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Unequivocally Puzzle Valley
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Paklid
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Joined: 09 May 2004

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Unequivocally Puzzle Valley Reply with quote

For those of you who kind of like puzzle caches and aren't aware of this one, check out Unequivocally Puzzle Valley

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=28f3c495-b124-4fc7-88d5-e39939302dd9

As of today, there are 29 people watching this cache. More than 2500 guesses have been made on a coordinate checker. It's quite a perplexing puzzle.

Part of the reason there are so many guesses is that the search area is limited to one degree of latitude by one degree of longitude. Still, that's one million possible coordinates, but there is a bunch of pavement and personal property in among that, so people seem to be just picking along a given latitude or longitude and hoping for the best.

There are a couple new puzzles in the area - I haven't tried solving them, so I don't know if the final coords for them are in the solution zone for this puzzle, but I believe they are. If they indeed are, then these new ones *could* be used to narrow the search zone for this long unsolved puzzle.

Maybe we could share thoughts on the puzzle in this forum and maybe find the actual solution the way it was intended vs. the suspected undertaking of gobbling up 528 foot radius circles at a time and then brute force searching the area left over.


Along those lines....

The title has to be significant. Unequivocal means "plain" or "clear". The puzzle is not "plain" or "clear", so the word must be employed in a different sense... maybe un equal ?? an inequality?

The word "pizza" has to be significant. It seems too central to the story not to be.

There is no lottery game named "lucky sevens". I think there's one named "sizzlin' sevens". I think the top prize for that is not $7777, I seem to remember it being $77777. Similarities abound, but it's not absolute agreement between puzzle text and actual lottery game. Buying a scratch off ticket costs $5.

Why mention coupon and needing to head over to a competitor's if it wasn't important.

Did you notice that there are a bunch of words with double letters??
This is my most recent avenue of interest. words between double letter words? double words between back to back double letter words?
Puzzle
Valley
All
Pizza
Pulled
Stopped
Lottery
Well
All
etc.

There seem to be some words that make you think of numbers: one, seven, to, loser = zero?

The words "divide" and "times" make you think of arithmetic operations.

ice freezes/melts at 32 degrees (why mention slipping on it if it's not significant)

the word "onto" was split into the words "on to" which makes me think he might have meant "to hard times" means the multiplication 2 times ....

$4.04 404 2x404 = 808 2x4+4 = 804

pizza again... it's round,, zero maybe??


I'm hoping this sparks a thought for someone and the puzzle gets solved the way intended - though with more collaboration than expected, rather than yield to the elimination of real estate approach.

Oh, if anyone saw an avenue of thought for the puzzle that I didn't express, please tell me as I've got a copy of the darn thing in my pocket and I look at it when I'm waiting for a car wash or car pool buddy.
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msteffel
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't spent as much time as I would have liked on this puzzle, but was thinking about starting a google wave if people were interested (but didn't know what others though about 'group solves' etc)... but I'll chip in with a few things that I remember coming across [my notes on it are at home]... (most are probably grasping at straws/coincidence)

Phone number for Pizza Man (1st result if you search for "pizza Golden Valley, MN" in google maps) ends in 59905‎, but I couldn't find a gas station or pizza place with a phone or address that ends with 22??? (but maybe I missed something).

"On the way" is mentioned 3 times... there is a cache in Minnesota called "On the way" GC1QY6M, I found a few other cache names in text but none, including "On the way" seemed to pan out.

$7777/$4.04 = 1925... when I went to type in 1925 golden valley it filled in 1925 gold standard act (probably nothing)
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Paklid
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

msteffel wrote:
didn't know what others though about 'group solves' etc)... but I'll chip in


Yeah, I haven't seen puzzles addressed in an open forum before - probably because it's not the best idea. On the other hand, there have been a few times when I've been stumped that I've asked coworkers or family or other cachers what approaches to the puzzle they think might work, and it didn't feel like cheating. To me, eliminating geography with new cache placements is at least an order of magnitude further along the "not the best idea" continum. It's an approach that is effective by ignoring the puzzle altogether.

msteffel wrote:
"On the way" is mentioned 3 times... there is a cache in Minnesota called "On the way" GC1QY6M, I found a few other cache names in text but none, including "On the way" seemed to pan out.

I noticed that too. There are a bunch of prepositional phrases in the narrative. I don't know what to do with them.

I work nearby and visited the Godfathers parking lot. I think there's a Davani's nearby. Further up the way is a Domino's and a Cici's. No gas station near the Godfathers and Davanis, but the Dominos and Cicis have a gas station and a convenience store nearby. The convenience store has a large "sizzlin sevens" poster in the window. I should have looked at the store address, but my understanding is the solution comes from the narrative on the web page - not clues in a physical location.
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msteffel
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should wait till I get home to check my notes, but just remember these two... I real thought I was on to something for a minute with this first one lol

"big payoff of $7777 and how would I divide it up"

Factors of $7777 are 101, 7 & 11. Seven-11 is the biggest convenience store in the country (there just isn't any in our area) and this thing talks about gas, pizza & lottery tickets. Sadly, Seven-11 store #101 wasn't at the crossroads of highway North 123 & West 456 or have a phone number or address that seemed to work (maybe it's been moved since the cache was published Wink.

The posted coordinates are: N 45 00.174 W 093 22.634

If your putting up fake coords, why not choose coords that end in 5 or 0? Sure it looks like it's in the middle of the lake/pond, but it still seems odd. So I thought maybe the posted coords might be significant somehow. 174+634=808 (101*2*2*2) 101 seems to come up a lot, but by now I'm probably WAY off in deep end. lol
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msteffel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats to K0TLG, Sparkyfry, Sharknosebunnies, spstanley and seeitdifferent on solving one tough nut!
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Moe the Sleaze
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GC21J4R is still waiting for a FTF.
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pfalstad
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moe the Sleaze wrote:
GC21J4R is still waiting for a FTF.

