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Edit: added link for geocheck

I have been working on trying to solve this puzzle for months and cannot come up with any solution. I have learned lots of puzzle solving methods in the process but I can't even find a start on this one.

The required answer is a set of coordinates for the location of a geocache. I am all for solving puzzles on your own but I think that there is always going to be something above your knowledge level. At this point, the only way to learn from this puzzle is to get an answer and understand how it was solved.

The only hint given was that the answer is on the page and no math or program is required. In addition, you could simply solve it even with a printed copy.

This one has been driving me mad and now I just want to understand how to solve it...lol. Any help is appreciated.

If you want to check a solution, enter it at this link. For a correct answer, the solution must match to the 3rd decimal point of the minute coordinates.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could the puzzle perhaps have something to do with the reflection in the sunglasses? I'm not sure what's allowed to be part of the puzzle in this kind of thing. $\endgroup$ – Quark Feb 7 '15 at 2:42
  • $\begingroup$ Anything on the page can be part of the puzzle. I've tried to focus on the capital letters, The picture itself, and have tried to play with pretty much anything seen to make numbers out of it. $\endgroup$ – Frank56 Feb 7 '15 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ The coordinates on the page N 49 02.730 W 122 19.230 are fake coordinates and somehow with the given info on the page you should be able to come up with the correct coordinates. Usually the coordinates are within 2 kilometers from the above but the can be further. I'm not sure if the hint you can solve it from a printed copy means that maybe it's somehow hidden in print settings or not. $\endgroup$ – Frank56 Feb 7 '15 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ Are we sure the solution is possible? The creator of this cache admits that he hasn't been able to figure out the other two that he posted; perhaps his puzzle is not well-constructed as a result? $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jun 23 '16 at 14:03
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Keeping in mind that he claims this cache exists and that he was the one to place it, there is a good possibility that it is in his local area. Being within 2km isn't far, and might be a statistic meant to throw us off. Having been a geocacher with my father when I was young, I can vouch that we didn't care to go too far from home, especially when placing our own cache(s). It's not a guarantee, but it's possible that his behavior is the same.

Are the provided coordinates truly near where he is active as a geocacher? I'm unfamiliar with the mathematical standards in converting coordinates to distance in kilometers, but from what I researched, a km can be anywhere from 1-2 minutes. This means he wouldn't be likely to have changed his N/W degrees by much, if at all, and makes them constants that may be easier to find on the page.

The reflection in the sunglasses doesn't appear to have value. I can distinguish simply a reflection of his arm holding his cell-phone camera in a normal selfie pose. There is still a good chance this photo was doctored, as you suggested, but I don't think it would be in such a difficult place to keep the photo looking natural. Looking at a blown up version of the image, there are very few things that seem out of place even after the pixelated distortion: one is the arm of the woman's glasses, and should be looked at a bit closer if someone has a better angle.

In the end, it might not be worth tackling this puzzle cache. As was suggested in other answers, the intent of this puzzle was revenge, an attempt to make a deviously hard puzzle to solve. It's quite possible that he's baiting people to waste time on it, knowing it can't be solved, and get satisfaction out of knowing people are trying to solve an impossible riddle. If it's any indication, the fact that he named his cache with his own name demonstrates how little respect he has for his own work.

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The two dots of light reflecting on his glasses seems unnatural and are definitely edited. Not only are they pure white, you can see a "box" around the top dot. Check the original image yourself to see it pretty easily. dots An attempt to show the box around the dot. enter image description here Maybe they are a direction of travel. For example, take their given coordinates and either travel North West a bit or travel South West a bit. Maybe you could count the pixel differences between dots for the specific number to alter coordinates by.

All in all, not a great puzzle.

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Edit: Added some initial analysis.

After checking out geocaching.com, I understand that the only information that has been provided by the originator is:

  1. The name of the cache (curnew - who is an associate of the originator). The originator of the cache is "Adroit Seeker".
  2. The false coordinates which could be a modification of the real coordinates
  3. The seven sentences that might encode the real coordinates
  4. The photo that appears to contain no meaningful information (blowup of sunglasses below is from the jpg on the website). The lettering on the blue hoodie says CANUCKS EST. 1970

With a radius of 3-4 kilometers around the false coordinates, the North minutes should be between 1.300 and 4.200. The West minutes should be between 16.600 and 21.900. But this doesn't help much because there are still millions of possible answers especially if the solution uses a coordinate system different from WGS84.

It is not hard to make an unsolvable puzzle and apparently this puzzle is intended to be unsolvable - competing with two other puzzles that nobody has solved for the last 5 years. There are no ingenious methods for solving low quality puzzles like this - it usually just takes a lot of time to try all of the possibilities.

Sunglasses

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I was thinking I was just overlooking something because it was said that you didn't have to leave the cache page to solve it. No math or measuring. $\endgroup$ – Frank56 Feb 8 '15 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ I have seen most of what is listed. I even ran the picture through software to see if there was hidden info. Playing colors does nothing. I did print out the page thinking something was hidden and and scanned the print. I have tried anyyhing I can think of on this one. Srry for the mess of typing btw my phone gives me troubles on this site. $\endgroup$ – Frank56 Feb 8 '15 at 23:55

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