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TwistedCube

Field Puzzle Replacement After Finding

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Recently I have begun making field puzzle caches and placing them in my general area, and I seem to be having trouble with one in particular that I haven't starting building yet.

 

The puzzle is that the cacher will find an easy birdhouse cache with one simple move (like pulling out a nail, or using a magnet to unlock), after they unlock the birdhouse, they will find a plastic bottle with a dowel rod inside and exposing itself outside, like a handle almost. The dowel rod has a bolt through it near the bottom to prevent cachers from pulling it out. What they must do is to free one of the nuts from the bolt to allow for the dowel to be able to pass through the mouth of the bottle, thus freeing the bison tube inside (I will either glue it to the dowel rod or let it roll around the bottle freely). 

 

I found a video on the internet showing how to disassemble and reassemble the puzzle and it is somewhat easy to do with the right tools: 

 

 

 

My initial question is how am I going to provide cachers with the knowledge and tools of putting the puzzle back together in the correct orientation? One way I have considered is to somehow provide the link of the video in the container where they cannot reach it until they have completed the puzzle. I am prepared to make weekly maintenance runs just in case, but to minimize the hassle of going completely out of my way, I am going to place the cache in a park about half a mile from my house.

 

Thanks!

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I think you'll have more success with a field puzzle that resets easily. If it takes as much work to reassemble as it did to solve, then I think you'll have a lot of finders who give up before they actually reassemble it.

 

I'm thinking of escape rooms, which can take about an hour to solve, but which the operators have to be able to reset within a few minutes.

 

Or some of the maze-style field puzzles I've done, where the piece that moves through the maze can easily drop into the start of the maze again, without retracing the whole maze backwards. The maze-style gift boxes available commercially (which I have also seen used for field puzzles) go a step further, and the ball that moves through the maze never leaves the maze at all. When the ball reaches the end, it enables the latch; when the latch operates, it automatically moves the ball to the start.

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1 minute ago, niraD said:

I think you'll have more success with a field puzzle that resets easily. If it takes as much work to reassemble as it did to solve, then I think you'll have a lot of finders who give up before they actually reassemble it.

 

I'm thinking of escape rooms, which can take about an hour to solve, but which the operators have to be able to reset within a few minutes.

 

Or some of the maze-style field puzzles I've done, where the piece that moves through the maze can easily drop into the start of the maze again, without retracing the whole maze backwards. The maze-style gift boxes available commercially (which I have also seen used for field puzzles) go a step further, and the ball that moves through the maze never leaves the maze at all. When the ball reaches the end, it enables the latch; when the latch operates, it automatically moves the ball to the start.

Yes, while I do agree with you, and all of my gadget caches and field puzzles currently in play are super easy to reset, this one does take a bit to do so. I think if someone has the initial knowledge to be able to accomplish this task, then it will be easier. After all, it only took 1-2 minutes for the guy in the video to reset the puzzle.

 

This brings me back to my original question: How could I tell/show them how to put it back correctly?

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4 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

This brings me back to my original question: How could I tell/show them how to put it back correctly?

I wouldn't expect them to be able to access the internet in the field. But I have seen caches with "spoiler photos" inside that show exactly where the cache belongs, to help reduce cache migration. If you could put a similar "spoiler" inside the cache, with a series of photos that explain how to reset the puzzle, then that might work.

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In addition to detailed instruction with photos on how to reset the puzzle, add the tool needed for this puzzle.

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This looked tough enough to reset with a pristine nut and bolt, indoors.  How much harder will it be outside in the rain?

 

I don’t think a link to the video would be enough on its own - not everybody will be able to access it in the field.  As K13 says, you’d need to leave detailed instructions, probably with pictures.

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First of all, let me make it clear I don't want to discourage you. I'm very impressed you're even considering something so daring, and I'd love to hear how it works out. I assume you'll put a puzzle in front of this. I wouldn't want anyone that isn't already invested in the cache to come across this field puzzle.

 

41 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

Yes, while I do agree with you, and all of my gadget caches and field puzzles currently in play are super easy to reset, this one does take a bit to do so. I think if someone has the initial knowledge to be able to accomplish this task, then it will be easier. After all, it only took 1-2 minutes for the guy in the video to reset the puzzle.

Me thinks the guy in the video had some practice. Don't you? Besides, no, it most definitely did not take 1-2 minutes. There are two cuts in the video, one after the first failed attempt to get the nut on the bolt, and a second during the delicate operation of getting the nut screwed into the bolt. I think we have every reason to think both of those cuts elided large amounts of time as he tried over and over to accomplish those tasks. I'm sure you've done it many times by now. What's your average time?

 

45 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

This brings me back to my original question: How could I tell/show them how to put it back correctly?

