2007 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt I

The 2007 Cooler Crew button
A record setting hunt. Jake Ingebrigtson found it after a mere three clues and a great lead from Rob Brass, prompting the Pioneer Press to follow tradition set back in 1953 by hiding a second chest. It was found in Hidden Falls Park frozen in a block of ice between Ford and United Auto Workers logos as a tribute to the nearby Ford Plant which will soon be closing.
 
Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 21, 2007
Found on:Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Finders:
NameHometown
Jake IngebrigtsonSaint Paul
Rob BrassChaska
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$10,000
Location:
General Location:Hidden Falls Park
Exact Location:Along a line straight South of Cleveland Avenue
Concealer:Encased in ice, with the UAW Local 879 and Ford Logos under some logs
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 21, 2007
Welcome ice and snow and temperatures low
There's no time for cold feet!
For searchers' pleasure we've parked our treasure
Where nature lovers each other greet
Explanation:
We welcome the return of winter, refer to the treasure-hunting film "No Time for Cold Feet," and allude to the medallion being in a park frequented by nature lovers
Our Thoughts:
What more can be said. NTFCF was released on DVD shortly before the hunt started, and they tell us it's in a park, without restricting it to the city.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Monday, January 22, 2007
Boreas' vast realm can overwhelm
Even diggers used to the long haul
So here's advice to put your hunt on ice:
Look no farther than good old St. Paul
Explanation:
Hunters must take a longer-than-usual trek to the spot, which is in the city of St. Paul
Our Thoughts:
So now we know it's in a park in St. Paul, doubled up between the first and last lines.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Published on Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Hunters can be surly but in clue-time it's early
Be safe, friends, and in the hunt revel
Near land that is high the treasure is nigh
Vagueness rules and that's on the level
Explanation:
We ask hunters to be safe and look near "land that is high" - the bluffs over the Mississippi river - but on level land. We admit that the early clues are vague.
Our Thoughts:
A pretty darned good clue. Even pulling Highland park out of "near land that is high", you'd be pulled into the southwest corner of the city, home of Hidden Falls Park. By now we all know that level is in the middle of "Cleveland Avenue", whose sign at its intersection with East River Road was visible above the medallion site.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Ye who dig and blog should bike or jog
Many an athletic performer
On a trail near the dale
Would be ever so much warmer
Explanation:
We encourage avid hunters to go to a popular biking and jogging spot -- the path along East River Road, which is near the river valley (or "dale") where the medallion was hidden in Hidden Falls park
Our Thoughts:
The phrasing of the first two lines of this clue don't make much sense, nor does the beat pattern of the first line. It's probably obscure just for rhyming purposes. About the only thing we get here is the river valley.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Come one come all you'll have a ball
Thrills and skills abound
Bring your date but don't be late
You can't afford to run aground
Explanation:
The ball refers to the red visibility markers on power lines strung across the river in the area of the medallion. "Run aground" is a reference to the nearby Mississippi. "Afford" alludes to the nearby Ford plant.
Our Thoughts:
A very nice reference to the Ford plant, as well as a limiting factor. The power lines cross the river at the northern end of the park, and interestingly enough, just down-river of Interstate 35E, at the far end of the Hidden Falls-Crosby Farm complex, is another set of power lines with visibility balls. We believe these are the only such power lines that cross the river in St. Paul. If we didn't know the general area to hunt by now, we sure should have.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

The air is crisper where the pine trees whisper
The four winds blow with sheer force
A place once slated for one ill-fated
Will put you on the right course
Explanation:
Several lines come out of Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," in which "Minnehaha," the "ill-fated" bride, dies. Hidden Falls Park was once slated to be named "Hiawatha," who was Minnehaha's husband in the poem. The trees refer to where the medallion is hidden.
Our Thoughts:
Great historical reference, and a Longfellow reference, evoking memories of Henry "Worth Wads" Longfellow from Merriam Park in 2002. Almost scary considering the short nature of this hunt.

