The Great Twin Cities Treasure Hunt — CLUES EXPLAINED
#1
INTRODUCTION
  • "warning" is meant to suggest Warning Lites of Minnesota, located just across Interstate 94 from this hunt's hiding place—North Mississippi Regional Park.
  • "Once again the time has come" and "The fateful deed, at last, is done" are meant to suggest the Great TC Treasure Hunt's return to Minneapolis—for the first time since November of 2018.
  • "Once again the time has come to lay it on the line" is meant to suggest hunters search for a stretch of the old Soo Line railroad—which runs across the southern entrance to the park (we also referenced the Soo Line in 2018 and 2019).
  • "lay it on the line" is meant to suggest both this hunt's hiding place—along the northern border of Minneapolis and bounded to the east by the Mississippi River shoreline—and its hide method: the jewel was hidden in the branches of a tree near the river, connected with fishing line to a small, red fly reel in the tree's hollow trunk. When turned, the reel gently lowered the prize from above.
  • "the path of victory" is meant to suggest Victory Memorial Parkway, which terminates in a co-located stretch with Webber Parkway at North Mississippi Regional Park.
  • "rise above the rest" and "hoist the hunted haul! / Hence, our goal" are meant to suggest this hunt's "lowering crank" hide method, and the fact the jewel was hidden above ground level for the first time.
  • "baffle" is meant to suggest the large, wooden highway sound barrier wall that runs along the western length of North Mississippi Regional Park, dividing it from Interstate 94.
  • "interpret" is meant to suggest the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center, in the middle of North Mississippi Park.

CLUE #1
  • "It's been a while, but we're back" is meant to suggest the Great TC Treasure Hunt's return to Minneapolis.
  • "back in style" is meant to suggest hunters look "under the hood" of the TC Treasure website: by viewing the website's source code, opening its stylesheet, and finding the "back" class, hunters would discover a property reading "search-area: city(mpls)," suggesting this year's jewel was hidden in Minneapolis.
  • "eagle eye" is meant to suggest the "Golden Eagle" picnic shelter at North Mississippi Regional Park.
  • "on the fly" is meant to suggest this hunt's "lowering crank" hide method.
  • "Seek a sliver along the river" is meant to suggest searching along the Mississippi River for the long, narrow strip of parkland that comprises North Mississippi Park.
  • "hallowed haunt" is meant to suggest the spooky, wooded hollow that housed the jewel's hiding spot—the best entrance to which is just off the trail from a T intersection in the southern part of the park. In addition, it is meant to suggest the hollow tree that held the prize—as well as the fishing line, fly reel, and its "lowering crank."

CLUE #2
  • "It's that time of year: the dog days are here, red in tooth and claw," "A summer scorcher with temps that torture, baking the treasured land," and "one to rise with the sun" are meant to suggest the "Dog Days" of summer—so named for the constellation Canis Major and its bright "Dog Star," Sirius, which makes its appearance this time of year in the early morning on the eastern horizon, and has historically been associated with extreme summer weather. Here, the intended parallel is to signage in Minneapolis parks, including North Mississippi, reminding dog owners to "Leash and pick up ... it's the law!"—while simultaneously setting up a framework for the next clue (which also concerns astronomy).
  • "red in tooth and claw" could be taken to suggest the small, red fly fishing reel used to hoist and lower this hunt's prize—or this hunt's MacGuffin: a red TC Treasure swag bag.
  • "leash and pick up" is meant to suggest this hunt's hide method: the jewel was attached to the end of a length of fishing line.
  • "If you're not one to rise with the sun, you might have the upper hand." is meant to suggest searching west of the Mississippi River, in Minneapolis ("the first city of the west").
  • "upper hand" is meant to suggest the jewel's hiding spot in the branches of a tree.