Honestly, I don't think telling them how to do it is your biggest problem. I've seen the video, I know how to do it, I could invent the tools, but I'm not at all sure I could accomplish the task at all, let alone within the generous limits of my patience. Put a geocacher without my honor and determination in that position, and you'll never get the puzzle reset.

 

So, here's my advice. First of all, make sure anyone trying this knows what they're getting into. Your bottle will be smashed for sure unless everyone trying this knows before they get there that the task is complicated and, well, to be honest, tedious. They have to feel honor bound to reset the puzzle or you're lost. Solving this puzzle is hard to begin with. I seriously doubt anyone that hasn't seen the video will be able to solve it. The fact that it takes 10 times as long to reset it means you're asking a lot, so make sure you only have seekers there willing to deliver a lot.

 

Since you're willing to do frequent maintenance runs, I suggest challenging them to reset the cache, but making sure they know you want them to tell you if they don't so you can run out and reset it yourself. And make a big deal out of congratulating anyone that does get it reassembled. Your only hope is to establish a tradition of seekers getting the puzzle back in shape for the next seeker.

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I was one of four guinea pigs faced with this type of puzzle and no instructions. I think we gained entry and reset it in around 30 minutes by taking turns as our fingers cramped. We predicted other cachers might be tempted not to reset it. Sorry, I don't have any helpful answers but good luck with your idea.

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For someone even a fraction as impatient as myself:  absolutely not.

Add in heat, mosquitoes, weather of any sort , muggles:  100% not.

 

I once found inside a cache one of those puzzle cubes where you have to get the ball bearing inside a plexiglass maze cube to reach the end in order to open the container (which is where the log sheet was).  It was summer in the woods in Georgia and I've never been so irritated and frustrated and sweaty and itchy as I was when I finally got the darn thing open.  I was practically on the verge of smashing the darn thing against a rock (well, not really...but I fantasized about it).  When I was putting it back together, I just closed the lid and shook it up without confirming whether the ball bearing was outside of the "finish zone".  I just wanted out of that place fast.

 

So basically if I knew what was in store for finding that cache, I'd probably take a hard pass.  So you'll either get a tiny number of finders or lots of finds where you have to rest the whole thing and maybe even replace the puzzle entirely for it being busted up by frustrated cachers.

Edited by J Grouchy
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5 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

I once found inside a cache one of those puzzle cubes where you have to get the ball bearing inside a plexiglass maze cube to reach the end in order to open the container (which is where the log sheet was).  It was summer in the woods in Georgia and I've never been so irritated and frustrated and sweaty and itchy as I was when I finally got the darn thing open. 

 

I was FTF on one of those puzzle boxes, but not the first to attempt to open it.  Someone had found the box before me and gave up trying to open it, but left it in a state where I only had to make one move for the ball to drop into the right spot to open the box.

 

A show of hands...how many of you have encountered a decon container that wasn't closed properly?

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3 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

A show of hands...how many of you have encountered a decon container that wasn't closed properly?

Yep. Those things are notorious for being only partially closed.

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

This looked tough enough to reset with a pristine nut and bolt, indoors.  How much harder will it be outside in the rain?

 

Yep.  (To me) this setup looks like a standard grade 2 nut n carriage bolt you'd find at kmart. 

Add just condensation and rust, then what ?  Someone showing up with liquid wrench or oil,  spraying that mess inside the bottle to loosen ?     :)

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2 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

This brings me back to my original question: How could I tell/show them how to put it back correctly?

 

People have a tough time reclosing simple plastic caches and ammo cans.

You could mention on the cache page and within the gizmo itself.  It's one of those "you can lead a horse to water..." things. :) 

We don't care much for gadget caches, as there's only been a handful of times (FTF mostly...) anyone did put it back as the CO intended.

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1 hour ago, J Grouchy said:

I once found inside a cache one of those puzzle cubes where you have to get the ball bearing inside a plexiglass maze cube to reach the end in order to open the container (which is where the log sheet was).  It was summer in the woods in Georgia and I've never been so irritated and frustrated and sweaty and itchy as I was when I finally got the darn thing open.  I was practically on the verge of smashing the darn thing against a rock (well, not really...but I fantasized about it).  When I was putting it back together, I just closed the lid and shook it up without confirming whether the ball bearing was outside of the "finish zone".  I just wanted out of that place fast.

:laughing:

I found one (FTF) in Winter, and the thing was frozen inside. 

The CO showed as I was pulling it from under my coat, hoping it'd thaw (the other 2/3rds sent me there for a "grid day"...).

