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 You are welcome to leave comments, but comments including hints will not be published.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 31, 2016

Puzzle Fight Club - 8/31/16

The first rule of fight club is that you don't talk about fight club.  So I won't talk about it, but I will point you to this brand new California puzzle, which has some components that will be quite familiar to my regular followers:

Puzzle Fight Club Silicon Valley - The Finalists

Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

And the winner is ... 8/30/16

My unscientific but seemingly sound method of spotting the one millionth certitude solver had me watching the counter on this page and the list on this page simultaneously.  On that basis I'm pretty sure that the "woo-hoo" that reached the one million mark was for the first part of today's puzzle from Sweden.  Congratulations to the CO and the solver immediately before me on:

RE 022 - skallerormar, myst

Tomorrow we'll be in California.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Secret Agent Mission - 8/29/16

Did you complete the 3rd Geocaching Mission this weekend by finding a puzzle cache?  More on my experience with that later in the week.  I created my own separate little mission last Friday afternoon ... trying to spot (if not be) the 1 millionth solver on certitude.  Admittedly I could have tried to game the system by putting in some anonymous guesses and watching the checker climb (which also would have confirmed I had the right answer to what I would be submitting) but that just wouldn't have felt right.  I can report two things ... I did spot it (photographic evidence below) ... and it wasn't me.  I think I came in at number 1,000,001 with today's Illinois puzzle:

Secret Agent Mission

Tomorrow, the one that I'm pretty sure got the 1 millionth woo-hoo.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Office Supply - 8/28/16

It's the time of year when lots of folks are heading back to school.  I always enjoyed a trip to the office supply store to stock up on fresh binders, notebooks paper, folders, and the like.  It always felt like the beginning of an exciting journey.  These days my kids are doing their own school shopping, but I did add one item to their list:  a box of 24 Bic mechanical pencils (0.9 mm lead) to keep me supplied for the next year of geocache puzzling and math teaching.  For the last few years I've purchased a new box every fall, and they last just long enough to get me to the next year (it's not just that I use them up, but I loan them out to students and the dog chews a surprising number of them).  Today's Ohio puzzle envisions a land of:

Endless Office Supply

Tomorrow we'll ...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Quick Solve - 8/27/16

Today's puzzle takes us to Texas.  This weekend I'll bet there will be a lot of folks looking for:


Tomorrow we'll ...

Friday, August 26, 2016

The One Millionth "Woo-hoo!" ... Today?

I've been watching the counter at certitudes.org this summer as it approaches its one millionth "woo-hoo!" and it's going to happen very soon ... wouldn't be at all surprised if it were today.  Will it be you? If anyone happens to spot when it goes over the top, please let me know.  Congratulations and thanks go to CO and certitude developer xophe for making "Making Homer Happy" short-hand for puzzling success.

In the Matrix - 8/26/16

Today we pay a visit to a Nevada cache I was pleased to be able to visit on my recent vacation.  It was:

Hiding Out In The Matrix

Tomorrow we'll ...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Off to College - 8/25/16

Today's puzzle takes us to Kansas, but I myself will be in Massachusetts getting our youngest off to:


Tomorrow we'll be in Nevada.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

To Catch a Thief - 8/24/16

It's always interesting to see where puzzle CO's get their inspiration.  Today's California puzzle calls to mind the Cary Grant classic:

To catch a thief

Tomorrow we'll ... 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Many Puzzles is a Challenge? - 8/23/16

