June 2007 Riddling Riddle 1 & Riddle 2

May 28, 2007

June Riddles – Themes: Food Court Hunt.


The answers are signs found in a typical food court. Example; nasi lemak (9 letters), mixed rice (9 letters), fresh orange juice (16 letters). To be fair general signs like lelaki (6 letters), dilarang merokok (15 letters) are not the answers. For answers that have 5 letters or less, we will not put the actual letter count but just simply (5 letters or less).

More info in Riddlist column here.

For Q&A correspondence, please mail to riddleQA@gmail.com


1. Normal Riddle – Representative of Peninsular school leaning about badly. (10 letters)


Answer: Nasi Kandar 

Firstly let us say ‘Thank you very much’ for all who have responded and tried the first riddle.

We must admit that the riddle is not perfect as some of you have commented but at the same time we’re encouraged by you all giving the time to try to solve and give suggestions to improve the riddle.

For the solution to the riddle, you may refer to the first comment posted by ce5nt. His ‘tembak’ hit the bull.Congratulations to you ce5nt!!!.

On the points, we still will reward ce5nt the points, although she/he didn’t send thru the mail below. Nevertheless, we would strongly encourage that for future riddles, please try not to put the possible answer/s in the comment but post the answer/s to riddleQA@gmail.com

You may comment on the blog and ask us to view your answer in the gmail.e.g. ‘I think this is the answer. Please check the mail.’

By doing this, we will know you manage to break the clue yet it will allow those that still want to attempt it, to proceed.

By all means continue to criticize the questions, suggest improvements, anything constructive. We will all certainly learn from each other’s commentsand hopefully from all these, help you and us in the actual treasure hunts.

Once again, Congratulations to ce5nt!!!

Get ready for the Killer Riddle!Cheers.

2. Killer Riddle – With empty sheets third note will break the sheet. (5 letters or less) 


Answer: Rojak 

Ok, I’m sure most of you are eagerly waiting to see what the hell answer for this killer riddle is going to be.

For those of you who are courageous enough to try, Congratulations! You managed to hit the board but not the bull.

Let us start first by stating that initially the question was set like below:
 With empty sheets third note will break this kind of sheet. (5 letters or less).
But we decide we will make it slightly difficult by not hinting kind of sheet, as this is a killer question. So, we changed it to:
 With empty sheets third note will break the sheet. (5 letters or less)

Let us break the sentence and look at the word/s as follows:
With = inclusion indicator
Empty sheets = SS
Third = C (Third letter in alphabets)
Note = C (Music note range from A-G)
Will Break = not anagram indicator, but literally means will solve
Sheet = Sail

The riddle can be represented by the equation below:
SS + C + C + Answer = Sail

If you can reach this stage, you are more or less there.

With a little bit(ok, a lot) of general knowledge or looking up a good encyclopedia with sails diagram or do a little research in the internet, looking at all the possible sail names.
You’ll eventually come across a sail by the name of ‘Crossjack’.
Now, can you spot the local delicacy in that name?

The equation above can be rewritten as

= Sail – SS – C – C.
= Crossjack – SS – C – C
= Rojak
Crossjack is a kind of sail found in the mizzenmast of a ship. Further reference on the kind of sails/sheets are found in:
As this is the maiden killer question and the month  when Pirates of the Carribean 3 is still hot, we’ve tried to instill some general knowledge elements relating to sails. It is hoped that you’ve picked up some new and valuable knowledge/word/lesson from this riddle.

3. Normal Riddle – Clue 3. ( letters)

Riddle opens from 15 Jun, Fri 7.00 pm to 21 Jun, Thu 7.00 pm.


4. Normal Riddle – Clue 4. ( letters)

Riddle opens from 22 Jun, Fri 7.00 pm to 28 Jun, Thu 7.00 pm.


5. Killer Riddle – Clue 5. ( letters)

Riddle opens from 29 Jun, Fri 7.00 pm to 5 Jul, Thu 7.00 pm.




  1. hey there, if this is normal, can’t imagine killer riddle.

  2. Worry not, I haven’t got any clue to the question as well…

    Perhaps the “killer question” is just a gimmick to scare us …

    Hey, anyone got the answer already for Q1?

  3. My best tembak!


    Representative of school : FISH is a member of a “school of fish” : IKAN.
    Peninsula : suggests representative is in B.Malaysia.

    Leaning : SANDAR (in B.M.)

    About : suggests SANDAR surrounding IKAN

    badly : anagram of SANDAR : NAS-DAR.

  4. Wow! If indeed that is the explanation, ce5nt, then I’d say the question is far more difficult from just ‘normal’! But of course, I’m saying this based on my own newbie standard.

    Peninsular as a clue to Malay is also new to me. When was it first introduced? In what way is ‘Peninsular’ reflective of Malay? Can anyone explain?

    If that explanation is correct, then maybe a better way to start the question is: Peninsular (local/M’sian) representative of school…

    By saying “Representative of Peninsular school…”, to me, gives the impression that it’s the ‘school’ that should be in Malay?

    Awesome riddle. Can’t wait for the ‘killer’ ones.

  5. More thoughts, ce5nt…

    Consider this Q: Abrupt start ahead, to be windy.

    Intended ans: NGIN KONG SDN BHD.(Answer to be written in full)

    Start: means an ‘initial’ clue, meaning we want the ‘A’ from the word ‘Abrupt’.

    Ahead: suggests that we want the A to be ahead of something so that the result is ‘windy’.

    Therefore, ‘A’ goes ahead of ‘NGIN’ becomes ‘ANGIN’.

    Now the problem: STRICTLY speaking, WINDY does not equal to ANGIN. Instead, WINDY translated into Malay becomes BERANGIN!

    So I had to ‘adjust’ my question to avoid possible challenge from hunters!

    Likewise, in my opinion, STRICTLY speaking, leanING translates to MENyandar, not SANDAR.

  6. ckoh : I thoroughly will enjoy having precision consistently applied in all questions set.

    But, it is quite the “norm” to accept it as “the style of a COC” with whatever “defects” that may come with their q’s. In fact, the controversy is part and parcel of the game – as in football (calling offside when it is not, not a penalty when it is, etc).

    Until we see the “official” answer – it remains
    anybody’s “tembak”. How else to “read” the setter? Under 7 hours to go!

  7. ce5nt, don’t get me wrong! I honestly think you have been brilliant in your analysis. The problem is with me! I’d like to be fair to the hunters if I can help it.

    Looking at your answer, and the explanation that goes with it, I’m inclined to believe that that is indeed the solution.

    But just as a matter of discussion, I didn’t think the clue/riddle was well-composed, if that was the intended answer. I think the setter could have done better.

  8. hi ce5nt, dont really agree with ur tembak but at least u got one. Until the answer is reveal, currently i just think the q is badly constructed but i may be wrong.

  9. ckoh: since you think it is so too. You should be the recognised as the 2nd correct answer! We both hope! (LOL) Under 2 hours to go!

  10. ce5nt, the credit is yours. I am convinced that your solution is the correct one, but not because I am convinced that the explanation is air-tight. As I said earlier, I am not so happy with ‘peninsular’. Neither am I happy with ‘leaning’. But in the end, I have to reluctantly admit: what else could it be!? Therefore, for the lack of other alternatives, I am drawn to your solution…

    But I am not satisfied. Right now, I have a feeling that it’s just a poorly-constructed clue/riddle. Maybe there is an air-tight explanation.

    Just look at the flow of the riddle. It tells us that something is ‘leaning about badly’. What is that ‘something’? That something is the ‘representative’, which you have analysed as IKAN. So to simplify: IKAN leaning about badly.

    Now we are faced with a delimma. That clue for container (about) and anagram (badly) are joint together. Which is for which? First, we wonder if the ‘badly’ is for both IKAN & LEANING. Second, we wonder which is containing which? Too many parameters, you see. So maybe we should just wait for the revelation of the answer. This better be good!… hehehehe.

  11. Well, there you go, ce5nt, congrats!

    I was hoping for a better explanation to support the answer.

    I want to ask 2 questions:

    1. Is the word ‘peninsular’ commonly used to mean Malay translation in KL hunts? That is new to me. Just goes to show how inexperienced I am!

    2. You instructed us to send our answers ‘tru the mail below’. But I can’t find anything here to directs our answers to you. All I see here is the “Leave a Comment” box. Do you mean to send our answers through a separate window?

  12. 1. I am an inexperienced hunter as well, as far as my knowledge permit, I haven’t come across it being used in KL hunts before. Maybe, the more experienced hunters, will clarified on this. The “peninsular” indicator however is used before once at Amazing Celcom Hunt 2005, Kedah Leg organised by one of the COC in Penang.

    2. This is our design problem. Second look, the word “here” is not prominent enough to make you click at it. Please click “here” above

    More info in Riddlist column here.

    Or you can click in Riddlist Column in the right panel. Thanks.

  13. Hmm… that is one potentially useful thing that I’ve learned on here. I still disagree to the term ‘Peninsular’ as a clue word for Malay translation.

    According to my Oxford dictionary,the meaning of ‘peninsula’ is:

    an area of land that is almost surrounded by water but is joined to a larger piece of land: Iberian Peninsula (=Spain and Portugal).

