Wednesday, May 25, 2016

FC31415 What Three Circles? ANSWER

Were you able to get in gear with this week's Mystery Monday puzzle? Or were you still just going in circles? 

Answers after the break!

The key to this puzzle was the repetition of "What Three Words." This was a hint towards a new-ish system of coordinates that use three common English words to describe a point on the globe rather than numbers. The goal of the system is to make positions easier to describe and remember for rural locations. Each three word set of "coordinates" describe a 3 meter by 3 meter square of Earth, and 57 trillion locations have been mapped so far.

There are at least two ways to tackle this puzzle. First, the easy way: Geocaching Toolbox (a website any geocaching puzzle solver should know) has a tool to convert What 3 Words style coords into regular coords. You can find that here. From there you can move over to another section of their website where you can plot the intersection of circles. Done and done.

The hard way would be to look up the locations at the What Three Words website, and eyeball the location then find it again in Google Earth. (I tried to make that as easy as possible by choosing locations that were at the centerpoint of large round objects.) After you use Google Earth to get coords you can then use a tool like the radius tool at GPS Visualizer to create rings around the coords that can be exported back to Google Earth. You end up with something that looks like this:

And once you zoom in to the intersection you get something like this:

The coords on this are definitely "softer" than the puzzles I typically give you because the What Three Words coords are for 3 meter by 3 meter squares, not for specific points. 

So what is that thing? It looks like a giant gear, but is in fact the Tandle Hill Rotary Wheel, a 1000' earthwork sculpture created in 2014 by the local Rotary Club. It is the largest permanent rotary wheel in the UK, and the largest outside the US. 

So how did you do with the puzzle? What method did you use to get the job done? 


  1. With the introduction on geocachingtoolbox it is much easier, but if that did not exist you can skip the eyeballing on the what3words site by:
    1. Click the Red Bar with the what three words phrase at bottom of the map
    2. Choose Share Pin Location
    3. Click the encircled GPS logo
    4. Copy the latitude/longitude presented

  2. I had to wait for the solution, but now I have another puzzle type to be on the lookout for.

  3. Once you have the coordinates the circles can be easily plotted in Google Earth without using another external tool. Pin the point, click show ruler, choose circle then move the cursor out until the circle is the desired radius and save. Repeat for the other circles. See where they meet.


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