Author Topic: "Proud to be Canadian, Eh?" and "Return To Sender" - is anyone even trying?  (Read 7785 times)

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GopherGreg

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I'm planning on putting up hints on both pages soon.

edit: additional hint for the Canadian, eh, one has been put up. It is in the description. It is encrypted with the same kind of cipher as the other text is, but it seems that everyone knows it, so...

For those who want to see the hint right here, it is:

AAAAA AAABAAABBBAAAAABAAABBAABBAABAABAAAB ABAAABAABA BAABBAABBBAABAA AABBABAAABAAAAAABBABBAABB ABBBAAABAB AAAAABABAABAABBAABBBABBBABAAABABAAABAABBBBAAA ABBBABAAAB BAAABABAAAAABBAAABBBBAABBBAABA BAABABAABBAAAAABAABBABAAAABBABAABBA BAABBAABBBAAAAABAABB BAABBAABBBAABAA AABBABAAABAAAAAABBABBAABBAABAABAAAB AABABABBBABAAABABBAAAAAAAABABBABABBBBAAA BAAABAABAAAAABAABBBAAABBAABBABABAAABBAABAABAABAABA BAABBAABBBAABAA ABBBBBAAABAABAABAAABABBBAAABBAAAAAABAABBABAAABABABAABAA ABBBAAABAB BAABBAABBBAABAA BAAABAABAAAAABAABAAAABBBBABAAAAABAAABBABBAABB BAABBABBBA AABAABABBBAABAABAAABAAABAABAAABAABAAABAA BAABBAABBBAABAA BAAABABAAAAABBAAABBBBAABBBAABA BAABAABBBBAABAAAAABAABAAAAABABABAAAAABA


This hint basically redirects you to where the other crypto should have, but apparently didn't. I think some of you will figure out what to do when you get to the page.


-Greg
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 08:36:31 by GopherGreg »

cron

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See? This is now a 3-stars puzzle. It's very easy to disguise a 3-stars puzzle in a 5-stars puzzle, but it's an art to create a true 5-stars puzzle (it takes a lot of thinking and experience). You'll get there.

GopherGreg

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See? This is now a 3-stars puzzle. It's very easy to disguise a 3-stars puzzle in a 5-stars puzzle, but it's an art to create a true 5-stars puzzle (it takes a lot of thinking and experience). You'll get there.

Thanks.

I know that there's still a lot more I can (and probably will try to) learn.


Your note just confused me a bit though: By this logic most D5 caches are actually D3s, or 2s, because (for most hard puzzle caches) most puzzle caches don't come out and tell you what to do. I understand what you're saying, and even this, which for sure isn't a D5 (Which is why it's not rated as one) took a while to think up.

The only thing I don't understand is what distinguishes disguising a easy puzzle being masked by not telling them (the cachers) what to do, between a real hard puzzle, that truly merits its D5 rating?

For an example of what I'm asking:

You have (had; it's now archived) a Difficulty 5 cache (http://coord.info/GC192DZ) Called 'Ignore me!'. I've red how it's solved in your archived log, and it is indeed a very good, hard, and well thought out puzzle. However, it wouldn't be a D5 if you came straight out and said: To solve this cache you'll need to know ______ and how to use ______, and by doing that you can ______ and get the coordinates!

The puzzle I used as an example is very well thought out, and I see how you hid the name of the cipher used in the list of things in the cache, but the difficulty would be a lot lower if you told us how to solve it. Does that make it a D4, masked as a D5? Or am I missing something. I'm just trying to wrap my head around it, because there are some real D5 caches where they tell you what to do and it's still hard.

Thanks,

Greg

GreyingJay

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What cron just said is exactly what I've been trying to tell you for a while.

Anyone can create a D5 hide. Heck, I could hide a cache, and not give you the coordinates at all. You have to guess! How tricky! How difficult! Good luck! But what would be the fun of that? What would that prove? Would you even bother trying? Would the fact that nobody could find it mean that I'm "better" at making hard hides?

What it comes down to is, geocaching is a game. It is supposed to be fun. Creating a puzzle that is difficult and challenging, yet tantalizing, and fun to work on, is more than simply making a hard problem.

