September 2007 – CHATROOM

September 18, 2007



Item 1 – PHILIPS 21″ COLOR TV Model : 21PT2325
From: ce5nt
Email Contact: ce5nt@yahoo.com
Expiry Date (if any): Warranty – Not registered Yet
Further descriptions: Still inside box – not unpacked.
Barter trade (Y/N): Y
Sale (Y/N): Y
Asking Price/Barter Value : RM350 o.n.o.
Others : None
Delivery : Not including delivery. Ex-Subang Jaya.


1. Time Out Challenge To Melaka (Novices)

Date: 29th September, 2007 – 30th September, 2007 (Sat-Sun)
Clerk of course: TOS
Hunt course: KL – Malacca
Entry Fees: RM 170 per pax
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

2. Time Out Hunt Hokkaido (JAPAN)

Date: 9th October, 2007 – 13th October, 2007 (Tue-Sat)
Clerk of course: TOS
Hunt course: Hokkaido
Entry Fees: RM 3,399 per pax (4 persons package)
Prizes: Free Hokkaido Hunt trip next year
More info:

3. Assunta Alumni Summer Hunt 2007

Date: 28th October, 2007 (Sun)
Clerk of course: TOS
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: RM 300 per car
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

4. The Sun Motor Hunt 2007!!

Date: 3rd November, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: TOS
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: Not Available
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

5. Kembara Bernama 2007

Date: 3rd November, 2007 – 4th November, 2007 (Sat-Sun)
Clerk of course: Govind Nair
Hunt course: KL – Awana Kijal
Entry Fees: RM150 per pax
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

6. Maritime Hunt

Date: 10th November, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: Razif
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: Not Available
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

7. Cyberjaya Amazing Challenge

Date: 10th November, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: Engage! Event Management (Richard Si)
Hunt course: Cyberjaya
Entry Fees: Not Available
Prizes: Not Available
More info: Not Available

8. MAH Treasure Hunt 2007

Date: 17th November, 2007 – 18th November, 2007 (Sat-Sun)
Clerk of course: TAB
Hunt course: KL – Ma;acca
Entry Fees: RM 550 per car
Prizes: RM 2k, RM 1.5k, RM 1k
More info:

9. Temple Building Fund Hunt

Date: 18th November, 2007 (Sun)
Clerk of course: Take 5 (VK Chong)
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: RM 320 per car
Prizes: RM 4k, RM 2k, RM 1k
More info:

10. Lebaran Challenge (Novice Hunt)

Date: 18th November, 2007 (Sun)
Clerk of course: Fun Hunt People (Zahrol)
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: Not available
Prizes: Not available
More info:

11. Seri Costa Treasure Hunt

Date: 24th November, 2007 – 25th November, 2007 (Sat-Sun)
Clerk of course: TOS
Hunt course: KL – Ma;acca
Entry Fees: RM 140 per pax
Prizes: Not Available
More info:

12. Kembara Ansara 2007

Date: 25th November, 2007 (Sun)
Clerk of course: Fun Hunt People (Zahrol)
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: Not available
Prizes: Not available
More info:

13. Beautiful Gate Hunt

Date: 1st December, 2007 (Sat)
Clerk of course: Michael Pang
Hunt course: Klang Valley
Entry Fees: Not Available
Prizes: Not Available
More info:


  1. *&^$#^(*&^$!

    After all that long introduction…. nothing came out after I hit “submit comment”!…. arghhhhh!… will try again later.

  2. As I was saying, I tried sending this earlier, but somehow when I hit “Submit Comment” nothing happened. So here I am again!

    I was wondering what topic would be good to kick-start this chatroom. Perhaps it’s time to discuss about the curse on me – the one about KL open treasure hunts getting postponed. Now there must be hundreds of hunts in KL, and I am sure some have been postponed too. But what’s the odds against all the three hunts I’m interested in getting postponed? It has to be a curse of some sort!

    And here I want to detour a bit from the main topic. Because this blog has been quiet for a while, I’ve been exchanging emails with claire. I’ve been asking her some maths questions (not hunt questions!); been telling her grandfather stories, even spanning from second World War time; and yes, been talking about this lingering curse on me!

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

  3. Ahh… that’s better!… it works after all!…

  4. Now I don’t intend to write a book about my life (claire suggested this – very funny of you, claire dear!), but let me tell you that when I was young, I dreamt of becoming a civil engineer. I thought I could excel in that profession.

    I can’t really remember why I wanted so much to be an engineer. Unfortunately, although I was accepted into some local and foreign universities for the civil engineering degree, my family couldn’t afford the cost of that degree. So I spent a few years working mediocre jobs, trying to save money for a distant-learning course leading to a degree in Estate Management instead.

    It was such a painful moment for me, because it’s like loving and wanting so much to marry the woman of my dream, and then forced to marry another woman! I was so disappointed that God didn’t answer my prayers. But today, I feel that I am much better off in my profession; in fact, I am convinced that I am more suitable doing what I do now!

    Similarly, I was so disappointed when the STFOGA was postponed. I wanted so much to join that hunt. According to ce5nt, “every pack of wolves would be there”.

    Then later, I felt relieved that I didn’t make that hunt after all. It turned out to be a total disaster! Sometimes, during the darkest hour of one’s life, there is that tendency to think that God doesn’t answer prayers. In fact, God did answer mine. You see, sometimes the answer is just plain NO! And I am not even a religious person!