Yikes, just an encryption puzzle is hard enough without knowing the encryption method, but this is multi-layer? I'm not sure if I'll even know that I got the first layer right until I peel off the whole thing. Scary stuff.. My plan is to wait for someone who owes me a favor to find it.. Wink
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sparkyfry
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

msteffel wrote:
Congrats to K0TLG, Sparkyfry, Sharknosebunnies, spstanley and seeitdifferent on solving one tough nut!


Thanks! K0TLG is really the one who deserves the credit, though.
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timewellspent
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparkyfry wrote:
msteffel wrote:
Congrats to K0TLG, Sparkyfry, Sharknosebunnies, spstanley and seeitdifferent on solving one tough nut!


Thanks! K0TLG is really the one who deserves the credit, though.


Why? Cause he was the first to get one of his hides rejected? Laughing
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seeingitdifferent
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: UPV Reply with quote

Actually he does deserve credit because he solved it the correct way. I do find some comedy that a lot of Geocachers spent a lot of time Brute forcing puzzle caches and signing logs that they had no idea which ones they were. Some that were never even published... I do believe there were 5 puzzles in the "Zone" before more of them were published. No Dig intended. I am fairly new to this but it does seem a little awkward to see an open forum working on a puzzle. I have been around enough to see many cachers logs openly admitting to never solving the puzzle and gladly signing the log in caching groups. I admire the BS 39 group of cachers. They may be non puzzle people and puzzle people alike that have adapted the game so they still have fun at what they are doing. Kudos to you! I have found out that there is very careful planning and thought that must be done to solve or locate a log to sign. As Gilby has said it is not as easy as it seems. I am not sure if this sentiment will be well received or not? It is meant in the most respectful way. I personally try to put puzzles in an area that is sensitive to traffic or on "Scrub Real Estate" I.E. Signs Etc. I agree with Sparkyfry that almost all of the real estate used in the zone was Scrub Real Estate. I know I spent at least an hour a day for the last 33 days working on the UPV puzzle and in the end a new cacher with 106 finds and a amazing vision solved it. Yes at 5:36 A.M. Way to Go K0TLG! This has been the most memorable cache to my career...

Last edited by seeingitdifferent on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:15 am; edited 3 times in total
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pfalstad
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timewellspent wrote:
sparkyfry wrote:
Thanks! K0TLG is really the one who deserves the credit, though.

Why? Cause he was the first to get one of his hides rejected? Laughing

No, his next hide was going to be elsewhere (I know cause I found it while driving by Smile ). I believe he really solved it. They would've probably told the truth or made up a better story otherwise.

There's only one way to be sure though; he has to describe the puzzle solution to someone who found it brute force. I volunteer. Smile
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TheGilby4
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:

There's only one way to be sure though; he has to describe the puzzle solution to someone who found it brute force. I volunteer. Smile


Or.... Bobcam could set up version 2.0 and not limit it to such a small area, and then see if it gets solved right away. However, if the area needed is the same size, just don't pick an area that's cache rich as this past one.
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sparkyfry
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheGilby4 wrote:
Or.... Bobcam could set up version 2.0 and not limit it to such a small area, and then see if it gets solved right away. However, if the area needed is the same size, just don't pick an area that's cache rich as this past one.


But then we wouldn't have had nearly as much fun! Very Happy Also, the "Unequivocally Puzzle Valley Zone" (or "UPV Zone" for short) probably encompasses only 20% of the city's area. Even still, there are a couple areas within the zone that could still hold a cache. Most of the new puzzle hides are not taking up primo cache locations anyway; they're just blinkies on signposts. That's been my recent on M.O. on puzzle hides, with a couple exceptions. I figure puzzles won't get found as often as traditionals, so there's no sense taking up all the good spots. Plus it's harder to brute force that way, as we recently discovered. Although I suppose when so many puzzles end up in such a small area, the pendulum swings back in favor of the BS39 team. Very Happy
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spinowner
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparkyfry wrote:
...so many puzzles end up in such a small area...


Just to see what would happen I arbitrarily chose a cache in Golden Valley, GC1R960, and listed all nearby caches. Within a 2 mile radius were 54 puzzles. 54! Now, I accept that Geocaching participants are entitled to shape the sport as they see fit, with only a few mildly restrictive guidelines put in place by Groundspeak. And I also realize that this area is a small anomaly when considering the big picture. But what purpose is served by having this many puzzles in such a concentrated area? Golden Valley has effectively become a red light district, and the Golden Valley Challenge cache may as well be archived, as it has become completely inaccessible to all but an extremely small minority of cachers.
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timewellspent
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spinowner wrote:
sparkyfry wrote:
...so many puzzles end up in such a small area...


Just to see what would happen I arbitrarily chose a cache in Golden Valley, GC1R960, and listed all nearby caches. Within a 2 mile radius were 54 puzzles. 54! Now, I accept that Geocaching participants are entitled to shape the sport as they see fit, with only a few mildly restrictive guidelines put in place by Groundspeak. And I also realize that this area is a small anomaly when considering the big picture. But what purpose is served by having this many puzzles in such a concentrated area? Golden Valley has effectively become a red light district, and the Golden Valley Challenge cache may as well be archived, as it has become completely inaccessible to all but an extremely small minority of cachers.


You have a point. I think Golden Valley should lose the title of Puzzle Valley and that all the puzzles should be moved to Plymouth and let Puzzlemouth Rule! Laughing Wink
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