    Whereas the meaning of ‘peninsular’ (with ‘r’ in the end) is:

    adj. on or connected with a peninsula: peninsular Spanish (=that is spoken in Spain, not in Latin America).

    It is good that I know it can somehow mean to translate to Malay, but I don’t think that I will ever use such a clue for that purpose in any of my hunts. The reason that I won’t use it is very simple. In the event that any hunter challenges me, I won’t know how to defend myself! And that would be embarassing as a CoC.

  14. Whoops, so that’s the answer.

    Hmmmph, didn’t figure the school part refers to fish, but heck I did tembak one answer to the email. Wondering why ckoh never did see the link to the info.

    From one of the hunts that I attended before, they did use Peninsular as an indicator to Malay translation…
    IMHO, the local CoCs are trying to use the word “Peninsular” as in our local conversation when we try to address the parts in western M’sia. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not as experienced as you guys.

    And in contrast from the dictionary, I believe the local hunts are more developed locally, rather than having much similarities to the Brits crosswords… thus the word “Peninsular” is being used as in Peninsular Malaysia.

    Anyway, thanks for setting this riddle column up. I will certainly be back for the killer riddle tomorrow… though I have no confidence of solving it, since I couldn’t even solve this one… hehe

  15. Hi Paul, don’t worry about being new. I am new to this game too. I’ve only had 6 hunts under my belt so far…. way too green when compared to most of them on here! We can all learn a lot from forums such as this.

    Yes, I understand what you’re trying to say. Just like the word Malaysian indicating Malaysian language, so the word Peninsular would indicate Peninsular language. But somehow it doesn’t sound correct to me. Like I said, it is good that I know it, because I may stumble upon such a clue one of these days.

    A word about a tough question. As a CoC, when I say tough, I mean it’s tough because it’s TRICKY. It’s not about giving something relating to an extinct plant in the Amazon which hasn’t been heard of since thousands of years ago!

    Everyone with average knowledge should be able to crack the clue PROVIDED that they can see through the trick. We CoCs, in my opinion, should be fair. We don’t hit below the belt, so to speak. Be gentelment lah! In a recent hunt, I gave:

    Look back for a common item found in the boot of a car.

    Notice that we are looking for the reverse of ‘a’ something…

    I was sure that most people were looking for the reverse of ‘A SPARE TYRE’; ‘A JACK’ or the likes. It is a strange reality that we are so used to the term ‘spare tyre’, although what we really mean is actually ‘a wheel’ (the tyre which is mounted onto the rim — together).

    The answer: LEE HWA INDUSTRIES. (reverse for A WHEEL)

    Only 2 out of 98 teams hunting that day got it. It is tough, yes, but everyone knew of ‘a wheel’.

  16. Firstly, TQ!

    As ckoh and the rest who have commented pointed out – that riddle could do with some polishing.

    Having said that, I sincerely applaud the setter for his/her courage to “go on stage” and challenge the rest of the hunting fraternity … it does take a lot to do this.

    And s/he will eventually be the one to gain the most from the honest and invaluable constructive feedback with each “challenge” put up.

    Maybe as a spin-off : some of us may enjoy suggesting how the question could be re-phrased? We then get to hone our “setting” skills as well! All for the good of everyone!

  17. Yeh, the nasi kandar clue wasn’t appetising. Here’s how I would phrase it. What d’ya think?

    Local school member caught in the beginnings of new arts students’demonstrations and rioting.

  18. Hi pink, that is a good try. You have intruduced the element of ‘initials’ into the clue. But I don’t think that’s what ce5nt meant. He suggested that we ‘rephrase’ the clue; I take it to mean still using the same basic ideas, except that we ‘adjust’ the flow of the words in the sentence. I’d like to comment on your reconstructed clue, but before that, let me work on rephrasing Riddle 1.

    First of all, I think we need to understand that the CoC is not obligated to reveal that the clue involves a translation into Malay, i.e. ‘peninsular’ is not obligatory. A good CoC would’ve warned the hunters to ‘think in English and Malay’ during the briefing.

    In this riddle, the setter decided to make it ‘normal'(which probably means ‘easy’), so he inserted a clue word indicating the translation. But here I think there is a slight inconsistency. You notice that the translation is for both the FISH and LEANING, but the ‘peninsular’ was ‘attached’ only to the FISH. The way I see it, if we want to give that clue, we might as well be consistent. Therefore, I would suggest a start of ‘Locally’, meaning we’re telling the hunters that the final solution involves the translation of ALL (or most of) the words into Malay. Again this is non-obligatory.

    My other objection is that continuons tense ‘ing’ in ‘leaning’ (refer to my post above). So I would somehow adjust that back to simply the word ‘lean’ (without ‘ing’).

    OK, so now with the above ideas, but still maintaining the basic ideas of the original riddle, we might be able to rephrase the clue like this:

    “Locally, lean badly around member of school.”

    The start, ‘locally’, means the clue, as a whole, involves translation into Malay — not only for the ‘member of school’.

    ‘lean’ translates into SANDAR which is to be rearranged (badly).

    ‘around’ tells us to use that rearranged SANDAR to contain ‘member of school’.

    This rephrased riddle is obviously not a good flow of English; it appears like the kind of nonsense a drukard would utter. But then, you know, for the want of sticking to the original idea of the riddle!

  19. OK, so now let me comment on your reconstructed clue, pink.

    I only want to comment on that word ‘new’ in the clue. Of course we all know that ‘new’ can take its literal meaning. But in treasure hunts, ‘new’ is also an anagram clue. So here we are faced with a little decision-making delimma: Should ‘new’ be taken in its literal meaning, or should we take it to mean something else, i.e. anagram?

    In another forum found in Michael Pang’s blog, there’s an interesting discussion relating to a particular question:

    Virtual host maybe.

    The nature of that discussion revolves around a missing intended answer during a hunt. But the author of that comment went on to ask:

    “Why ‘maybe’ then?… Hunters beware then, whenever a question uses ‘perhaps’ ‘maybe’ ‘possibly’ – its not necessarily an anagram indicator but a thought that ‘things can be’ to the COC’s point of view or thinking…”

    My personal view is that there is nothing wrong for a word, although commonly used to indirectly mean something else, be used in its literal, ordinary meaning. BUT! in such a case, the CoC better be sure that he has an air-tight justification for it! For that particular case, I think the CoC gave a weak explanation. I support fully the author of that comment. Had I been in that hunt, I’d have been very unhappy, whether I win or lose!

  20. Dear Hosts,

    I’m sorry for taking so much space on here. Sometimes I can get carried away with my comments. I hope I won’t end up getting banned from this site! I think this is a good medium for exchange of ideas and general discussions. Keep up the good job.

    Kind regards.

  21. Your constructive opinions and comments are very welcomed here. That is why we decided to close the riddles on Thursday 7pm and open the next riddle on Friday 7pm.

    The buffer in between is for discussion like this, which enable everyone that have great passion on this cryptic hunt clues solving, to voice their thoughts.

    Nevertheless, we hope that discussion on the particular riddles will only be held after the riddle is closed to enable those that login infrequently have the chance on really attempting it.

  22. I’m glad to see your last comment; and am eagerly waiting for the next riddle.

    Just a suggestion, perhaps (this ‘perhaps’ is not intended as an anagram clue!) it’s a good idea to allow possibilities of ‘bolding’, italic font etc for comments, so as to enable emphasis on certain words/phrases if there is a need for it. This feature is available in Michael’s blog. TQ.

  23. It is good to see healthy discussions both on the question and the approaches to questions. Hopefully such discussions will get to be read by COCs and they will be further encouraged to aim for consistency in setting questions that will flow well and will be a lot less controversial.

    Who knows, they may just pick up some of the tips here and “give us back our own medicine”!

    Setters want to be recognised for their brilliance too and I had this one idea for a number of years now. I am now thinking that this may just be the right time and place to suggest it.

    I am thinking about using/startinig a forum (and I think this one will do) to nominate what one thinks is “D-Question Of the Hunt” from each OPEN hunt and then “blog” it to a vote for 2 weeks. Then on Dec 25 each year (usually no hunts in Dec) we have an honour list, maybe called the “Awe of Fame – 200x”. (because we were all awed by them!)

    I am sure the “D-Q” that will win the most votes would the one that caught the most hunters and was recognised as “absolutely brilliant”. But it may not just be that. It could also be a well-answered question but was equally brilliant. Maybe it was a trend setter .. or some other “made an impact” criteria.

    It may be necessary to set nomination criteria to ensure a certain amount of “standard” but then again, such can be very subjective.

    The idea is to honour the setters and their questions. Make them want to raise their standards, be more innovative – courageous to venture into “uncharted waters”.

    Setters who often make it to the top of list most of the time will be by de facto, “D-COC of the Year”! We could have a side-show and honour D-Q and D-COC of the month (of course not every COC will have a hunt every month). And also the “Maul of Fame” – the opposite end of the spectrum – where everyone got mutilated by the silliest question.

    Not sure, but it may need a scoring system to go along with it.

    ckloh – recognising your talents in organisation – would you want to take it from here and organise it and consider adding another column in this blog?

