Dandy isried some a young male chimpanzee at the Wisconsin Regional Primate Center ... The scientists had buried some grapefruit in the sand. Dandy knew where the grapefruit was, but when the other chimps were in the area, he pretended that he did not know the location. Later, when the other chimps fell asleep, he went right to the spot where the grapefruit was hidden, dug it up, and ate it.

Is "the location" interchangeable with "the spot" in the above? If not, what are their basic differences? Thanks.
In some contexts, "spot" is more specific than "location": "spot" always means the exact point, whereas "location" can refer to a more general area. This is not always the case though, since "location" can also mean an exact location.

I suppose there might be a slight hint of this difference here ("he went right to the spot"), but they seem to me to mean pretty much the same thing.
I think your use of "the location" in the first instance, and "the spot" in the second instance is perfect. "Went right to the spot" is idiomatic in this case, while "didn't know the location" fits the more analytical context of the earlier statement.

- A.