Riddle raiders raided Penang… or rather Penang raided us

July 23, 2007

*This version only applicable for CK and Josh

Was high on caffeine for the past few days, and the lack of sleep almost killed CK and me (hahaha, don’t tell CK, he was sleeping while I was driving. I almost fell asleep in front of the wheel, dozing off a few times for split seconds)

While we were in Penang, we had these activities:

  1. Eat here and eat there
  2. Driving
  3. Talking
  4. Gossiping
  5. Cleaning and messing (lol, sorry Paulette for messing with your pastry utensils)
  6. Walking and looking
  7. Surveying (one might wonder what Penang has to do with surveying. It was us going Gurney plaza to look around the hunting grounds to know what and where the stuffs that we need. Good thing we now know there’s a ColdStorage at the lower groundfloor)

Paradigm shifters shifted paradigms

One of the good stuffs CoC put up was a pre-hunt challenge (Leg 1). It was more of a look-see-answer kind of activity, but limited to one minute time to answer 8 knowledge questions. This puts the non-regulars on par with the regulars, as with one minute, you c0uln’t do anything with these knowledge questions, except to know them or tembak them. Imagine given a picture of China Olympics’ mascot, would you know the name of the particular mascot? Well, both CK and me do not. Overall, we scored an OK result in this Leg 1 hunt.

Perhaps, paradigms…
Both of us find it quite hard to go into the flow, considering we are more used to KL hunts. This is more of a lame excuse than a fact itself. We did find a hard time to decipher what Chian Min is trying to code, but we end up either decoding it too far-fetched, or falling short. Overall, we wasted quite a lot of time at the beginning of the hunt trying to grab the flow of language and style.

This is also the first time for both of us going for a full walk hunt. Past experiences only had 30% or less walk hunts incorporated into the full hunt. It’s pretty tiring to go from 7th floor down to ground floor. And then scouring each floor, now I am really exhausted.

Panic kicked in even during the first 4 questions. Looking at the time and answer sheet, it really terrifies us to know our progress vs time. Luckily we managed to calm ourselves down by the 6th question.

I personally find hunts in shopping complex is more difficult than a motor hunt.

First, you need to deal with the people in the walk path. With motor hunts, you can honk the guy blocking you. BUT, in a walk hunt, other patrons might not understand your “Excuse me, sir / maam”. Personally, I find myself cussing more under my breath than saying “Excuse me”. Patrons can be inconsiderate up till gathering or stopping suddenly in front of an escalator. When trying to ask for space to go through, they don’t seem to hear my soft-spoken “excuse me”.

*** And the other patrons might find us hunters a nuisance!! “What are these snafus doing here with a weird looking clipboard and a brick looking dictionaries. Move along, I am trying to do some shopping here!”

Well, believe most of us should be considerate, especially when trying to stand somewhere along the walkway. While we indulge ourselves in cryptics, we shouldn’t block other’s way (especially in a motor hunt, unless you love the sound of honking)

Legolas might be useful here
How we wished for elven eyesight! Another great insertion by the CoCs to level the playing ground by introducing 5 observation questions, which they call it I-SPY. However, these are not easy stuffs and most of the signs are pretty much boards / signages that one would usually ignore normally.

This is pretty great since observation is one of the hunting criteria, and this fully test our observation skills to the max.

Nothing fancy but
This may be one of the very few hunts that have good food. What’s more satisfying for a hunter than a good lunch / dinner after a tiring long hunt.

You are pretty much interested in this
Results to come soon, as i am hitting the bed now. zzzzzzzzz

Signing off,

CK’s add-on
So, just to add up some of my personal feel and view.

My feel
Great feeling, meet up almost all the Penang regulars. Being told that almost all the Penang regulars turn up. Highly competitive competition. And this is a theme hunt, theme is “Sports and Fitness” in conjunction with “Sports and Fitness Carnival”. So, the general knowledge quiz and all the 15 walk hunt questions are sports related. Well, I am more than happy even though I do not know before hand it is a theme hunt. My general knowledge in sports are better than in entertainments. So, I was glad. At least, less phone call to make.

Basically, this is a hunt that test most of the hunt essential elements in 2 hours, yet it is so fun. I can say, it is meticulously designed hunt. Great hunt, I enjoy so much, thanks, Master Liong!

Hunt Essential Element 1 – General Knowledge (24%)
Every hunt have that, but this hunt has slight difference. The difference is 24 points of the total 100 points of the hunt, are general knowledge quiz of 8 questions. Each questions, 3 points. And, all must be done on the spot within 5 minutes and no phone call. Either you know it or you shoot it, no helper. Feel like we are in the examination, where the examiners are beside us monitoring no copying among each others, whilst we are answering the objective question A, B, C, D and E. Generally, we are doing ok, drop 2 questions. The first question dropped, they show us a one World Cup Logo, and we suppose to field in which World Cup year is that. The second question dropped, they show us a mascot of one of the five mascots of Beijing 2008, and we suppose to know the name of the mascot. Because, of this format, there are very chance for your team to beat more regular team, if you really do well in this section and the regular team is not. I learn something new in this section, the 5 mascots name are Bei Bei, Jing Jing, Huan Huan, Ying Ying and Ni Ni. That means, “Bei Jing Huan Ying Ni”, literaly means “Beijing Welcome You”.

