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This cache has been archived.

msteffel: Sadly, I guess it's time for this one to go away. Thanks for all that made the find, tried the puzzles and has made geocaching so much fun!


2010 Puzzle Decathlon

A cache by msteffel Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 1/28/2010
4 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:


Special note for those of you here attempting to get your Sophomore Credentials from the 'Puzzle Academy': The Puzzle Decathlon competition is long over, but if you finish the first event you'll get the coords for the cache and can make the find. That's all you need to do for the smiley for this cache. You are more than welcome to do the rest of the events for fun, but skip the 3rd event as key data has changed (and will continue to do so, so I'm not going to try to continually maintain the puzzle for that event) and for event 8, just try the alternate version. Happy Puzzling!

As world turned to Vancouver to watch the Winter Olympic Games, I'm hoping that geocaching will some day be a sport in the Olympics (winter or summer, doesn't matter to me). The FTF, the multi, the earth cache... but the most grueling event of all is the puzzle decathlon! ;)

In hopes of being a demonstration sport in 2012, I've set up a 'test track' here. What's the puzzle decathlon? It's a 10 puzzle competition. The first puzzle is displayed on this page and will lead you to the cache (and a FTF Target gift card). The next 9 puzzles will show up in a link in the table below every other day after this puzzle is published (those 9 do NOT lead to any cache). Certitude (the geochecker) will be used to keep track of the order and time each of the 10 events are solved.

Solvers will be awarded 1350 points minus (the number of minutes it took to solve the puzzle / 2) [no negative scores]

Please use the geochecker with your handle for each puzzle! The top three finishers in points will get a gold, silver, and bronze medals respectively. In addition, the gold medalist gets their choice of a USB missile launcher, USB woot lights, and a woot screaming monkey. Silver gets the choose of whats remaining. Bronze gets whats left. As always and the cache reviewer have not reviewed the links below (and links that will be added below) and make no representation that they are not harmful. You are doing so at your own risk.

# Difficulty Link Geocecker
1 2.5 Modified Sudoku (see below)
2 2.5 My Fiscal Flap
3 2.5 Event 3
4 3 Event 4
5 2.5 American Word Search
6 3.5 Unequivocally Bacon
7 3 See Teamsters
8 2.5 Costner
9 2.5 Icons of Geocaching
10 2.5 Uranium Tinsel

Here's a link to the leaderboard which will be updated periodically.

Difficulty level is due to the number of puzzles, each individual puzzle will be between 2 & 3.5. For questions about the puzzle decathlon go here

The first event:
A modified Sudoku. Each row and column contains the numbers 1-9 only once. Also each colored background contains the numbers 1-9 only once (only exceptions are the 4 white background squares). The large boxes are considered to be in two rows and two columns.

N 44 5(A-B).(C-D)E(F+M) W 93 2(G+H).(I-J)KL

You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

Congrats to rosebud55112 for coming a LONG way to get the FTF.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

uvqr: zntargvp
rirag1: gur ovt fcnprf fubhyq or rnfl, sbe vafgnapr gur ynetr terra fdhner (nobir V & 1) unf gb or n 6 fvapr nyy gur bgure ahzoref va gur ebjf & pbyhzaf gung gur ovt fdhner bpphcvrf
rirag2: 'Urniraf gb Zhetngeblq' Erzrzore pnpur gurzr.
rirag2: a4o - Gur jbbqfl nern jurer Ebova Ubbq & uvf zra unat bhg. j3o - gur gbja ba gur rnfg pbnfg gung gur Jevtug Oebguref znqr snzbhf
rirag4: Ng zbfg bar grnz fpberq cre vaavat... naq rnpu vaavat vf n yrggre... jurer qb lbh trg gur yrggref?
rirag4: Sbe cneg 1: 'ER?? ????', trg gur yrggref ol ybbxvat va gur evtug ebj. Vs lbhe fgvyy fghpx nsgre trggvat cneg 1, nqq gur jbeq 'onfronyy' orgjrra gur gjb jbeqf.
rirag6: onpbavna pvcure. fgnegf jvgu uggc raqf qbgugzy (.ugzy), erzrzore gur uvqqra grkg!
rirag 7: Gur gvgyr vf ABG n fhttrfgvba... vg'f na nantenz.
rirag 7: Qba'g sbetrg gb hfr rirelguvat vg'f "oebhtug gb lbh ol".
rirag 8: pbybef va gur cvpgherf ner whfg qrpbengvir.
rirag 8: erbeqre gur rzbgvbaf ba uggc://zbaxrlgehaxf.arg/trbpnpuvat/pbfgare/pbfgare.ugzy naq purpx gur svefg yrggre BE guvax pbfgare zvtug abg or gur orfg npgbe va gur jbeyq naq jbaqre jung ryfr zvtug or n yvr
rirag 9: Zl TVSg gb lbh, fbzr crbcyr tvir guvatf shaal anzrf. Jung glcr bs guvatf gb qb lbh pbzr npebff jura lbh sbyybj gur cngu?
rirag 9: xrljbeqf: tp.pbz Znc. Yrtraq. Glcrf. Evtug pyvpx. Fnir vzntr.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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