The Great Twin Cities Treasure Hunt — CLUES EXPLAINED
#1
CLUE #1
  • "glorious stone" is meant to suggest the character Gloria Stone from the 1937 Frank Capra film Lost Horizon (based on the 1933 novel of the same name by James Hilton). The actor who portrayed Gloria Stone was named Isabel Jewell; the Official TC Treasure Jewel was hidden in "A park within the cities," intersected by Isabel Avenue.
  • "glorious" could also be taken to suggest the opening lyrics and refrain of Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic": "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord," and "Glory, glory, hallelujah!" respectively. Seven Oaks Oval is located in a Minneapolis neighborhood named for Howe.
  • "A park within the cities" is Park Terrace, which encircles Seven Oaks Oval—also a park.
  • "well hid" is meant to suggest this hunt's MacGuffin—a secret cache in a small dry well, covered by a small pile of sticks approximately 20 paces from where the park's two main footpaths intersect.
  • "flip your lid" is meant to suggest a heavy, cast iron valve box lid, which read "WATER," and covered the well.
  • "fore" is meant to suggest the number four—the first digit in the latitude of the coordinates of the jewel (4X° XX' XX", XX° XX' XX"). In this hunt, each clue's third line contains another of the twelve digits that make up the jewel's coordinates: Odd clues, in order, revealed the jewel's latitude, while even clues revealed its longitude.

CLUE #2
  • "celebrate good times; Come on" and "gang" are meant to suggest the Kool & The Gang song "Celebration." The jewel was hidden with a small, battery-powered motion sensor which, when triggered, played the song through a tiny speaker—a soundtrack to the eventual finder's success.
  • "nine" is the first digit in the longitude of the jewel's coordinates (4X° XX' XX", 9X° XX' XX").

CLUE #3
  • "the forest primeval" is a reference to the first line of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie." Seven Oaks Oval is a rugged, overgrown forest of a park in Minneapolis' Longfellow Community.
  • "four ... blind ... eyes" is meant to suggest the nearby Mississippi River.
  • "four" is the second digit in the latitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° XX' XX", 9X° XX' XX").

CLUE #4
  • "the odors of the forest" and "pause by some neglected ... a while, to muse and ponder" are references to Longfellow's poem "Song of Hiawatha," and are meant to reinforce searching the Longfellow Community of Minneapolis.
  • "three" is the second digit in the longitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° XX' XX", 93° XX' XX").

CLUE #5
  • "lost horizon" is a reference to the title of the Capra film and Hilton novel Lost Horizon.
  • "the stone," in this context, is meant to suggest finding the character Gloria Stone in the film credits, and the actor who played the role—Isabel Jewell. Isabel Avenue abuts Seven Oaks Oval at Park Terrace.
  • "five" is the third digit in the latitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 5X' XX", 93° XX' XX").

CLUE #6
  • "under water" is meant to suggest the cast iron lid that covered the prize, and read "WATER" across its top.
  • "Shangri-La" is a reference to the characters' destination in Lost Horizon: a mythical utopia in the mountains of Tibet.
  • "Would I lead you astray?" could be taken as a warning to hunters that the next clue may require careful inspection, lest the hunter end up searching the wrong park.
  • "one" is the third digit in the longitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 5X' XX", 93° 1X' XX").

CLUE #7
  • "Message Cash And Travel" (the first word of each line of Clue #7) is a cryptogram for "Terrace Park And Isabel," which, when flipped as later instructed, directs hunters to "Isabel and Park Terrace," which intersect at Seven Oaks Oval. Unflipped, this clue may have led hunters "astray" to Saint Paul's Terrace Park, and Isabel Street.
  • "long ride ridden" is meant to suggest the famous Longfellow poem "Paul Revere's Ride," and to reinforce hunting the Longfellow Community.
  • "where the bitter fruit of acrimony lays" is meant to suggest the line "where the grapes of wrath are stored," from the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," penned by Julia Ward Howe; the jewel was hidden in the Howe Neighborhood of Minneapolis' Longfellow Community.
  • "six" is the fourth digit in the latitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 56' XX", 93° 1X' XX").

CLUE #8
  • "Follow our path around the sun, along an orbit elliptic" is meant to suggest finding a park and street in the shape of an ellipse, or oval.
  • "down the middle long ways" is meant to suggest searching along the ellipse's major axis—the longer of the two main footpaths through the park.
  • "cryptic" is meant to suggest hunters work to solve the cryptogram "Message Cash And Travel," also referenced in clues #7, #9, and #11. 
  • "in sort of a roundabout way" is meant to suggest Park Terrace's unique, elliptical shape, and that Seven Oaks Oval is located inside.
  • "two" is the fourth digit in the longitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 56' XX", 93° 12' XX").

