August 2007 – Hunt Discussion

August 1, 2007

1. Menara Optometry Hunt

Date: 12th August, 2007 (Sun)
Clerk of course: Fun Hunt People (Zahrol)
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: RM 160 per team
Prizes: RM 1 K, RM 0.6 K, RM 0.4 K
More info:

2. SK Jalan Hamilton Merdeka Walk Hunt

Date: 18th August, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: Paradigm Shifters (Chian Min)
Hunt course: Penang Walk Hunt (SK Jalan Hamilton & Queensbay Mall)
Entry Fees: RM 200 per team
Prizes: RM 1 K, RM 0.7 K, RM 0.3 K
More info:

3. RMCC Charity Hunt

Date: 18th August, 2007 – 19th August, 2007 (Sat-Sun)
Clerk of course: YS Khong
Hunt course: KL – Malacca
Entry Fees: RM 180 per pax
Prizes: RM 2 K, RM 1.2 K, RM 0.8 K (Open)
Prizes: RM 1.2 K, RM 0.8 K, RM 0.6 K (Novice)
More info:

4. Atmah Hunt

Date: 25th August, 2007 – 26th August, 2007 (Sat-Sun)
Clerk of course: Pava
Hunt course: KL – Port Dickson
Entry Fees: There a few packages, max RM 660 per team
Prizes: RM 10 K (holiday package to New Delhi), RM 4 K (flight tickets to Bangkok), RM 0.8 K (Vouchers/gifts)
More info:

5. UMIC 2nd Motoring Hunt

Date: 25th August, 2007 – 26th August, 2007 (Sat-Sun)
Clerk of course: Rajj, Asohan
Hunt course: KL – Malacca
Entry Fees: RM 480 per car
Prizes: RM 5 K (Star Cruise voucher), RM 1.7 K, RM 1 K
More info:

6. Pandu Misteri Merdeka 2007

Date: 1th September, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: TAB
Hunt course: KL – Ma;acca
Entry Fees: RM 150 per pax
Prizes: RM 3 K, RM 2 K, RM 1.5K
More info:

7. Lexis Nexis KL Bar Hunt

Date: 8th September, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: TOS
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: Not Available
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

8. Captain Jack Sparrow’s Bangsar Walk Hunt

Date: 8th September, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: Raj
Hunt course: Bangsar Walk Hunt
Entry Fees: RM 25 per pax
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

9. Team ICT Hunt

Date: 9th September, 2007 (Sun)
Clerk of course: TAB
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: RM 210 per car
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

10. Cyberjaya Merdeka Carnival Celebration (NOVICE)

Date: 9th September, 2007 (Sun)
Clerk of course: Fun Hunt People
Hunt course: Cyberjaya
Entry Fees: RM 200 per car
Prizes: RM 1 K, RM 0.7 K, RM 0.5K
More info:

In this column, hunters can share some of their hunt experience on the weekend and POST IT HERE!

In this column too, hunters that need to form a team can ‘advertise’ themselves. To have better effect, I would suggest the hunters should disclose info like the particular hunt interested, gender, total hunts, whether comfortable to drive, whether comfortable to navigate and email contact. I would suggest hunters go for a particular hunt basis first, before thinking of forming a permanent team.

RR will not do any follow up, just provide a space for the hunters to ‘advertise’ themselves to get a team, and for team to recruit suitable members for a particular hunt.

Hopefully, this column will benefit everyone that look for hunt partners.


    ckloh : not that you should do this, but if in your freer time, you or someone in your team, are able to tally up the value of all the prizes offered in every hunt that actually kicks off – you may just arrive at this interesting statistic!

  2. Yeah, if I happen to explore on the statistic, I will try to tally up the value the percentage and total prizes won by your team, it might be an interesting statistic as well!! Haha!

  3. Anything interesting on yesterday Menara Optometri Hunt, please post it here! I will share my story later.



    I start first, first of all would like to thanks renroc on willing to hunt with 3 newbies, it is really interesting to see his hunting skills. Great experience for all of us.

    We are doing ok, we expected getting lower position, but it is a surprise we finished it on seventh.

    And we would like to congratulate ce5nt and teams again, and amaze that you all can spot a signboard that already not there.

    FYI, those that are not in the hunt, the signboard is supposed to be Restoran Rusia 24 jam. However, when we reached the place facing the main road, we saw only Restoran Rusia and can’t find 24 jam, and we saw some construction is at work at that time. Without suspecting anything, we just left the place with answer of Restoran Rusia. The top 3 teams are top because, they were suspicious and drive in to the restaurant itself. Only the top 3 teams get the sign 24 jam and full points. Amazingly, the 24 jam signboard dropped to the grounds and facing the opposite of the road facing the shop, not the view of most cars. Those that drive-in only can see the board on ground, this is what I have been told.

    On my opinion, this is really the different between experienced and inexperienced teams.

    Yes, we did turn in to the restaurant – but not knowing about the dropped sign – we just wanted to U-turn to back-track – in case we missed a sign further up the road!

    And then we saw the signboard – properly propped up, in the parking lot of the restaurant. We knew what that will mean – we did what we did – and left it to the “final decision of the COC”.

    And it is true, you can see the signboard from the road – but only the back-side of it.

    Everybody probably spent half their treasure hunting life in this sector. Ckoh: what do you think of this question? :

    Q) Lone mark made on distraught Jim.

    A) RM1.50
    …SE JAM

    (the dots on the second line are just editing spaces – but spaces get swallowed up in this blog).

  8. Oops! Just stumbled upon this discussion! Sorry, I’m spending very little time on here these days. Is that a question for me? Well, I don’t know how to answer the question. Perhaps if you’d be so kind as to give me the explanation, maybe I’d then be able to comment further? I can see that the answer isn’t so straightforward, hence everyone spent half of hunting time there. Please explain.

  9. Never mind, ce5nt, ckloh was kind enough to have sent me the explanation through email. The explanation is just as I had expected.

    Unlike the MIXED RICE, I’d say that I might have been able to solve this question if I were there hunting that day. And I am not saying that to imply that I am such a cleve guy. No, the reason I would have been able to solve the question is because I recently analysed a similar ‘bolded’ question, I believe conjured up by TOS.

    I can’t recall from the top of my head now, but I think it was like this:

    Q) Somewhat inert.
    A) Rexon


    Somewhat = anagram indicator

    inert => broken up into “R”, “TEN” and “I”
    Then “TEN” = X; and “I” = ONE.

    The result is then jumble up again to make REXON.

    A bombastic question! The answer is hidden several layers away from the question! But then again, a good team is supposed to be able to handle anything that’s thrown to them. Such was the comment by a master to me in a recent email. I think I am inclined to agree with this comment — so long as the explanation is logical.

    OK, let me post this and then continue again…

  10. OK, now let’s see if we’re happy with your “JAMES” question. The explanation, as I was told:

    1 = ONE
    50 = L
    “.” (the dot) = MARK

    MADE = anagram indicator.

    So the setter meant to combine the “L”, “ONE” and “MARK” to become LONE MARK and then followed by the anagram indicator MADE. Hence the equivalent of “RM1.50”. The second line is just an indirect anagram of “SE JAM” being the anagram (distraught) of “JAMES”

    I have two comments here:

    Here we have a bit of discrepancy between ce5nt and ckloh. In ce5nt’s version of the Q above, the “RM” is joined together with “1.50”. Whereas in his email to me, ckloh gave the version of a SPACED “RM 1.50”. Although it may seem insignificat, I think it makes a difference.

    In my opinion, the answer doesn’t fit if the “RM” and “1.50” are joined together. Let me explain a my position. Imagine that we have this question:

    Q) Confused race driver.
    A) ACRE Sdn Bhd.

    This is a lousy question because that ‘driver” has absolutely no purpose. But my point here is to demonstrate how the RACE was intended to derive the word ACRE through the anagram indicator. If that was the case, then we can say that we accept RACE => ACRE.

    But would we still accept the answer if the question was like this?

    Q) Confused racedriver.

    In this second example, the word “RACE” is joined to “DRIVER”. Would it be correct to expect the solver to anagram only the word “RACE” and forget about “DRIVER”? Or are we supposed to rearrange ALL the letters in “RACEDRIVER”?

    If the “RM” is joined to “1.50” like this: “RM1.50”, would it be correct to expect the solver to anagram ONLY the “1.50” and disregard the “RM”? In my opinion, it is incorrect to treat the “RM” and “1.50” independently if they’re joined together.

    to be continued…

  11. 2) MARK = “.” (dot)?
    The CoC apparently expanded the idea of the TOS’s bolded question one step further by expecting the solver to equate MARK = “.”. Quite an original idea in my opinion, but didn’t impress 2R1I, I’m sure! I am not impressed either!