They thought it'd be fun, but ended up replacing it before Spring.    Would have been a fun Summer hide.  :)

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I have found one of these containers, but I was prepared for it because I was going away for a weekend to an area which had a cache with one, and therefore I'd googled the puzzle to be properly prepared. Just before my weekend, the cache was archived, apparently because people were breaking into it or not resetting it properly.

 

I thought it was a really neat field puzzle, and I might borrow the idea myself, but ... while I was away a great local C.O.near home beat me to it !

They have had problems with the bottle being broken (they used a plastic bottle when I found it, and some unscrupulous folk cut it open ... I don't know if they are using a glass bottle now )

This is the listing : you might find it useful to read through the logs.  It is not far from the C.O.s home, and near parking so frequent maintenance isn't too much of a chore . Cachers often take the thing back to the car to fiddle with.

 

I made one as a joke 'gift wrapping' for another puzzle to give to some field puzzle loving caching friends this Christmas , and the thing was an absolute swine to set up because of the other stuff inside the bottle (mine was a square 500ml olive oil bottle) . In the end I had to use a strong magnet to keep the nut away from the other bits so I could shuffle the bolt/dowel to the right spot . Luckily the other puzzle pieces in there were made of wood !

 

If I was making one for a cache, I'd make at least 2 so I could just swap a whole new one in when needed, and I'd put a screw eye in the base of the dowel and fix the bison on. Why ? Well, I managed to reassemble the thing eventually, then realised I'd left the bison with the log sheet out of the bottle .... aaaargh ! Start all over again ...

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I think dprovan has given some excellent advise about how to proceed with reset.

 

1 hour ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

A show of hands...how many of you have encountered a decon container that wasn't closed properly? 

OMG! yes. These days, I'm finding that there are a significant numbers of geocachers who cannot close an ammo can. Seriously. The commonest variant of "closed" is tuck the bail inside and push the lid down, image:

 

1-bale tucked inside (Copy 2).jpg

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OK, so here's the one I didn't hunt on my weekend away - turns out I misremembered , it was actually only disabled not archived when I was there, and lasted another year at least before the C.O.s patience wore out https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC4W6MD_lefty-loosey-righty-tighty?guid=14a1401e-7ec4-4e19-a348-4d8702805ff9

Again, useful reading to prepare TwistedCube for maintenance levels and how people reacted to the puzzle.

 

I have no idea how this one was hidden. As will be obvious from the listing, the one I linked to in my previous post is in a bird house , dry , protected and off the ground.

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34 minutes ago, Isonzo Karst said:

OMG! yes. These days, I'm finding that there are a significant numbers of geocachers who cannot close an ammo can. Seriously. The commonest variant of "closed" is tuck the bail inside and push the lid down, image:

 

Have you ever seen new geocachers react when the hinge holding the lid on the ammo can slips loose?

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6 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

The puzzle is that the cacher will find an easy birdhouse cache with one simple move (like pulling out a nail, or using a magnet to unlock), after they unlock the birdhouse, they will find a plastic bottle with a dowel rod inside and exposing itself outside, like a handle almost. The dowel rod has a bolt through it near the bottom to prevent cachers from pulling it out. What they must do is to free one of the nuts from the bolt to allow for the dowel to be able to pass through the mouth of the bottle, thus freeing the bison tube inside (I will either glue it to the dowel rod or let it roll around the bottle freely). 

 

I have found several (must have been at least five) of these "dowel with bolt in a bottle" caches, so let me share my experiences...

  • None of the listings offered any help for the cacher. You just find the device, and have to work out for yourself how to get the logbook out.
  • Getting the logbook out is almost trivial, once you have the basic idea how to do it. BUT: It's much more difficult to reassemble the bolt inside the bottle! This will inevitably lead to maintenance issues, because cachers sign the log (and claim a find) but fail to properly reset the puzzle. More often than not, the owner will not be notified. Whenever I find one of these puzzles, I look into its log history. The maintenance problems are always visible!
  • You should make it very clear in the listing, that the hardest part is resetting the puzzle to its original state. Also, it's a good idea to appeal to cachers' honor, and at least ask for a notification of someone fails to properly reset it.
  • I suggest to let the bison tube with the logbook move around in the bottle. Depending on the exact geometry (bottle diameter, length of bolt), another rigid object in the bottle can make it easier to screw/unscrew the nut (hard to describe ... the nut can be "rolled" on an edge of the object).

Apart from that, I can't really say that I enjoy these caches ;). There is always the fear of not being able to put everything back, and having to confess to the owner that you messed up their cache. It actually happened to me on the very first cache of this kind, because I had never seen it before and ended up having no idea to reassemble it afterwards.

 

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48 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

I have found several (must have been at least five) of these "dowel with bolt in a bottle" caches, so let me share my experiences...

  • None of the listings offered any help for the cacher. You just find the device, and have to work out for yourself how to get the logbook out.
  • Getting the logbook out is almost trivial, once you have the basic idea how to do it. BUT: It's much more difficult to reassemble the bolt inside the bottle! This will inevitably lead to maintenance issues, because cachers sign the log (and claim a find) but fail to properly reset the puzzle. More often than not, the owner will not be notified. Whenever I find one of these puzzles, I look into its log history. The maintenance problems are always visible!
  • You should make it very clear in the listing, that the hardest part is resetting the puzzle to its original state. Also, it's a good idea to appeal to cachers' honor, and at least ask for a notification of someone fails to properly reset it.
  • I suggest to let the bison tube with the logbook move around in the bottle. Depending on the exact geometry (bottle diameter, length of bolt), another rigid object in the bottle can make it easier to screw/unscrew the nut (hard to describe ... the nut can be "rolled" on an edge of the object).

Apart from that, I can't really say that I enjoy these caches ;). There is always the fear of not being able to put everything back, and having to confess to the owner that you messed up their cache. It actually happened to me on the very first cache of this kind, because I had never seen it before and ended up having no idea to reassemble it afterwards.

 

You make very good points. I don't know how these Houston cachers are going to react to the puzzle. I guess I'll see how it goes. I am planning to create 2 of them, when one isn't reset properly, I will swap out the bottle with the other one and reset the first one in the comfort of my own home : ) 

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As someone who has a number of gadget caches with some good favorites, I have one thing to say.  Most cachers will only accept a certain amount of difficulty.  When that difficulty goes over that amount, they will open up their pack, pull out the hammer, chisel and saw and do whatever it takes to sign the log. 

 

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3 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

You make very good points. I don't know how these Houston cachers are going to react to the puzzle. I guess I'll see how it goes. I am planning to create 2 of them, when one isn't reset properly, I will swap out the bottle with the other one and reset the first one in the comfort of my own home : ) 

Hmm, the only downside to that idea is there'd be no continual log sheet.  Each time you swap, there's a break in time line.

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6 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

OMG! yes. These days, I'm finding that there are a significant numbers of geocachers who cannot close an ammo can. Seriously. The commonest variant of "closed" is tuck the bail inside and push the lid down, image:

 

Just today we found an ammo can, open.  The last group of finders (online) are all experienced cachers, so either they left it open, or someone came behind them and didn't close it.  All the contents (log book, swag, even a geocoin TB) were intact.  There was a signature in the logbook that wasn't in the online logs - perhaps that's who left it open.  I've seen a lot of improperly closed COMMON containers; I have no doubt gadget caches that need resetting have a high percentage of improper "resetting" or no resetting.

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9 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

What should the D rating be???

5. But only because you can't set it to 10. :-)

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10 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

What should the D rating be???

 

The D rating is for finding the cache and signing the log.  Reassembling the cache is not required. 

How long did it take you to disassemble it  the first time? translate that time into D. This assumes that actually finding the container is not terribly difficult, and you are making tool(s) available.  

The original Clayjar ratings ranked D loosely in terms of time:

* Easy. In plain sight or can be found in a few minutes of searching.
** Average. The average cache hunter would be able to find this in less than 30 minutes of hunting.
***

Challenging. An experienced cache hunter will find this challenging, and it could take up a good portion of an afternoon.

**** Difficult. A real challenge for the experienced cache hunter - may require special skills or knowledge, or in-depth preparation to find. May require multiple days / trips to complete.
 

*****Extreme. A serious mental or physical challenge. Requires specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment to find cache

 

 

(I  would find the container, realize that it's a monkey puzzle, log a DNF and move on.   Like dprovan, i don't want to discourage you from doing this, some people adore these, and there's room in geocaching for a lot of different styles of caching. )

 

13 hours ago, niraD said:

Have you ever seen new geocachers react when the hinge holding the lid on the ammo can slips loose? 

I've had to respond to NM logs on a "broken" ammo can.  After making multiple trips to close & assemble I made it PMO - reluctantly, but i can't make that drive over and over.  Florida State Parks bought a GeoTour, and my  cache is on the same trail as the GeoTour cache. Finds up sharply;  novices unable to close it, disassembling the lid from the hinges and leaving it that way, complaining that it's "hard to open", "hard to close", leaving it on the trail, rather than where they found it,  and most discouraging, leaving trash around the cache site.  Water,   energy drink,  cola containers, bar wrappers, e-cig cartridges.   Even since making it PMO,  I try to get that way at least once during the winter months, to make sure it's on coords, and to CITO the site.....sad. 

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There is a way to make this work, with an easier re-assembly.

