Monday, February 29, 2016

FC5TR1P: Road Trip!

Mystery Monday has pulled in and and is ready to drive you crazy!



If you need a closer look at the text from the image here it is:
08;;8();
5*†2*?92
8();]‡‡*
88634;;]
‡08;;8(]

The checksum for this puzzle is 52. (Remember, the checksum is the result of adding all the individual digits of the coords.)

At the end you should discover a thematically appropriate item (I leave it up to you to deduce the them.) This one is best viewed on Street View.  

Please don't spoil the answer in the comments! Hints published tomorrow, and the answer on Wednesday. 

Happy Puzzling!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Resource Friday: Ambiscript

As a follow-up to my previous post on encoding text using DNA proteins I now call your attention to "Ambiscript," a method of encoding the same material using symbols instead of letters.


There is no online decoder for this that I can find, but there is a font that is downloadable at the website. To decode or encode using ambiscript you have to encode using a method like the one described in my original post, then replace the resulting letters with the correct symbols. Or vice-versa for decoding.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

FCB34CH: ooooo I Wanna Take Ya' ANSWER

Feeling like you need tropical drink after this week's Mystery Monday puzzle? The answer is after the break!


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FCB34CH: ooooo I Wanna Take Ya' HINTS

Need a few hints for this week's Mystery Monday puzzle?


I will give you five hints, each getting progressively more revealing, but they will be encoded in ROT13, just like the hints on geocaching pages. You can copy and paste the hints here to decode them. HINT 5 will be nuclear level, so only look at it as a last resort!

HINT 1: Guvf chmmyr vf onfrq ba n fbat.

HINT 2: Vqragvsl gur cynprf ercerfragrq ol gur syntf. Gurve anzrf, nf jryy nf bgure uvagf, fubhyq uryc lbh vqragvsl jung gur chmmyr vf onfrq ba.

HINT 3: Jung beqre ner gur cynprf zragvbarq va gur fbat?

HINT 4: Svefg rdhnyf bar, frpbaq rdhnyf gjb, rgp. Bayl gur svefg zragvba znggref.

HINT 5: Gur fbat zragvbaf gra qvfgvapg ybpngvbaf, nyy bs juvpu ner ercerfragrq ol gur syntf, gur svefg cynpr zragvbarq jvyy rdhny bar, gur frpbaq cynpr zragvbarq jvyy rdhny gjb rgp.

Answer tomorrow!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Mystery Monday: oooooo I Wanna Take Ya' FCB34CH

I'm back with another Mystery Monday to tickle your synapses and give you a little practice.


The checksum for this puzzle is 55. (Remember, the checksum is the result of adding all the individual digits of the coords.)

At the end you should discover one of the dangers this vacation might have. 

Please don't spoil the answer in the comments! Hints published tomorrow, and the answer on Wednesday. 

Happy Puzzling!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Resource: Orienteering Book

Normally for the weekly resource I present a webpage that you might find useful for puzzle solving. This week it's a little something different. 

Besides the fact that many puzzles are based on the use of a map and compass to find locations, it is generally just a good idea to have an understanding of a non-electronic way to find your way around if you are out in the woods. "Be Expert With Map and Compass" was originally published in 1955 and has been the go-to book on the subject for decades. It was recently updated with new illustrations, and information that incorporates GPS guidance with the traditional methods. 



As a note: a lot of the reviews mention that the exercises in the book are based on a sample map that comes with the paperback edition, but is obviously not included in the Kindle edition, so keep that in mind!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Mystery Monday: Pie Eating Contest FCC4K3S

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! This week's Mystery Monday puzzle is ready to go! This puzzle was inspired by a puzzle created by Mark Winslow, who caches under the name WINSLMA in the Charlotte, NC area.



The checksum for this puzzle is 51. (Remember, the checksum is the result of adding all the individual digits of the coords.)

At the end you should discover exactly what type of pie they were serving at the contest. 

Please don't spoil the answer in the comments! Hints published tomorrow, and the answer on Wednesday. 

