2015 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

Out of the box.

There's no better way to describe this year's tribute to the late Jim Ragsdale, who wrote the clues for this fine hunt from 2002-2011. And let's not overlook the irony of his tribute hunt lasting a clue less than his first hunt, for which he took so much flack from hunters, and which earned this group the nickname of the Crueler Crew in 2003. The tribute to Ragsdale was hidden the furthest north that it has ever been, in the Vadnais/Snail/Sucker Lake Regional Park complex. The intrigue of the hunt, this year at least, comes from the fact that it was so short combined with a brand new park that had been seldom considered by hunters.

Congratulations go to Steve Worthman, The Map Guy, and well-known writer of The Treasure Hunter's Guide, for cracking the clues and picking up the ice-encased chunk of rags which encased the medallion. In addition to the new member of the Cooler Crew Hall of Fame, we also add Coldest Hunter, Steve Sanftner, to the Wall of Shame, for inadvertently turning over the block of ice and throwing it in Mappy's direction.

Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 18, 2015
Found on:Thursday, January 22, 2015
Finders:
NameHometown
Map GuySaint Paul
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$10,000
Location:
General Location:Snail Lake Park
Exact Location:Next to a tree near sledding hill above volleyball court
Concealer:Wrapped in cloth frozen in a block of ice
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 18, 2015
Our hunt this year is tinged with a tear
For a master who kept us in stitches.
With humor and wit, clues cleverly writ
Led many from Rags to riches.

The rules of the game, remain much the same--
Both inside the box and out,
Public property bound, don't dig in the ground.
Golf courses: Don't cast about."
Explanation:
Clue #1 pays tribute to Pioneer Press reporter and former Treasure Hunt clue writer Jim Ragsdale, who passed away this past year. The "riches" (medallion) is wrapped in rags. "Both inside the box and out" reprises an image from recent hunts and reminds hunters that the medallion can be hidden inside or outside St. Paul city limits, anywhere in Ramsey County.
Our Thoughts:
So much to pick from in this. tinged, tear, master, stitches, writ, Rags, riches, inside the box (and out) no golf courses. Of course there's the tip of the hat to Jim Ragsdale here.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

Published on Monday, January 19, 2015
Now and again, the plans of men
Are fouled beyond measure.
But rest assured, "wedged" is our word,
We've well secured the treasure.
Scrambled Clue:
treasure again and assured wedged the
now fouled rest secured plans men
beyond but we've are of well
the measure is our word
Explanation:
Clue #2 references the 2004 treasure hunt (for which Jim Ragsdale wrote clues). The plan in 2004 was hiding the medallion in an actual donut, but the plan went awry when the donut was moved by some woodland creature. Clue #2 indicates that unlike the past few years, when the medallion was hidden on open ground, this year it is well secured (frozen in ice and wedged next to a clump of birch trees).
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

Published on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
An arch he did spy (with the treasure near by) --
Nature's work high over a trail.
"You're such a jug head," laughed the kid on a sled,
Away he went -- no defeat and no fail.
Scrambled Clue:
defeat arch and no no treasure nature's
an a he laughed sled spy jug he a trail by
away the did near on went such a high
over you're work the fail with kid head
Explanation:
In Clue #3, while the words "arch he" (Archie) and "jug head" suggest the Archie and Jughead kids' comic that was the inspiration for the 2004 Treasure Hunt in Phalen Park, the clue actually points to the location of the medallion within Snail Lake Park in 2015. The "arch" is near the foot of the sliding hill -- an intermingling of branches from trees on either side of the path that starts at the west end of the upper parking lot and winds through the park. The medallion is hidden in the vicinity of the tree-formed arch. "No defeat and no fail" refers to a clue in the 2004 that equated "defeat" with "failin'" as in "Phalen Park," but not this year.
Our Thoughts:
OK. And now we're just waiting to hear about a gooey green donut.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

Published on Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Good laddie and lass, stay off of the grass,
And look for a place to play.
Think about heights and watery sights,
And do right along the way.
Scrambled Clue:
the right laddie watery about the stay
heights grass along and lass place for
and good off of think play sights and
look a to and do way
Explanation:
Clue #4 tells hunters to "stay off the grass," which means stay away from "Grass Lake," which is in the southern part of Snail Lake Regional Park, and look for a "place to play," which is the playground located in the northern section of the park. "Think of heights" is Vadnais Heights and "watery sights" refers to Shoreview. Snail Lake Regional Park in Shoreview abuts Sucker Lake Regional Park in Vadnais Heights, and Ramsey County officially designates the two parks as Vadnais-Snail/Sucker Lakes Regional Park. "Do right along the way" refers to Dudley Avenue (as in Dudley Do Right of the Mounties cartoon), which is a street near the park. "Lassie and lass" references Brigadoon Drive, Brigadoon Court, Heather Drive and Highland Drive -- streets in Shoreview near Snail Lake.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

Published on Thursday, January 22, 2015
Persistence it takes in this land of lakes,
And a willingness to sleuth.
Wheat and chaff, avoid that gaffe,
And look for the grain of truth.
Scrambled Clue:
that and persistence willingness a truth
wheat and sleuth and for it gaffe
to avoid this the in takes
of grain lakes land look of chaff
Explanation:
Clue #5's reference to "land of lakes" suggests "lake" in "Snail Lake Regional Park." The "grain of truth" is not wheat -- the clue tells hunters to avoid that mistake (gaffe) -- but "rice." Rice Street borders Vadnais Heights and Shoreview and bisects the Vadnais-Snail/Sucker Lakes Regional Park.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

Ice, not snow, shows the place to go.
"Thy path" is strangely queer.
Tint of green would be the sheen
On the tricks that Rags would cheer.
Explanation:
In Clue #6, the "tint of green" refers to the green donut and the 2004 Phalen Park Treasure Hunt. In that hunt, clue writer Jim Ragsdale hid "Phalen," the name of the park, in an anagram in Clue #3. The same anagram device is used in Clue #6 this year. The anagram is made up of the first word in each line. If one applies the 2004 device to this clue, one gets the anagram "Ice Thy Tint On," which is an anagram for "Not in the city." "Ice, not snow" indicates that a lake (ice) is key to identifying the park. The clue also combines "ice" and "Rags." "Rags" encased the medallion in ice in the 2003 Treasure Hunt.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

Suckers, here's an even break -- ignore the frozen lake.
Stay off the ice, or it could get messy.
Slow and steady the pace will win you the race --
Beware the giant that dwarfs old Nessie.
Explanation:
In Clue #7, "Suckers" and "lake" gives you Sucker Lake, part of Vadnais-Snail/Sucker Lakes Regional Park. The warning to "Stay off the ice" also means stay away from Sucker Lake. "Slow and steady" suggests Snail Lake, as does the reference to a giant that would dwarf the Loch Ness monster -- Snail Lake beach was closed for part of last summer so workers could use heavy machinery to remove aquatic plant life that grew to be more than 100 feet long.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

Here's a tune you'll want to croon
To thank the heavens above.
It may seem quite eerie, but sung to your dearie,
It's almost like being in love.
Explanation:
Clue #8 alludes to "Brigadoon," a famous musical about a mythical Scottish town of the same name. One of the best-known Brigadoon songs is "Almost Like Being in Love," and another is "Waitin' For My Dearie." Brigadoon Drive and Brigadoon Court are streets near Snail Lake.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

We say with scorn that one is born
Fourteen-forty times a day.
If that's your fate, then don't debate,
But rush there right away.

Hunt the stag core, and record your tag score
If 'tis to treasure you aspire.
Tunnel or lake? Which path to take?
Or one might think much higher.
Explanation:
Clue #9, a double clue, references the dual nature of Vadnais-Snail/Sucker Lakes Regional Park. The first stanza references Sucker Lake (there is one born every minute -- 1,440 of them in a day). If one's fate is to be a "sucker," he or she will rush off to Sucker Lake Park. The second stanza has two anagrams for "escargot" (snail) in the first line -- "stag core" and "tag score." This clue suggests Snail Lake Park as the park to search. One might search in the woods by going through the tunnel under Snail Lake Boulevard, or one might search down by the lake, but the medallion is hidden on higher ground.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

When our republic was young, and the country far flung,
The path of a young man was clear.
Follow it 'round until you have found
Where nature's work will appear.
Explanation:
In Clue #10, "Republic" is the company name on the side of the trash bins by the upper parking lot at Snail Lake Park. In the early days of our Republic, the phrase "Go west, young man" symbolized the country's westward expansion. The hunter should follow that advice and follow the path from the west end of the upper parking lot until he or she comes around to "nature's work" from Clue #3 -- the "arch" over the path formed by trees on either side of the path. This is the general vicinity of the medallion.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

The spot is up high and from it you eye
Through the tunnel that leads to the woods.
From here you can take a great shot of the lake --
The brier chest conceals the goods
Explanation:
Clue #11 establishes that the medallion is hidden near the top of the hill in a wooded area west of the sliding hill. From the spot you can see into the tunnel under Snail Lake Boulevard and look out over Snail Lake. "Brier chest" is an anagram for "birch trees." The medallion is secured in a clump of blackened birch trees near the top of the hill.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet

In Snail Lake Park, seek out special bark
Of birch trees all in a clump.
In Clue Number Three, "nature's work" is three trees,
Near a place where kids' sleds go bump.

From that "arch," if you will, you will walk up the hill --
Keep an eye through the tunnel works the best.
To be more exact, here is your track:
From atop the sled hill walk west.

Five tables you'll see to the burl on a tree --
Three pavilions in view of the puck.
You'll find your thrill on the side of the hill --
Under the snow it's securely stuck.

Our last bit of advice, the puck's frozen in ice --
Wrapped in "rags" to honor our sage.
A final tribute and hail to Mr. Ragsdale --
On our hunt, we now turn the page.
Explanation:
Clue #12 pinpoints the location of the medallion and pays a final tribute to Jim Ragsdale, who is missed by his journalism colleagues, Winter Carnival cronies, long-time treasure hunters, friends and family.

The first stanza tells hunters the medallion is in Snail Lake Park in a clump of birch trees in the vicinity of an "arch," first mentioned in Clue #3 as "nature's work high over the trail" and the sledding hill. From the "arch" you walk uphill to the clump of birch trees. From the medallion location you can see through the tunnel under Snail Lake Boulevard. If you start from the top of the sledding hill and walk west, you'll see five picnic tables. Follow those tables and you'll come to a tree with a large burl at its base. The clump of birch trees and the medallion are on the side of the hill near the tree with the burl (you can see all three park pavilions from the medallion spot). The puck is buried in the snow at the base of the birch trees. It's wrapped in rags and frozen in ice.
 
Clue Rating: 
0
No votes yet