    2R1I, didn’t like my “MONARCH BEATER”, because according to him, the ACE is not the only card that beats the KING. He went on to cite a card game where the TWO beats the KING too! I am sure there are other card games where other cards can beat the KING too!

    But of course the ACE is KING BEATER in the general sense of the word. It is a universally accepted card as the KING BEATER. If one were to lay down all the cards on the table and ask the audience which is the highest card, I am very certain that most, if not all, would single out the ACE without any hesitation! But no, 2R1I doesn’t like iffy situations.

    Well, here we have a similar situation — only worse! MARK can be anything, really. Anything can be a MARK — a dot, a comma, the letters of the alphabets (e.g. “Z” is the mark of Zorro), even a stain on the wall is a mark! The infinite possibilities for “MARK” makes the question a bit “loose”. The type of question that will force the hunters to spend precious time trying to make sure that there is no other more “perfect fit” within that sector!

    to be continued…

  12. And so, we finally come back to that phrase again — “PERFECT FIT”. What is it, really? Has anyone come up with a proper definition of “PERFECT FIT”? Well, I think we need to deal with this question, because we are bound to come back to this question again and again, one way or another!

    Oops! Need to go out for dinner first!… Perhaps I’ll continue later.

    I’m sorry RR, I meant to be quiet and behave myself, honest! But ce5nt was the one who invited me to comment! After this one…. I promise!!

    Interesting critique and reading, ckoh. Classic ckoh! How can anyone not miss these! So keep them coming, Cor! Will wait for you to finish the review!

  14. Sorry for this very late continuation. When I came home from dinner last night, the whole house was pitch dark. And of all the things that was wrong, it was the modem that was busted!! So I had to look for some friends this morning; pinjam a modem, while they help me sort out the warranty with my own modem etc. And now finally, I’m back!!

    Now, where was I?…. Oh yes, the “PERFECT FIT”…

    I had some short discussions through emails with some masters about treasure hunt questions etc, and this very issue arose — the PERFECT FIT. Or rather I was the one who brought the matter up!

    Just what exactly do we mean when we say “PERFECT FIT”, that’s the question I raised here yesterday. I suggested to the masters that the definition of PERFECT FIT depends on circumstances.

    This is the most straightforward “PERFECT FIT” that I think is on everyone’s mind. It is the kind of answer that is undisputed. Once you get the answer in a hunt, you KNOW that that is the ONLY possible answer. It is like: 1 + 1 = 2. You simply know that the answer is 2 (although some of you crazy people might want to argue that the answer is 11!).

    This second possible scenario is more interesting in my opinion. It’s when we get an answer through some logical reasoning and then arrive at something that is NOT 100% perfect. Yet the answer is “PERFECT” because there is no better alternative within that sector.

    Q) Jails
    A) NewsNow

    An example which master Michael Pang was kind enough to share with me. The DJ, where the “Jails” is the anagram of SALJI which is SNOW in Malay. It may not be perfect because somewhere within that sector, maybe there is ALCATRAZ etc, that also fits “JAILS”. Or it may not be perfect because maybe there’s a “LIJA’S NEW RESTAURANT” within that sector.

    However, assuming that there are no other answers that could fit the “JAILS” then, one might say “NEWSNOW” was indeed the “PERFECT FIT”!

  15. So in the end, how many teams got the “RM1.50 SE JAM”?

  16. ckoh,

    At the end, no one get it.

    I was in the hunts for both bold questions ‘REXON’ and ‘1.50 SEJAM’. On my opinion, although both looks solvable on paper, but the fact is ‘REXON’ was broken and ‘1.50 SEJAM’ was not.

    The reason is not much the technique involved on my opinion, but rather on the former, the bold question is set at normal signboards that are big. Difficult question, easy to spot signboard.

    Whilst the follower ‘1.50 SEJAM’, the signboard is not in the common shops area but rather the opposite of it, where this is the signboard of parking areas where not all hunters will pay attention with, I guess. Difficult question, difficult to spot signboard.

    So, the discussion is rather
    1) What you think of bold question, difficult to spot signboard?
    2) JIM = JAMES, well some say fair, some say not, would like to know your opinion. You already gave your honest opinion on mark.

    So, compare to REXON, on my opinion ‘1.50 SEJAM’ is more difficult question due to
    1) not common big signboard, where we expects bold questions normally are set

    2) apart of the roman conversion, still need to take care of mark and James, which both are quite loose, on my opinion.

    And REXON is already a bold question which only a handful of master teams or I can say elite master teams that able to solve it.

    Dealing with the time pressure, is this question fair in hunt? I would like to listen to your opinion, ckoh? Your analysis above, I would say is very interesting.

  17. The following are my personal opinions. But I must caution you that other CoC might disagree. It is difficult to say what is fair and what is not. After all, the word “FAIR” is a relative term. What’s fair to me might not be for others!

    I discussed this issue with Master Michael Pang some time ago. I’m inclined to agree with his general guide on treasure hunt questions. We try to strike a balance when setting questions. After all, the difficulty lies in many forms and shapes. Certainly the observation skill is one of the many challenges in a treasure hunt. So it makes sense to balance a tough question with a big signboard and vice versa. But I have a feeling that 2R1I may disagree, judging from his “11-2B” question.

    2) JIM = JAMES:
    In a way, we can say that this is a general knowledge question. But for this particular “equation”, I am willing to accept it. JIM is a very common shortform (nickname) for JAMES. And I’m convinced that MANY people would know it. I analysed a question where the setter expected the solver to know the abbreviation of “UPS = UNINTERRUPTED POWER SUPPLY”. It would be very interesting if we can also accept many possible “nicknames” for some names. For example, the name “MARGARET” has “MARGE”, “MAGGIE”, “PEGGY” etc.

    I think the exact location of the signboard should not be an issue. The most important test is whether the signboard is visible from the car. If that requirement is satisfied, then everything goes! It is up to the hunters to spot it (from the car). Of course some hunters — for strange reasons — are better able to spot if they’re on foot.

    I don’t buy your idea of the signboard being in the “common shops areas where all hunters will pay attention…”. I am one of those ‘cruel’ CoCs who enjoy tricking the hunters by throwing at them something that’s out of the general ways of doing things. I’d give them a question sector with many “seductive” signboards, when the answer is found in the signboard located way on the other side of the highway (but still within the sector and visible from the car).

    4) REXON:
    I think this is an outstanding question — the type that I would have been proud to have crafted myself! And the fact that SOME masters were able to solve it just goes to show that it is solvable! The average hunter needs not feel cheated by this question because it’s too far-fetched for him. That’s why he is the AVERAGE hunter; and those who solved the question were ELITE hunters. They didn’t just turned into an elite hunter overnight!

    Unfortunately, TIME is not the only pressure that one is up against in a typical hunt. So many things can go wrong, and TIME is just one of them. Some people think very fast, and hence arrive at the answer fairly quickly.

    I did a hunt where I threw in a very tough first question. I did it deliberately to challenge the hunters psychologically! I challenged them to fight their inclination to stay on in spite of precious time that was slipping away. Now generally speaking, hunt questions are normally easy at first… and then slowly building up to very tough ones as the hunt progresses. But there is no hard rules that this must be so!

    A good hunter should know when to abort the search. We have all fallen victims to time. That’s why I thought the idea of bolded questions quite interesting. You’d probably spend a lot of time trying to solve the questions. And yet, when and if you do solve them, you get very few points. In other words, you are risking to lose a lot (of time), but hope to gain very few points)!

  18. Generally speaking, the fact that the question was solved by someone is good evidence that it is indeed solvable. It would then give the CoC great satisfaction — that he has successfully crafted something that is tough, yet fair and solvable. In other words, we want someone to solve it, but try to limit those successful solvers to the minimum!

    However, I’ve recently realised that there is yet another kind of satisfaction on the questions that I crafted. From the above, you might think that in the event that no one was able to solve my question, it would mean that I’d be disappointed. But sometimes, there are cases where your questions are just well-crafted and yet no one can solve them! What’s more, the hunters acknowledge that the questions ARE SOLVABLE!

    I felt very pleased that I received emails from some masters that my recent questions Q2 & Q3 were great — that they’re solvable, but yet they failed to see through the tricks! Those are the rare times when ‘unsolved’ questions are equally satisfying.

  19. ckoh, are you saying this?

    1) You will not set bold questions with small signboard even in common shop areas.

    2) But you will set bold questions with bigger signboard, in uncommon areas, even across the highway, that is visible from the car?

    Just want to confirm.

    Jim is James is common general knowledge, just like mark is ‘.’. But mark is ‘.’ is not so tight, as mentioned earlier as it can be anything else.

    On my opinion, so is Jim is James, where Jim can be any famous politician, author, sportsmen, singer, actor and etc. So, to anagram something that is not so sure and concrete, and there are hundreds of possibilities there, and it is not the only difficult element in this question, still need to fit in ‘1.50’ after that. This is the discussion point. Do you think this is fine, or you will not set this type of question?

    This question is actually not solved by any team, even the elite hunters.

  20. No, ckloh, that is NOT what I am saying. What I’m saying is that I will TRY not to set bolded questions meant for small signboards. There are exceptions, of course, but I was commenting from the general point of view.

    Whether a question is bolded or not, has nothing to do with WHERE the answer is located. As far as the location of the answer is concerned, it should be OK as long as it is visible from the car. I was just trying to tell you that I always like to trick the hunters with something that is out of the ordinary — that they are not used to.

    For example, I would give “Q&A” referring to the QUEEN + ACE = 21 (blackjack), instead of the usual meaning “QUESTIONS & ANSWERS”. And I would “hide” the answer on the other side of the highway because I know the hunters would most probably be concentrating on these attractive signboards which are right in front of their eyes!

    Regarding employment of names in hunt questions, you know I am not such a great fan. I commented on “KAK PAH” referring to Datuk Sharifah Aini. But that’s why I was saying a few posts ago — that sometimes, hunters have to deal with something that’s imperfect. So many things that can fit into the setter’s descriptions, yet there is only ONE best answer within that sector. Yes, there might be other signboards that MIGHT fit JIM = JAMES etc. But can those other signboards also satisfy “RM1.50”; MARK?

    We get “2140” because the setter read that as DUA SATU, EMPAT KOSONG”, hence equating that with 110000 = MINX. That IS the “perfect” answer if there are no other alternative answers that can fit the question! But does that mean the question was tight? I mean, I might read “110000” as “DUA SATU, DUA KOSONG, DUA KOSONG”. So in that case, 2140 = 110000 = 112020?

    But to answer your question, no, I will try not to set such a question. Too many possibilities can lead to problems. I have a phobia that some brilliant hunters out there might just come up with a better explanation than me! Then I’d find myself in a very embarrassing situation. Other CoCs may be more confident of their answers as the ultimate and best fit, I don’t know.

    The fact that the question wasn’t solved by anyone is NOT a conclusive evidence that it isn’t solvable. Even elite hunters can fail too! There might be moments when their brilliancies would abandon them! BUT! it does beg the question WHY? HOW COME? Maybe these elite hunters were simply outwitted by a brilliant CoC. It has happened before. But in all probability there is something wrong with the question.

  21. Thank you for your interesting comments ckoh.

  22. And thank you for inviting me to comment, ckloh. But now it’s time for the recce. A lot more things to do before the hunt next week. I foresee a busy week ahead… and sleepless one too (the phobia of embarrassing myself when hunters come up with better explanations).

    Later folks!

  23. Can I know what hunt is that?


    I was most distraught about the James part.

    I suppose we all forgot at that time to first convert Jim to James before anagramming it.

    We were caught looking at the flow of the logic as “anagram Jim first” and then try to find something that will fit it – like IJM (a construction giant).

    In retrospect – we should have looked at IJM as 1JM or Se-Jam!

  25. ckloh,

    I am clerking an unofficial hunt next Sunday. I give it a special name, KK CHALLENGE 2. The first KK CHALLENGE was in July last year.

    We have very, very few hunts here in KK. And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have anyone who’s a full-time CoC. Of course we have event organizers here. But official hunts are normally undertaken by west M’sian CoCs.

    This year, we are unfortunate that the Kiwanis won’t be doing their hunt. I am doing the KK CHALLENGE 2 in the hope that we will keep the interest alive, as well as recruit more newbies.

    Next month, a friend of mine from the strongest team in KK — known as Main Tembak — will be doing something similar. Both I and my friend Mr Wong are more interested in hunting rather than clerking the hunt. But unfortunately no one else would want to set questions. So hopefully if I can do a few and Mr Wong can do a few, we will have enough at the miserable rate of about once in every two months. Oh how few hunts we have here in KK!

  26. ce5nt,

    It is strange that sometimes even seasoned hunters can forget all about the indirect anagrams. Last April I gave and anagram of “sheet within a book”, and some regular teams failed because they tried so hard to think along the lines of containers.

    Of course I deliberately used that word “within” to mislead them. A good example of complicated minds trying to complicate matters! In the end, all I wanted was the word “PAGE” which was to be rearranged into “GAPE”.

  27. ckoh:
    I must applaud you for keeping the treasure hunt interest going in KK. You will be rewarded handsomely in one way or another – at the very least recognised in the history journals (like this blog)!

    And you are very right about “slip of the mind” syndromes – every now and then – even the best will slip.

    I am sure the COC will not mind me “boasting” on his behalf some of his gems, which he can be proud of.

    Q1. It is backwards here.
    A1. Centre of Creativity

    Q2. Stir nothing inside to have it brought down.
    A2. Redlof Kafe Internet

    Q3. Animal part perhaps, usually unwanted, found in this establishment which seems to declare that they are getting nowhere.

    A3. Artline @ Gaia Stationery Enterprise

    Enjoy working them out …

  29. Thank you of sharing.

    The questions indeed are gems. I can see Q1 almost instantly as I worked before with the same answers before. Different questions, but the idea is more and less same. It is great idea.

    Q2 and Q3, I afraid I need some time to work it out.

    Here is another one by YS (the COC) from the hunt.
    This one should interest ckoh specifically!

    Q4. A prefix here will result in loose stitches at the edge or border of cloth.
    A4. mhe demag

    Anyone has something to share from this one? cmliong?

  32. Whoa, did I hear “ckoh” mentioned here again?

    Now why would you say Q4 as the one that should “specifically” interest me, ce5nt? Let’s see, what have we got here… Is there supposed to be a missing “D” in the solution, ce5nt?

  33. ckoh:
    the “D” is not there and you could be right that it should be. You must be smelling that something familiar is brewing!

  34. ckoh:
    Q4 is a demonstration of another form of “you know what”. You have to create one first and then solve it!

  35. ce5nt, I don’t know if we’re talking about the same thing here!… hehehehe. If it is what I think it is, then I don’t think the answer is very accurate. The words DAMAGE (without “D” at the end) and DAMAGED (with “D” at the end) have slightly different roles. The former is a verb; the latter is an adjective. The correct way to express it is: DAMAGED PROPERTY, not DAMAGE PROPERTY. But I will wait for your explanation. I may be way off the mark to start with!

    And just when all this excitement is building up, I have to attend dinner to entertain some colleagues from Ipoh! Arghhh!

    Yes, we are talking about the same “you know what”.
    Agree – it does seems that DAMAGED is more appropriate.
    But imperfection aside – the “you know what” was what the COC intended.

  37. ce5nt,

    The Ipoh folks enjoyed the seafood last night. Most west M’sians would make it a point to taste our seafood whenever they visit.

    Well, if you say we are talking about the same thing, yes, the question is interesting, but for the grammatical flaw. Of course, when a verb takes the role of an adjective, it is always in past perfect tense.


    BROKEN JAR, and not BREAK JAR;


    Q2 above is also interesting. I am not sure what’s the CoC’s explanation to the answer.

    If he intended that NOTHING = O, and then anagram that with REDLOF to become FLOORED, then I would say the solution satisfies the requirement of FLOORED = BROUGHT DOWN. However, in such a case, maybe that word INSIDE was superfluous. Unless of course, if there is a different explanation to the solution.

    Another thing that caught my attention about Q2 is that we can also craft a question for reversal of FOLDER.

  38. Detected a flaw in his Q3.

    Q3. Animal part perhaps, usually unwanted, found in this establishment which seems to declare that they are getting nowhere.

    A3. Artline @ Gaia Stationery Enterprise

    ARTLINE is anagrammed to ENTRAIL which is intended for the meaning of “Animal part, usually unwanted”. But ENTRAIL is not a valid word; should be ENTRAILS instead!

  39. Wow! I was just about to ask for the explanation of Q3. I’ve been trying to figure out that one, but failed.

    In my opinion, this is the kind of question that requires word power. It may be annoying to those with limited English ability. But more so if the word is invalid to start with!

