14-09-20 Forty Sortie.pngI’d been working on a bunch of puzzles down in Petersfield in anticipation of going there to attempt to make forty or more puzzle finds in a day. This would qualify me for a Challenge Cache called the Forty Sortie, which is over near Woking.

So being of the mad variety, Happy Hunter HP20 and me planned a day out to try to achieve it. Before doing that we had to go through the rather painful process of attempting to solve the series of puzzles in question. Despite being called the “101 Series” they were far from simple. They wouldn’t be, because they were set by Mr Cyptic, a local puzzle solver who seems to delight in setting confusing things. If these are his easier ones, I’m glad I wasn’t trying to solve the hard ones.

Anyway, down near the hamlet of Langrish he has set several series of puzzles. The “101 Series” has 39 (A-Z and 0-9), which meant we needed to find at least 4 others to make 40 in a day. There’s a zodiac series and various others, and between us we managed to get a pot of about 50 solved, which we thought would be enough contingency to get us through.

HHHP20 also thought it might be a good idea to try to qualify for a nearby challenge that requires the finding of 10 challenges in a day, so we picked out a whole pile of nearby ones (some down towards Havant) that meant we should have a big enough stock of those too.

Ami wanted to come, so there were three of us, once we’d picked up HHHP20 and done the cache outside his house, of course. Because we’d started early we had to stop for breakfast at the Chieveley Services, where the M4 meets the A34. It had taken us a while to get there, and it took us another while to get to where we wanted to be. It was late morning by the time we got there.

Thankfully the walk around the 101 Series was quite quick aside from one cache, that we eventually gave up on, so we’d found 35 puzzles on that stretch as well as a random trad and a church micro at Langrish, which we did on the way in. We made up to our 40 puzzles by doing a handful of drive-bys from the other ones we’d solved.

From there we headed south a bit to try to do the challenges challenge. We started well by finding the challenges challenge itself and one based around a pack of cards, but it soon went a bit pear shaped after that. It was getting quite late in the afternoon by this point and although we’d found an area with seven very easy looking challenges, we started missing them. I think maybe we were getting a bit tired, after not really having a lunch break.

Anyway, we drove up the A3 to Guildfordish and then towards Woking, so we could grab the Forty Sortie Challenge. When we done this we drove back into Woking for some much needed dinner in a local pub. It was good.

By the time Ami and me got home (at about midnight) we’d been out of the house for the best part of 18 hours, and we’d had enough. We’d managed 49 finds, the vast majority of which were of the “Mystery” type, being either puzzles or challenges. The caches we found were :


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