Mathman 15 -
Blonde Beard's Treasurebox

April Cook, Shannon Guhl, Tessa Hoff, Katelyn Radsek


Terrain: Grassy Park

Difficulty: Depends on math ability

Placed by: The Dragon (Mathman) and his Honors Advanced Algebra students of 2004-05

Location: ?, WI
?, WI

Materials needed: Calculator, Compass, Writing Utensil, Personal Stamp, Inking Pens

Dragon's Home Page
Mathman Home Page


Students and parents of students should read my introduction to letterboxing before seeking the boxes.

These clues rely on the use of matrices to encode/decode clues.  Go to this page to learn how to do this on a free graphics calculator simulator or to do it by hand.

Be sure to read through all the clues before looking for the boxes so you know what is expected of you.


In 1647, the dreaded pirate Blonde Beard sailed his ship up the Menomonee River.  After weathering bad storms, he was blown onto shore.  To keep his treasurebox safe, he hid it somewhere near the river, and all he left behind was a series of mathematical clues...

To find the location of the park for Blonde Beard's Treasurebox, use the first four even numbers as the decoder to solve this matrix code

After determining the park, but BEFORE leaving your house, do an internet search for the year that the land for the park was donated by the Walter Diehnelt family.
  Record this date for late use: _________

Upon arriving at the location, make sure you park in the west parking lot off of MacArthur Drive.  After saluting the American flag, enter the park's municipal code here _______

Facing this sign, head north to the octagonal beach.  From the center of the beach, solve the following equation to determine the bearing (y) at which you will next walk:

Note: These are combinations (i.e. the combination of 8 items taken 4 at a time.)

Heading in that direction, you will find Blond Beard's infamous vessel!  Climb to the top deck of the "ship".  With your hands on the helm, take a bearing of the last two digits of the year the park was founded: _______

Abandon ship!!!
Head on your new bearing.  Along the way you will come to a rectangular "beach".   Count the number of black masts surrounding this "beach": B = _______

Stand at the western-most mast.  Facing north, solve the following system of equations by substitution and walk "Z" paces to a "pirate's picnic".

3m = 60 - 3z
2z + m = 90

From this location, find the distance between the points (2,39) and (5,93) using the distance formula: ________  This will give you the approximate number of paces you need to go.  Heading southeast, walk that number of paces from the pirate's picnic to the Menomonee "Harbor".

Upon arriving at the harbor, count the number of the planks of wood as you cross over the harbor: P = _______.  Count the number of trees to the immediate port side of the harbor after you have crossed it: T = ________.  Since the planks are tricky, test your answer by finding the remainder of the following:

The remainder should be the same as P.

After verifying P, use the equation (P x B) + y = D to establish the bearing you will head
on next: D=______.  From the end of the harbor, head roughly on a bearing of D degrees (not into the water) and walk S paces as indicated by solving the following equation for S:

After walking S paces, what is to your starboard side? _________________

With your back to the object, take the first two digits of the ordinance number minus the second two digits twice, then multiply the result by the final two digits.  That is the new bearing you should walk at.

When you come to the "Captain's Diamond" stand on his "plate".  Then head on the bearing found by finding the positive root of the following quadratic equation:

                 Bearing = _______

Along the way, note the distant relative of Blonde Beard's for whom the "flag mast" is dedicated to:


Continue on that bearing to the lavatories and use them if necessary.
Multiply the number of the letters of the two signs on the lavatory entrances: L = ______.

Turn around and salute Blonde Beard's great great great great nephew, then follow the path to the southwest and approach the shelter.  What is the shelter named?


Walk to the opposite side of the shelter.  Around the back side of the building, stand with your back up against the chimney. Walk straight ahead L x B _______ paces.  From there, head L more paces at the bearing found in the following formula:

There, under some sticks and leaves in the crook, you will find Blonde Beard's Treasurebox!

(Look up and note that this fellow would have been only a mere sapling when Blond Beard his his treasurebox!)


Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

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