Coolerheads on the News

WCCO interviewed a bunch of Coolerheads at the ABB on January 18. The stories will be featured on the January 20 morning news show, once in the 5am hour and once in the 6am hour, and possibly on Saturday morning. A separate story on Rob and Jake is planned for January 23, while one about Clue Master and his "tools" is planned for later in the week if the hunt goes that far. We'll be updating this story with the video links as they are posted.

New Twists on the Treasure Hunt for 2012

This year there are some interesting new twists on the Treasure Hunt.

For starters, the Pioneer Press is giving away the medallion used in the past 5 treasure hunts as a contest prize. We all have a chance to own a real piece of treasure hunt history.

Second, we all know about the move to Gabe's for the official release of the nightly newspaper. The newspaper will be released at 11:30 each night at Gabe's by the Park at Lexington and Energy Park Drive near Como Park. The clues will be available online at 11:30pm, with a special "scrambled" version available online one hour earlier each night.

Finally, 1000 miniature medallions will be hidden in Parks in Ramsey County. each of these medallions is good for free admission to the "Real Pirates" exhibit at the Science Museum, which opens on February 18.

Details can be found at the Pioneer Press.

2012 Treasure Hunt Clues To Be Released at Gabe's

From the "Didn't See That One Coming" Deparment, we just learned that Mr. Goodhue has decided that instead of releasing the clues at the Pioneer Press building, they will be released at Gabe's By The Park this year. It was announced on an update to a recycled story/video from the 2010 hunt. We don't know yet what this will mean for nightly pre- and post-clue gatherings or whether this is going to be a permanent change or just temporary as the Central Corridor construction is in progress. We'll see and keep you posted here.

What's your first choice for online chatting about the treasure hunt this year?

Cooler Crew Forums at Ableminds
80% (8 votes)
Pioneer Press Forums (whichever one is available)
10% (1 vote)
0% (0 votes)
Some other forum
10% (1 vote)
I don't chat online about the hunt
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 10

Joe Medallion's Hunting Tips for the 2012 Hunt

It's official, Ma Press announced the 60th (62nd really, if you count the years with two Winter Carnival hunts) Annual Treasure Hunt starting on January 22nd. With that announcement, Joe Medallion figured he'd put out some treasure hunting advice for all you hunters out there (even though his own finding experience is excactly nil).

First of all, you're not going to find the medallion sitting on your computer. It doesn't matter if you're on the Cooler Crew boards, the Pioneer Press boards, or any other discussion board. No one who ever found the medallion did it from their basement. They found it by getting out and moving snow. Lots and lots of snow. So maybe there were a few years where there wasn't a lot of snow to move, and years where there was snow at the start but an unseasonably warm spell melted it mid-hunt (Marry-um I'm looking at you), but the people that found it ultimately found it becasue they were actually out there looking for it.

Speaking of discussion boards, Joe understands that you may not be able to actually get out there and dig all the time. Things like work get in the way at times. Unless your name is Jake and you've cleared the two weeks of the hunt plus the weeks before and after just for good measure. You're not alone, and at those times the best way to feed your addiction is to be chatting with your fellow addicts on discussion boards. You can certainly use the Pioneer Press' boards, and Ma Press encourages this during the hunt although neither the link to the old PP boards nor the link to the current ones seem to get anywhere at the time of this writing.

What was that? That would be the 2011 medallion hunt zipping by you.

Once again, congratulations are in order from the Cooler Crew to the finders of the 2011 Winter Carnival Treasure Hunt. Veteran medallion hunting mother/daughter pair, Mary and Molly Hermes, along with Molly's boyfriend Dan Murphy uncovered the puck in the area of the old ski jump at Battle Creek Park at about 2:30 this morning after a mere seven clues. In a hunt that had many of the masses in Como Park until the release of clue 7, with its Battle Creek anagram, this years finders managed to line everything up correctly to come up with the full $10,000 prize!

In telling their tale, the finders created a sad story for another hunter somewhere. After searching within a cavern-like root structure from an under-eroded tree, a tree which had already had its snow removed by a previous hunter, Molly stated it was literally sitting on top of the snow as she sat down next to it.  Presumably that root system was where the puck was planted, and in an effort to hurriedly clear the snow, some other hunter inadvertently discarded the puck, and the prize. Incidentally, that person's story is in our Wall of Shame.

Let this be a lesson to all of us for next year. Don't ever give up. Don't look at a potential hiding spot and discard it without checking. And finally, don't just toss the snow anywhere because you may just be tossing out the baby with the bath water as they say.

As I write this, without the benefit of having the official explanations, or the last five clues, I'm also editorializing the clues for this site. For some of them, I'll have to wait until the official list comes out from the paper. But for others, man, for the first time in a long time the clue writer gave us a really good set of clues, just the way we like 'em. I just hope the explanations don't go and ruin the look.

Congratulations to Mary, Molly, and Dan!

2011 Allison Wonderland Mock Hunt Announcement

From Allison Wonderland:

There was something distinctly unsatisfying with this hunt in the end. Consequently we're going to do something a bit different with the Mock Hunt this year. Instead of doing it a month later, we're going to kick it off at the Rehash Bash next Sunday the 6th. The first clue will come out at the event. After that the clues will come out at 7pm. There will be one per day. They will be posted on the Allison Wonderland Yahoo group (it shows up in the lower left side of this site), on the Cooler Crew board at, and on the Pioneer Press' board. It will be in a park in St. Paul. There are two ways to participate. One, you can be a registered hunter for $10. If you win, you get all the money collected or $200, whichever is more. Two, you can be an unregistered hunter for free. If you are unregistered and you win, you get a flat $100 and the rest of the money will go towards another contest.

If you're not planning to be at the Rehash Bash, you can still register by sending me the money via Paypal to this email address or send me an email and I'll give you an address to send the check to.

I expect we'll get a big turnout this year so there should be some good competition.

Follow the mock hunt clues here



Cooler Crew -- A History

During the 1990's, the St Paul Pioneer Press opened online discussion forums. These forums were called Water Coolers. The forums had discussion topics related to sports, politics, news, and current events. Each year, the Pioneer Planet — the online section of the Pioneer Press — opened a discussion forum as a media for hunters to discuss the clues for the Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt.

During the earlier years, one might find a few hundred posts during the hunt. As more hunters had computers, those numbers jumped. From 1997 to 1998, the number of posts increased from the hundreds to the 5-digit thousands. It was during the 1998 hunt the Cooler Crew was born.

The community spirit and teamwork displayed in the Pioneer Press Medallion Hunt thread was inspiring. The group of hunters found themselves at the end of a hunt not wanting to let go of new friendships and the camaraderie found on the Water Cooler board. The idea emerged to do what anyone would do in the middle of winter in Minnesota. A picnic in Cherokee was planned - the first Rehash Bash!

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