    In my attempt to figure out the answer, it was obvious to me that this was an indirect anagram; reason being: “perhaps” is a very famous anagram indicator; and the letters found in “Animal part” do not agree with the letters found in “Artline”. Therefore, we must be looking for a word which has the meaning of “Animal part”, but containing the letters of “ARTLINE”.

    In view of the above, I played around with “ARTLINE”. I’m sure those of us here who’re familiar with Scrabble would find this task not so difficult. And then it won’t take very long for the Scrabble player to arrive at “ENTRAIL”, because after all that does sound like END TRAIL (getting nowhere).

    But did I know that word? Frankly, no! That was merely a guess on my part (my vocab isn’t that good!). So I had to look the word up in the dictionary. Then I realised that it comes with the “S”, i.e. ENTRAILS.

    So I went online to check at dictionary.com. Well, apparently there is ENTRAIL standing on its own. But it has a different meaning than the unwanted animal part. So I had to reluctantly come to the conclusion that I was on the wrong track! Since this was supposed to be a gem, it must be something perfect!

    And now, this revelation!

    Great observation, ckoh. Maybe the owner did it on purpose, considering it was an internet kafe … managing and backing up folders would be a regular feature of his business.

    Nevetheless, the fact that masters spent some 45+ minutes looking for the answer in a sector with less than 20 signboards, is a gem by itself (maybe it should have been a “jam”).

    We only got the answer after leaving the sector – while going through the KIVS – our brilliant “the 13th second” solved it and was immediately followed by a Mexican wave-like round of “jubilant yells” in the car!

    We had a good answer to Q3. Syarikat HS Tyres Trading. HS + O + TO (from the question) = SHOOT.
    We do have to “shoot” to get it down, right?

    Almost went with that. 13th second liked it, but she did voice a slight doubt… that doubt became a nagging thing to me and I said we better look for another … and just as I have finished saying it – I spotted the “ED” of REDLOF …”Hey! Team! Let’s look at this one carefully – it has “ED” which fits the “brought” better – past tense.

    And tensed we were, at the prospect of it being the right answer .. and we said all together “add O to REDLOF and what do we get?” “FLOORED!!! FLOORED!! OH MY GOD!!! FLOORED!!! FLOORED!!!” – everyone shouted at almost the same time (started with our fantastic lady driver) – and 13th and I together and then echoed by our 4th partner! What a sensational air of celebration in the mobile!

    First picture : a photograph of the head of an eagle (American bald eagle).

    2nd Picture : a cannister with 2 electrical connectors giving it an impression that it is a kind of single-cell battery.

    3rd Picture : the letter “C” with an arrow below it pointing downwards, away from it.

    We knew the eagle must be the brand. But what product?

    We also suspected that it is either you insert a “C” to the result or “drop” a “C” from the result.

    We thought of Helang cooking oil – but why cooking oil? Drop c: and you get “ooking oil” – what’s that?

    We then thought Picture 2 was to denote ENERGY – a booster. So we hunted for an energy drink with vitamin “C” added.

    And we found one – From “Taisho” with an EAGLE logo, energy drink (LIVITA) and has 100ml (C=100,right?).

    And we were prepared to just take this as the answer, until something told us we better show the middle picture to a mechanic and confirm that it is a kind of “booster” – therefore energy first.

    We sent 4th Partner to check with a mechanic.
    He came running back with a huge grin on his face!
    We must be right – the rest of us thought.

    “Guess what! We have solved T3!”
    “It’s HELANG OIL!”

    Puzzled faces all round! And followed immediately by another round of jubilant cries!!!

    “It’s a COIL! Drop C and you get OIL! So we go buy EAGLE OIL ,folks”

    We have now considered ourselves educated – none of us knew that that “cannister” was an ignition coil!

    Click to access ignition_coils.pdf

    see first picture on the top left (that was the exact picture in T3!).

  44. Hmmm… I can almost feel the joy and excitement in FLOORED!

    Yes, that’s my point, ce5nt. Too often hunters have the tendency to disregard grammatical requirements when answering questions. SHOOT would have been a possibility I guess. But SHOT (past tense of SHOOT) would have been a more convincing fit because of BROUGHT DOWN (past tense). I can apprecite why the 13th Second doubted SHOOT.

    But on the other hand, it is sad if the CoCs themselves are not so well-versed in grammar. Two answers may appear to fit perfectly, when actually only one is a perfect/exclusive fit on grammatical grounds. Of all the people, the CoCs should be the first to appreciate this!

  45. Awesome story, ce5nt. What a big difference that short visit to the mechanic can make, huh?

    And it is interesting how your team thought of HELANG OIL — probably being the most straightforward and simplistic answer; and then thought of the “brilliant” LIVITA; and then after the visit to the mechanic, came full circle to arrive at the HELANG OIL again!

    I wonder if the other teams were lost on pics 2 & 3, but honed in on pic 1, guessed the HELANG OIL (the hell with Pics 2 & 3) without knowing the ignition coil, and got the full points without all the troubles! THAT would have been something, huh? They’d say, “Why should that bother me? Why should I care about all those analysis? I got the full points and that’s what counts!!”.

    Sometimes, in chess you get that too. You make a move that seems logical, but don’t know why exactly. The masters would think so deeply about that same move. They would make all those complicated calculations in their minds. Then several moves down the road, you’d say to yourself, “hey! luckily I pushed that pawn a few moves ago! Now I am 1 step closer to the queening square and my opponent has to sacrifice his rook for that pawn!!”.

    ckoh, you just gave me the perfect cue to tell you a side-story to this “oil” treasure.

    It seems – highly speculative here – that one team spotted our “4th Partner” coming out of the shop.
    They then walked in and came out with a purchase.

    What do you think that team bought? And what would have happened in the shop?

    This story was told to us by our “4th Partner”. Need I say who that team was?

    It just goes to show that the cat can lose its fur in more than one way.

  47. Well, what did they buy? Ignition coil? MUAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Oh I hate it when I do that!… Sorry, that was just too good to pass.

    Well, I am fan of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. I can more or less guess what that other team bought. And I can more or less guess what happened in the shop. But there is just no way I can guess which team was that! If I could, then I am as good as Sherlock Holmes!

    But something struck me as quite amazing for this particular hunt we’re talking about. I find it fantastic that the champion for the novice category scored the same as the champion of the regulars category. Did the CoC screw up and ‘accidentally’ put a regular team in the novice category?

    ckoh: yes, the Novice Champ was probably unknown to this COC. Many of us know these “Idiots” (as they call themselves). They have been hugging the top 10 positions in open hunts for a while and even won at least one “major” open hunt last year.

    But to all of us – that was a blessing in disguise!

  49. Wow! I guess they just wanted to make sure of the RM1,200, huh? I bet after the hunt, they must have kicked themselves! They could have ended up with the RM2,000! Even if they lost on tie-break, they’d at least go back to that RM1,200! And there’s also the glory and fame of winning in the regular category! Had they chosen to hunt in the regular category, your team would have ended up with RM400 lesser!!

    None of us could choose our category. The COC placed us. So, it was down to the COC not knowing who the “Idiot S” were.

  51. What is the norm? What happens when a master can’t get his full team members assembled, perhaps due to work commitments. He is then forced to team up with 3 other newbies (renroc did just this recently) to form a team. Will that team be in the NOVICE or REGULARS categories? How does the CoC decide on this? Is there a guideline?

  52. Is there anyone here who’s familiar with the ranking system at TOS? Just how does one become a MASTER? Number of podium finishes? Number of top 5? top 10? Years of hunting experience? Prize money?…

    Is the ranking subject to ‘upkeep’? If one were to stop hunting, will his ranking decline over time? Say a Master may lose his title if he doesn’t hunt for a long time? For example, in the world of chess, the title Grand Master (GM), once acquired is for life.

  53. ckoh:
    Nope. Up to the COC’s whim and fancy. The only thing consistent,so far, is that they get it wrong from time to time.

    From observation, TOS will put anyone who wins the top prize (maybe even the top 3) of any of their OPEN or NOVICE hunts – gets into their “Masters’ Blacklist”.

    And like in CHESS : you are blacklisted forever! (COC memory not so good lah!)

  54. also, once blacklisted – it does not matter how many newbies are in your team — your team is now BLACKLISTED for that hunt.

  55. this is one area that is crying out for professionalism. but it does not seem “urgent” – for obvious reasons.

  56. Hmm… quite a price tag to carry the title of MASTER. I’m thinking if the title is worth it at all! Better to remain ‘newbie’ forever! That way you have the freedom to join any hunt!