  5. Ckoh,

    what happened to the story of the woman of your dreams and the woman you married right now?

  6. Edwin,

    That’s just a figure of speech, my friend!

    I said “loving and wanting so much to marry a woman, but was forced to marry another”, meaning I had to give up my dream of becoming an engineer, but to take up estate management instead. I used the “woman” example so that people can imagine the feeling of disappointment, you see. If you have loved a woman before, you will know…

  7. OK, let me start yet another discussion/debate. This is about a question in my recent hunt. I had an interesting debate with a local master here in KK. His team won that hunt, of course, but we got into this interesting debate anyway. I am bringing the debate here because our little debate had no concrete solution in the end.

    Now I am not forgetting that famous line: COC HAS THE FINAL SAY. But I am a firm believer that one should not rely too much on this famous line. Indeed the CoC has the final say. But if he keeps defending himself on something that is WRONG, then he will soon find that no one will join his hunt in the future!

    So when the CoC wishes to rely on that privilege of his, he must do so only when he has a strong grounds for it. However, sometimes it is a very close call – perhaps something that has never been done before. Such was the case with the question I’m about to introduce, and therefore I deem it justifiable to find its way here:

    Q) Boleh naik ke atas untuk jawapannya.

    To start with, that winning team answered this question correctly. The master did not challenge the explanation for the answer. In fact, he complimented me on it. The debate was on something very different. It’s about how the answer should be written! You see, the targeted signboard was orientated vertically – something like this:


    The explanation is simple – reading the signboard from bottom to top (naik ke atas) yields the word ABLE, which means BOLEH. Now how should be answer be written? The two teams which got the answer wrote it the usual way – horizontally: ELBA.

    OK, I will post this first… then continue again…

  8. As I said, ELBA was the intended answer. But out of the full 3 points, I gave only 2 points to the master’s team. Why the missing 1 point? Well, I deducted that 1 point because I wanted the answer to be written vertically as seen on the board!

    And yes, I think you can imagine the debate I had with the master. So here we had a newbie debating against a master… well, of course the newbie had the shield of “COC HAS FINAL SAY”!

    In my previous hunts, I’ve included quite a number of vertically-orientated boards as the targeted answers. But never did I insist those answers to be written vertically as seen on the board. Why did I insist on it this time?

    My answer is because of “naik ke atas”. That is an exceptional case in my opinion that warrants an extra point for the team that is more meticulous to details. Earlier, my team member asked me if there is any difference between ELBA written horizontally and vertically. I thought the answer should reasonably be “YES”. The one written vertically answers the question perfectly and entirely — including that “naik ke atas”.

    If ELBA is written horizontally, it only answers “ke belakang”, or “kembali” and the likes, but not “naik ke atas”. ELBA can answer “naik ke atas” only — and only if — it is written vertically as seen on the board!

    Very, very close call. The difference of only 1 point, but still worthwhile to debate anyway. In a strong field, 1 point difference can be decisive. Imagine if both winning teams got the same score in all other aspects. But one wrote ELBA vertically and the other wrote it horizontally. Would it be justifiable to give the vertically-written one the winner’s cheque?

    I would go with your version. I am a fan of “what I want, is what you must see” for any clue that has a graphical connotation.

    In this case, the graphic was an integral part of the question…so no excuses for not “convincing me you understood the most relevant part of the clue.”

  10. Mornin’ folks! Well here I am again. Is it me, or are we having so much trouble building up the momentum here? Perhaps we ought to change the name of this thread to ckoh/ce5nt thread, huh?… hehehehe.

    Well, I’ve been kicking the ball, but the ball isn’t really rolling yet. Let me kick yet another time, and we’ll see what happens…

    Now we’ve been talking so much about hunt questions — this trick and that trick; this requirement and that requirement to make good hunt questions etc. So have we run out of things to discuss/debate?

    OK, let us talk a bit about teams for a change. Yes, TEAMS, not THEMES. I was discussing some hunt matters with a master through emails the other day. He raised an interesting comment about the significance and power of teamwork — the classic synergy theory. Four strong hunters, given a question to solve INDEPENDENTLY, may be unable to solve the question. But 4 heads WORKING TOGETHER AS A TEAM might solve it!

    This comment was as the result of my so-called “unsolvable” questions given in the Encore II some weeks ago. You see, some of them here said that those questions of mine were unsolvable in an actual hunt. But some of these masters, through emails, disagreed with such comments. They said not to underestimate the power of good teamwork! They said that they have been proven wrong many times when strong teams were able to crack their so-called “diabolical” clues!

    Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about it. And the more I think about this comment, the more I am inclined to agree with them!

    Oops!… Work!… will post this first… and continue later…

  11. OK, where was I? Oh yes, strong teams…

    I found it rather amusing that some masters who wrote to me expressed their frustration with themselves when the answers to my questions were revealed. They’re generally frustrated because of the “simplicity” of the solutions. They said they thought along the correct path, but somehow “didn’t see the solutions!”

    But coming back to strong teams, I it’s interesting that as least two masters quoted a team known as THE MACHINE. I have to apologize, but being a newbie myself, I am not familiar with that name! Apparently “The Machine” was, and indeed still is, a very strong team to be reckoned with in KL. They were apparently the only team that solved a double jeopardy in a recent hunt:

    Q) Jails.
    A) NewsNow.

