Short Hints

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Alansee
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Short Hints

Post by Alansee » 07 March 09 12:06 pm

This is a plea for hints to be kept short!
<p>
While I haven't been keeping any stats whatsoever, I've noticed some looonnnggg hints recently - generally around 12 to 15 words. One was about 40!
<p>
The GC cache submission page says -
<p>
Enter any hints or spoiler information below. This information will be encrypted on the site until a geocacher clicks on a link to unencrypt it, or decodes it on the trail. Text within brackets [like this] will not be encrypted. Please keep your hints short, so decoding it on the trail is easier.
<p>
Apart from "decoding on the Trail", my GPS (Garmin Hcx) has a space for notes and I download the hint to it, but am limited to 30 spaces. Several times recently I have been looking in the wrong spot because I only had half the hit.
<p>
I know I should get a new GPS :twisted: but many of the hints are really verbose - eg. "I know I shouldn't give you one but here it is..........! :shock:
<p>
Have others been having similar problems?
<p>
ps. Has anyone gotten around that 30 character limit?

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Papa Bear_Left
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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 07 March 09 1:09 pm

Yes! One of my pet peeves is hints that are completely unhelpful!
(Another is hints that are required to find the cache!)

As a cacher, I only read the hint if I really need to (and sometimes after I've found it, just for interest) and it bugs me to spend ages looking for a cache, then resort to the hint and see "This is way too easy to need a hint!"

As a reviewer, I have a macro asking cache owners with non-hints to change or remove them, or to explain to me why it really is a hint!
A hint is supposed to be something that's decoded after a search has failed and some further clue is needed. As the edit page says "If you don't have a hint, leave it blank."

The humour of reading "This is too easy for a hint!" is hard to see when you're hot, tired, scratched and frustrated...

So, unless I've missed a clever wordplay, this doesn't look like a hint.

If all you're saying is "This is toooo easy for a hint!!!!", you should just remove it.

Or, you could put it inside square brackets so it's readable without decoding. Then you're not raising any false hopes that you've got something useful written there.

Or tell me why it's a real hint!
So hopefully, the non-hint is something you won't see often on newer caches!

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Mr Router
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Post by Mr Router » 07 March 09 1:16 pm

I have noticed lately that more hints tell you to a t where to look :shock: takes the sting out of the hunt :?

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Bundyrumandcoke
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Post by Bundyrumandcoke » 07 March 09 1:25 pm

I've been on the recieving end of one of The Umps non hint removal requests. Wasnt a problem to comply.

Cheers
Bundy

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the farmers 5
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Post by the farmers 5 » 07 March 09 2:14 pm

Have to agree with Alansee on short hints as well.Was amused to read a few interstate caches recently where the hint actually described the best access road to park nearest the area,then gave information all about the walk thru the bush.All this and then the hint about the exact cache location was the last item.All sounds fun until someone has treked a long hike in 40 degree heat,had a good search and then sat down with pen and paper slowly decrypting 30 to 40 words not aware its only the last 3 words that actually gives the needed location clue.Three to five words should cover the hint .Any roads in or path information can be highlighted in the main description.

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Papa Bear_Left
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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 07 March 09 3:47 pm

the farmers 5 wrote:Have to agree with Alansee on short hints as well.Was amused to read a few interstate caches recently where the hint actually described the best access road to park nearest the area,then gave information all about the walk thru the bush.
This is another misuse of the hint field that I try to catch when reviewing, and I think it shows that this cache owner considers the hint to be just another part of the description, doesn't it!

If you remember which ones they are, I'd suggest emailing the owners and pointing out the real purpose of hints and how theirs fails to meet this purpose.

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tronador
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Re: Short Hints

Post by tronador » 07 March 09 10:59 pm

Alansee wrote: my GPS (Garmin Hcx) has a space for notes and I download the hint to it, but am limited to 30 spaces.
How do you do this? I have the same GPS and in my notes is a repeat of the cache name and difficulty when downloaded from GSAK. How do you get the hint into the notes or do you enter it manually?