 

The first step is to cut the bolt in half, and install a spring between both halves. This way, the bolt can bend. When drilling the hole in the dowel, you would need to make slots for the bolt to fold into. Of course, the slots would need to be cut in the right direction, so that the bolt can only fold when inserting the dowel, not retracting it. This would probably require a fairly large mouth bottle and dowel. Taking the nut off the bolt would require skill, but reassembly could be done outside the bottle, and the dowel simply re-inserted by bending the bolt.

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58 minutes ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

There is a way to make this work, with an easier re-assembly.

 

The first step is to cut the bolt in half, and install a spring between both halves. This way, the bolt can bend. When drilling the hole in the dowel, you would need to make slots for the bolt to fold into. Of course, the slots would need to be cut in the right direction, so that the bolt can only fold when inserting the dowel, not retracting it. This would probably require a fairly large mouth bottle and dowel. Taking the nut off the bolt would require skill, but reassembly could be done outside the bottle, and the dowel simply re-inserted by bending the bolt.

 

So, being the next finder, I'd stick in something like a piece of wire, bend the bolt toward me & the bottle opening down into the slot in the dowel, and pull out the dowel.

This would completely do away with the requirement to unassemble as well as reassemble. Is that what you were going for?

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6 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

The D rating is for finding the cache and signing the log.  Reassembling the cache is not required. 

I have to disagree with this. Yes, I'm sure without looking that the guidelines talk only about what it takes to find the cache and sign the log, but that's only because the guidelines aren't expecting a significant reset task that's even harder than what it took to sign the log. Saying that the difficulty rating doesn't include the reset effort implies that resetting the puzzle is optional.

 

(Now that I've written that, I'm starting to worry that it's not responsive. I'm taking for granted you don't really mean "Reassembling the cache is not required PERIOD", so you must mean reassembly is not required in order to sign the log[/]. But correct me if I'm wrong.)

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21 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

The commonest variant of "closed" is tuck the bail inside and push the lid down, image:

 

1-bale tucked inside (Copy 2).jpg

 

I often arrive to find that the previous cachers could not even figure out how to "push the lid down".  :yikes:

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I don't know about the added spring idea, it sounds difficult to implement , and if you made it clear that the bolt had a trick section to it to place it back in the bottle I suspect finders might be tempted to try force to extract it , or insert stuff into the bottle to try and pull the bolt sections up. .

 

For me the attraction of the puzzle was partly the apparent impossibility of extracting that solid bolt, partly the simplicity and cheapness of the set up : empty bottle that would otherwise be thrown away*, bolt and nut from the tin of oddments, offcut of round section wood . Drill suitable sized hole in the latter, job done. By the way, when I did my research I saw some examples with a few glass marbles in the bottle too, which could be used to help unscrew the nut .

 

I've been thinking about if I was setting this myself how I would try to reduce cacher annoyance and owner maintenance, and apart from what the O.P.has already said ( GZ close to home to make maintenance easy, spare complete puzzle in hand  ) I reckon I'd reduce casual caching traffic by making it a multi, Wherigo or puzzle cache. Needn't be a tough puzzle or long drawn out Wherigo or many staged multi, just something simple, a lot of impatient cachers cannot be bothered with the extra complications posed by those cache types, so you are filtering out some folk who likely wouldn't enjoy the field puzzle and may therefore mistreat it. Making it premium may be a good idea too.

 

I'd make it very clear on the cache page that there is a field puzzle to solve to sign the log, which you must do to claim the find ,  that it will probably take around half an hour to solve and reset as it was when you found it,  and that patience and dexterity are vital. I don't know if I'd link to the video on the cache page or not : maybe if I used a puzzle and one of the 3rd party checkers which allow you to give information on the "success !" message page I'd link it there. Or, if it is an area with a decent signal, I'd put a QR code with the link stuck to the bottle or the outer container.  A plea to finders to act honourably and leave the cache as it should be for the next finder , messaging the C.O. to report any issues would be a good idea, yes there are peoople around who have no scruples or brains and can fail to close the simplest container, but the majority of people have good intentions, encourage them to behave honourably. Expect the best from finders, but at the same time , be prepared for the worst they may do !

 

As for the difficulty ... it's subjective, it always is. I'd say it would have to be 4 at the very least, probably more.  But , be careful, if you give it a T/D which is rare in your area you may get extra  traffic from grid completers. If that's a bad or good thing for your cache, only you can decide . One thing for sure, cachers who like this sort of thing really appreciate these puzzle containers, and you should get plenty of favourite points for your efforts. Good luck, and I hope you will come back and give us a link to see the cache when it is published.

 

 

* I'd not watched the video above 'till now , and was amused to see it is the precise size and brand of olive oil bottle I used !

 

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

I have to disagree with this. Yes, I'm sure without looking that the guidelines talk only about what it takes to find the cache and sign the log, but that's only because the guidelines aren't expecting a significant reset task that's even harder than what it took to sign the log. Saying that the difficulty rating doesn't include the reset effort implies that resetting the puzzle is optional.

 

Resetting  is optional. I have a special traditional cache and last summer I got a message from a player that he could not close the container properly.

I visited the cache and I the cache was broken by using excessive force. Steel door was bent and hinge removed. I had to take the cache to be fixed.

 

Do you think that I could delete the found it log because the cache was not reset properly? The good thing was that the player told about the problem.

 

ps. Couple of days ago, I got a message from another player where he complained that he could not remove the hinge. He thought that the cache is broken because he could not break it.

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10 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Resetting  is optional. I have a special traditional cache and last summer I got a message from a player that he could not close the container properly.

From the perspective of whether the Find stands, absolutely. I found a camouflaged cache where the camouflage fell apart in my hands. I could not rehide the cache at GZ without the camouflage, so I took the container and the broken camouflage with me, posted a NM log from the field, and send the CO email from the field. I still found the cache.

 

Yes, seekers should be prepared to replace a cache as found. Deliberately retrieving a cache with no intention of replacing it is rude to the CO and to future seekers. But sometimes things don't go according to plan.

 

I think that a CO setting out a field puzzle that is harder to reset than it is to solve is setting up finders for failure. It's like intentionally putting out a camouflaged cache that cannot be rehidden at GZ without the camouflage, but the camouflage is designed to fall apart when the cache is retrieved.

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17 minutes ago, niraD said:

Yes, seekers should be prepared to replace a cache as found. Deliberately retrieving a cache with no intention of replacing it is rude to the CO and to future seekers. But sometimes things don't go according to plan.

 

I think that a CO setting out a field puzzle that is harder to reset than it is to solve is setting up finders for failure. It's like intentionally putting out a camouflaged cache that cannot be rehidden at GZ without the camouflage, but the camouflage is designed to fall apart when the cache is retrieved.

 

I'm one of the few who try to put it all back as intended.   Even if the previous cachers left a lock open "so it's easy for the next guy", I lock it so it's a puzzle again.  Sue me. :ph34r:

 

But that one with the expanded, soaking wet dowel and rusty bolt pieces in a soup of moldy fluid (which was once clean and dry), chances are I can't get it back together.  Sorry.  I mean, I don't blame the CO for a creative idea.  But I kinda blame the CO.  I did everything right, but now I've worked for an hour in this heat and mosquitoes, futilely trying to put it back together, when it looks to have been in pretty bad shape for a long time.  Buh-leeve me, I've been there, done that.  If you're gonna make that cache, you have to keep fixing it.  All the time.  Creativity, yes.  But commit to the extra maintenance.  In which case, it's cool. :)

 

Edited by kunarion
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1 hour ago, niraD said:
1 hour ago, arisoft said:

Resetting  is optional. I have a special traditional cache and last summer I got a message from a player that he could not close the container properly.

From the perspective of whether the Find stands, absolutely. I found a camouflaged cache where the camouflage fell apart in my hands. I could not rehide the cache at GZ without the camouflage, so I took the container and the broken camouflage with me, posted a NM log from the field, and send the CO email from the field. I still found the cache.

 

Yes, seekers should be prepared to replace a cache as found. Deliberately retrieving a cache with no intention of replacing it is rude to the CO and to future seekers. But sometimes things don't go according to plan.

 

The basic tenets of geocaching are find the container, sign the log, and replacing the container as found.  One could argue that not resetting the cache the way it was found would be not replacing the cache as found.  One could also argue that the practice of container swapping, as is done on some large power trails,  wouldn't qualify as a find either but good luck getting GS to support a CO in either case if they delete the log.

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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

I'm one of the few who try to put it all back as intended.   Even if the previous cachers left a lock open "so it's easy for the next guy", I lock it so it's a puzzle again.  Sue me. :ph34r:

But that one with the expanded, soaking wet dowel and rusty bolt pieces in a soup of moldy fluid (which was once clean and dry), chances are I can't get it back together.  Sorry.  I mean, I don't blame the CO for a creative idea.  But I kinda blame the CO.  I did everything right, but now I've worked for an hour in this heat and mosquitoes, futilely trying to put it back together, when it looks to have been in pretty bad shape for a long time.  Buh-leeve me, I've been there, done that.  If you're gonna make that cache, you have to keep fixing it.  All the time.  Creativity, yes.  But commit to the extra maintenance.  In which case, it's cool. :)

 

We try as well,  but with some contraptions out there, we just just can't see how it was "intended" by the time we get there.    :)

One, numerous figure-eight combos of camo'd cpvc pipe with the "cache" inside,  was in parts when we got there.

