Hooray! Yahoo! Lyle has learned that it’s time to celebrate ace48’s 17th birthday! In honor of the momentous occasion he has placed a puzzle cache. But first he’s composed a beautiful poem for ace48; why don’t you read it?
Bzzzz! My oh my, is it an alert
You spot, furiously flashing on your phone?
“Yippity!!” you squeal, opening the cache page
or “Ahh! Why now? I’m so busy!” you groan.
Still, the hunger for FTF is real,
And quite soon a crazed need controls your brain.
Regardless of whatever you were doing before,
It’s all over now; your plans have been slain.
So put that pencil to your temple!
It is time to kickoff your puzzle decoding.
But staring at one poem for hours on end
Will likely hurt your brain to the point of exploding.
Do not fear! You will realize the code soon enough,
And then you’ll be off on the hunt!
For now you must decode (not much else you can do)
And I hope you don’t judge that an affront.
Classic hides and traditionals
are not going away (no no!)
But why stop there? One puzzle cache
Is worth more than ten traditionals any day (woah oh!)
And once you get some practice at it
You’ll be solving this like a pro.
It is really a straightforward puzzle
(You’ll let out a laugh once you know)
It’s all about the art of decryption,
(Although I know it is hard to get your bearings)
And though there are many fascinating insights to read about
I’ll advise you: this verse is filled with red herrings!
Wait! Does this poem even matter?
Perhaps you’re beginning to get bored.
So frogs spring and Wilbur visits Beijing -
By Jove! Can that nonsense please just be ignored?
But is it truly gibberish? you ask,
Or possibly just covert encrypted text?
But no, that lone line is quite important,
And still equivalent to all the rest.
Having gotten to GZ (finally!) you may scoff
Or think you have goofed up in your navigation.
But though GZ seems unexciting, to us
It is quite the important location!
You’ll soon recognize the locale,
And it’s quite the special place.
I hope that you will relish this puzzle, ace48,
And the coming unavoidable FTF race!
Though staring puzzled at a cache page
Seems a rather stale birthday treat
It shall bring you triumph enough
If your opponents you defeat!
Sorry for the agonizing pressure!!!
It’s truly not a big deal
Who’s last or who’s first to find the cache
(Though that is much of the appeal.)
Maybe the FTF will be a different cacher
Who often roams in city streets.
The many NY challengers
Make it likely you shall be beat.
We all know names of these competitors:
The always swift Safaribabe!
NYWanderer? Fast. Childofatom? Clever.
Are you getting nervous? Your prospects look grave.
No! Forget those times you’ve lost to them!
New Market Mallers? You can beat him!
And Bumble!? He’s a human, not caching machine,
So quick! Solve, go, fly, WIN!
You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.
Congratulations to Ragtime Fan on the FTS and NYWanderer on the FTF!