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J Grouchy

Waning interest in puzzles

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35 minutes ago, Ry Dawg said:

 

That’s the basis of my frustration with puzzles. In the guidelines it states that everyone one needs to solve the puzzle should be on the geocache page. Reading the hiders mind would not be included in this. 

I tend to skip over most puzzles for that reason, other than ones that clearly state what is needed to solve them. 

 

Well, not quite. The Help Centre actually says "All clues needed to solve the puzzle must be on the cache page, and the information to solve the puzzle must be publicly available." I have puzzles where the clues are on the cache page but further research might be needed to solve them. Often those clues aren't "clearly stated" but that doesn't mean they're not there; maybe you need to read between the lines or look in some of the more common places where clues might be concealed (html source, image EXIF data, RGB codes, grammar, punctuation, a play on words, etc.). I sometimes provide multiple clues to the same thing, concealed in different ways, in the hope that someone might spot at least one of them.

 

That's not to say there aren't puzzles out there that aren't just an exercise in mind-reading, but from what I've seen they tend to be in the minority. The reviewers here are also fairly strict now on getting the CO to explain each step of the puzzle solution in their reviewer note, so that probably helps too.

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55 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Well, not quite. The Help Centre actually says "All clues needed to solve the puzzle must be on the cache page, and the information to solve the puzzle must be publicly available." I have puzzles where the clues are on the cache page but further research might be needed to solve them. Often those clues aren't "clearly stated" but that doesn't mean they're not there; maybe you need to read between the lines or look in some of the more common places where clues might be concealed (html source, image EXIF data, RGB codes, grammar, punctuation, a play on words, etc.). I sometimes provide multiple clues to the same thing, concealed in different ways, in the hope that someone might spot at least one of them.

 

That's not to say there aren't puzzles out there that aren't just an exercise in mind-reading, but from what I've seen they tend to be in the minority. The reviewers here are also fairly strict now on getting the CO to explain each step of the puzzle solution in their reviewer note, so that probably helps too.

 

I have, more often than not, seen just a “code” to be solved, without any to clue as to what it is or where to begin solving it anywhere on the page. I understand a lot of these are common so one assumes it’s self explanatory, when it is not to people who have found very few puzzles. I envy a world where things are hidden in html and page sources, etc, and admire hiders who can hide things so well. 

 

Alas, if I don’t know how or where to begin to search for something, even finding a clue, it will simply “pass” on that cache. This is why I avoid the majority of puzzle caches. Whether the overall waning is similar to my reasoning, I know not. Merely a suggestion. If there’s a lot of newer people (smartphones) they may also not know where to begin on these. 

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

That's not to say there aren't puzzles out there that aren't just an exercise in mind-reading, but from what I've seen they tend to be in the minority. The reviewers here are also fairly strict now on getting the CO to explain each step of the puzzle solution in their reviewer note, so that probably helps too.

 

^ Very much this! I now seem to spend almost as much time writing an explanation of the puzzle (often in its own turgid reviewer note setting out complete workings) as I do on the puzzle text itself.

 

I don't think a reviewer has ever actually demanded changes to the "meat" of any puzzle but the process of writing the explanation in parallel with the puzzle actually helps clarify for myself where, for example, hints could be improved, before a reviewer even has to look at it. I very much doubt a genuinely incoherent "read my mind" type affair would get through, at least in my area in 2019.
 

19 minutes ago, Ry Dawg said:

If there’s a lot of newer people (smartphones) they may also not know where to begin on these. 


This seems like a potentially important factor. People would definitely struggle with some of mine if they solely used their phone. (Actually, I know some have.)

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3 minutes ago, Ry Dawg said:

 

I have, more often than not, seen just a “code” to be solved, without any to clue as to what it is or where to begin solving it anywhere on the page. I understand a lot of these are common so one assumes it’s self explanatory, when it is not to people who have found very few puzzles.

 

 Frequently it is NOT self-explanatory.  In fact, I think "mystery ciphers" where you are expected to figure out what the cipher is, are not particularly good puzzles.  I think that despite having built myself a lot of tools to diagnose and solve said ciphers.  Making the cipher type unknown, without any logical path to figuring it out, is frequently  (IMO) laziness on the part of the hider; they can't make a good enough puzzle without adding some needless difficulty that doesn't contribute to the experience.

