2013 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

The 2013 Cooler Crew button

Well this hunt looks like it will go down in history as "The hunt for Red Herring", or "The hunt for the Cheekiest Gopher". Most hunters spent the first week of this year's hunt anticipating a reprise of the Crosby hunt of 2005, as Bing Crosby songs featured prominently in the early clues. Despite the cluewriter's warnings that the hunt would be filled with bluffs and red herrings, we collectively failed to heed that advice when the barrage of songs came at us. Occam's Razor, folks. Occam's Razor. Come the weekend, however, talk of equal rights moved hunters to Harriet Island. Not to be outdone by the Como hunt of 2003, the clue writer gave us yet another twist on Sunday night, dividing hunters between the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and Trail on the East Side in and below Swede Hollow and the Bruce Vento Overlook and Walk on the West Side off of Cherokee Park. In the end, the west siders reigned as the medallion, freshly cast for this year and for the first time since the days of the treasure chests, not round, was found after 11 clues in Cherokee Park by Lynn Olson-Tuma, ironically a resident of the East Side. Lynn managed to find the medallion despite the clue writer's compass apparently not working properly while hiding the medallion and writing the clues. Apparently north is the new east.

The missing medallion piece is found

As part of the searching process, Lynn and Scot chipped off one corner of the medallion. On May 14, the Pioneer Press confirmed on the Treasure Hunt Facebook Page that Roger Quick found the missing piece of the medallion. Roger started to search for the missing piece the day after Lynn and Scot found the medallion in January. He found it about 8 feet north of where the medallion was easily hidden.

This hunt may also go down in history as "The War of the Wiki" as creative hunters waged war with wikipedia's editors, spreading rumors that Bing Crosby was involved with many musical ventures or that certain songs were first performed by others, in an attempt to lead other hunters astray. Three cheers for subterfuge! Unlike last year, where there tended to be a pattern to the way the clues were scrambled, this year's scrambled clues really came off a dartboard. Which is ok for those of us who analyze every single word in the clue anyway.

Hunt information
First Clue:Sunday, January 20, 2013
Found on:Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Lynn Olson-TumaSaint Paul
Scot TumaSaint Paul
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$10,000
General Location:Cherokee Park
Exact Location:Near Annapolis Street, by a tree that had grown into a chain link fence.
Published on Sunday, January 20, 2013
So last year's hunt proved pretty tough,
Filled with red herrings, bluster and bluff.
Expect more reprise in this year's hunt.
Use high tech gear, but no cheating stunt.

The outer limit is the Ramsey line;
On public land you'll do just fine.
Don't hunt in a place where you play a round.
Don't dig deep holes or tear up the ground.
The medallion was found after Clue 11 in 2012. The word “bluff” in this clue references the bluffs around St. Paul and “reprise” hints the treasure is hidden in a park where it has been hidden before. “Use high tech gear …” refers to the increased use of cellphones and the Internet and also cautions hunters not to use electronics to cheat, as some people did in 2012. The treasure is hidden on public land in Ramsey County, but the “fine line” hints that the treasure rests very near the county line. Stay off golf courses, and don't dig up the ground.
Our Thoughts:
Aside from the standard first-clue fare, this clue makes a blatant reference to the "scandal" that took place during last year's hunt, when some hunters managed to correctly guess the URL of one of the musical videos a few hours before the clue was to be released; one of these hunters was a member of the group originally credited with the find. While anyone internet-savvy knows that this isn't cheating, apparently that concept has escaped the fine people who organize this hunt.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Published on Monday, January 21, 2013
Giving the clues away for a song
Turned out to be so very wrong.
So, with apology quite humble,
We'll stick to mixing clues in a jumble.

