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Word Puzzles?


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I've been geocaching almost my whole life, on and off, with family and only recently got my own account. I'm still pretty new to puzzle caches though, and there's one near me that's had me stumped for a while. I know that I can't ask for help with solving this specific cache, but does anyone have any tips for solving word puzzles? I've looked at how many times each word comes up, how many times each letter comes up, the first letter of each word, the last letter of each word, but nothing leads to anything that makes sense. What are your typical approaches to word puzzles?

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What kind of word puzzle is it? Are the words plain English? Do the sentences make sense, or is it some kind of cipher or encryption? There are lots of ways to perform cryptanalysis both manually and with automated tools online. One of the first things I do when I encounter encrypted text is to run it through the dcode cipher identifier, which performs a fairly accurate automatic cryptanalysis. Other tools include boxentriq and a github page simply titled Cipher Statistics. For a collection of common ciphers and codes, you might try the Geocaching Toolbox website. If the puzzle is some kind of riddle, I would first try searching to see if similar riddles exist elsewhere on the web. I have found lots of puzzle solutions, even to very difficult puzzles, with some careful Google searches.

Edited by TheLimeCat
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You can always ask the CO for help. As creator of several puzzle caches, I would want to know what you have already tried; then I am always willing to give a push in the right direction.  If the CO is unresponsive, you can ask a previous finder.

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17 hours ago, Marshmallow2233 said:

What are your typical approaches to word puzzles?

 

Mostly I will skip puzzles that I can not understand. Sometimes I may ask hint from the CO or someone else who may know. What kind of word puzzle it is? Is there more similar puzzles or just this one of its kind?

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59 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

There are also a few groups on facebook, search for "geocaching puzzle help" groups, they tend not to give out answers but will give nudges in the right direction, also following those groups will give you some general ideas...

Also reddit.  Good puzzle help groups give you nudges and won't spoil things.

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On 10/28/2023 at 2:55 AM, TheLimeCat said:

What kind of word puzzle is it? Are the words plain English? Do the sentences make sense, or is it some kind of cipher or encryption? There are lots of ways to perform cryptanalysis both manually and with automated tools online. One of the first things I do when I encounter encrypted text is to run it through the dcode cipher identifier, which performs a fairly accurate automatic cryptanalysis. Other tools include boxentriq and a github page simply titled Cipher Statistics. For a collection of common ciphers and codes, you might try the Geocaching Toolbox website. If the puzzle is some kind of riddle, I would first try searching to see if similar riddles exist elsewhere on the web. I have found lots of puzzle solutions, even to very difficult puzzles, with some careful Google searches.

 

The words are plain English, and are a summary of the general plot of the Legend of Zelda video game series. 

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6 hours ago, Marshmallow2233 said:

 

The words are plain English, and are a summary of the general plot of the Legend of Zelda video game series. 

Is there a hint? The hint or title or images in the gallery may help. Sometimes additional hints are hidden as white text or in the page's source code. They can be revealed by highlighting the page or using the f12 key respectively. Otherwise, I would try to pick out commonalities in the text. For instance, are many specific characters or items mentioned by name? Is the summary divided into sections such that each section could be attributed to a particular game? If the solution is a set of coordinates (as opposed to a keyword), then the CO is limited by the fact that the solution must be a set of numbers. Usually it helps to think about how numbers could be related to the games. Oftentimes, simple puzzles about pokemon will be based on numbers in the pokedex, or a minecraft puzzle might be based on block IDs, etc.

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On 10/27/2023 at 10:07 PM, Marshmallow2233 said:

What are your typical approaches to word puzzles?

I'm not sure I have any "typical approaches" to word puzzles. I've found word puzzles where:

  • all the text was a red herring; the actual puzzle was elsewhere.
  • the words themselves were a red herring; the actual puzzle was in the punctuation.
  • the meaning of the words was a red herring; the actual puzzle was in the capitalization.
  • the puzzle was to remove the spaces and punctuation and search for strings ("three", "seven", etc.).
  • the puzzle was to find typos in the text and to convert the typos into coordinates.
  • the puzzle was to read the cache owners mind (aka, "moon logic" puzzles).
  • and many others.

What is the difficulty rating of this word puzzle? If the puzzle has a high difficulty rating, then maybe you should try starting your puzzle cache career with easier puzzles. Even if it doesn't have a high difficulty rating, maybe you should put it aside for now and work on others. I've come back weeks/months later to puzzles that made no sense when I first saw them, and noticed key details that I hadn't noticed at first.

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