  24. ce5nt, I am a curious little devil, you see. I would really be happy if you can tell me the significance of that “(Y)” after your “ce5nt” a few posts ago. I can’t control my habit of wanting to know even the smallest of details if I can help it!

    More thoughts on hunt clues, ce5nt. Last year there was a Lim S K of Timeout who came to KK to set a hunt for Kiwanis. I found his questions were
    wonderful, and I learned a lot from them. There was one interesting one:

    Came and get entangled.

    When I read the question, my immediate reaction was it was a lousy question, because it was grammatically wrong. I thought to myself, since the word ‘came’ was in the past tense, then the word ‘get’ should have
    been in the past tense also. When I got to the question sector, I immediately understood why the question was set like that.

    Because of the quality of the rest of the questions, one would know that it’s impossible that the CoC could have made that kind of mistake, not unless it was deliberately done.

    This is a good example of how a question is set ‘wrongly’ by designed, not because of poor English proficiency. It was set that way because the intended answer was: MEGATEC.

    I find your idea about grading CoCs interesting, although I can’t see how it could work. Furthermore, if it gets off the ground, I won’t be able to participate — not unless I move from Sabah to KL. Relocating my whole family for the sake of treasure hunt, now that would be something! (smile).

  25. ckoh : Permit me to end your curiosity with another
    curiosity : (Y) is to signify my gender. Get it?
    I was just being kind to those who have often get into situations where they have to type “s/he” “him/her” …(me, being one of them).

    Speaking of this, I learned from some grammar gurus (on the internet) that “they” is now the preferred option.

    On the “idea” : One may not have to be in KL to have a question from an open hunt to “be nominated”. You only need to inform your participants to tell you which question they thought was “brilliant” and you nominate it yourself!

    You have subtly nominated “Came and get entangled” … and if the people in the forum agree – they can vote for it and then it is up to the “scoring system” to determine how many points goes to it.

    In fact, once the “question” is “nominated and posted” – everyone in the forum can decide and vote.
    I would vote for this one. “Deceivingly brilliant”.

  26. Ahhh… (Y) to indicate the gender. Ummm… I’m from a past era, so I’m not very good with shortforms and symbols. So I’m going to guess that (Y) means female. Now I am happier…. well, I guess not as happy as Pak Lah. But I should be contented lah.

    More comments later. Can’t wait for the next riddle. But now have to go for that dreadful run. Only done 6km so far this week; 3 more days to complete the 10km. If only one can stay healthy without doing all this!


  27. ce5nt – flattered on your compliments on our team. Your ideas are excellent, have conveyed this message to Joshua. He is positive for the idea, but we need more time to discuss with our team members on how to do it appropriately. At this moment, we still pretty tight with some other things. And it don’t seems that it is feasible for the next 2-3 months at least. We will get back to you on this.

    FYI: Joshua is the man that make this website possible, and for any new ideas/columns for the website, he still very much is the man for it. This is because the rest of us have no idea how this weblog really work, don’t mention how to improve it.

  28. TQ ce5nst, for just commenting on ‘new’ and not shredding my clue. Incidentally, I wasn’t happy with ‘new’ either and was considering ‘nude’ ;o). As for your suggestion, may I just say that “Locally, lean badly around member of school” has no meaning nor does it conjure any picture in the mind as even the original does of someone leaning badly or my simple effort of someone being caught in a demonstration. How about “Local lean playfully around member of school” where “local” could be construed as a local person as well as serve to indicate the language. In my opinion, ‘indicators’ should be smoothly and unobtrusively incorporated in the sentence structure. Correct me if I err.

    About COC’s I have great respect for Roadrunners whose questions are well crafted and require a good command of the English language and general knowledge.

    Kudos to Joshua and ckloh for this interesting site.

  29. Pink, thanks for your compliment and visiting our blog during the wee hours.


    By the way, share the same opinion with you on Road Runners from Penang.

  30. pink, as I said, I didn’t think my rephrased clue is good in terms of the flow of the language. It sounds like a bunch of meaningless craps!

    As for ‘Locally’, I was trying to be consistent in indicating that the translation was for both the ‘lean’ as well as the ‘member’. To repeat, the CoC is not even obligated to hint a translation into Malay. But since he has hinted for the ‘member’ anyway, so I suggested he might as well hint that the translation was for ‘lean’ too.

    Therefore, for the lack of a better idea, I suggested to start:

    Locally, lean badly…

    That ‘locally’ there is like saying:

    THINKING IN MALAY, lean badly…

    thus the TRANSLATION covering both ‘lean’ and ‘member’. As for the anagram indicator, badly, it’s up to you to replace with another indicator to make the sentence flow better, but it is difficult if we’re to stick to the original idea of the clue! That’s why I said it sounds like a nonsense by a drunkard person. But I can live with your ‘playfully’.

    So now we have arrived at an interesting crossroad. In cases where we are to choose between a good, meaningful, English sentence vs a good, logical clue to a puzzle, which should prevail?

    Ideally, of course, if we can have both that is the best. But if we have to choose one, I will choose the latter. I try my best to be fair to the hunters if I can. My clues must be capable of being analysed and deciphered in a logical manner.

  31. Btw (see, I’m beginning to use some of these popular shortforms too!), this second riddle is really a ‘killer riddle’. Some ideas brewing in my mind, but so far nothing seems to fit!

    Oh another thing, do you people in KL ever sleep? Dealing with a treasure hunt matter at 3:43am in the morning; fantastic dedication to the game!

  32. by ckoh:
    So now we have arrived at an interesting crossroad. In cases where we are to choose between a good, meaningful, English sentence vs a good, logical clue to a puzzle, which should prevail?

    Choose one only.

    Good discussion point. I will choose the latter too, but of course I hope not in positioning to choose. Having both is ideal and every hunters are looking for.

    On my opinions, if a particular COC have too many unmeaningful clues in a hunt, it will put many hunters off to enter the hunt again by the COC. But one or two of them sometime is acceptable, nobody is perfect anywhere.

    But only one illogical clue normally, will really make havoc and do much damage.

  33. Yes, ckloh, I’m fairly certain that most hunters — if not all — would prefer a clue that could be logically deciphered. However, some people are just bad losers. They tend to challenge almost any explanation, no matter how justifiable it is. In a recent hunt, I gave this question:


    The answer — which was required to be written in full — was YOU KEE BAH KUT TEH.

    This hunter gave the answer: SAUNA & BATH, which was one of the signboards found in that sector.

    My explanation is that the ‘local toilet’ refers to ‘TANDAS’. The contents of ‘TANDAS’ is ‘ANDA’. And the English word for ‘ANDA’ is ‘YOU’. Quite straight-forward, you see.

    The said hunter didn’t immediately challenge me, but mercifully waited until much later. His objection is because ‘JAMBAN’ is also another possibility for ‘local toilet’. He claimed that he knew my trick, but since there was no suitable English word for ‘AMBA’, it’s unfair to hunters!

    To be quite honest, I am not overly worried with this kind of challenge. After all, quite a number of hunters got the intended answer. But this episode does show that sometimes, you just can’t please everybody!

  34. Indeed, you can’t please everybody, ck. However, I would like to comment about the tandas clue. YOU was straighforward, as you say, but what about KEE which was also part of the shop’s name?

    I once challenged the explanation of a clue for a treasure. Can’t remember exactly but it was supposed to be white inside and white outside and sounds like the French. The answer: Garlic. While it is arguable that garlic is white, I don’t think Gallic sounds like garlic, do you? According to the dictionary, the gall in gallic is not pronounced gull as in seagull but rather like the gall in gallery and gallant. It would have been ok if it says rhymes with but not sounds like.

  35. 1:53am. That does it, you must be from a different time zone, pink!

    Interesting query about ‘KEE’. My defence lies in my briefing on the day prior to the hunt. During that briefing, I made sure that all the hunters understood that ANSWERS ARE TO BE WRITTEN IN FULL. So for example, if I am looking for the word ‘HAPPY’, and there is a signboard ‘HAPPY VENTURE ENTERPRISE’ within that sector, hunters are required to write in full. I warned the hunters that they would be penalised if they only wrote ‘HAPPY’ without the ‘VENTURE ENTERPRISE’.

    The reason I made that rule was mainly because, in my opinion, treasure hunts are not only about solving clues on paper. If that were the case, then there is no need to drive around in the hot sun. The game has a lot to do with observation skill as well. If I am a brilliant hunter, it might be possible to solve the clue on paper. I can then write the answer, even without actually seeing the board. By requiring hunters to write the answers in full, to me, is evidence enough that they actually saw the board.

    As far as ‘GALLIC’ is concerned, I’m inclined to agree with you. In fact, I myself raised a similar query concerning that same word not too long ago (but I wasn’t in the hunt; I am just being curious, having seen a past question). The treasure question was like this:



    The explanation given by the CoC was similar like yours. French is Gallic, which in turn sounds like Garlic. The reason for ‘spread’ is obvious. I wasn’t very impressed with that explanation because of similar arguments as you’ve raised. But looking at the questions for that particular hunt as a whole, I must say that the CoC has done a very good job! Had I been hunting in that hunt, I’d have enjoyed it very much. I think we CoCs try very much to be perfect in every sense of the word, but we are humans after all. Again, it’s not easy to please everyone.

