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Mysterious, Puzzling Caches


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Guest Agent Splat

I was sitting around doing nothing, as usual, since I can't cache during the schoolweek and there's too much snow anyway. At any rate, I got to thinking about how I want to hide a cache, which I've been struggling with coming up with something interesting. Then I thought maybe I could incorporate some "non-GPS" puzzles into it, or some kind of puzzles that lead to deriving the correct coords....Kind of a Myst/Riven meets Geocaching type thing (minus the freaky transporting books and abandoned caverns...although that would be cool). Does anybody know of any neat caches that sound similar to what I'm talking about, or have any ideas for puzzles I could use? I would appreciate some great ideas, and Thanks!

 

--Marc

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Guest DisQuoi

I recently created this cache which involves solving a riddle type clue to locate the caches. It takes much more effort to create but can be more fun for that reason.

 

I've learned that there are different classes of geocachers ... some that prefer not to do any extra work apart from walking to the final coordinates. Just make sure the problem is solvable before posting it.

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quote:
Originally posted by Ridgerunner4:

write each digit of the coordinates for a second cache on a rubik's cube, then scramble it up.


That's exactly why I became so good at taking cubes apart.

 

The cache idea is a multi cache and there are a thousand variations. Go for it. I always appreciate the caches I've worked harder for more. If it's hard enough even a McToy would look good.

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quote:
Originally posted by Ridgerunner4:

write each digit of the coordinates for a second cache on a rubik's cube, then scramble it up.


 

But be sure you write the digits in different orientations on each cube. That is, if you just write

 

4 1 .

1 5 4

4 1 7

 

or something like that - all with the same orientation on the individual cubes on one face - it's easy to figure out which digits go where without actually solving the cube just by noting the orientation of the digits with respect to the corner or edge. You know the 4 on the edge cube goes where it is because the edge is to its right.

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quote:
Originally posted by Ridgerunner4:

write each digit of the coordinates for a second cache on a rubik's cube, then scramble it up.


 

I did one in NJ that requires solving a rubiks cube as part of the cache. I thought it was pretty original, but I see other folks are now talking about it. I wont go into details about how I incorporated it, if you are in the area, check out Team_Epitome's latest

 

I want to do an all math puzzle, but it seems kinda exclusive...not sure if that idea will ever get off the ground.

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If you are really *adventurous* and have some time to kill, you could make a geocaching adventure game.

 

Do you remember those old text adventure games?? This includes almost all games made by Infocom: Zork series (not including the last 3), Starcross, Suspended, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Leather Godess of Phobos, etc....

 

If you are so inclined, the game can be created using the "Inform" compiler ( http://www.gnelson.demon.co.uk/inform.html ) and the game can be played on Mac, Windows, Linux, Palm Pilot, etc. This would cost you nothing but download time and your own personal time. Once the puzzle is solved, the final coordinates could be spit out. You could even make an adventure version of Jeopardy, if you wanted.

 

Just a thought....

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quote:
Originally posted by macro:

I want to do an all math puzzle, but it seems kinda exclusive...not sure if that idea will ever get off the ground.


 

More exclusive than a cache that requires rock climbing skills, SCUBA equipment, or a boat? I don't think you have anything to worry about. I know I'd hunt it (if I were anywhere near the east coast.)

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

(re: Rubic's Cube): But be sure you write the digits in different orientations on each cube.


 

Even that's not enough. Look to see which center face has a digit on it -- that's the face with coordinates (say it's the red face). Now you know what the fifth character is.

 

Look for the decimal point and say, as in your example, it's on a corner piece. The decimal point will be on a red face, and there will be two other colors on the other two faces of the corner. Now you know what the third character is.

 

The decimal point will be in the upper right corner of an assembled face. Orient the cube so that you're looking at the decimal point and it's in the upper right corner. The color of the point cube's top face is going to be the color of the top of an solved cube -- say it's yellow. That means that the edge piece that is red/yellow is the second digit. Likewise, the color of the point cube's right face is going to be the color of the assembled right face (say blue), so to figure out the sixth digit, look for the blue/red edge piece.

 

Then, from the fixed center pieces, you can figure out the orientation of a solved cube.

 

Maybe we've just spoiled a possible cool puzzle -- solve the hint without solving Rubic's Cube.

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Okay, as long as we're all trying out puzzle ideas here, how about this one:

 

861425242

554371228<--- start here

423223125

714733312

743444178

375116653

452343354

114275449

271416130

 

The rules are:

Starting at the indicated location (the '8') find your way to the bottom right corner (the '0'). You may only move horizontally or vertically, and you must move exactly the number of squares indicated by the number in the square you're on (e.g. if you're on a square containing a '2', you must move exactly 2 squares horizontally or vertically.) Important late clarification to the rules: you may not change directions in the middle of a move. If you find yourself at a square you've been to before, you took a wrong turn. If you find a square from which you can't get anywhere (the '9', for example) you took a wrong turn.

 

When you find the path to the '0', write down the digits in the order you visit them while following that path. Put a decimal point in the appropriate place. That's the longitude of my house (not a cache, because that way we can discuss it without spoiling anything.)