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Big Matt and Shell
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Re: Short Hints

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 07 March 09 11:37 pm

tronador wrote:
Alansee wrote: my GPS (Garmin Hcx) has a space for notes and I download the hint to it, but am limited to 30 spaces.
How do you do this? I have the same GPS and in my notes is a repeat of the cache name and difficulty when downloaded from GSAK. How do you get the hint into the notes or do you enter it manually?
<P> To add the hints type the following in the Waypoint Description field, "%hint" without the "". <P>There is a long list of things that you put in this field, you can see these special characters by clicking on the help button in the GPS export screen and clicking on the Waypoint description field.<BR>I used to upload with the following, <P>%Name=15 %typ=3 %con=3 %Dif%correct=! %Ter<P>%Name=15 is the cache name limited to 15 characters<BR>%typ=3 is the cache type to 3 characters<BR>%con=3 is the container to three characters<br>%Dif is the difficulty.<BR>%correct=! places a "!" if the coordinates have been corrected in the case of pre-solved puzzles. (saves chasing a puzzle that is not there!)<BR>%Ter is the cache terrain. <P>I also changed the Waypoint name code from the %smart tag to %code %bug which uses the GC code for the waypoint and puts a Y or N if there is a TB or not.<br>Hope this helps.<P>If all else fails just go to the GSAK help and type Special Tags. All the options are there.

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tronador
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Re: Short Hints

Post by tronador » 08 March 09 10:29 am

big_matt wrote:
tronador wrote:
Alansee wrote: my GPS (Garmin Hcx) has a space for notes and I download the hint to it, but am limited to 30 spaces.
How do you do this? I have the same GPS and in my notes is a repeat of the cache name and difficulty when downloaded from GSAK. How do you get the hint into the notes or do you enter it manually?
<P> To add the hints type the following in the Waypoint Description field, "%hint" without the "". <P>There is a long list of things that you put in this field, you can see these special characters by clicking on the help button in the GPS export screen and clicking on the Waypoint description field.<BR>I used to upload with the following, <P>%Name=15 %typ=3 %con=3 %Dif%correct=! %Ter<P>%Name=15 is the cache name limited to 15 characters<BR>%typ=3 is the cache type to 3 characters<BR>%con=3 is the container to three characters<br>%Dif is the difficulty.<BR>%correct=! places a "!" if the coordinates have been corrected in the case of pre-solved puzzles. (saves chasing a puzzle that is not there!)<BR>%Ter is the cache terrain. <P>I also changed the Waypoint name code from the %smart tag to %code %bug which uses the GC code for the waypoint and puts a Y or N if there is a TB or not.<br>Hope this helps.<P>If all else fails just go to the GSAK help and type Special Tags. All the options are there.
Thanks so much, it works. This is brilliant :D :D

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Post by The Spindoctors » 08 March 09 7:18 pm

Well I attempted three caches this afternoon and the results weren't in my favour.

Of the two that I DNF'd both had useless hints. One apologised for the log sheet and the other said something about a local landcare group. Very infuriating to read, especially as both caches were haystackers.

Now to email the owners for some actual hints.

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Post by CraigRat » 08 March 09 8:40 pm

My biggest peeve at the moment: the encrypted 'No Hint Needed' hint.

Well *I* needed one, obviously one is!

Going to write code on the GCA caches to address the issue mentioned in the OP to keep the length down, plus I think I'll write some stuff to hassle ppl with the 'none needed' hint :lol:

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 08 March 09 8:52 pm

After reading this thread just checked all my listings to make sure any hints on my caches were actually needed and useful. They were 8)

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Post by Echo » 09 March 09 10:33 pm

richary wrote:After reading this thread just checked all my listings to make sure any hints on my caches were actually needed and useful. They were 8)
Have to agree with richery. I too read this thread, decided to reflect on my hints and have decided to take them a bit more seriously. Hopefully if anyone ever has a problem them they realise they can talk to me about it.
Definitely a thread worth reading.

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Post by setsujoku » 10 March 09 1:19 pm

Whilst I agree with the OP, I wanted to add that cache listings themselves with descriptions as short as the target length of hints is just as bad :!:

It annoys me when I see new caches published that have nothing about the location, why you are going there, or what the ambiguous cache name might stand for.
It would seem sometimes that it's just been placed for the sake of it, when it could in fact be a great location that you could explain what you are seeing, the reason behind the name/area, and draw interstate cachers to come visit the cache

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svn07
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Post by svn07 » 10 March 09 4:42 pm

The description IS the advertising for your cache - a nice and catchy, informative, well written "ad" is likely to attract more "consumers".

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