Welcome! If this is your first visit, please read the introduction at the bottom of the page. You are welcome to leave comments, but comments including hints will not be published. If you have a puzzle you'd like to recommend, please contact teamajk through geocaching.com -- Enjoy the puzzles!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Life - 8/23/17

When I came across today's New Jersey puzzle, I knew I'd have to feature it, because the title made me laugh.  I'm starting back to work for the fall today, and have been feeling a bit rushed ... but at least I'm not yet looking at:

My Life as a Natural Disaster

Tomorrow we'll ...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Getting Cozy - 8/22/17

I had heard not long before my recent trip to California that The Rat had a new book in the works, and I'm pleased to be able to share with you that it's now available.  It just came out over the weekend and I'm looking forward to reading the final version.  I had a sneak peek at an earlier draft and I enjoyed it a lot; I'm hoping it turns out to be the first in a new series. There aren't any characters who are geocachers, but puzzlers and puzzling do figure prominently in The Cyptic Crossword Caper: A cozy mystery:

The Cryptic Crossword Caper: A cozy mystery by [Atkinson, Russell]

If you're unfamiliar with the term "cozy mystery," I'd define it as one in which the main character is not a professional investigator/member of law enforcement, and that doesn't feature a lot of gore or graphic violence. The link above will take you to the e-book version (which launched at $2.99) and there is also a paperback version (note that the e-book has for printable versions of the puzzles). There is a teaser for the book on the Amazon page, but you might prefer to just jump in without that preview (if you read it you won't know "who done it" but you will know who the victim turns out to be).

I had hoped to find one of the author's excellent crossword puzzle caches to feature today, but I didn't spot an active one that I hadn't used (he often posts key parts of the solutions on his archived puzzles).  I know he's still writing crosswords, so perhaps we'll see one of those in a geocache puzzle soon??  For now I'll make do with sharing this puzzle, which I found appropriate:

Word Police Quiz

Tomorrow we'll ...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse of 2017- 8/21/17

 Excitement has been building across the U.S. for today's total solar eclipse.  Although here in central New York we're over 500 miles from anywhere where it reaches totalilty, I was surprised to see on this cool website that we will reach over 70% of it, which is a lot more than I had expected.  I'll probably try making a pinhole camera to see if I can make it work.  I'm looking forward to the next eclipse (in 2024) when we'll be much closer to totality.

Back in 1989 I spent the summer working at the High Altitude Observatory, which is part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.  I don't remember all of the details of the project, but it involved studying images of previous eclipses stored on glass plates.  The images had been taken with special filters to allow better viewing of the solar corona, which varies quite a lot from eclipse to eclipse.  Since I'm a huge packrat I saved some prints, which I dug out the other night.  Here's one of my favorites, which was taken in India in 1980 (photo credit HAO and Rhodes College):

There will be prime viewing at the site of today's featured puzzle from Illinois, and no matter where you are located, you can take experience:

Tomorrow we'll be in California

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Annual Art Puzzle - 8/20/17

I've had fun this week looking back through the last several year's worth of kablooey puzzle caches. There is a lot to remember, from the puzzles themselves to my own process of solving (or not solving) them.  Sometimes there are also some cleverly incorporated current events which are also fun to look back on.  Try your luck with:

Annual Art Puzzle (KPC2013)

Tomorrow we'll have an eclipse-related puzzle.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Scouting Reports - 8/19/17

I'm pretty sure today's California kablooey puzzle is the first one I was able to get the coveted FTS.  It's hard to believe that was over 6 years ago now.  Good luck with the:

Scouting Reports

Tomorrow, one final kablooey puzzle (for now).

Friday, August 18, 2017

First To Find Race - 8/18/17

Today's featured kablooey puzzle is one of the trickiest stand-alone puzzles he has written, and is one that stumped me mightily when it came out.  It's quite amazing how it all comes together in the:

We'll feature a couple of his simpler puzzles over the weekend, and have an eclipse-related puzzle for Monday.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Redshirts - 8/17/17

I've had fun looking back through the kablooey puzzles for ones to share with you this week.  This one is a classic example.  It makes you wonder how he ever came up with the idea to do this, and marvel at the amount of work it probably took to pull it off.  Enjoy:


Tomorrow we'll visit another by kablooey.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bucket List - 8/16/17

Today's California kablooey puzzle is a particularly memorable one for me.  While the appearance of the puzzles in this series is almost always on the first of the month, occasionally the cache page publishes early, with a note that the puzzle itself will appear at a certain time - often midnight on the first.  That translates to 3:00 a.m. in my time zone, so those are tough for me (of course, when they publish at 6:00 a.m. Pacific I get an advantage, so it probably works out in the long run).  If I don't have to work the next day I have been known to stay up until 3:00 a.m., or set an alarm so I can get up and take a look at the puzzle.  I know I looked at this one during the wee hours, but went to sleep without solving it.  Now, if you're like me, you sometimes find yourself dreaming about working on puzzles, and your subconscious occasionally keeps working on something long after the rest of you has tired of it.  More than once I have woken up with a new idea that I want to try, but I don't usually know where it came from.  In this case, I clearly remember figuring out a critical component of this puzzle in a dream:

Bucket List (KPC2012)

Tomorrow we'll visit another from the KPC series.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Double Word Score - 8/15/17

Some of my favorite kablooey puzzles are the ones involving wordplay, such as this one from his 2010 Challenge.  These yearly challenges started in 2008, and are comprised of puzzles that appear on or about the first of every month (which is now known as "kablooey day" at my house).  Those who choose to give their geonames in the certitude checker play for points (and bragging rights) based on how quickly they are able to solve the puzzle. Hints for each puzzle are posted on the 15th of the month in which they appeared, so for the full experience you'll want to make a good effort at cracking it before taking a peek at any hints.  See if you can achieve a:

Double Word Score

Tomorrow, more from kablooey.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Breaking Away - 8/14/17

I realized recently that a well-known San Francisco Bay area puzzler's caches are a bit under-represented here on my blog.  Mostly that's because he's so well-known that I expect a lot of you already have already done most of his puzzles.  But it occurred to me that there may be some folks who are not as familiar with his work, and for those of you who are, it's possible that you might enjoy revisiting some of them.   It's possible you'll even come across one or two you haven't solved.  That was the case for me, when I went and checked out his earliest puzzle cache, published all the way back in 2002:

Breaking Away

We'll spend this whole next week in California visiting kablooey's caches.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Periodic Fable - 8/13/17

Today's amusing Colorado puzzle involves a:

Periodic Fable

Tomorrow we'll be in California.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Photograph of London - 8/12/17

Today's puzzle from Georgia was suggested to me recently, and I enjoyed taking a bit closer look at the photograph of London it contains.  I passed through there myself this summer, but the only recognizable photograph I took was this one, out the window of a train:

You'll note I had nowhere near the resolution of the photo in the puzzle:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Let's Play Two! - 8/11/17

Today we travel to California.  If you'll forgive me for paraphrasing the great Chicago Cub Ernie Banks, it's a great day for a puzzle;  let's play two!:

Crossword Cipher and  Crossword Cipher #2

Tomorrow we'll ...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Quadrilateral Quandary - 8/10/17

Today's California puzzle is a:

Quadrilateral Quandary

Tomorrow we'll be in California for another day.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TRI hard - 8/9/17

Today's puzzle takes us to Tennessee, right near my old hometown.  We're well into August now and that means the fall semester is right around the corner.  I've had a great summer but it's gone by so fast! If anybody would like to take a turn as guest puzzle-picker for a week (or even for a day or two) please let me know.  I've not been able to work ahead finding puzzles for these blog posts like I wish I could have, so keeping things going may get a little tricky as the fall progresses.  But you can rest assured I'll:

TRI hard

Tomorrow we'll ...

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blocked Out - 8/7/17

Today's California puzzle, which was passed along to me recently, appeals to the quilter in me.  See if you can solve the mystery without being:

Blocked Out

Tomorrow we'll ...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Franklin - 8/6/17

Today's Texas puzzle just made me say, "Awwww ..." :)  The featured fellow was very well-known at our house and it brought back some fond memories when I came across:

Ian's Franklin the Turtle cache

Tomorrow we'll ...

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Squares - 8/5/17

Today we head to Canada's Ontario province for a puzzle involving:


Tomorrow we'll ...

Friday, August 4, 2017

Words Search - 8/4/17

Today's California puzzle provides us a glimpse into the world of big-league puzzling, as it first appeared as part of the 2016 MIT Puzzle Hunt.  I encourage anyone who is interested in seeing what is possible at this level to take a look at:

Words Search

Tomorrow we'll ...

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Never Ending Possibilities - 8/3/17

Today's puzzle is for a cache which I found during my recent trip to California.  The title speaks to me because it sums up what I like most about puzzle caching ... it doesn't gets old because there are:


Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Duh? - 8/2/17

I've appreciated the puzzle suggestions folks have been sending me this summer.  Today's from California is one of them.  I can always use more though, so if you've been thinking about sending one (or more) my way, don't be shy.  In the mean time, don't you hate it when a puzzle makes you slap your forehead and say:


Tomorrow we'll ...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Sudoku - 8/1/17

Today's Arizona puzzle was passed along to me last week while I was in California.  I've featured a lot of twists on the original sudoku puzzle over the last few years, but I'm not sure I've ever seen one that contained so many variations all in the same puzzle.  Try your luck with:

The Developer

Tomorrow we'll ...