2006 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

The 2006 Cooler Crew button

Like 2002, we got a short hunt. On the bright side, it was well-hidden for the weather and not left laying on a baseball diamond. Congratulations to Joe Barnard, Ian Luby, Kai Peterson, and Kai's father Scott. The trio of teens had the day off school. To top it all off, they had the clues clipped and a button registered for the entire prize!

 
Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 22, 2006
Found on:Friday, January 27, 2006
Finders:
NameHometown
Ian LubySaint Paul
Kai PetersonSaint Paul
Joe BarnardSaint Paul
Scott PetersonSaint Paul
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$10,000
Location:
General Location:Battle Creek Park
Exact Location:Amidst some tall grass near a stand of pine trees on the sledding hill behind the recreation center
Concealer:Inside a Nut Goodie Wrapper, wrapped in a red and black garter and frozen in ice
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 22, 2006
Treasure hunters swarming amidst global warming
Make it hard to park our loot.
Look for snow and ice, enough to suffice,
To shorten your winter pursuit.
Explanation:
Our winter is mild, without much snow. The prize is hidden in a park. Hunters should look for areas with enough snow and ice to cover the medallion.
Our Thoughts:
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time in the history of the hunt that the first clue was released early. It appeared in the early Saturday Edition of the Sunday newspaper. The clue also lets us know that unlike in 2002, the hiders took note of the warm weather conditions and lack of snow cover when hiding the medallion, not leaving it out in the open.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Published on Monday, January 23, 2006
Son of Pear, hometown fare,
The nut of this year's quest.
Sweetest patty, never a baddie,
Covers the prize at rest.
Explanation:
Pearson's Candy Co., based in St. Paul, is the maker of the Nut Goodie, and its wrapper covers the medallion.
Our Thoughts:
An early clue revealing what was concealing the medallion, although this clue directed many hunters to Highland Park, near the vicinity of Pearson's Candy. After this clue was published, there were multiple reports from people on the Pioneer Press's discussion boards that they had found empty Nut Goodie wrappers in various parks that had been placed there by jesting hunters. Brings back memories of the days when hunters would distribute slugs in an effort to thwart metal detector users.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Men with a garter should have been smarter
Than to mix drink with their vulcanic activities.
You would be wise to look for the prize
By taking up a child's proclivities.
Explanation:
A red garter -- a reference to the infamous "garter ritual" that got the Vulcan Krewe leader in trouble last year -- is wrapped around the medallion. It is near a sliding hill behind Battle Creek Elementary School and rec center, a favorite of neighborhood children.
Our Thoughts:
This one was a good well-rounded clue, in our opinion, indicating that the park has got playground facilities for kids.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Wednesday, January 25, 2006
For the brave of heart, it's time to start
Searching hill and glen.
Pitch a tent if that's your bent
But stay within your ken.
Explanation:
"Brave" and "tent" refer to Indian braves, who fought the battle in 1842 for which Battle Creek Park is named. Hill and Glen refer to Hillsdale and Glenridge avenues near the park. The Scottish reference to "Braveheart" also alludes to nearby 3M, known for its Scotch brands.
Our Thoughts:
Missing from the official explanation of this clue is the fact that one of the meanings of the word "ken" is "realm of knowledge". So staying within your ken would mean keeping the hunt confined to St. Paul, an important thing to note, considering Battle Creek Park straddles the boundary between Saint Paul and Maplewood. A street clue, which gets us to the proper side of the park. but is way off in identifying the location.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Thursday, January 26, 2006
If you're aerobic and hardly tree-phobic
You might make your outing pay.
Don't be left in a lurch, do your research,
This could be your red-letter day.
Explanation:
The medallion is located on a hill, requiring a stiff climb, near some oak and pine trees. The "red letter" refers again to the 3M sign, visible from the hill.
Our Thoughts:
Most people figured out 3M with this one, as an obvious reference to Battle Creek. After all, what fun would an East Side hunt be without an obligatory 3M reference? Other people touched on the notion that scarlet is a shade of red. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's book, The Scarlet Letter, the letter was "A". A, B, and C streets, the only single letter named streets in the city, are at the south end of White Bear Avenue, adjoining the western end of the park.

