Monday, April 20, 2009


KLANG 19 Apr 09: Thirty-seven teams turned up in support of the Hospice Klang Charity Hunt today. Charitable reasons including, the event deserved a lot of superlatives. Everything from the time of flag-off to the prize presentation dinner was very well organized by the hunt committee in collaboration with a very experienced TAB Events team.

Shortly past 8 in the morning, and with a cup of Starbucks coffee for that extra morning boost, hunters embarked on a 28 km hunt around the city of Klang in search of answers to 30 questions. A mid-point control was added to keep the hunters on their toes (with regards to time). Time given was four and a half hours, sufficient but certainly not extravagant, given the busy breakfast hour traffic.

The questions were standard TABE fare - easy to comprehend, which makes their hunts enjoyable to many, especially the hunt novices. Absent from today's hunt was their signature TAB Event. Call it nostalgia, but I do miss its presence which occassionally is a creative breath of fresh air. And there have been some good TAB Events designed in past hunts that still ring fresh in my mind.

However, I was attracted to two questions from the hunt for the wrong reasons, in which I felt the CoC had unwittingly dabbled with fire. And my concerns were proven right, when they were challenged into accepting an alternative answer for one of the two.

Q5: Michelle and Bo teams with Hillary as a start to form this business.
Ans: HLD Electrical Trading

Concern: There must be billions of people in this world, famous or otherwise, having these names. And without a secondary clue, an acrostic play (as intended) can lead to many possibilities, limited only by the number of signs on the street.

Q12: Don't take away and fugitive comes out.
Ans: Klinik SL Ma.

Concern: There must be millions of fugitives in this world, famous or otherwise. And without a secondary clue, insertion and anagram plays (as intended) can again lead to many possibilities, limited only by the number of signs on the street.

When setting questions that involve names of people (especially first names), I see a necessity to tighten the question to make it an exclusive fit by employing one of the following methods (there may be more) to avoid opening a can of worms:

a) By including a secondary clue to provide further descriptions about the person, in addition to the cryptic clue.

Q: An inventor who is done inventing?
Ans: Edison.

b) By including a secondary clue-the last name of the person whose first name is to be deciphered in the cryptic clue or vice-versa.

Q: No side? Come back, Thomas.
Ans: Edison.

c) By including a secondary clue to point to secondary words on the sign, in addition to the cryptic clue.

Q: Sounds like Ed is on vacation.
Ans: Edison Holiday & Tours

L-R: Hospice Klang Chairman, Chong Foo Seong, Liew Kok Seng, Ramesh Rajaratnam, Lim Kong Yew

Hospice Klang Charity Hunt
(Full score 170 pts)

1st: Ramesh Rajaratnam, Liew Kok Seng, Lim Kong Yew, Chong Foo Seong (160)
2nd: Wong Chiang Chuen, Julie Tan, Claire Chin, Goh Teck Koon (160)
3rd: Chai Koh Khai, Margaret Sha, Chong Voon Kiat (155)
4th: Jeffrey Wong, Viki Lim, Lim Kim Meng, Richard Tan (155)
5th: Gary Gunasegar, Muhammad Razif, Dharmataksiah Abai (155)
6th: Tan Eng Siang, Kong Siau Ching, Jasmine Hoi, Wong Sze Lynn (150)
7th: Song Wee Kiat, Fong Chun Kit, Ng Saw Leng, Peter Tan (145)
8th: Lim Seng Fook, Mok Chek Foong, Mok Chiet Shiew, Lee Ai Ling (145)
9th: Steven Arokiaraj, Sanjay Abdullah, Rahmah Othman, Sumita Devadas (145)
10th: Pavananthan, Shandra Dass, Loh Chee Kwan, Tommy Ng (140)


Cornelius said...

Not that I am a big fan of including names in my hunt Qs, but I can easily agree with your comment. There must be millions of people with those names. There is a need to narrow down the scope of search, both for the purpose of being fair to the solvers, but also to protect the setter.

Although I don't enjoy using names in my Qs, for the sake of variety, I sometimes force myself to conjure up one or two of such Qs anyway:

Q) Verbal instruction to assassinate Rogers.There must be many, many people named Rogers in this world. I'm sure if one were to google up "Rogers" he can find a lot of hits. It follows therefore that the significant part of the Q lies in the rest of the words. In this particular case, it's "Verbal instruction to assassinate..." which tells the solver that he's dealing with a "sounds like" clue. When he finds something on the signboard which can satisfy that part of the Q, he then uses the remaining portion to confirm "Rogers".

A) KILKENNY @ SHAMROCKBut just out of curiosity, what was the accepted alternative answer to the Q that you've quoted, and what was the explanation for it?

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Cornelius, yes, your Rogers question is another good example for category (c) - ie. including a secondary clue to point to secondary words on the sign.

RHB was the alternative answer accepted by the CoC for Q5.

R(obinson): Michelle Obama nee Robinson