Sunday, June 21, 2009


PULAI 30 May 09: Some things are just not meant to be ......

Spain is still chasing their first World Cup trophy despite being the most successful nation in European club football with Real Madrid and Barcelona having won a combined total of 12 UEFA Champions League titles. Pete Sampras never won the French Open despite having won a record 14 major titles. Colin Montgomerie is well-known as one of the best golfers never to have won a major championship. I am not saying that Hunters R Us is in the same class as these distinguished teams or individuals. What I am saying is that perhaps, some things are just not meant to be - that we are destined perhaps not to include the Kiwanis title to our collection.

With Chong Foo Seong having announced his retirement in 2008, the duo of Toh Wei Ming and Chen Thiam Leong (aka Mr Crack-a-Pot) graciously took over the baton for this year's edition.

The co-CoC of the 26th Kiwanis Hunt, Toh Wei Ming with Selina Yong

And in accordance with the theme, the 26th edition of the Kiwanis Treasure Hunt will be best remembered as the one that introduced a few radical changes to the hunt format. Out the door went the Challenges (Games). The 1 pointers (toughies) too were side-lined. Plus, the treasures were downgraded while the Crack-a-Pots were upgraded, in weightage. The biggest positive change of them all, I felt, was the decision to replace the cryptic complications associated to yesteryear Kiwanis hunts with simpler twists involving general knowledge, making the hunt a much more enjoyable outing for most (but no less challenging). With an added aura of unpredictability, I somewhat enjoyed the experience of participating in this year's hunt.

I must applaud both the CoCs too, for their ingenuity in crafting new twists like this one:

Q11: Outfit of Ragiaconda?
Ans: Monarisa Furniture.

Knowing the answer, it is easier to discern the craftsmen's intentions. Here, a famous name (in the question) was purposefully mis-spelled to coincide with the "mis-spelling" on the signboard. Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's famous 16th century master piece, was also known as La Giaconda.

Having said that, in my opinion, some things not broken, perhaps would be better off not being fixed. For example, replacing this year, the traditional and elegant sit-down dinner with a simple buffet would have upset quite a few regular supporters of this event. Even the lively opening gambits of the previous prize giving dinners went missing, being replaced by a simple movie clip and pre-dinner workout.

Another Malaysia Boleh activity - contender for the largest massage parlour perhaps?

We weren't a contender in this year's event. No excuse - we were plainly just not good enough on the day. We had difficulty reading the style of both CoCs early on. Those that we did not get, we spent a lot of time. Some of those we got, we too spent a lot of time. In the end, we plainly just ran out of time - dropping three (fairly easy) out of eight questions in the finishing stretch. We all agreed that our mate Vincent's contribution was sorely missed in this hunt.

And once again, the Crack-a-Pots proved to be the Achilles Heel for the Hunters R Us.

Crack-A-Pot #31/2009

Clue: Climate change linked to frogs & poms
5 = (15) = U = 258
86 = 30 = U = 303

Ans: FCUK (French Connection United Kingdom)

Definitely the easier of the two, this puzzle is not difficult once the temperature relationship (Farenheit - Celsius - Kelvin) in the equation is established. On hindsight, had we paid some attention to this puzzle, we too could have solved it.

Crack-A-Pot #32/2009

Clue: UNraveL MALETT to play BBClaser

Ans: Quixotry

For the second puzzle, an unforced error by the setter spoiled an otherwise masterpiece. And the error, unfortunately, caused my team three precious points as we had solved the puzzle as intended but did not write down the answer as it appeared to be gibberish (because of the error). Margaret saw the connection to Mattel and Scrabble very early in the hunt. And after some brainstorming, we quickly established the connection of the points of each scrabble tile with the position of each letter on the message. Following this logic will lead you to "OQNEXATR" or "QUIXOTRY" (if one were to ignore the second "O" of MOSQUITO). And what is "Quixotry", you ask? The word which means "a rash and impractical act" is the current all-time record for a single play in an official scrabble event with a rare triple-triple score that compiled a mammoth 365 points.

The Hunters R Us with Cornelius Koh from Kota Kinabalu

Once again the team to beat: the quartet of Alexander Hoh, Darmataksiah Abai and Muhammad Razif (with Andre Teh absent)

26th Kiwanis Treasure Hunt Results:
(Maximum possible score: 130)

1st: Alexander Hoh, Andre Teh, Muhammad Razif, Darmataksiah Abai (117)
2nd: Tan Chai Toong, Claire Chin, Julie Tan, Goh Teck Koon (111)
3rd: Dominic Roche, Carol Roche, Jonie Lim, Lim Soo Khian (109)
4th: Peh Kok Hun, Teh Boon Kai, Sam Rahman (103)
5th: Ramesh Rajaratnam, Liew Kok Seng, Chong Foo Seong, Lim Kong Yew (102)
6th: Chai Koh Khai, Margaret Sha, Cornelius Koh, Chong Voon Kiat (102)
7th: Pavananthan K, Shandra Dass, Usha Viswanathen, Kumaran Nagapa (96)
8th: Tan Eng Siang, Kong Siau Ching, Ong Kheng Heng, Wong Sze Lynn (96)
9th: Lim Kim Meng, Jeffrey Wong, Viki Lim, Richard Tan (87)
10th: David Tan, Elaine Cheong, Cheow Wye Leong, Sin Yoong Leong (87)


teohct said...

I thought Spain won the last Football World Cup unless its a World Cup for something else?

renroc said...

It was football - but Euro 2008, not the World Cup :) said...

I stand corrected. Thanks