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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We've been fielding an above-average number of requests for help on puzzle caches lately--might have something to do with the lonely cache game but I haven't checked.

Anyhoo, we here at team gotta run are always willing to help people who are polite and have made a good faith effort to get somewhere on the solution themselves. But lately, the requests have been...well, shall we say, a bit more demanding.

So, let me offer up a few hints for soliciting puzzle hints:

Do not tell the cache owner that you think you “deserve” the solution just because you spent a long time on the puzzle.

Do not ask for help until you’ve actually tried solving the puzzle.

Do not tell the cache owner that you haven’t visited a location in a field-based puzzle because it's too far away/too hard to get to/you don't feel like getting out of the car, but ask for help solving for the final anyway.

Do not ask questions that clearly show you haven’t read what’s on the cache page.

After the cache owner has helped you through to a solution, try to say something nice in the log. Or at least, don't write a log complaining about the puzzle. And if you do, don't be surprised if your future emails are ignored.

If, after the cache owner has helped you with the solve, you decide to give the solution to 100 of your closest friends, don't be surprised if the cache owner isn't real excited about helping you with the next puzzle.
 
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beccaday
WGA Secretary
WGA Secretary



Joined: 2010-09-22
Posts: 3803
Location: Waukesha

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Well said. I just had a cacher say I needed to give her a "good hint'. Then on another cache she asked for a "real hint". I think a simple please would have sufficed, she didn't have to insult me to get information from me.

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Not all who wander are lost, some are geocaching.

Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or its Board of Directors. 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

If you send an email through the geocaching site with questions, do not hide your email address--include it so the CO can reply to you by clicking "reply."
 
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sandlanders
WGA Member



Joined: 2008-01-18
Posts: 19356
Location: Adams, WI

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:27 am Reply with quote Back to top

And also reference the cache name/number. Some people click on the CO's name for the profile/address when they are looking at a cache page, and they must think it tells the recipient what page their message came from...

"Can you give me a hint on how to solve this puzzle?"

Which puzzle? Confused

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more posts than finds... 
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Hardinfam
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-11
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:44 am Reply with quote Back to top

Your doing it again Gotta run. The horse has been thoroughly beaten. We all understand be nice and try solving yourself first.

Have you ever considered some us can't simply go because of other consideration(like disability or limited funds for trapsing around Green Bay?) or consider, maybe we have tried to solving the puzzle in question and through dumb luck more than your description or "hint"(one that only makes sense after we solve it. Good example of hint that doesn't really help until after you find it "at the base of a small broken tree" and your in the middle of the forest.

As for complaining about puzzles instead of praising. Some puzzles are unsolvable, by my standards. Example, your time one. Through dumb luck and a hint from a friend that I'm looking in the wrong place did I "solve" it. There is another CO of puzzle caches that tries to be clever but ends up making it unsolvable , again by my standards. Here is a suggestion try solving the puzzle yourself as if you don't know the answer. Can you find the information needed? Is there to many variables that you can give hints on when a cacher asks. I personally am trying to solve your movie night one and I have most of the answers but apparently not according to your Geochecker.

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zuma
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-01-30
Posts: 5559
Location: Eau Claire

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:53 am Reply with quote Back to top

Here is another hint: Only do the puzzles that you enjoy doing. This is a recreational activity, and if the puzzle is causing you more angst than joy, move along and do a different puzzle.

z

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All posts are the opinions of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the WGA Board of Directors. 
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Hardinfam
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-11
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:59 am Reply with quote Back to top

Well you can't enjoy it if you can't solve it through rationalization.

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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I think all the feedback in this thread, such as including GC# and an email address when one asks for help, is good advice and would benefit the WGA membership. Others apparently agree. To each his own I suppose, but I'm more likely to respond quickly if all the info is there rather than making me hunt for it.

The rest is just common courtesy, and thank you to beccaday who commented that it is "well said."
 
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Walkingadventure
WGA President
WGA President



Joined: 2009-05-06
Posts: 2776
Location: Neenah

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:08 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I've found myself resolving serveral puzzles lately that I'm either the creator or adopter. More often than not, issues come from reading the information incorrectly but occasionally the everhelpful Wikipedia changes.

