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Word steps - a puzzle cache

A cache by Nylimb Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/01/2013
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

The cache is not at the listed coordinates.

I found something interesting in the dunes recently and thought I should share it, so here's a puzzle cache that's easier than most of mine. (At least I think it is; time will tell.)

The cache is magnetic, and not easily visible. It might help to bring a mirror. The round trip hiking distance is about 2 miles.

I define a 'word step' as a pair of words in which the second is obtained from the first by adding or deleting one letter and, possibly, rearranging the letters. Here are a few examples:

    word - row (delete 'd')

    step - steep (add 'e')

    palace - place (delete 'a')

    speeders - expressed (add 'x')

    journalist - insulator (delete 'j')

    manipulate - planetarium (add 'r')

(I'm not aware of any standard name for what I'm calling a word step. There are 'word ladder' puzzles, but those aren't quite the same thing.)

For most pairs of common English words, we can transform one to the other by a chain of word steps. For example, here's a word step chain from 'start' to 'finish':

    start - artist - transit - taints - tasting - giants - sting - things - insight - shifting - fishing - finish

To find this cache, you'll need to find a particular word step chain from 'anorexics' to 'nestling'. I've given definitions of the intermediate words:


    _______  Possible sequence of events

    _______  Some happen in test tubes

    _______  Covering less

    _______  Poisonous element

    _______  Ascended

    _______  Absinthe flavoring

    _______  Nuts

    _______  They may be cast out

    _______  Sheets, towels, etc.

    _______  1-dimensional figures

    _______  Briny

    _______  Necessitates

    _______  Theft

    _______  Shimmer


For those of you who've solved a lot of geocache puzzles, figuring out the coordinates from your word step chain will be easy. For the rest of you, the hint will tell you what to do.

If you think you've figured out the coordinates, you can check them with certitude:

You can also see who else has solved the puzzle. Note: You can remain anonymous if you want to; incorrect guesses are always anonymous. (Puzzle makers, you can create your own certitude links here.)

Congratulations to the first certified solver, jimbexleyspeed, and the first finder, humboldtkc.

On 7/27/2018, this puzzle was

If you're ever on Prince Edward Island in Canada, you can use the solution to this puzzle to find a cache there: #86 Kudos!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[for puzzle] Nyy bs gur jbeqf unir sebz svir gb avar yrggref.
[for coords] Sbe rnpu yrggre gung lbh nqqrq be qryrgrq, hfr gur ynfg qvtvg bs vgf cbfvgvba va gur nycunorg; sbe rknzcyr, mrr vf gur gjragl fvkgu yrggre, fb lbh'q hfr fvk.
[for cache: Certitude will give you a hint.]

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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