Newbie, I must inform you that hints are not always helpful and most of the time they will only help you once you have found the cache (that is my way of doing it). If I give a hint it may tell you exactly where to look, a general area or just another chance to mess with the hunters mind when I enter the cache page. For me it is how I feel when I write the cache page
Now that is as clear as mudd.
I try not to use them until I get frustrated and if they are like me about there hints I am in trouble. If that is the case either I have to try harder or DNF the cache.
"R.E.M's Happy People"- Shiney would be what I would get out of it.
"if you tip my cap you are at the wrong end." that would be location specific. I have no idea other than what Cachemates suggested.
Decyphering hints is more about how YOU see thing vs the Owner of the cache.
Start Big on cache size and work yourself down to micro's. Easier Difficulty working on harder as you gain more experience. I will give a better hint after a DNF is logged if you request it and this will usually tell you exactly where to look. Try Emailing the Cache owner.
I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.
Thomas A. Edison