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Homophones and Xylophones Multi-Cache

Hidden : 03/27/2017
Difficulty:
3 out of 5
Terrain:
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

A fun little puzzle made to get folks out to enjoy Pierce's Park, a unique little park and playground at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Puzzle and final are close enough together that you won't have to go far. The puzzle of this cache is intended to allow the user to spend some time and take in the sights and sounds of this gem of a park, but should be able to be solved in about 10 minutes if you're in a hurry.


Pierce's Park 

This park was built as a gift to the City of Baltimore by the friends and family of Pierce J. Flanigan III. In his memory, the park is meant to celebrate his love of beauty, wind and water, words, harmony, the active mind and body.

Notice the words called "homophones" inscribed in the paved walkways. Think about your favorite words and take a moment to create a poem of your own.

Feel free to crawl and slide your way through the park's centerpiece sculpture. Listen to the Baltimore harbor and observe how the form of the sculpture affects the sounds you hear.

Play a game on the grass or in the willow tunnel. Use the fence as your musical instrument. Take time to relax, to talk with a friend, or to read a book.

Pierce's Park was built for you.

Stage 1 begins at the information sign for Pierce's Park. The puzzle will be solved by finding the coordinates as follows: 

**FIRST STAGE IS A STARTING POINT, NOT A PHYSICAL CACHE**

N 39º A.BC
W 76º D.EFG

The final coordinates are the location of a hidden micro, pretty close to where you're starting from. BYOP and beware of muggles.

A. From the sign at your first waypoint, look to your left and observe the fence with the round metal balls on it. Find the gates of the fence and count the number of balls on them. Add 10.

Walk to the right of the gate from the outside of the fence until you find the musical fence (A metallic xylophone like thing suspended by wires.)

B. Use the mallets underneath the instrument to tap each tube as you count them. Listen to the sound you make, maybe play a song. What is the total number of tubes in this instrument? Divide this number by 2 then add 2.

Take the path in front of you around to the left, and walk through the living willow tunnel on your right.

When you exit the tunnel, on your right will be a playground a merry-go-round. Take a ride and watch your world spin and spin.

C. When the spinning in your head stops, count the total number of large balls built into the frame of the merry-go-round. Subtract 4. 
 
D. There is a different set of instruments nearby, 2 tall ones surrounding 2 small ones. Can you play a song on these? What song did you play? Why do these sound different from the first ones you played? As you express your musical talents, count all the tubes on the instruments between the four sets. Subtract 18.

Behind you is a large metal piece of art, known as the Horn sculpture. Climb through it. Once you're inside it, stop. Listen. What do you hear as you climb through it?

On the far side of the sculpture from the instruments and back on the path, read the homophones on the walkway. Find the set of homophones "There, Their, and They're". Do you know how to use each properly?  

E. Close to these homophones is a sign describing the type of gardens in the park. How many insects are pictured on the sign?

F. Observe the garden in front of you. How many layers below the plants help filter out pollution from the water as it soaks into the ground? Subtract 4.

Continue following the path to the right of the sign towards the building until you find a pair of signs that looks like the one at the first waypoint.

G. How many letters are in the Governor's first name?

If you've properly solved the math of this puzzle, the coordinates should be easy to find.

Checksum A+B+C+D+E+F+G=76


You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

***Note: This is my first puzzle, so I'd appreciate any feedback you want to leave in your notes. I hope you enjoyed it!

Congrats to SchlomiƏ on FTF.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Lbh jba'g or fgnaqvat vafvqr gur cnex, ohg lbh jba'g or sne sebz vg, naq n yvggyr ovg njnl sebz gur urnil sbbg genssvp. Uvqvat fcbg znl ng gvzrf or bofpherq ol ynetr fgngvbanel zbovyr bowrpgf.

Decryption Key

A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M
-------------------------
N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

(letter above equals below, and vice versa)