    One of these days, I hope I will have the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the team members of The Machine.

    Anyway, just what exactly are the ingredients or special formula for a strong successful team? We find that some teams have been hunting for years and never quite make it to the top. While others have been recently formed, yet they hit the podium in no time at all! So they must be something lacking in that “unsuccessful” teams?

    to be continued…

  12. Well, I meant those questions above to be answered by the “strong teams”, since surely they should know! Me? Nah… at best, I can only guess. I’d rather let the celebrity teams like Hunters R Us, or The Machine etc to share with us here their secret formulae.

    Soooooo… **arranging the soap box in the middle of the room**… ce5nt and 2R1I, this is your cue to take centre stage, my friends. Give us a lecture or two, please! Oh, the 13th Second and 2 Imposters too!

    Notwithstanding the above, however, I can contribute something on how things can go wrong in a team, because quite a lot of things have gone wrong with my own team in the past. So I am able to relate from my own experience!

    Uh-oh, lunch!… will continue later…

  13. So, how can things go wrong in a hunt?

    This is the most logical explanation. And it makes sense too. After all, we have all learned from ce5nt that garam counts! There are certain tricks in treasure hunts that are repeated every now and then. So those teams who’ve encountered these ‘tricks’ before will be better able to solve those questions. And even if the new team eventually solved those questions too, they’re likely to require more time to do so. But I suspect a lot of teams also have the habit of falling back onto this covenient excuse all the time even though their downfall was caused by something else!

    It is strange that even the so-called seasoned hunters fall into the “time trap” every now and then. They are deemed to be experienced enough manage their time well. Yet we still hear how strong teams failing miserably because they ran into time trouble.

    I’ve mentioned before how I myself set a considerably tough first question to challenge the discipline of the hunters. As I had expected, most of them lingered on too long within that first sector. In the end they failed to solve the question anyway. But that was not the end of the story. They had to rush with the other questions to make up for the time they lost, thus resulting in them missing some of the easier answers and some “eye-testers”.

    Of course we are familiar with this. I was somewhat surprised to see how my good friend, the local champ, a mild-mannered man, could suddenly transform into such a baby during a hunt. He threw tantrums and got annoyed with the slightest mistakes by his team mate! And when time was already slipping by, apparently twice as fast than usual, on the final home stretch towards the finish station, the driving got wreckless!

    Of course we all laughed about it after the hunt. I don’t think he realised it though. He is after all a nice mild-manered man; and such a good friend. But such behavior doesn’t really help the already stressful situation of the hunt.

    Unfortunately, a new team takes time to develop. It doesn’t happen overnight. And some team members are more passionate than the rest. They strive hard to improve themselves. They analyse past questions; learn the cryptic crosswords etc. Very soon, after a couple of hunts, you’ll find that the strength in each team member is different. Some of them will excel; while some will become “excess baggage”. They are more a liability instead of an asset. So how does one deal with these excess baggage in a hunt?

    A common mistake is to start talking down to that member. We’ve all been in such a situation before. For better or for worse, that excess baggage is all that you’ve got at that moment. So “killing” that bugger is not gonna help at all. Well, OK, if you wanna kill him, do that after the hunt…. hehehehe.

    to be continued…

    Tolerant personality-mix, to me, maketh a strong team. The team requires a mix of stubbornness, openness and common sense.

    Knowledge is researchable – unless the questions are crafted in a manner that nobody can recognise the hidden “knowledge”.

    Experience can be accumulated.

    But personality? That’s “comes as-is”. When the members are able to understand and adapt to each other’s peculiarity – even at the most trying times during the hunt – then the synergy will work out.

    The moment distrust creeps into the fine fabrics of this mix – then it can dissolve the cohesiveness that is required for the team to solve clues, listen to each “angle thrown” and to work on each other’s input.

    It does not have to be ideal personalities – but each must have that capacity to tolerate and adapt to the situation instantly.

    That probably explains why seemingly strong leaders cannot form the most powerful always-winning team.

    The Machines are people who have differing personalities – but they gel together very well – each one knowing what is expected of the other. They probably have at least one more “secret” ingredient which everyone can only remain curious to know.

    I would not be too quick in judging whether someone in the team is an excess baggage or not.

    The impression, usually a wrong one, comes from the situation, the format of the hunt and sometimes luck.

    It could be that for that particular hunt – it was way too easy for the other 3 … and so the 4th appears “excess”. BTW, members can “take turns” to feel “excess”.

    It could be that the “baggage” was off form or has had no previous experience with a particular hunt format or COC-style.

    I have witnessed enough times where we had taken on a “passenger” and thought that no contribution will ever come of him/her … and then to be proven wrong again and again … often by just one amazing remark or comment at the most critical moment – that broke a clue that the team was struggling with for hours!

    At another time, it was a freak chance of a sharp observation (by chance?) that made the difference between 1st and 2nd prize!

    So, it is all relative … and I have learned to always reserve judgement – because I have always been proven wrong in one way or another.

    This is the No.1 killer of all teams. And why does it happen? Again, personality-mix. One will be the “i will just pretend I am not aware of it”. Another will be obsessed with it. Yet another will be a risk-taker. And the other will just – go with the “wind”.

    The panacea : discipline – absolute discipline! (BTW, it is easier said than done!)

    This one is tough. When unreasonableness flows into the team — it can break things up. The interest can go downhill. Fortunately, there is such a thing as a good sense of humour – often the key ingredient to damage-control or to quickly defuse the heat.

    But that will depend again on the personality-mix.
    Some will just not even feel the urge to be tickled.
    Another could be over-doing it and making everything appear trivial (annoying the parties in the process).

    Yet some will know the art of blending humour into the turmoil, making the grief appear laughable and recognisably “not so bad after all”.


    (self explanatory?) This is inescapable. I have yet to come across anyone who can tell me – I have never repeated a mistake! One can only pray that it happens at the least significant moment!

    This is an interesting reality show. To be quite honest, I have lost count which season it’s in now. I find it strange that we see more or less the same mistakes over and over again from these shows. And since some treasure hunts are fast becoming the “amazing race” thing, it makes sense to learn from watching THE AMAZING RACE (AR).

    When I looked at the racers in that reality show, I realised how strikingly similar those racers are with us hunters. And yes, so are their mistakes. As I have said before, history has a strange habit of repeating itself over and over again…

    I think most of us have gone through these moments once in a while during a hunt. When we see other teams zooming past us, we say, “oh no, we are behind. Look at them, they’re much faster than us! Oh we have to catch up…”

    We see from the AR how teams can “give up” or lose hope just because they’re convinced that they’re already in last place.

    Yes, of course we get to see this mistake over and over again. In the heat of the moment, team members “fight” with each other. All the game plans gone down the drain. They never learn. I bet if you put these teams through the same race again, they’d do exactly the same thing exactly the same way!

    3) THE RACE
    Well, at least the AR is correct about this. They do tell the racers that it’s all about racing to the finish line.

    But for treasure hunts, we are repeatedly reminded by the CoCs that “THIS IS NOT A RACE”. Well, isn’t it? ce5nt has acknowledged that TIME is the number one killer of all teams. As teams improved to more or less the same strength, quite often the winners are decided by the TIME factor. We don’t have to look very far. Recently, Mike’s team won a hunt. His team almost got full score too. I asked him where he dropped that 1 pt. He said he lost it through time penalty. And what’s even more suprising, he suspected a few other teams within the top winners all got perfect score as well — if not for the time penalty. Therefore, at least in this particular hunt, it was indeed a race. Time was THE decisive factor!

    So the next time the CoC tells you that “THIS IS NOT A RACE”, don’t pay too much attention to him, because the truth is that treasure hunt IS a race a lot of the time!

    Have you experienced a situation where during a hunt, you suddenly realised that you or a team mate made a mistake — one that might cost your team the entire hunt perhaps?

    There is this treasure clue — a picture — comprising 2 white cats. One is the mother cat, and the other is a kitten. The mother cat is biting the kitten at the back of its neck (mother cats do that all the time). The instruction with the clue is to get a treasure that “is most fitting” to that picture. There’s also a clue about “taking a break”. So we’re quite certain that it must be a KIT KAT.

    Since it’s “so easy”, we decided to send one member to buy the KIT KAT in a nearby store, while the rest of us can continue working on the other clues. Now I am not a big fan of KIT KAT, but I wondered WHY a picture of mother cat BITING the kitten? What’s the significance of that? They MUST be something there. So I told my team mate… get KIT KAT, but try to find anything about biting, chewing, licking, etc…

    And so he went off. When he came back, he said, “Nope, this is the only KIT KAT, take a break. The others are “white” version; and another is the “chocolate balls” version.”

    Then later, when on the way to the finish station, and checking all the answers, I happened to be on the phone with my sister talking about something else. And somehow got to talk about KIT KAT with mother cat biting her kitten. My sister said, “Oh! Koko! I know, I know!!… it must be the KIT KAT chocolate balls type with the word “BITES” on it, right?” Imagine my feeling then. My sister wasn’t a hunter to start with!

    to be continued…

    This one is the most heart-breaking. You know that there is something more to it … and yet absolute certainty is the order of the day. “I told you so” then becomes the phrase of the night!

    Learn to ignore other teams when hunting … it is always misleading why another team appears to be ahead or who is behind. You cannot tell if they have “skipped” a sector – for later.

    The positions change often after a few sectors.
    Concentrate on your own progress or you’ll hear “Why do we want to care?” once too often.

  22. (AR)RRRR!
    That’s not treasure hunting. Many of the strategies don’t apply unless you are in a TABE (tulipless) hunt!

  23. OF KIDNEY in A DINE?
    Hormonal disharmony – what can one do? It is only natural!

  24. If you ask me, nothing beats experience. It is definitely an advantage to know each COC’s likes and dislikes, style of questioning, tricks and to some extent preferences for certain treasures. Often it is these subtle differences that separates 2 equally good teams from a podium finish. So start paying attention!

  25. Agree team work is essential for solving bold and difficult questions. This is my opinion.

    Hunt questions can roughly be divided to knowledge type, wordplay type and language type. Of course there are more breakdowns. In normal questions, it will be only one dimensional, where a wordplay type is a wordplay type either it is anagram, initial or even DJ. This type of clues will not be so challenging to the master.

    Some bold question need the combination of more than one element (knowledge, wordplay, language), that is why it is bold, example BUILDING AND APARTMENT, in order for you to anagram you need to know CF(certificate of fitness), IRS (enginner’s) first.

    Most treasure questions are this kind,that is why it is quite difficult to solve treasure question alone, at least to myself.