Hunt alone or council for luck,
But only one can find the puck.
Finder decides with whom to share
Like that famous "Happy Holidays" pair.
Scrambled Clue:
with clues to jumble clues turned
a giving song for apology a in
mixing wrong humble stick very away so
out quite we'll the to so be
happy hunt but alone the to
decides holidays like council find or finder
can puck whom famous only luck

with for pair share that one
Clue references two innovations in disseminating the clues last year – the song versions of clues, which has not been continued (and which was accessed early by one hunter), and the jumbled version of the clues, which added a fun twist to the hunt and is continued in 2013. Clue also describes the new policy of the PiPress that when people hunt in groups, only the person who actually finds the medallion will be awarded the prize money. He or she may share it with other members of a search party.

“Council” carries a tribal connotation relating to Cherokee Heights Park. The “Happy Holidays” pair, Bing Crosby and Perry Como, who shared billing on the album “Happy Holidays,” is a red herring (first stanza “song … so very wrong”).
Our Thoughts:
Red herrings are always fun. Especially when the clue writer tells you what the red herring is and you still don't get it. Well-played clue writer. Well played.

Clue Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Walk your dog or jog a bit.
Grab your honey, park and sit.
Ride a bike; exercise the kids;
Winter allows what summer forbids.
Scrambled Clue:
allows the a what dog honey
bike summer exercise your and
jog a ride winter grab walk park
forbids or sit kids your bit
Clue describes frequent activities in Cherokee Park. There is a playground to “exercise the kids” in the summer and a sledding area in the winter. Jog “a bit” hints that it is not a large park. “Grab your honey ….” a 1974 treasure hunt clue explanation referenced “amorous couples” use of Cherokee Heights Park.
Our Thoughts:
Exercise the kids. Why oh why didn't we see that this couldn't possibly mean the puck was in Crosby? It's a violation of Occam's Razor. All other things being equal, the simplest explanation is the correct one. You're not going to exercise your kids on the biking and hiking trails at Crosby, you're going to do it on playground equipment. Then again, there was that grab your honey line, and with the "nefarious" activities that have occurred in Crosby in the past, and the 1974 reference, you never know.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Ups and downs are the treasure hunt story.
Fun for all; for one some glory.
If you're not clever and can't see the rhyme,
Yellow mashed rice is well worth your time.
Scrambled Clue:
and well and for downs rice worth all
treasure the not are fun mashed see ups
is clever rhyme some can't you're your hunt
one story glory for the time if yellow
This clue defines the end of Cherokee Heights Park where the medallion is hidden. It refers to the yellow playground sign (two children on a teeter totter) just east of Annapolis Street directly across Cherokee Heights Blvd from where the treasure is hidden.

“Ups and downs” indicates the motion of a teeter totter. The unseen rhyme is “clever” and “lever,” which is the word “clever” without the “c” (“can't see”). A teeter totter is an example of a lever. “Mashed rice” is an anagram for Archimedes, who wrote “Give me a place to stand, and with a lever I will move the whole world.” (“Crashed Ice” was often mentioned as the unseen rhyme on PiPress discussion board, but it was never part of the clue.)
Our Thoughts:
A little bit obscure in the explanation with Archimedes, but creative nonetheless. Ups and downs are the dead giveaway here, with all the rest being fluff to get you to that giveaway. That said, we managed to come up with some pretty obscure explanations for this one too, the most creative one being an "all for one" three musketeers reference, directing some hunters to Battle Creek or Conway with the view of the 3M complex.

An interesting side note for this clue, when it was published on the front page of the paper, Treasure Hunt was capitalized, leading some hunters to reference Roger Barr's 1992 book, The Treasure Hunt. In the book, the medallion was in Linwood, but the 1992 Pioneer Press medallion was indeed in Cherokee. Coincidence? You decide.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Thursday, January 24, 2013
Nature does what nature wills
And gobbles up man's silly frills.
"Don't fence me in" might be the song,
But spotting a fence won't lead you wrong.
Scrambled Clue:
does what don't fence spotting a man's
gobbles fence the won't up me lead
wrong nature frills but in you and
silly nature wills be song might
Clue refers to the remnant of a fence across Cherokee Heights Blvd from the yellow playground sign (Clue 4) , which doesn't actually fence in anything. A tree has grown around the fence literally “gobbling it up.” The medallion is hidden near that tree.
Our Thoughts:
This clue alone could have made for an incredibly short hunt had people been in Cherokee at this point. There aren't that many fences in Cherokee that are open-ended.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Friday, January 25, 2013
"Think outside the box" was last year's clue;
This year another shift is due.
Get schooled in time - think bark on a tree -
Wheel of fortune implies you foresee.
Scrambled Clue:
is schooled fortune outside another think wheel
implies shift bark year the last year's
think was this get in a on
foresee time tree box clue you of due
“Bark,” “schooled” and “wheel of fortune” identify one of Cherokee Park's best known and most successful residents – futurist Joel Barker, a former high school teacher who gained fame for his “outside the box” business bestseller “Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future.” (A paradigm “shift” also implies the medallion is hidden in St. Paul, not “outside the box” like 2012.) Barker now touts a device called the Implication Wheel to help clients “foresee” events and make business decisions about the future. Barker's Prairie-style home is just off the east end of the park.

Barker may be a famous futurist, but we doubt he could have predicted he would be a clue in the medallion hunt.
Our Thoughts:
Raise your hand if you know who Joel Barker is. OK now put your hand down if you know about his "Wheel of Fortune".

Yeah. Thought so.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 1 (1 vote)

Published on Saturday, January 26, 2013
Whatever may be your political bent,
For this year's hunt thank the 1 percent.
One for the money, two for the go,
Look for the medallion under ice and snow.
Scrambled Clue:
bent for may medallion the money under
and the look whatever be political the
1 one two for thank percent for hunt
for snow the go this your ice year's
"Robber barons” (“1 percenters” in today's parlance) James J. Hill and Andrew Carnegie each had a role in establishing Cherokee Heights Park as a public space accessible to citizens of St. Paul and the surrounding area. “One for the money” refers to railroad baron Hill, who helped the city buy the land that now makes up the park, while “two to go” refers to steel baron Carnegie, whose company built the first High Bridge providing park access for the residents of the city living on the other side of the Mississippi River. We also reveal that the medallion is hidden under the snow and ice created by the rain just before the hunt officially began.
Our Thoughts:
Some people thought this to be a little obscure with the robber barons reference. Given the history of St. Paul, with the JJ Hill reference, it's hard to argue with the relevance. Arguably, however, this clue probably should have appeared earlier in the hunt.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Published on Sunday, January 27, 2013
Yon a car wash cuts to the chase,
And equal rights define a place.
Down under there's ice; don't bruise your buns.
Calling a doctor will help you tons.
Scrambled Clue:
tons yon and a will a the
doctor under calling to buns ice down
chase rights don't there's wash define a
help cuts equal bruise your you place car
Clue identifies seven streets around Cherokee Park: “Yon a car wash” is an acronym for “anchors away” the Naval Academy theme, which refers to Annapolis Street; “equal rights” refers to Wyoming Street (the state motto). “Down under” refers to Sidney Street, “ice” is part of CurtICE Street; “buns” references Baker Street; “Calling” a doctor references Page Street; and “tons” refers to MorTON Street.
Our Thoughts:
Seven streets in one clue? Seven? That's a first. Although the Naval Academy fight song is called Anchors Aweigh. We not only got meaningful street names here, but they're actually in the correct end of the park (Southern, not Eastern where the streets terminate), as opposed to streets like George and King.

Oh yeah, and we like anagrams.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Published on Monday, January 28, 2013
Sneak a peek at our simple rhymes,
Which could lead you to better times.
A second idea from a subtle clue --
Pause a moment for a heavenly view.

He worked for the homeless, the great outdoors,
And little creatures who run on all fours.
As best to say - "He was a good man."
Study his path the best that you can.
Scrambled Clue:
could simple which idea you from a
heavenly peek better second subtle at lead
a moment a pause rhymes sneak a
clue for times a view our to
say study and creatures was his worked great
good homeless outdoors as run fours little path
the man the who best for best a
he that you the on he all to can
Clue references two memorials in Cherokee Heights Park.