    A similar situation arose in one of the hunts that I joined. Q – Sounds like two similar harbours. The answer was the word PARADOX. I wasn’t happy with the CoC’s explanation that ‘PARADOX’ sounds like ‘PAIR OF DOCKS’. To me, that word ‘OF’ doesn’t fit. But well, you know, CoCs have the final say… I’ll try to live with it.

  36. Oh yes, ce5nt, I have almost forgotten… I knew there was something at the back of my mind which I wanted to comment.

    In my opinion, it is only possible to judge whether a question is brilliant or otherwise, by knowing the answer and its explanation.

    My friend told me that a couple of years ago, some joker set an open hunt and gave stupid questions, one of which was:


    Now how does one judge such a question? At a glance, it seems like there are tricks lurking behind such a simple 4-word sentence. But imagine what the hunters felt when it was revealed that the answer was a ROAD HUMP — not even a signboard! Thankfully, I haven’t even been introduced to the game then, and was therefore spared of such an outrageous question! Another example was: THIS IS A MONEY, of which the answer was: MAYBANK. Had I been hunting that day, I would have been put off by the game, and you’d not even see me typing this now!

    So, again because I just can’t control my curiosity, what’s the answer and explanation to your “DECEIVINGLY BRILLIANT”? Oh do tell, pleaseeee…!

  37. Yeah, me too. Would like to know the explanation for “DECEIVNGLY BRILLIANT”. Please…

  38. I’m indeed in a different time zone at the moment, ckoh, but will soon be back in your planet 🙂

    So you’ve had a Garlic question too 🙂 Pity about the gallic part, ‘cos I like the S P R E A D part. About PARADOX, I think it’s acceptable because the English sometimes don’t pronounce the ‘f’ in of, e.g Jack o’ Lantern, cup o’tea, man o’war It’s explained in the Oxford dictionary.

    Hahaha JUMP LIKE A FROG and THIS IS MONEY really take the cake! The coc should go jump in the lake with his money!

    About the YOU KEE thingy again, I’m not disputing that the answers should be written in full, as all answers have to be. I just feel the word KEE should be in the clue since it is part of the name, like if it were YOU KEE Sdn Bhd. Likewise, for HAPPY VENTURE Enterprise, the clue should be for HAPPY VENTURE and not just HAPPY and for SECRET RECIPE Cafe, the clue should be for SECRET RECIPE Cafe and not just SECRET. As I’m new to this, can I have another opinion pls? ce5nt?

    DECEIVINGLY BRILLIANT? What is this? A question to be solved? Where does it appear? Am curious too.

  39. ce5nt, don’t give the answer just yet. Instead give us a hint or a general idea/area where it might be.

  40. Pink, I did not challenge the CoC with PARADOX because I was then very inexperienced. It was only my 3rd hunt. I considered the pronunciation of PARADOX for a bit, and tried it out aloud. I think it would have been better had the spelling of the word been: PARODOX. But it’s not. Maybe if I say the word fast enough, it might end up sounding like an ‘o’ between R and D, I don’t know.

    Ah, I get your meaning now. Hmmm… for the want of YOU KEE together. Interesting point. To me, it’s not necessary. I think TOS had a clue about the ‘reverse of a Bond Doctor’. As it turned out, the answer was a shop with a Chinese signboard starting with the word ON…. (the Bond Doctor referring to Dr. No). I can’t remember what was after ON, but I think there was a continuation of a complete Chinese name after that. I can’t remember other examples from the top of my head right now, but I will try to research into it.

  41. ckoh racks up the filing cabinet; grabs that thick daunting file labelled: Treasure Hunt… flips through pages to find past questions… finds a set of photocopied Kiwanis Hunt — KK (Nov 2006)… rushes to Chung Hwa kindergarten where JJ makes it for Negaraku… gets trapped in the traffic jam… arrives at the office 25 minutes late… and now typing this…

    Oh I really need to get a life!

    Well, pink, I found another example! This one was set by Time Out: Webmaster’s product served here?


    The webmaster’s (spider) product refers to the silk, which is translated to SUTERA. Nothing about BAYU. The answer was required in full. Actually there’s another signboard containing the word SUTERA within that sector; incidentally also a restoran Sutera something. But I can’t remember it’s full name. I answered this Sutera Bayu. But Lim of TOS accepted both answers, provided they’re written in full.

  42. CKoh:

    Although in my opinion it is perfectly acceptable for CoCs to use only one word from a more-than-one-word signboard (using You from You Kee for example), it will open the floodgates for confusion and disputes if more than one answer within the same sector can perfectly fit the question.

    1- Most CoCs do not have the energy to scan the entire sector (especially a long one) for other possible answers. 2- Knowledge is boundless. There are many possible angles to deciphering a question and most CoCs would not have considered all of them when putting together a question.

    There is nothing like putting in the extra effort to use the rest of the words in the signboard to make it a very “tight and exclusive” fit.

    Going back to your question in KK (ENGLISH WORD FOR THE CONTENTS OF A LOCAL TOILET), should participants have discovered “Alto” in the sector which would perfectly fit both parts of your clue, it would provide some hair-raising experience for you to remanage the marking of the papers and reorganization of the prizes! And imagine if you had not realised that “Alto” was a perfect fit until after the presentation is over and the prizes have been distributed!

    Being a victim of the described situation is no fun (speaking from experience) especially when the points amongst the top 3 is close. Most CoCs do not consider alternative perfect fits after the presentation is over. I can see why from the confusion it will create.

    By the way, ckoh, we were in KK for the Sutera hunt and thoroughly enjoyed our first experience going through your hunt. Overall it was a very good effort. We could appreciate the way your questions were very meticulously put together. Keep up the good work and keep us posted on your future events.

  43. So who’s the Imposter, and who’re the 2 Romans? Thanks for your kind words. Wait a minute… let me look into a mirror… ahh… I’m not blushing. As a CoC, I felt humbled by your team. I have the reputation of being a ruthlessly tricky CoC. That’s why I thought I was ready to take on my first big assignment. But your team almost got perfect score! You were miles ahead of the rest; you won convincingly. Hope it was at least challenging to your team.

    I didn’t expect any hunter to get some of the answers. For example, AK FASHION BUTIK, which was mainly designed to eat up hunters time; KLINIK DR. RAJ etc. And although DOUBLE SHOT was certainly visible from the car, who would have thought to look for it there!?

    I have a confession to make. I didn’t realise the possibility of ALTO until about a week after the hunt, when we had a post-mortem discussion. We checked back all the answers, but luckily there was no ALTO. I did take the trouble to look for other signboards containing another ‘YOU’ prior to the hunt, but I didn’t find any. I hope I am right. Anyway, your points taken.

    By the way, I might not be doing the next Sutera hunt. During the post-mortem meeting, I was told to make my questions easier so that newbies will want to come back for more. I can’t suppress my tricky nature, you see. And thankfully, I am not doing this for a living. It’s just as a hobby (which is fast becoming an obsession!).

  44. Let’s discuss a hypothetical scenario. Imagine that you’re hunting within that sector:


    And having swept the entire sector, you find that you can narrow down the promising candidates: YOU and ALTO. Both are appealing, and apparently fit the clue. And both also satisfy the sequence of question. Which would you choose, and why? Remember, you’re supposed to give only ONE answer for every question.

  45. ckoh, it took you awhile to realise that ALTO was not really a good example to prove the point.
    How about if ‘Local Toilet’ can be intepreted as ‘Lelaki’? And there was the word ‘BYPASS’ or ‘AVOID’ at the right seq. Would you accept this?

  46. potongstim, please forgive me, I must be a bit dense this evening. I don’t quite get you. ALTO not really a good example to prove the point?

    I suppose a word or phrase could be interpreted in many ways; and therefore many possible answers might arise as a result of those many interpretations. I don’t claim to know the perfect answer to everything, and I am open to discussions and exchange of ideas.

    It is up to you to interpret the ‘local toilet’ as ‘lelaki’ or even ‘perempuan’ if you like. But if you had a choice, which one do you think is ‘stronger’: ‘tandas’, ‘lelaki’ or ‘perempuan’?

    What is your explanation to support BYPASS or AVOID to fit the subject clue? Let me have it, and I’d be pleased to consider them. I just can’t see how BYPASS can fit as the ‘ENGLISH WORD FOR THE CONTENTS OF A LOCAL TOILET’. If your explanations are indeed equally convincing, I’m prepared to admit defeat. After all, I was told that it takes a very brave person to admit that he is wrong. I’ll try to be brave.

    Imagine that you have the clue MALAYSIAN FLOWER, and within that sector, in the correct sequence, you have BUNGA RAYA and SUNGAI REJANG. Which one would you choose as your answer? I doubt that there are many such occasions where hunters are faced with more than one appealing answers, but such occasions do occur. That’s the point I was trying to make in my last post. How should we deal with the situation?

  47. I think what potongstim means is, if local toilet can be considered LELAKI, then the contents of LELAKI is ELAK. An English word for ELAK can be BYPASS or AVOID. So, it make sense. So, would you accept ELAK or BYPASS as the answer?

