Hoedown Showdown Mini-Hunt — CLUES EXPLAINED
#1
INTRODUCTION
  • "hootenanny" is meant to suggest the owl on the cover of Trampled By Turtles' fifth studio album "Palomino" (This hunt's treasure was hidden at Palomino Park, in Apple Valley). It's also meant to suggest—in its less common usage, akin to "doohickey"—a tiny, light-activated device hidden with the prize and set to play the Trampled By Turtles instrumental song "Ceiling Slide" upon discovery.
  • "hidey-hole" is meant to suggest the small hole in the base of a tree where the treasure was hidden, near the western border of Palomino Park.
  • "unruly beast" and "tame it" are meant to portend this hunt's many equestrian references, and to suggest searching for parks based on equestrian terminology—specifically Palomino Park.

CLUE #1
  • "listen for the sound" and "keeping your ear to the ground" are meant to suggest the the light-activated speaker, which played a Trampled By Turtles song upon discovery.
  • "first, do no harm" references the Oath of Hippocrates, and advises hunters to seek, rather than destroy. It is also meant to suggest hunters obey all posted laws, park rules, and hunt rules. It could also be taken more generally to suggest medicine, or healthcare—which is the primary industry of Dakota County (the county containing this hunt's hiding place).
  • "hunter's creed" could be taken to suggest Hunter's Way, located just down the road from Palomino Park.
  • "On parkland ample, turtles trample, so mount your trusty steed" is meant to suggest searching for a (sufficiently) sizable park with connections to both Trampled By Turtles and horses—in this case Palomino Park.
  • "ample" is also intended as a wink at Apple Valley.
  • "mount your trusty steed" is also a reference to this hunt's MacGuffin: a lidded crystal dish shaped like two turtles—one riding on the shell of the other.
  • "the right county ... is ... one of the three that aren't to each other adjacent" is meant to suggest the treasure is hidden in Anoka, Carver, or Dakota County—the only three counties in the seven-county metro that don't border each other.
  • "check your map for clues" and "limit your palette to secondary hues" are meant to further reinforce Anoka, Carver, and Dakota counties; their boundaries appear on the TC Treasure Map in orange, purple, and green, respectively.

CLUE #2
  • "piles of marshmallow tiles" and "our playground mosaic" are meant to suggest our short-lived mosaic—which depicted the letters "TC" on the Palomino Park playground equipment, where rotating cylindrical "tiles," colored light brown on one half and dark brown on the other, enable Apple Valley youths (or in this case, our Cluewriter) to create ephemeral playground art.
  • "this hunt's designed to put you through your courses, / So take it in stride, enjoy the ride, and saddle up your horses" is meant to reinforce the equestrian theme of the hunt—and Palomino Park.
  • "saddle" is also meant to suggest "Saddle Ridge"—the neighborhood that forms Palomino Park's southern boundary. A neighborhood sign is visible across 128th Street, near the park's southern entrance.
  • "park" and "ride" are meant to suggest the MVTA Palomino Hills Park & Ride station, located across Pennock Avenue from Palomino Park.
  • "in the park" is also meant to confirm that the prize is hidden in a park.

CLUE #3
  • The first letters in each line of this clue—"M," "V," "T," and "A"—are meant to suggest the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, which serves the Dakota County cities of Rosemount, Eagan, Burnsville, and Apple Valley; the treasure was hidden in the latter, across the street from the MVTA Palomino Hills Park & Ride facility.
  • "Meet your friends" is meant to suggest looking in Dakota County; "Dakota" is a word meaning "friendly" or "allies."
  • "where blacktop ends; the bluegrass is always greener / Vegetation in dense formation" is meant to suggest searching just past a grassy clearing in the woods near the edge of Palomino Park's blacktop basketball court.
  • "greener" is also meant to confirm Dakota County—the "green" county, per the "secondary hues" reference in Clue #1.
  • "The cavalier is crystal clear, just like the bronco he rides" is meant to suggest this hunt's MacGuffin: a lidded crystal dish shaped like a baby turtle riding on its parent's shell. It's also meant to reinforce the hunt's equestrian theme—and Palomino Park.
  • "Autumn's decay reveals the way to where our treasure hides" is meant to reinforce searching the woods, underneath fallen leaves and twigs.