    To solve this kind of question, you need the experience and what I call ‘maturity’ to know when to use wordplay, when to use knowledge. You can’t just be in one angle, anagram all the given clues, or finding the synonymn of all the given clues. Certain part you need technique A and certain part you need technique B. When to use technique A and when to use technique B, this is what I call the ‘maturity’.

    Being experience always attempting hunt questions, will make you have this ‘maturity’ to switch angle once stuck.

    Another way is by solving with team members that have different personalities, different view. If you are not experienced enough to have that ‘maturity’ to switch angle, then team members discussion will help you to switch the angle.

    In the recent test drive ce5nt virtual treasure, think that all the questions test this ‘maturity’ and it is true enough, can’t solve it independently myself.

    But all the 3 virtual treasures are solved, when we solved as a team, each member give their views, some are right angles, aome are wrong angles. So, teamwork will help to get more angles, and switch to the likely angle majority think is right instead of one loitering at the wrong angle, even part of the angle you get it right.

    To solve difficult question, you just need to switch the angle/perspective and of course you need a few angles/perspective for you to switch. Doing it as a team and the ability of the team members to understand each person personalities and strength and all small little things count.

    It is strange that some people want so much have all the glory of solving the questions unaided. So they’d keep whatever ideas they have to themselves and try to work it out in the hope of actually arriving at the solution in the end. And when he does get it, he can declare that he did it on his own!

    When I first assembled my team, two of my team members were like that. And it was so hard for them to resist the craving for glory in that way! I have to keep reminding them that there is no point of getting one or two answers on their own if the end result is that we don’t win anything! It took several hunts before they really began sharing their ideas in the car. And it was only then that we made progress as a team.

    A good example was February when we were in the DBKK Hunt. One of those treasures was about a “long story” which was meant to bring the hunters for a joy ride. There were many lines, most of them leading to a small town in Sabah known as TENOM. And then that is connected somehow with something “refreshing”. And immediately we thought of KOPI TENOM. After all, that town is famous for its coffee production. It was so convincing as the answer. So we bought the coffee.

    At first, because we were spending so much time on a question during the earlier part of the hunt, we were behind time. That signboard was of course located in another sector, so everyone got free points in the end.

    We had to rush through the rest of the hunt. Thankfully, the questions that day weren’t as tough. Then, more luck was on our side. Because I have been setting questions for a particular sector, I knew that sector very well. Three successive answers were already solved long before we reached that sector. And I also knew exactly where those answers were located! So in the end, we gained back on time substantially.

    But there’s one line that hinted to an anagram of Sabahan’s head together with that TENOM. Because we had a bit of time left, I was able to stop and said aloud,

    “What’s the story with that Sabahan’s head?”

    And that made the rest say, “TYT? Ketua Menteri?”.

    And I said, “Nah… not likely. Must be something shorter… even an initial… hey! how about the letter S?.. hmmm… S + TENOM =>…. refreshing… Ah, never mind lah… running out of time already”

    And then, just when we were about to give up. Suddenly, my team member exclaimed, “MENTOS!”

    And so we ended up within the top 10 that day…hmmm… if only we got that “bites” too…

    Yes, ckloh – the ability for the team to spot new angles and be able to switch thoughts – back and forth at different parts of the clues can be really helpful.

    This thought haunts those who have the urge to demonstrate their contribution explicitly when what the team needed was a loud/noisy thinker. Thinking aloud may just trigger a chain-reaction leading to solving the clue.

    On the other hand, when overdone – it becomes a disturbance of brain-waves – interrupting the others trying to work out a series of logics in their minds.

    Knowing when to “think aloud” and when to stay silent is an adaptive skill that comes with working together long enough and observing each member’s preferences.

    It helps for team members to voice out or drop clear hints as to what is preferred at a moment of team-think.

    Our team will re-visit the sectors where “we were beaten” – kind of “OFF THE BEATEN TRACK” adventure!
    And how we will start looking up dictionaries (several often) for the word that we missed during the hunt.

    And we also seek out the treasure “that lost it for us”, buy it and eat it all up! And it becomes a taboo word for a while!

  31. Was invited by Julie to attend a ‘hunt’ yesterday. She found it on The Sun, tanglung festival hunt etc start at Bandar Puteri, apart from hunts there are several activities mostly for kids.

    So, Julie, her friend and myself formed a team. I did called on Friday, the organisers told me there is no restriction for master participation and minimum 2 person and maximum 4 person per hunt team. Sounds fair. As usual, they can’t provide me the exact COC in charge, as all the events are in charge by another party.

    Although I suspect something fishy as it is Free Of Charge and no further details provided, but since it is published in the Sun, no harm trying. But somehow my glass is half empty.

    And it turn up to be a hunt by a single person, not 2 to 4 person as per the phone conversation, and 10 simple questions that all can found in the booth, mainly the questions are about what sponsor name for X, there are Y letters in Z, true or false and questions like that.

    So, basically the 10 questions are free questions, everyone can get. The winner will be decided in the 11 questions, how many sweets in the container.

    So, slightly dissapointed, just slightly as mentioned I have prepared it might turn up this way. I didn’t even bother to attend the prize giving after that, just took 5 minutes to fill up and submit the answer and left the place. Saw a few familiar faces too.

