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Found it colincactus found Raindrops keep fallin' on my head

Monday, January 31, 2011South East England, United Kingdom

Joint {*FTF*} - with the report securely sent to Aitch

Oh what a puzzle series and what a finale. By turns entertaining, instructive, frustrating but never dull, and as a bonus we ended up with some unexpected skills.

On Nov 30th I received the notification this had been published and saw the comment by Aitch that it was worthy of its 5 stars. I may've felt a little dismissive of her rating at the time, but now I know better. Its probably the hardest 5 star puzzle I've ever come across.

Its publication coincided with the week of the first snowfall - so a good excuse to spend some concentrated time with this puzzle and get it cracked. Not even close. Looking back now I think the time I've spent on this puzzle over the last two months has to have been equivalent to a second full-time job. The sort of job that when you start you are confident you can easily handle, but within a few weeks you realise than you are hopelessly under-qualified for.

After a week or so of good progress I got stuck, but then a consortium started forming as we all realised that we were at a similar point. We gradually worked our way past that, but then began to have our suspicions about what we'd have to do to get the report. We didn't want to stoop to the level of the Professor's enemies so we informed Aitch of our misgivings. The Professor managed to quickly provide a new route for us. We knew there would be a clever way to get there but our brains weren't up to it. A brute-force attack would surely work too and we had two big brutes in Gary and me.

The date of the court case was now fast approaching. There were still two more stages to go, and with so many clues I couldn't see what to do. Fortunately we had Agglet on the team who managed to work out the solution to both parts.

Then a minor problem: before we could log the cache we had to find a secure way of getting the report to Aitch. We hatched a plan and tonight we had confirmation it had succeeded.

So the end of two months of long nights, but now its all over I'm already missing it.

#559 TFTC

infoA Mystery Cache is the “catch-all” of cache types, this form of cache can involve complicated puzzles you will first need to solve to determine the coordinates. The only commonality of this cache type is that the coordinates listed are not of the actual cache location but a general reference point, such as a nearby parking location. Due to the increasing creativity of geocaching this becomes the staging ground for new and unique challenges.
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