Friday, January 27, 2006

Turn out the lights, the party's over...

The clues explained

The Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt medallion was found
at Battle Creek Regional Park on St. Paul's East Side at 9:35 a.m.
Friday. Here's the explanation of the six published clues and the six
unpublished clues.

Clue No. 1
Treasure hunters swarming amidst global warming
Make it hard to park our loot.
Look for snow and ice,
enough to suffice,
To shorten your winter pursuit.

Explanation: Our winter is mild, without much snow. The prize is hidden
in a park. Hunters should look for areas with enough snow and ice to
cover the medallion.

Clue No. 2

Son of Pear, hometown fare,
The nut of this year's quest.
Sweetest patty, never a baddie,
Covers the prize at rest.

Explanation: Pearson's Candy Co., based in St. Paul, is the maker of
the Nut Goodie, and its wrapper covers the medallion.

Clue No. 3

Men with a garter
should have been smarter
Than to mix drink with their vulcanic activities.
You would be wise
to look for the prize
By taking up a child's

Explanation: A red garter — a reference to the infamous "garter ritual"
that got the Vulcan Krewe leader in trouble last year — is wrapped
around the medallion. It is near a sliding hill behind Battle Creek
Elementary School and rec center, a favorite of neighborhood children.

Clue No. 4

For the brave of heart,
it's time to start
Searching hill and glen.
Pitch a tent if that's your bent
But stay within your ken.

Explanation: "Brave" and "tent" refer to Indian braves, who fought the
battle in 1842 for which Battle Creek Park is named. Hill and Glen
refer to Hillsdale and Glenridge avenues near the park. The Scottish
reference to "Braveheart'' also alludes to nearby 3M, known for its Scotch

Clue No. 5

If you're aerobic and hardly tree-phobic
You might make your outing pay.
Don't be left in a lurch, do your research,
This could be your red-letter day.

Explanation: The medallion is located on a hill, requiring a stiff
climb, near some oak and pine trees. The "red letter" refer again to the 3M
sign, visible from the hill.

Clue No. 6

On a whim you may take a swim
Or go in and out of the woods.
Twixt high and low, we hope there's snow
To cover up the goods.

Explanation: There is a water park at Battle Creek, which is both
inside and outside of the city of Maplewood. The third line refers to Upper
and Lower Afton roads, which are the north and south borders for the

Clue No. 7

Not west, but East, lies the feast.
Here you searchers must tarry.
Stay in St. Paul, near basket and ball
Where a medallion owner would bury.

Explanation: While the park is in St. Paul, it is on the East Side, not
far from Woodbury. Our hiding spot is near the Battle Creek rec center,
which has a basketball court.

Clue No. 8

You're off the mark if you stray from a park
And miss the point of it all.
Tips are legion in the region
Up to the verge of St. Paul.

Explanation: Reference to Point Douglas Road in Battle Creek, which is
a regional park on the border of the city.

Clue No. 9

The father, the son and one other one
Lost their lives near this watery place.
But now there's fun where those killins' were done
Woods, hills and wide open space.

Explanation: An attack by the Chippewa on a nearby Sioux village killed
Sioux Chief Kaiboka, his son and one other tribe member. A battle raged
along the creek, and it became the source for the name "Battle Creek.''

For Ph.D-level clue solvers, there is also a buried reference to Bob
Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited,'' in which `God' asks Abe to "kill me a
son," and Abe wants to know where he wants "this killin' done?" Highway
61 borders Battle Creek park.

Clue No. 10

Once the home pristine of Mr. McLean,
It was named by a dealer in teas.
In order to stake her, he gave 30 acre,
Did this man who so did love trees.

Explanation: The pristine area of Battle Creek was once a community
named after Nathaniel McLean, a newspaper publisher, Sioux agent and
veteran of the War of 1812. But the name Battle Creek was suggested by
William McMurray, a coffee and tea dealer, who gave 30 acres to the city for
the park in 1922.

Clue No. 11

Roaming like cattle near the creek of the battle
Let Winthrop be your pleasure.
Yon mount is better, above skier and sledder,
Twixt pines and poles sits the treasure.

Explanation: Battle Creek is identified, as is Winthrop Street, the
mountain above ski trails and sledding hills, and a location between a
stand of pines and two light poles.

Clue No. 12

Find and seek in Battle Creek
Near a center for athletic skill.
Out the door to the south, scarf over your mouth
Climb atop yon sliding hill..

Two posts can be seen, a wire between
Form a line heading to a row of pines.
Twenty-six strides straight, six to the left.
In the brow of a hill you will find,

Oh ye who were fickle, our medallion-sicle
Wears an iceberg disguise.
The package, as we said, is swathed in bright red
Candy wrapper, garter and prize.

Explanation: Directs hunters to the site atop the hill behind the
Battle Creek rec center. Aligned with two posts connected by a wire, walk 26
paces toward the stand of pines, then six to the left. The medallion,
wrapped in ice, candy wrapper and red garter, sits in some high grass on
the brow of a hill.

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