When I first started caching, I knew there were a lot of caches I would never be able to log, even in my own area, and that was OK.  I didn't think I'd ever log a 5/5 cache.  But I've come to realize that there is a lot of variety in how people write up difficulty and terrain (and I'm not even talking about the so-called "liars'" caches).  Some of that variety is due to the time-span of the hobby ... to me it seems like "back in the day" most cachers were dedicated hikers, so the terrain ratings were often lower than I would put them.  Also in earlier times there were fewer caches to be found, so fulfilling some challenges was quite difficult, but they've gotten easier as time goes by.  Other challenges with date-placed requirements became more difficult than originally rated, as caches got archived.  Then there are the differences in how reviewers treat the idea of "special equipment"for terrain ... to me that means a boat or rappelling gear, but it might mean a simple UV flashlight.  And there is obviously a huge amount of variation in what constitutes a 5* difficulty puzzle.  While traveling recently I was able to log my first 5/5 cache, for which the challenge requirement was to have logged 100 puzzle caches.  With the proliferation of fairly simple geo-art puzzles that doesn't feel too difficult today.  It got me thinking about how many puzzle caches I would think constitute a real challenge to find and log. I'm still thinking it over.   Today I'm sharing a Massachusetts cache with a lot lower D/T rating, which includes a puzzle itself (it looks like that element is no longer allowed in challenges, unfortunately):

The 200 Puzzle Challenge Puzzle

Tomorrow we'll be in 

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Learn'd Astronomer - 8/22/16

Today's Missouri puzzle landed in my inbox recently, and it brought back memories of:

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer

Tomorrow we'll ... 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Convoy - 8/21/16

I was going to write something about why I chose this puzzle, and comment on part of the theme, but realized what I was going to say could be construed as a spoiler ... and that just wouldn't do.  So, I'll have to leave it to your imagination as to why I chose today's California puzzle about a:


Tomorrow we'll be in ... 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Meteor Mystery - 8/20/16

Today's puzzle takes us to Ohio.  Having recently returned from an excellent vacation out west which included a trip to Arizona's Meteor Crater I am in the mood for a:

Meteor Mystery

Tomorrow we'll be in California.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Toll Free - 8/19/16

Today's New Jersey puzzle is one that I checked out for the CO when it published. Try your luck with: 

Toll Free 1-800-799=1001

Tomorrow we'll be in Ohio.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Befuddlement - 8/18/16

I generally try to queue up my posts in advance by a few days, if not a week or more, but I was just sitting here with less than an hour before post-time and realized I didn't have anything lined up yet.  Yikes!  I guess I'm still befuddled from my travels and getting ready to head back to work after my long summer break.  It's a good thing I had this Australian cache on stand-by from when I beta-tested it earlier this summer.  Enjoy the story of:

Patagonia Smith and the Diamond of Befuddlement

Tomorrow we'll be in New Jersey.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It's a zoo in there - 8/17/16

Today's Australian puzzle landed in my inbox a while back.  All I can say is it sounds like:

It's a zoo in there

Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Words from East to West - 8/16/16

Today's puzzle demonstrates one of the things I love most about doing this blog ... getting puzzlers talking with each other about their puzzles, and gaining inspiration from each other. I love seeing the fruits of these conversations (and it's a special bonus when the resulting caches turn out to be ones I might someday be able to find).  Perhaps on my next trip to California I can locate:

Words West

Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mike Rowe Cache - 8/15/16

I saw a spin-off of this cache in the Las Vegas area, but figured I would share the original Utah version of the:

Mike Rowe Cache

Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016

What happens in Vegas ... 8/13/16

I had lots of fun putting together a bookmark list of potential caching targets for my trip to Las Vegas.  I'm not sure how many of them we'll be able to get, but we'll see how it goes.  Now, even though it's on my list, let me assure you that I am not going to Las Vegas to try to get:


Tomorrow another Nevada puzzle.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Elements of Style - 8/12/16

Today we have another puzzle in Las Vegas.  For this one you'll need to be familiar with the:

Elements of Style

Tomorrow we'll be in Nevada for another day.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

What's the Point? - 8/11/16

Today we're spending another day in Las Vegas.  I've solved a ton of puzzles there, but don't know how many of the caches I'll be able to find during my short trip.  I know we could stay twice as long and not run out of interesting things to do within driving distance of the city.  Like most of you, I expect, I don't have any objection to solving puzzles even though I may not be able to find the caches.  Folks who don't really have the puzzle bug just think:

What's The Point??? 