 

Please, please, please, if you find some solution besides an 8-digit number representing a longitude that passes through my hometown, let me know. I think I've made those impossible, but I really want to know if I haven't.

 

If one of these protected, say, the latitude of a cache, what would its difficulty rating be? How about if two of them protected both coordinates?

 

[This message was edited by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy on April 10, 2002 at 10:56 AM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by blscearce:

The decimal point will be in the upper right corner of an assembled face.


 

I'm pretty sure it's still solvable even without the decimal point, to be honest. The only way it wouldn't be is if there were some ambiguity about what coordinate it represents, in which case it isn't solvable even if you do the cube.

 

Consider this: someone writes

 

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

 

on a red cube face. Pick a corner, and it's obviously easy to figure out which edges go next to it. With those edges, you can deduce all three corners (the one that doesn't match either edge is opposite the first corner you picked.) With that information, you can get the other two edges. Now you know that the cube is one of these four choices:

 

1 2 3 | 7 4 1 | 9 8 7 | 3 6 9

4 5 6 | 8 5 2 | 6 5 4 | 2 5 8

7 8 9 | 9 6 3 | 3 2 1 | 1 4 7

 

Only one of those should look anything like your actual latitude. All you have to do is figure out which one. Even if you absolutely can't figure out which one, and you have two such cubes to solve, you still only have 16 locations to search, and many of those will be self-evidently wrong.

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

Okay, as long as we're all trying out puzzle ideas here, how about this one:

 

861425242

554371228<--- start here

423223125

714733312

743444178

375116653

452343354

114275449

271416130


 

I can do it with only going to two different numbers (not counting the starting 8 or the ending 0). I'm sure I can find out many more routes to the goal as well. I don't know how well that would work out. (edit: I've now found at least 4 different ways to it)

 

buneatg.gifI am the Rabbit King, I can do anything

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quote:
Originally posted by White Rabbit:

 

861425242

554371228<--- start here

423223125

714733312

743444178

375116653

452343354

114275449

271416130

 

I can do it with only going to two different numbers (not counting the starting 8 or the ending 0). I'm sure I can find out many more routes to the goal as well. I don't know how well that would work out.


 

I apparently left a hole in the rules: you can't change directions in the middle of a move.

 

Starting with the 8, you have to go to the 5 at the left end of that row (there's nothing else exactly 8 squares away.) From there, you either end up on a 4 in the seventh row or a 1 in the row you started in. That's all I'm gonna share for now, because the tree quickly gets a lot wider.

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One idea I had considered was creating a multi-cache where I'd have 6 spots with film canisters, each containing coordinates to the next stop. At the 2nd to last stop, the coordinates would have the following instructions:

 

Final Cache: N 42° 20.3_3 W 071° 29.5_3

 

To fill in the blanks, connect the dots of each previous cache location, in order (i.e., cache location 1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc.). That will draw the number of the missing digit.

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quote:
Originally posted by Kodak's4:

ok, using L for left, R for right, D for down, U for up, I get

LRLDLRULULDRLLRRULLDRULDRLR

 

which gives the digit sequence

8517143551653344452244582170

 

am I doing it right?


 

Yes, you're doing it right. And you're right, that does appear to be a "bonus" solution. Too bad I threw out my notes; I'd try to fix it. I think I at least know how I screwed it up.

 

I also think that before I go using this puzzle I'd better write a program to check them for blunders like this. Can I assume that's what you did, or do you just have way too much time on your hands? icon_smile.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Kodak's4:

ok, using L for left, R for right, D for down, U for up, I get

LRLDLRULULDRLLRRULLDRULDRLR

 

which gives the digit sequence

8517143551653344452244582170

 

am I doing it right?


 

Yes, you're doing it right. And you're right, that does appear to be a "bonus" solution. Too bad I threw out my notes; I'd try to fix it. I think I at least know how I screwed it up.

 

I also think that before I go using this puzzle I'd better write a program to check them for blunders like this. Can I assume that's what you did, or do you just have way too much time on your hands? icon_smile.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by White Rabbit:

Ahhhh.....you DID leave that part out. That would've confused a ton of people. You should also point out the fact that people shouldn't "wrap-around" when they reach the end of a line. Having the correct rules makes this a much better idea icon_wink.gif


 

See, I'd never even consider doing either of those things. I guess I don't think "outside the box" enough. For what it's worth, by the way, I can use your method to get from 8 to 0 with only one intermediate step (the 3 at the right end of the sixth row; there are lots of ways to get there in 8.)

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quote:
Originally posted by White Rabbit:

Ahhhh.....you DID leave that part out. That would've confused a ton of people. You should also point out the fact that people shouldn't "wrap-around" when they reach the end of a line. Having the correct rules makes this a much better idea icon_wink.gif


 

See, I'd never even consider doing either of those things. I guess I don't think "outside the box" enough. For what it's worth, by the way, I can use your method to get from 8 to 0 with only one intermediate step (the 3 at the right end of the sixth row; there are lots of ways to get there in 8.)

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

Yes, you're doing it right. And you're right, that does appear to be a "bonus" solution. Too bad I threw out my notes; I'd try to fix it. I think I at least know how I screwed it up.

 

I also think that before I go using this puzzle I'd better write a program to check them for blunders like this. Can I assume that's what you did, or do you just have way too much time on your hands? icon_smile.gif


 

Oh, come now. That's like asking the magician how the trick is done. I didn't ask you how you created the puzzle - why must you ask me how I solved it?

 

But I have more solutions. If you like, I'll email them to you, and you can fix them all except the one you want to be *the* solution.

 

That's the problem with puzzle caches. You have to do quite a bit of work to make sure that

you've created the puzzle correctly.

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

Yes, you're doing it right. And you're right, that does appear to be a "bonus" solution. Too bad I threw out my notes; I'd try to fix it. I think I at least know how I screwed it up.

 

I also think that before I go using this puzzle I'd better write a program to check them for blunders like this. Can I assume that's what you did, or do you just have way too much time on your hands? icon_smile.gif


 

Oh, come now. That's like asking the magician how the trick is done. I didn't ask you how you created the puzzle - why must you ask me how I solved it?

 

But I have more solutions. If you like, I'll email them to you, and you can fix them all except the one you want to be *the* solution.

 

That's the problem with puzzle caches. You have to do quite a bit of work to make sure that

you've created the puzzle correctly.

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quote:
Originally posted by Kodak's4:

But I have more solutions. If you like, I'll email them to you, and you can fix them all except the one you want to be *the* solution.

 

That's the problem with puzzle caches. You have to do quite a bit of work to make sure that

_you've created_ the puzzle correctly.


 

That's okay; I've since written a program of my own to check them. And yes, there are lots of other solutions (2871, if my eyes don't deceive me.) I'm not sure if there's a common point of failure at this point or not. At any rate, I have an algorithm that should have worked to generate these buggers, but since I executed that algorithm by hand, mistakes were made.

 

Interestingly, the one you posted was one of the ones that began and ended with all the right digits. Many of them jumped the track early and actually skipped some digits on the way to the goal.

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

I'm not sure if there's a common point of failure at this point or not.


 

Not a common point of failure, but two bad values:

 

[8,6,1,4,2,5,2,4,2],

[5,5,4,3,7,1,2,2,8],<---- start here

[4,2,3,2,2,3,1,2,5],

[7,1,4,7,3,3,3,1,2],

[7,3,3,4,4,4,1,7,8],

[3,7,5,1,1,6,6,5,3],

[4,5,2,3,4,3,3,5,4],

[1,3,4,2,7,5,4,4,9],

[2,7,1,4,1,6,1,3,0]

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quote:
Originally posted by bigcall:

Can't you just cut the 7143551653344452244 from the middle?


 

Yes, in this case. But there are other - and shorter - bogus solutions that you can't do that with. In fact, the only things all of the bogus solutions have in common are the first two digits and the last two (including the 0) digits. Ideally, there'd only be one way through the maze. Having loops that aren't also dead-ends is bad.

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

Not a common point of failure, but two bad values:

 

[8,6,1,4,2,5,2,4,2],

[5,5,4,3,7,1,2,2,8],<---- start here

[4,2,3,2,2,3,1,2,5],

[7,1,4,7,3,3,3,1,2],

[7,3,3,4,4,4,1,7,8],

[3,7,5,1,1,6,6,5,3],

[4,5,2,3,4,3,3,5,4],

[1,3,4,2,7,5,4,4,9],

[2,7,1,4,1,6,1,3,0]


 

Only one solution. I won't post it here since it seems you might want to use it for a cache?

 

It's an interesting sort of puzzle. I think you should use it!

 

-Paul

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quote:
Originally posted by Kodak's4:

Only one solution. I won't post it here since it seems you might want to use it for a cache?

 

It's an interesting sort of puzzle. I think you should use it!


 

Nope, like I said, that longitude is the longitude of my home waypoint rather than a cache, simply because it wouldn't give anything away if revealed. Well, that and because I don't have any caches hidden yet... Besides, it's already basically been revealed in this thread.

 

And, credit where it's due: I originally found the concept at http://www.logicmazes.com/ (where you can find lots of cool maze ideas that could be adapted to Myst-like puzzles.)

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All right, I sat down and reworked this thing entirely just to see if I could do it right the first time. This maze contains both the latitude and the longitude of my home waypoint. Follow the same rules as before, and good luck.

 

[8,1,7,1,2,5,2,3,2]

[5,8,8,1,2,1,4,3,8]

[4,3,4,2,1,5,3,2,2]

[1,1,7,1,5,6,1,1,3]

[7,5,4,4,2,4,4,7,5]

[3,4,6,2,3,2,3,4,3]

[4,1,3,3,5,2,6,1,2]

[4,1,4,1,1,2,1,2,1]

[2,7,1,6,5,3,3,1,0]

 

Start at the bold 8 for longitude, and at the bold 4 for latitude.

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I'm not a rubiks guru but would it be possible to ensure that the squares of the same color stayed in the same order (after all its hard enough to solve without worying about wich square goes where) I hope that made more sense to you than it did to me. :huh:

You might want to check the dates before posting. You're replying to messages that are 2 years old.

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