Happy Puzzling!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Resource Friday: Wordsmith Anagram Solver

Many of you already know this resource judging from the response to this week's puzzle, but I thought I'd feature the "Advanced" settings of the Wordsmith Anagram Solver.

With the advanced settings you can tell the solver anything you may know about the result you are looking for. For instance, in the puzzle from earlier in the week, you knew that the correct response should contain the word RED, so you can put that in the box marked "Anagram must contain:" and you would get back only results with the word RED in them. This is useful in geocaching puzzles where you might know that the word NORTH is in the anagram, or a number.

Then next thing to pay attention to is the "Maximum number of words." Again, in this week's puzzle each result was only three words.

By setting the maximum number of words to 3, and forcing the results to include the word "red" the number of results from the first phrase in the puzzle, (GLADE FORCED) drops from 943 to just 20. That's a much more reasonable number to work with.

The one downside to Wordsmith is that they keep a limit on the number of characters that can be anagrammed based on the load on their servers at any given time. So if your anagram contains 25 letters, and the limit is currently 20 letters it can get frustrating.

Anagram puzzles can be annoying if they have no guiding principle. The large volume of anagrams that can be made from any source are daunting to look through. Hopefully having a way to limit the results can help with that.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mystery Monday: Red Fanfare To Be FC5H311

This week's Mystery Monday puzzle is the second of our puzzles that was created by friend of the blog Jennifer Kidder, who edits the "Geocaching Puzzle Of The Day Blog." Her blog features real geocaching puzzles from around that world that she finds to be interesting or good puzzles. Jennifer offers you "Red Fanfare To Be."



The checksum for this puzzle is 54. (Remember, the checksum is the result of adding all the individual digits of the coords.)

At the end you should discover a thematically appropriate object. 

Please don't spoil the answer in the comments! Hints published tomorrow, and the answer on Wednesday. 

Happy Puzzling!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Resource Friday Follow Up: EXIF Data

I realized that unlike the book I could actually use this format to show you what kind of things could be hidden within a photo using EXIF Data. You'll want to do this on a desktop. It is difficult to do on a phone or tablet.

So, here is a photo.



First, isolate the image to get the URL of only the image (Depending on what system you’re using, select the image URL by clicking one these:
  • Chrome: Copy image URL
  • Safari: Copy image address
  • Internet Explorer: Properties > Copy the URL address shown
  • Firefox: Copy image location
Just in case you have trouble with that here is the URL: https://2.bp.blogspot.com/--DPYRDX4QwI/VrUxxg7zilI/AAAAAAAAAKY/9QCT0YeZXXw/s1600/Wagon%2BWheel%2BExif%2BTest.jpg 

Then go to the EXIF Viewer I gave you earlier today (http://regex.info/exif.cgi) and paste that URL into the box at the top. Google strips away some of the EXIF when I post it here, but there are still a few pieces of info in there to discover. 

Now you should have a better idea of what you are looking for when you check the EXIF data for a photo. 

Resource Friday: EXIF Viewer

For this week's resource I want to talk about EXIF data. This is information that is hidden inside a photographic file, (see page 187 in How To Puzzle Cache). In the real world this includes information such as the make and model of the camera, the shutter settings, and whether or not a flash was used. In the world of puzzles the EXIF data could be used to hide codes, coordinates, or other data.

Jeffrey's Exif Viewer is one of the easiest online viewers, you can paste in the URL of the photograph, or upload it directly. It even has a taskbar applet that places a link in your bookmark bar. Once you have a photo isolated to its own URL you can simply click that link to examine the EXIF directly.

UPDATE: Check out the second post for today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mystery Monday: Family Factorial Fun! FCM0U53

This week's Mystery Monday is ready for you to solve!



The checksum for this puzzle is 51. (Remember, the checksum is the result of adding all the individual digits of the coords.)

At the end you should discover what the kids are so excited about going to see. 

Please don't spoil the answer in the comments! Hints published tomorrow, and the answer on Wednesday. 

Happy Puzzling!