merit badges

Geodyssey Update #2: Solver Badges

The Hits Keep on Coming

Geodyssey is off to a great start! Since Friday, the site has had over 17,000 page views from more than 1,200 users in 41 different countries. The most remote from me here in South Florida was a visit from someone in Norfolk Island.

Please help spread the word about Geodyssey to your fellow puzzleheads by forwarding this message and reposting on your social media network of choice.

New! Solver Badges

I’ve created solver badges for each of the Geodyssey three challenges. They look something like this:

Sample Solver Badge
Sample Solver Badge

The solver badges are available on the final page of each challenge. Feel free to download them, use them as avatars, or in any other way you like to prove your puzzleheadhed prowess.

The Challenges Roll On

The Local Challenge hasn’t been completed yet. If you’re in South Florida, you’ve still got a chance to be the first one to locate it.

Don’t forget that the contest runs through the end of March 2016. Everyone who completes one of the three Geodyssey challenges by then will be entered into a drawing to win their own copy of the book Puzzlecraft. Details are available on the Contest page.

Keep spreading the word, enjoy the puzzles, and good luck to the contestants!

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Geodyssey Update #1: She’s Leaving Home

Good Morning, Good Morning

Geodyssey is off to a great start! Since Friday, the site has had over 11,000 page views from more than 1,000 users in 36 different countries. It even earned a mention on the Geocaching Puzzle of the Day site.

Some of the early feedback I’ve received:

  • “It’s a lovely set of puzzles! Thanks for the fun!”
  • “This was fun and amazing. We completely enjoyed it!”
  • “A thoroughly enjoyable experience from start to finish.”

Please help spread the word about Geodyssey to your fellow puzzleheads by forwarding this message and reposting on your social media network of choice.

Fixing a Hole

As people began using the site, I did my best to listen to all of your comments, direct and indirect. Thanks to you, I was able to patch some bugs in the way some directions were worded, add additional clarification where some was needed, and add some convenience links to help you spend more time solving and less time clicking and typing. If you see an issue, please use the Contact form on the site to let me know, and I’ll do my best to make it right ASAP.

Also, on February 2, Groundspeak switched the format of the log entries on geocaching.com. Instead of enhancing entries with raw HTML, the logs now use the Wikipedia-style Markdown syntax. This had the unfortunate side-effect of breaking the Remote Challenge clues. I’ve since updated the clues to use the new style – if the relevant log entries for a page on geocaching.com don’t look right for some reason, try reloading the page. And if they still don’t look right, please let me know.

Getting Better

The first contest entries are in! First-to-solve honors go to the following individuals:

The Local Challenge hasn’t been completed yet. If you’re in South Florida, you’ve still got a chance to be the first one to locate it.

Don’t forget that the contest runs through the end of March 2016. Everyone who completes one of the three Geodyssey challenges by then will be entered into a drawing to win their own copy of the book Puzzlecraft. Details are available on the Contest page.

Keep spreading the word, enjoy the puzzles, and good luck to the contestants!

Eric Peterson / ePeterso2
Chief Puzzlehead

Bonus Mini-Puzzle

What do the title of this post and bold-faced section headings (other than the heading of this section) in this message have in common?

Solution
Geodyssey-Logo-Featured-Image

Announcing the Geodyssey Puzzlehunt

Geodyssey is a collection of puzzles with a bit of a geocaching twist, although you don’t have to be a geocacher to solve them.

There are three parts to Geodyssey:

The puzzles are completely free: there’s no cost to access the site, and there are no banner ads on it.

As part of the rollout, I’m also running a contest through the end of March 2016. Everyone who completes one of the three Geodyssey challenges by then will be entered into a drawing to win their own copy of the book Puzzlecraft. Details are available on the Contest page.

I drew upon two sources of inspiration to create Geodyssey. First, I wanted to create a sequel to the Puzzle Solving 101 series of geocaches that I created back in 2007. Second, I wanted to try my hand at creating some of the puzzles in the book Puzzlecraft: The Ultimate Guide on How to Construct Every Kind of Puzzle by Mike Selinker and Thomas Snyder, especially ones I’d never constructed before. The grand prize in the contest for each challenge is a copy of that book.

I started designing Geodyssey in the summer of 2015, and I’m really interested to know what you think of it. If you’ve got an opinion, suggestion, or question about Geodyssey (good or bad), please get in touch with me. You can reply to this message or use the Contact form on the web site.

I’ll be sending news updates about Geodyssey on this list as well as posting them on my blog at puzzlehead.org.

Enjoy the puzzles, and good luck to the contestants!

email

Alice, Bob, and the Puzzlehead Mailing List

My new puzzlehunt is just about ready to roll out. Launch date is National Puzzle Day – Fri Jan 29. You’ll see an announcement here, on my Facebook page, my Twitter feed, and elsewhere.

But if you join my Puzzlehead email list, you’ll get announcements about the release delivered straight to your inbox. I’ll bring the info you need straight to you, absolutely free!

Visit this link to sign up, or use the signup box on this page. I use Mailchimp, which makes it easy for you to manage your messaging preferences.

In the meantime, here’s a simple logic puzzle about the mail, which I found on the wonderful puzzle site MindCipher:

Alice and Bob live very far apart. Alice wants to exchange mail via the postal service with Bob, but they both know their mail carrier is corrupt and opens their letters.

Alice has a box that can be secured with one or more padlocks, and the mail carrier cannot open the box when it is locked. Alice and Bob each have a keyed padlock that can secure the box, but Alice’s key cannot open Bob’s padlock, and Bob’s key cannot open Alice’s padlock.

How can Alice send a letter to Bob without it being read by the mail carrier?

Solution 1
Solution 2
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A new puzzlehunt is coming soon! (Jan 29)

I’m putting the finishing touches on a brand new puzzlehunt which I plan to release to the world on National Puzzle Day – January 29. If you liked my Puzzle Solving 101 Series, I think you’re gonna like this new one.

It’s not going to be a new series of geocaches, but it’s got a fair bit of geocaching elements to it. But you don’t have to be a geocacher to enjoy it – it’s designed for the cachers and muggles alike.  Although there will be a local aspect to it for people who can get to South Florida, there will be something in it for you no matter where you live.

In the meantime, please enjoy this throwback to my 2 minutes and 50 seconds of C-list internet fame, thanks to the producers at Groundspeak:

Rebuilding the Site

The old version of this site had been hacked and flooded with spam several years ago, and my attempts to thoroughly clean up the results of that hack were unsuccessful.

As a result, I’ve moved the old version of this site to old.puzzlehead.org. All of the URLs that used to point to this site should work on that site if you change “www” to “old” in the URL. All comments and registrations on the old site have been disabled, and I’ve patched the system as best I can, so hopefully that will slow down the nonsense.

I’ll be slowly rebuilding the new site out of the pieces of the old. Stay tuned!