2003 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

Michael Corrigan, after standing fifth in line for hours to get the clue, found this one after getting the last clue at the paper, and zipping over to Como Park to meet up with his hunting buddies, Craig Black and Josh Stender. Ma Press really punished us with this, the Blair-Witch hunt after all the flack she took for the short unimaginative hunt at Merriam.

Statistically speaking this one defied all odds, reusing Como after only two years. And we thought it was close in 2001, reusing Como after only 4 years. Of course, Ma Press took some flack for this too. Nearly half of the past 7 hunts were in Como, tiring many people of the park.

The 2003 Cooler Crew buttons
 
 
 
Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 19, 2003
Found on:Thursday, January 30, 2003
Finders:
NameHometown
Michael CorriganSaint Paul
Craig BlackApple Valley
Josh StenderMinneapolis
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$10,000
Location:
General Location:Como Park
Exact Location:In a wooded area north of the old fireplace
Concealer:Frozen in ice
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 19, 2003
A crueler crew we never knew
Than those whose barbs have stung us
Faith be anew, here's your first clue:
The puck, it's parked among us.
Explanation:
Medallion hunters were disgruntled at last year's early end to the hunt. Reveals the puck is in a park -- among something, in this case, the leaves. Faith refers to nearby churches, such as St. Andrew's Catholic Church.
Our Thoughts:
Most thought the “crueler crew” a reference to the Cooler Crew (and other disgruntled hunters), who voiced their disappointment after last year’s early end to the hunt, suggesting a harder hunt this year. More vague than the usual first clue, it suggests the puck is in a park, although some were unsure of that, thinking of the possibility of it merely being on public land. With the lack of St. Paul in the first clue many thought of the possibility of it being in Ramsey Co. Among something, in this case, was supposed to suggest the leaves it was buried in.
 
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Published on Monday, January 20, 2003
Standing here,you can see,so clear
A view of our Capitol dome.
If it's treasure you seek, nearby you should peek
And you may see our medallion's home.
Explanation:
Mural of Capitol dome is on wall near Como Park swimming pool and suggests reader take a peek in nearby woods.
Our Thoughts:
Most hunters took it to be the Capitol dome itself or a picture of the Capitol dome (such as on city signs). Once the majority of hunters were at Como after clue 11 most thought it was referring to the Capitol domes on the park signs, although the official explanation given is the mural of Capitol dome on wall near Como Park swimming pool. Either suggests hunters take a peek in nearby woods.
 
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Published on Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Keep yourself warm, away from the storm
Even in the dead of winter.
Wide as triple E, our door will always be
Open to all who enter.
Explanation:
The west-facing entrance to Como Park is adorned with a stone entry donated by E.E. Englebert from the Crosby Estate in 1937.
Our Thoughts:
Although this explanation was brought up on the chat boards, Como was easily dismissed by most as being too soon to be there again, having been there only 2 years earlier. Others thought it was a reference to a shoe size, leading people to Scheffer Park with its tennis shoe mural ,or possibly hidden in a shoe, others looked for 3E’s in park names, street names, businesses or on buildings.
 
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Published on Wednesday, January 22, 2003
The coldest star will guide you far
In finding the puck this year
The red white and blue is a lovely clue
Your legions should hold dear
Explanation:
Coldest star refers to the Star of the North or L’ Etoile du Nord, the name of the French Immersion school a couple of blocks from Como Park. Red, white and blue refers to the French flag, and legions to the French Foreign Legion.
Our Thoughts:
We don‘t know of anyone who got this one fully! A lot of people made the North Star connection, thinking of North Star Ice, North Star Steel, or just a park in the north part of town, but didn‘t take it to the French interpretation; no one in their right mind (and most in their left or wrong mind) would. The red white and blue had people thinking of the American flag and the space needle at the fairgrounds among others.
 
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Published on Thursday, January 23, 2003
Treasure Hunt lifer, prepare to cipher
This one's yours to keep.
Was it two or three, they seem not to agree
When St. Paul made a great leap.
Explanation:
There are seemingly contradictory accounts of when the park was founded -- the Web site says 1872, when the state Legislature authorized St. Paul to buy the land; the park signs and other references say 1873, when St. Paul bought the land. Also, Feb. 29, 1872 -- leap day -- was when the Minnesota Legislature authorized St. Paul to buy land for a park, which turned out to be Como.
Our Thoughts:
A great historical reference to the “seemingly” contradictory accounts of when the park was founded - the Web site says 1872, the park signs and other references say 1873. This is probably one of the better clues for this hunt.
 
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Published on Friday, January 24, 2003
Of course we all know there's not too much snow
To cover the place where it's lying
But do not dismay, we'll find a way
To stick it where the sun ain't shining.
Explanation:
Stick and where "the sun ain't shining" reveals it's in a wooded area.
Our Thoughts:
While some thought “stick it where the sun ain’t shining” meant it would be stuck under something , such as a bridge, sticks, or leaves, or even the rear end of a certain frog we all love, it was meant to reveal that it’s in a wooded area.
 