Also, anyone who didn't know that the park was to have been named Hiawatha, would have been drawn to Hidden Falls, because of its proximity to Minnehaha Falls across the river (and tucked behind the Minnesota Veterans' Home) from the park. A fine clue, with a fine explanation. Too bad we never got this far in the hunt.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

If you need a clue, what you should do
Is focus on the object of your search
As a dramatic device it could entice
You near our treasured perch
Explanation:
Take a deep breath, hunters and Clueless One: the "dramatic device" is a reference to Alfred Hitchcock's term for a key plot element -- the thing that everyone seeks -- known as the "MacGuffin." In our case, it is, of course, the medallion. We hoped the word would lead a few film-buff hunters to the Magoffin Avenue entrance to Hidden Falls.
Our Thoughts:
An obscure clue, with obscure references, and an obscure explanation. They could have given us a back reference, saying that the reference they made to NTFCF in the first clue was intended to get the attention of the film buffs.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

With a better idea we hope we'll see ya
Where the clues all fit to a T
Facts are scant about the place of the plant
Wheels within wheels should help you see
Explanation:
This includes several references to the theme of this year's puzzle, the St. Paul Ford Plant that is near Hidden Falls and which is in the process of shutting down after about eight decades in operation.
Our Thoughts:
Again, a pretty good clue, but by the time they got to Clue 8, given the trek required from the north entrance, should have started to narrow down the location with the clues.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Towers of power line your route to the loot
So for safety's sake, keep your distance
Oldsters and tykes, confine your hikes
To the path of least resistance.
Explanation:
We warn hunters to keep away from the high-voltage towers and to stay on the walking path parallel to the towers. Both "route" and "hikes" note that getting to the treasure site will involve a bit of a walk.
Our Thoughts:
A really good clue, starting to narrow down how to get to the puck
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

He once set up camp to put his stamp
On the future of our city.
But the powers that be did not agree
So he fled his land -- what a pity!
Explanation:
Both Pig's Eye Parrant and Joseph Renshaw Brown separately set up living quarters in the Hidden Falls area and had big plans for it but were forced off by the military leaders at Fort Snelling. The words "fled his land" is an anagram for "Hidden Falls."
Our Thoughts:
Yay an actual puzzle, along with some good historical references, particularly in light of the fact that Pig's Eye Parrant is better known for settling downriver of Downtown St. Paul. Although, using a pair of historical figures in the explanation along with the singular pronouns in the first line of the clue is confusing.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Near the line for eight seventy-nine
A place where half is forbidden
For your hunting pleasure, both falls and treasure
Are cold, frozen and hidden
Explanation:
The park is near the Ford assembly line, represented by United Auto Workers Local Union 879. The park is half-closed to vehicles for the season, and the clue points to Hidden Falls park. It also refers to the UAW and Ford logos hidden with the medallion.
Our Thoughts:
We're officially given Hidden Falls as the park. At this point, the Ford assembly line is irrelevant as a locating device because the puck is significantly down-river from the plant. We believe the Ford and UAW references can only be there for providing identification of the puck's concealing items. The only flaw with this clue is that we still don't have a decent idea where to look within the park.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

In Hidden Falls, our treasure calls
Its woods will a prize deliver
From the Magoffin gate to the boat ramp straight
Take the skiing trail down-river

One painted seat is quite a feat
To the second make your procession
From here, look to the east, through the goalpost of trees,
Eighty-odd steps, past the half-stump, to a slight depression

Angle left down the slope, to a low area, we hope
With several mounds the terrain is varied
Facing upriver now, 40 paces is how
You find fallen-down trees where it's buried

Arriving at a jog, looking under a log,
An ice shard holds the reward
And a homage to our friends around the next bend
We salute eight great decades at Ford
Explanation:
This clue describes the exact spot where the medallion is hidden. Entering at the Magoffin Avenue gate, hunters park at the boat-ramp lot and then head down river on a skiing and hiking path until they come to the second of two painted seats. From there, the hunters are directed through some woods into a slight depression surrounded by mounds and on to some fallen logs. The medallion is encased in ice, with the UAW Local 879 and Ford logos, under the logs.
Our Thoughts:
The "X" clue. A double set of paces after changing direction though, could put a hunter just about anywhere.
 
Clue Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)