show the methods and solutions to mystery caches to the reviewer before they will publish the cache. I've hidden over 300 hundred caches in the last ten years and it seems to be getting more trouble than it worth. 

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The final location as a hidden waypoint is certainly mandatory, but that is nothing new.

Including a geochecker, whether the in-house or 3rd-party version, is not mandatory.

 

I don't know if the solving method is mandatory.  Did you receive feedback from a Reviewer about a Mystery cache you tried to publish?

 

I have included brief explanations of how to solve puzzles in the same Reviewer Note where I mention the cache container/hiding spot.  I don't know if the Reviewer would've asked for that info if I hadn't already included it. For example, one of my Reviewer Notes:

Quote

Puzzle: Answer trivia questions and use the answers to complete the coords.
Hide: PET hanging on the backside of a tree.

 

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If it prevents just a few ‘guess what I’m thinking’ puzzles, then I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  I make notes on how to solve my own puzzles anyway, so it’s no big deal  to share them with the reviewer.

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4 minutes ago, noncentric said:

The final location as a hidden waypoint is certainly mandatory, but that is nothing new.

Including a geochecker, whether the in-house or 3rd-party version, is not mandatory.

 

I don't know if the solving method is mandatory.  Did you receive feedback from a Reviewer about a Mystery cache you tried to publish?

 

I have included brief explanations of how to solve puzzles in the same Reviewer Note where I mention the cache container/hiding spot.  I don't know if the Reviewer would've asked for that info if I hadn't already included it. For example, one of my Reviewer Notes:

 

Several years ago, I had a reviewer ask how to solve some mystery caches, where the solution was not obvious.  Since then, I have told the reviewer how to solve the puzzles.

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Even for trickier puzzles, I've been able to describe the solving method in just 1-2 sentences - just mentioning the general process, but not necessarily the exact answers.

I mean, if the puzzle is just a photo of different birds and the solution is converting the bird species to numbers - then I'd say "identify bird species, then convert first letter to a number to determine final coords".  I wouldn't say "bird1 is xxxx, bird2 is yyyyy, bird3 is zzzzz" or "xxxx = 4, yyyyy = 5, zzzzz = 6".  I don't think the Reviewers require that much detail, just enough to know that the puzzle is "solvable".  Even though "solvable" can differ for different people.

 

Edited by noncentric
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I am usually focused only to explain how it is possible to get coordinates from the puzzle. For example: The geochecker gives final coordinates when a player enters the correct answer. My intention is to give just enough information that the reviewer can verify that the cache follows the guidelines.

 

I have learned that more information means more problems with the secret guidelines. For example, when I told that the mystery needs using an on-line steganographic tool, the answer from a reviewer was that there is a secret guideline which requires at least two separate on-line tools for a steganographic puzzle. I couldn't find a second, so I changed the puzzle. It is easier for me and the reviewer if I do not know the rules and the reviewer do not know how the puzzle works. If there is problems in the future, we both can say that we didn't know.

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

If it prevents just a few ‘guess what I’m thinking’ puzzles, then I don’t think it’s a bad thing. 

That's a major reason why we ask.  You'd also be surprised at how many mistakes we catch by asking.  Most cache owners are grateful for that.

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I have a puzzle waiting review and I included information, to the reviewer, on how it is solved even though it is easy in my mind there may be something I overlooked. I rated it a D1.5.

Edited by colleda
spelling typo

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6 minutes ago, colleda said:

I have a puzzle waiting review and I including information, to the reviewer, on how it is solved even though it is easy in my mind there may be something I overlooked. I rated it a D1.5.

I have an extremely hard time imagining ANY puzzle cache being only 1.5 star diff, unless it is something like there are two boxes on the wall, the cache is hidden behind the palest one. Imagine which is the palest one. A non puzzle cache hidden in such a place would likely be 1.5 star diff. If it's a puzzle it would be higher, BECAUSE it's a puzzle and there is more to it. The CO might think it's easy because they know the answer. But others don't.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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1 hour ago, GATKINI said:

I was just wondering is it now mandatory to show the methods and solutions to mystery caches to the reviewer before they will publish the cache. I've hidden over 300 hundred caches in the last ten years and it seems to be getting more trouble than it worth. 

