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Finding A Puzzle Cache Without Solving It

According to my geocaching profile, I have found 354 puzzle caches. Those are puzzle caches where I have gone out and signed the log and claimed as a find. After all, that is the only requirement to log the find isn’t it?

Some would disagree. Of those 354 finds, I doubt even 50 of those puzzles were solved by me. Most of them were solved by other people I know that I was with when out caching. Or someone gave me the finals, or through some other means other than actually solving the puzzle, I was able to get the final coordinates and sign the log.

In parts of the world, this would be considered cheating. In fact, it goes back to Sgt Pick’s article about cache owner’s intent. Did the owner’s of these caches that I did not solve care whether or not I simply used someone else’s coordinates to find the end?

Puzzle caches are put out for a variety of reasons and I am sure that there are some puzzles that are more about the solving of the puzzle vs the actual find. Ron’s pirate cache in Irishtown park is one I did solve and loved every minute of it. But some of the other puzzle caches are less about the creativity, and more about simply having a puzzle to solve to get the final.

I tend to think that for a cache owner who hides a puzzle cache, they must know that a large portion of people will skip it because it is a puzzle. I would tend to think that a cache owner would rather have their cache found, then just sitting there and never being seen by anyone. I know for my own puzzle caches, I’d rather them be found than to just have them sitting there rotting.

What’s your take? Do you consider it “cheating” to find someone’s puzzle cache without solving the puzzle?

7 Comments

  • avatar Rev Slippery says:

    No, you signed the log.

    Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • avatar evulc says:

    i’ve solved a few, and had help with a few.
    i won’t call it cheating cause i don’t call group finds cheating either.

    it’s all in good fun.

    last i checked, my less than 500 finds means i am still not winning at geocaching.
    i guess i’ll either need to work harder or cheat a lot more.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • avatar Cableguy says:

    All’s well in caching land when you found the container. And you/member of your party signed the log.
    Puzzles for the most part are not for me, I just don’t have time to solve one or a series of puzzles. But they’re a part of the game, maybe one day I’ll enjoy them more.
    I wish they were all puzzles involving the naming of colors or zoo animals. I could handle those.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • avatar Sgt Pick says:

    Since I kinda started this one, I might as well give a comment as well. I think one of the most enjoyable parts of geocaching is going with other cachers to an area. If someone has solved the cache in the group and I am with them, I have no problem with signing the cache, I normally say in the log that I was just there for emotional support, Let the cache owner decide, Mind you I only have 39 puzzle caches done. But let a few try the puzzle or get a few hints to try and solve it before handing the coordinates.
    I know some people have data bases with puzzle answers that will gladly donate the answers and I may not know the puzzle cache owners that well so for me.. I will stick with figure it out myself, call the cache owner or go with someone physically…but if the devil takes over,,I will get them all!!!

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • avatar E.B.E 51 says:

    Sometimes I wonder if too much thought goes into geocaching.

    Most of my puzzle finds ( 432 right now ) have been solved by me. There are 60 for the Dog series by Belladan that I got with Rev, Zonker and Incepit that they had solved. I didn’t solve a single one, but easily could have. I was just along for the ride.

    I only have two puzzle caches out ( I actually had to check that ) and both are easy to do. It may be a puzzle but for these two I really don’t care how cachers find them. Phone a friend, go with another cacher, whatever.

    I can understand creating a difficult puzzle and wanting people to solve it to make the find. Why make a lot of effort otherwise.

    I have found a few by brute force and thinking. 1973 by Zor comes to mind. He didn’t mind how I found it and that’s what counts. I still had to think and made an effort.

    If a cache owner gets bent out of shape by how a cache is found maybe they should say so in the cache listing. Although I don’t know of anytime that has happened.

    A cache is out there to be found. I would like to solve it myself, but if opportunity presents itself to log the cache without solving it, so be it.

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  • avatar forestfauna says:

    I used to be against the idea of people logging finds on puzzle caches they hadn’t solved themselves. But my opinion of it has changed. Puzzles are fun for some and a pain for others. I have a friend who I cache with frequently who likely has over 100+ puzzles on his profile as found caches, but he was with me, and I had done the solving.

    I have 399 Mystery caches found; not all are puzzles, some are night caches, others mystery containers, etc. But all the puzzles that I have found, I have solved. I may ask for hints or help in some cases, but I have solved them all. And if in the future I did happen to go out and get a puzzle cache with someone where I hadn’t solved the puzzle, I likely will still attempt to solve the puzzle afterwards. It is more personal pride and preference than anything else. Everyone is different and to each their own.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • avatar Misha says:

    The puzzles I’ve hidden were more to stop muggles and not stop cachers. If a cacher asks question and doesn’t find the cache, I will send them the final. I’d prefer the hide to be found rather than to stump the cacher.

    The same attitude goes for Earthcaches if they were (a picture is Posted) there I am easy on the questions, I just reply with the answers.

    I do though get a bit irritated by people who state that they were stupid and lazy by forgetting their pen so they couldn’t sign the log (just don’t say it, I’ll never check)

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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