    So, the question now is the abuse of using the word ‘Treasure Hunt’. They should advertise this competition as ‘Guess the Sweets ompetition’. It is no diffferent from my opinion.

    Well of course the smarter way is if you not sure on the COC, don’t attend, but this is Ramadan, and the timing is just nice to my hectic schedule, it was on 5 pm, just right timing, and FOC some more. Have to take risk.

    I don’t blame the event management, perhaps they haven’t attend a single hunt, and have no idea what treasure hunt is all about, and have the knowledge that hunt is not naming the sponsors and counting the sweet.

    However, hunt that is advertised in the Sun, which massively support the sport, doesn’t it need some counter checking before advertising it? Just a few points to ponders for the Ramadan drought.

    That’s how anything that involves finding answers in a specific area – gets to be labelled TREASURE HUNT.
    Maybe it is time the “normal” Treasure Hunts get a new name? CLUES & SIGNS?

  33. Yeah.

    Or maybe it is time to have a centralised sports association for treasure hunt. Any sports have that including of sports like chess, Malaysia Chess Federation, who deals with tournaments and master list. Scrabble also have similar setup.

    And still don’t believe in the motor hunt industry, which the prize money reaches six figures per annum and some say touching seven figures, do not have a centralised body to governise it. If we have this body, then at least it will solve issues like master list, which hunt is treasure hunt clue type, and problem like STOFGA might not be arise.

    Any proper CLUES & SIGNS hunt will need to acknowledge the association of treasure hunting of Malaysia. Then in the advertisement it will mentioned certified by THAM(Treasure Hunt Association of Malaysia). SO, we will know which is a proper hunt.

    It is more professional this way, but of course it will create other concern mainly on business perspective. What if the association limits the hunt per month, only maximum 4 hunts allowed per month. Who will support the form of this body, if this body might seems as a treat on the business aspect of the sport? And who want to be in this body, no money from the government, as it is not Olympic Sports, where the funds come from?

    Just idea to ponder again.

  34. ckloh, would you like to be appointed the first president? For the past 10 years it has been all talk. Ripe time for someone to walk the talk!

  35. 2R1I. The president should be the person that are not working. have alot of time to kill. Maybe, some of the retired Datuks or businessmen.

    They will love this job in this association and won’t leave the post, just like our Football Asociation of Malaysia.

    Myself, no chance.

    Don’t think the association, if ever formed, will be formed by hunters and COCs. Unless someone in the Ministry see the importance of it and form it to promote culture or even tourism, which I doubt.

    At the very least, just a wishful thinking, if all the major COCs, talk to each other, have the standard master list, have a calendar where major hunts don’t clash, and also control of charting the hunts to a particular destinations like Malacca more than 3 times in a month, maybe we don’t really need one.

    Don’t forget they might be some negative impacts if treasure hunts suddenly controlled by a body. How much power this body should have? Too little it means it is nothing more than useless. Too much, well there might be negatives that most COC and hunters won’t like.

  36. My opinion is in order the treasure hunt to reach sports level, more professionalism, classifications by a neutral body need to be done.


    Just like other sports, classification of
    a) tournaments/competition
    – major one called grand slam, then there are 2 star, 3 star tournament, satelite and etc. This is to ensure the major one, don’t clash and the a proper hunt calendar is generated with consideration of spreading the hunts throroughly to benefit more COCs and hunters. The body for example, determine 4 grand slams in a calendar year, and 25 Class A open treasure hunts, and maybe additional 25 Class B hunt competition, and there are Class C too for novices. So, they need to review the papers submitted by COC, and determine which one qualified as major, Class A, Class B, Class C base on the COC reputations, sponsors reputations, prizes and etc. And higher rated competitions offer more points on the ranking list. And all the competition of the same Class will not be held on the same weekend, should be segregated.

    b) COC
    – some established one, will be classified as Level A, those newer one will be C for example, they will work their way up. Something like football, you need the licence by FIFA in order for you to manage a club, not anybody just can walk in and manage it. This is to ensure quality of hunt chartered.

    c) players
    – categorisation of hunters mean to be for good reason, not that we want to differentiate who is better and who is not. As like any sports competition, the rankings is for fairer competition of all, those that rank higher will be seeded, and will not meet seeded player too soon.

    So, any sport which works towards more professionalism handling, have this classification activities by a neutral and respected body.

    In trasure hunt context, who is the body?
    Hunter? COC? External Party?

    Hunters are not likely to be interested on doing this. What they can gain? Whilst it is fair for hunters to classify tournament and COC, surely hunters are not in position to rank themselves. And also some hunters are COC, how they can rank a COC, which might be themselves?

    COC also should not be in the body obviously. If not, the COC in the body will ranks all its competition as 5 star competition.

    So, hunters and COC should not be in the Federation just like other sports to guarantee fair play. But without hunters and COC, who is the external party that will initiate it?

    Even if we can find one external party, a retired politician for example to man the federation, just like most sports federation of Malaysia, without hunters and COCs help, how the body can be fuctioned accordingly?

    And even they are loaded and free, who in the right frame of mind, will want to be in all the hassles to classifies/ranks all the hunters in Malaysia, keep track of registration and grading of all COCs in Malaysia and to classify and monitors hundreds of hunts (open/closed/unofficial) in Malaysia in a year.

    What they get from doing this?

