The mysterious text below was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot and is a geocache clue that has apparently resisted all attempts to decipher it. Can you help?

Geocache clue

12 thoughts on “Puzzle

  1. Well, the Morse code at the bottom says “FRODO RULES”, if that helps.

  2. The letters are from the Barddas runic alphabet. Transliterating them returns:

    Running that through ROT13 gives:

    triplet trio deuce halften irvin

    Which makes sense as English words but I have no idea what it means. Presumably it has some relevance to the geocache.

  3. Tried looking at Tolkien’s languages… it’s close but not a match. Maybe it’s some derivative.

  4. The first three characters are repeated once more at position 8 to 10. These three characters are also among the most common within the text. If it’s English then it could be the article “the”. I haven’t been able to decipher the text though so I might be wrong. Based on the Morse code clue, for all I know it could be Quenya or Sindarin. ;P

    And before someone asks, the characters don’t look like any of Tolkien’s invented scripts except for a very vague resemblance to Cirth.

  5. The blurred image isn’t helping – are characters 6, 13, 15, 16, and 22 all the same character, or is 15 different? If 15 and 16 are a double letter, that could be a big clue – 7 & 8 also appear to be a double, which can only be done to a limited number of letters (in the languages of which I’m aware…).

  6. Geocache puzzles typically resolve to coordinates, usually something like “N 33° 20.288 W 086° 50.998” (which are the posted coordinates for this particular puzzle). The posted coordinates usually need to fall within two miles of the final solved coordinates. Because of this rule, often the puzzle will leave out the first couple numbers of the latitude and longitude, because they can be assumed to be the same as the posted coords. So what you are looking for is to somehow get the puzzle to related to a series of numbers usually 15, 14, or 10 digits.

    I’m not the submitter, but I am a geocacher and solving the puzzles is among my favorite parts of the game. I’ll take a harder look at this one when I have more time.

  7. Further to Patrick Wynne’s comments, the Barddas runic alphabet were invented by Iolo Morganwg a Welsh antiquarian, dreamer, sometime historian and also inventor of the ‘modern’ Gorsedd of the Bards. http://iolomorganwg.wales.ac.uk/

    The alphabet can be seen inscribed wherever the National Eisteddfod of Wales has visited (which is most towns in Wales!) and they’ve build a stone ‘gorsedd’ circle where the proclamation of the Eisteddfod is announced to much fan-fare a year before it visits the town. There’s one, for instance, in front of the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff: http://westwales.co.uk/graphics/nat_museum.jpg

    There’s a nice old poster used to teach children the Welsh alphabet with the Bardic alphabet at the bottom: http://americymru.net/group/grwpiaithcymraeg/forum/topics/yr-wyddor-the-alphabet

  8. Okay. So to summarize the thread posted by Jayarava: The runes are Bardass Runes. They translate to the string “GEVCYRGGEVBQRHPRUNYSGRAVEIVA”. Rotating 13 places and adding spaces gives “TRIPLET TRIO DEUCE HALF TEN IRVIN”. This somehow translates into a set of coordinates.

  9. hmm I don’t know what is Geocache up till now actually but this sounds interesting really …
    Triplet trio? 3×3 ?
    Deuce? 2?
    half ten? 5.
    Irvin? no clue!

    9 2 5 (?) ……. does it make any sense? hmmm…

  10. I believe ROT13, as Matrick Wynne already found, is the clue. And since they need to be coordinates, couldn’t it be 33°32.930 something? the meaning of IRVIN, FRODO and RULES is still unclear to me. They all have 5 letters, but I don’t think that’s got anything to do with it, honestly

    FYI, N 33°32.930 is somewhere near the latitude of Northern Africa, the southern US states, Japan, China, … Perhaps the submitter could give us some more information about where he found this?

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