I have only one puzzle cache. I had to explain how it was solved to the reviewer, before they would publish it.

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26 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I have an extremely hard time imagining ANY puzzle cache being only 1.5 star diff, unless it is something like there are two boxes on the wall, the cache is hidden behind the palest one. Imagine which is the palest one. A non puzzle cache hidden in such a place would likely be 1.5 star diff. If it's a puzzle it would be higher, BECAUSE it's a puzzle and there is more to it. The CO might think it's easy because they know the answer. But others don't.

Have a look when its published and let me know what you think. Should be easy for an aussie but anyone else would find it tricky I suppose. Here's a hint. Can you convert LSD to $c? The actual hide is a D1.

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40 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I have an extremely hard time imagining ANY puzzle cache being only 1.5 star diff, unless it is something like there are two boxes on the wall, the cache is hidden behind the palest one. Imagine which is the palest one. A non puzzle cache hidden in such a place would likely be 1.5 star diff. If it's a puzzle it would be higher, BECAUSE it's a puzzle and there is more to it. The CO might think it's easy because they know the answer. But others don't.

According to the Help Center:  D 1.5 = Easy to find or solve within 10-15 minutes.

There are some puzzles that involve a maze, which can be easy without any need for special knowledge.  And there are trivia type puzzle caches, which can be solved with less than 15 minutes of Google searching.

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11 minutes ago, noncentric said:

D 1.5 = Easy to find or solve within 10-15 minutes.

Yes, that's the new definition, but I find the new definition too hard for a 1.5 D. At that rating I would expect to be able to find it in about 3 mins at most. After five minutes searching for a 1.5 D I might log a DNF and walk away. Fortunately most 1.5D caches can be found in five minutes. There is so much wrong with the changed definitions re D & T.

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15 minutes ago, noncentric said:

And there are trivia type puzzle caches, which can be solved with less than 15 minutes of Google searching.

It's amazing how many of these I find different answers to than the CO found. I am thinking ones with history questions. The only way to be sure the answers are the same is to have the reference source supplied. With only a 1.5D I think that would be a good idea, as well as a check sum. I have also found caches where the check sum was wrong. When I told one CO, they blamed me for a wrong answer and said I shouldn't believe the check sum. Go figure :rolleyes:.

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13 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

There is so much wrong with the changed definitions re D & T.

Yeah I totally agree those definition don't make any sense I will never spend 30 min on a D2.

 

For the OP, I am ok to tell the reviewer how to solve the puzzle.

 

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My home area is about 500 miles from my Reviewer's home city, so I have no issue if he asks for the methodology for a puzzle cache submission.  If he were in my home area, I would be hesitant and more guarded about that, since he is just a geocacher like everyone else.

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4 hours ago, K13 said:

My home area is about 500 miles from my Reviewer's home city, so I have no issue if he asks for the methodology for a puzzle cache submission.  If he were in my home area, I would be hesitant and more guarded about that, since he is just a geocacher like everyone else.

 

You know, that even if we ignore, that we might be able to just look at the final coordinates, with over 3,000 caches published caches alone in 2018, we can't remember every solution for a puzzle. 

 

So it's just a proof, that the puzzle is solveable (not another "read my mind" or "contact me" puzzle), the solution is within the Guidelines and Terms of Use of Geocaching.com and the provided final waypoint matches the puzzle.

 

If you don't want to provide any solution, you may have to wait until we find the spare time to solve the puzzle on our own, which might take some time...

Edited by GerandKat
forgot a word
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New?  it was part of the guidelines I was enforcing in 2006. Here's a synopsis of changes over time, all quotes from the Mystery section of the guidelines:

2005 November * If you choose to submit a cache of this type please give as much detailed information as possible to the reviewer when you submit the cache. The reviewer may still need more information before listing the cache. Please cooperate with these requests.

2012 Sept  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.

 

*  Mystery solution could not be "email me" was new in 2005,   and is part of why the request since then for "how to solve". The 2005 new language: The information needed to solve the puzzle must be available to the general caching community and should be solvable from the information provided on the cache listing. For example, a puzzle that requires research on public websites in order to determine the coordinates may be acceptable, while a puzzle that requires sending an e-mail to the cache owner with the solution in order to obtain the coordinates may not be. 

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