Tuesday, March 29, 2016

FC1Z3U5: Some Puzzling Roman Columns HINTS

Still roamin' in the wilderness looking for help with this week's Mystery Monday puzzle? Here are some hints!

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: Gur chmmyr vaibyirf n pvcure.

HINT 2: Gur nafjre vf va gur sbez bs Ebzna ahzrenyf.

HINT 3: Gurer ner frireny hfrshy pyhrf va gur qrfpevcgvba.  Gur jbeq "beqre" pbhyq or vagrecergrq va zber guna bar jnl.

HINT 4: Fvapr gur yrggref gurzfryirf ybbx ernfbanoyr sbe na nafjre va gur sbez bs Ebzna ahzrenyf, ybbx sbe n pvcure gung bayl punatrf gur beqre bs gur yrggref. Gur birenyy gurzr bs gur chmmyr vf n pyhr gb gur pvcure glcr.

HINT 5: Gur nafjre pna or sbhaq ol qrpelcgvat gur grkg nf n pbyhzane pvcure jvgu gur xrljbeq QBEVP.

Answers tomorrow!

Monday, March 28, 2016

FC1Z3U5: Some Puzzling Roman Columns

We've had an easy couple weeks. I think it's time to turn up the heat a little bit and tackle one that's a bit tougher. There are still plenty of clues to be found, but I expect it might give you more of a workout than the last few. But we can take it after the last few days of chocolate and ham, right?

This week's puzzle was written by Jennifer Kidder of the Geocaching Puzzle Of The Day Blog.



If you need a closer look at that cipher text, here it is: --C--IXXDIXCVIXXIIXVCILDXIC-IV


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. 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, March 25, 2016

Resource Friday: PLU Codes

Like many things in our modern world fruit and produce is shipped from the far corners of the Earth to get to your home and your table. To aid in this shipping and handling, fruit growers and grocery stores have devised a method of numbering fruit and giving beleaguered cashiers a simple way to tell the difference between a small organic Braeburn apple and a large conventionally grown Pink Lady apple without going crazy. These numbers are called PLUs, or Produce Look Ups, and can be either four or five digits long. They typically start with either a 3, 4, 8, or 9. PLUs beginning with a 3 or 4 are typically four digits, while ones starting with 8 or 9 are usually five digits.

On this page you'll find a list of PLU codes that could be used in puzzle building.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

FCD3NTL: Sonny's Challenge: ANSWER

Hop you haven't ground your teeth too much waiting on the answer to this week's puzzle. It's after the break!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

FCD3NTL: Sonny's Challenge HINTS

Still chewing on this week's Mystery Monday puzzle? Here are some hints to help.

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: Gur grrgu ner gur xrl, gur sybff vf gur thvqr.

HINT 2: Gur sybff sbezf n "J" naq na "A" gb uryc vqragvsl juvpu bar jvyy tvir lbh juvpu pbbeqf.

HINT 3: Gur ynlbhg bs grrgu vf n "Qragvfg'f ivrj"

HINT 4: Ubj qbrf n qragvfg ersre gb fcrpvsvp grrgu?

HINT 5: Ahzore gur grrgu pybpxjvfr, fgnegvat jvgu gur cngvrag'f evtug erne zbyne (erzrzore guvf vf sebz gur qragvfgf'f ivrj) rnpu gbbgu pvepyr ol gur sybff tvirf lbh gur ahzoref lbh arrq, va beqre.


Answer tomorrow!

Monday, March 21, 2016

FCD3NTL: Sonny's Challenge

On last week's episode of the Podcacher Podcast Sonny mentioned how ingenious all the geocaching puzzle writers out there are and how they seem to be able to make a puzzle out of anything. He pulled an example out of the air of something that he probably thought would be impossible: a puzzle based on dental floss.

I took it as a personal challenge. About an hour later, I had created this puzzle.



The checksum for this puzzle is 34. (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. 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.

(PS I'm publishing a little early this week so that Podcacher listeners will see the puzzle, and not a broken link, we'll be back to the regular time of noon, next week. The hint and answer will publish at the regular noon time.)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Resource Friday: Ancient Unit Conversion

I've talked a lot about conversion of units as a way of disguising coordinates in a puzzle. One especially interesting way of doing that is by using ancient measurements such as the stadian or cubit. The Historical Lengths convertor at convert-me can handle those conversions, and many many more. Also click around at the other conversions available. This is a very useful website!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

FCP4DR3: The Feast of Saint Geo HINTS

Praying for intercession on this week's Mystery Monday puzzle? Hints are coming!

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: Gur gvgyr vf n uvag, nf vf gur cuenfr "ba guvf qnl."

HINT 2: Fnvag Trb znl abg or erny, ohg nyy gur fnvagf ba uvf fpebyy ner.

