Puzzling geocaches

I attended the Coffee and Puzzles event hosted by Geocaching NSW this morning, and had a good time. As is usual at geocaching events, it was nice to put faces to names that you read in logs. The name of the event says it all really – it was designed as a forum for discussing solutions to puzzle caches in a relaxed atmosphere. The discussion covered a range of topics, and luckily I was able to solve one puzzle cache which had been bugging me for a while. Don’t know how I missed the solution before – it’s obvious once you know it! Hopefully there’ll be some more of these events soon, and I’ll certainly be attending.

Puzzling geocaches

There are several types of geocaches, including traditional, multi, virtual, and puzzle. As the name suggests, puzzle caches involve solving a puzzle of some sort in order to find them. Some of them give you a set of starting coordinates and then you need to gather clues in the area e.g. counting words on a sign, or getting numbers from a plaque, in order to calculate the final coordinates where the cache container is hidden.

Others require you to do some research beforehand to come up with the coordinates. These can range from brain-bendingly difficult (for me, anyway) to those which can be solved with a bit of brainpower. We’re heading down to Canberra in a couple of weeks, and there are quite a lot of puzzle caches down there. I downloaded all the puzzle caches in NSW and the ACT a few weeks ago, and have slowly worked my way through them, starting with the easy ones.

I’ve managed to solve a few, and there’s a wide variety of puzzle types. Some require decoding QR codes or nautical signal flags, or solving a Sudoku puzzle, or identifying Shakespeare’s sonnets. There’s a puzzle for everyone’s interests and abilities. Hopefully I’ll have time to find some during our Canberra trip.