    And for ALTO is not so suitable as answer for me as the question start with ‘ENGLISH WORD’. Alto is already English word, so why the question setter will ask English word for Alto? And it make sense that the question setter ask the English word for ANDA or ELAK not ALTO.

    Just my interpretation from potongstim. If I am wrong, please correct me.

  48. Oh well, that’s the very point I was trying to get at when I asked which to choose: YOU or ALTO. Indeed ALTO is already an English word. If you look at my post, I said “I didn’t realise the POSSIBLITY of ALTO until…” “ALTO” is logical, but I don’t necessarily fully agree to it against “YOU”. I still checked through all the answers anyway. But as I said, there was no ALTO found.

    Hence what I was trying to say is, looking at the clue as a whole, choosing the answer “YOU” would have been my choice. I am not sure if for example the board for YOU is missing on that day, I’d have accepted ALTO anyway. Maybe it is out of sheer good luck that it didn’t get to that!

    And thanks for your explanation, ckloh on BYPASS and AVOID. Yes, that is indeed a good idea IF I can accept LELAKI as an interpretation for TOILET. But in my opinion, the more ‘natural’ Malay interpretation for TOILET is TANDAS, and it is there I must start first. It is a ‘stronger’ and more convincing answer to me. However, had the signboard bearing “YOU” been missing on the day of the hunt, I doubt that I’d accepted BYPASS/AVOID anyway. But I stand corrected. Suggestions, anyone?

  49. Ckoh, back to your earlier hypothetical question on which answer would be more appealing. Well, for me at least, that situation would not have arised (during a hunt), as I would have picked the first perfect fit and left the sector (unless of course the signboards were right next to each other). For after all, you can’t fault “Alto” being an English word! (which was my point)

    Alto would have made a good red herring though for your intended answer (had it existed and been ahead of You Kee). I guarantee Alto would have fooled a few if You Kee had been made a “tight and exclusive” fit in that situation.

    I can’t remember if you had included any deliberate red herrings in the Sutera Hunt. But think about including a few in your coming hunts. If carefully worded (as I am sure you are capable of), I guarantee that it will put a smile on your face and a smirk on others.

    Signing off.

  50. Glad to see more people in here.
    About YOU KEE and SUTERA BAYU, I still think the clues should take into account ALL the words in the name, excluding of course Sdn Bhd, Enterprise, Coffee Shop, etc. In my short experience as a hunter, I’ve yet to come across clues with just part of the name. In fact I once got the answer wrong because I put XXXX Centre instead of XXXX Academy. Tho I guess I shouldnt be arguing with a seasoned hunter and A COC to boot. Can I have your opinions on this, ckloh, 2 romans, willie65 and potongstim? I love words and hope to be a coc one day but have lots to learn from xperts like you.

  51. 2Rs & 1I, I did include a couple of red herrings in Sutera, but I eventually withdrew them. I had in the past conjured up several of that type of questions, and I realised that they’re always opened to arguments, no matter how hard I tried to justify myself.

    Consider this question:


    This was one question in my past hunt. It seems so general that it can refer to so many things. But for that sector, hunters were quite easily drawn to the signboard containing the word TWINS. The trouble was, there were 2 possible answers: TWINS BEAUTY and TWIN HOLDINGS (can’t remember full names). These were big, clear signboards. Both seemed to fit the clue, yet I only wanted ONE answer. How does one decide which to choose?

    To those who’re not very particular about details, both are ‘perfectly’ OK. But my explanation lies in the word ‘AND’. I am talking about Luke AND Liea, so the answer must be TWINS and not TWIN. Some of the hunters didn’t think that I’ve been fair, but I was adamant. CoCs have the final say!… hehehehe.

    There’re at least a few more of such examples, but I can’t recall right now. Perhaps I’ll look it up, but I don’t want to be late again this morning! Maybe later.

    When 2 elite KL teams were confirmed in the hunt, I decided not to allow arguments of this nature. So I withdrew some questions! Mana tau if these elites can come up with even better justifications?

    But one question remained: DOOR OPENER FOUND WITHIN.

    So many hunters ended up with that TUKANG KUNCI, although I’m sure deep down in their hearts, they’re not so happy with that answer.

    Anyway, I’ll consider including some in my future hunts if I am brave enough. Well, that is if anyone would want to employ this CoC!

  52. pink, if you go up a few posts, you’ll see that 2 Romans did make a comment on this issue.

    Regarding your ‘XXXX Centre’ vs ‘XXXX Academy’ situation, that’s the point I was trying to make about observation skill. Hunters are not only required to solve the clues on paper, but they’re also required to spot the boards. To prove that they did see the boards, they’re required to answer in full. If you wrote ‘XXXX Centre’ whereas what’s found on the board was XXXX Academy, then it might be construed as you didn’t actually see the board, but merely guess the extension! Most CoCs are not inclined to give hunters the benefits of the doubt, when they’re unable to come up with the full names.

    In most hunts, there are some questions of so-called ‘eye-testers’, meaning they’re mainly testing your observation skills. They’re normally easy questions to crack, but perhaps hard to find on the boards. Regular hunters will tell you that these type of questions may be decisive although they’re ‘easy’!

    OK, now let’s see if I can actually get some work done in the office!

  53. pink, 2 Romans, say it all on the issue of using one word from a more-than-one-word signboard. Totally agree with his opinion.

    Normally COC will use more words instead one, and because of this nature, inexperienced hunters like us will stay longer in the sector to get better answer in the sector. Not all inexperienced hunters know that the COC can set this way using only one word.

    My opinion to COC is, if the COC really have the intention to close the gap between regular teams and less experienced team in term of points in final presentation, don’t use one words answer, less experienced team will stop at the sector too long to get the right answer and might impact their later sector performance. Whilst regular can see off the trick and just left the sector quickly.

  54. 2Rs & 1I, I kept forgetting to ask for your opinion on something. I’ve had this recurring comments from 2 different hunters in 2 different hunts relating to my questions.



    And you are more familiar with this second one.



    I treated these questions like any other questions where a bit of general knowledge is required. Quite a fair number of Muslim hunters got the answers. However, I got a comment that these questions are not fair to Muslims bacause they’re not expected to know “gambling terms”. Frankly, I was a bit surprised to get such comments. I guess I’ll refrain from setting such questions in future hunts. Let’s keep an open mind and be honest to each other. Are these questions unfair?

  55. I would not say unfair but sensitive, including keling.

  56. Btw, ckloh, anyone submitted any answer to your 2nd riddle yet? Anyone got the correct answer? I’m running out of ideas and still zilch!

    Lots of ideas…. ‘third note’ appears easy to interpret; ’empty’ is suggestive; and I’ve also given special attention to the word ‘With’. Still, nothing fits! By now, I’m eagerly waiting for the answer.

  57. We have a few good tries, but still no one get it right yet.

  58. hi ckoh,
    I guess for your Q2., you should actually put Q21. American uncle comes back to hold Q&A, otherwise the answer does not justify unless you had 21 Q&A only.

  59. ikan buntal? Is this 2 Romans? Or the Imposter?

    Ataupun ‘Tok Guru’ ke tu? Inilah, I dekat sini nak minta tunjuk ajar sikit. Pasal soalan melibatkan perkataan ‘Keling’ tu, I dah akur. Dah minta maaf cukup2 pada kawan2 India. Tapi I bukan ada niat jahat. Waktu buat soalan, tak t’pikirpun pasal sensitif. Namun I tetap mengalah jugak! Kena bertanggungjawablah. ‘Gitulah kalau baru setahun jagung nak b’lagak tanggung kerja berat.

    Incidentally, to those who’re in the Sutera, let me offer my sincere apology about that question. You know which one. No offense intended, honest!

  60. Ad, in the card game, the Queen (Q) together with the Ace (A) is black jack, which is 21. And of course 21 is ‘XXI’ as a roman numeral. So SAM ‘holding’ that ‘XXI’ gives MAXXIS.

  61. Oops! I mean, ‘MAS’ holding ‘XXI’ gives MAXXIS.

  62. Ckoh, again if you ask my opinion, those 2 questions you putforth are perfectly fine. Those questions are purely assessing on the subject of general knowledge (GK) and has absolutely zilch to do with religion. (FYI none of our team members are gamblers, so we are on level grounds with the rest, so to speak)

    You are not the first to conjure questions related to card games, and “Black Jack” answers we have had quite a few. But I must point out that this particular question stood out from the rest, as you were able to deceivingly use the term “Q&A” to throw off the hunters into the path of what this acronym is more commonly known as. In my mind, this question fooled a few not because of the GK but rather because of its deception. Bravo!

    In my mind, 2 questions from the Sutera hunt stood out, the one above and the one about the “door knob”.

    In the past, we even had CoCs requesting for treasures on cigarettes and alcohol. So don’t let certain groups put you off setting questions relating to a perfectly acceptable form of GK.

    However I would refrain from setting questions relating to religion and race as these are touchy topics.

  63. Seems like we are all deviating much off-course from the topic in hand – Riddling Riddles.

    Ckloh, perhaps you need to setup a separate thread for this general discussion on treasure hunt and keep it separate for bloggers who would like to discuss on the Riddles. Just an opinion.

