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Friday, October 5, 2018

Crouching Panda, Hidden Venona - 10/5/18

Today's puzzle (from a part of down-state New York where I've never cached) was a serendipitous discovery for me, as it allows me to talk about a couple of different things.  I was actually looking for a puzzle with a "panda" theme, so I could mention a non-geocaching puzzle magazine called "P&A" which I was introduced to recently.  I'm working on the current issue and finding it to be a fun (but quite challenging) exercise.  I love seeing what's out there in the wider puzzling world beyond geocaching.

The Russian angle to this puzzle was a fun surprise.  I recently watched a bunch of episodes of "The Americans" and it made me grin seeing them copying down rows and rows of numbers and using their one-time pads to decode them.  I have remarked in the past that I would have made a terrible, terrible Russian spy.  All the cursing and moaning as I frantically erased my mistakes and started the decode over and over would have surely alerted the neighbors that something was up.  The story of the actual Venona codebreakers has been in the news lately, and I just wore my official 2017 Order of Venona Member T-shirt while out puzzle caching the other day.  If you're unaware of the (San Francisco) Bay Area's Venona Activities, they are super fun to participate in during real-time, even long distance.  I'd love to see the "activities" resume.

Without further ado, I give you:

Crouching Panda, Hidden Venona

Tomorrow we'll ...

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