    SO, you see the problem, everyone including myself, shouts for more structured ways of handling hunts in Malaysia. But who want to be in charge in doing this? So, it remains for anothe 10 years, it is likely it remains just a wish list.

  37. A couple of months ago, I was in KL for the supposed STFOGA Hunt. Unfortunately, it was postponed a few days before the date of the hunt. I ended up hunting in the Bloggers’ Hunt instead. On that fateful day, I met some new friends. They ranged from master hunters to those what we might call within the “chasing pack”.

    During one of those conversations I had with those hunters, I remember talking to master ce5nt about treasure hunts. In particular, he raised the question: whether treasure hunts are a game or sport. Well, I never did think about that question before that.

    Master ce5nt had an interesting view on the subject. He said a treasure hunt is a game when it is not competitive — when it is for the fun of it only. Such was the case, I guess, with the Bloggers’ Hunt. However, according to him, a treasure hunt is a sport when it is competitive — play to win!

    A similar question was also raised in the game of chess. In fact, I don’t know if there’s been any conclusion if chess is a game or a sport.

    I think treasure hunt, as is chess, is both a game and a sport, merged together as one. I do not propose to draw the line separating the two categories, simply because I think it is impossible to do so. Moreover, I’m inclined to believe that different people view treasure hunts differently. Therefore different people treat treasure hunts differently in terms of whether they are more of a GAME than a SPORT, and vice versa.

    In one of my grandfather stories through emails with claire, I noticed that she treated treasure hunts as something challenging, but if I understood her correctly, she’s in it mainly for the fun and challenge of it. Some people are in it to win, and only to win! They’d become agitated and upset when they lose; or even think that they are losing. The annoyance is even more when they think that the loss is caused by a team member. Well, I want to win too, but I am like claire — I am in it more for the fun and challenge of the game.

    Last July I went to KL to hunt. In the end I won that hunt. But the prize was hardly enough to cover the cost anyway. I knew that would have been the case even before I signed up for the hunt. Winning and prize money would be nice, of course. In the end, I view treasure hunts as both a game and a sport; but more a game than a sport. I might change my view some day, I don’t know.

    to be continued…

    The classifications propounded by ckloh is unrealistic, to say the least! Treasure hunts are not governed by any fixed sets of rules and regulations — at least not in Malaysia. And I don’t think they ever will be.

    I read with interst the evolution of treasure hunts in Malaysia from the good old days when hunters were required to count lamp post etc. Over the years the nature of the questions have changed substantially. A lot of tricks have been introduced, e.g. anagrams, containers, reversals etc. Then, later, yet more tricks have been introduced, e.g. double jeopardy etc. This recently, we see some interesting ideas here in this very blog, e.g. the “laroma” by renroc; and the “DIVA’S”. I expect more ideas will come in due course.

    So which format is the universally accepted “true” treasure hunt? I’d like to suggest that treasure hunts should be purely route questions and treasure questions. But, really, how many such hunts do we get these days? They don’t really sell, you see.

    So we have a lot of “tasks” or “challenges”. We all know about them: coconut bowling, dart throwing, speed SMS, popiah ingredient challenge — you name it, it can be anything at all! The sky is the limit! In fact, I dare say the element of surprise is almost an integral part of treasure hunts these days. There is just no way we can all agree on a classification of hunt — at least not that Class A and Class B suggested above.

    Just what exactly makes a good CoC; one who deserves a “Level A”? Is he one who gives more challenges? Or one who gives more questions? I don’t believe that “some established ones” should automatically get the so-called “Level A”.

    In my opinion, the art of cryptic clueing is NOT entirely acquired. Some are from the “inside”… people are born with it. Some people are imaginative and creative by nature. They may come up with questions/clues that the “established” CoCs can only dream of conjuring up. Just because someone is clerking a hunt for the first time, it doesn’t mean that he is less competent. ckloh himself commended CoC Shirley for a job very well done.

    In the end, the “market” will decide — not any governing body! I bet no amount of recommendation or licence from a regulatory body will convince hunters to trust CoC Ernie Jumayla.

    to be continued…

    If this is possible at all, I don’t think it serves much purpose. We have all seen how some “new” hunters can outdo those so-called season hunters found in the TOS “master” list. We’ve all read ce5nt’s comment where hunters can fall for the time management blunders over and over again — that we just never learn!

    Furthermore, treasure hunting is not about individual players. Quite often it is about teams comprising 4 people. Yes, of course some times — very rarely — teams may also comprise 2 persons only. Some teams may have hunted for years and never really hit the podium.

    Treasure hunting is about the combination of 4 brains complementing each other; and time management; and luck; and general knowledge; and lateral thinking; and experience, and so many other elements. That’s why we see some “new” teams reaching the podiums occasionally by beating the so-called masters.

    Nowadays, most open hunts are designed in such a way that the gaps between the masters and newbies are getting narrower. Most of the questions are not too harsh, and achievable by the newbies as well. Of course there are some questions which are tough — very tough! But such questions are hard to crack, even for the masters. And then in some cases, it’s because of trying too hard to solve those tough questions that the masters eventually get into time trouble!

    On the other hand, separating the “masters” and the “novice” can also give rise to more injustice amongst the hunters. Masters can end up in the novice category; and novice can end up in the masters category. Like I said, it’s a team effort. The ranking is on individual basis…. strange.

