Out To The Ballgame Mini-Hunt — CLUES EXPLAINED
#1
PRE-GAME
  • "mini-hunt spree" could be taken to suggest the dual-prize, dual-city nature of this hunt—and the additional activity required, including the crossword puzzle posted along with the "FIRST PITCH."
  • "a surplus of clues" and "cross words" are meant to suggest the crossword puzzle posted along with the "FIRST PITCH."
  • "a surplus of clues" is also meant to suggest that some—and not all—crossword puzzle clues will direct the hunter toward a prize.

FIRST PITCH
  • This clue is meant to suggest that hunters should solve the crossword puzzle (linked to through the words "solve my acrostic" at TCTreasure.com) in order to gain an early edge in the contest. The crossword puzzle contains clues about the dual-prize, dual-city nature of the hunt: Across clues reference the Saint Paul portion of the hunt, while down clues reference the Minneapolis portion; those combining across and down are meant to reference both prizes (see "TOP OF THE SIXTH").
  • Crossword Puzzle / Solution

TOP OF THE SECOND
  • This clue is meant to suggest searching for a public place "just west" of the "downtown area" of either Saint Paul or Minneapolis—in this case, either town’s Kenwood Park.

BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
  • This clue is meant to suggest both Minneapolis’ Kenwood Park (a large park with rolling hills and many amenities) and its eastern neighbor of the same name (a diminutive green space nestled into a tiny Saint Paul neighborhood). Oddly enough, in both cases, twelve houses are situated across Kenwood Parkway from Kenwood Park.

TOP OF THE SIXTH
  • This clue is meant to suggest simply that hunters should, in fact, "Pay special attention to clues that make mention / Of both" ... "across-and-down" ... "orientations." Those clues arguably provide the greatest insight into the hunt’s solution—in particular, the combinations of clues 47 down ("Cracker") and 68 down ("Jack"); and clues 58 down ("Ken"), 77 across ("Wood") and 71 down ("Park") (see "EXTRA INNINGS"); in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the prize was hidden in a Cracker Jack bag at Kenwood Park.

SEVENTH INNING STRETCH
  • This clue is meant to suggest the dual-location, dual-prize nature of the hunt, and that astute hunters might have the opportunity to win both prizes; Matt Koskie figured this out and did in fact "turn two for a double play!"

BOTTOM OF THE NINTH
  • "14 for Cubs" is meant to suggest Ernie Banks, whose catch phrase was "It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame… Let’s play two!"
  • "brickwork and shrubs" is meant in Saint Paul’s case to suggest the brick cobblestones that make up Kenwood Parkway’s surface, and the prize’s location under a lilac bush; and in Minneapolis’ case is meant to suggest the Kenwood Park Water Tower (itself clad in brick)—and the small trees and bushes that surrounded the hiding spot.
  • "Step up to the plate; take your cuts!" is meant to suggest the home plate-esque shape of Saint Paul’s Kenwood Park (as well as its status as the neighborhood’s de facto wiffle ball field); and in Minneapolis, the prize’s immediate proximity to Kenwood Park’s batting cage (and baseball field #3).
  • "take your cuts" could also be taken to suggest the dual-prize nature of the hunt.

EXTRA INNINGS
  • "Five eight, seven seven, seven one" is a reference to the crossword puzzle, and is meant to suggest 58 down ("Ken"), 77 across ("Wood") and 71 down ("Park"). This "combination" reveals the name of the hiding place for both prizes: Kenwood Park.
  • "I may have committed some sins / In setting up these pins" is meant to suggest a last-second change in Johannes’ Minneapolis hiding plan (as recounted in the "ADDENDUM"); the planned hiding spot was further North, closer to Kenwood Parkway and the water tower.
  • "these pins" is also meant to suggest the dual-location, dual-prize nature of the hunt.
  • "aside from their name, there’s not much the same / Between our Twin City park twins" is meant to suggest the dual-location nature of the hunt—and narrows the field to two very different parks, one in each city with the same name.
  • The final stanza is a reminder to hunters to call the TC Treasure Hunt Hotline and double-check on the hunt’s status; after the Saint Paul prize was claimed, the hotline was updated to play a message informing hunters of a second prize.
  • After the Saint Paul prize was claimed, the TC Treasure homepage was updated to include the Yogiism "It ain’t over, ‘til it’s over." This was meant to suggest that the hunt was indeed still underway, and that a second prize remained to be found.

POST-GAME
  • "Your way has a twin!" is a reference to Tribute: The Hunt for the 13th Casque—a treasure hunt by John Michaels and Kit Palencar (itself an homage to the late Byron Preiss' The Secret: A Treasure Hunt); a tribute to a tribute, if you will.
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