So what's the difference? I think it's like the difference between a tricky hide and a nasty one. I could hide a fake rock in a pile of rocks. That's a nasty hide. You could search for hours using trial and error, and not find it. A hollow bolt attached to a sign -- that's a tricky hide. It may take you a while, but you soon realize something is out of place, and quickly hone in on it. And the process of discovering what to do should be fun too. I like your caches with back stories, like "Where's my tractor?" There was a reward at each level of the puzzle because the puzzle itself was funny.

Once again I'll refer to the recent "Where is Dr. Rosala Pin" puzzle as a great example of a difficult solve that was FUN through and through.

Remember what crytography was invented for. It's supposed to be HARD for outsiders who don't know anything about the cipher or keywords, but EASY to decode if you do.

Here's another perspective on things: Who are we placing our geocaches for? The Ottawa area community, right? When I place a cache with a cute container or a bad pun in the name, I picture model12 groaning as he finds it. When I see a cache placed with a crappy container I envision bluelamb03's expression of disdain in his inevitable find photo. When I placed "Go For Fun" I pictured you and geocash4fun finding it together. When MAPSIT places a tricky puzzle I picture him chatting with me at the monthly meet-and-eat, encouraging me to see through his sense of humour with a big smile on his face. "My caches, after all, are meant to be found", he'll say. "Keep trying, you'll see it." I like to imagine people's facial expressions when they finally figure out "Behind the Curtain".

Who are your difficult caches for? Please think about specific people when you place it. Can cron solve this? Can kirok? rhinograde? bluelamb03? GreyingJay? I'll readily admit I'm only mid-level at my crypto skills, so I'm OK if you decide to create a puzzle that is beyond MY ability to solve. If the underlying current is "Come on Jay, you can do this, stretch yourself a little, learn something new, you'll see it" then I will keep trying. Otherwise, there are plenty of other caches to find...

But if EVERYONE is telling you that it's too hard, then it may be time to rethink it.

Anyway, I'll give it another look with the added hint, once I get some time... it has been a busy week at work.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 11:08:45 by GreyingJay »

GopherGreg

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Alright. I understand what you're saying, but an other thing I don't get either, is how there's some people who complain it's too hard, or something like that, and say that they'll leave it alone. But instead of putting it on their ignore list they put it on their watch list, and keep looking at it, and getting more and more frustrated with it. Like you said - It's just a game. You don't need to find every cache on the map. Right? I guess some people like to, but if the cache is getting you upset or frustrated, why not put it down, and go onto a more enjoyable one? There's an old term you can't please everyone. I can hide a skirt lifter, and the cachers trying to keep their streak alive will thank me, but the cachers who crave long hikes into the middle of the woods, or devious hides, will not enjoy it quite as much, or at all for that matter. And even though it seems that I am pleasing very few people, I've had a few email me for help, saying they've been enjoying it.

And "fun" is completely subjective, is it not? My brother likes to take 5 km runs, and time himself, while I'd rather go geocaching, which is something he doesn't find fun. I like to climb mountains, but I have plenty of friends who'd prefer to sit at home and play League Of Legends, Minecraft, and whatever other PC games they fancy.

And you picture MAPSIT going "Keep trying, you'll see it."... Well, You could probably see this puzzle if you keep trying (not you; everyone who gave up on it in general) but  people seemed to set it aside after a 30-second glance, so I don't see how it's justified to say it's hard, and to tell me to make it easier when they really just took a glance at it and said "nah." Of course there are still people who have looked at them, and who are close, so if they're asking for a hint, then yeah, maybe it is time for a hint. I just think that when you can't solve a puzzle the first thing you should do is take a second look at it, and not instantly ask for a hint.

Basically it seems I'll get some complaints no matter what I do... It seems that my options are:

1.) I can change the puzzle and lower the difficulty rating, but the three or four people who are real close, will be pretty angry that the difficulty 4.5 cache they'd almost solved turned into a 1/1 puzzle. And I gave this link before, but some cachers don't like it when the D/T is changed, especially if they like seeing their grid all filled up. http://canadascapitalcachers.ca/forum/index.php?topic=1409.0. It seems that cachers who are close to solving a puzzle with a high (or uncommon) D/T don't want the cache puzzle, or the D/T to be changed, because they need it for their grid. However when they (they being the same cacher who wanted it changed) can't solve it - even if others can - they'd want for it to be easier; Well what do I do? Why should I lower/raise the D/T for certain cachers, but not do the same for the other cachers? That seems unfair, and will just cause more problems.