CLUE #4
  • "victorious" is meant to suggest Christus Victor Lutheran Church, located across Pennock Avenue from Palomino Park.
  • "a hexagon comprised of nineteen dots" is meant to suggest the city of Apple Valley's logo—a minimalist apple tree. "It may be laborious" to "narrow down the lots"—or many potential parks—simply "by looking upon" it, due to its ubiquity within the city it identifies.
  • "lots" is also meant to suggest the large, side by side parking lots of the MVTA Park & Ride station and Christus Victor Church, across the street from Palomino Park.
  • "The path to follow, from hilltop to hollow, leads down from the jungle gyms" is meant to suggest taking the wooded path from the playground area at the top of the hill, down to the hollow that contains the hiding spot. Alternatively, this could be interpreted to suggest taking the park's asphalt path north from the playground, then west to the edge of the basketball court from Pennock Avenue—"Pennock" is a name that takes its  meaning from the Olde English for "hill top."
  • "Keep on the watch for a tiny notch beneath the molting limbs" is meant to suggest the treasure's hiding place: a small "hidey-hole" at the base of a tree, just southwest of the Palomino Park basketball court.

CLUE #5
  • "much ado mounting for fifty years counting" is meant to suggest Apple Valley—which celebrated its semicentennial (or 50th year) earlier this year (Before 1969, Apple Valley was known as "Lebanon Township").
  • "a town of topgraphy" is also meant to suggest the town of Apple Valley.
  • The "hillside park" with "a special mark in the Turtles' discography" is Palomino Park; Trampled by Turtles' fifth studio album is titled "Palomino," and their music festival was called "Festival Palomino."
  • "Across from the chapel" is meant to suggest searching across the street from Christus Victor Lutheran Church—in Palomino Park.
  • "apple" is meant to suggest Apple Valley.
  • "terrapin parade" is a reference to both this hunt's prize—a pair of tickets to Trampled By Turtles' November 16 concert in Mankato—and its MacGuffin: a crystal dish in the shape of a pair of turtles. The dish contained instructions on how to claim the prize, along with a small light-activated speaker, which played the Trampled by Turtles instrumental song "Ceiling Slide" upon discovery.
  • "topography," "hillside," and "slope" are meant to suggest Palomino Park's rolling landscape, and its location in the Palomino Hills neighborhood of Apple Valley.
  • "a horse of a different shade" is meant to suggest Palomino Park; "palomino" is a word describing a pale, golden horse with a white mane and tail, originally bred in and common to the southwestern United States.

CLUE #6
  • "Run your course on a Spanish horse" is meant to suggest Palomino Park; "palomino" is a Spanish word—meaning "little dove," oddly enough—that is used to describe a horse's coloration (and sometimes also its breed). 
  • "Off to the races" is meant to reinforce the equestrian theme of the hunt (though it had the potential of throwing one final wrench in the works for hunters considering Belmont Park, just down the road from Palomino Park).
  • "Lebanese pedigree" is meant to suggest Apple Valley, which was known until 1969 as Lebanon Township.
  • The treasure was hidden "about thirty paces" off "your course"—as described in prior clues—in "a gap at the root of a tree", under a small pile of twigs and "leaves," near the Palomino Park basketball court.
  • "Where treasure chills between the hills" is meant to suggest searching between one hill and another, in Palomino Park—as well as the larger surrounding Apple Valley neighborhood of Palomino Hills. It could also be taken more generally to suggest searching for a valley—in this case Apple Valley.
  • "Claim the gear and have a beer" is meant to suggest the hunt's prize, as well as a bonus prize of two six packs of Bent Paddle Brewing Company's specialty "Trampled" American Golden Ale, brewed in collaboration with Trampled By Turtles.
  • "under palomino skies" names the treasure's hiding spot in Palomino Park. This clue was scheduled to be released one minute after sunset, ideally around the same time the skies began changing hue.

Special thanks to Trampled By Turtles and Thirty Tigers Artist Management!
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