    Imagine how much time and efforts to become a grandmaster — only to find that you are subject to so many restrictions. You have to do coconut bowling; throwing darts — blind-folded; speed SMS etc, all of which have absolutely nothing to do with cryptic skills whatsoever! At the rate we are going, treasure hunts will soon become games of chance!

    And in spite of all those, the grandmasters still prevail. And so now they are totally banned from joining some hunts altogether!

  57. so better be late by a regular 15 minutes every hunt – so even if you got perfect scores – you will not be ranked 1, 2 or 3 for sure!

  58. Yeah sure… and lose those juicy top prizes?… I don’t think so! I tell you what, my friend, when and if we get to hunt against each other one of these days, PLEASE convince your team to adopt that strategy! I won’t complain — I swear!!

  59. Friends, please let us know what happenings on ATMAH Hunt in exchange for UMIC Hunt ok?

    I will post some of the interesting questions here. For more detail report please refer to UMIC 2nd Motoring Hunt to be updated later today.

    For introduction, UMIC hunts have 20 cars, and more than 50 percent is first timer from the briefing introduction hands raising, might not be true. Nevertheless, although it is open for regular novices, however, most regular novices prefer to the other hunts. Probably because the COCs, are first timer, and due to what happen in STOFGA hunt, most team prefer not to be the guinea pig for new COCs.

    However, I must admit that I have the same fear initially. But the hunt proves how wrong am I. This is a very PROFESSIONALLY ORGANISED hunt, high quality questions and gameplay for hunt open for non-master, no tulips error, challenging and fun game formatting that do not depends on subjective factors but rather teamworks, and great powerpoint presentation with detailed breakdowns for every teams performance, more details later. But a very well done to Rajj, Asohan and Shirley. They have been through and flow on the treasure route 4 times (I have been told, and I am not surprised) just to make this a very successful hunt. Shirley set a very competitive and challenging questions for non-master standard and hunt attended by most newbies. But we enjoyed every parts of the hunt.

    As I mentioned ealier, details later.

  60. This is just some of the questions, I think Shirley would not mind to share this out. The reason I share this out is just to give an ideas to hunters that UMIC Hunt is just another treasure hunt with pure treasure hunt questions.


    1. A drunken horse making love in here.

    2. Perhaps, the hunt organiser has a mark here.
    GOT X

    3. Sounds like I and Fauziah Latiff are after a mascot.

    4. I am sex crazy with a kiss.

    5. Minus a kilo will still give a lot.


    6. Black, White, Red and Yellow on here.
    Four Season Bakery

    7. Shot in between without invite will reveal Marshall Bruce Mathers III’s number.
    One Two Call

    8. The Marshall’s car exploded here.

  61. How dirty-mindedness can affect the hunters’ performance in a hunt. A little over a week ago, I gave this question:

    Q) I would simply come after to be hard.

    And a team of 4 girls later told me that they laughed so hard when they read this question. Luckily the word VIAGRA wasn’t seen within that sector. Otherwise they might just have chosen that as the answer! How they got that far in their analysis was quite mind-boggling, really. But maybe that’s because these girls are my staff, and they know the funny guy that I am. But in this particular case, they have really outdone me with their imagination!

    A) SOL Departmental Store Sdn Bhd.

    A very simple analysis and straightforward answer. But of course the 4 girls didn’t get the answer lah!

  62. So, ckoh, how about your hunt overall? Just comment a bit please.

  63. ckloh,

    Overall, I would describe the hunt as successful. Team Main Tembak won it convincingly as expected. They beat the nearest team (2nd place) by more than 20 pts, scoring 125/130pts. However, it was later determined that I made a mistake — they should get 126/130 pts. Not that it made any difference to their position. 2nd and 3rd places scored 100 pts and 97 pts respectively. So you can imagine how much more the rest of us need to catch up!

    For this hunt, I threw in more easier/average questions, and the hunters like it! Even the newbies got 40 – 50 pts. Some of the questions were quite easy, but I “hid” the answers on the other side of the road. For example:

    Q1) 1000 instead of the last number for a list of food.
    A1) RENU @ Dave Optics

    The newbies found some of the questions too confusing because of the slightly longer thought process required in order to arrive at the answer. But it’s not very difficult.

    Q2) Descend endlessly in the opposite direction.
    A2) URUT

    Two teams (Main Tembak was one of them, of course) managed to crack this:

    Q3) Confusing mailname.
    A3) V6 Karaoke & Lounge

    I’ve included a several decoys which confused the hunters even more! But I didn’t expect some of them to fall for this:

    Q4) Boleh mendapat beberapa jika di dalamnya kosong.
    A4) SME BANK

    Instead some of them gave PERODUA as the answer. When I set the question, I thought some newbies might fall for this decoy, but it turned out that even some regulars fell for it!

    Another question which turned out to the “difficult” was:

    Q5) Go there to gain time?
    A5) Eastwards Media Sdn Bhd

    For this particular hunt, I’ve decided to go easy on my mathematical questions. In fact, I didn’t give any! I had a feeling that the hunters were expecting some! But I will probably unleash some of my maths puzzles in my next hunt. I did give something related to the playing cards in:

    Q6) Indeed I am on duty in a suit.
    A6) Diamond Achiever Sdn Bhd

    And very few got the answer. This is the type of question that probably people like Dr Clue and pink might just breeze through! It is of course an almost pure cryptic clue involving the definition “suit”, and the “hidden word” approach.

    Some of them said the hunt wasn’t as tough, but somehow got tricked here and there. They asked for another almost immediately after the hunt; “Oh we thought of that, but didn’t see the answer bah!!”…. “We knew the answer, but we didn’t think of looking for it other than in the shops lah….”, you know, the usual comments!

  64. I’ve been coming back here several times and noticed that things haven’t been moving this lately. Apparently ce5nt and 2R1I have been busy with some projects. In a recent email between ce5nt and I, ce5nt decided that I try to “kickstart” this blog again.

    Well, I don’t know if I have the power to kickstart; but let me try to do something here…

    It was during lunch break yesterday when I decided to browse through some past threads in Mike’s blog. Then I stumbled upon an interesting competition held almost a year ago in that blog.

    At stake was a RM150 meal voucher at the subject matter of the competition, a place known as PINTU BELAKANG, or its English version, BACK ENTRANCE. I thought that was quite an original idea and very creative of Mike — especially that RM150 was not sponsored by the PINTU BELAKANG!

    Hunters were invited to craft cryptic clues and encouraged to submit them within a certain time frame. They were allowed to submit more than one! The clues were then considered one by one — apparently by Mike himself — and in the end of it all, VK Chong won the RM150 voucher. The winning clue was:

    “An admission to illegimately gaining access.”

    However, later Mike pointed out the wrong spelling in “illegimately”. The word, of course, should have been “illegitimately”.

    Apart from that, Mike also published some other equally interesting clues crafted by other hunters. They were of different styles, and in my opinion, reflected the varying degrees of clue-crafting expertise. I will come to this issue shortly.

    Later, when the winner had been announced, there were some comments posted by some participants. I am not referring to the spam which ran into well over 2,400 comments! But one stood out and attracted my attention almost immediately. I am referring to a comment submitted by Vincent. His amusing clue which made me laugh out loud was:

    “Anatomical charm!”

    So simple and so funny. And I was provoked to write him an email to actually tell him that that clue was sooooo like him!! Oh I had a good laugh!

    And when I first saw that PINTU BELAKANG, I had the insane idea of:

    “Sodomite’s target.”

    But this is where CoCs are bound by some sort of implied rules and regulations when setting clues/questions. I had such an experience last April when I did an open hunt.

    OK, let me post this first.. and then continue later…

  65. Last April, in an open hunt, and being such a green CoC, I conjured up this:

    Q) Locally, catfish ahead makes an Indian?

    A) Ng Electronic

    After the hunt, some concerned friends said this particular question was somewhat “sensitive”, because it involved the word “keling” which is associated to an Indian. I quicky sent out apologies to Indian friends who hunted in that hunt. Well, at least those who I could contact.

    It is strange that the word is considered offensive to some Indians. I have since made a simple research to find out why. Some people consider the word “keling” to refer to a “lower class” of the Indian race. That is not, however, the meaning given to the word in my kamus. In some kamus, the meaning is: orang keturunan India berasal dari India Selatan. Yet, in an ordinary conversation, it is hardly used because of the negative perception of the word.

    In fact, last year we had an widely publicised debate in Parliament concerning this same word – “keling”. An MP used it to refer to Indians in an innocent way, and he was quickly criticised for it. I am sure that the MP had not intended to use that word to belittle the Indians. But he was criticised anyway!

    And so after that incident, I have learned that there are some sort of “implied” rules and regulations in setting hunt clues/questions.

    1) No sensitive words, e.g. “keling”;

    2) No questions on religions;

    3) Refrain from political issues;

    4) No obscene words;

    5) Nothing that could be construed as sexual prejudice;

    And I am leaving the door open here, as I am sure people like ce5nt and 2R1I could add some more (well, you told me to start something which you can respond to, ce5nt!).

    But some hunters have also criticised me for including questions related to playing cards (one of my trademarks); and to refrain from using famous foreign words. I am not sure if I can agree to this. After all, the word “LE” meaning THE in French has been used quite frequently. Perhaps ce5nt or 2R1I has something to say about this?

  66. Now coming back to clue-crafting, as I said earlier, the was the clues/questions are presented can indicate the experience of the setter one way or another.

    I remember asking a regular hunter here in KK about setting questions. This was some time back when I was in the process of setting my first ever closed hunt for my employees. I found it interesting that the regular hunter said that he’s only a hunter, but didn’t know how to set questions!

    The first time I tried to set questions, I felt I had to struggle with my limited ideas. I didn’t even know where to start! I played around a bit with anagrams, but surely I can’t give anagrams all the way? Unless of course if the hunters are all claire, becuse she’s just addicted to anagrams?

    Having set a number of hunts now, I’ve notice some characteristics in treasure hunt questions, and it is sometimes possible to tell between an experienced CoC from a new one simply from the questions/clues.

    But I am not claiming that I myself am an experienced CoC! I am not! It is just from my observations that some CoCs — the good ones — have certain styles that I would welcome in treasure hunt questions.

    Some of them have been discussed here at length, but perhaps worth mentioning again:

    Almost all the words found in the question serve a specific purpose in leading the solver to the solution. Exceptions are connecting words like “and”, “or” “the” etc.

    Because of this, a lot of the times, the question by the “good” CoCs are short and concise, perhaps comprising very short sentence of a few words only. And don’t get the wrong ideas, folks, the shorter the questions, the harder they are! But a simple example:

    Q1) The answer is disguised as a hint.
    A1) NITASHA Unisex Hair Saloon

    The words “The answer is” is to be taken literally, telling the solver, well, what the answer is. “disguised” is an anagram indicator; and “as a hint” are the words where the letters in them are to be rearranged into “NITASHA”.

    The words, however tricky they are, when combined into a sentence, must have some sort of meaning or story line. These words would usually blend well with each other and may deceivingly lead the solver into a direction which has nothing to do with the answers even! For example:

    Q2) We hold it to walk through shallow water.
    A2) AD Unisex Beauty Saloon.

    3) GRAMMAR:
    In most cases, the question should be grammatically correct, because it has an impact on the potential answer (s). The only exception is when the sentence is deliberately wrong for a specific purpose. An example of a grammatically “wrong” question by TOS:

    Q3) Came and get entangled.

    Notice that the “came” is in past tense, whereas the “get” is in present tense. This inconsistency immediately told me that there must have been a specific purpose why the sentence was grammatically wrong.

    This is an example from my recent hunt:

    Q4) A king goes behind, thus going somewhere secretly, avoiding to be seen.
    A4) SNE @ ????

    Notice that the words “going” and “avoiding” are both in continuous tense. Therefore the word the solver is trying to construct MUST be in continuous tense too. So “AKING” goes behind that “SNE” to become “SNEAKING” — in continuous tense — which agrees with the rest of the sentence.

    to be continued…

  67. ckoh:

    Did you say you were not sure if you could kick-restart this? Then what was all that?! It’s a bigger deal than I would have bargained for!

    Good observation. Biology and health science were my forte in the school days! And remains my primary basis for analysis of anything that has such connotations.

    This clue was inspired by an answer I posted in one of the early days of treasure hunting.

    The question was along the lines of “Sultan’s guards can be seen on the left and right here”.

    My answer won the “funniest award” – did not help me to win any of the main prizes though (still a newbie then).

    My answer : Be warned. Anyway which way you turn, you’ll be had!

    (I do not recall the original answer, but it was something to do with 2 statues).

    This could have been classified as “sensitive” – but I was given an award by the COC publicly and there was loud clapping and laughter from the audience – so what did that say? It still puzzles me up to day – some 13 years later!

    It is easy to decide when it is absolutely sensitive.
    But the fine line is difficult to draw when it borders near something humorous.

    Absolutely not. Even the most religious play cards – but never for money. Cards are fundamentally games – it is just that innovators identified them as great money spinning opportunities. So play on, ckoh – dont let this deny the treasure hunt community of a great classic idea.

    Wouldn’t English be foreign to Bahasa? And vice versa?
    Another criticism to be ignored. Having said that, I would not begin to introduce the uncommon languages unless there has been a recent introduction or popularity of that one foreign word (in the recent news for example).

    ckoh: is analysis all that you have at your meals?
    You are great analyst – and that is a fundamental attribute of a great hunter, COC too! So you have the makings of one – that’s undeniable.

    We just cant wait for the day when “Cornelius” becomes a household name in the t-hunting fraternity in West Malaysia soon – you can make that happen – just participate!

    Come on over, ckoh – I am sure there will be teams who will be keen to have you. Mark the calendar for about 4 to 6 hunts every year!

  68. ce5nt,

    I would love to come over regularly. But you konw, work and all…. If only the bills will pay for themselves, that’d be nice, huh?

    Cornelius becoming a household name, huh? Well, I’m not too sure about that! But there is a good chance that I’ll become famous for all the wrong reasons though! Maybe I am gifted with raising issues which other refrain from raising. Recently, I raised the issue of selecting novice/regular categories in Mike’s blod; and then to my amazement, it erupted into quite a big thing! How it went that far was beyond me. But well, at least I created something to talk about!… hehehe

    Once bitten, twice shy. I think that’s how it goes. I am wary about marking my calendar with hunt dates. Maybe it’s just me… as I said before, I am cursed when it comes to marking my calendar. First, it was the STFOGA. Then I got hit immediately after that with theSun Hunt. So the next time you wish a particular hunt to be postponed to another date, just let me know, and I will try to join that hunt. I bet it would soon be postponed!

    And I suppose this is where the famous advice about bike riding comes in. It’s something about when learning to ride a bike, and you keep falling down and getting bruises, do you abandon the task? NO! you continue riding it anyway until you get it right. I think that was the advice I got from a stock broker some years ago. But after I lost over RM30,000 of my hard-earned money, I think I won’t mind not knowing how to ride a bike.

    But as far as treasure hunts are concerned, I will probably choose a date when there’re several hunts available. That way, in case one gets postponed, at least I can (hopefully) switch to another.

    Yeah, I guess you can say that I have treasure hunt past questions for dinners. I get to learn quite a bit doing that. Beyond that, I also get inspired with new ideas on how to hunt questions/clues. Quite often I expand existing ideas in new directions. For some strange reasons, I can come up with quite a fair bit of “new” ideas!

    You are quite a fire-starter – but an innocent one.
    It just goes to show you have a knack for hot issues.
    I wouldnt be discouraged – it just means that your choice of topics is always interesting – the outcome is beyond you, for that matter – beyond any single person.

    That’s the real reason you are able to innovate from one idea into another. We enjoy all of that whenever you do that.

    You often never fail to intersperse a Q or two in your “blogging”… so whenever I remember one, I will try to add one in too .. kind of a like a “commercial break”… come to think of it .. that should be the “trademark” of this blog… and everyone who blogs, should do that – as a tradition.

    This one was from the “Internal Auditors’ Hunt” recently, shared by a colleague who took part in it and won it, hands down (with 2 hours to spare!).

    Q: One day Jack will be seen here.
    A: Bauer

    Smooth reading – ain’t it?

  70. ckoh:
    Are you a MENSAN?
    If not, you ought to try the test and if you make it (quite confident you will) I will sacrifice my place in my team and you can join our team for the next MENSA hunt – targetted for Nov/Dec. If 3 MENSANS take part – the team is entitled prizes in both categories. 13th second and 2R1I are Mensans.

  71. ce5nt,

    Neat question about Jack. But I don’t really like the “will be” in the sentence. In my opinion, that “will be” tells the solver that whatever it is you are looking for has not materialise yet — perhaps something has to be done first to complete the answer. In fact, to be accurate we need to say that Jack Bauer IS here, NOT “will be” here.

    Having said that, had the question been set like this:

    One day Jack is seen here.

    perhaps the flow of the sentence isn’t ideal; and also it would probably give away the question altogether!

