2021 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

Despite the COVID-19 mess, the 2021 Treasure Hunt is on. I'm taking the unprecedented steps of putting the event on the front page of the site, with links to the official rules and extended regulations stories from the Pioneer Press. You'll still have to go to them to get the clues once the hunt starts, and you'll still have to go to their pages to get the rules and regs, but it's important to have them as widely distributed as possible this year to ensure a safe hunt.

The Pioneer Press is not hosting a pre-hunt party at Bad Weather Brewing as they have the past couple of years. In addition, there are no early newspaper releases at Shamrock's or anywhere else this year. All clues will be released online at midnight and will be in the paper as soon as it arrives at your local gas station or doorstep. In addition, there will also not be an early scrambled clue this year.

Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 24, 2021
Found on:Sunday, January 31, 2021
Finders:
NameHometown
Josh Ellingson Apple Valley
Zak Rexford Edina
Julie Schonhardt Inver Grove Heights
Dan Schonhardt Inver Grove Heights
Craig Heinen Richfield
Matt Ludvigson White Bear Lake
Nate Messerich Burnsville
Amy Ellingson Apple Valley
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$10,000
Awarded Prize:$10,000
Location:
General Location:West Park, White Bear Lake
Exact Location:About 40 feet north of the park sign, 6 feet in from the street
Concealer:A mini face mask
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 24, 2021
Be it turmoil endemic or global pandemic
It's been a tough year for us all.
So rather than punt, we renewed this year's hunt:
Join us, it'll be a ball!

Don't be odd, stay within your pod.
Keep six feet away from strangers.
Wear a mask when on your task
To keep all safe from dangers.
Explanation:
In the last year, we’ve all been through mass infection (pandemic) and insurrection (turmoil endemic), but still the Treasure Hunt must go on! This year’s hunt, however, has some special rules about wearing masks and social distancing (six feet from strangers), so we remind hunters that they must remain mindful of these rules to keep the hunt safe. Also, “mask” refers to what the medallion was hidden in.
 
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Published on Monday, January 25, 2021
Stay away from links and risky hijinks.
Disturb not ground, tree or trail.
Don’t wait for last clue to know what to do;
This year you’ll figure or fail.
Explanation:
We warn hunters to stay off golf courses and not to try anything that will risk the health and safety of others or themselves. Since we want to avoid a 12th clue scrum this year due to the pandemic, we warn that hunters should not expect the last clue to give pointed directions to the hiding place as is usually done. You need to figure it out for yourselves or the prize will go to charity!
 
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Published on Tuesday, January 26, 2021
No time, old sport, to play and cavort.
Pursue the grail with your schemes!
Out at night? Then follow the light
To cross the way to your dreams.
Explanation:
“Old sport,” “pursue,” “grail,” “light,” and “dreams” are all key themes from “The Great Gatsby,” the classic American novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who is said to have summered at White Bear Lake. He started working on an outline for “The Great Gatsby” there. He also wrote a story, “Winter Dreams,” in which “Black Bear Lake” and “Black Bear Yacht Club” are thinly veiled references to their real-life White Bear equivalents. The light is key both to the book (it refers to the lights at the end of Daisy’s dock that Gatsby longingly stares at from his mansion across the bay) and to our hunt (there are lights at the end of a long dock across Lake Avenue to the south from the treasure site as well as decorative lights along Lake Avenue).
 
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Published on Wednesday, January 27, 2021
We’re moving ahead, no oncoming dread.
Our future’s in our hands.
This new term is about what’s firm
Let’s avoid the shifting sands.
Explanation:
A nod to the call for moving ahead after the 2020 presidential election, as well as a hint that the medallion is hidden alongside a one-way street. Given Memorial Beach is near West Park – the hiding place of the medallion – we let hunters know to stick to the park instead of the beach.
 
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Published on Thursday, January 28, 2021
Things looked rosy, a pocketful of posey.
We remember it all too well.
We were happy back then but beyond our ken:
It soon would all go to hell.
Explanation:
For nearly a year now, we’ve lived through the dreadful children’s rhyme, “Ring around the Rosie,” which tells the tale of the great plagues of the past. Here, “things once looked rosy” suggests that we were once optimists, and “remember” suggests “memorial” – which are the past (Optimist’s Club) and present (Memorial) names of the beach across Lake Avenue from where the treasure is hidden.
 
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Published on Friday, January 29, 2021
Escape the heat, cook and eat
At this playland far from the masses.
A place to recover or even take cover –
Life here was slow as molasses.
Explanation:
From the mid-19th century, White Bear Lake quickly became a “playland” or summer vacation spot from people from St. Paul and Minneapolis – and eventually for sickly southerners looking to recuperate (recover) or gangsters looking for a hideout (take cover). “Cook” and “eat” refer to the grills and picnic tables close by the hiding spot.
 
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Published on Saturday, January 30, 2021
Count down from eleven and you’ll be in heaven
Flying high as would an eagle.
Look down from above to find what you love
Then sniff out the prize like a beagle
Explanation:
West Park, which is between 10th and 11th Streets (count down from 11), is just west of the White Bear Lake Seaplane Base (flying high). Extra credit to those who note that Bald Eagle Lake (eagle) is next to White Bear Lake.
 
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Published on Sunday, January 31, 2021
Get up and go, leave your chateau;
Heed the call of Winter you hear.
Tackle life this way to be happy and gay
And find you a treasure most dear.
Explanation:
The Winter Carnival is all about the “call of Winter,” of course. More important, “chateau” and “gay” combine to refer to the Chateuguet Condominiums, which are just down the lakefront from the hiding spot.
 
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If it’s cold, why don’t trees explode?
Can you see sap twerk?
The way is clear to hunt this year –
On open ground, work.
Explanation:
We’ve used an anagram – sap twerk – to reference West Park, where the puck was dropped in an open area.
 
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Bored by puzzles and social muzzles,
It was time for something new.
At dark curb side, we tossed loot outside.
Across flow, an out-of-bounds view.
Explanation:
Being stuck inside and having limited interactions this year had us hankering for a hunt. So, we drove out to White Bear Lake, stopped along a dark stretch of Lake Avenue in front of West Park and planted the medallion within throwing distance of the curb. Looking east, across the rising or flowing White Bear Lake, hunters can see Washington County, which is off limits for the hunt.
 
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From street to spot, a six-foot trot –
Farther we wouldn’t go.
The park’s been named, so for treasure claimed,
Scratch for a perfect ball of snow.
Explanation:
We share what the orb-shaped medallion is hidden in – a ball of snow we made in a child’s snowball press – and that it is likely now obscured by new-fallen snow. We reference that the park name has already been noted in Clues 6 and 9. Plus, the hiding spot is a socially distanced six feet from the street.
 
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If you’re an optimist, your destiny’s manifest.
And you’ve found your way to White Bear Lake.
There’s no need to remember, just go send a member
To dig nearest furrow with a rake.
Explanation:
This clue can’t pinpoint the location, as we don’t want a mad scrum of hunters converging on the same exact spot. So the best we can do is give you the city and some heavy-handed clues about which park – Optimist Beach is the former name of Memorial Beach (which we advise you to forget about), so you should really head west to West Park if you’re going to find the treasure. The most specific we can get is to look for an area that was recently plowed and is slightly lower than the surrounding land – furrowed – and begin the final search.
 
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