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Veteran treasure hunter solves the last 'Wyoming Riddle'

I got some bittersweet news this morning.

Bitter because after more than 30 years running, the last “Wyoming Riddler” treasure hunt is over. Sweet because one of the veteran hunters I followed to tell the story last monthturned out to be the winner.

I watched Robert Lyons do the heavy lifting one day, shoveling about five feet of snow packed around a utility pole in single-digit temps.

We found nothing.

But persistence paid off for Lyons this year. He’s searched for the treasure every year for 25 years and only won one other time. Way to go Robert!

The puzzle creator Joe Cramer sent out this message earlier today:

Robert and two of his grandkids finally walked an extra 60 feet from where they had been looking for two months and nabbed the medallion for the win and the treasure of silver collector coins. The medallion was hanging from a sign located on 56th street in Wyoming between Haughey and the bicycle path right next to Buchanan.

Here’s Cramer’s last riddle along with clues he released along the way.


Perhaps riding a bicycle, perhaps not. But how he got there is important. He knew that it changed a lot of things. If you are the first one to know, you'll find it. If you look, that is.

Clue No. 1 January 2014

"It is near a sign of change, somewhere South of 28th , in between Grandville and Kentwood. Question: Why? Exclamation: Oh! Vase: Ming. Everyone clear on that? OK!

Clue No. 2 Feb. 4, 2014

"Eventually did come change but his end came first. It's good to remember: Near means by, not at!"

Clue  No.3 Feb. 18, 2014

"You can get there either way. Number one and two others between two and nine will help in two ways. But, never all three together.

Clue No. 4  March 11, 2014

Between hints in the riddle, it's there. Amongst the clues, even closer to where. 156, but not all together. To keep it fair: two mean him, two mean there.

A treasure hunt open to all

Anyone can solve the Wyoming Riddle using only a detailed street map of the Grand Rapids metro area. But as Lyons told me last month, "You can solve from the comfort of your home all you want, but you can’t win unless you get out there and you know, keep looking and digging,” Lyons said. 

Cramer gives an explanation of his clues and the last riddle here:

How he got there= Haughey street Riding a bicycle, perhaps not = bicycle path He = male gender is relevant It changed a lot = James Buchanan began debate regarding abolition of slavery. First to know = discovery Why, Oh, Ming = Wyoming Eventually did come change = historical figure By not at = near Buchanan Numbers 156 but not all together = 15th president and 56th street

Cramer leaves fans of his treasure hunt with this message:

"Hope you enjoyed the search during the past 33 years. I hope to challenge you in another way sometime in the future."
– Joe AKA The "Wyoming Riddler"

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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