Mystery Cache

Puzzle Solving 101 - The Final Exam

A cache by ePeterso2 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/26/2007
In Florida, United States
5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

South Florida Geocachers

About This Series

The first nine caches in this series will help you build your puzzle-solving skills. Each one contains a lesson focusing on a specific skill, examples of how to use that skill, an exercise to test that skill, and a cache to find as a reward. Study the lesson, complete the exercise, and you'll find the location of a geocache. Each of those caches contains a piece of information you'll need to complete the final exam (this cache).

There are two reasons for the 5-star difficulty rating of this cache: the driving distance between the nine other caches in the series, and the number of puzzles in the final exam. The difficulty lies in the amount of effort needed to complete the exam, not in the difficulty or complexity of the puzzles along the way. If you've been paying attention to the lessons in this series, you should have no trouble passing the test. Don't be afraid to try anything you've learned.

The caches in this series are spread out across Broward County. If you planned the shortest route possible to visit all of these caches in one trip, you would drive approximately 85 miles (not including the drive to the start and and from the end points of your trip).

If you can find this cache, then you truly have the skills to go find any other puzzle cache out there.

One final request: Before you head out to log a find on this one, bring along a fun little word, math, logic, or trivia brain teaser with you to share. Include it in your entry in the log book ... and don't forget to write the answer at the back of the logbook!

Note for Remote Solvers

A number of cachers around the world have expressed interest in being able to log a find for this cache as well as dismay at not being able to solve the final puzzle (due to the requirement of picking up the clues from the first nine caches in the series).

To give remote solvers a chance to record a long-distance find here, I have placed the Puzzle Solving 101 Remote Solver TB into this cache. This is a virtual travel bug - it does not physically reside in the cache. On the last puzzle of the Final Exam, you will be asked to verify your solution of the other nine puzzles in the series. If your verification is correct, you will be given the tracking number to log a find on the TB.

The Final Exam

Click here to take out a blank sheet of paper and begin the Final Exam.

Your diploma is in the cache, along with your graduation present.



Congratulations to the following cachers who have made the Dean's List for the Puzzle Solving 101 Series!
1. skiplondon 2. antimony13 3. lorriebird
4. rnrgrl 5. TinSparrow 6. billedm
7. FLPirate 8. The Wench 9. Lions Fan
10. 08rocklady 11. WINSLMA 12. MulderNScully
13. themaskedllama 14. harper117 15. oraclebennett
16. Hokuri 17. soflfamily 18. ikolor
19. Pirates of Naples 20. Lag Pins 21. jrcbec
22. jo_botmn 23. fsu1567 24. TheMasses
25. THE RATTs 26. MadisonJoe 27. greenwoodturner
28. radioman84 29. Dockdog 30. maryann-and-jay
31. Gungadoy 32. sflookers 33. B0NE
34. dcdawn  35. Berb57  36. Floridafinder2 
37. RbMotmot  38. APawInMyFace  Who will be next?


Lamp Skirt Micros 101 - The Final Exam

On April Fool's Day 2009, the Puzzle Solving 101 Final Exam was mysteriously decommissioned and replaced with the Lamp Skirt Micros 101 Final Exam. Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun! If you want to see how the LSM101 Final Exam page looked that day, click here.

The LSM101 Final Exam is now an unlisted bonus cache. You can complete the LSM101 exam today - the cache is still there, ready and waiting to be found. In the cache is the code for the LSM101 Final Exam TB. To log your find, post a Discovered It note on the TB.

Honorable Mention: Congratulations to WINSLMA for being the first to find the hidden Easter Egg in the LSM101 Final Exam!

PS101 Driving Distance Leaderboard

I'm amazed at the distances people have traveled to come log a find on the PS101 Final Exam. Here's the Top Five Mostest Farthest Awayest (determined by driving distance to home coordinates as measured by Google Maps):

  1. 3355 mi - greenwoodturner - Corvallis, Oregon
  2. 1530 mi - billedm - Cobourg, Ontario, Canada
  3. 1520 mi - Hipointer and Capiti - New Hampshire, USA
  4. 1512 mi - Lions Fan and 08rocklady - Deforest, Wisconsin, USA
  5. 1369 mi - brijac - Channahon, Illinois, USA

The PS101 Caching Network

Several individuals appreciated this puzzle cache series so much that they decided to bring it to their hometowns. If you aren't going to be in South Florida any time soon but might be in the vicinity of some of these caches, stop by and log a find! And please let me know if you hide a similar cache so that I can add yours to this list.

The PS101 Caching Network Bookmark List

Thanks a ton to Urubu, Cow Spots, Lj&Co, and Col Mustard for doing the beta-testing of the puzzles in this cache.

When you've finished this series, check out the sequel! It's called Geodyssey, and it's a puzzlehunt with a geocaching twist.

If you like this cache, you'll love my blog for puzzle lovers. Check it out at

The design of this cache was inspired by Riff's Second Annual Puzzle Contest, in which I tried to compete and failed miserably. (I solved the maze in #3 but got stuck along with everyone else on #4.) A summary of the solutions to the puzzles in that contest is here.

The design of this series was also inspired by the cache A Criminal Education (GC10GW1).

If this cache was too easy for you, perhaps you're ready for something more challenging.

In June 2008, I began working for an employer whose office is located reasonably close to the Final Exam. If you plan to visit the final around lunchtime on a work day and would like to meet up for lunch after your visit, send me a message. There's lots of good places to eat nearby.

If you've solved all of the puzzles in the PS101 series and you're in the vicinity of Charlotte NC, you've got all the information you need to find this cache. If you set up a similar cache in your own hometown, let me know so I can list it here.

On May 17, 2009, the PS101 series got a mention on the PodCacher podcast. Whoo-hoo!

This series was named the Geocaching Puzzle of the Day for Friday, May 20, 2011.

Click here to watch a short video I made that tells the story of the Puzzle Solving 101 series. I also posted the slides from that video.

The PS101 Series was fetaured on the YouTube Channel on Monday, November 19, 2012. The interview with me was filmed in my backyard.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[Part 1] Vs lbh'er fghpx, tb onpx naq fghql Yrffba Gjb.
[Part 2] N uvag sbe gur svany chmmyr vf ninvynoyr ng gur cbfgrq pbbeqvangrf.
[Cache] Ng ynfg! Na nzzb obk vafgrnq bs bar bs gubfr fghcvq zvpebf!
[Cache] Qba'g sbetrg gb oevat nybat lbhe bja oenvagrnfre gb nqq gb gur ybtobbx.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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Current Time:
Last Updated: on 2/23/2017 7:39:25 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (3:39 AM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum