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gof1949

Asking about clues to puzzles

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How do you find out how to solve puzzles that are the only way to find certain caches.  Can you ask anybody or do you have to ask owner?  Can you ask in this forum?

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As per the  Terms of Use , you agree not to  "Publish on our websites the solutions, hints, spoilers, or any hidden coordinates for any geocache without consent from the geocache owner."

We've simply asked a CO if they can give a hint.    :)

 - Usually they'll give a hint, some only after the FTF.

Events seem to be a popular place to discuss tough puzzles too.

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1 hour ago, gof1949 said:

How do you find out how to solve puzzles that are the only way to find certain caches.  Can you ask anybody or do you have to ask owner?  Can you ask in this forum?

If someone is struggling with my puzzle geocache, they should contact me. I love to help. 

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

If someone is struggling with my puzzle geocache, they should contact me. I love to help. 

Ditto 

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

If someone is struggling with my puzzle geocache, they should contact me. I love to help. 

 

I’d say this is probably true of most (active) COs, and I think it’s good etiquette to ask them first.

 

If the CO is unresponsive, I guess reaching out to previous finders is an option...

 

Teaming up with others to solve puzzles can work - two (or more) minds are better than one!

 

There are also puzzle-solving groups on Facebook (e.g. Geocaching Puzzle Help).  Generally, they share hints, not solutions, and respect the fact that some COs do not want their caches discussed on social media.

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Several very good books are available plus many websites depending on what sort of puzzle you are trying to solve.

Googling or other equivalent searches will often bring results. 

Try easy puzzles first and you will soon learn the necessary techniques.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

I’d say this is probably true of most (active) COs, and I think it’s good etiquette to ask them first.

 

If the CO is unresponsive, I guess reaching out to previous finders is an option...

 

Teaming up with others to solve puzzles can work - two (or more) minds are better than one!

 

There are also puzzle-solving groups on Facebook (e.g. Geocaching Puzzle Help).  Generally, they share hints, not solutions, and respect the fact that some COs do not want their caches discussed on social media.

 

As a courtesy to the cache owner,  ask the cache owner for help first (be specific about what level of help you want).

 

Teaming up with someone else it,  IMHO, the next best option if the CO doesn't respond (how often does this really happen).  Collaborating with someone else that has not yet solved the puzzle still allows you to solve the puzzle.  

 

Reaching out to previous finders or to social media puzzle groups can be a way to get the solution to a puzzle, but it takes the CO out of the equation. Whatever difficulty level the CO assigned or hints they are willing to give gets thrown out the window when it's someone else that is giving away the "hints".  I have also found that while these groups claim not to be providing solutions, in many cases, the hints all but give away the solution.  Specifically identifying the type of cipher for a puzzle might not be giving away the solution, but if the puzzle is primarily about discovering what type of cipher is being used, then just plugging some text into an app, then the is hint effectively is the solution.  

 

My general impression of some of the puzzle solving groups is that many will try a couple of things (everyone seem to know about looking at the source code) and if they don't see the solution will immediately ask for help on the group.  I also get the impression that in many cases, those asking for help *are* just looking for the solution for the puzzle (so that they can got find it, get the +1, and clear the icon off their map) and don't really care about actually solving and understanding the puzzle.   There are lots of sites will just take some text and spit out an answer.    To me, that's not solving the puzzle, and it doesn't really help one learn how to solve puzzle caches.  

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6 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:
4 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

There are also puzzle-solving groups on Facebook (e.g. Geocaching Puzzle Help).  Generally, they share hints, not solutions, and respect the fact that some COs do not want their caches discussed on social media.

 

My general impression of some of the puzzle solving groups is that many will try a couple of things (everyone seem to know about looking at the source code) and if they don't see the solution will immediately ask for help on the group.  I also get the impression that in many cases, those asking for help *are* just looking for the solution for the puzzle (so that they can got find it, get the +1, and clear the icon off their map) and don't really care about actually solving and understanding the puzzle.   There are lots of sites will just take some text and spit out an answer.    To me, that's not solving the puzzle, and it doesn't really help one learn how to solve puzzle

 

Maybe I should have said, FB groups share hints and not coordinates.  But as you say, unfortunately, a lot of ‘helpers’ do blow a puzzle wide open rather than providing the calculated gentle nudge you might get from the CO.  (That said, I know a CO or two, that struggle with those gentle nudges as well!)

 

And, yes, of course some people are simply out for a shortcut, but many are newcomers to puzzle caching, like the OP, just looking for a way to get started.

 

Definite agreement on the top two suggestions through:

1. Contact the CO.

2. Find a local to team up with.

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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

As a courtesy to the cache owner,  ask the cache owner for help first (be specific about what level of help you want).

It's also good to explain what you have tried that hasn't worked. That helps the CO know where you are in the puzzle-solving process, and what kind of hint would be useful (without being a complete spoiler).

 

I know that the first thing I ask when someone comes to me for a hint is, "What have you tried so far that hasn't worked?"

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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Teaming up with someone else it,  IMHO, the next best option if the CO doesn't respond (how often does this really happen).  Collaborating with someone else that has not yet solved the puzzle still allows you to solve the puzzle.  

 

Now that the other 2/3rds isn't playing, this is mostly what I'd do.   Dyslexic old farts and puzzles not a good fit...

There's plenty of eggheads able to solve a puzzle, but unable to ascend with rope, or climb a tree.   Team up, and good-to-go.  :)

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5 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Teaming up with someone else it,  IMHO, the next best option if the CO doesn't respond (how often does this really happen).  Collaborating with someone else that has not yet solved the puzzle still allows you to solve the puzzle.

Teaming up with someone else is, IMHO, the best option for solving a tough puzzle. Asking the CO for help is a later option for when you get stuck, whether working alone or in a team. Normally if I get stumped, I just put it aside, but if I want a hint, I prefer to ask the CO, but sometimes I'll ask a friend that's already found it, instead.

 

1 hour ago, niraD said:

It's also good to explain what you have tried that hasn't worked. That helps the CO know where you are in the puzzle-solving process, and what kind of hint would be useful (without being a complete spoiler).

 

I know that the first thing I ask when someone comes to me for a hint is, "What have you tried so far that hasn't worked?"

For sure. I'm very careful about describing where I am in the puzzle when I decide I need to ask the CO for a hint. In fact, probably about half the time while I'm writing up what I've tried, I notice other angles (or mistakes!) and explore them to find the solution for myself. I can't tell you how many times I've deleted an email asking for help because I found the answer in the middle of documenting what I've considered.

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