Again, an excellent clue and explanation from the cluewriters.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Friday, January 27, 2006
On a whim you may take a swim
Or go in and out of the woods.
Twixt high and low, we hope there's snow
To cover up the goods.
Explanation:
There is a water park at Battle Creek, which is both inside and outside of the city of Maplewood. The third line refers to Upper and Lower Afton roads, which are the north and south borders for the park.
Our Thoughts:
Yet another really good clue; one that got the naysayers of Battle Creek into the park. It also eliminated the portions of the park north of Upper Afton Rd.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Not west, but East, lies the feast.
Here you searchers must tarry.
Stay in St. Paul, near basket and ball
Where a medallion owner would bury.
Explanation:
While the park is in St. Paul, it is on the East Side, not far from Woodbury. Our hiding spot is near the Battle Creek rec center, which has a basketball court.
Our Thoughts:
Woodbury??? Here's where we start scratching our heads. First of all, Woodbury is in the next county over, and it's two cities across from where the medallion was hidden. L'étoile du Nord, anyone? At least they confined the hunt to St. Paul. As we go through these next few clues, we think most people would be scratching their heads at it. A simple re-ordering of the clues placing this one and the next earlier in the hunt could have kept the hunt going into the weekend.
 
Clue Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

You're off the mark if you stray from a park
And miss the point of it all.
Tips are legion in the region
Up to the verge of St. Paul
Explanation:
Reference to Point Douglas Road in Battle Creek, which is a regional park on the border of the city.
Our Thoughts:
This one has us scratching our heads even more. Point Douglas Road is on the other end of the park from the hiding place. We should be getting closer to the puck, not farther, at this point. Again, this clue should have come earlier. The cluewriters do redeem themselves slightly by making reference to a regional park
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

The father, the son and one other one
Lost their lives near this watery place.
But now there's fun where those killins' were done
Woods, hills and wide open space.
Explanation:
An attack by the Chippewa on a nearby Sioux village killed Sioux Chief Kaiboka, his son and one other tribe member. A battle raged along the creek, and it became the source for the name "Battle Creek."

For Ph.D-level clue solvers, there is also a buried reference to Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited," in which 'God' asks Abe to "kill me a son," and Abe wants to know where he wants "this killin' done?" Highway 61 borders Battle Creek park.
Our Thoughts:
Interestingly enough, the PhD level explanation for this clue is similar to that of Clue 6 from the Press's capture the flag hunt in 2005. Now this one's a good clue, although, again, with the reference to Highway 61, and the park as a whole, should have come sooner.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Once the home pristine of Mr. McLean,
It was named by a dealer in teas.
In order to stake her, he gave 30 acre,
Did this man who so did love trees.
Explanation:
The pristine area of Battle Creek was once a community named after Nathaniel McLean, a newspaper publisher, Sioux agent and veteran of the War of 1812. But the name Battle Creek was suggested by William McMurray, a coffee and tea dealer, who gave 30 acres to the city for the park in 1922.
Our Thoughts:
The mere references to Battle Creek are starting to get old at this point. Of course, the clue writers are habitually giving us 10 clues of which park it's at and 2 clues pinpointing the location.
 
Clue Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Roaming like cattle near the creek of the battle
Let Winthrop be your pleasure.
Yon mount is better, above skier and sledder,
Twixt pines and poles sits the treasure.
Explanation:
Battle Creek is identified, as is Winthrop Street, the mountain above ski trails and sledding hills, and a location between a stand of pines and two light poles.
Our Thoughts:
See! The first of two clues pinpointing the treasure within the park. Right there!

A relevant street name with Winthrop, however the earlier references to Hillsdale and Glenridge Avenues, both of which end at Winthrop, makes this a redundant clue.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Find and seek in Battle Creek
Near a center for athletic skill.
Out the door to the south, scarf over your mouth
Climb atop yon sliding hill..

Two posts can be seen, a wire between
Form a line heading to a row of pines.
Twenty-six strides straight, six to the left.
In the brow of a hill you will find,

Oh ye who were fickle, our medallion-sicle
Wears an iceberg disguise.
The package, as we said, is swathed in bright red
Candy wrapper, garter and prize.
Explanation:
Directs hunters to the site atop the hill behind the Battle Creek rec center. Aligned with two posts connected by a wire, walk 26 paces toward the stand of pines, then six to the left. The medallion, wrapped in ice, candy wrapper and red garter, sits in some high grass on the brow of a hill.
Our Thoughts:
X marks the spot. Not much else can be said here, except that the ordering of the clues could have extended the hunt by a few more days.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)