Solving Geocache Puzzles
GeoQO contains some special help for solving geocaching Unknown puzzles.
After Launching the GUI, click on the Solve Geocaching Unknown/Puzzles button.
Selecting the Puzzles to Solve
This will bring up a standard search menu letting you pick the unknown caches you wish to solve. I'd suggest picking a pocket query near where you are heading next using a Search By: type of A single Set and a Set Name of the pocket query in question. Here's an example of my near me pocket query being selected:
Don't bother selecting the Include Extra Waypoints option for this...
The other options at the bottom let you include multi caches into the search, include caches you've previously found or have marked as in field (more about this last choice later).
As you'll see below, geoqo provides some support for doing fancy puzzle math for you. The auto-populate attributes with extracted puzzle equations attempts to read any puzzle caches you haven't looked at before and automatically create some math equations based on the text of the cache. It is not perfect and needs to be checked, but it can save you some time of manually typing them.
Sorting by Distance
At the very bottom of the search window is a field that lets you sort the unknown caches by a distance from another waypoint (I put in the one nearest my house).
The next screen will show you all the unknown caches you've searched for. It'll have a bunch of extra boxes to fill in in order to mark the puzzle as solved or something to solve in the field.
Aside: Types of Puzzles
There are really two types of Unknown Caches:
- Caches to do ahead of time
- These include puzzles, general research problems, etc. But the important thing: you can't even get started till you do some homework ahead of time. In my opinion, the Unknown cache type should have been reserved for this.
- Solve-in-the-field caches
- In order to find the cache, you have to go to at least one spot "out in the field" and answer some questions. IE, you must start the cache at a set of coordinates and there is nothing to do ahead of time. IMHO, all of these caches should be marked as Multi-Caches but many aren't and a category of "Unknown" is chosen instead.