Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Tag: Puzzles

Geocaching Puzzle #2 (and maybe a contest)

In the heat of making puzzles for geocaches, I decided to see if  the Rochester and Syracuse caching communities wanted to engage in a little bit of friendly competition to see who would be able to crack one quicker.  So I hid two nice ammo-box caches and then published two listings at the same time.  The clue portion of the Rochester listing is here:
55159 71597 37723 31597 25849 87377 23355
14455 23315 97551 59715 97377 23315 97258
49873 77233 55144 55233 15975 51597 15973
77233 15972 58498 73772 33551 44552 33159
75515 97159 73772 33159 72584 98737 72335
51445 52331 59755 15971 59737 72331 59725
84987 37723 35514 45523 31597

As before the hints are given in ROT-13 so you don’t have to see them if you don’t want to.
First hint: Yrbaneqb Qn Cvfn.
Second hint: Svsgl-svir vf anhtug.

Believe it or not, I just noticed this: in second hint, the last
word, in ROT-13, is its own anagram.  Imagine that.


Then a funny thing happened when I published these two caches.  Or rather, did not happen.  While the Rochester cachers jumped right on it and started working mightily to solve the Rochester puzzle and get the First-to-Find bragging rights, the Syracuse cachers did pretty much… nothing.  As far as I can tell, no serious attempts were made by anyone out that way to solve the puzzle.  It was just not that interesting.  The Rochester cache was found and logged about 24 hours after publication.  Five weeks after publishing the Syracuse version, I canceled it because it had never once been logged, and converted it to a simple multi-point cache.  Which was then logged as Found within 24 hours. I guess Rochester is more into puzzles than Syracuse.

I also think that readers of this blog might be more into puzzles than the average bear, so I am thinking of doing a contest around these puzzles.  I had made a series of eight caches with puzzles to solve, and the eighth was dependent on clues that you could find written inside the lids of the other seven.  “QMXLP” and this one, which I re-titled “Rochester Wins!” were the first two in the series.

So: you solve the puzzles as I publish them here, and submit the correct GPS coordinates (somewhere in Monroe County, NY) on the page linked at the right.  Coordinates are in degrees and minutes to the third decimal place.  The first person to solve each puzzle correctly gets an honorable mention in the next post, and the first person to solve the final one wins a one-year PREMIUM subscription to LastPass!

So get your noodling tools ready and go!  You are already two puzzles behind….

Geocaching Puzzle #1

For a number of years, we were pretty active geocachers.  “pandandfoo” as we were known – though it’s been a while since we did anything much.

We started hiding caches, and I started devising puzzles to conceal the coordinates — a popular variant of caching, at least in these parts.  This is one puzzle I was pretty proud of.  People are still busting their skulls on it to this day.

I called it QMXLP

Geocache Description:

The posted coords are for parking only

ADDGG FXDFG AVAAD DAGXA AGAGD XVVDG FXFGG
FGXAA AGDFG XADXG AXDVD GXGFG XFXGX GDGGV
ADDGG VDGAF XFAGX FDDVG AGAGA AFAXA DAAFF
GXXAA AXXAA DGFGG GGGGA GAGAG AGAGA GAGAG
AGAGA GAGAG AGAGA GAGFA AFGAD DAGDF DFXGX
GAGFA ADDVD VGGAV DAGAX GXDGA GVDAA AGAAV
ADFAG AGGGF XFDGF GAAXD DGAAA DGAGD GAAFA
GVXXX AGAGG XGAFX XFDDX XAGXF DADGA XXAAX
GGGXX DXXXG XGADX AXFFD XVDXF VAADD ADDAD
XXXXG DVAGA XAADA DVAGD VXGAG AAGAX GXADX
XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXA AGXDX
AAFAG AVGFA DAFDD DFXXD GGAAF GFGAA AFGAG
AFXDA AGXFD FDDAD AAAAA AFFAX DVGXD AAFAG
AVFDX DDGAA AFAXF XAVDF AAXFD DAXDD AGGAA
FDDAG DGXGD XDDAF GXAGD VAGGG XFXGA GFFXV
ADDGD AFAGG VAAVX VXDAF GXXFG DAGFA DFXXV
GAADX DXADA AAVXV XVXVX VXVXV XVXVX VXVXV
XVXVX VXAFX XGGAA FGAVF XDGAA AFVAF ADADD
FADXD FFAFG GDDFA AFGAX AGVGG AFAXA ADADA
AVDVD GGGGA GVGFX DXAVA AAAFD FDVDD AVAGX
XGADA VGAFA XFAGA DVAXA FAGFG XFDGD AAXAG
AAAXF VAXGX GDAXX FAGAF DFGAA FDDXA XADDD
XVGDF DFGFG AGXAG ADDAV FGVDF ADXAX AXAXA
XAXAX AXAXA XAXAX AXAXA XADGG GAGAD GXGVD
AAAGV AFADA GAADX DDVAA FAAAD AAAAG XAGDX
GGAXF AADVG AFGFG XXAAD ADAAA AAGGD GDAAA
FFAGA AXAVD VADXX XDAGD GDAGG VGGAG AGDAX
XDXXG FXXGD DXVGX AFFAF AGAFD FAFDA XXDAG
VAADD GXVXV GAGXV XDFVA GGVDG AAXAF AAAAA
AAXAD XVXVX VXVXV XVXVX VXVXV XVXVX VXVXV
AGAAG VVDXA XFADD GAVAD GDADG GGAAA XDFAD
AAGAG AAXAA AGADF ADAFG AGXGA AAAGA DAVAF

I only ever gave out one hint for it, which I will replicate here. (Putting it in ROT-13 in case you want to go at it “pure”)  Gur vasbezngvba lbh arrq vf ivfhnyyl qvfgvapg vf gur cntr.

If you want more stuff like this, let me know.

By the way, one person solved it with a pure cryptanalytic approach, not by sussing out what the keys are.  I’ve heard of the “greater fool” principle.  Apparently there’s a “greater geek” principle, as well!

“It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety.”

–Isaac Asimov

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