Tomorrow, another day in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In The Chips - 8/10/16

Today's puzzle is another from Nevada.  I've always found low-stakes gambling to be a guilty pleasure, so I'm hoping that I'll spend at least a little time during my visit to Las Vegas:

In The Chips

Tomorrow, more from Las Vegas.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Viva Las Vegas! - 8/9/16

I've been doing a lot of scouting around for puzzles for my trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, and I'm planning to share some of them with you all this week.  This will be my first visit out there, I'm really looking forward to getting the whole Vegas experience.  I doubt we'll seek out any Elvis impersonators, but if we do see one I hope he sings:

Don't B Cruel

Tomorrow, more from Las Vegas.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Overlapping Words - 8/8/16

Today's puzzle from Australia is another one I had fun testing out recently (this has been a big summer for that!)  It's a variation on a crossword, and you'll get twice as many clues as you really need since there are:

Overlapping Words

Tomorrow we'll be in Las Vegas.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Let the Games Begin! - 8/7/16

Today's puzzle takes us to Canada. I'm a little late, but couldn't let the opening weekend of the Olympics pass by without commemorating the occasion.  I've always been a bit of an Olympics junkie, and enjoy watching the competitions and the background stories about the athletes.  In 1984 we were visiting my aunt in Los Angeles and got tickets to some noteworthy Olympic events (like the last day of the decathlon) and some less noteworthy, but still fun ones like soccer, basketball and baseball between countries with no hope of medalling.  The opening ceremony is always fun (albeit long) with the parade of nations and the lighting of the big cauldron (they'll never beat that flaming arrow shot back in Barcelona). With high hopes for the health and safety of all of the participants and spectators:

Let The Games Begin! 

Tomorrow we'll be in Australia.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Shredded! - 8/6/16

Today's puzzle takes us to Minnesota.  A couple of weeks ago one of the local banks held a "shred" day, where you could bring in sensitive documents for thorough shredding and electronics to be wiped and recycled.  We'd been meaning to do that for a long time, so we had quite a haul.  I think the final tally was 3 desktop computer towers, 2 laptop computers, 1 computer monitor, 1 VCR, 1 old TV, 2 printers, and 2 large rubbermaid totes of documents to be:


Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Friday, August 5, 2016

Route 66 History - 8/5/16

I'm taking a trip out west next week to a part of the country I've never visited before, and have been having a lot of fun getting ready to go.  Of course that means checking out the puzzle caches I might be in a position to look for.   In making my preparations I've come across all kinds of fun and interesting ones that I'll be sharing with you soon. Today's Arizona puzzle will introduce you to some:

Route 66 History

Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Word Search - 8/4/16

I hope you'll indulge me for sharing my most recent puzzle today.  I've seen some very nice word search puzzles lately, and thought I'd try my hand at one myself.  Here's what I came up with:

Triple Word Search

Tomorrow we'll be in ...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

An American Legacy - 8/3/16

Today's California puzzle will have you thinking about:

An American Legacy

Side note:  Was anybody else reminded of a "Brady Bunch" episode while reading the puzzle description?  :)

Tomorrow we'll be in New York.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gotta cache 'em all - 8/2/16

Pokemon Go has been quite the thing this summer, and I had a feeling there would be a new generation of pokemon-related cache puzzles as a result.  Here's one I spotted in Oklahoma:

Gotta catch 'em all

Tomorrow we'll be in California.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Find that cache! - 8/1/16

Today's North Carolina puzzle is one that I had fun testing pre-publication last fall, and then lost track of it and didn't realized it had come out over the winter.  When it landed in my in-box recently I knew I'd want to share it with you.  It involves playing a game in which you must complete a task within ten moves, and one of the things I considered in the testing was whether I thought ten moves was a reasonable number of attempts.  In the process I got thinking about the old game "Name that tune," where the players would challenge each other back and forth like this: "Stan, I can name that tune in 7 notes." "Mary, I can name that tune in 6 notes." "Stan, I can name that tune in 4 notes." "Mary ... Name that tune!"  So my self-imposed challenge became to determine a way to solve the game in a minimum number of moves.  I thought about it a lot and was feeling pretty smug that could win it in 4 moves ... until my husband told me that he could solve it in 3. Good luck with:

The Taxicab Cache

Tomorrow we'll be in ...