  64. i agree. maybe ckoh can consider starting his blog where he accepts discussion for all his questions.

  65. Uh-oh! Did I detect a trace of sarcasm there? Well, I hope not.

    Actually, I did entertain the idea of starting my own blog, but for two main problems. Firstly, I am an idiot when it comes to all these modern technologies. I know just enough to communicate like this. Well, apart from emails etc. Secondly, even if I did have my own blog, I don’t know if I will have the time to upkeep it.

    But really, don’t you find all this discussions interesting? Well, it is for me. I did comment — even criticize — questions by other CoCs. Where I felt compliments were deserved, I’ve been quite generous with it. However, since I consider I myself still in the learning curve, I prefer to discuss my own questions and explore possibilities on improving them. At the same time, if there’re criticisms against my questions, I think I can live with it. I’m not so sure if other CoCs can!

    But OK, I get the message! I’ll try to behave (smile). Somebody else take the driver seat, please! hehehehehe.

    I’m late for my run!

  66. We have another few tries on the riddle 2. I would like to stress the theme is still the same. The answer must be food or beverage found in a typical food court that have 5 letters or below.

  67. oh, I really like your MAXXIS clue, but still can’t get the black jack one. Am learning a lot in here.

    Abt the signboard thingy, the two boards XXX Enterprise and XXX Academy were actually placed one above the other and I was so excited about solving the XXX that I didn’t notice the upper one – I wasn’t tembak-ing 🙂

    ck, your killer Q is really killing. I’ve given up. Can only think of LASSI, anagram of sails, but just can’t figure out where the 3rd note (mi?) come’s in.

  68. pink, let me explain the ‘black jack’.

    In the English language, that word ‘score’, if you care to check it out in a good dictionary, can mean twenty. It follows that the number that comes immediately after twenty is twenty-one. The next step is easy, one just has to figure out how a WINNER is connected to 21 (black jack).

    The human brain is a strange machine. Sometimes it is very hard to fight the inclination to think machanically. Since we are so used to the ‘more ordinary’ meaning of the word ‘score’ we sometimes forget or refuse to believe that there is another possible meaning to it. A tricy CoC takes advantage of such pre-programmed way of thinking.

    And yes, indeed it’s a killer riddle. I’m still at sea. Tried so many ideas, but as I said, nothing fits. I suspect that ‘sheet’ at the end is a definition clue leading to something like ‘keping’, ‘lembar’, ‘lapisan’, ‘alas’ or the likes.

    The 3rd note is of course ‘MI’ as you pointed out, but looking at the clue from the psychological point of view, and since this is a ‘killer riddle’, 3d note might also be ‘t’, i.e. the 3rd letter found in ‘note’.

    The ’empty sheets’ may mean ‘ss’, i.e. all the letter inside sheets emptied out. Or again, all those lembar, lapisan etc emptied out.

    But the scariest word is ‘With’. Looking at the clue as a whole, it makes sense to believe that the setter expects us to think of a word found in a typical foodcourt and jumble it up ‘with’ the ’empty sheets’ and ‘mi’ (t?). And the result is the rearranged letters in ‘sheet’ or even ‘the sheet’! An absolutely bombastic clue! I am dying for the solution!

  69. Sorry to have kept silent so long. The flash flood in KL affected my office and “interrupted” my indulgence in this blog.

    My answer to “Deceivingly brilliant” is another question “Was there a question in the first place?”.

    ckoh invented it! ckloh confirmed it!
    willie65 fell for it! And pink got the answer!

    Sorry to make fun, but it was funny (fun funny!) to me.

    I was commenting on ckoh’s “nomination” “Came and get entangled” question. I was merely saying that I would have voted for the question to be D-Q of the Hunt, had it actually been nominated by ckoh because I thought it was deceiving and brilliant.

    I guess my style of writing got everyone on the wrong track … how deceiving but not brilliant (even I did not realise it!). Apologies! Back to mopping the floor!

  70. ce5nt, when and if we meet one of these days, could you please do me a big favour? Remind me to strangle you to death.

  71. Btw, ce5nt, I’m just curious, do you get that very frequently? I mean the flood thing? What’s the problem, is it drainage or simply because of low-lying area? I find it surprising that it happens in a big city like KL, although of course Jakarta is also famous with floods of similar nature.

    I have always felt more comfortable to have questions that consider all the significant words in a signboard. Perhaps it will need a paradigm shift for one to fully accept only part of it. Like the English language, when enough people use it – it becomes the norm.

    I have seen a more stretched example of this in a real hunt : the answer was only one word out of a sentence (one of the “arahans”)! Yes, a classic needle in a hay-stack question. That was back in the 90’s.

    That last example was a real time-waster — put off many and only the regulars (or some die-hard rookies) continued to get sucked into it or got stucked on it. The intended victims, I suppose, of the “sadistic” COC. The good news is that COCs of the 21st century have not continued with that style (or have I just spoken too soon!).

    I think for a good balance of fun and dance, significant words should be indicated in the clue.
    If any of them are to be omitted, then something in the clue should hint that.

    There are enough words to help : some of, part of, the first, the second, except, not all of it, etc – so no excuses for not keeping things away from the “suicidal” end of the scale/spectrum.

  73. ckoh,
    – read all about it in theSUN, theSTAR – online … plenty of interesting opinion on why it still happens! My opinion : indiscreet road works and badly planned urban development. And pure apathy towards importance of maintaining good drainage. We need the London city councillors to run KL.

    Interesting proposition. Is that what KILLER RIDDLES do to you? This blog may one day be declared a health hazard! Remind me to remind you.

  74. ce5nt,
    How about this:

    Q1. ELCSUM

    On the signboard, we have that round logo-type with TOTO in it. And then there is also the main wordings on the rest of the signboard which says: SPORTS TOTO. I expected the answer: TOTO @ SPORTS TOTO.

    Now compare that with this:


    Again, there is a round logo with ECO in it; and ECO SYSTEM COMPUTER on the rest of the board. I expected ECO @ ECO SYSTEM COMPUTER, or ECO SYSTEM COMPUTER.

    In your opinion, in the above questions, IF the logos were not there, are you saying it’s not such a good idea to set those questions meant for the same intended answers?

  75. ckoh,

    Let me play out to you the scenarios in the car and you judge if it achieved the “desires” of the COC.

    ACT 1 SCENE 1
    Q1. If the logo was not there,

    “What about SPORTS? There’s nothing in the clue that excludes SPORTS or includes SPORTS. C’mon – it is the 2nd word!”

    “Maybe there is another “TOTO” or a “BACK MUSCLE” somewhere without the word “SPORTS”?”

    “Is SPORTS an anagram pointer?” “A Double jeopardy?”

    ACT 1 SCENE 2
    Q2. If the logo was not there,
    “Maybe there is another “ECO” that stands by itself without “system” or “computer”.

    “No-lah…he is taking only the first word”…

    “are you sure… I think not.. let’s look for another one — this is a red herring …”

    “No- lah, don’t waste time .. this is the one”

    “Sure or not?” “How?” … “Take it first, we can vote later!”.

    “System computer is a generic trade or business .. so no need lah” (ad lib: which is a valid point by the way).

    “Can be – the question seems to be talking about computing”.

    “Let’s go back again – I think we missed something”.

    And at least one of us will still be wondering about the two q’s all the way to dinner time!

    True? (BTW, care to explain why ECO?)

    Of course it is also difficult to say when a word is significant or not significant … trade names tend to be more accepted as non-significant — but some COCs have thought otherwise – it is this subjectivity that makes treasure hunting – “a battle of words” sport – from start to finish and beyond finish!. This is when “the trend” or “de facto” tends comes into play over time.

    Such questions will not catch the experienced hunters too often – they have gone through the “killing curve” enough times! (just to keep this discussion in some way relevant to the theme of the blog). In other words, if the trend continues long enough – it will be accepted.

    Having said that – it is up to COCs to plot their questions in anyway they want – I call that “their unique style” and the market will respond – it will be the adaptive COCs and hunters alike that will eventually “thrive”. No point in stifling creativity or honest attempts to be creative.

    More often than not – it is just that ONE or TWO CONTROVERSIES that become the “measure” of the performance of the COC. Many will not remember the rest of the better set questions or gems (Hint! Hint!).

    Which is what makes the life of a COC miserable. Remembered for the wrong things! Criticised in abstentia! Stares of “doubts/disapprovals” at the next hunt! Hunters still talking about it 10 years later! Trademarked by it! A stigma!

    Their own nightmare continues until the next hunt! To be replaced by a new nightmare! Even winners are not spared – especially if they did not win with 100% scores.

    True, again?

    (josh/ckloh & team: sorry to see that it is mostly the “c’s” who are actively chatting here so far. Hope we are helping – by generating enough interest to keep the blog relevant. This is a good blog – of the Hunters, by the Hunters and for the Hunters. Better threading will help too).

  76. ce5nt, I can’t help but smile to myself when I read the scenarios above. How so very true… I especially like that part “Take it first, we can vote late”. I suppose in every hunt, that particular line must surface at least once, huh? Hmmm… I get the idea. Points taken.