    I meant to discuss a little bit more about grammar, but I will come to that later.

    No, I am not a MENSAN. I don’t even know where I can attempt the test. What is it anyway? Am I gonna end up being declared too dumb to hunt?… HAHAHAHA! Once, when I was surfing the net, I clicked onto a website where I was given a free IQ test. I didn’t know what was it all about. And I didn’t even know what’s the par score. I didn’t bother to think carefully… just cincai only, if you know what I mean. I wanted to know what’s the catch behind it… I was sure they’d try to sell me something in the end, you see.

    Anyway, it turned out to be quite a long test… many questions — I forgot how many. But they were multiple-choice type… some about shapes; some about numbers; some about general knowledge. But I thought the test didn’t mean anything as far as the level of intelligence s concerned. In the end, I was assessed with a score of 130+. I don’t really know what that figure really meant. But they encouraged me to subscribe to the website for “further test” — just as I had expected! What is an IQ test anyway? What is the passing mark? And what is the full mark?

    Perhaps when and if I do go for a real test, I need to do a bit of test drives first. Are there books where I can read a bit about what to expect? I can at least browse through the night before the test.

  72. Ckoh,

    Ha ha, I’m not sure if you can study for an “IQ Test”. The test conducted by the international Mensa society is supposed to be bias-free ie. it does not test a participant on language, general knowledge etc, but rather it tests a participant’s ability to recognize a logical sequence provided and identify the missing number / pattern / picture. You can say the test you took was a deviant from the actual test.

    I know that the Malaysia Mensa society has been organizing these tests regularly at the University of Sabah for the last 2 years in a row. If you are interested, I can help you find out when the next test is scheduled in the East.

  73. Ckoh,

    Now that you have soiled your hands more than once, may I suggest a next phase in your “career” (hobby) as a part-time CoC. You can leave your mark by “inventing” a trademark event that the community can associate uniquely to you. This event will be an addition to the meat & potatoes of standard cryptic Q&A and Treasures.

    eg. TABE have their TAB Events, Road Runners have their I Spy, Kiwanis have their Crack-A-Pots, etc

    With the juice you have and your passion for creativity, I reckon it won’t be beyond you to create this side-event. Think about it.

  74. Sounds good… let me know when’s the next test… interesting to know if I am an idiot… hehehehe… So it’s fully mental work, right?.. nothing about physical thingy? If I failed this test, I hope it won’t be too bad… hehehehe…. at least fail marginally lah… safe face also.

  75. 2R1I,

    Good idea, but I don’t know if I am up to it! And not to underestimate our local hunters here in KK. But only Main Tembak is up to the mark for my kind of questions! I have quite some interesting ideas right now which are just waiting to be unleashed!

    One thing’s for sure. I will try to do only pure hunts…, i.e. without physical challenges or games depending on luck. If ever I include challenges at all, I will see to it that they’re about general knowledge of some sort. Moreover, the points for these mental challenges will be a small proportion of the total score of the hunt. In the end, the decisive score will ultimately be from the route questions and treasures.

    Overall, I think it will still take a while before our local hunters in KK can come up to the level of KL hunts. But what I will do in my next hunt is to give SOME of my ridiculous questions so that it will be very, very hard for MAIN TEMBAK to get perfect score. They almost did a few weeks ago! I see the scoreline in the KL hunts where the top winners are frequently sooooo close. Not in KK. Main Tembak is VERY FAR ahead than the rest of us. Perhaps the rest of us should hire someone to break their legs on the eve of the next hunt. Then maybe we’d see a closer race at the top… hehehehe

    Hey! ikan buntal! if you are reading this, watch out! We’re scouting around for kaki pukul for the next hunt!

    Interesting idea from 2R1I indeed… yes, I would encourage you to “brand” something unique – something out of your passion for maths and cards!

  77. Ckoh,

    yes, nothing physical. If my memory serves me correctly, there were a total of 60 puzzles (with objective answers) in increasing degree of difficulty from Q1 that needs to be resolved in 45 minutes. The “passing mark” is a function of a participant’s age. The “passing mark” peaks for one who is 23 years, and slowly dips thereafter ie. the “passing mark” is a moving target that is higher for one who is 23 years old as compared to one who is in his/her forties etc.

    Will let you know about the test dates later.

  78. Ckoh,

    Yes, the regular hunting community will appreciate your trademark better if it is nothing to do with a game of chance. Try to coin a side event that is cryptic or mentally challenging using knowledge from your passion of maths and cards (as suggested by ce5nt). It will add another dimension into the intrigue of treasure hunting.

    As you can probably tell, the standard cryptic Q&A, hardly bothers the more experienced hunters these days.

  79. ce5nt,

    We don’t want to get too excited now… If I overdo it, no one will want to hunt… hehehe. But I suppose it’s possible to conjure up some maths/cards questions which are not so tough lah. I will think about it. Hmmm… you people do come up with interesting ideas.


    That’s sound comforting a bit… So I don’t have to work too hard, since I am already over 40! 60 Qs in 45 mins… wow, that’s really rushing! I hope not so tricky lah. If they set a question like I do.. then I will surrender immediately!…

    Just the other day, I was asking claire a question through email. It was something about a blind old farmer who’s about to cross a bridge. But that bridge was no longer there, having been swept away by stong current during a storm the night before. But the farmer could tell that the bridge was no longer there even though he was blind. I asked claire to explain why/how the blind farmer knew.

    I asked this question, because I was getting quite desperate. I asked claire several mathematical problems and she answered them perfectly all the time. Little did I know that she has a maths degree!

    Anyway, she wasn’t able to get this blind farmer question. But perhaps I’ve been a bit too harsh on her. You see, it is very strange that we have the tendency to take things for granted sometimes. Most of the time when we say “blind”, we mean that the eyes are unable to see. Except that in this case the blindness is only in one eye…. Hehehehe… nah.. just kidding… I was just pulling her leg. But you have to agree that the idea behind that question is funny, huh?

  80. Oh yes, I said I wanted to continue a bit on grammatical requirement in treasure hunt questions. Now the other day, I had an interesting discussion with the 13th second over emails about her question in the virtual hunt thread. It wasn’t really a debate… just discussion.

    Let me copy here that particular question:

    Q) A follower of original myth and its inversion.
    A) BMW@Pusat Servis Kereta Yap Brother Car Care

    Now I don’t intend to go into details on the explanation of the answer for this question. Those new visitors to this blog can check it out in the “virtual hunt” thread.

    Our interesting discussion was on that word “A” at the very beginning of the question. When we say, “A FOLLOWER”, what exactly do we mean?

    Now in the English language, there is a difference between “A FOLLOWER” and “A’S FOLLOWER”. In the latter, there’s an apostrophe s after the “A”.

    Oops!… damn, I just remembered I forgot to feed Boomer!… be back later… need to feed him first!

  81. In the past, I came across this question which I thought to be quite well done. In the same argument, I think I can accept “A follower” as B

    Q: A Greek letter
    A: Alpha

    where Alpha = A Greek letter (definition), and Alpha = A in Greek (cryptic wordplay) which would have ruled out the Beta, Gamma etc should they have existed in that sector.

  82. Now, where was I? Ah yes, grammar!

    And yes, 2R1I, I’m inclined to agree with you too. I too can accept the omission of the apostrophe s on the grounds of cryptic wordplay.

    The point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes, the sentence may be grammatically wrong, but still acceptable in the cryptic sense because of the trickery behind that sentence.

    To expand the idea a bit more, I’ve also investigated some other past questions by other CoCs. And I found that they too appear to agree with the issue about the apostrophe.

    A few weeks ago, I myself gave a “wrong” sentence, although no one seemed to complain. It was like this:

    Q) I was back with the leader for a natural product.
    A) SAWIT KINABALU @ Borneo Samudera Sdn Bhd

    That word “back” is of course a reversal indicator for “I was”. That is quite straight forward. The subject matter of this discussion is in the “the leader”. Now strictly speaking, in grammatical sense, shouldn’t it be “the’s leader”? In other words, I am pointing the solver to the “t” in the word “the”. And strictly speaking, as an English sentence, “the leader” shouldn’t refer to the “t”. BUT!! as a cryptic wordplay, it is acceptable.

    So, sometimes — but only sometimes!! — the sentence may be grammatically wrong, but still remains valid as a hunt question.

    Having said that, however, I don’t agree to have an unlimited freedom to allow wrong sentences for hunt questions. I was conjuring up a question meant for the signboard: URUT. At first, I came up with this:

    Q1) Endless descent in the opposite direction.