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Published on Saturday, January 25, 2003
Rid of the man she ran and ran,
They say she was quite the talker.
A carpenter's beau----many said so-----
Neared the finish with a walker.
Explanation:
Ann Bilansky, convicted of killing her husband, Stanislaus ("the man" means Stan), escaped from jail and hid out near Lake Como in 1859. She was assisted by John Walker, the carpenter many thought was her lover. Both were caught; she was hanged the following year.
Our Thoughts:
Another great historical tidbit! Kudos to anyone who got this one! But geez, you'd think with the knowledge of L'Etoile du Nord, the clue writers would know enough French to know that Ann Bilansky could not possibly have been a carpenter's beau; his belle perhaps, but definitely not his beau.
 
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Published on Sunday, January 26, 2003
Head on out, have not a doubt
A good time to take a stroll
Gab aloud with the hunting crowd
Lure me precious to your soul
Explanation:
"Me precious" is an oft-repeated line from the ring-obsessed Gollum in the new "Lord of the Rings" movie, "The Two Towers," which in turn suggests the sandstone walls that once supported the now spanless old streetcar bridge near the medallion site. Take the first words from each of the lines and you will sound out "Hedda Gabler," a famous play by Henrik Ibsen, whose statue was recently returned to the park after a long absence.
Our Thoughts:
There was a lot of talk about the “Me precious” reference to the ring-obsessed Gollum in the “Lord of the Rings” movie, “The Two Towers,” with some suggesting a fire ”ring” or possibly two towers in view. We don’t know if anyone made the connection to the sandstone walls that once supported the now spanless old streetcar bridge near the medallion site, nor do we think anyone caught the great word play in this clue, the first words from each line sounding out “Hedda Gabler”. This clue writer really knows his/her stuff!
 
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Published on Monday, January 27, 2003
Here's a who done it, now you've begun it
To solve this mystery of sorts
If I were a sleuth, I'd search for the truth
By playing this greatest of sports
Explanation:
Add Horton to "here's a who," and you have the title of the famous Dr. Seuss book, "Horton Hears a Who" -- and you'll have discovered Horton Avenue, a street just north of the prize. Sport refers to nearby McMurray Field and the medallion hunt.
Our Thoughts:
So simple it's tricky! Add Horton to “here’s a who“, and you have the title of the famous Dr. Seuss book, “Horton Hears a Who”- and Horton Avenue, at Como Park. There was much debate to what the “greatest sport” meant, as it's pretty subjective, but as it turns out sport refers to nearby McMurray Field and the medallion hunt (which we all know IS the greatest sport).
 
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Published on Tuesday, January 28, 2003
With a car, you don’ t get far
And a horse would get you nowhere.
But celebrate, it’ s not too late
For round and round, you’ ll get there.
Explanation:
Horse to nowhere and round and round refer to the carousel in the park; also car not getting you far refers to the blocked off road near the medallion site.
Our Thoughts:
Although many people were at Harriet Island at this point, and took this clue as meaning the Paddleboat there, “horse would get you nowhere” and round and round refer to the carousel at Como; and car not getting you far refers to the blocked off roads near the medallion site. Those of us who had been drawn to Como since clue 4 and let peer pressure pull us to Harriet Island were really starting to get frustrated at this point that too many things weren't matching up at Harriet Island. But we still couldn't leave our friends.
 
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Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Who hears a who? Search a park with a zoo
Better yet, cross the street from the sculptures.
It’s a little bit cool for a dip in the pool
But a woodsy course will feed you vultures.
Explanation:
"Horton" hears a who, as in Clue 9. Como is a park with a zoo, and Horton is the street separating the snow sculptures from the medallion site. The pool is just to the east of the site, and woodsy course refers to a bumpy course -- we guess it's used by dirt bikers -- in the wooded area where medallion is hidden.
Our Thoughts:
This clue finally brought the masses to Como park, with “Horton” hears a who, and the zoo. The right lane of westbound 94 was packed bumper to bumper from Downtown to Lexington after this clue came out. The line of headlights and tail lights was most impressive as convoys of vehicles made their way from Harriet Island and the Pioneer Press building over to Como that night. We remember calling our hunting partner that night after getting the clue and saying don't worry about the clue, just get to Como.
 
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Published on Thursday, January 30, 2003
The last of our clues will put leaves on your shoes
And should lead you straight to the goods.
Between Como and Horton, a place fit for courtin’ ,
Is a dense stand of tumbledown woods.

From the old fireplace, look north and pace
Over hillocks that give cyclists pleasure.
The last row of humps faces some fallen-down stumps
Forty paces from the last hill to the treasure.

Fallen trees mark the spot, look low - now you’ re hot!
Do not lose your Minnesota Nice.
If you’re in the fine fettle, you’ ll discover the medal
Next to timber, under leaves, encased in ice.
Explanation:
Clue spells out the location of the medallion.
Our Thoughts:
An unusually long clue, it spells out the location of the medallion to within a 40 pace circular area. This clue made for a very interesting final clue, as the Pioneer Press adapted to modern technology. Hunters in the park, after hearing the first verse from their friends in line on the phone, mostly went their way, without hearing the entire clue. So much so, that the guy who found it, was actually fifth guy in line to get his newspaper that night. He managed to read off the clue, drive out to the park, and find the puck.
 
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