MM10 Merthyr Pub Pictorial
In South Wales, United Kingdom
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This cache was an entry in Birdie’s Challenge, in the Least Found category. The coordinates of the cache have to be calculated from the answers to 24 clues to be found at different locations around Merthyr Tydfil. The cache, in a small camouflaged clip lock box, is in a little known nature reserve.
THE CACHE WAS RE-LOCATED IN JUNE 2013 AND THE FORMULAE FOR WORKING OUT THE COORDINATES WERE NECESSARILY AMENDED AT THE SAME TIME. THE IMAGES AND THEIR CLUES ARE UNCHANGED.
After helping with some tree planting in the nature reserve, we had been planning to place a cache there. Then Birdie’s challenge came along, so we thought we would use it as our entry. But Merthyr is the geocaching equivalent to a desert, so it wouldn’t stand a chance in the Most Found category. So there was nothing for it but to devise an evil puzzle!
As our previous pictorial caches had led to us being cursed because of their difficulty, this seemed an obvious way to go. We adopted the same format as before – a set of clues based on pictures at unspecified locations … but the pictures and their respective clues are mixed up. Also, the search area is larger than we had used before. So the aim was to ensure that not too many people would attempt the cache and that even fewer would be successful. In the event, the challenge was not evil enough and two finds when the challenge closed was only good enough for second place. Because of this original objective, the cache remains something of a challenge and doomed to be rarely visited. The only concession made since the end of the challenge is that there is now a hint, in the form of a spoiler image.
All of the pictures are of pubs, parts of pubs or their signs. These are all located within the Merthyr Trunk Road Triangle, bounded by the A465, the A470 and the A4060. At this point, we need to issue a warning: this puzzle cache is not an excuse for a pub-crawl. The Merthyr Triangle is the Welsh equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle – people have entered it and never been seen again, especially if intent on visiting pubs on a Friday or Saturday evening. Unless you are fully experienced in the form of guerrilla warfare, otherwise known as having a good time, in Merthyr, you should avoid pursuing this cache in the evening.
So here are the clues: answers are a single word unless otherwise indicated: “The” in any name is ignored (e.g.. The Red Lion would just be Red Lion).
What Grove? A is the number of letters in the English answer.
This pub has a split personality: it thinks it has three names – what is the one over the door? B is the number of letters in the answer.
Who is the Australian owner of this hotel? C is the number of letters in the answer.
Who is with the horse? D is the number of letters in the answer.
You wouldn’t expect space for a sun terrace and pool at this pub. What is the first word in its name? E is the number of letters in the answer.
Who has the red Arms? F is the number of letters in the answer.
Which Lord? G is the number of letters in the answer.
If it wasn’t for the sign, these Arms would be barely distinguishable from the adjacent houses. H is the number of letters in the answer.
Not a native animal: it appeared in Merthyr in 188J.
Just an arms length from the park of the same name? K is the number of letters in the answer.
War story (2 words). L is the number of letters in the answer.
What view? M is the number of letters in the answer.
These Arms are one of the few that currently recognise Merthyr’s industrial past. N is the number of letters in the answer.
Date of coronation is 17P5.
What tree is pictured? Q is the number of letters in the answer (2 words).
These Arms are about 6 miles west of their appropriate location. R is the number of letters in the answer.
What is the guy with the dog? S is the number of letters in the answer.
This narcissistic pub pictures itself on its own sign. T is the number of letters in the answer (2 words).
Workers’ hero surprisingly part of a national chain. U is the number of letters in the answer (2 words).
A two-faced pub: the image shows the traditional side, but the other side is more modern, in keeping with the newer development across the road. V is the number of letters in the answer (2 words).
Would you find a Commando here? W is the number of letters in the answer.
Just ask the judge here. X is the number of letters in the answer (3 words).
Y is the number of letters in the name of this enlightened pub.
The date on the pub next to the Kirkhouse is 17Z5.
The coordinates for the cache, which is about 600m outside the Merthyr Triangle, are:
N51 4(B+C+D-Z).(G+H-J-K+1)(Q+M-S-W)4 W003 2(T+V-R-U).(X+Y-N-P)(A+F-L-E)9.
While all of the clues are accessible on paved surfaces, the cache itself involves a short walk on a path through rough terrain characterised by large millstone grit boulders. This is the sort of terrain where there are many nooks and crannies in a small area, so there could be a sting in the tail!
The tree planting referred to earlier was aimed at diversifying the vegetation in the reserve, which is dominated by rowan which is spreading naturally. The trees introduced were native species which had largely been lost from the locality, including oak and juniper, the latter virtually non existent generally in the area. In 2013, none of the new oaks could be seen, but a few junipers have survived, though they are still very small.
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Last Updated: on 11/15/2017 3:54:48 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:54 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum