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Solving Puzzle Caches?
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navyretiredgal
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Apr 2011

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:10 pm    Post subject: Solving Puzzle Caches? Reply with quote

I'm new to the Twin Cities and geocaching. Have found about 40 so far. Have just realized the puzzle caches, especially the many in Puzzle Valley since I live near there. I've seen the term puzzle event and someone had a puzzle packet which helps them solve puzzle caches. I have solved a couple easier ones, but am having difficulty with ones that are only pictures or numbers. Not sure how to even start these. Can anyone give me advice or hints at how to start to solve these types of puzzles. Is there a puzzle packet to assist with some of them? Would appreciate the assistance.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4039

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Solving Puzzle Caches? Reply with quote

navyretiredgal wrote:
I'm new to the Twin Cities and geocaching. Have found about 40 so far. Have just realized the puzzle caches, especially the many in Puzzle Valley since I live near there. I've seen the term puzzle event and someone had a puzzle packet which helps them solve puzzle caches. I have solved a couple easier ones, but am having difficulty with ones that are only pictures or numbers. Not sure how to even start these. Can anyone give me advice or hints at how to start to solve these types of puzzles. Is there a puzzle packet to assist with some of them? Would appreciate the assistance.


I do not know what the proper protocol is for handing out the puzzle solution packet unless you attended the event. I would PM fsu-noles, the sponsor of that puzzle event, to find out.
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minnesotabrad
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 03 Mar 2007

Posts: 1267

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you will find that as long as the cache has already been found if you contact the cache owner for some hints on how to solve you will probably get some help from them.
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msteffel
Geocacher


Joined: 15 Jun 2007

Posts: 415

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It helps to start with easier/more straight forward puzzles and move on toward the harder ones. Sharknosed Bunnies & Sparkyfry have put together Puzzle Academy: Freshman Year Challenge which has a list (I'm sure they'll speak up if I'm classifying those puzzles wrong)

As for the "Puzzle Packet" (if it was like the original "Puzzle Joe" event (I was out of town, so I don't know)) it was a packet of hints and solutions for a bunch of puzzles that were handed out at an event that FSU*Noles hosted. If you go to the event page you'll see which puzzle were included.

But if you are just looking how to solve puzzles in general, this might help (below is a snippit from my profile):

How to solve puzzles
I could attempt to explain how I attempt to do it but others have already done a much better job (and more complete) than I could... check out:

This aptly named cache "How Do I Solve All These $@! Puzzle Caches?" which tells you how to solve it, reveals some 'secrets' and gives you a very good base for solving puzzles
This "Puzzle Solving 101" series in Florida
This check list of things to check (which I blatantly stole from pfalstad's profile page)
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WestSideDaddy
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2010

Posts: 561

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking about having a smaller event (like a Cup of Joe size) as a puzzle seminar... maybe call it a study session for the puzzle academy freshman year.
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Valsey
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Joined: 04 Feb 2010

Posts: 50

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestSideDaddy wrote:
I was thinking about having a smaller event (like a Cup of Joe size) as a puzzle seminar... maybe call it a study session for the puzzle academy freshman year.


I like that idea and am interested Smile
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KRedEP
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Aug 2007

Posts: 784

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

minnesotabrad wrote:
I think you will find that as long as the cache has already been found if you contact the cache owner for some hints on how to solve you will probably get some help from them.

You're welcome to contact me for help or hints on any of my puzzles. People do that all the time. You might even contact me to get help pointed in the right direction on other puzzles I've solved.

As the others have, I would suggest sticking with the lower difficulty puzzles at first. Once you get to know a puzzle owner's style, then you might be more comfortable advancing to their more difficult puzzles. Reading cache logs might also give you a feel for how difficult the puzzle is. If veteran puzzle solvers had a difficult time with the puzzle, it could be very frustrating for someone new to puzzles.

Also, puzzlers have been known to mentor new puzzlers. So once you find a friend or two who has some experience, they can be a wealth of information and point you in the right direction on other puzzles. But fair warning, it is common to spend hours and hours on some puzzles. You might try many different strategies from all different angles and keep hitting dead ends, only to finally find the simple solution.

Like Steffel said, the puzzle packets were meant as a special prize for those who attended.
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bflentje
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Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4039

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WestSideDaddy wrote:
I was thinking about having a smaller event (like a Cup of Joe size) as a puzzle seminar... maybe call it a study session for the puzzle academy freshman year.


How do you think that you'll control the size of attendees?
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spinowner
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 585

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you can do what I do. There are a ton of traditionals and multis that I haven't found so I just disregard puzzles.
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loneeagle_24
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Joined: 17 Jun 2003

Posts: 874

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spinowner wrote:
Or you can do what I do. There are a ton of traditionals and multis that I haven't found so I just disregard puzzles.


Yep! That sounds like what I do most of the time as well. Although if it's close to home it would be nice to get them solved. Hopefully someone at the event this weekend in Willmar can help me with the one I am stuck on in willmar having to do with the boy scouts.
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sparkyfry
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Joined: 03 Jun 2008

Posts: 349

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

msteffel wrote:
It helps to start with easier/more straight forward puzzles and move on toward the harder ones. Sharknosed Bunnies & Sparkyfry have put together Puzzle Academy: Freshman Year Challenge which has a list (I'm sure they'll speak up if I'm classifying those puzzles wrong)


Thanks for the plug, Mark! We did intend that series (especially the Freshman Year level) to be an entry for cachers into the world of puzzles. Here's the bookmark list of easier puzzles, if it's helpful:
http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=4e691542-283c-4f45-ba57-0949d801ead1
There are some hints in the descriptions of the puzzles in the bookmark list, which were included with the owners' permission.
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sparkyfry
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Jun 2008

Posts: 349

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparkyfry wrote:
msteffel wrote:
It helps to start with easier/more straight forward puzzles and move on toward the harder ones. Sharknosed Bunnies & Sparkyfry have put together Puzzle Academy: Freshman Year Challenge which has a list (I'm sure they'll speak up if I'm classifying those puzzles wrong)


Thanks for the plug, Mark! We did intend that series (especially the Freshman Year level) to be an entry for cachers into the world of puzzles. Here's the bookmark list of easier puzzles, if it's helpful:
http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=4e691542-283c-4f45-ba57-0949d801ead1
There are some hints in the descriptions of the puzzles in the bookmark list, which were included with the owners' permission.


Oh yeah, and feel free to contact me if you'd like hints on any of my puzzles, since I own over 30 of them in Puzzle Valley. Smile
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WestSideDaddy
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2010

Posts: 561

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
WestSideDaddy wrote:
I was thinking about having a smaller event (like a Cup of Joe size) as a puzzle seminar... maybe call it a study session for the puzzle academy freshman year.


How do you think that you'll control the size of attendees?


Not promise a packet of all the finals Wink
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navyretiredgal
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Apr 2011

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all your suggestions. links and comments. I love geocaching both traditionals and multis, but also nice to use the brain to solve some puzzles. I definately would attend events if the more experienced puzzle solvers hosted an event.
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WestSideDaddy
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2010

Posts: 561

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

navyretiredgal wrote:
Thank you for all your suggestions. links and comments. I love geocaching both traditionals and multis, but also nice to use the brain to solve some puzzles. I definately would attend events if the more experienced puzzle solvers hosted an event.


Well, that leaves me out as a host then Razz
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