In 2011, a memorial plaque and bench for St. Paul rap artist Michael Larson, also known as “Eyedea,” was placed in the park near the Bruce Vento View sign. “Rhymes” refers to rap music and the local label, Rhymesayers. “Sneak” refers to the title of one of his songs, “idea” refers to the Larson's stage name, and “second” and “heavenly” refer to the plaque next to the bench on which is inscribed “You see heaven isn't some place we go to when we die, it's that split second in life where you actually feel alive. Eyedea”

The second memorial is to Congressman Bruce Vento, who died in 2000 of a rare lung cancer related to exposure to asbestos [“As-best-to-s(say)”]. Vento has been honored with a number of public sites in St. Paul, including the Bruce Vento View and the Bruce Vento Overlook. The Vento View and the start of the trail to the Vento Overlook are in Cherokee Park. The hunter should look closer to the outlook trail than the view (“Study his path”). The “best” way to “study his path” is looking at the map at the head of the Bruce Vento Overlook Trail. The map is referenced again in Clue 11.
Our Thoughts:
This clue almost felt like it should have been two clues, and really, it could have been, despite the memorial theme. The Eyedea clue could well have come earlier in the hunt, while the Vento portion of the clue divided the masses between Cherokee and the Vento trail and sanctuary come Monday morning, so it had to come later. In the end however, just like in the Highlander, there can be only one spot for the medallion, and Cherokee won.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Hark, ye lovers of woodland creatures.
Cheekiest? Rumpiest? Judge their features.
Gopher or chipmunk; squirrel or rabbit --
Find their home, a park they inhabit.
Scrambled Clue:
chipmunk find lovers squirrel inhabit creatures
rumpiest gopher rabbit home of or
a park ye features cheekiest judge
their woodland their or they hark
Woodland refers to the fact that the medallion is hidden near a wooded area. Find the park woodland creatures inhabit by unscrambling “Hark,” “cheekiest” and “gopher”; the first word of each of the first three lines of the clue yield an anagram identifying Cherokee Heights Park.
Our Thoughts:
Anagrams, anagrams, anagrams!!!!! But rumpiest? What kind of word is that? Despite the obvious reference to Cherokee, there were still hunters convinced that the sanctuary and trail was the correct spot.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

Published on Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The end draws nigh, no time to be wary --
“Hark cheekiest gopher” and not sanctuary.
When “you are here,” you're in the right place;
The treasure lies near, in an icy embrace.

Don't trail away from Boreas land.
Search generally east from where you should stand.
If you want to survive, if you want to thrive,
Now is the time to revisit Clue Five.
Scrambled Clue:
place right the in you're here are you
when the treasure in sanctuary icy not embrace
and gopher near hark wary cheekiest be to
time lies no night draws an end the

thrive to time want you if to survive
to the want you if stand Clue should
you where from east revisit generally search land
now Broeas from away is trail don't Five
At the end of the hunt (and the “end” of Cherokee Park and Ramsey County) is not the time to be thinking red herring. Anagram in Clue 10 gave away Cherokee Heights Park. Medallion is not in the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. When “you are here” you are standing by the map (noting “You Are Here”) at the trailhead of the Bruce Vento Overlook Trail (referenced in Clue 9). Following the trail leads you away from the treasure (and out of Ramsey County); you want to walk generally east from the trailhead to a tree with a piece of fence embedded in it (Clue 5). The medallion is buried in the snow somewhere near that tree.
Our Thoughts:
For all intents and purposed this clue gave away the spot. Well except for the fact that the clue writer's compass apparently doesn't point north.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

We've reprised a location; it's Cherokee Park.
Near a fence that's embedded deep in tree bark.
From the Bruce Vento Trail, near Annapolis Street,
Between sidewalk and woods is the path you must beat.

Nested under the snow the treasure is found --
From the fence search 10 feet on the ground all around.
With treasure in hand and button in tow,
The Pioneer Press is the place you must go.
Clue pinpoints the treasure location and identifies that it's in a nest buried in the snow.
Our Thoughts:
X marks the spot.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)