A year has passed since my last attempt to create a puzzle cache whose coordinates are carved into a field of corn. My goal, which was foiled three times by incompetent carvers, was to be able to ask would-be solvers to fly over the field to read the coordinates. You can learn about my series of failures by reading Conway, Reclusive Ox, and Acme. After my third failure last spring, I lost interest and hadn't even thought about trying again until there was a knock at my door one morning a few weeks ago.
The woman at the door smiled, shook my hand, and introduced herself.
"Hi, I'm May, and I'm here to help you with your problem."
I was about to ask her what problem she meant when I noticed the logo on her shirt. It read, "May's Amazing Maize Creations."
I tried to close the door in her face, but she blocked it with her foot.
"Please hear me out!" she said. "I've been following your efforts. I know that you got rotten results with John Conway and Tomé Depain and Al Carmichael. You can trust me, though. Just hide a container, tell me where it is, and I'll carve that acre of Golden Bantam down by the well so that any idiot with an airplane can track down your cache. And to make sure there are no hard feelings between you and the corn carving community, no charge. What do you say?"
I wanted to say no. I knew I should say no. I tried to say no. But I said yes.
As it turns out, I had placed a cache earlier that morning, so I gave her its coordinates. May went right to work. I couldn't bear to watch, so I went inside and turned on the TV. About six hours later she was back on my porch.
"All done!" she announced. "I know you're expecting the worst, so to reassure you here's the plan that I used."
May handed me a sheet of paper.
It was even worse that I had imagined:
"You're telling me that these are the coordinates of my cache?" I finally asked.
"No," May replied. "These are the heading and distance from the posted coordinates to the cache. And it'll be very easy for your solvers to do a projection by visiting http://www.edwilliams.org/gccalc.htm."
"There aren't any numbers," I pointed out.
May smiled at me and turned to leave. "They're hidden in plain sight. Post the image and see what happens."
And then, just like John and Tomé and Al before her, May was gone.
I don't know how, but there are cachers who have made sense of my previous corn carvings, so maybe you can make sense of this one.
As for me, I think I'll quit planting corn.