 

For a set of exceptionally good cipher-based cache puzzles, look at the Heroes of Bletchley Park series in England.  Outstanding and educational, albeit quite difficult, puzzles.  They describe exactly what you need to do to decrypt them, and require no mind-reading. 

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1 hour ago, BendSinister said:

I don't think a reviewer has ever actually demanded changes to the "meat" of any puzzle but the process of writing the explanation in parallel with the puzzle actually helps clarify for myself where, for example, hints could be improved, before a reviewer even has to look at it. I very much doubt a genuinely incoherent "read my mind" type affair would get through, at least in my area in 2019.

 

I have a multi with virtual waypoints at three railway stations whose names I wove into the cache page's story:

  • the overarching Koo Lee Wong is a stanchion on Koolewong station
  • the place by the river where hawks are buried is Hawkesbury River station
  • the noctural temptress Wanda Byne is Wondabyne station

The names aren't actually part of the field puzzle, just a bit of stage-dressing, and I assumed our local reviewer would recognise them and realise that, so I just included details of the actual objects on each station where the required information could be found. But at the time I submitted it he was on leave and an interstate reviewer had to deal with it. He was totally confused by the temptresses and buried hawks and thought it should be listed as a puzzle, so I had to write a detailed explanation about the names. It did eventually get published as a multi, with no changes needed to the cache page, but I've learnt my lesson to not assume the reviewer will have any local knowledge.

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This is a very small sample size but I'll be interested to see if it's true.  I placed a new series of 7 caches, 6 needed to be found before the 7th (series finale) can be accessed and they went live Saturday morning.  I live in a very active community, although the FTF race has dissipated since I started.  I placed 2 traditionals, one multi, one Wherigo, one puzzle, and one LBH.  The Wherigo and LBH have each been found once, the puzzle and multi not at all, and the 2 traditional caches have been found 6 times.

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15 hours ago, Ry Dawg said:

That’s the basis of my frustration with puzzles. In the guidelines it states that everyone one needs to solve the puzzle should be on the geocache page. Reading the hiders mind would not be included in this. 

 

I would recommend that for every new puzzle the CO should demonstrate that at least ten local players can solve the puzzle before it will be published.

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There's a fine line between being clue-led and having to mind-read.  A simple cipher one could say requires mind-reading if you've never seen it before. If you have, then it could be simple. It's a big grey area; the more you stray from the most common cipher methods, or mix many together, or insert little adjustments to make them unique, etc, the harder it could be to recognize the method visually.

 

But there's also the scale between encoding and encrypting; 1-to-1 conversions, where the new character set (changing from A-Z to numbers, for instance) can be recognized easily, and ciphers where a complex algorithm is used to encode a message.  The mind-read style would more akin to using a cipher to encode the message but not giving a hint as to which cipher. Encoding the message under a different character would just be a matter of reorgnizing the new character set.  It might require some research, but it's much less a mind-read.

 

In a sense, if the solution isn't recognizable and needs to be determined by process, then it could definitely become a mind-reader.  If the solution can be determined by looking at it, a stronger argument could be made that it's not a mind-reader because it's discernible just by looking at it.  But then there's that huge scale in between...  a string of numbers could fall into quite a few encodings and encryptions, even though the possibilities are reduced by seeing which numbers are there, or how they're spaced, etc.

 

IMO, there's no distinct line crossing into mind-reading; it's more a matter of how much trial-and-error is required in order to determine any next step in the puzzle, without the existence of any clue or nudge in any way, even if you know the method of encoding/encryptingThose are the ones I don't like. I might try a few ideas based on looking at the puzzle, and still love the puzzle if I find the solution. But at some point, I'm going to think "this is a mind-reader, there are too many possibilities and I don't know if it'll be the next one I try or there's some additional twist I missed with something I already tried."

 

Solving one of those for the first time, I might get an 'aha' and learn about the new method, but if it's not a visually recognizable method, it could become another mind-reader in a future puzzle.