 - Not being able to tell which opening was enter or exit, we just left a NM after our Found It.

Unless we're FTF, most we've bumped into so far (we don't go looking for them) have been "restructured" by others for ease of logging.

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7 hours ago, arisoft said:

Do you think that I could delete the found it log because the cache was not reset properly? The good thing was that the player told about the problem.

Resetting isn't optional. That doesn't mean that we don't recognize that in some cases resetting is impossible. And having signed the log, a seeker can claim the find even if he can't get it reset. But recognizing that odd stuff happens doesn't eliminate the responsibility of every finder to do their best to restore the cache as found, including alert the CO if he can't get it back to square one.

 

I'm sure you always return as found, but, OMG, it sends shivers up my spine to imagine some novice hearing you say its optional. There are more requirements here than the ones that allow someone to claim a find.

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11 hours ago, arisoft said:

I visited the cache and I the cache was broken by using excessive force. Steel door was bent and hinge removed. I had to take the cache to be fixed.

 

Do you think that I could delete the found it log because the cache was not reset properly? The good thing was that the player told about the problem.

 

 

Could you delete the log?  It sounds like that is something you want to do.  Is there something enjoyable about deleting logs for you?  I mean, I understand that these people found your cache, damaged it, and honestly notified you of the problem.  Do they need to be punished?

 

For me, log deletion is a last resort that only occurs when I am quite certain the person in question did not find the cache or sign the log  The idea of using log deletion for punishment had never even occurred to me.

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2 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Do they need to be punished?

 

I did not use word "punish", you did. My message was "Resetting  is optional."  I think that you mirrored your own expectations about punishment to your reply 😉.

 

To be clear, do you think that resetting the cache is so mandatory that you can delete the "bogus" Found it when resetting has not happened? If not, then it is optional.

Edited by arisoft
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7 hours ago, dprovan said:

I'm sure you always return as found

 

Sorry, wrong assumption. I have claimed a FTF for a cache which I could not reset. I told to the CO about this matter but the CO was not able to reset the cache because the maintenance plan was faulty. (Proxy maintainer did not have tools to reset the cache)

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10 hours ago, arisoft said:

I did not use word "punish", you did.😉

 

 

Would you answer my main question, please?  It sounds like you want to delete their log.  Do you?

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On 1/24/2019 at 8:17 AM, TwistedCube said:

My initial question is how am I going to provide cachers with the knowledge and tools of putting the puzzle back together in the correct orientation? One way I have considered is to somehow provide the link of the video in the container where they cannot reach it until they have completed the puzzle. I am prepared to make weekly maintenance runs just in case, but to minimize the hassle of going completely out of my way, I am going to place the cache in a park about half a mile from my house.

 

If I was considering something like this I'd make it a mystery cache. I'd create a short video showing how to retrieve and replace the container and at the end provide the coordinates to the cache location, along with a personal plea not to break things. That way you're guaranteed seekers know exactly what they're getting into, how much time they need to allow and what tool to bring. Of course everyone will use the tool needed to set the puzzle also to open it but so what...  

 

I'm probably the only one that feels this way but I think cache owners make a huge mistake by listing these as trads (with the field puzzle attribute). Sooner or later someone who's, short of time, angry, already having a bad day, maybe trying to keep their streak going (and this is their only chance) will show up expecting to be able to open the container and sign the log in a minute or two. Even if they try to be responsible, anger and frustration, make accidents more likely. 

 

I'm also concerned about the glass container. Most of the one's I've found are already broken and the ones that aren't, usually soon are.  I'd definitely have a backup or two already made and ready to go.

 

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, MtnGoat50 said:

If I was considering something like this I'd make it a mystery cache. I'd create a short video showing how to retrieve and replace the container and at the end provide the coordinates to the cache location, along with a personal plea not to break things. That way you're guaranteed seekers know exactly what they're getting into, how much time they need to allow and what tool to bring. Of course everyone will use the tool needed to set the puzzle also to open it but so what...  

 

I'm probably the only one that feels this way but I think cache owners make a huge mistake by listing these as trads (with the field puzzle attribute). Sooner or later someone who's, short of time, angry, already having a bad day, maybe trying to keep their streak going (and this is their only chance) will show up expecting to be able to open the container and sign the log in a minute or two. Even if they try to be responsible, anger and frustration, make accidents more likely. 

 

I'm also concerned about the glass container. Most of the one's I've found are already broken and the ones that aren't, usually soon are.  I'd definitely have a backup or two already made and ready to go.