    Fully agreed also that CoCs are often remembered for all the wrong reasons. But being one myself, I do not ‘remember’ CoCs like that, unless of course if they are simply too awful I guess.

    Take for example TOS which is apparently famous here in KK. I think they’ve done some things which I wasn’t happy with, eg like how I wasted almost half an hour for a signboard that was no longer there; and that ‘PARADOX’ I mentioned earlier. But overall, I have high regards for TOS. They are very professional, and I look forward to their next hunt.

    Similarly, I also mentioned my unhappiness about gallic/garlic (see above). But in all fairness, when I looked at the other questions by the same CoC, I find that they’re very good. You should have seen the one about requiring hunters to get a scroll… the clue was very impressive to me. CoCs are not perfect. We are all vulnerable to all these negative comments! But as I’ve been saying, I’ll try to live with it.

    OK, now let me try to explain ‘ECO’:


    First of all, I set the question like that to confuse the hunters (so what’s new!). Within that sector, there were lots of advertisements (by developers) on prices of houses. So there were lots of numbers there! I decided to conjure up the above question to mislead them.

    FIRST Nine Digits = ND

    LAST zeroeS = S

    Now we need to look for something that is BETWEEN the ‘ND’ and the ‘S’, to get NUMBER TWO.

    Most people would analyse it like this:


    because the ‘ND’ was mentioned first. But another possible configuration is like this:


    If you look at this second configuration (the ? still BETWEEN the ND and S), you’ll see that the question mark (?) is ECO, so that the entire word becomes SECOND, which is NUMBER TWO.

    Unfortunately, when I did this question, being ‘new’ to the task, I wasn’t aware of the ‘BOLDING’ approach that KL hunts are apparently so used to. The next time I do a hunt, I’ll remember that approach.

  77. OK…I have finally put in my answer to Killer Riddle No.1. Hope it holds water.

  78. ECO – No! MY!
    Good Q, the ECO one. And you must have whitewashed the entire field with it!

    I must say that the sequence of the letters was truly subtle – “out of sequence not mentioned does not mean it cannot be”. Setting a trend there, ckoh.

    This was started in the Kiwanis hunts (I think) and promoted mostly by TOS (they have more hunts per year obviously).

    The other part of “bolding” is that the score for it is only 1 point or much less than the regular ones. Truly meant to separate the “kids” from the “grown-ups”.

    Which brings me another idea for this blog’s owner.

    Start a HISTORY Column and ask for contributions to it… they may have the stories to go along with it.

    who started the first motor treasure hunt?
    who started the first walk hunt? ride hunt? bicycle hunt?
    who, when tulips was introduced into treasure hunting?
    who first introduced anagrams into T/Hunting?
    who started bolding?
    who started charading?
    who introduced the double on a signboard?
    Who introduced double jeopardy?
    who started monograms or acrostics?
    who had stingers in their questions/treasures?

    … and so on…

    (and expect claims and counter claims too!)

    You never know, one day, you may just have enough notes to write a book :Treasure Hunt – The Malaysian Way.

  79. Omg, this is the 78th comment in this entry…

    Anyway, apologies to ce5nt / ckoh… i’ve been running around lately and not much time to play around with this blog. Kudos to willie65 and ckloh as the editors maintaining this poor little guy…

    Ok, jump to the main point. Previously had talked to CK pretty much on what you had suggested
    1) The “Emmy” awards for hunters
    We have a few ideas on doing this thing, but we still have to look at certain few things (eg: Cost, sponsorship, legal issues, etc)
    Do we have any experts on legal stuffs here?

    2) Forum
    We started out this blog in the mind of getting our experiences as newbies logged into some sort of a e-diary… and as far as a forum is concerned, it is not that easy to maintain as a blog. Perhaps the forum will be done in the near future… or anyone here is interested in doing that? I’ll be glad to help~!

    3) Better threads
    Yes, we’ll improve more on that. By the time the 3rd question kicks in, we’ll close the commenting on this entry and move into a new blog entry… Not sure how you guys would feel, any comments?

    and thanks a lot of kicking out so much comments here… i’m pretty sure our hunting community does benefit from such constructive discussions!!!

    And again thanks to willie and CK for making this column!!

  80. oops it dropped to 79th… 🙂

  81. Ah… so you like that ECO question, huh? Well, perhaps it’s because of questions like that I won’t be able to do another for Sutera! They want me to make it easier for newbies.

    And you’d be surprised, both the grandmasters’ teams from KL got the answer! And then about 5 or 6 strong local teams got it too. The vast majority of the 98 teams hunting that day gave numerous house prices found within that sector. It’s questions like this that make me smile the whole day. But then again, it’s also questions like this that make me a very unpopular CoC!

    Wow, treasure hunt museum. What an idea. And a book on treasure hunt! I could use on of those.

  82. This is freaking hard, I’ve got no freaking clue at all!!!

    Dear masters/sifu/sensei/regulars,
    Pls give me some clue so that I can utilize this 45 minutes to do a final attempt!!!

    *and counting down*

    P/S: I got only the below, need masters to help me!!!
    Is the note a musical note as in ABCDEFG? Or third note = “T”??? Or
    Empty sheets = SS? or HEET??????

  83. paul, calm down my man! Take a deep breath. The way you are behaving, I’m beginning to agree with ce5nt — that this blog would be declared a health-hazard soon!

    To tell you the truth, paul, I’m lost too. If you’re thinking along the musical note, it’s the MI (as in DO, RE, MI…). And yes, also possible is the ‘T’, being the third letter in ‘NOTE’. Maybe the ‘break’ is an anagram indicator. You have some ideas going there. That’s a good start, although maybe too slow for the ending?

    I’m eagerly waiting for the answer now. I really need to make a visit to one of these foodcourts in KL soon! By the way, can anyone tell me what is a nasi kandar? Is it similar to biryani?

  84. Hmmm, nasi kandar is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasi_kandar (

  85. Thanks, paul, that’s one more new thing I’ve learned today! If I can keep it up, I’d be able to learn at least 365 more things in a year. But why not simply ‘nasi campur’?

    To the CoC of STFOGA, please do not include questions on ‘foodcourts’!… hehehehehe.

  86. I myself love to compose ‘killer’ questions. But I wouldn’t do it this way. I don’t believe anyone could have solved this particular clue even if an extension of another week was given. In my opinion, it is just too far-fetched.

    From the word ‘sheet’, one has to sift through ‘lapis’, ‘keping’, ‘lembar’, ‘helai’, ‘page’, ‘layer’ and probably so many other words to arrive at ‘sail’. And assuming that you are able to correctly decide on ‘sail’, that is still not the end of the story. You need to start over — even research through google perhaps — to centre in on the word ‘Crossjack’.

    And ‘Crossjack’, as it turns out, is only the tip of the iceberg! The rest of the words found in the clue are also plagued with problems, in my opinion.

    Assuming that you’re clever enough to skip the same monotonous process again to run through all those possible ‘lembar’, ‘helai’, ‘keping’ etc to figure out ’empty sheets’, you are still faced with the ‘third’ and ‘note’, not to mention ‘will break’.

    ‘third’ interpreted as ‘C’ could be debatable. So is ‘note’ as ‘C’. Even if these are indeed acceptable interpretations, just imagine the possible combinations that have to be eliminated!… eg ‘memo’ for ‘note’?

    ‘will break’, which the clue setter claims could be ‘literally’ interpreted as ‘will solve’ could also be challenged, in my opinion.

    And at the end of that very, very long thought process, having sifted through all those unwanted-but-equally-viable possibilities, one has to reckon with piecing up the jigsaw puzzle with ‘Crossjack’. It is the type of puzzle that is solvable ONLY if you knew the answer in the first place, almost!

    Well, at least that’s how I see it. Incidentally, I didn’t submit any try to this question as well. I’d imagine that if by a stroke a miracle, I tembak the ROJAK and got it correct, I’d still not be happy. I guess I’m hard to please…. hehehehe.

  87. Oh and I also fail to see the significance of ‘5 letters or less’. Why that ‘or less’? Is there any other food spelt with, say, four letters that could fit as the answer?

  88. *pukes*
    Ahhh, so I did have fish during dinner just now.

    What the heck was that???!!! Who in the right mind would think of CROSSJACK… >_>

    So anyone got it correct?

  89. Points taken on your comment. As we mentioned earlier on, we are still in the infant stage in hunting, don’t mention about how to become good COC. And your pointers will be very beneficial for all of us to improve the game.

    Don’t see our column as a place where you can replace actual treasure hunt getting great quality question, but more to as a place where we can discuss about hunt and have fun, and our riddle can serve a discussion point, good or bad, if we don’t know where to start. I hope.

    Maybe with time, we will improve on getting more quality questions for keen cryptic solver. Or perhaps we are open to all the hunters that they think they have interesting clues to share. Can post to our email, and if we find out it is better than what we have in our riddle library, we will post it for benefits of all.

    So, what is your criteria of setting a killer questions. Care to share? What are the do’s? What are the don’ts?
    Do you see questions like that before that you need a specific knowledge to solve it? How you handle it?
    And I think this is certainly a good discussion, that how questions can better set. And your explanations, opinions is taken. Maybe, others have other opinion?

