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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:52 am Reply with quote Back to top


The following pages covers material I present in my Puzzle Workshop.

Feel free to copy and use any of it that you want.

If you come up with ideas or additions, please post them to another topic.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:58 am Reply with quote Back to top

Page One: Letter Frequency chart, with extraneous information included.

I have a copy of this chart posted to my photo album. Page 8. Not sure how a printout will work for you, but go ahead and try.

This chart gives the breakdown of letter frequency for the English Language. For example, in 100 letters of English, you can expect to see the letter N occur roughly 7 times.

Also included:

1. Rot 13 chart
2. A to Z numeric sequence
3. 1 to 10 spelled out
4. Math order of operations

This is a handy reference to print out and take with you when caching. you never know when you might come across a cache where you need this info.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

Page Two: Puzzles Caches – Facts and Fancy

1. How to deal with a Puzzle cache.

When a new puzzle comes out, print it out. But watch what you print! Are there multiple pages? Print one at time till you have what you need.

Having a printed sheet helps in looking at it as desired, gives you something to scribble on, easy to pass along to someone else to look at.

Give it a brief once over. What kind of puzzle is it? Have you seen one like it before? Recognize anything? Is the Internet going to be needed to find answers?

If nothing seems to help, put it aside for a while. Look back ever so often. Watch the cache page for others who find it. What are their comments?

Still stuck? Time to contact a puzzle buddy? Ask the owner for help?

2. Look at puzzle caches from different areas. Not just another city in Wisconsin, but other states. Look the puzzles over, and read the logs. This can serve two purposes – to increase your knowledge base of different types of puzzles, and give you different points of view on how to go about solving them. My puzzle caches drives Seldom | Seen crazy, and vice a versa!!

3. Puzzle caches have a fake set of coordinates. However, these coordinates must/should be within 2 miles of the actual location. Beware: there are some older ones that have a 4 mile radius, and others that were given exemptions, and therefore might be farther away. As of August 2007, I have run across a new puzzle cache that stretches over 10 miles.

4. Look at the map on the cache page. Where are fake coordinates? What is in the immediate area - a park, a cemetery, a bike path? If you have a mapping program, such as MS Streets and Trips, plot out a 2-mile radius from the fake cords. The visual presentation may help towards solving the puzzle.

5. Look at everything on the cache page. Attributes? Hints? Owner's name? Easter eggs? Photos? Difficulty and terrain ratings? Date placed? Read prior logs?

6. Does the cache page have a solution calculator? Keep track of what you try!

7. Order of operation:
Rule 1: Perform any calculations inside parentheses.
Rule 2: Perform all multiplications and divisions, left to right.
Rule 3: Perform all additions and subtractions, left to right.

8. Consider making a list of puzzle coordinates on GSAK. If the cache name is ‘Political’ I create a cache called ‘PoliXX’ and enter the actual coordinates for the cache. Having a list like this, you can download them quickly to your GPS.

9. Once you have found a puzzle cache, what to do with the sheets you printed out. Keep them for reference, against future puzzles?
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:03 am Reply with quote Back to top

Page Three: Rules for cryptograms in English

1. Single letter words are either "A" or "I".

2. A frequent 3-letter word is "THE". Note too, "HE" is a part of "THE".

3. If the penultimate character is an apostrophe, then the word is either a negated verb (like "DON’T" or "CAN’T" ) or the genitive form of a noun like "CAT’S TAIL" or "DOG’S PAW". Thus the letter behind the apostrophe is either a T or an S.

4. A question mark at the end implies that the first word is either WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW or WHY.

5. Frequent consonant pairs are TH, WH, SH or CH.

6. Frequent word endings are "-TION", "-ENT", "-ANT", "-ING" "-ERS", "-ENS" and "-ED".

7. Short words to which "ING" or "ED" are appended, double up their last consonant. Examples "BEGINNING" or "HOPPED".

8. In 2 letter words one is a vowel.

9. If you are able to guess the author's name (usually given at the end), then that is a great help.

10. Certain word patterns are easy to guess, e.g. X??X is either THAT or ELSE or DEED etc. THAT and ELSE crop up frequently. And ??X?X is usually THERE or WHERE.

11. The pattern X’Y implies X=I and Y=M or Y=D ist. D usually crops up more often than M.

12. If in doubt, guess, and test your guess for consistency elsewhere in the cryptogram.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:05 am Reply with quote Back to top

Page Four: How far is it ………………………?

There are 5,280 feet in a statute mile

In the coordinate number N 44.15.492 …. the last three number positions represent 1 mile.

That is, from 000 to 999 is 1 mile. 1000 units.

Therefore, each digit represents approximately 5 feet.

If you go from 492 to 494, you have moved 10 feet.

When the number changes from N 44.15.999 to
N 44.16.000, you have moved 5 feet.

But look at the middle numbers. 15 to 16 represents a change of 1 mile.

N 44 15 492
Direction degrees minutes feet

There are 60 minutes in a degree. So when 15 becomes 59, the next number will be 00.

The degrees then increase by 1.

N 44.59.999
N 45.00.000


The fake coordinates to a puzzle are:
N 44.15.270

You have four choices to where the actual puzzle is located:

A N 44.18.270
B N 45.16.270
C N 44.13.270
D N 44.12.270

Which one is correct?

The fake coordinates of a puzzle should be within 2 miles of the actual hiding location.

Warning: Some cachers do not feel this rule applies to them. Or the cache page clearly indicates the distance involved.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:06 am Reply with quote Back to top

Page Four: Puzzles Caches and how they drive me mad ……

There is a wide variety of puzzle types, and generally the type of puzzle determines its level of difficulty. So ……..

Level 1

Location puzzles – go to the location and collect data.
Example: GCNZ2D, GCG6JA

Location puzzles – go to the location and follow directions.
Example: GCQDKD,

6-packs – you have to find 6 other puzzles containing bits of the coordinates for the final.
Example: GCWEHG

Level 2

Suduko or the like – a math puzzle, which might be easy or hard.
Example: GCXQN2, GCQC42

Cut and paste – literally, you cut the puzzle apart, and put it together.
Example: GCW2VQ

Word search – another classic puzzle type, where you cross out the letters for a selection of words. What’s left is the answer.
Example: GCN3EH

Level 3

Word scramble – letters of the words are scrambled. Then, probably you need to do something with the words once you determine what they are.
Example: GCP4TJ, GCV78E, GCRQ7C, GCQW11

Math problems – generally because people are poor in math, these can be fairly difficult.

Mazes – generally they are of poor quality (print) and therefore hard to follow.
Example: GCWJ9F, GCRR7F

Level 4

Data manipulation – info is presented in a scrambled format. You have to unscramble it, and then manipulate it to get numbers.
Example: GCN5WY, GCW64H, GCVQ29, GCV63G

Info search – you need to determine what (kind of) info has been used, and then use it to extract numbers.

Level 5

Logic puzzles – I think they are the hardest because the logic flow is hard.
Example: GCW971

Encryption – generally hard, especially if the ‘language’ used is not apparently English.

Miscellaneous puzzles – something that appears to really be off the wall. Usually twisted logic, strange thought patterns, and other mental contortions are manifested in these puzzles.
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