2.) If I don't change it, then the cachers who are almost done solving the puzzle will be happy, but the cachers who can't solve it, or are stuck will continue to tell me that it's "too hard". It seems like there's no way to avoid the conflict. Like you guys say; "It's just a game", but it seems like lots of the people who say that get worked up over lots of things. If I don't like a certain game, I avoid it. It's easy to do so with the caches you don't like. I think most can get this one if they try hard enough, or look long enough.

Let's see if this link works. http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/ignore.aspx?guid=c9116ab7-1f1d-4672-ad16-1631020769dd&WptTypeID=8   ;)

-greg ;D ;D

cron

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Indeed! I don't know why this thread was started...

"Ignore me" was all about this, by the way. If you can't stand an unsolved puzzle, just ignore it! I cannot care less for unsolved puzzles as I know they will eventually be solvable. I was almost giving away the solution to mine, but to actually solve it, you had to program and that kind of requires a 5-stars difficulty. Unfortunately, someone posted the final answer on the web, so it became a moot point. But that's another story.

There's no right or wrong answer for your puzzles. People put too much emphasis on these ratings... If you choose to keep them the way they are, then be it. Hopefully you will share hints and advices publicly so that everyone can make use of them (otherwise what's the point on keeping the rating high and making it easier to selected people, even if they are contacting you?).

Anyway, my new philosophy is to spend a maximum of an hour on a new puzzle. If I can't figure out where to start or what to do, I'll just leave it on the backburner until a few people found it or hints get posted. This will generally work out the kinks and make it easier and less frustrating to find. I usually don't ignore puzzles because I (used to) like puzzles. In fact, I love puzzles which you don't need to spend an afternoon trying to guess what to do to solve them, and then do it (see the most recent from geofern).

[rant on]

I'm fed up by these 25-puzzles-published-in-a-serie-that-will-require-tweaking-over-and-over-to-be-solvable and other puzzles that have not been throughfully beta tested. It looks like there's not a lot of people who really want to waste time anymore to make sure other people's puzzles are solvable.

[rant off]

kirok

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Thankfully, my ten foot pole still cannot reach this thread.  :P

bluelamb03

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I started this thread to ask if anyone was actively trying to solve these two caches. I got my answer, thanks.

.......
Basically it seems I'll get some complaints no matter what I do... It seems that my options are:
......
-greg ;D ;D


Yes, I guess you will.

Place your caches to please yourself; if few people find them then that's to their credit, not your shame. But if you enjoy having people find your caches you will be disappointed when very few find them, and probably always the same few too.

But what if no one finds them? Is it their fault, or is there something wrong with your puzzle? Your two caches have gone unfound for a very long time now. Is there something wrong with the entire CCC community? Somehow I doubt that....

http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/ignore.aspx?guid=c9116ab7-1f1d-4672-ad16-1631020769dd&WptTypeID=8

Thanks for the link,

Blue -
Without shared stories we are strangers.
- Sheila Mendonça


GreyingJay

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1.) I can change the puzzle and lower the difficulty rating, but the three or four people who are real close, will be pretty angry that the difficulty 4.5 cache they'd almost solved turned into a 1/1 puzzle. And I gave this link before, but some cachers don't like it when the D/T is changed, especially if they like seeing their grid all filled up. http://canadascapitalcachers.ca/forum/index.php?topic=1409.0. It seems that cachers who are close to solving a puzzle with a high (or uncommon) D/T don't want the cache puzzle, or the D/T to be changed, because they need it for their grid. However when they (they being the same cacher who wanted it changed) can't solve it - even if others can - they'd want for it to be easier; Well what do I do? Why should I lower/raise the D/T for certain cachers, but not do the same for the other cachers? That seems unfair, and will just cause more problems.

2.) If I don't change it, then the cachers who are almost done solving the puzzle will be happy, but the cachers who can't solve it, or are stuck will continue to tell me that it's "too hard". It seems like there's no way to avoid the conflict. Like you guys say; "It's just a game", but it seems like lots of the people who say that get worked up over lots of things. If I don't like a certain game, I avoid it. It's easy to do so with the caches you don't like. I think most can get this one if they try hard enough, or look long enough.

I don't think you should change the rating on these caches. Posting hints would be nice, slowly, over time, until the puzzle gets solved. Look at mlord's caches from days of yore, he did this too, slowly adding hints and feeding the discussion that was happening via notes posted to the cache pages.

I'm not necessarily asking you to change your hide style. You do what you want -- it's as much your game as it is mine. You like difficult cryptos and there's nothing wrong with that. Just -- as bluelamb03 and cron have both said -- don't be surprised if people give up trying after an hour or so of no progress, and your cache remains unfound.

cron's "one hour" rule pretty much reflects my philosophy too. I'll look at a puzzle, and try a few things, but if I can't make any kind of headway or if I get stuck, I'll put it away and try again later. As you know I'll often wait for a hint to be posted from the cache owner or from people's find logs, and I'll study find photos for forensic evidence to help narrow down the plausible coordinates.

With many puzzles there is a sweet spot, a period of a few days where people are feverishly trying to solve it so they can rush out to be FTF. We each step up our own game knowing that, somewhere else in the city, other people are doing the same. I scrambled to solve "Where's my tractor?" and when I finally solved it, close to 11pm at night, I seriously debated whether to rush out for the grab. I chose to wait, and cd.cuts beat me to it. There was a real thrill there.

But after a few days, with no success, no hints, no notes indicating others were making better progress, I lost interest. Others did too. Now nobody's racing to find it. Anyone who is still working on it, knows they have lots of time...

I'll get to it eventually. But I'm experiencing a busy period at work, and was recently busy with GAG, and other things. I spent a lot of hours on "Proud to be Canadian Eh?" when I should have been writing code. So I'll have to look at it later...

GopherGreg

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I agree with you all - A puzzle that you can't solve, or that no one can solve, is frustrating. I know people will be able to solve it, it's just it won't be an easy one, where you can glance at the puzzle, and get the answer. You really need to look at it. I do something similar to what cron does, just sometimes I look at it more than one hour before I stop.


But what if no one finds them? Is it their fault, or is there something wrong with your puzzle? Your two caches have gone unfound for a very long time now. Is there something wrong with the entire CCC community? Somehow I doubt that....


When did I say there's something wrong with the CCC community? They're a great bunch of cachers; Better than the the ones I've seen on websites for other organizations!

I wasn't pointing fingers at anyone. It's not my fault that no one can solve it. It's not your fault if you aren't able to solve it. It's not your fault if you don't want to solve it! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and every one has a different skill set, whether it's solving the hard puzzles, or climbing mountains, or locating that tricky hide.

If people don't solve my puzzles, there isn't anything wrong with them. Not liking something isn't a crime. The only things that's "wrong" is when people give me 'feedback' and it's entirely negative, with nothing to work on based on that feedback. If you tell me "This puzzle is very hard. I think you might want to consider making your puzzles a bit easier, and less frustrating, because it will cause less negative attention, and more people will solve and find it." then I'll make a note of that, and think about it every time I set up a listing, or make a puzzle. However, if you come right out and go "It's hard, it stinks, no one want to do this stuff" then I'll completely ignore it. How can I learn anything from that when it doesn't tell me what I can improve?

And if no one finds them: ...well... I guess it's always preferable if your puzzle is successful, and people find it, sign it, and log it, but  I don't care quite as much, a long as the find posted is legitimate.

Cron's idea is very good. Give up after an hour if you don't like it/ are tired or done with it. That's what I've started doing with the past few hard puzzles I've looked at, sometimes even less than an hour.

And cron: I didn't know you had to program. That probably would make it a D5, especially if the programming is hard. "Ignore me" is certainly a good idea. I don't know why people think they need to solve everything, when it's all just a game for fun.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

Greg

GreyingJay

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A very well-reasoned response. Thanks Greg.

And you are correct -- there is a difference between saying "your puzzles are too hard for the majority of the community so be aware that few people will enjoy them" and "your puzzles are too hard so stop putting them out". The former is a valid observation, the latter is just whining. :) Only you can decide what balance you want. Again, I think there's a sweet spot where a tricky puzzle is rewarding to solve, and I enjoy it when people follow that up with a nice log about a fun experience. Simple hides attract a lot of "TFTC" type logs that aren't that fun to read.


bluelamb03

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Congratulations to Kirok for finding "Return to Sender", I guess......

A most interesting log, thanks for sharing your experience.

Blue -
Without shared stories we are strangers.
- Sheila Mendonça


model12

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Greg;

Keep on publishing caches as you see fit. People will either find them or not. They will either complain about them or praise them. Take all praise and criticism with a grain of salt.

If you decide that you aren't getting enough find logs to suit your liking, then you can make easier puzzles - or not, as you see fit.