HINT 3: Ner fnvagf nffbpvngrq jvgu qnlf?

HINT 4: Lbh bayl arrq gur qnl.

HINT 5: Gur qnl bs gur zbagu gung gur srnfg qnlf sbe rnpu bs gurfr fnvagf vf pryroengrq ba jvyy sbez pbbeqf. Vs lbh unir gebhoyr gel n qvssrerag fbhepr.

Answer tomorrow!

Monday, March 14, 2016

FCP4DR3 The Feast of Saint Geo

The day you've prayed for has finally arrived: Mystery Monday!



The checksum for this puzzle is 69. (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. This one is best viewed on Satellite View.  

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

Happy Puzzling, and may Geo bless your geocaching. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Resource Friday: American Cryptogram Association Cipher Tools

You can never have too many cipher tools in your tool box, so here is another from the American Cryptogram Association, one of the leaders in cryptography for hobbyists like us. They call this their "Encode-Decode" page. As with all of these pages one of the most important things you can do is simply read through the names and categories of ciphers that they have available and commit them to memory so that when you see a hint towards one of them you will recognize it for what it is. Also, play with the various tools to get a feel for what a piece of text that has been encoding the method looks like.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

FCM00Z: Cache Cow: HINTS

Not finding this week's Mystery Monday puzzle a-moos-ing? Need a hint?

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 pbzchgre ynathntr.

HINT 2: Gurer vf n znwbe uvag va gur svefg fragrapr bs gur qrfpevcgvba.

HINT3: "Bbx?" Gung'f n jrveq jbeq...

Hint 4: Lbh'yy arrq n gbby gung pna eha gur ynathntr.

Hint 5: Ehaavat gur arkg guebhtu na Bbx Qrpbqre jvyy tvir lbh pbbeqvangrf. Va zbfg bs gurz lbh pna eha vg nf vf. Gurer znl or fbzr jurer lbh'q arrq gb chg gur grkg vagb n Jbeq qbp (be fvzvyne) naq qb n svaq naq ercynpr sbe "zbb" naq "bbx."

Answer tomorrow!

Monday, March 7, 2016

FCM00Z: Cache Cow

This week's Mystery Monday should give you something to ruminate on... 



I know that's a lot of text, so if you need a closer look at it here it is:


I know that they ook some people out but in rural areas cows are pretty common. They sometimes graze on public land and when hiking in the area you may need to open (and close) a fence, or climb over one to get where you’re going. I was out one day in such an area when I got an alert on my phone that a new puzzle cache had published.  Cool!  Before I could even take a look, a cow came up, looking as if she had something important to say. I looked into her soft brown eyes and listened carefully:

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo!

Moo? Moo! Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo.

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo? Moo. Moo? Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo.

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo. Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo.

Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo!

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo. Moo. Moo.

Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo.

I nodded, and then she continued:

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo!

Moo? Moo! Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo.

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo? Moo. Moo? Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo. Moo.

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo. Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo!

Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo.

Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo.

Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo! Moo? Moo!

Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo? Moo. Moo? Moo!

Moo. Moo? Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo! Moo!

Moo! Moo! Moo. Moo? Moo.

“Excellent!” I replied.  “Thanks for the cache!”  It’s a good thing I speak cow.



The checksum for this puzzle is 59. (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. 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, March 4, 2016

Resource Friday: Reverse Image Searching on a Smartphone

Reverse image searching is a powerful tool in the geocache puzzler's arsenal. Finding changed versions of an image, or the source of an image can be very informative. Unfortunately the reverse search feature from Google Images is not available on the mobile version of the platform, meaning that you can't use it unless you are at a regular computer. Thankfully, a tech blogger named Amit Agarwal has built a little Web app to make things easier.

Bookmark this link in your smartphone. Once you have saved an image to either the "Gallery" on an Android or "Photos" on an iPhone, visit this website and upload the image. The reverse image search app runs in your mobile browser and redirects to Google Image search, performing the search for you and getting around Google's mobile limitations.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

FC5TR1P: Road Trip! ANSWER

Ready to pull over and check out the answer to this week's Mystery Monday puzzle? It's after the break!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

FC5TR1P: Road Trip! HINTS

Need a hint or two 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: Gur grkg vf n pvcure.

HINT 2: Gur vzntr jvyy uryc lbh qvfpbire gur anzr bs gur pvcure.

HINT 3: N Ibyxfjntba Orrgyr vf nyfb pbyybdhvnyyl xabja nf jung? Naq jung pbybe vf guvf bar?

HINT 4: Gur Tbyq Oht pvcure fbzrgvzrf hfrf n xrl, ohg guvf bar qbrfa'g. Qbrf gur erfhyg frrz snzvyvne?

HINT 5: Gur erfhyg bs gur pvcure vf gur pbqr sbe n geniry oht. Tb ybbx hc gur oht.

Answer tomorrow!