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Mystery Cache

Unusualoo

Hidden : 2/18/2003
In Iowa, United States
Difficulty:
4.5 out of 5
Terrain:
3 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Final real cache is found by visiting five virtual caches on the west side of Waterloo and multiplying together numbers from those sites. Total distance between all locations is about 2 miles. You can drive, bike, or walk if you want. Hint for parking for the cache: Free firewood, Falls Ave Bridge, cross the HWY on foot.

Flood watch: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?05463500 To find the final cache, somebody in your group should be relatively skinny, and at least 5 feet tall. I couldn’t pass up the final cache location when I saw it. You should be able to do this cache either day or night with no problem. Bring a calculator! A flashlight will also help at the final location.

There is a $20 bill in the logbook as a reward for the first finders. You don't need to leave anything to take that. Otherwise, typical cache contents.

If you like puzzle caches, I have two more in Dubuque, a few around Ames, and one in Ottumwa. Ames is a mecca for puzzle caches.

The following clues will give you either numbers or words. Leave the numbers alone, but convert each letter in each word to a digit using the following chart. For each word, the resulting number will have the same number of digits as the word has letters. For example, MOO = 155.

Letter-to-number conversion:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
8 3 6 2 1 4 5 4 9 2 7 4 1 0 5 3 6 0 0 0 8 5 2 7 0 1

1. 42°28.389’N 92°21.466’W
What is the misspelled word found at this location? {a}
Who created the misspelled word? {b}
How many life-size human faces are perpetually located at this site? {c}
How many cats are perpetually located at this site? {d}
You may have to look around to find the answer to this clue. How many rules does this area have? {e}

2. 42°28.900’N 92°21.885’W
This is on public land, as far as I know. Shown on a 1920's era atlas of Waterloo, it may be the smallest park in town. You don’t need to cross private property to get to this one, even though you may be tempted to. This is not a trick question.
How many horizontal round metal bars are there? {f}
How many vertical wooden beams are there supporting these metal bars? {g}

3. 42°28.802’N 92°21.177’W
These coordinates lead you to an establishment, the size and location of which seem rather out-of-place. This is due in part to its age. It’s also the smallest of its type I’ve ever seen. I frequent this place every few weeks.
How many total panes are there in the two windows with many panes on the east wall? Assume the panes are in the expected matrix, since the painted decorations cover up most of them. {h}
How many streets does this establishment have frontage on? Count the number of streets that border its lot on all sides. {j}
How many lights are attached to the wall on the north side of the building? Do not count those on the diagonal. {q}
Sum of the numbers of lights attached to the walls on the north and south sides of the building? Do not count the diagonal, east, or west walls. {r}

4. 42°29.271’N 92°21.256’W
How many crenellations? (Note: A more accurate description would be crenels or embrasures - Thanks Summitt Dweller!) There are no crenellations in back, so you don't have to look there. {k}
What is the name of this place? Two words: {l} {m}

5. 42°29.548’N 92°21.235’W
Older townhouses like these are rare in Iowa but a lot more common on the East coast.
How many connected duplexes are at this location? Count each set of two as one duplex. {n}
What is the name of this place? Look up in the middle of the complex. Two words: {o} {p}

Letter-to-number conversion:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
8 3 6 2 1 4 5 4 9 2 7 4 1 0 5 3 6 0 0 0 8 5 2 7 0 1

Final cache coordinates are:

Latitude: 42°{x}’ where {x} = ( {a}*{c}*{e}*{g}*{q} ) / ( {100}*{d}*{f}*{h}*{j}*{r} )
Longitude: 92°{y}’ where {y} = ( {b}*{l}*{n}*({p}+{a}) ) / ( {k}*{m}*{o} )

When calculating the final coordinates, carry as many decimal places as possible. You will need it, since the coordinates (in minutes) have three decimal places already.

If possible, please replace the cache up high and on the yellow. It helps to put the cache on top of your head and stand up. This will make sense when you see the final location. ;-) If you can't do that, don't worry about it, just hide it out of sight.

Final coordinates check: Sum of all 3 digits of the five digits of {X} plus the five digits of {Y} is 37. Assume the form DD.DDD and round to the nearest third digit after the decimal point if there are more digits in your calculated value(s). EXAMPLE - these are NOT the correct numbers, just an example: If {X} is 12.345 and {Y} is 67.890, the sum would be 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+0 = 45.

Lastly, please note that if you want to do numerator of the calculation for {Y} in one shot, you will need a calculator that is capable of 13 digits. In order to avoid this and use a standard calculator, you should be able to break up the calculations into several fractions, and multiply the results together, to keep the results small enough to be performed on a standard calculator.

You can check your answers for this puzzle on Geochecker.com.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Gur pnyphyngvbaf jrer abg vagraqrq gb pbzr hc nf nyy vagrtref! Bgurejvfr lbh pbhyqa’g pnyphyngr gur qrpvzny cneg bs gur zvahgrf.[ HINT for #4:] Peraryyngvbaf ersre gb gur vaqragngvbaf, abg gur cebgehfvbaf. Peraryyngvbaf nccrne va 3 cynprf. Trg bhg naq ybbx nebhaq.[ HINT for #5:] Ybbx hc, va gur zvqqyr.

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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Current Time:
Last Updated: on 1/21/2014 3:37:02 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:37 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum