2012 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

The 2012 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallion was found by Lange Wallgren of Osseo early in the morning of February 1, 2012, after the 11th clue was released. The puck was near a stand of pine trees, just underneath the overhead power lines where they crossed over the Elmer L. Andersen hiking trail. Originally, Lange was credited as the finder, splitting the prize with four other hunters, in order to get the full $10,000 prize. However, the Pioneer Press, after allegations of impropriety on the part of one of those finders, stripped them of their title as finders, leaving Wallgren with only the $5,000 prize for the find and the clues, as he didn't have a registered button. Because we're going with the official Pioneer Press finder's list for the hunt pages, Lange is the only finder we're listing here.

The Pioneer Press gave us an interesting twist to the hunt this year. Due to construction on Cedar Street for the Central Corridor light rail, the newspapers were sold at Gabe's by the Park. Online, the clues appeared at 11pm in a scrambled form before the official midnight release. Hunters who deciphered the clues got a one hour headstart over those who didn't. Of course, this group of people needed no such help descrambling the clues, which sometimes only had the lines scrambled, sometimes the verses, and occasionally the entire clue; we noodle every single word in the clue to give it meaning, and always will.

WCCO Originals

Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 22, 2012
Found on:Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Finders:
NameHometown
Lange WallgrenOsseo
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$5,000
Location:
General Location:Tony Schmidt Park
Exact Location:Near a stand of pine trees just off the Elmer Andersen Trail underneath the overhead power lines
Concealer:A diamond brand nut bag wrapped up in a blue hair binder
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 22, 2012
The time has come around again
For using all your cunning and ken
To unravel Boreas' befuddling clues
Circulated in the PiPress news.

Within our realm explore and search.
No private properties besmirch.
The treasure rests in a public park.
On a course for golf, please leave no mark.
Scrambled Clue:
The around all ken befuddling the
time again your To clues PiPress
has For cunning unravel Circulated news.
come using and Boreas' in

Within and properties rests park. for no
our search. besmirch. in On golf, mark.
realm No The a a please
explore private treasure public course leave
Explanation:
"Come around again" hints the treasure is hidden in a location where it has been hidden before. "Circulated in PiPress news" refers to the Pioneer Press circulation area and the word "explore" suggests expanding the search beyond St. Paul into all of Ramsey County. "Circulated" also refers to clues printed in the paper and to actual treasure hunt "news" that has in years past been printed in the paper. The treasure is hidden in a public park. Treasure hunters are advised not to damage private property and golf courses.
Our Thoughts:
We think there's a little much revealed by the explanation of this first clue. The most revealing bit of information is that neither this, nor the next 10 clues, point out that we're to look in St. Paul. No Boreas' realm. Nada. That should have been a gimme to any veteran hunter. The rest, except perhaps for the "come around again" is all fluff.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Monday, January 23, 2012
It's time to get this off our chest:
Mix treasured lore into your quest.
Triple score provides a clue;
So do the colors red and blue.
Scrambled Clue:
blue. and red colors the do So
clue; a provides score Triple
quest. your into lore treasured Mix
chest: our off this get to time It's
Explanation:
The key to unraveling this clue (and future clues) is "treasured lore" - including, but not limited to, Treasure Hunt lore. "Chest" suggest the first hunt in 1952 when the treasure was concealed in small metal chest. "Off our chest" means 2012's medallion is NOT in a chest. 1952 to 2012 makes 2012 the 60 th or "Diamond Jubilee" year of the hunt - a clue to how the treasure is camouflaged - in a "Diamond" company bag (see Clue 3).
The colors red and blue, when "mixed" create Viking purple - more treasured Minnesota lore. The Vikings are seeking to build a new stadium in the City of Arden Hills, where the medallion is hidden and was hidden in the past in Tony Schmidt Park.
Our Thoughts:
Neat. A mix of both current events and old history into the same clue. The Vikings reference may seem a bit obscure, but more than one person suggested it as a possibility in our boards, so we'll go with it. Invoking the 60th anniversary of the hunt led a lot of hunters to Highland Park for those first few days.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Crack the nut and find the treasure.
There's a place to cook and a place for leisure.
A road there is that's interfacial.
Bag the treasure if you're able.
Scrambled Clue:
and There's cook for there Bag you
nut treasure. to place road interfacial. if
the the place a A that's treasure able.
Crack find a and leisure. is the are
Explanation:
"Bag the treasure" reveals the medallion is in a bag; "crack the nut" describes the bag as a bag of nuts. Combined with the "diamond" reference in Clue 2, the medallion is hidden in a Diamond nut (pecan) bag. Lake Johanna Blvd is the "interfacial road" that divides the Tony Schmidt Park recreational area - it separates the Lake Johanna beach front from the trail area where the medallion is hidden. "There's a place to cook and a place of leisure" refers to a picnic pavilion in Tony Schmidt Park with a kitchen that is near the medallion location.
Our Thoughts:
We're really not sure how to characterize this one. The obvious clues, which were almost universally understood were in the middle two lines, with some light assumptions about the treasure being bagged in something. "Crack the nut" however, combined with a presumed redux of a previous hiding spot potentially outside the city sent a lot of hunters over to Acorn Park in Roseville.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Wednesday, January 25, 2012
"Woof" says the dog. "Babble" says the brook,
And here is wisdom on which to make book:
When in Rome you should do
Exactly as a Roman should do
Scrambled Clue:
the says is which in should roman
woof brook and make book exactly as
says the here to when do a
dog. babble wisdom on rome you should do
Explanation:
The words "Woof" and "Babble" are onomatopoetic - imitating the sounds made by a dog and a brook, respectively, and suggest that sound is important in this clue. The last line of the clue - "a Roman should do," evokes another reference to the Vikings Arden Hills stadium effort - Vikings wide receiver Devin "Aromashodu." "Woof" sounds like the last name of Vikings owner Ziggy "Wilf." (Also the previous time the puck was hidden in Tony Schmidt Park, it was camouflaged in almond (nut) "bark." "Babbling" about a stadium is what politicians have been doing for some time. "Make book" references gambling - a suggested funding source for a Vikings stadium.
Our Thoughts:
This clue will probably go down as the worst clue of an otherwise well-written hunt. A more logical explanation would be the brook that runs from north to south just west of the "main" park area of TSP.
 
Clue Rating: 
1
Average: 1 (1 vote)

Published on Thursday, January 26, 2012
If it's treasure you're trackin'
Stop chattin'. Get crackin'.
As the sun will lighten up your day,
This clue will brighten up your way.
Scrambled Clue:
will sun clue the this as
your your treasure chattin' up up
it's stop lighten brighten if will
trackin' crackin' day way you're get
Explanation:
"Chattin'," "crackin'" and "brighten way" refer to Chatham Court and Chatham Ave, McCracken Lane and Brighton Way. All are streets north of Tony Schmidt Park in Arden Hills. The medallion is hidden north of "interfacial road" in Clue 3 - Lake Johanna Blvd.
Our Thoughts:
Three streets in a clue is unprecedented (and we heard Jake mention that "it will never happen"). This clue sealed the deal for many a hunter who went to TSP and never left. However,. it did have the effect of focusing a lot of hunting energy north of the former Soo Line railroad tracks that divide the north and south portions of the park.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (2 votes)

Published on Friday, January 27, 2012
Let us stop the haw and hem
And get you looking for the gem.
Incorporate thinking outside the box.
Sort it out as you like it - opportunity knocks.
Scrambled Clue:
let stop haw hem and you for
gem incorporate outside box sort out you
it knocks us the and get looking
the thinking the it as like opportunity
Explanation:
The medallion is hidden outside the city of St. Paul - "outside the box"-- in an "incorporated" Ramsey County city. "Gem" refers to the "Diamond" Pecan Bag holding the medallion. "Sort it out as you like it" refers to Shakespeare's play "As You Like It," which contains a scene in the Forest of "Arden."
Our Thoughts:
We ended up interpreting "outside the box" as one of two things. Either it was outside the city, or they hid it back to back in Battle Creek again (or both, since a good chunk of BC is in Maplewood). The Arden Forest got a few more hunters into Tony Schmidt, but a few more still were stumped by this one.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Saturday, January 28, 2012
Search the land through darkest night;
Follow the crowd to the treasure's site.
Wear warm clothes, and don't come to harm.
And bring along your good luck charm.
Scrambled Clue:
eth culk royu gnirb ot nodt sloecth
march odog lonag dan rahm moce nda
ramw tise eth drocw wofoll nitgh roughth
wrea serusaert ot het terksad nald chears
Explanation:
This clue quotes Mike Madland, who found the treasure in 1988, in Tony Schmidt Park in Arden Hills. He found the treasure late at night by "following the crowd." His advice to hunters was to "dress warm," and he believed his son, Donny, was his "good luck charm."
Our Thoughts:
We believe this is the first time a clue has ever called out a previous finder. This one required some good (but not unattainable) knowledge about treasure hunt history.

