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Loyd - Excelsior!

Hidden : 05/19/2006
Difficulty:
3.5 out of 5
Terrain:
3 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

A easy cache to find, once you solve the puzzle, along the Excelsior Loop.

Introduction

This cache is located in the Frances Hildreth Townes Forest, 543 acres of conservation land owned by the New England Forestry Foundation. NEFF is running a GeoChallenge this year; the "official" cache goes live May 20th or so. I've received permisison to place several other caches in the forest to support the GeoChallenge cache, as well as the Frog Rock CITO on May 6th. As we all know, the more caches there are, the more cachers there are!

This cache is part of the Excelsior Loop (see below).

Sam Loyd's Excelsior

"Excelsior" is one of Sam Loyd's most famous chess problems. It was named after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem of the same name for reasons that remain unclear to this writer.

In 1858, in a joking mood in the Morphy Chess Rooms, Loyd composed a mate problem for his friend Denis Julien.

Julien was willing to wager that he could always find the piece that delivered the principal mate of a chess problem. Loyd composed this problem as a joke and bet his friend dinner that he could not pick a piece that didn't give mate in the main line (his friend immediately identified the pawn on b2 as being the least likely to deliver mate), and when the problem was published it was with the stipulation that white mates with "the least likely piece or pawn."

It was originally published in the London Era in 1861. He also submitted the same problem to a Paris tourney in 1867 and the Excelsior took 2nd prize.

The solution (in algebraic notation) is as follows:

 
 
1. b4 Threatening Rf5 and Rf1 mate. White cannot begin with 1. Rf5 because Black's 1.... Rc5 would pin the rook. 1. ...Rc5+ 2. bxc5 Threatening Rb1 mate. 2. ...a2 3. c6 With the same threat as in move one. 3. ...Bc7 4. cxb7 any 5. bxa8=Q mate (or bxa8=B mate). The mate is delivered with the pawn which starts on b2.

Any problem which features a pawn moving from its starting square to promotion in the course of the solution is now said to demonstrate the Excelsior theme. Nowadays it is most usually shown in helpmates and seriesmovers.

The Cache

The cache is not at the listed coordinates. The hike isn't too long but it does involve a decent amount of bushwacking. Please be very aware of the NEFF property line and do not cross it. Take Frog Rock road until you see the first NEFF sign, which is at the listed coordinates, then start your bushwhacking. Do not start bushwhacking from the parking coordinates, you will certainly be on private property.

The cache is a 3- to 4-cup Lock and Lock container with the usual trinkets and logbook. FTFP is a Puzzle Cache GeoCoin. I have already activated it so it shows up in the listing but I will transfer ownership to you once you log the coin.

Once you find the cache you should cross the stream, if possible, if you are continuing on with Longfellow - Excelsior! Look at your topo maps to see where you are and where you want to be.

Parking Instructions

The designated parking lot is on the 2nd NH Turnpike about a mile south of the intersection of the Turnpike with the Lyndeborough Road. From the intersection, travel south for about a mile until you come to Frog Rock Road on your left, which is - of course - unmarked! This road is just past Hopkins Road on your right. Look closely for Frog Rock Road since it is somewhat overgrown and on a sharp curve of the Turnpike. Do not park on Frog Rock Road, it is a Class 6 fire road, but rather park just to the south where there is an unpaved wide spot that will easily hold 4 cars.

The Excelsior Loop

Since this area is not very populated, not many cachers visit the area and I thought that placing several caches here would attract cachers to the NEFF cache. This idea grew into the Excelsior Loop. The Loop consists of the following caches done in this order:

From the Nash Rambler cache you can then hike to the NEFF cache directly or return to the Frog Rock Road and find the NEFF cache with the letterboxing clues. When you do the loop you'll have completed: a traditional, a multi, a micro, a letterbox hybrid and a puzzle plus the traditonal disguised as a puzzle!

Note: Early logs will be deleted.


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