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The No.1 Ladies Cache Detecting Agency Mystery Cache

This cache has been archived.

dunk090: This one has served its purpose.

Hidden : 05/03/2007
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Solve the puzzle to find an urban cache at a very relevant location. This is urban caching, so be warned the final location is not the most salubrious. But it is very appropriate!

The cache is NOT at the above co-ordinates. They take you to Charlotte Square Gardens, which is the location for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. First held in 1983, this event now takes place every August and coincides with the Fringe and International festivals.

An award-winning author who has regularly appeared at the festival in recent years is Alexander McCall Smith (AMcCS). Originally from Zimbabwe but now based in Edinburgh, AMcCS has written more than 60 books covering diverse genres such as legal reference works and children's fiction.

Perhaps best known for his series set in Botswana featuring the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, AMcCS has also produced two series of works set in Edinburgh. The 44 Scotland Street series, with its observations of life in Edinburgh's New Town, was serialised in The Scotsman newspaper. The Sunday Philosophy Club series feature a female Edinburgh sleuth solving various mysteries. (...I haven't read the Von Igelfeld series, so can't comment!)

This cache is based on answers to the following AMcS-related questions. These will give you the co-ordinates for the actual cache location, which is approximately a 20 minute walk from the co-ords at the top of this listing.

Each question tells you how many words, and how many letters in each word, the answer contains. Take the required letter from the appropriate word and change it into a number on the basis of A=1, B=2, C=3, etc. to Z=26. Each number must then have a deduction (Detective Agency?!) applied to get the required digit to put into the cache coordinates. The ten questions provide the co-ordinates for the final location as follows:


The country where the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency books are set? (8 letters, 5th letter; minus 14 = co-ord “A”)
Answer: Word is Botswana; 5th letter is W which is transposed to 23, minus 14 = 9. Put this into the first position in the coordinates.

Q1. The founder and owner of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency? (8,8; 5th letter of 1st word; minus 4= co-ord "A")
Q2. The name of the garage run by (Q1)'s friend Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni? (8,4,6,6; 2nd letter of 1st word; minus 5= co-ord "B")
Q3. The secretary of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency? (5,7; 7th letter of 2nd word; minus 3= co-ord "C")
Q4. The town where (Q1) grew up ? (7; 4th letter; minus 4= co-ord "D")
Q5. The name of (Q3)'s own business? (8,6,6,3,3; 5th letter of 3rd word; minus 14= co-ord "E")
Q6. The Edinburgh concert venue featured at the start of The Sunday Philosophy Club? (5,4; 3rd letter of 1st word; minus 7= co-ord "F")
Q7. The editor of the Review of Applied Ethics? (6,9; 1st letter of 2nd word; minus 3= co-ord "G")
Q8.  The first name of (Q7)'s neice? (3; 3rd letter; minus 14= co-ord "H")
Q9. The gap year student in 44 Scotland Street series ? (3,9; 8th letter of 2nd word; minus 7= co-ord "I")
Q10. The resident of the flat opposite (Q9) ? (8,9; 3rd letter of 1st word; minus 11= co-ord "J")

Good luck Cache Detectives! (Ladies or otherwise...)

Joint FTF! Cache Hit and gran6mac

Updated 12/6/07 - after being muggled cache has been re-hidden at slightly different co-ordinates, so the above questions have been changed accordingly. Cache container is now on the large side of micro, so might be able to fit a geocoin in there now. Still no pen or pencil!

Updated 22/1/09 - previous location was disintegrating, so cache moved a short distance.
Questions 9 and 10 updated accordingly (but only the "minus" factor)

Updated 29/4/10 - moved a few metres & new box hidden after a muggling. cache container is on the large side of micro.

You can check your answers for this puzzle on

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Ohfu Gryrtencu? 1745

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)