2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

The 2014 Cooler Crew button

Ben Haselman found the medallion in Como Park near the intersection of Estabrook Drive and Lexington Parkway.

While its certainly going to be hard to editorialize the clues this year, largely because I've been set on it being in Como since somewhere around July, it certainly seems like the cluewriter redeemed him or herself without going into obscurity with references, as happened in 2003. All of the clue references were relevant to the park, and the location of the medallion, and unlike in past years, narrowed down the area within the park in a reasonable amount of time. After all, the hunt did go to Clue 9. With the bitter cold weather, this was a blessing for hunters, although the 2 feet of snow on the ground would have indicated a generally longer hunt.


WCCO Originals

Hunt information
First Clue:Sunday, January 19, 2014
Found on:Monday, January 27, 2014
Ben HaselmanSaint Paul
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$10,000
General Location:Como Park
Exact Location:To the aft of the USS Swordfish memorial, near Lexington and Estabrook
Concealer:Inside a pocket from a pair of jeans.
Published on Sunday, January 19, 2014
Boreas roared and blew winds from the North --
A Polar Vortex then snow he brought forth.
So hunters take heed -- bundle up in warm dress
While awaiting your clue from the Pioneer Press.
Winter Carnival treasure is part of our genes,
Search out a new puck and pocket some green.
We give a nod to King Boreas and the bitter cold and snow that has preceded the hunt. The treasure, a new medallion, is frozen in a pocket from a pair of the CW's jeans (genes). Hunters "await the Pioneer Press" at Gabe's in the Park, "the park" being Como Park, the location of this year's treasure.
Our Thoughts:
First of all, it's "Gabe's by the Park", not "Gabe's in the Park". Picking nits aside, this is great. You get to hit the ground running. It's not that hard to get to a park in the northern part of the city from the Boreas and North references. Polar could well have hinted at our buddies Buzz and Neil at the Como Zoo. Dress and genes work together to make an excellent word play on what concealed the medallion. Regardless, an astute hunter could well have put everything together to get to the park on clue 1.
Clue Rating: 
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Published on Monday, January 20, 2014
The treasure's in Ramsey; public land, search it all --
Suburbs and neighborhoods and throughout St. Paul.
Don't dig up the ground. Thin ice -- stay away!
Courses for golf are all out of play.
You won't find the puck by a private home --
Across private land is no place to roam.
Scrambled Clue:
are treasure's place it all the ground don't ice roam
out the neighborhoods for of Ramsey play across
courses suburbs thin away private puck in and to up
throughout find private won't public search Paul you stay land land and St home the by a golf dig all is no
The clue sets boundary and rules of the hunt. "Thin ice" references warning signs around and on Lake Como, and golf course to the course at Como. There are private homes bordering the section of Como Park where the medallion is hidden, but the puck is hidden well away from the homes.
Our Thoughts:
To those who come up with anagrams for everything, "thin ice -- stay away!" is an anagram "why a satanic yeti". Clues like this are always confusing though. Golf courses out of play -- is it just reiterating the rules, or is it telling us to stay away from Phalen, Como, and Highland? Thin ice is an obvious reference to Loeb, Phalen, or Como Lakes, but the same question still stands. This clue was tricky, because it really made hunters question whether the puck was in or out of St. Paul.
Clue Rating: 
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Published on Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Down by old sandy
You'll find this quite handy:
After giving them fits
He was mired in the pits
Scrambled Clue:
sandy in after he
down mired giving the
you'll them find quite pits
by old this fits was handy
The skeleton of Charlie Pitts, a member of the notorious James Gang, was found in the bottom of Como Lake (once called Sandy Lake). Apparently, a Dr. Henry Hoyt had submerged the skeleton to bleach it for display.
Our Thoughts:
More history on the story of Charlie Pitts can be found in Me2's 2004 Ghost hunt very near to the medallion this year in Orchard Park. Turns out, according to the Northfield Historical Society, the bones recovered in Como Lake are in fact actually not those of Charlie Pitts.
Clue Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Published on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Rainbows lead you to the puck.
Thinking it over will bring you luck.
Is it far away or where you've been?
If fooled, just begin again.
Scrambled Clue:
again where away rainbows to bring
the you over fooled thinking far
puck it will been begin lead
luck you've it or you is if just
Rainbow is a frequent topic of Perry Como songs. "(I'm) Always Chasing Rainbows," "There'll Soon be a Rainbow" and "Rainbow on the River" are all songs he recorded. Other songs include "Where Do I Begin," "Far Away Places," "Stop! and Think It Over" and "Fooled." "Where you've been" references that Como Park is a frequent site for hiding the medallion -- although the last time was 11 years ago.
Our Thoughts:
I think that just about anything could be used as a Perry Como reference for song names.
Clue Rating: 
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Published on Thursday, January 23, 2014
Moving from star to star,
Beckoning to you from afar
From the splendid mansion's door
A vision causing soul to soar.
Scrambled Clue:
a to splendid soul causing
vision to afar you mansion's
beckoning from door from from
soar star star the to moving
The Gates Ajar flower wall, one of the best known landmarks in Como Park, was named from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "the Golden Legend." The clue is a fractured rendition of the relevant passage:

