Posted by: geonarcissa | July 24, 2009

Rainy Day Geocaching – Solving Puzzles

With the seemingly endless rain preventing me from hitting the trails, I am growing increasingly impatient with my stagnant finds count. 1078. Bah.

On rainy days when I have the geocaching itch but just can’t bring myself to face the weather (it’s tough to cache in inclement weather with a three-year-old), my attention turns to those nuisance Mystery/Puzzle caches. Ottawa-Gatineau is full of them.

With that in mind, I thought I would share some of the tools I’ve found helpful in solving puzzle geocaches. If you live in an area where there aren’t already a lot of puzzle geocaches, perhaps you’ll find inspiration from these sources instead.

Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a search engine in helping you crack a tough puzzle. And remember that there’s a predictable number format you’re looking for, and the degrees of latitude and longitude are unlikely to be different than the posted coordinates.

First off, here’s a digital root calculator that was written especially for me to share with my geocaching friends. If you’re not familiar with digital roots (or digital sums), here’s the Wikipedia page. They’re used often in multi-caches and puzzle caches around here. The digital root of words is found by assigning a number to each letter of the alphabet (A=1, Z=26, etc.)  and then adding those together. This digital root calculator will do all that for you, and it can handle numbers and letters in combination.

Purple Hell has helped me countless times with different kinds of ciphers, like the Baconian Cipher. It’s a great resource for solving and creating puzzles.

A sudoku cache got you down because you hate/suck at sudoku? Here’s a sudoku solver.

Some puzzles might give you coordinates in a different format. Here’s a converter.

Feel free to suggest other good sources for solving puzzles!



  1. Thanks!

    There’s a great puzzle solving series here too:

    “Puzzle Solving 101”.

  2. Also, this is really handy!

    • Those are both great links. Thank you!

  3. Have been enjoying your blog, and am featuring it on, hope you dont mind!

    And yes i suck and hate sudoku maybe now i will attempt one of those silly caches.


    Happy Trails

  4. Hi Vamp from Purple Hell here – Geonarcissa I have a favour to ask you if I may, could you please contact me via email or my site – many thanks

    Happy geocaching xD

  5. Great! When I was visiting JungleHair in Ottawa, there were a number of digital root caches to be found. I am now trying to set one up here in the Grand Island, New York area!


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