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Word Nerd 3: Interstate Shuffle

A cache by JWCOREY Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 8/8/2010
4 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

This is a mystery cache. The listed coordinates are NOT for the final cache. You must solve the puzzle below to determine the final coordinates. The final coordinates are within 5 miles of the listed coordinates.This one is a toughie, but you will learn a few things about US demography and geography.

Hidden in the contrived paragraphs below are 100 different American city names. The wording is strange and sometimes forced, but therein you find the clues. There are two cities from each state. Each city is either over 50,000 in population or is one of the top 10 most populated cities in its state. In one case, the city is now technically a borough of a larger city. Some city names could come from multiple states, but to solve this puzzle and get just two from each state, you will need to pick the right city-state pair. The first 50 cities are relatively easy, the next 40 are more difficult, and the last 10 will require most people to spend some serious time on the internet to solve the puzzle correctly. The official reference for this puzzle is
The sequences can be found in different hiding places.

  1. Some are substrings within a single word such as Mobile in the word "automobile."
  2. Some span multiple words, such as St. Paul in the words "first; Paul was..."
  3. Some are in plain sight, as a normal word such as auburn.

Note that in this puzzle, punctuation is used as camouflage and should be ignored. All 100 cities have different names and no letter is used in more than one city name.

Paul, Lynn, Jack, Alan, Charles, Tony, Norm, and Louise drove their automobiles to Helen’s cabin on the lake. Charles arrived in a Lincoln first; Paul was second in a Plymouth, and Norm showed up last. Louise had auburn hair and was Jack’s only daughter. Helen is from a happy home, very chic, a go-getter and a freewheeling globetrotter. I entered the cabin that some say is just pleasant. A few others might call it provocative or plush. I loved the gazebo, stone walls, and garden veranda with little rocking chairs next to a meandering brook. Lynn donated the boorish art for display. There was a statue of a Pueblo Indian, a polished marble bust of Fred Flintstone, and a bronze statue of old man Chester Arthur near the pine bluff on the high point of the property. The gazebo is elevated over water, looking out on a barren corral, eight pig pens and rock hills. That scene seemed all askew.

Happier, relaxed and thirsty, we drank sugary tea, scones with butter, Columbian coffee, and cola. Then I ate a taco made of mahi-mahi and a sandwich. I tasted the salmon roe but it had an odd odor of fennel, ginger and rotting pineapple. Tony and Paul played their harmonicas perfectly with Alan. Singing old Dionne Warwick tunes about providence and frank fortitude, our voices carried afar. “Good Night,” Tony said with a perplexing tone as he sat up. Eloquently, he recited a poem with frank lines about independence.

First and foremost, we wanted a real ranch or a genuine cabin. We found one last August. After months, we looked for land on a lake with a long beachfront. There were no cabins for sale matching the modest options we desired: a mineral spring, fields for an easy dock entry, and running water. Townspeople were busy unsnarling tons of traffic on cordoned-off streets. We knew Arkansas roads need more rule of law to neutralize the chaos. We wanted to help a sorry set of traffic cops park some cars out of danger. “Man, townspeople should take time out for a cinema with a nice holiday tone,” Jack remarked.

We found a rich Monday real estate report. Land rentals required significant one-year leases, but rent on the available lots was very irregular. “Am I even reading this right?” Helen asked, as she skimmed for details. Most folks we knew haven’t been hunting. Tony had a lifetime game stamp and he was a full-time MP. His pal Norm, a confirmed buffalo hunter and also a first rate MP, elected to hunt bear with him, I noticed. Dressed in khaki, he is pretty dashing. I was ill-advised by an old Vietnam pal that hunting urban gorillas would make us heros. Well, That makes about as much sense as this puzzle.

A= The number of cities in paragraph 1.
B= The number of cities in paragraph 2.
C= The number of cities in paragraph 3.
D= The number of cities in paragraph 4.
E= The position of Auburn when all the cities are alphabetized.
F= The position of Mobile when all the cities are alphabetized.
G= The position of St. Paul when all the cities are alphabetized.


North 42:
G – A – D
E * ((E * C) + G)

West: 071
B + (C/2)
(D * A) – (2 * F) + B

You can check your answers for this puzzle on

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Chmmyr: hfr n fcernqfurrg gb uryc betnavmr naq fbeg.
Pnpur: Vgf n zvpeb va gur jvyqrearff, ohg n irel snve uvqr naq jvagre sevraqyl.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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