 

 

What irks me the most are mind-read puzzles where the cache title has nothing to do with the puzzle.  If there's ONE place a hint could be dropped about the solve method (especially if it's not visually discernible) or truly lead someone off track, it's the Title.

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13 hours ago, BendSinister said:

I very much doubt a genuinely incoherent "read my mind" type affair would get through, at least in my area in 2019.

I have spoken to two reviewers in my area about exactly this issue: Moon-logic puzzles, for which you have to guess without any clue ("hidden" or not) what the CO wants. Both reviewers said essentially the same: They only care, if the puzzle is formally correct. I.e., if you guess right and correctly read the CO's mind, then you will arrive at the intended solution. They don't care at all, if this it's virtually impossible to make the right guesses.

Case in point: A few days ago, FTF was logged on a mystery, which had been published several months ago. All members of the FTF openly stated in their logs, that they could only "solve" the puzzle because the CO helped them several(!) times which were, to all intents and purposes, pure guesswork.

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14 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

 

For a set of exceptionally good cipher-based cache puzzles, look at the Heroes of Bletchley Park series in England.  Outstanding and educational, albeit quite difficult, puzzles.  They describe exactly what you need to do to decrypt them, and require no mind-reading. 

Thank you for pointing those out. That'll help the time pass during the dark months.

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

IMO, there's no distinct line crossing into mind-reading; it's more a matter of how much trial-and-error is required in order to determine any next step in the puzzle, without the existence of any clue or nudge in any way, even if you know the method of encoding/encryptingThose are the ones I don't like. I might try a few ideas based on looking at the puzzle, and still love the puzzle if I find the solution. But at some point, I'm going to think "this is a mind-reader, there are too many possibilities and I don't know if it'll be the next one I try or there's some additional twist I missed with something I already tried."

I agree there's no hard line. To me, for a really hard puzzle, it boils down to whether, once I find the solution, I can look back and see that there were really good reasons for me to have tried the correct approach a lot sooner than I did. For poor puzzles, it's obvious that there really was no other way than to rule out the other 99 possible approaches one by one.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

For poor puzzles, it's obvious that there really was no other way than to rule out the other 99 possible approaches one by one.

 

One big reason for this kind of trial-and-error puzzles is geochecker. It is used to "fix" the broken puzzle which have no unique solution.

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On 10/18/2019 at 7:18 AM, J Grouchy said:

I guess my point in posting this is to find out if this is a general trend in caching all over or just a local 'lull' in interest. 

I don't have any hard data to back it up but my sense is that the same thing is happening in my local area. What's interesting is if you'd posted this 7 years ago I would have agreed then too (it's just worse now). 

 

I've always enjoyed puzzles and I enjoy solving puzzle caches although I generally skip the "guess what I'm thinking this morning" variety that seem to be the most popular these days. The few puzzle caches I've placed have all been based on puzzle ideas that I enjoyed and thought others would enjoy solving. My most recent puzzle cache simply requires understanding the different coordinate formats (DD.ddddd, DD MM.mmm, DD MM SS.ss) and converting between them. It's located in a city park, on level ground and I explain exactly what needs to be done, and how to do it. The first and only find was over a month ago, since then crickets... [:(] 

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As a case in point, I just solved a 4.5D puzzle in my area that's been baffling everyone here for 2 weeks. This one sort of fit into that grey area for me; but looking back on it I enjoyed it, despite a couple of aspects that could be honed a bit - not to make it easier or harder, but for the general puzzle-solving experience.

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28 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

As a case in point, I just solved a 4.5D puzzle in my area that's been baffling everyone here for 2 weeks. This one sort of fit into that grey area for me; but looking back on it I enjoyed it, despite a couple of aspects that could be honed a bit - not to make it easier or harder, but for the general puzzle-solving experience.

 

Some of the problems I have with puzzles are the way they show up in a cache description, which changes when viewed in various browsers.  Sometimes the wrapped line of a cipher is intended to be columns and rows, sometimes it's just one long line.  And it's hard to tell where the puzzle starts and where the text about the puzzle ends.  So it's not a moon logic puzzle, except for the part about figuring out where the "puzzle" is within the cache description.

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Yep, one of the first things I do is check the web page version of the listing. If anything because it's about the only place you'll determine if there's a background image which can be used in puzzles. The web page is the best place to look at puzzles.

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On 10/30/2019 at 4:11 PM, arisoft said:

 

I would recommend that for every new puzzle the CO should demonstrate that at least ten local players can solve the puzzle before it will be published.

Individually or as a group?

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

As a case in point, I just solved a 4.5D puzzle in my area that's been baffling everyone here for 2 weeks. This one sort of fit into that grey area for me; but looking back on it I enjoyed it, despite a couple of aspects that could be honed a bit - not to make it easier or harder, but for the general puzzle-solving experience.

I was curious and looked at the listing. In my view this is not a "moon logic" puzzle at all (can't go into details, obviously), and actually well thought out. I wish we had more puzzles like that in my area...

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

As a case in point, I just solved a 4.5D puzzle in my area that's been baffling everyone here for 2 weeks. This one sort of fit into that grey area for me; but looking back on it I enjoyed it, despite a couple of aspects that could be honed a bit - not to make it easier or harder, but for the general puzzle-solving experience.

One of my favorites is a D5 puzzle cache that has been found in at least 3 ways to my knowledge. I solved the puzzle "as intended", by figuring out how to use an Enigma machine simulator to decrypt the message. This method required a certain "Aha! moment" of letting go of an assumption that was "obvious" but incorrect. It has also been found by brute-forcing the encryption, trying every possible key until something meaningful popped out. And it has also been found by someone who brute-forced the final using the theme, and the holes in the saturation map around the posted coordinates.

 

But it hasn't been found for a few years. :(

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51 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

I was curious and looked at the listing. In my view this is not a "moon logic" puzzle at all (can't go into details, obviously), and actually well thought out. I wish we had more puzzles like that in my area...

Did you solve it?  I didn't say it was moon logic, but there are aspects that could be clearer.

 

35 minutes ago, niraD said:

One of my favorites is a D5 puzzle cache that has been found in at least 3 ways to my knowledge.

haha, I think it's great when people find 'other' ways to solve puzzles :)  If I make one like that I try to think of other ways and add stuff in just for those people :P

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2 hours ago, papu66 said:
On 10/30/2019 at 7:11 AM, arisoft said:

I would recommend that for every new puzzle the CO should demonstrate that at least ten local players can solve the puzzle before it will be published.

Individually or as a group?

It took me a minute to understand and appreciate this excellent question. There's no question my favorite puzzles -- and the favorites of many others in my area -- are the Venona puzzles that come out every few years. They are always solved through cooperation between many people in a public forum. Yet even as complex and convoluted as they are, after the solve, the logic of each step can be traced through the entire effort. There's a tradition of one of the participants volunteering to write up the process, not only for posterity, but also to make sure anyone that wants to can see the thinking that led to the final answer.

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Did you solve it?  I didn't say it was moon logic, but there are aspects that could be clearer.

Yes, I solved it. Without knowing the solution, it's usually impossible to judge a puzzle's logic.

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On 10/18/2019 at 7:18 AM, J Grouchy said:

I always found the puzzle aspect a fun little extra challenge in geocaching...much better than always just going out to find some hidden object...an extra dimension that spiced it up a bit.  But perhaps most other people don't want to put in that extra effort? 

 

I try to place caches that I would enjoy finding.  That includes puzzles, as I enjoy the extra challenge intrying to solve a variety of puzzles.  I have a series of 3 puzzles along a walking trail, you can grab the first one quite near parking, but you have to walk for the other two; they are also precursors to a "bonus" puzzle that is also a walk along a different trail.  These walks are not long, a half mile at most, but the stats are interesting.

 

My 3 puzzles each have 33 solvers, according to Certitudes.  #1, near parking, has 8 finds.  #2, .2 mile walk away, has 6 finds.  #3, .3 miles from #2 and .5 miles from parking, has 4 finds. (These were placed in May of this year; we have had some hot summer days but I've walked the same trail a few times on lovely days!)  The final bonus cache is on another trail in another part of town, and is less than .2 miles from parking; it's had 5 solvers (you need clues from the logsheets of the 3 precursor puzzles, but it appears someone brute forced the solution or got the codes from a friend, as only 4 have found #3!) and 3 finders.

 

People want park n grabs it seems, more than puzzles to work out, or hikes to get to caches.  I'd rather work out the puzzle and then go on a hike and find the cache!  I've got several solved puzzles waiting for a day when I have some time to go hiking for them!  And I have a geocaching girlfriend who doesn't have the patience for puzzles - she'll gladly go with me after I've solved it and help look for it!

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On 10/30/2019 at 9:11 AM, arisoft said:

 

I would recommend that for every new puzzle the CO should demonstrate that at least ten local players can solve the puzzle before it will be published.

On 10/31/2019 at 1:00 PM, dprovan said:

It took me a minute to understand and appreciate this excellent question. There's no question my favorite puzzles -- and the favorites of many others in my area -- are the Venona puzzles that come out every few years. They are always solved through cooperation between many people in a public forum. Yet even as complex and convoluted as they are, after the solve, the logic of each step can be traced through the entire effort. There's a tradition of one of the participants volunteering to write up the process, not only for posterity, but also to make sure anyone that wants to can see the thinking that led to the final answer.

 

 

I am 100% unequivocally against this idea.. even though I despise 5 star multifaceted puzzles.. that block entire swathes of the map. Don't we have enough stinking rules? Jeez.

 
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On 11/4/2019 at 3:10 AM, bflentje said:

5 star multifaceted puzzles.. that block entire swathes of the map.

 

Wait, they do stuff to the map that, say, a D1.0 cache doesn't?

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On 11/3/2019 at 8:10 AM, bflentje said:

I am 100% unequivocally against this idea.. even though I despise 5 star multifaceted puzzles.. that block entire swathes of the map. Don't we have enough stinking rules? Jeez.

Since I don't think it's clear from your quoting, I want to point out that I'm against the idea of proving 10 geocachers can solve a puzzle, too. What I responded to was someone cleverly pointing out that a possible interpretation of the quoted passage is that one group of 10 geocachers working together could be the standard as opposed to what I suppose to be the original intention: that 10 geocachers working individually be used. My reply was based on what I assumed the second, unquoted responder was suggesting: with the standard being 10 geocachers working together, virtually any puzzle can be solved.

 

I have no idea how the idea blocks any part of the map, though. Maybe something about there not being 10 geocachers in an area to begin with?

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48 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I have no idea how the idea blocks any part of the map, though. Maybe something about there not being 10 geocachers in an area to begin with?

 

I'd be struggling to come up with ten active cachers from my region. For my recent challenge cache submission, the list of ten pre-qualifiers I put in my reviewer note only had three from my area, with the other seven being from the adjoining Sydney and Newcastle regions.

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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I'd be struggling to come up with ten active cachers from my region. For my recent challenge cache submission, the list of ten pre-qualifiers I put in my reviewer note only had three from my area, with the other seven being from the adjoining Sydney and Newcastle regions.

Ok. I don't think any "show 10 that can X" rule is very good to begin with, but I agree it would not even be logical if it doesn't account for situations where there aren't 10 to begin with.

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On 11/5/2019 at 10:52 PM, dprovan said:

Since I don't think it's clear from your quoting, I want to point out that I'm against the idea of proving 10 geocachers can solve a puzzle, too. What I responded to was someone cleverly pointing out that a possible interpretation of the quoted passage is that one group of 10 geocachers working together could be the standard as opposed to what I suppose to be the original intention: that 10 geocachers working individually be used. My reply was based on what I assumed the second, unquoted responder was suggesting: with the standard being 10 geocachers working together, virtually any puzzle can be solved.

 

I have no idea how the idea blocks any part of the map, though. Maybe something about there not being 10 geocachers in an area to begin with?

 

Interesting. I didn't think my statement was that unclear but I suppose it could have been. I am an IT guy with a background in chemistry.. certainly not a wordsmith. I meant, a map filled with many multifaceted puzzles. I don't like multi-layered puzzles. And even worse are a bunch of multilayered puzzles littering my map that I don't want to solve for various reasons. LOL.

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18 minutes ago, bflentje said:

Interesting. I didn't think my statement was that unclear but I suppose it could have been.

It wasn't your words. It was the fact that you left out the comment I was responding to and instead had me responding to something else that was making the opposite point.

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One thing to note, is how people geocache today versus that of say, 7 years ago. Most now simply use their phone and an app, however, I found that solving puzzles is much harder using a phone versus going on a PC in my opinion. A lot of apps (geocaching. C:GEO etc) don't really play nice with true puzzle caches. With a PC, you have the cache on one tab and simply open another tab to search the information, or to do things like view html code easily. With a phone, even the process of checking a website requires you to get out of your geocaching app and into a web browser app, etc. etc. 

 

 

 

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My interest in puzzle caches has declined over the years. One big factor for me has been the trend of requiring me to text the CO, thereby revealing my personal phone number, in order to be given the final coords.  I still enjoy a challenge once in a while, but my interest has declined. 

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I don't want to beg someone I don't know for help in solving a puzzle. Sometimes the hint is just as obtuse as the puzzle. Then add to the older puzzles no checker and the co may be inactive who knows if it is missing or you were wrong. GS could help here by including a checker automatically. 

 

If I can figure it out on my own I'll do one every once in awhile.

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

My interest in puzzle caches has declined over the years. One big factor for me has been the trend of requiring me to text the CO, thereby revealing my personal phone number, in order to be given the final coords.  I still enjoy a challenge once in a while, but my interest has declined. 

 

Hmm, I'd have thought any puzzle requiring you to contact the CO would be in breach of the guidelines.

 

Quote

The information needed to find the cache

  • Must be available to the general caching community.
  • Can require geocachers to do research on public websites.
  • Cannot require geocachers to email the cache owner for information needed to find the cache.

 

Well the Help Centre says email the cache owner but I'm sure texting them would fall into the same category. If I came across one like that I'd be logging an NA.

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6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Hmm, I'd have thought any puzzle requiring you to contact the CO would be in breach of the guidelines.

I think the word "requiring" is miss used here.

A personal need to contact the CO (or instead anyone who has solved the puzzle already) for getting a hint or two, doesn´t mean that there is no way to solve the puzzle without contacting the owner.

 

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3 hours ago, DerDiedler said:

I think the word "requiring" is miss used here.

A personal need to contact the CO (or instead anyone who has solved the puzzle already) for getting a hint or two, doesn´t mean that there is no way to solve the puzzle without contacting the owner.

 

 

That's not what was said.  Max stated a requirement, not a "need" or desire, to contact the owner for final coordinates, not for a hint or help.

 

5 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

One big factor for me has been the trend of requiring me to text the CO, thereby revealing my personal phone number, in order to be given the final coords.

 

As Jeff has stated, I'd be filing that NA as well.

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12 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

My interest in puzzle caches has declined over the years. One big factor for me has been the trend of requiring me to text the CO, thereby revealing my personal phone number, in order to be given the final coords.  I still enjoy a challenge once in a while, but my interest has declined. 

 

I've never seen this here - if it is happening, its a clear breach of guidelines....

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13 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

My interest in puzzle caches has declined over the years. One big factor for me has been the trend of requiring me to text the CO, thereby revealing my personal phone number, in order to be given the final coords.  I still enjoy a challenge once in a while, but my interest has declined. 

 

Curious, is there wording  on the cache page   that actually says that to solve this puzzle you'll need a sorta-smart phone ? 

My dumb phone doesn't text...

I still us a GPSr, and don't really have a desire for another sorta-smart phone at this time. 

 - It'd be easy to ignore if they did have that "requirement" on the cache page.    Easy for the Reviewer to act on also.  

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14 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

My interest in puzzle caches has declined over the years. One big factor for me has been the trend of requiring me to text the CO, thereby revealing my personal phone number, in order to be given the final coords.

 

Why don't you report them to HQ? Guidelines: "Cannot require geocachers to email the cache owner for information needed to find the cache. " I think this falls to all methods to communicate directly with the CO.

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On 11/8/2019 at 7:26 PM, MNTA said:

GS could help here by including a checker automatically. 

 

Not sure that's a great idea, at least not without improvements to the existing built-in checker.
 

