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A Nickel for Charlie

A cache by GeoRatz Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 06/07/2009
3 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

[The coordinates above are not for the cache location. The cache is within 2 miles of posted location]

The cache is near one of the 4 Cambridge/Somerville MBTA subway stops on the Red line which are within 2 miles of the posted coordinates (Alewife, Davis Square, Porter Square and Harvard Square).

"The M.T.A. Song" (better known as "Charlie on the M.T.A") was written in 1948 by Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes. The song was later popularized by The Kingston Trio.

Find a nickel for Charlie so he can "get off that train". All the information needed to solve this puzzle can be found in the song below.

Well let me tell you of the story
of a man named Charlie
on a tragic and fateful day.
He put ten
cents in his pocket,
kissed his wife and family,
to ride on the MTA.
Charlie handed in his dime
at the Kendall Square sta-
-tion and he changed for Jamaica Plain.
When he got there, the conductor told him,
"One more nickel."
Charlie couldn't
get off of that train.
Now, all night long
Charlie rides
through the station,
crying, "What will become of me?
How can I afford to see
My sister in Chelsea
Or my cousin in Roxbury?"
Charlie's wife goes down, to
the Scollay Square station
every day at quarter past two.
And through
the open window
she hands Charlie a sandwich
as the train comes rumblin' through.
Now you citizens of Boston,
don't you think it's a scandal
how the
people have to pay and pay?
Fight the fare increase!
Vote for George O'Brien!
Get poor Charlie off the MTA.
  Geochecker link  

The cache is a log-only magnetic micro - bring your own pen. Cache location is quite public, visiting during off-hours is recommended. Finding cache does not require accessing the site from the street or sticking fingers into electrical-type boxes.

[Congrats to doublewe on FTF!!!]

A note on the hints:

  • Both hints are for the puzzle, not the cache location. The first hint gives you an idea about the general approach (and a way to make doing it a bit easier). The second hint is more specific.
  • The first hint can be decrypted in the standard way. Because the second hint reveals a bit more, it is further obfuscated. To read it, after you have decrypted it the standard way, shift each resulting letter to one position earlier in the alphabet.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

1. Lbhe oebjfre'f Svaq pna or lbhe sevraq

2. Hvwg dinnzs wg o hsogs (cf dcggwpzm o "H'g")

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)