Exercise 9: His Birds Tore Us Apart

The solution to this puzzle is a set of geospatial coordinates (longitude and latitude) in the form:

N DDº MM.mmm’ W DDº MM.mmm’

Where “DD” is degrees and “MM.mmm” is minutes (in thousandths). These coordinates are the solution to the mystery cache Puzzle Solving 101 – Lesson 1: Strategy (GCYXZ8). (This cache has been archived—the puzzle-solving lesson on the cache page is still visible, but the cache can no longer be found and logged.)

Professor Arnold Thopter, Ph.D., is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Superior Naturalist Outdoor Bird Spotters (SNOBS). As one of the world’s leading avian parapsychologists and the creator of the sport of competitive birdwatching, he is widely renowned as a lecturer, researcher, and educator.

Dr. Thopter’s recent work has been wholly focused on the effects of enclosed spaces upon the behavior of birds. He discovered that changes in avian behavior did not depend upon the size or shape of the enclosure; rather, what counts is the number of enclosures. He recently published his findings in the book Birds of a Feather Locked Together, which won the National Audubon Society’s prestigious “Golden Peacock” award.

Unfortunately, Dr. Thopter has developed a reputation as person who spends more time writing his lectures than he does in being hospitable towards his audience. His post-lecture receptions for the SNOBS are known for their stale pastries, weak coffee, and characterless finger sandwiches. After the most recent meeting of the SNOBS, one participant remarked that the donut he was eating was so stale that he was afraid he had accidentally bitten into his coffee mug!

For the next meeting of SNOBS, Dr. Thopter has found a location that he feels will be far more well-received than that of his past gatherings. But, as a bird-brained puzzle-head, he’s written his invitations so that only SNOBS who are truly familiar with his work will be able to locate it. A copy of the invitation is shown.

Will you be at the reception, too? I’m sure that the professor will serve you a proper cup of coffee.

[PDF Version]

Concatenate the ten digits (which may include leading and/or trailing zeroes) of the north minutes and west minutes together in left-to-right order to get the password to unlock the solution page. For example, if the solution is North 26º 01.234′ West 80º 56.789′ then the password would be 0123456789.

HINT (double-click the text to reveal): Gur fbyhgvba qbrfa’g vaibyir jbeqcynl, naq vg’f abg n gevivn punyyratr. Rirelguvat lbh arrq gb xabj gb fbyir vg vf pbagnvarq jvguva gur chmmyr vgfrys. Jung jnf gur qvfpbirel qrfpevorq va gung obbx? Lbh pna pbhag ba rirel oveq va gur yvfg. Jngpu bhg sbe gur fbegf bs oveqf gung yrnq gb n pyhcrn ynprq jvgu zrephel bkvqr.

Click here to obtain the clue for The Final Exam