CLUE #3
  • "Peer" is meant to suggest the two fishing piers at North Mississippi Regional Park; though damaged and partially removed in the last decade, a small section of the southern pier is still in place, while the northern pier—in Brooklyn Center—remains intact.
  • "Peer through the haze" ... "to help you navigate" and "reveals a route" are meant to suggest both looking upward at the sky and looking downward at the Twin Cities—likely using a mapping application with satellite view.
  • "find the blaze to help you navigate," "a string of seven—one of eighty-eight," and "diamond in the sky" are meant to suggest a continuation of the theme of astronomy and stargazing: the "string of seven—one of eighty-eight" is the summer constellation Corona Borealis (which means "Northern Crown"); its brightest star, Alphecca, is also known as the "Blaze Star." In North Mississippi Regional Park, near a dead-end on Lyndale Avenue, there are seven rocks in the same formation as Corona Borealis (visible from above on Google Maps); in view from that formation is a terminal transmission line with the shape of a diamond-cut gem in the negative space near its top (visible on Google Street View); from there, trails lead south to the hiding spot.
  • "a string of seven—one of eighty-eight" could also be taken in context to suggest the "Big Dipper" asterism within the constellation Ursa Major—or the "large bear;" at North Mississippi Park, the largest of the four picnic shelters is known as the "Bear" shelter. Additionally, the Big Dipper is frequently used in finding Polaris—or the "North Star"—which could in turn be taken to suggest looking for a park in the northern part of the Twin Cities.
  • "tree of heaven" and "nightblue fruit" are references to James Joyce's Ulysses—wherein Joyce's proxy Stephen Dedalus describes the night sky as a "heaventree" and the stars as "nightblue fruit;" "a handsome harvest on high" reinforces this astral reference by alluding to both its setting (Dedalus' garden) and the character who makes it (Dedalus himself). The idea here, though a bit convoluted, is to trace that character's name back to its root (i.e. "reveals a route"): the mythical Greek inventor and architect Daedalus, who built the Labyrinth of Knossos—then slipped Ariadne the secret to helping Theseus escape it, by using a skein of her thread (i.e. "string")... Of course, Theseus then abandoned Ariadne, leaving her to marry Dionysus—who gave her a crown of stars, which he then hung in the heavens, becoming—wait for it... Corona Borealis. This was intended to reinforce the idea of searching for a large, northern park containing a formation of rocks that matches the constellation.
  • "In the tree of heaven," "string," and "a handsome harvest on high / With a fitting design at the end of the line: a diamond in the sky." are also meant to suggest the hide method (and jewel) for this hunt.

CLUE #4
  • "Big and bold as you enter the fold, it's easy to distinguish: / A rustic sign with a Windsor shine to spell it out in plain English." is meant to suggest North Mississippi Regional Park's entrance signs, which were likely made in the '70s or '80s—as reflected by the fact they are the only Minneapolis Parks Board signs still set in the then-popular typeface Windsor Bold.
  • "English" anagrams to "shingle;" Shingle Creek runs into the Mississippi River at the southern end of the park.
  • "Narrow your spree down to a T, near where the treasure's furled" is meant to suggest searching for the jewel in a riverside hollow, best accessed near a T intersection on the southern half of the park's expansive trail network.
  • "furled" is meant to suggest this hunt's MacGuffin: a red TC Treasure swag bag rolled up and hidden inside a camouflage pouch.
  • "turn over a rock... discover a hidden world!" makes reference to a small sign near the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center's backyard classroom and nature play space, which reads "TURN OVER A LOG OR ROCK... DISCOVER A HIDDEN WORLD!"

CLUE #5
  • "Bound" is meant to suggest searching near the Minneapolis city limits, on the edge of North Mississippi Regional Park, not far from the riverside.
  • "winding valley" is meant to suggest the Minneapolis community of Camden, and the Webber-Camden and Camden Industrial neighborhoods, "Camden" is a name meaning "winding valley."
  • "a winding valley, along the tributary" is meant to suggest searching in a park on the Mississippi River near one of its tributaries—in this case Shingle Creek, which runs into the Big Muddy just south of this hunt's hiding spot.
  • Additionally, "winding" is a hint at this hunt's "lowering crank" fly reel hiding mechanism.
  • "Take a tour of meadow and moor—your friendly neighborhood prairie." is meant to suggest searching through a park with a lot of open, uncultivated land (i.e. meadows, moors, and prairies).
  • "Take a tour" could be taken to suggest searching a location along Minneapolis's Grand Rounds Scenic Byway.
  • "your friendly neighborhood prairie" is a reference to the title text on informational signage found throughout the park.
  • "Along a diagonal from a figure nonagonal, centered triangularly— / A wildwood weald with cache concealed" is meant to suggest finding a single mathematical value that is at once a nonagonal number and a centered triangular number—in this case, the number 46. By tracing N 46th Avenue into North Mississippi Regional Park, then "triangulating" out from there to the area along the river, hunters could narrow the search area to the "wildwood weald" containing the treasure: a heavily forested area between the trails and the river.
  • "camouflaged clancularly" is meant to suggest the camouflage bag that concealed the MacGuffin, as well as four small pieces of wood, wedged into the trunk of the tree to hide the "lowering crank" fly reel mechanism.