Hunt Essential Element 2 – Observation (15%)
Again this is slighly different. We need to hunt in 5 floors in the Penang second largest shopping mall. Yes, 5 floors, if include the treasure, it is 6 floors. All in 2 hours. It is demanding and tiring. We need to be fast to complete the whole task, yet if we do it fast, we will miss the I-Spy Observation, 15 points, each level have 1 question. We suppose to spot the signs that normally we will not notice and pay attention to. This might sound easy, but again to us, this is the most difficult part. We understand that we can’t do so many U-turn, only 2 hours for hunting 5 floors, each floors have 3 well-crafted clues that need time to break and an I-spy challenge. And also we need to break 4 treasures and buy it. So, we decide on every floors, we will solve the 3 clues concurrently with the I-spy. A bad strategy, as mentioned by Joshua earlier, for the first 25 minutes spend, we only cover Ground Floor, and we get nothing, not a single clue is broken and no I-spy is spied. The time was tickling. We really panicked. This was like Blogger Hunt again. Obviously, we are not good at multi-tasking, and we decided to do it separately, solve the cryptic clues first then only spot the I-spy. A time consuming and tiring strategy, but at least we get something and boost up the confidence there.

Imagine you are in a hunt of competing so many tasks in 2 hours, and on the first 20-25 minutes, you get nothing, solve nothing, how you will feel? The I-spy thing really impacted our performance and strategy. We try not to miss it because it is a gift points, but if we concentrate too much, it will impact the whole game. We are talking about spotting a very small sign at the floors of Penang second largest shopping mall without telling you which sector the sign is.

Hunt Essential Element 3 – Strategy & Team work
This hunt test the strategy & team work. Team that apply better strategy have bigger advantage. Alot of decision-making need to be done, either you hunt upwards first, or you hunt downwards first which majority of the teams are doing base on the starting point at 7th floor. The upper floor shops are much more than the lower floor shops, but less patrons. The lower floor shops are less patron at the hunt start time, but the crowds were building up slowly.

And a big decision on whether to go for treasure first, or to solve first. In normal hunt, team normally go for treasure first to gain physicological advantage. But if you gain the treasure first in this hunt, it means you need to carry the treasures for 2 hours, whilst you are hunting, additional baggage to your bags of thesaurus, and the chances of exposing the treasures to other teams. And if you don’t get the treasures first, and get it last, there are chances it is run out of stocks, all the 55 teams were buying the same treasures in the same place, who knows, there are nasty teams that will buy all the stocks, if you get what I mean. And getting it last, also have another disadvantage, the submitting point is on 1pm at 7th floor, if you get it last, means you need to beat the crowds to go from Basement floor to 7th floor.

Strategy wise we are not doing too well, end up instead of hunting 5 floors, we were actually hunting for 10 floors. Every floor, we need to be back to cover what we miss earlier. As mentioned earlier, we try not to, but end up getting nothing. If only we have a better strategy and plan, we might get better result. The teams that finished 4th to 12th (our team), are just 10 points different. Every single decision counts.

Hunt Essential Element 4 – Cryptic Hunt Clues
Just to be short in this, well crafted clues, fair clues. The champion get 85 points out of 100 points, yet every single clues except one clues are not broken by the 55 teams.  And that unbroken clues actually is an easy question, but need meticulous observation in a upper level floor where there are many shops there and the time was tickling. In other word, all the clues are solvable, and we learn something new too. Initially, we don’t know the style of the COC, take us some time to adapt and see through the questions. Well crafted clues with well chosen words, most is not too-hard question, but every single one is either deceiving or need observation.

My view
Great Hunt! Great Experience! Just to share some of my views, most of it are small tiny things that are different from Klang Valley Hunt. Let us start with not so tiny thing, the food, it is much better than any other hunt I have attended in Klang Valley. Can’t a good treasure hunt have a good food too? Penang show us it is possible. Then, other things I observed are the presentations, they are very intimate and close. For example, they are slide shows on the pictures taken, almost every pictures, add up with the comments with the hunters name on it with some funny remarks. It is like one big family hunt together. Another things, I found it interesting is, for the top 5 prize, a detail breakdown of the points scored are shown in the slide shows. Teams can really analyse where they go wrong, and which area they excel to beat the other teams.

Above views are my wish list on the future Klang Valley Hunt! 