Which is why we think Mr. Med Hunter is the clue writer.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Sunday, January 29, 2012
Many there are in many a park;
Find the right one, and you're close to the mark.
Think big, and you'll be right in the game
When you spot a place with a special claim.
Scrambled Clue:
mayn lacim erath pecsila rea a ni thiw
eb rouey luloy sleoc nda ot ibg eht knith kram
difn mage eht het tighr ni eno tgrih dna
namy place a a krap tops nehw oyu
Explanation:
The "many there are in many a park" refers to picnic pavilions/gazebos. "Think big" describes a larger structure with a kitchen (a "place to cook" from Clue 3) on the "big" hill in Tony Schmidt Park. Near the pavilion is a playground where children get "in the game." Reference to a place with "a special claim" refers to the handicapped parking in the nearby parking area.
Our Thoughts:
OK, this might be the second worst clue of the hunt, and probably wouldn't be if it were earlier on. And the special claim. Not a good idea, Mr. Clue Writer.
 
Clue Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Published on Monday, January 30, 2012
From miles around they came to stay
A night or two, then on their way
To reap the riches fall can yield --
The delicacy of a watery field.
Scrambled Clue:
from stay a way to yield
the field miles to night their reap can
delicacy watery around came or on the
fall of a they two then riches
Explanation:
The earliest known history of Arden Hills and Lake Johanna is as a resting place for the Dakota people on their trek to harvest wild rice in other places. The medallion is hidden on the Lake Johanna (south) side of the railroad tracks running through Tony Schmidt Park.
Our Thoughts:
To people who thought outside the box, and knew their history of the area, this clue made perfect sense in explicitly identifying the correct park.

To those who didn't, the Winter Carnival ended up claiming that Rice Park was off limits.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2012
If you are now taken aback,
Then you are, my friend, on the right track.
Benches, tables, gazebos galore
To sit and admire the view from the shore.

But yours is not to sit or rest;
To scramble and search will serve you best.
Respect the land where people dwell.
But follow your nose to the nearer end smell.
Scrambled Clue:
if now then my the benches galore
and view shore you taken you friend
right tables to admire from are aback
are on track gazebos sit the the

but not or scramble will best land dwell
your the smell yours to rest and serve
respect where but nose nearer is sit to
search you the people follow to end
Explanation:
The key is reversing the scene in the first stanza - the beach at Lake Johanna looking out to the lake. "Taken aback" means look away from the lake toward the treasure site - across Lake Johanna Blvd - the "interfacial" road from Clue 3. Don't "sit or rest but "scramble" the phrase "nearer end smell," an anagram for Elmer L Andersen, namesake of the trail head near the large pavilion in Clue 8. "Respect the land where people dwell" refers to all the private homes visible from the lake and along parts of the Elmer L. Anderson Trail.
Our Thoughts:
Sweet! Another Anagram!

Apart from the anagram, a clever clue reader would know to look away from the lake given this clue's verbiage. Way to go, Clue Writer!
 
Clue Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Published on Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Read the right sign then look up to the sky;
You'll be wired in then and won't go awry.
You're getting close, you're doing just fine.
With what you will see, this rhyme should align
Scrambled Clue:
gnali rade lushod het hermy irtgh sith gisn ese
neth lwil kolo oyu pu thaw ot tiwh
eth kys nife yolul stuj eb noidg rediw royue
ni sleco nthe tingetg dna oeruy nowt og rawy
Explanation:
The "right sign" is the marker for the Elmer L Andersen Trail (the anagram in Clue 10). Looking up, one sees wires. Follow them up the hill past the pavilion (Clue 8). The "what you will see" that "aligns" with the rhyming words "sign," "fine" and "align" is two groves of "pine" trees. The medallion is hidden near one of the two groves.
Our Thoughts:
A good bunch of landmarking that most everyone picked up on. But the key from the clue wasn't the collection of landmarks, as much as the landmark unmentioned, the rhyming pine's. Good word puzzle, Clue Writer!
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

In Arden Hills, in Tony Schmidt Park
Is the treasured place to which you embark.
Here at last will end our tale -
Up hill from the Elmer L. Andersen Trail.

Follow the trail past pavilion and slides
Just in the woods the treasure hides.
Keep well away from marshy lands,
And do not dig in playground sands.

The wires are up, the treasure is low,
Your back is up against a pole.
You see the pines near dead ahead?
Six paces from them in a leafy bed.

A Diamond bag, pecans it once held --
Now with the medallion, the bag is jelled.
Grab the medallion - make your egress,
And hustle on down to the Pioneer Press.
Explanation:
The medallion is hidden in Tony Schmidt Park in Arden Hills up the hill from the post marking the head of the Elmer L. Andersen Trail. Follow the trail past the large pavilion (with kitchen) and the children's playground. The medallion is hidden in the woods just off the trail --NOT in the sand around the playground equipment and NOT in the marshlands off the lower trail. Near the pavilion are poles supporting overhead power lines. Standing by the poles supporting the lines, one can see two groups of pine trees "dead ahead" The medallion is hidden six paces north of nearer group; it's hidden "low"- on the ground frozen in a wrap of leaves in a Diamond Pecan Bag.
Our Thoughts:
A nice way to end a very well thought-out hunt.
 
Clue Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)