CLUE #6
  • "To catch the cache and snatch the stash" is meant to suggest both the jewel's location in the branches of a tree—and a finder's need to "catch" it out of the air—as well as the fact it was attached to the end of a length of fishing line, and connected to a fly fishing reel ("snatching" is a method of fishing, also known as "snagging").
  • "as you trace the riverbed" is meant to suggest searching the river's edge to find a wooded hollow in North Mississippi Regional Park—near where the trails run more or less parallel to the river.
  • "Center your stalking upstream from the squawking cacophony overhead; By watching for birds" is meant to suggest the Camden Bridge, and its nest-discouraging sound system—which cycles through a repeating series of recordings of squawking birds—among other jarring and dissonant sound effects; the jewel was hidden a ways north of the bridge (to avoid hunters being driven insane by its screeching).
  • "Center" is meant to suggest the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center in North Mississippi Regional Park, and the park's adjoining section—found to the north in Brooklyn Center.
  • "watching for birds" is meant to reinforce North Mississippi Regional Park—a haven for urban birdwatching enthusiasts—and Kroening Interpretive Center, which has a dedicated birdwatching station. It is also meant as a hint to hunters to cast their gaze upward—and suggest the MacGuffin's location in the branches of a tree.
  • "By ... mincing words, you'll find the hallowed ground: / Just give a quick yank to the lowering crank—turn it and twist it around." is meant to suggest rearranging the letters in "lowering crank" to spell "Carl W. Kroening"—the late state senator from Minneapolis, and namesake of the Interpretive Center at North Mississippi Regional Park.
  • "you'll find the hallowed ground: / Just give a quick yank to the lowering crank—turn it and twist it around." is also meant to suggest this hunt's hiding spot, hide method, and fly reel hoisting mechanism—hidden in the hollow trunk of a dying tree, all in turn hidden within a wooded hollow by the river.
  • Every 48 minutes after the sixth clue was published, another letter was posted to the @TCTreasureHunt Instagram account; the letters would have spelled "ITS SIMILAR TO A GRASSHOPPER IN PINK," which anagrams to "AT NORTH MISSISSIPPI REGIONAL PARK." The letters were released in reverse order and timed so that the final letter would post to Instagram at the same moment as the seventh clue (which makes direct reference to "the 'gram")—but, thanks to the crafty Team MED-STAT, we only got as far as "INK" before the jewel was found!

CLUE #7 (Unpublished)
  • "'Tween river boats and designer coats" is meant to suggest North Mississippi Regional Park's location between the river and Hirschfield's Paint Manufacturing, located just across the highway from the general search area.
  • "where currents flow and ebb" is meant to suggest searching in an area bounded by the Mississippi River to the east, power lines to the north, Shingle Creek to the south, and Interstate 94 (and/or bike and pedestrian paths) to the west.
  • "Find a spot to shoot your shot," and "You could be wealthy for snapping a selfie, so don't forget your cam; With find recorded,  you'll be rewarded" are meant to suggest this hunt's bonus prize—a pair of three-day passes to the 2021 Blue Ox Music Festival—for a winner who snapped a selfie showing their best "Ox Horns."
  • "shoot your shot and sling a wily web! / You could be wealthy for snapping a selfie, so don't forget your cam; With find recorded, you'll be rewarded" could also be taken to suggest this year's finder might feel a bit like Spider-Man—lowering the jewel on a strand of "web," then being paid handsomely for taking a selfie (while flashing a hand gesture similar to Spider Man's "web-slinging" motion).
  • "web" and "cam" are meant to suggest the Webber-Camden area of Minneapolis—one of the primary neighborhoods housing, and served by, North Mississippi Regional Park.
  • "do it for the 'gram" is meant to suggest checking the @TCTreasure Instagram account to find the 30 tiles that spelled the phrase "ITS SIMILAR TO A GRASSHOPPER IN PINK"—which anagrams to "AT NORTH MISSISSIPPI REGIONAL PARK."

LONGSHOTS
  • In the lead-up to the hunt, Johannes posted updates to the Great TC Treasure Hunt Kick-off Party Facebook event page and Treasure Hunt Discussion Facebook Group with his replica of the "JOHANNES WAS HERE — TC TREASURE" Minnesota Vikings US Bank Stadium Legacy Brick in the background; this was meant to suggest the hunt would be held in Minneapolis for the first time since the November 2018 Great TC hunt that referenced said brick.
  • This was "TC Treasure XLIII"—the 43rd official TC Treasure Hunt; North 43rd Avenue runs into Shingle Creek just west of North Mississippi Regional Park and, if uninterrupted, would cut through the park just south of the hiding spot. Of course, there are plenty of other landmark-abutting "43"s throughout Minneapolis—so this is admittedly more of a coincidence than anything.


[Image: 2021_reel.jpg]


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