    So let us suppose for a minute, that I have never hunted before. But an elite team is kind enough to give me a seat for several hunts. And I am hardly able to contribute anything during these hunts. But that elite team keep winning anyway. Will I become a master after that few hunts? Does it make any difference if I was only able to (perhaps because of luck) crack ONE tough question, and it’s that one question that won the hunt? Would I THEN deserve to be a master?

    to be continued…

    ckoh and julie knocks it right for Q9 and Q4 respectively. Julie also hits Q6 correctly.

    And safe places to learn to be streetwise would the home and places like the kindi and school. Learn to let go at the right time and right places … not in open public places – that can wait until the wisdom of the street is more understood .. the child will show it when probably taught.

  42. Exactly, ckoh. That is why for the past 10 years, most of the hunters managed to spot it, and some think that more professional/systematic control is needed, yet nothing progress as pointed by 2R.

    To me, it is all due to most reasons pointed by you. Whether it is right to classify, if yes, can ever any right classification method/formula derived and agree by all? It is just too subjective to do this and sensitive too, so it is difficult. And no one can come out and say this is the right way of doing it, because there is no right way, everyone have their own thought.

    Yet we ask again, although all the hassles, why still alot of people mentioned that a more professional body, association of treasure hunt for Malaysia hunters need to be formed? From my understanding there are three main reasons,

    1) to ensure treasure hunts calendar is in order, popular hunts don’t clash. And also it is in balance, not some months have 2 hunts in a month and some months have 16 in a month, and also not going to the same destination over and over again in the same month. for people that hunts regularly minimum 20 hunts per annum, a well-planned/balanced calendar is neceassary.

    2) consumers/hunters have the right to know what is in store expected from the hunt and what they paid for. advertisement can just mention anything, but a body or centre to rate the accuracy of the information provided. something like guaranteed by SIRIM.

    3) minority will want this, those that advertised as novice hunt should be for novice only. they want some tournament just for their level, maybe as an encouragement or at least to measure their progress. teams that always finish below the top 20 in an open hunt, do not see any measurement as there are not in the winners list.

    All the above 3 items will most probably in place for any sports/games that have association.

    This above 3 points are mainly highlighted over and over again. And most will agree it is the right direction for treasure hunt, either you view it as a fun game or sport.

    Yet when people mention about classficiation, the same people that agree the above 3 points are necessaries, not agreeing that classification is right, not in Malaysia.

    Nobody like to be classified, it is too subjective, different ruling and criteria, will see different rankings. Who is going to decide the ruling and criteria? Is there such thing like fair classification?

    For item 1, to have an ideal hunt calendars without someone classify the competition, where only one hunt vacancy for the specific date, but three applications, how it can be done?

    For item 2, to have a better awareness of what the COC can provides, without somebody sitting together and give rating to all the possible COC, how it can be done?

    For item 3, without someone think of a good point ranking and have the corporation of COCs to provide the data, how it is possible to ensure novice hunt will be opened for novice only?

    We don’t like to classify and to be classified and as mentioned by ckoh we don’t really able to classify yet we expect treasure hunts generally to be organised in a more professional ways where only neutral classifications by a neutral body will make this possible?

    This is the dilemma in the hunt scene. Do we think treasure hunt as a sport perspective, where it should be developed like a sport? Even game like scrabble have evolved and controlled in a more systematic ways, compare to hunt. At least, you login to their association site, they will have pages to tell you which competition in which date for the whole year, and the latest ranking list.

    Or we just treat this as a fun game, but we have to accept the fact this is just a fun game, so whenever any COC introduce some ridiculous format or challenge, just stick to the rules, no complain, anyway, it is just another fun game. Why highlighted it is not right, in one hand we tell ourself it is just for fun, but on other hand we think this is not the right thing for the hunt generally and open a debate every pre and post hunt?

    Something to ponder again.

    FYI, I will not login for the next few days, only on the weekends we will have some discussion again.

  43. ckoh: Made all your travel plans? Do check your emails for latest from KK … he has some offers! Ask him!

  44. ce5nt,

    Yes, travel plans made! Hunting madness! Looks like no choice but to incur that surcharge after all. Am making changes to arrive on 16th instead of 17th.

    Dunno much about the MAH. Hope it’s not mainly about coconut bowling. I suck at games, really. But then again, that is almost everyone’s favourite line I guess. Will be writing to KK as soon as I get the latest flight info. I am an idiot when it comes to internet matters, you see. I get my staff to do it for me!

    Let’s see if the thrills of the back2back hunts will make you stay on for the rest of the month! Don’t bet against it!

  46. Yeah, that’s wishful thinking, ce5nt. I’ve got over 50 employees depending on me. If I screwed up, a lot of people will be jobless. As crazy as I am in treasure hunt, I am not THAT crazy… at least not yet!… hehehe.

    Surely your boys and girls have heard of overseas assignment! On business? Expansion programs?

  48. Yeah sure, some expansion programs!!…hehehe. If I’m not careful, I might just let myself be influenced by you naughty people!

    I remember local champ was suggesting to me another step further — to charge my hunting trips to KL to the company… oh how convenient! Well, if you let me do a big-enough job for you to justify my claiming from the company, then I might just do so! If you have a 5-star hotel or something similar to value, then I’m sure I can claim from the company for my trips…hehehe.

    And my ‘boys and girls’ don’t really mind my being away for an extended period. But I bet they’ll make sure that I sign their salary cheques first before I leave!

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