River Festival

2019 Eagle Medallion Hunt clues explained

2019 Wichita Eagle Medallion winners tell how they cracked the code

Justin Selby and Bryan Edwards explain how they used the five published clues to find the 2019 Wichita Eagle Medallion.
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Justin Selby and Bryan Edwards explain how they used the five published clues to find the 2019 Wichita Eagle Medallion.

This year’s medallion was wrapped in a napkin and hidden in the gap between two limestone rocks that are part of a retaining wall just north of the Lincoln Street Dam, on the east bank of the Arkansas River.

Here are each day’s clues and what they meant.

DAY ONE

We’re only on Kansas.com this year.

But as usual this will be unclear.

Each day’s clues will tell you where to move.

Follow along, get into the groove.


There were two hints in the first clue. The second line is a reference to the Arkansas River, which usually runs brown, not clear. The second half of the last line points to the space in the limestone where the medallion was hidden.

DAY TWO

In a park or not - the annual riddle.

The answer this year is not near the middle.

You clever hunters don’t want to be fools.

So make sure you have read all of the rules.

If you read all of the official rules, you would find near the end — not near the middle — the following sentence: “Good job solving the clue: The medallion is not hidden in a park in the 2019 hunt.”

DAY THREE

A royal John, known for this category.

Or a Pearl that’s Gray, that type of story.

Needing direction? Please understand:

Wichitans love a singing ranch hand.


The primary point of this clue was to tell hunters that the medallion was in the west part of the city. While the stretch of the river where the medallion was hidden wasn’t too far west, it was west of Main Street, which is the dividing line for street numbering. The first line is about John “the Duke” Wayne, who is primarily known for his roles in western movies. The second line is a reference to western author Zane Grey, whose given first name was Pearl. The last line is about singer-songwriter Johnny Western, who was also a radio show host on KFDI, which referred to its employees as ranch hands.

DAY FOUR

There was a sea change in our fair state;

The direct result was lots of weight.

A table or lap are the normal places.

But the one that you seek has not touched faces.

Kansas was once covered by the Western Interior Sea. The sedimentary rocks left from that period included limestone rocks, such as those in which the medallion was hidden. The third and fourth lines pointed to a napkin (and yes, the one wrapped around the medallion was new and had not touched faces).

DAY FIVE

A Rocky start; farther on the conclusion.

Say it out loud: Wichita has a fusion.

Where should you look to stay at the front?

You want the east side in this year’s hunt.

This one pointed to the Arkansas River, which begins in the Rocky Mountains and passes through Wichita on its way to merging with the Mississippi River at the Arkansas-Mississippi state line. A fusion refers to the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers meeting in Wichita. Also, if you say it out loud it sounds like effusion, which can mean liquid poured forth. The last line meant it was on the east side of the river.



It was after this clue that puzzle lovers Justin Selby and Bryan Edwards found the medallion. Here are the final three clues that would have appeared had the hunt continued.

DAY SIX

Flags can have them, firefighters too.

There’s one north and south, and here a few.

While you are out, the chances are fine

That you will spot more than one line.

Near the hiding spot you’ll see a steady crowd of people fishing. The first two lines are about poles, invoking flagpoles, firefighters’ poles, the North Pole and the South Pole. The last half was about lines. People fishing near the dam use fishing poles and fishing line.

DAY SEVEN

Search for a sign. What do you spy?

Another name for a black eye.

And someone who has missiles to throw.

Then Ginger’s ride on an old TV show.

Near the retaining wall is a sign that describes the fish found in the river. Among them are shiner (another name for a black eye), darter (someone who has missiles to throw) and minnow (the boat on which Ginger was a passenger on “Gilligan’s Island”).

DAY EIGHT

What one did to the Delaware,

Sixteen does when next to the stair.

Past the ladder with no rungs, which you can’t ascend.

It’s similar to Scylla’s home, you’re at the end.

The first line is about George Washington, the first president, i.e. one, crossing the Delaware. The next line follows the theme and refers to president number sixteen, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln crosses the river and there’s a staircase next to it. The next line points to the fish ladder that’s next to the dam. Past the ladder takes you to the retaining wall, which is a stack of rocks evoking the mythological Scylla’s home next to Charybdis.

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