Skip to content


The Mystery of the 99 Steps (Hindsight is 2020 #6)

A cache by teamajk Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/04/2020
5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

Join now to view geocache location details. It's free!


How Geocaching Works

Please note Use of services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer.

Geocache Description:

There is nothing hidden at the posted coordinates. You must solve the puzzle below to obtain the actual cache coordinates. You will not need to bushwhack or get your feet wet to find the cache. Trails are open from dawn to dusk. Dogs are allowed, but must be leashed. Current conditions require having a face covering and maintaining 6-foot spacing.

You will be seeking an ammo can. The log book, cache note, and pen are in one baggie. Another baggie contains prizes/swag for the finders including: two different puzzle-lovers' pencils, several sheets of Nancy Drew fold and mail stationery, an origami elephant dollar, one of our signature items, and a nano cache and bison tube with which you might create your own (puzzle?) cache. Please use appropriate stealth when searching, and rehide the cache at least as well concealed as you found it.

It was almost exactly 10 years ago that teamajk started caching, and this occasion, like all such anniversaries, has led "J" to look back over the years, reminisce about fun times and good friends, and wonder at the swift passage of time. This cache is the sixth in what we hope will be an informal series of caches throughout the rest of 2020, with puzzles which may bring to mind some of our previous work while incorporating some new twists. Be sure to save the bonus information from the geochecker for the series finale.

The original format of the “what comes next” multi-puzzle has been around for a long time, going back at least as far as 2006. The first one I encountered was kablooey’s 45-Step Puzzle Cache. I’ve done several others along the way, and made memorable finds on a French one Et après? and Rochester's own NPC#9 The triple 30-step enigma, which inspired the design of this one with its multiple entry points.

Instead of requiring you to change the url, like those puzzles, this one simply uses a certitude checker for each step. Your task is always to enter the “next” thing in the series, whatever it might be. Each clue relates somehow to its numbered step. One way they could be related is by being part of a list. For example, if Clue #1 were January (month #1 in the year) your answer would be February, because February is month #2 in the year. Another way the "next" thing could be related is through some type of encoding. For example, if Clue #1 were BAR (which is ROT 13 of ONE), the "next thing" would be GJB (ROT 13 of TWO). Many different types of lists and styles of encoding are used here. Please pay careful attention to any instructions for formatting your answer. In general the answer will require exactly the same format as the clue. Upon a correct answer in certitude, the next clue and a link to the next certitude checker will be revealed.

This is a long puzzle, but I’m encouraging teamwork and providing you with three entry points so if you get stuck and need to ponder an answer for a bit, you can still make progress on the other parts of the puzzle. By the time you’ve completed all 99 steps, you’ll have what you need your final answer.

You may begin at step 1 with Clue #1: 1

You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

or, you may begin at step 34 with Clue #34: CD

You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

or, you may begin at step 67 with Clue #67: 525 Titus Avenue, Rochester, NY 14617

(Use the full address, including punctuation, in your answer)

You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

When you have your final answer, you may check it here:

You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

Many, many thanks to thanman2 for beta-testing and feedback. All steps and their checkers have been tested, but with this many moving parts there is still a potential for error. If a level is unsolved and you are very confident you have a correct answer that won't pass the checker, please reach out so I can look into it.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Chmmyr: Gur onpx bs gur ybt va TP8LXXX pbagnvaf n uvag gung pbhyq cebir hfrshy, ohg vf ol ab zrnaf erdhverq. Srry serr gb r-znvy nal dhrfgvbaf nsgre gur SGS.
Pnpur: Uvqr uvag naq cnexvat/genvyurnq vasb va svany purpxre.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

Reviewer notes

Use this space to describe your geocache location, container, and how it's hidden to your reviewer. If you've made changes, tell the reviewer what changes you made. The more they know, the easier it is for them to publish your geocache. This note will not be visible to the public when your geocache is published.