Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Solving Puzzle Geocaches

Unknown geocache, mystery geocache and puzzle geocache. To me they're all the same and for this post, I'll refer to them as puzzle caches. When I first started geocaching, I had no idea how to even begin solving a puzzle cache. Many geocacher's technique for dealing with these caches is to simply ignore the little blue question mark icon on their maps. While I was browsing the Geocaching.com forums, I came across a link to a series of caches called Puzzle Solving 101.

This is a series of 10 geocaches put together by ePeterso2 (EP) out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The caches each deal with a different aspect of solving puzzle caches. The categories are; strategy, tactics, trivia, wordplay, mathematics, logic, cryptography, steganography and lateral thinking. The 10th cache is the final exam. In the final exam, you must use all of your newfound skills and prove that you solved all 9 of the prior caches in the series. At the final, a diploma is waiting for you.

Each cache description page talks about the specific skill being taught. EP gives links to on-line tools to help with each type of puzzle and then provides an actual puzzle to be solved. There is a geochecker link so that you can verify that you got the right answer.

This series has become somewhat popular and EP recognized that people had begun remote solving. In other words, geocachers were solving the puzzles but were not in Florida and could not physically find the geocaches. EP was cool enough to create a virtual travel bug so that remote solvers, like me, could record their accomplishment.

Puzzle solving 101 has been great fun for me. It has helped demystify the world of puzzle caches. I have solved all of the puzzles with the exception of Lesson 5: Mathematics and the Final Exam. I actually had to ask for a hint on Lesson 5, dang math! My favorite puzzles were Lesson 7 Cryptography and Lesson 9 Lateral Thinking. All of the puzzles were enjoyable and I am glad I took the time to figure them out. A big Thanks goes out to ePeterso2 for putting this one together.

I've added a link on my sidebar to the bookmark list of these caches.


Scott Booker said...

Yea...I am thinking that I will probably keep passing those caches by!! LOL

But I may check it out! Thanks for blogging about it.

Norm said...

Very nice post. I'm happy that you like these kind of puzzles. The Mrs says that I should do more puzzles to keep my mind young. But my whole life is a puzzle. Once I get that figured out, I'll start on geocaching puzzles.

P.J. said...

For now, I skip these. I've looked a few over just to see what it's all about. I'll eventually get into them, but for now, I'm still learning the geocaching world and want to make sure I have the basics done first!

HooHaa Blog.

Tinman105 said...

If I need a puzzle solved I just click on the "Contact Hick@Heart" button

Webfoot said...

Great resource. Thanks. I'm working on creating a new puzzle cache for my area, so I'll have to look at this more in depth later next week when I'm laid up from surgery.

I know you're in my neck of the woods, so if you ever come a little bit north, you might want to try my Cobol Canyon Trail puzzle cache.

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