A wise CO once told me there has to be a tough one in every puzzle.

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Signals from space make me wander in circles

The posts and opinions shared here are solely that of the individual and do not reflect the beliefs of the WGA Board of Directors.

Last edited by Walkingadventure on Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:10 pm; edited 1 time in total 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

zuma wrote:
Here is another hint: Only do the puzzles that you enjoy doing. This is a recreational activity, and if the puzzle is causing you more angst than joy, move along and do a different puzzle.

z


Excellent point z.

Also, if a puzzle has been solved, it means it is solvable, though perhaps not by everyone.
 
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Hardinfam
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-11
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:35 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If a puzzle is solved through dumb luck it isn't solvable because you gave enough or the right hints. By all means put hard parts but still follow the same pattern that the rest of the puzzle. If a hard part is conflicting to the truth or to the puzzle than that will become unsolvable ,to my standards. I love puzzles (suduko, ken ken, research/trivia, physical ones too, but when some one declares something a puzzle and the pattern isn't there that isn't a puzzle,by my stanards. What makes it frustrating is when others solve it and when you ask for help you get a cryptic answer that makes no sence.

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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8237
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:48 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Hardinfam wrote:
Have you ever considered some us can't simply go because of other consideration(like disability or limited funds for trapsing around Green Bay?)


This is a constant problem for me. I have puzzles solved all over the US and some abroad. There are also caches up in trees that I'd like to get, but I'm not a good / confident climber.

If I had infinite funds and time, I'd be able to travel to some very unique places and experience some very cool caches. I don't, so I have to live within my means and accept the fact that I can't find all the caches I'd like to.

I can empathise with the disability as I know a few cachers that are handicapped in some form. These people make the most of it, but know their limits and exclude the caches that are outside their limits.

I also think Zuma provides great advice
Zuma wrote:
Only do the puzzles that you enjoy doing. This is a recreational activity, and if the puzzle is causing you more angst than joy, move along and do a different puzzle.


There are a number of puzzles in the area that I've been unable to crack because I'm just not very musically inclined. So be it - I move on to others that I do enjoy.
 
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gotta run
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-11-26
Posts: 3306

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:52 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We have come across more than one "read my mind" puzzle over time. One classic comes to mind and has me thinking of Christmastime... Usually we ignore them.

In the case of our puzzles, all of them have been proven to be solvable by multiple cachers in the method that was intended. Help is always just an email away which, to get back on topic, is the purpose of this thread.
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8237
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:08 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The following are some "tips" that have served me well over the last few years when asking for help on various puzzles.

1) GC # / Cache Name Provide both for the CO as I've learned from being a puzzle CO myself. This is also great for when a CO responds a few days (or weeks) later and I'm trying to reacquaint myself with which cache it was.
2) What I have assumed about the puzzle type (i.e. it's an anagram, it's a soduko, it's a math puzzle, it's a trivia puzzle, etc.)
3) What have I tried? Include specifics as applicable because this helps the CO determine if there are multiple sources of information, the math is flawed, the geochecker isn't working, etc. (I've run into all of the above)
4) Ask specific questions. If the question is specific to a particular digit(s) of the solve, please provide the details behind it including any website used, math used, etc. This really helps the CO get right to the point and lets them focus on exactly the portion I'm struggling with.
5) Be as specific as possible when emailing the CO. They are certainly willing to help, but without knowing what I've tried, what I've assumed, etc. they can't provide much help.
6) Write a note to the cache page when you solve it and the solve is fresh in your head. Obviously try to avoid spoilers, but feel free to claim victory of the solve prior to actually finding it. I've actually had CO's from outside my normal caching area thank me for the log and allow me to log the puzzle in abstentia (I don't take the finds, but it shows a little courtesy goes a long way)
7) Be courteous. If you're group logging a puzzle cache, provide the CO with the common courtesy of telling them (via the log) "XYZ solved it, ABC found it first, but we had a great time caching as a group today." I've had my kids / dad do this when they're along with me when we find a puzzle they didn't solve. To me it's just another courtesy note to acknowledge what really happened.
 
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Hardinfam
WGA Member



Joined: 2010-11-11
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Those are better tips than previously stated.

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