    On the 5 letters part, there are a few food with 5, but more beverage than food I think. Beverage can be teh, teho, kopi, kopio, air, water and etc. Just set a standard, if in future we have 3 letters answer and we put 3, they will be too much ‘tembak’ answer.

  90. No one get it correct, Paul.

  91. Umm, to me, Q1 was already quite hard, but not unbreakable. I did break the ikan part. May have got sandar with a little bit more time.

    But Q2, *pukes again* *ahhh, this time I see taufu*
    it is totally out of my league. I don’t even have quarter of it correct.

    Hmm, not a single correct answer, but I’m sure there’s someone who got a very near answer.

  92. ckloh, please don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to belittle you. We’re all here to learn. I started from nothing as well, and I am happy to see others going through the same path that I have gone through. And yes, along that path, my products received overwhelming critisms too! And y’know what, I’m still struggling along that path at this moment.

    I don’t think there is such a thing as a rigid rule when it comes to setting treasure hunt questions. All I can say is perhaps like what ce5nt put it: my own style. Generally, I’m guided by these ‘rule’:

    1. The clue requires ‘average’ knowledge, so that an ‘average’ man in the street can crack the clue. I don’t believe that the game is meant for people with encyclopaedic knowledge. Therefore, if there is a need to extract words by googling, we should immediately ask ourselves if it’s such a good idea.

    2. The difficulty of the question lies in the TRICK, as opposed to having to research from the internet. Did you see ce5nt’s reaction to that question about ‘ECO’? I think he was pleased because of the TRICK behind that question. A question need not involve ‘CROSSJACK’ to be good. But did you notice that the ECO question boils down to the word ‘SECOND’, a word that most people would know. Also, black jack = 21; ANDA = YOU.

    Having said that, however, we are also tempted, sometimes, to include big words. So how do we do it? Here, I think I share the same idea with Michael Pang, a CoC of high calibre in my opinion. He once told me of a general guide to strike a balance. For example tough Qs but big signboards; easy Qs long sector and vice versa. Therefore, big words but shorter sentences.


    In this Q, one has to know the word for ‘make amends’. The word is ATONE, not exactly a very difficult word, but not many would use it in a daily conversation.


    The length of the sentence is almost half of yours. But I stand corrected on this. Other CoCs may not agree!

    3. Of course to make the Q tricky, we understandably allow a few possibilities in the analysis. But keep it ‘a few’. When one has to consider the possibilities of ‘lembar’, ‘keping’, ‘helai’, ‘page’ and who knows how many more possiblities, then something is seriously wrong with that Q. And it didn’t stop there. After ‘sail’ even more possibilities!


    What comes to your mind? Almost automatically, I think, the word ‘KEY’, which was the decoy in this Q. The other two likely choices are HANDLE and KNOB. Well, maybe there are others, but I can tell you not very many more.


    You see now why 2 Romans like this Q?

    It seems that ce5nt is a very experienced hunter (CoC?). After all he was the only one who got the answer to the 1st riddle! Would you care to give us some tips, ce5nt?

  93. Points taken. Great for this blog have so many gure in ckoh, ce5nt, 2 Romans and others to share their hunt experience and good cryptic clues discussion. We certainly learn alot here, whilst June is such boring month for hunting.

  94. Pardon my ignorance, but why the answer is STICK NO BILL?

  95. The “knob” is within the answer

  96. I see, get it now.

  97. Well done, paul! You are over puking, I see? Well, look at the bring side, paul, the next one will be a ‘normal’ riddle.

  98. Oops!.. I meant look at the bright side…

  99. ckoh, since you are obsessed to create cryptic questions, want to make some try for the normal riddle? We don’t mind, and I think most hunters also don’t mind.

    Just a suggestion.

    It lived up to its name by the first impression: A Killer and we all got Riddled. Maybe something for the far, far future! I agree with all who said that questions should be solvable with “reasonable knowledge”.

    Killer Riddles should be dressed to kill but not to mutilate what little intelligence left in us.

    And now, this is when we share how it could have been re-phrased to the current era of thinking without losing the original ideas. ckoh – that’s your cue. I am sure you will have writer’s block with this one. I did, that’s why the cue!

    Move on – don’t waste too much time. If you cannot solve it, neither will others! Warning! I had mixed experiences with this philosophy!

  101. Obsessed!… hehehehe. Oh boy, that is so funny! You are not the first to say that. Now once and for all, I am not obsessed to create cryptic questions! I just enjoy making my puzzles as perfect as possible, that’s all.

    I’ll think about it. I’m working on another training hunt for my team members next weekend. I’ll see if I can make a quick visit to Wisma Merdeka food court tomorrow. Who knows if I am still sane, I’ll be able to cook something up for you. But I can’t promise. Thanks for the suggestion though.

  102. LOL. Aw c’mon! What do you mean, my cue? I’m still trying so hard to recover from that mind-boggling ‘crossjack’, and you’re telling me about my cue!? And with the original idea? Let me sleep on it first. Oh my Lord! look at the time! I don’t know about you KLites, but I’m off to bed. Take care, folks!

  103. Thanks ckoh, for the black jack explanation, but my problem was not knowing the meaning of score (god forbid that I should have to look up the word in a dictionary!!), but rather not knowing the card game. NOW I know Black Jack does not only refer to a pirate’s flag.

    Thanks, ce5nt, for that great piece on part of signage and the Sports Toto example. As a newbie, I was confused on this issue. You are certainly a gal after my own heart and have renewed my faith in coc’s. ckloh, ce5nt is a gal – can’t you tell from her intelligent, lucid and witty remarks?

    ckloh, the answer to your killer Q is a killer, to put it mildly. I guessed the nasi kandar one from the obvious ikan and sandar though Member of Peninsular puzzled me. For the killer, I went as far as sails (sheets) hence lassi, a drink. Then I saw ‘mi’ in 3rd note. When the sails didn’t work, I got sea-sick and threw up the mi all over the crossjack. ckloh, please, pretty please, don’t make us climb the mizzenmast again!

    May I share with you my experience of a killer Q which I, in my innocence, found easy? It was the very first Q in my very first hunt:

    Q: Kak Pah? A: Singer Sdn Bhd.

    I happened to know that Kak Pah was what singer Sharifah Aini was fondly called by her fans. Nobody else in the 100+ teams got the answer and there were loud protests about the Q being too vague, stupid, unreasonable, etc, and I didn’t understand what the fuss was about.

    See that ckloh? A two-word, 6-letter killer :)))

  104. ce5nt, why do ppl think you are female!!! Anyway, i believe your input here has been great for the discussion.

    However, for the author of Killer Riddle, i sincerely think lots more effort is needed to conjure a good killer question and not one that is unsolvable by normal means.

  105. good morning, pink. I’m quite surprised that you didn’t know black jack = 21. But I still insist that most people would know black jack.

    So you are so sure of ce5nt’s gender, huh? Hmmm… an ‘intelligent, lucid and witty remarks’ to indicate a woman’s touch. Interesting. I am still unsure about that. As I said, I’m not so well versed with online symbols and shortcuts. I remember some time back someone in a chat room used that symbol ‘Y’. When I asked for the meaning, I was told that it meant a woman. I asked, how? The explanation was that the ‘Y’ appears like the ‘unmentionable’ part of a woman’s body, especially if it comes with the brackets: ( Y ). You see how the brackets appear like the outline of a woman’s hip?

    Well, because of the above, I’ve assumed that ce5nt is a woman. But to be honest, I’m not satisfied. It doesn’t accord well with the name Vincent, which is of course a male’s name. Then later, we found Vincent mopping the floor after the flood, a task normally more commonly associated with women, though not necessarily so!

    Maybe the next clue should be: ce5nt (male or female).

    A friend of mine (who seemed to know ce5nt personally) hinted that I know the identity of ce5nt, but fell short of actually telling me who. Yet, I only know very, very few hunters in KL. And I don’t know them all that well! ce5nt, have we met before? I must be getting old; I can’t remember! Did you come for the Sutera Hunt? How can that be? You were surprised with the explanation of ECO.

  106. Btw, pink, that Q on Kak Pah is the type of Q that may be dangerous in my opinion. It is similar with, say:

    Q. Camel without humps?

    Q. Exits for Bill?

    Do you see what I mean?

    Oop!… late for the office!

  107. Yeah, i’m rockin this morning. woo hoo.

    Alright, I was on a bit of weed this morning.
    Umm, putting “third” and “note” is pretty interesting. But to conjure CROSSJACK, that may kill everyone literally (not riddling). Perhaps that was your true intention.

    Good job for putting this up, although I did puke twice (or maybe thrice, anyone counted?) in this entry. This takes much effort and I definitely is not one to put forth that much!!! Keep it up. My hunt-newbie friends are keeping watch at this blog too after I showed it to them last week.

    P/S May the puke not be smelly in here >_

  108. Weed? Huh?

    Gonna close off this commentary section soon.
    Pls move on to https://riddleraiders.wordpress.com/2007/06/15/june-2007-riddling-riddles-question-3/

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