Keep in mind though that playing the game is a two-way street. By publishing caches, you open yourself to all sorts of judgement, both good and bad. Take all criticism with a grain of salt.

IMHO, if you are trying to establish a good reputation among your peers in geocaching, you'll want to avoid puzzles that frustrate and annoy the bejesus out of them.

If your goal IS to establish that you are smarter than all the other local puzzle solvers, then your career in geocaching won't last very long, and people will indeed use the ignore button (which BTW, you did not need to point out to anyone - we all know where it is and how to use it).

I suggest finding a mentor, asking for advice from experienced COs, and reviewing logs of existing puzzle caches to get a feel for the game.


Steve

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.”
- Dr. Seuss



GopherGreg

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Greg;

Keep on publishing caches as you see fit. People will either find them or not. They will either complain about them or praise them. Take all praise and criticism with a grain of salt.

If you decide that you aren't getting enough find logs to suit your liking, then you can make easier puzzles - or not, as you see fit.

Keep in mind though that playing the game is a two-way street. By publishing caches, you open yourself to all sorts of judgement, both good and bad. Take all criticism with a grain of salt.

IMHO, if you are trying to establish a good reputation among your peers in geocaching, you'll want to avoid puzzles that frustrate and annoy the bejesus out of them.

If your goal IS to establish that you are smarter than all the other local puzzle solvers, then your career in geocaching won't last very long, and people will indeed use the ignore button (which BTW, you did not need to point out to anyone - we all know where it is and how to use it).

I suggest finding a mentor, asking for advice from experienced COs, and reviewing logs of existing puzzle caches to get a feel for the game.


Thank you for your opinion. If I get constructive criticism, or advice, such as you gave me, I take it into consideration, and look at it. I then try to make the changes. Like I said in an other post, if the cacher is just telling me my cache is bad, then I ignore it. If he doesn't want to tell me what he didn't lie about it, then he shouldn't complain when the next cache I place is similar. Since people easier puzzles, I tried placing one recently (http://coord.info/GC4T470) and I think it turned out fine. I'm starting to think more of the caches I place, after the recent events. I'm sure I'll end up publishing more hard ones, since I have the ideas all in order for them, but I'm thinking of making them slightly easier, or funner to solve, so more people will go for them. Personally, I don't mind how many people log my cache, as long as there isn't intentional duplicates, or people armchair logging them. If I have a cache that's found once in a year, and one that's found a hundred times in a year, I won't care that one's getting less finds: In less of course it's missing, in which case I do the maintenance.

An other thing I'm looking at is placing some bigger containers where I can. Obviously not in super-urban areas, but if I have the chance to put one at the end of a trail instead of a micro I will. If I have a hard puzzle, or a challenging multi published, I'd try to make the container bigger, and at the end of a nice walk, so people have a bit more of a reward that a pill bottle in a tree (Like Return to Sender - Sorry Kirok!). I'll say though, at the time I place that one I thought it would be hard to solve but people would find it fairly fast - In a couple days.

My goal is most certainly not to establish that I'm smarter than the other cachers in CCC. I know that I'm not. It's hard for me to even pretend I am when I'm not even done one semester in Grade 9.  :D I pointed out the ignore button for a reason though - People were complaining that they didn't like it, but instead of putting it on their ignore list, they put it on their watchlist so they'd keep getting notifications about it. It just struck me as odd; That people kept bringing up how this cache was frustrating/annoying/too hard... ect when they had one button they could use to get rid of it for as long as they'd like to. Might've been a bit harsh (or rude) and unnecessary, but I've got plenty of those types remarks of my caches as well, some of them justified, others not ::) . I guess I was just making sure some people remembered it was there. ;)

I'm taking this as a learning experience. I still don't like when people tell me the cache is too hard after not looking at it for more than a couple minutes, or when they tell me it isn't fun (because like I said - Fun is subjective to the cacher) but I'm starting to see types of puzzles I can place that will appeal to more cachers, and not just the few that like to do hard puzzles. Thanks for your feedback guys, and congrats to Kirok on his FTF(!).

Thanks:

Greg

GreyingJay

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I pointed out the ignore button for a reason though - People were complaining that they didn't like it, but instead of putting it on their ignore list, they put it on their watchlist so they'd keep getting notifications about it. It just struck me as odd;

^ Kid's got a point!  ;D