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October 27, 2010 9:27 AM   Subscribe

The Reverse Geocache Puzzle Box is quite nifty! Here's a video interview of the inventor. Maybe you prefer the analog version? Or do you want to build your own?
posted by lioness (27 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
The only downside? It's a bit useless to build one for yourself. Booh!
posted by lioness at 9:31 AM on October 27, 2010


And another very nice variation: the Morse Code puzzle box
posted by lioness at 9:35 AM on October 27, 2010


It is very frustrating for me that I have no idea how technology works, other than by magic.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:37 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


So Admiral, you do understand then. It's magic.

Just like musicals and sausage making.
posted by Keith Talent at 9:46 AM on October 27, 2010


A GPS receiver also gets the time, so you could program one to open only at the right place and time. It would take some thinking about how to make it an interesting puzzle, though. A single date and time might result in the user either being too late and never being able to open it, or way too early. ("Congratulations, you found the right place! Please wait 68 days.") So maybe have one time of day it would open on any day, or week, or month, or whatever. I'm still not sure how to write the clue for that, though. With both time and place you could then do astronomical cacluations too, so you could have it open only at sunset, or doing a full moon, or things like that.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:21 AM on October 27, 2010


or doing during a full moon
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:22 AM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I want one. I can't believe the original hasn't been opened yet! Who can leave an unsolved puzzle just laying around for over a year? Puzzles need to be solved.
posted by geeky at 10:25 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who can leave an unsolved puzzle just laying around for over a year?

Maybe I'm just in a mood today, but I don't know, I think I might find a wedding present that requires a 250-mile drive to open to be just a little over-precious.

On the other hand, one of our actual wedding presents was a set of clear acrylic coasters engraved with our (nonexistent, since she didn't change her name) monogram. It's definitely a better present than that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2010


A magic box that opens only on your wedding anniversary would be cheap to manufacture and would probably sell a billion copies. Hold on while I patent that idea.
posted by miyabo at 11:05 AM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thank you so much-- I love this. I've already wasted an hour at work devising my own type of internal lock puzzle box. The fact that the input could be anything you can imagine allows this to be highly personalized in so many ways (eg outdoor temperature, fingerprint, elevation, voice recognition, etc.)

Brilliant!

//runs off madly cackling through the halls of his office building//
posted by strangememes at 11:17 AM on October 27, 2010


Maybe I'm just in a mood today, but I don't know, I think I might find a wedding present that requires a 250-mile drive to open to be just a little over-precious.

As with any gift, it should be given with consideration of the recipient and their likes/dislikes. I personally enjoy traveling and LOVE puzzles, so I would consider it the Best. Present. Ever. You? Maybe not so much.
posted by geeky at 11:25 AM on October 27, 2010


This is great, but... what could you put in the box that wasn't anticlimatic?

If someone has travelled hundreds of miles to open the box, what are some things that could be in it that won't be kind of a letdown?
posted by -harlequin- at 11:37 AM on October 27, 2010


I need one of these, and i am from the same place as the guy, and he seems to have made like a "mark 2" version that can be reprogrammed and reused.
posted by djduckie at 11:54 AM on October 27, 2010


This is great, but... what could you put in the box that wasn't anticlimatic?

If someone has travelled hundreds of miles to open the box, what are some things that could be in it that won't be kind of a letdown?
posted by -harlequin- at 11:37 AM on October 27 [+] [!]


I was considering this question myself. I came to the conclusion, as did the creator, that it's really the journey and the puzzle itself that are the gift. Hmm. I wonder if I can explain that to the recipient WITH the gift in the box. This scenario then formulated in my mind:

The year is 2030. Mr. and Mrs. Strangememes are sending off their second son to college after the summer (the first one drops out of highschool in defiance... something about a BB gun). On this day of high school graduation, father strangememes hands strangememes jr a mysterious box. A spark of excitement exudes from the young man's eye. The journey begins.
Junior hits the road in search of the secret spot. While learning the devices code, he learns of the various beauties New England has to offer over the next week. Oh, he has a great adventure, a great adventure indeed! And one fateful morning-- the dew still fresh on the grass-- he finds himself at a peaceful spot of Walden Pond. A spot his father had brought him to as a child. His pulse quickens.

*CLICK* The lock is open. With bated breath he opens the box to find a book. No, not Walden. Give me a little credit. He finds The Alchemist. It is inscribed by father. It reads, "Life is a journey, not a destination."

He raises the box high above his head and brings it down sharply smashing it onto a rock while cursing, "I wanted a f*cking car!"
posted by strangememes at 12:10 PM on October 27, 2010 [5 favorites]


[Homer's mother's video will]
Mona Simpson: To Lisa, I give something not even the government can take from you: my rebellious spirit.
Lisa Simpson: Oh, grandma. I accept your gift.
Bart Simpson: Lisa got nothing! Lisa got nothing!
posted by 445supermag at 12:47 PM on October 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


With bated breath he opens the box to find a book. He finds The Alchemist.

Or a second box that won't open until you drive the 500 miles back home.
posted by wabashbdw at 1:27 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


You could always lead the receiver to a storage locker or safe deposit box containing their "real" gift, and have keys to the lock inside. Though I think the coolest (non-car) gift would match the destination somehow - lead someone to an amusement park, and have tickets inside; or to a restaurant, with a gift certificate, and so on.

I really want to think of a way to use this for my friend's upcoming 30th birthday, it's such a great idea.
posted by missix at 2:48 PM on October 27, 2010


It's really unfortunate that any couples who would both appreciate this as a way of proposing marriage are probably going to read stuff about it online before the other could do it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:16 PM on October 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is very frustrating for me that I have no idea how technology works, other than by magic.

So, learn! It's all on the web. If you have any questions, I and others will be happy to help.

If this were a weekend, I would have responded by explaining the details of electronics in one large, obsessive, multi-hour comment. But unfortunately, it isn't. (Any who wish to harness my scribomania for good must understand the temporal cycles that govern it.)
posted by Xezlec at 9:05 PM on October 27, 2010


I hope he ships the gift to France, because I foresee some issues when he tries explaining this to airport security.
posted by itstheclamsname at 6:30 AM on October 28, 2010


... and should have read all the way to the point when he anticipates this very problem.
posted by itstheclamsname at 6:32 AM on October 28, 2010


Well-timed post, lioness. The original box has finally been opened.
posted by howling fantods at 6:44 AM on October 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd seen this a little while back on its first transit and am glad to hear it ended as well as it did for everyone.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:24 AM on October 28, 2010


Honestly, level with me, how hard would this be to make for someone with very limited understanding of electronics and no code skills? Basically, I know what a box is and can build one.
posted by Tavern at 9:42 AM on October 28, 2010


Honestly, level with me, how hard would this be to make for someone with very limited understanding of electronics and no code skills? Basically, I know what a box is and can build one.

It would involve a new, rewarding hobby (electronics, microprocessors and code), and I'd guess it would take several months to get to the point where you could build this. Probably more than a year if you don't really have time for a new hobby and so are spending few enough hours per week on it that much of your time is spent re-learning stuff you forgot in the meantime.

If you were not interested in learning anything other than how to do this project, it would be quicker, but no necessarily best.

Or you could hire someone to build the electrical side for you, and you concentrate on the box and gift.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:34 AM on October 28, 2010


From the sound of the update, he now builds and sells these boxes if you commission one.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:39 AM on October 28, 2010


I read that as "The Reverse Goatse Puzzle Box" at first...
posted by Evilspork at 5:54 PM on October 28, 2010


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