  1. Jayaram Menon, Lim Yao-Han (85 pts)
  2. Ho Seng Hooi, Chin Kar Peng (84 pts)
  3. Yeoh Ban Lye & Yeoh Teck Chuan (82 pts)
  4. Goh Leap Sean & Lim Chin Wei (79 pts) 
  5. Sabri & Yap Weng Heng (79 pts) 
  6. Stephen Chin & Lai Kong Wai (78 pts)
  7. Chandra Segar & Teh Boon Teong (78 pts)
  8. Sin Yoong Leong & Josephine Chan (75 pts)
  9. Cheok Wye Leong & Elaine Cheong (72 pts)
  10. Edward Yeap & Jason Khoo (72 pts)
  11. Hor Joon Teik & Kwan Ee Lun (70 pts) 
  12. Loh Chee Kwan & Joshua Chong (69 pts)
  13. Dr. Zainariah & Dr. Chong (67 pts)
  14. Lim Keng Beng & Lim Sha Lyn (66 pts)
  15. Emmalyn Tan & Yeong Kit Yee (66 pts)


    Not laughing at your suffering but your stories remind me (I am sure of many others too) of what we have gone through too. Completely agree with you that walk-hunts are tougher than drive-hunts.

  2. Please feel free to give comments. If no comments, meaning not interested, so next time we will post less lor. Let us know.

  3. Very interesting, ckloh. But I’ve never had a walk-hunt before, so I can’t make any comparison. At any rate, from your description, I’m inclined to believe that walk-hunts are tougher than motorised hunts.

    I wonder if that is a standard timeframe given to all such hunts. 2 hours… amazing. Hardly any time to think. In that case, perhaps it all boils down to observation skills rather than cracking cryptic clues. But of course I’m not saying that that is the case here, because after all, I haven’t seen the questions!

  4. After the hunt where was the presentation held? Did you have to go elsewhere for it? Or you ended up in a restaurant nearby?

  5. ckloh,
    Intereseting write up. Walk hunts are normally tougher that drive hunt and time management is always an issue. If only given one set of questions first thing to do is find a nearest photocopy machine. Always try to start solving treasures questions together before attempting the questions. If there are many floors to cover, an ideal way is to split up, one starts from top and the other from the bottom and meet up in the middle exchange answers and cover each other’s missing questions on your way up or down.

  6. ckoh,

    Normally, walk hunt for 2 person don’t need to buy treasure. To buy treasure, you might need 4 in a team or longer duration. Longer duration, meaning tomorrow you can hardly walk. 2 hours of intensive walking and in certain part maybe even running, to add another hour is really nothing less than torture. For treasure itself, it is easily half an hour spend, so only about 1.5 hours to cover 5 floors to solve 15 questions and spot 5 small signage in 5 floors.

    Observation is really important factor in hunt, and to train better observation techniques, perhaps attend more walk hunt.

    The makan place as at the 7th floor, cinema area where they reserve a place for q&a session and food catering, a free flow high tea style, with good curry chicken, fried rice and etc.


    Thanks for sharing your tips. Luckily 2 sets of question this time. We actually have plan in the hunt, but when come to the actual thing, and especially the first and second sounds easy question can’t be broken, it makes the matter worst. And plan is not plan anymore.

    Initially, we don’t intend to split because, we are still not that good, not all rounder yet, much more difficult for us to solve the question independently. And because of the I-Spy things, we actually need 2 person in the floor, to view the small signage at the same time solving the 3 questions. We have problem doing it with 2 person, don’t mention 1 person. But in certain part, we need to split as we run out of time.

  7. Sounds very interesting, ckloh. One of these days, I hope to be able to join a walk hunt too. But I can imagine it must be very stressful under time pressure.

    I think in any hunt at all, the team can get more benefits by sticking together because more brains working together will normally result in better and faster solution. 2R1I mentioned here somewhere the power of discussions/ exchange of opinions. He even gave a short story — something about McDonals. And I’m inclined to agree fully with him.

    The other thing that came to my mind when reading all this stories about walk hunts, is the fact that it must have been a challenge for the CoC to go around taking all those pictures for the answers. I mean the shopping mall must have been crowded MOST of the time, day and night? What if the CoC is seen taking pictures by the participants? Wouldn’t that compromise the hunt at all?

    It is different when compared to the motorised hunt, because in that case the CoC can easily do it over the weekends, for example, and at odd hours too. But shopping malls have business hours. How lah? Perhaps Master Liong can give us an insight to this inconvenience? Who knows, some day maybe I will want to do such a hunt as well, and I’m sure Master Liong’s experience can help!

  8. Wish i could write more on this entry but it’s pretty long already with CK’s addons. (CK, dont worry, not blaming you, haha).

    I’m now looking forward for walk hunts too, not only motorised hunts. And perhaps, a real virtual hunt competition in the future? 🙂

  9. Wow! virtual hunt?… Amazing… we will need the participants to have access to streamyx perhaps. Those on dial-up modems or similar inferior connection would be at a disadvantage.

    But it would be something fun. Instead of spending 5-6 hours debating in the car, we get all these people to spend 5 – 6 hours sitting in front of their monitors for that amount of time on a weekend! Then we can always create a question sector similar to that of the Encore thread. We just need to create a few of those, e.g. Sector 1, 2, 3, and so on.

    Of course it wont be the same as a real hunt where some boards are hard to spot, but a lot of the other ingredients of a typical hunt will be there.

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