I heard him call. When Christ ascended
Triumphantly, from star to star,
He left the gates of heaven ajar.
I had a vision in the night,
And saw him standing at the door
Of his Father's mansion, vast and splendid,
And beckoning to me from afar.
I cannot stay!
Our Thoughts:
"From star to star, beckoning to you from afar" is an anagram of "outsmart an icy frog not far from Estabrook". So sayeth the finder. That said, while a good rewrite of a Longfellow poem, this was the most obscure that the clues really got this hunt. Most hunters assumed the gates ajar without even the poetic reference. A little deep? Yes. But the message came across quite well.
Clue Rating: 
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Published on Friday, January 24, 2014
What once was old is new once more,
Which some will cheer and some deplore.
Some will rail; some beam euphoric.
But there's no denying the site's historic.
Scrambled Clue:
denying rail will more some no some
once deplore the was which what cheer
historic there's is some beam once will
euphoric site's but new old and some
The clue refers to two historic structures in the area of Como Park where the medallion is hidden: The Historic Streetcar Station and the nearby footbridge that once was a beautifully landscaped main entrance to Como Park. The clue refers to the ongoing controversy over reestablishing "what once was old" -- streetcars -- in the Twin Cities ("new once more"). "Rail" refers to streetcar rails.
Our Thoughts:
Did we mention that the starting place for the 2003 hunt, also in Como, was the historic fireplace, which over the past couple of years has been rebuilt and is also "new once more"?
Clue Rating: 
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Published on Saturday, January 25, 2014
"No time for cold feet" is the Boreas creed,
But if warmer weather is what you should need,
Riddle this clue and don't get it wrong --
Vulcans' vision is summer all year long.
Scrambled Clue:
Vulcans' summer long vision this don't warmer
riddle weather wrong clue Boreas should creed
but year time need cold the feet what
no if is you for is and get it is all
The Como Park conservatory (Slogan: Summer 365 Days a Year) is visible from the treasure site.
Our Thoughts:
This one is kind of a gimme for Como for the masses that weren't yet convinced. Although it induced many hunters to check the frog pond.
Clue Rating: 
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Published on Sunday, January 26, 2014
Far from the pitches
In long hair and britches
He stood through the storm
And to joy he gave form

Though a bust on TV
Deep thoughts has he
Turn his head just a ways
At the treasure he'd gaze.
Scrambled Clue:
britches the just a his
at gaze a and ways he'd
through though turn
to bust in gave TV form

stood pitches he joy the
thoughts long from the has
treasure and head he he
storm hair deep far on
This clue points to the Como Park statue (featuring long hair and britches) of Friedrich von Schiller, the German poet, philosopher and playwright. He wrote lyrics to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and was a famous member of the Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) Romantic movement in 18th Century. A plaster bust of Schiller has been the stuff of legend at Carleton College in Northfield -- his bust has shown up at homecoming games (dangling from a helicopter), with President Clinton, at presidential convocations and even on TV shows (Colbert Report and Desperate Housewives). Most importantly, atop a knoll at the intersection of Nason Place and Estabrook Drive, Schiller gazes across Lexington Parkway at a point south of where the treasure lies buried.
Our Thoughts:
For the first time in a long time, we have a clue (and a hunt) that brings the crowds into a specific part of the park, rather than referencing the park in general. Bravo clue writer. Bravo!
Clue Rating: 
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Published on Monday, January 27, 2014
Tech has changed this annual gig
And your next login could hit it big.
Remembrance for those who died below,
Points to the puck submerged in the snow.
Scrambled Clue:
Who for login big next this those
Has puck to submerged hit points could
tech it your gig below annual remembrance
and snow in changed the the died
Technology has changed the way people search for the medallion, including logging in to anagram solvers. "Next login" is both an anagram for Lexington and signals the anagrams in the next clue. Lexington runs right past the treasure site and past the torpedo monument to the USS Swordfish, which was lost with all hands during WWII. "Submerged" refers to submarines and also that the puck is buried in the snow.
Our Thoughts:
Further narrowing the area of the park. This is a really welcome treat for the hunt. Oh yeah. And an anagram :)
Clue Rating: 
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The breads John took is a clue where to look --
Half an arrow is better than none.
But a logger's neon from a bygone eon
Will point you where to run.
"Breads John took" is an anagram for John D. Estabrook and "a loggers neon" is an anagram for George L. Nason. In 1967 each man had a street named for him in Como Park. Located near the Conservatory, the streets, Estabrook Drive and Nason Place, form an arrowhead-like fork that points at the medallion location. A running/walking path passes the treasure site. "Bygone era" refers to the 1967 dedication of the streets and also the rhyme scheme of this clue, which follows the pattern used in 2003, the last time the puck was hidden in Como Park.
Our Thoughts:
Anagrams! Obscure, yes, but nonetheless anagrams. We like anagrams.
Clue Rating: 
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A line of trees lies in the wake.
About face is the path to take.
Relate this clue to an earlier scene
When you encountered a thing marine.

Now you know the trail to the treasure.
The line of trees is your search's measure.
The walking path prescribes more limits;
A semi-circle of trees also inhibits.
The "thing marine" is the torpedo monument to USS Swordfish. The clue advises that "points" in the previous clue does not mean searching in the direction the torpedo is pointing, but to do an "about face" and search in the "wake" of the torpedo. It is the rear, not the front of the torpedo, that "points to the puck." The medallion is hidden in the area bordered by a line of trees to the South and the walking path to the North. A semi-circle of trees sets the limit of the hunt to the West.
Our Thoughts:
Further reining in the crowds!
Clue Rating: 
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In Como Park we hid the puck.
You should be there with any luck.
Where Estabrook Drive meets old Lexington
Points where the prize is hidden and won.

Line up Estabrook with your eye --
Three trees in half circle you will spy.
Dig in the snow, from an end tree, 12 feet,
You'll uncover the treasure -- won't that be sweet.

The puck is pocketed in an old piece of jeans;
Wrapped up, frozen solid, is concealment means.
Dig under the snow but not in the ground.
Be Minnesota Nice to other people around.
The clue spells out the exact location of the medallion.
Clue Rating: 
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