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I was looking into the challenge cache guidelines and the following is not really clear to me. Obviously, countries may be used as challenge criteria (https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=127&pgid=206#criteria) and also continents have been no issue so far. For example, the challenge 'Find a cache in 5 European countries' would perfectly be accepted. But it is not really clear to me if you can also set your own subset of countries, i.e. 'Find one cache in two Scandinavian countries' (with the exact definition of 'Scandinavian country' defined in the listing to avoid discussion). I have seen challenges that require a find in all countries surrounding the Baltic Sea for example, although I can't remember if that one was published under the new challenge guidelines. I can imagine that a challenge like that would also be accepted by a reviewer. But how would this be different from a challenge based on first letters, which is specifically not allowed? I mean, just because the countries in Scandinavia do not spell out a word with their first letters (or maybe they do, havent checked) doesn't really make a difference, right? Following this example, it would be ok to have a challenge 'Find one cache in Qatar and Yemen', but not to have a challenge 'Find one cache in all countries starting with a Q or Y', although it would be the exact same thing. Any thoughts on this?
in Support and help by Pihoqahiak (3.6k points)

1 Answer

+1 vote

Acceptable are full country names like 

Find a cache in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden

or Find a cache in Qatar and Yemen

But find a cache in a countryname starting with Q and Y is not acceptable because the criteria has to be a mentioned country and not letters of the alphabet. This rule came in effect when challenges whare made by spelling "GEOCACHE" in country or region names.

by vogelbird (Expert) (55.4k points)
But in the case of Qatar and Yemen, this would result in the exact same challenge (these are the only countries beginning with Q and Y respectively), so only the wording is different. That seems a bit odd to me.

If I want a challenge, for example, where you have to spell the word 'hat' with the first letter of countries you have cached in, I could just say:

- Find a cache in one of the following countries: (all countries starting with H)
AND
- Find a cache in one of the following countries: (all countries starting with A)
AND
- Find a cache in one of the following countries: (all countries starting with T)

Would this be allowed then?

(Thank you for your answer btw)
No this is not allowed because your criteria is based on an alphabet spelling but find a cache in Hungary, Austria and Turkey is allowed
@Pihoqahiak Regarding "this would result in the exact same challenge (...), so only the wording is different.", this is very common when it comes to the challenge guidelines. Sometimes a challenge just need to be phrased differently to be allowed.

For example continents are not allowed. However, a list of the countries that make up the continent is allowed. The point here is that continents are not allowed because there are at least five different ways to define the continents, and a bunch of areas that people argue about what continent they belong to. If you use a list of countries saying "these countries is what counts as Europe, these countries count as Asia" and so on then everything is clear from the cache page. If it just says "log caches in four different continents" then the challenge is unclear.
So wouldn't that mean that the example in my previous comment would be allowed (given that the line 'all countries starting with H/A/T' is replaced by the actual list of countries, which I didn't bother to copy here)?
Find a cacache in
"Afghanistan",
"Aland Islands",
"Albania",
"Algeria",
"American Samoa",
"Andorra",
"Angola",
"Anguilla",
"Antarctica",
"Antigua and Barbuda",
"Argentina",
"Armenia",
"Aruba",
"Australia",
"Austria",
"Azerbaijan"
and
Find a cacache in
"Haiti",
"Heard Island and McDonald Islands",
"Honduras",
"Hong Kong",
"Hungary"
and
Find a cache in
"Taiwan",
"Tajikistan",
"Tanzania",
"Thailand",
"Timor-Leste",
"Togo",
"Tokelau",
"Tonga",
"Trinidad and Tobago",
"Tunisia",
"Turkey",
"Turkmenistan",
"Turks and Caicos Islands",
"Tuvalu"

This is allowed
But if you ask for" a cache in 3 different country out of the above list each starting with a different letter " it will not be allowed
Ok, so the bottom line is that the phrasing may be important for a challenge to be accepted or not. thank you both for your replies
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