For one thing, the coordinates derived from a puzzle on the page are not always the final coordinates. A bit of work in the field, at preliminary waypoints, can be required. The built-in checker didn't seem to cater for this last time I considered it.

 

Also, some puzzles are inherently ambiguous. eg. I know of a few where you need to determine which -- from a small group of possibilities -- is the likely GZ. It would be better for the uninterested to simply ignore such puzzles rather than effectively making them into mindless brute force exercises.


For a vast number of puzzles you definitely know when you've solved it. With the already high levels of coordinate-sharing and brute-force-ing the provision of a checker represents a 'risk' that puzzle-creators should decide for themselves whether to take. I generally provide one but the abuse (even by people seeking a shortcut on the very last step of a puzzle they obviously understand!) makes it clear why some might be hesitant to provide them.

 

 

Edited by BendSinister

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On 11/8/2019 at 10:26 AM, MNTA said:

Then add to the older puzzles no checker and the co may be inactive who knows if it is missing or you were wrong. GS could help here by including a checker automatically.

 

What is the problem being in a wrong place? It happens also with traditional caches when coordinates are wrong. You post DNF and proceed to the next cache if you can not find it.

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7 hours ago, arisoft said:

What is the problem being in a wrong place? It happens also with traditional caches when coordinates are wrong.

You post DNF and proceed to the next cache if you can not find it.

Yep.

Not sure when it became a hand-holding thing, but the hobby sure has changed.  :)  

I thought the whole idea of a "puzzle" was to head out and see if you're correct.   No longer any risk involved, what's the draw ?

Used to be you went to the coordinates you believe correct, and you either found it, or "back to the drawing board" to try again. 

This is sorta inline with the FTF side-game now too. 

 -  Some feel you should let everyone know you found it, so others don't "waste their time" attempting to be FTF.   

Sheesh...

 

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3 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

I thought the whole idea of a "puzzle" was to head out and see if you're correct.   No longer any risk involved, what's the draw ?

Used to be you went to the coordinates you believe correct, and you either found it, or "back to the drawing board" to try again. 

 

Went for a three trads with a bonus mystery final.  Could not find one.  That left me with the north coords only.  Spent several hours following that line.  And I found it!!

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3 hours ago, Harry Dolphin said:

 

Went for a three trads with a bonus mystery final.  Could not find one.  That left me with the north coords only.  Spent several hours following that line.  And I found it!!

 

A few times I've done something similar, with a partial solution reducing it to a line search so I was able to find it just by looking in likely hiding places along that line. Most memorable of those was on my 500th find, a T4 multi on Lord Howe Island where I'd totally messed up the access route to the first and second waypoints so, rather than spend half the day backtracking, I was able to see where the line my partial coordinates gave crossed a likely walking track and sure enough made the find.

 

On one of the multis in my Chasing Waterfalls series, there are four choices to make at each of three waypoints, so a total of 64 possible final locations. Someone didn't want to go clambering around on the waterfalls so she eliminated many of the possibilities that were over water, on people's houses or within 161 metres of other caches, then bush-bashed her way through lantana thickets and swamps to each of the others. She finally found it in a spot that's much more easily accessed - it became a standing joke between us at events after that as I'm sure it would've been much easier for her to have just visited the waterfalls.

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3 hours ago, Harry Dolphin said:

Went for a three trads with a bonus mystery final.  Could not find one.  That left me with the north coords only.  Spent several hours following that line.  And I found it!!

I once found a puzzle cache that had 6 separate puzzles for the 6 digits of the decimal part of the minutes. I had solved 5 of the 6. I just couldn't figure out the 6th, so I checked the 10 potential locations for plausibility. One looked likely, so I searched and found the cache. Then, armed with the digit I needed from the 6th puzzle, I was able to see the pattern and solve it.

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I've used the 'incomplete coordinates' tool a lot to work out puzzle solutions..... its very useful....

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On 11/7/2019 at 6:02 PM, dprovan said:

It wasn't your words. It was the fact that you left out the comment I was responding to and instead had me responding to something else that was making the opposite point.

 

I suck at using the quoting.. there was nothing nefarious about it.

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