 

 

 

 

  I am intending on making this a mystery with a field puzzle attribute, however, I don't really want to show cachers how to take it apart, but rather, show them how to put it back.

 

 I am going to use a sturdy plastic bottle though, but not the cheap drinking water kinds that break easily. 

Edited by TwistedCube
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1 hour ago, fizzymagic said:

Would you answer my main question, please?  It sounds like you want to delete their log.  Do you?

 

I would be obliged to delete an incorrect log entry if it was not justified. But in this case it is. This is explained in the guidelines.


To keep the online cache page up-to-date, the cache owner must

Delete logs that appear to be false or inappropriate.

 

Didn't you know this? Deleting log is not a punishment - it is like housekeeping.

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59 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

  I am intending on making this a mystery with a field puzzle attribute, however, I don't really want to show cachers how to take it apart, but rather, show them how to put it back.

 

If you want to make a mystery cache, you'll need to add an element like MtnGoat50's excellent suggestion for a YouTube video.  If the cache is located at the coordinates posted at the top of the cache page, it's a traditional with a field puzzle attribute.

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14 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

 I am intending on making this a mystery with a field puzzle attribute,

That's probably a good choice but it appears that, when trying to get the nut off, tapping on a hard surface (such as glass) will work better than tapping on plastic (even heavy duty plastic). 

 

16 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

I don't really want to show cachers how to take it apart, but rather, show them how to put it back.

Why not? Showing the video up front accomplishes a couple of things. Seekers know what to expect and are far (far) less likely to cause damage. Seekers also know to bring a tool to reset the cache. I have several caches that require a log removal tool. For a while I tried providing one but it always vanished after a find or two. I think the same thing will happen here making it impossible to reset.  Not showing the video upfront doesn't really accomplish anything, IMHO. Again, maybe it's just me but if I came across this puzzle the first thing I'd do is go online and look for a solution. If I had cell coverage I'd do it on site, otherwise I'd go home maybe even build or buy one to practice on before coming back. I think everyone that does the cache will get some online help, whether you provide it or not.

 

I like my caches to be fun, interesting and a little challenging, rather than frustrating and tedious, so I usually give a bit more help than average. So far people seem to appreciate this.

 

33 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

I am intending on making this a mystery with a field puzzle attribute

Good! I think that will greatly reduce the problems others have experienced such as hal-an-tow's example where the CO's patience wore out. As Keystone points out you'll still need bogus coords so if you don't want to do the video you can do the coordinates in "white text". The goto puzzle for a lot of geoarts ;) .  Regardless I think "mystery" is the best cache type for these.

 

Rust is another issue. You might consider using stainless steel fasteners and I'd lubricate them with dry graphite. Any sort of liquid oil or grease will gum things up and cause a problem.

 

In any case let us know how it works out. Part of me wants to build one locally but another part of me thinks it's a little too complicated to make a good field puzzle (especially the resetting part). 

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, Keystone said:

If the cache is located at the coordinates posted at the top of the cache page, it's a traditional with a field puzzle attribute.

 

This is only (a good) recommendation. "The posted coordinates are usually bogus coordinates.", but not always.

 

"A key difference between Mystery and Multi-Caches is that Mystery Caches require additional research that goes beyond reading the cache page.", could also be used against a traditional cache if the cache needs additional research like watching a youtube video to open it.

 

I would say that it mostly depends on how the CO wants to present the cache whether it is traditional or mystery. There are good reasons for both as already presented in this thread.

Edited by arisoft
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23 hours ago, arisoft said:

Sorry, wrong assumption. I have claimed a FTF for a cache which I could not reset. I told to the CO about this matter but the CO was not able to reset the cache because the maintenance plan was faulty. (Proxy maintainer did not have tools to reset the cache)

Not sure why you're so intent on splitting this hair, but have it your way. I thought it was obvious I meant you always try to the best of your ability to return the cache as found.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

Not sure why you're so intent on splitting this hair, but have it your way. I thought it was obvious I meant you always try to the best of your ability to return the cache as found.

 

This is exactly what we are talking in this thread. What happens when you make a cache which is harder to reset than find. Will players reset it at all? I didn't.

 

ps. Some player complained about how I dare to log a FTF without resetting the cache. The CO didn't.

Edited by arisoft

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

I thought it was obvious I meant you always try to the best of your ability to return the cache as found.

 

I believe, you got one right thing in mind, but you are writing something else.

"return the cache as found" is not always right or correct, see sample above where an open box is displayed. If I may reword this to:  "Replace the box the way the owner intended it."  Not always easy since sometimes we don't know what the owner had in mind, but very often we can use the cache description to hide the cache accordingly.

 

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