Sunday, March 8, 2009


A reader of this blog brought up this topic for discussion a few days before The Hunters Challenge 2009.

When I first started hunting, words like "local" and "our" (as in in our national language) were the fad, used by CoCs during my time to clue to an English - BM translation. The more deceptive setters then went one step further by using words like "native" and "Malaysian" to represent the same.

However, I noticed that the trend amongst CoCs in the present times is to completely omit the use of any keywords for this purpose. While this practice is not unjust in my opinion, (since Treasure Hunters are expected to think in the context of at least the 2 main languages anyway) there are still a sprinkling of CoCs (like myself) who continue to employ these keywords deceivingly to mislead unsuspecting hunters. Be on guard at all times!

Let's look at this example that I had crafted in a past hunt.

Q: Our Exchange in turmoil?
I mischeviously dabbled with current affairs to add to the deception. It is common knowledge that Bursa Malaysia has had a rocky year, with the KLCI composite index having shed 40+% since its peak in Jan 2008, plummeting from a high of 1524 points. The end result, a number of unsuspecting hunters were misled into searching for Bursa (or KLSE) or its anagram variant (anagram pointer = in turmoil).

I actually intended for "Our" to clue to a BM translation of Exchange ie Ganti. And anagramming (anagram pointer = in turmoil) this will yield Giant.

Ans: Pasar Raya Besar Giant.


Cornelius Koh said...

I've had some hunters who complained about the omission of the translation indicators in my questions.

I must admit that I haven't been consistent when it comes to translation indicators. I sometimes give clear instructions to the hunters that my questions involve the translation process.

An example from my past hunt:

Q) Iklan hanya boleh memberikan jawapannya setelah diterjemahkan


But at other times, I give no clue whatsoever of the translation requirement. I have 2 reasons for this. Firstly, during the hunt briefing, I always make it a point to remind the hunters to think in English and Malay. So they will need to remind themselves to translate to and fro between these two languages. So in my opinion, I have been fair. Secondly, I've noticed that many hunters, especially those with some hunting experience, are not really troubled by the omission of the translation indicators.

That said, I still throw in translation indicators every now and then to satisfy the "easier questions" requirement to account for the new hunters in the field.

The missing indicator is not limited to the translation process only. I have also seen the omission of homophone (sounds like) indicators too. For example, I've seen questions where hunters were expected to equate "C" to CEE or "D" to DEE or "B" to BEE etc, without the need for the homophone (sounds like) indicators. And this practice is what I'm somewhat reluctant to import into my own questions, whether or not there're new/elite hunters in my hunt. I feel that it is unfair to expect the hunters to keep guessing if they have to think of other words which sounds like those found in my questions. Besides, if I open the door to the liberal use of alternative words which may sound like the words in my questions, the hunters may come up with an unlimited range of possible answers which I can't reject.

The missing indicator has been further expanded to the reversals as well. I myself experimented with it in my second hunt over 2 years ago:



But later on, master renroc, also introduced it in the RiddleRaiders Blog, although he went one step further by combining a "patern-recognition" element into his question:

Q) Laroma split


Where "Laroma" is split into two words, i.e. "Laro" and "ma". LARO is reverse of ORAL, therefore LARO is equated to NASIL (reverse of LISAN).

Although I myself had omitted the reversal indicator in the "TOTO" question above, I thought that particular question was still fairly "easy" to solve, and indeed it was well answered by even the new hunters. However, I don't really like it when it was used in the style of the "NASI LEMAK" approach above.

On the whole, as we move the standards of hunt questions higher and higher, I think we, as CoCs, should not loose sight of the new hunters. We don't want the modern hunts to become unreachable by new comers.

I feel we should all try to be creative and imaginative in new ideas to keep the questions both fresh and entertaining to the elite hunters, but at the same time leave some room for the new comers to enter into the sport.

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Cornelius, thank you for sharing.

By pointing out these non-standardized practices, hopefully our readers will be extra vigilant during hunts.

Cornelius Koh said...


I must hasten to make an amendment to my comment above. Perhaps I kinda rushed with my examples.

Regarding the homophone (sounds like) examples that I have quoted, those are not really accurate. The equation of C = CEE and D = DEE are not based on the sounds like process, but rather they are based on the spelling of those characters/letters. It's something like equating 5 = FIVE; or V = FIVE (as Roman numeral). So in that case, they should be acceptable in hunt and cryptic questions.

To quote an alternative example, Time Out Solutions, during the briefing of the recent KK City Hunt, gave an interesting riddle:

R E _ N D E E R

And that line was supposed to read:


Meaning to say that the REINDEER has no (letter) "i" in it. Thus, NO-"i" DEER. But when spoken, it sounds like NO IDEA.

I didn't like the connection of "NO-"i" DEER" to "NO IDEA" without the inclusion of the sounds like indicator.