CLUE #9
  • "A trainman tangos" anagrams to "it's not an anagram."
  • "pragmatic story" anagrams to "it's a cryptogram."
  • "message cash and travel" is a cryptogram for "terrace park and isabel," which, when manipulated as instructed ("flip 'em around and unravel"), reveals the jewel's approximate location: "isabel and park terrace."
  • "flip 'em around and unravel" is also intended to help hunters solve the two anagrams above.
  • "two" is the fifth digit in the latitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 56' 2X", 93° 12' XX").

CLUE #10
  • "Weighty neutron arches" anagrams to "search the younger twin," letting hunters know they should look in Minneapolis (the younger of the Twin Cities).
  • "welcoming mount folly" anagrams to "Longfellow Community," and narrows down where in Minneapolis to search.
  • "where two paths intersect, and nearby in the ground" is meant to suggest looking for a secret cache in the ground near the intersection of Seven Oaks' two main footpaths.
  • The purposely-misspelled "jewell" reinforces finding Isabel Jewell (who played Gloria Stone in the Frank Capra movie Lost Horizon, referenced throughout the hunt, and once more here: "horizon still unfound")—and finding the TC Treasure jewel near another Isabel: Isabel Avenue.
  • "two" is the fifth digit in the longitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 56' 2X", 93° 12' 2X").

CLUE #11
  • "Travel And Cash Message" (the first word in the last four lines of Clue #11) gives hunters the proper, "flipped" order of the cryptogram ("message cash and travel").
  • Along with the key—"land is land, but vend is bend"—hunters could partially solve the cryptogram to get "XXABEL AND XAXX XERRAXE," and search for the location that matched: Isabel and Park Terrace, at the southern end of the park. 
  • "Where seven tiny seeds became a verdant, leafy clime" is meant to suggest the seven acorns that would become the park's namesake, as well as Seven Oaks' dense foliage.
  • "Find the spot in increments of temperature and time" is meant to suggest finding the jewel's coordinates, using the numbers from the third line of each clue (in measurements of degrees, minutes, and seconds).
  • "Travel slowly 'round the park" is meant to suggest the suggested 10 MPH speed limit on Park Terrace, as well as the round shape thereof.
  • "fresh bituminous" is meant to suggest Park Terrace (which was freshly resurfaced just a day earlier).
  • "descend into ... the forest" is meant to suggest searching in the hollow of the park, rather than along its edges.
  • The "X" is the point at which Seven Oaks' two main footpaths cross.
  • "your quarry" is meant to suggest the jewel, and the dry-well cache in which it was hidden. (Quarry meaning "a thing or person that is chased or sought.")
  • "tooled chariot spent" is an anagram for "plot the coordinates."
  • "mine eyes have seen the glory (of the coming of the lord)" is a line from the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," by Julia Ward Howe. Seven Oaks Oval is located in the Howe neighborhood of Minneapolis.
  • "seven" is the sixth digit in the latitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 56' 27", 93° 12' 2X").

CLUE #12 (Unpublished)
  • "tiniest acorn to mightiest tree" is meant to suggest searching for oak trees (seven of them, to be precise).
  • "a park within a Park" is meant to suggest Seven Oaks Oval, which is encircled by Park Terrace.
  • "the sum of the numbers in... the third line of each clue" is 47; 47th Avenue runs north and south from Seven Oaks Oval.
  • "coordinate by two, With odd clues north, and evens west... the numbers in... the third line of each clue" is meant to reinforce finding the jewel's exact coordinates, using the numbers from each clue's third line (or "number," in the case of Clue #1).
  • "seek is a beloved" is meant to suggest Isabel Avenue.
  • "great park for" and "faster race;" is meant to suggest Park Terrace.
  • "the grapes of wrath are stored" is a final reference to Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic."
  • "Flip your lid" is a callback to Clue #1, and a reminder that the jewel is hidden beneath a cast iron valve box lid marked "WATER."
  • "celebrate good times!" is a callback to Clue #2, and the opening lyrics to Kool & The Gang's "Celebration," which was rigged to play through a small speaker when the jewel was discovered.
  • "two" is the sixth digit in the longitude of the jewel's coordinates (44° 56' 27", 93° 12' 22").
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