Sunday, November 1, 2009


PETALING JAYA 25 Oct 2009: Same hunt and same score but a different year and a different result! We had a perfect score during the Lexis Nexis-KL Bar hunt in 2008 and narrowly won the hunt. This year we again scored perfect but instead ended up with the shortest stick, finishing in fourth position.

This year there was logjam at the top of the leaderboard, and time was required to break the tie. 4 teams finished the hunt with a perfect score of 125 points and a team anchored by two newly installed Masters finished tops as they were deemed to have utilised the least amount of time. For the neutrals, it was refreshing to see a different team finishing on top. For us, oh well, it is better that the black cat had choosen to cross our path this week rather than during the biggie on 8 Nov 2009 (Lightning does not strike twice, they say).

For those who were watching from the sidelines, it does raise the question whether Time Out Solutions (TOS) is getting too predictable. Yes, many may be familiar with the TOS style. This is not too surprising as TOS does organize similar events week in and week out. But are they overly predictable? Definitely not so. Complacent maybe, but definitely not predictable.

Let's take one of the questions from this week's hunt for example. Grammatically this may not have been one of TOS's better questions. However it did introduce a rather neat trick. This question contained a rare double set (of cryptic clues).

Q17: It's said to first let, a bad wound stop.
Ans: 2L

There were fewer than two dozen signages to select from in this sector (solving the other easier question had helped to chop the sector). Hence it should not have taken the regular teams more than a few minutes to arrive at 2L (to sounds like 2 and first let = L) from the first part of the compilation. However most would not have been satisfied with 2L for at first glance it did not appear to satisfy "a bad wound stop". Had TOS not been complacent, they could have easily created a red-herring which would have made the perfect decoy in this situation. But because there was no decoy, a few teams including ours (who had not solved the question as intended) went for 2L in hope (as the best-guess) and ended up getting the points.

The solution to the second part of the compilation required 'wound stop' be anagrammed into two pounds which could then be linked to 2L (with bad being the anagram key).

In this day and age where one no longer has to patiently sit through the commercial breaks (since remote controls are the norm accompaniment for the home televesion), I thought it was rather devillish for the CoC to test one's observation of a commercial. It had been done before but it has been a while. Naughty but nice!

T1: Last minute brain storming needed for this treasure,
A healthy drink rich in vitamins for some kids' pleasure,
A Bollywood styled promotion should come to mind,
Submit one in any pack and just reward you will find.
Ans: A packet of Ribena (any variety)

25 Oct - Lexis Nexis-KL Bar Hunt
(Maximum possible score: 125 pts)

1st: Tan Chee Chiew, Tan Tsiau Way, Lau Kuan Cheng, Lim Woan Ning (125)
2nd: Christopher Foo, Adrian Wong, Michael Pang, Toh Weng Ngai
3rd: Sin Yoong Leong, David Tan, Cheok Wye Leong, Claire Chin (125)
4th: Chai Koh Khai, Chong Voon Kiat, Margaret Sha, Woo Ee Wen (125)
5th: Alexander Hoh, Andre Teh, Rosemawarni Abd Rahman, Mohd Shahrin (122)
6th: Tan Eng Siang, Ong Kheng Heng, Diana Fong + 1 more (122)
7th: Muhammad Razif, Darmataksiah Abai, Gary Guna Sager, Hanna Hamizah (119)
8th: Tan Chai Toong, Julie Tan, Goh Teck Koon, Sam Rahman (119)
9th: Goh Leep Sean, Chin Kar Ping, Yeoh Ban Lye, Liong Chian Min (119)
9th: Ramesh Rajaratnam, Liew Kok Seng, Lim Kong Yew, Jamie Ng (119)
11th: Johan Salul, Dr Ben Lau, Teoh Cheow Teong, Lily Loh (117)
12th: Steven Arockiaraj, Sanjay Abdullah, Rahmah Othman, Sumita Devadas (113)
13th: Venkateswaran, Buvanes, Kumar, Florence Teng (113)
14th: Yeap Heng Boon, Pavananthan, Ho Mun Yee, Shandra Dass (113)


Cornelius said...

Q) It's said to first let, a bad wound stop.

A) 2L

I'm OK with the first part of the clue. It seems satisfactory.

Regarding the second part, i.e. "a bad wound stop", perhaps the whole clue would have been better without this second part.

I can accept "bad" as the anagram indicator. And so I can accept "wound stop" transforming into "two pounds". But can we accept equating "two pounds" to "2L"?


Cancelling off the "TWO" and "2", we are left with:


Did the CoC explain this final equation?

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

I suspect he was referring to the British pound symbol, L.

Cornelius said...

Oh! I have debated this very issue with a friend some time ago!

It's true that the pound sterling symbol was originally derived from the letter L (standing for Libra), but the sign has always been written with a single (sometimes double) horizontal line(s) in the middle - not just plain L.

I am not aware of the pound sterling symbol written as "L" historically, or in modern ages. Perhaps some of your British readers could enlighten us on this issue.

As far as I am concerned (but please correct me if I'm wrong), "2L" is not "two pounds", whether that "pounds" is referring to the sterling or the weight unit (lbs).

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

The Webster allows for the Pound to be abbreviated to the letter L, since it was originally derived from L (although now it is more commonly written in a different font).

Actually, I am ok with this equation (since the abbreviation is an acceptable one). Just needed some second level thinking, like how some CoCs requires one to anagram not the given word but a synonym of it. Besides, it is well backed by another line of cryptic clue.

Cornelius said...

I'm not living up to my reputation of being a stubborn man if I just agree to the Webster.

"L", when written like that, i.e. as the letter of the alphabet, is not Pound (sterling), the currency unit. I shall not write "two pounds" as "2L" nor "L2" when referring to the British money, no matter what Webster says.

I shall never apply "L = Pound" in my own hunt questions. However, it is good that I learn this now, as I may have to use this knowledge to solve questions by other CoCs in the future.

Thanks for the explanation and Webster reference, 2R1I.