Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FCH0N34: Garden Inhabitants? ANSWER

Was this week's Mystery Monday puzzle a garden of delight? or did you find yourself feeling stung? Answers after the jump!

This week's puzzle played off some of my advice in How To Puzzle Cache to always have a look at the initial location of the puzzle (the dummy coords) in case there is any useful bit of information there. What do you see at the dummy coords? The entrance to the local library, and this sculpture:

So, how is this sculpture helpful? The second part of the puzzle is the cipher 5-2, 7-12, 1-2, 6-8, 5-2, 6-14, 7-6, 1-8, 2-10, 3-10, 7-11, 6-15, 3-11, 3-19, 2-6, 4-9, 6-13, 2-6, 7-20, 1-16, 2-14, 8-1, 7-15, 2-6, 5-4, 1-21, 4-12, 3-9, 1-1, 6-8, 7-5, 5-21, 5-11. 

Some of you might have instantly recognized this as a "Book Cipher," or an "Ottendorf Cipher." This cipher uses numbers in pairs, or groups of three to indicate some combination of elements on a page in a specific book. It could refer to page, line, and word; or page, line and letter; or line, word and letter, or some other combination. In this case we only have one page really, so the numbers are referring to line and letter. Here is an image that numbers each line and letter on the page:

The first letter in the cipher is 5-2. The second letter of the fifth line. The fifth line is "If you're quiet and listen," and the second letter is "F." If you continue along those lines you eventually get "Five Four Eight Two Two Six Two Three One." The only wrinkle is the X for six. Since there is no X in the poem the CO gave 8-1, meaning the first letter on the eighth line. Since the eighth line here is a printer's ornament there is no letter. 

This style of puzzle could be done with any plaque or other permanent structure at a location. 

Arranging those numbers into coords we get 33° 54.822, -118° 06.231. And at THAT location we find... 

One of the "Garden Inhabitants" promised by the cache name! 

When the Sejat Indian tribe inhabited what is now the City of Norwalk, they called it Suka, which meant "Place of the Bees." Artist Meg Cranston used this historical reference with a contemporary twist to create this large bee sculpture that greets passengers at the entry to the park-and-ride lot. There are other bee motifs throughout the rail station as well such as a bee and honeycomb motif in the tile work of the station floor. 

So, how did you do with the puzzle? 


  1. Immediately knew what the idea behind was but couldn't find the text of the page. Where did you find that ?

    1. It's one of the photos in the bottom bar when I go to the Google Maps site for those coordinates.

  2. I am currently working on a local puzzle that I believe is this type. Your lesson helps me by telling me to go to the 'dummy coords" location and see if there is something written on a plaque there. Thank you for this timely lesson. Have not seen this type before.


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