    The word “Endless” is an indicator that tells the solver to remove a letter from a word, hence endless in that sense.

    The word “descent” means TURUN. So without the N becomes TURU.

    “In the opposite direction” is a reversal indicator, meaning reversing the TURU to become URUT.

    But in the end, this can’t work. Simply because the word “descent” is a noun. When translated into Malay, it equals to PENURUNAN and not TURUN. The word “TURUN” is a verb, and the English word for it is “DESCEND”.

    You see now how a single letter can make the difference? That’s why I adjusted that question to become:

    Q2) Descend endlessly in the opposite direction.

    Now the question becomes grammatically correct, but not entirely giving away the question as well.

    I agree that the best quality is when everything is carefully and precisely taking into consideration in the construction of any question. Definitely more appreciated than the usual compromised versions.

    I would also proudly say that only you, ckoh, can consistently conjure such “perfections”… so I would like to coin a new word for this “ckohism”. It is meant to be honour you. Take a bow!

  84. ckohism… hmm.. our vocabulary is building up isn’t it? **bowing…**

    But really, I would encourage all CoCs to observe careful consideration of grammar when setting questions. It counts for fairplay too.

    Q) Gravity between these for determining how heavy.
    A) Wei Hing Industrial Centre

    This is the so-called jigsaw-puzzle type of question — the type of questions which I enjoy composing. Let’s consider the line of thoughts of the hunter.

    First, of course the word “gravity”. If that hunter is an experience one, he’d probably start thinking “G”, being the common initial/abbreviation to that word.

    Next, he’d think “between these”. It tells the hunter that that “G” is to go between “these”. Meaning, we are looking for 2 words (these). Fine, the “G” goes between those 2 words to form another word.

    Now we come to the final part of the question — “for determining how heavy”. That “determining” is in continuous tense… with that “ing”. It gives the clue to the hunter that the 2 words on the signboard that he is looing for MUST ALSO END WITH “ING”. That’s why WEI HING, when added with the “G” between them becomes “weiGhing”, which means “determinING how heavy”.

    Now the other thing I’d like to bring up about hunt questions is regarding that famous question mark — ?. I have analysed quite a number of hunt questions/clues with the question mark (?). Why exactly do we add a question mark?

    This seems like a silly question. After all we’ve always refer to those clues as “questions”. So it seems logical that questions should end up with question marks! But actually, treasure hunt “questions” are not really questions. In fact, most of them are clues/hints — not so much questions like “what is two plus two” (in which case a question mark is required at the end of the sentence.

    So, let us see when would we see question marks (?) in hunt questions:

    Yes, this is the most logical explanation. Sometimes, the hunt question is REALLY a question. And it requires a “?” because it should. These are sentences usually starting with “where”, “what”, “why”, “how” and “when” etc.

    When there are several possible answers to the clue, a question mark may be added. Such questions are imperfect and not exactly an exclusive fit. However it is often the case that there is only ONE answer within the sector that can perfectly answer that question.

    Q2)Stone outlet?
    A2)Sharon Wholesale

    It’s not exactly an exclusive fit because that “Stone” may just be referring to stone in its literal meaning. Therefore, if there’s, say a stone quarry within that sector, then that too might qualify as an answer.

    The question mark can also be an indirect clue to signal to the solver that he’s looking for (possibly) a different meaning to the word (s) or phrase (s). Or sometimes, a slight adjustment such as spaced/unspaced is involved:

    Q3) Anaknya ialah Menteri Besar Kelantan?
    A3) Restoran Nikmat

    Notice that the name of the person we are looking for is NIK MAT (spaced). But in the answer, the NIK MAT is joined together to become one single word.

    4) ANAGRAM?:
    This is the usage of the “?” that is troubling me a bit. I have seen some treasure hunt clues which have included the “?” meant as anagram indicators. I have no idea who started it. Maybe it’s an established trick in cryptic crosswords. But I am unable to verify this as I am also a beginner as far as crosswords are concerned. Perhaps 2R1I would like to share with us his opinion on this. Thankfully, however, the “?” is quite rarely being used as an anagram indicator. At any rate, it is good to know it’s possible use as the anagram indicator.


    The “?” poser : I remember that one of the COCs of TABE uses this to indicate anagrams quite often … he may not have started it — but he certainly professes it more often than the others.

    The “?” has also been used to indicate “seems like” or “appears to be”. Often interchanged with “perhaps” – often seen in YS’s hunts.

    Wish I could give you examples off the cuff – but my memory is not that sharp!

    Polished job there, ckoh!

  86. ce5nt,

    “?” used to indicate “seems like” or “appears to be”. That is also interesting. Perhaps when and if you can find the time, I’m sure we’d all appreciate it if you can throw in some examples. Would be nice to learn new things.

    Oh by the way, why do I have the feeling that we are the only ones chatting away here with all these analysis and past questions?… hehehehe… Should we discuss them through emails instead?

    I wonder if we continue at the rate we are right now, we’d soon run out of things to discuss… hehehe. Nah… not likely. Actually I’m sure there’re plenty to talk about.

    Now talking about punctuations in hunt questions; we ask ourselves if (1) they’re necessary; and (2) if not, then why do we still see them sometimes?

    The omission of punctuations are considered OK by most hunters, even though strictly speaking it’s wrong to omit them! For example, when we write essays for the school exam, the omission of punctuation can result in poor grade, if not failure.

    Q1) Half a sibling and offspring jointly formed this brand.
    A1) SISSONS PAINT @ Junting

    Now perhaps this is not such a good example. But would it have made any difference from the hunters’ perspective if the question was set like this?:

    Q1′) Half a sibling, and offspring, jointly formed this brand.

    In Q1, there’re no commas in the sentence. The hunter is left with the burden to decide whether to take “sibling and offspring” together, and then half it. OR the halving is only for the “sibling” only. In this particular case, of course that halving process is for the “sibling” (sister) only.

    Well, it seems that hunters in general don’t mind the omission of punctuations. But sometimes punctuations are also included to add “colours” and “flavours” to the questions.

    Q2) Listen up! Big saving available here!
    A2) G-Mart Auto Dealer

    In the above example, the exclamation marks are there to make the question look a bit more realistic. Reading that question without any exclamation mark would make it look rather unrealistic because we would normally expect the person uttering the sentence to actually raise his voice.

    The other point is that the “Listen up!” is a rare means of telling the hunter that we are dealing with a “sounds like” clue.

  87. Although I am not a fan of using “?” as anagram indicators, there was one particular CoC (who has since left the scene) who was using it often enough as anagram indicators to make us pay attention whenever we find it at the end of the sentence.

    I am more a fan of using “?” as a pun on the targetted signboard.
    Q: Sounds like Spidey’s furry friend doing business here?
    A: Harry Trading


    Q:Some of the late Irwin’s good friends?
    A:Picture of 2 crocodiles on signboard.

    This COC has “?” for almost 80% of his clue-questions.
    Often accompanied by “Perhaps” too. So you often have to figure out whether an anagram is intended or not. This one, is a “looks like” question.

  89. So just out of curiosity, what is the reaction of the hunters when they see the “?” used as anagram indicators? Do they just accept it without question? CoC has the ultimate say, huh?

  90. SUSPICIOUS “?”.
    It is a sport of survival of the “fittest”. The COC decides of course. If you cannot find an answer that can fit : then better think anagram!

  91. Hi everybody, great to see the regulars of the blog trying to kick start of this discussion again.

    I have been completely tight on both works and personal matters on the last two weekends.

    New discussion treads will be created tonight. Stay tuned.

  92. Wow! I’m quite pleased with myself right now. I meant to book my flights for hunts on 3rd and 4th November. But I thought I better wait a little longer. You remember, ce5nt, the curse I told you about? Well, this is a good example of it! The hunt on the 4th has been changed to the 18th! I bet if I were to book my tickets now, it’d be postponed again!.. hehehehe. Nah.. I won’t tempt the treasure hunt gods.

    By the way, does anyone know if there are other hunts on the 18th?

  93. Ckoh, sorry. The organizers felt that the original date was too close to Deepavali (and feared that it may affect the numbers) and decided to finalise Nov 18 just last week.

    Here is the plan for Nov as I know it. Care to migrate to Klang Valley for a month, maybe?

    3 Nov theSun Klang Valley
    10 Nov Maritime Klang Valley
    18 Temple Building Fund Klang Valley
    24 Nov Seri Costa KL-Malacca

  94. ckoh: Come for the Nov 18th hunt (Temple Hunt) … you want to join us? We have a place in our team … I can confirm this with the rest if you are keen.

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