Tuesday, April 27, 2010


KUANTAN, 24 Apr 2010: YS delivered on his pre-hunt promise that the hunt is "not so simple that we will have numerous ties for first place". A not so bold promise, come to think of it, considering the fact that he does have a few weapons up his sleeve.

Some CoCs I know tend to include some form of insurance against perfect scores to preserve their egos. YS's insurance is almost certainly his trademark Road Safety questions. Being a regular columnist for theSun and Autoworld to name a few and coming from a rally-driving background, his knowledge of cars and driving techniques is beyond question. Though the manner in which he phrases his Road Safety questions can sometimes drive hunters up the wall.

His other insurance is in his picture questions which most of the time can be a challenge to Google unless one has some inkling of what to Google for.

Q14: What and where?
Ans: TD 2000 @ Proton

As a third insurance in this hunt, he defied the old school of thought by picking a sign that was located within a round-a-bout @ Temerloh and considered that area to be still within sector. Doing so perhaps was his fail-safe approach to ensure that his pre-hunt promise would be honoured.

Q18: Local cat perhaps suspicious?
Ans: Temerloh - Bandar Ikan Patin

The Old School: We were taught that the sector ends prior to entering the round-a-bout.

YS's School: Sector ends only upon exiting from the round-a-bout.

More than one of the "Bandar Ikan Patin" signs could be seen circling the round-a-bout.

Hospis Malaysia Charity Treasure Hunt
(Maximum possible score: 100)

1st: Danial Aliff Chan, Aravindan Nair, Sashi Nair, Aznita Rusli (97)
2nd: Chai Koh Khai, Alexander Hoh, Margaret Sha, Chong Voon Kiat (96)
3rd: Lee Ling Fei, Claire Chin, Julie Tan, Goh Teck Koon (87)
4th: Yeap Heng Boon, Pavananthan, Shandra Dass, Teoh Cheow Teong (86)
5th: Peh Kok Hun, Loh Chee Kwan, Tommy Ng, Lim Say Chye (82)
6th: Ramesh Rajaratnam, Adrian Wong, Michael Pang, Toh Weng Ngai (78)
7th: Mohd Asri, Hagi Suhaimi, Kheirul Nazib, Mazri Muda (74)
8th: Selina Yong, Toh Wei Meng (70)
9th: Fong Chee Choong, Hooi Soon Wai, Chang Wan Sze, Soo Chi Chien (64)
10th: Azeman, Sallehudin, Nova, Kumaran Nagapa (61)


mike said...

what's your thought on the cat = paint in that question?

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

3 words, DON'T LIKE IT!

Off and on, we come across CoCs wrongly assuming words on different branches (originating from the same source word) to have the same meaning.

Cornelius said...

Oops! Silly me... didn't realise that there is yet another discussion here! What's this cat=paint all about? Care to share with us who were unfortunate enough not to have been able to join this hunt?

I promise I will refrain from bringing up the

RIVER=>FLOWER=>TULIPS example again (smile)

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Q&A for Q18 is included in the article.

Cornelius said...

Ummm... OK, I see the CAT there... and the anagrammed PAINT. Can't fathom the rest. Must be a new idea by the CoC? I'd love to know the idea if you don't mind.

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Local = Temerloh
Cat = Paint (anagram of Patin)
Suspicious = Fishy (clueing to a fish??????)

Too bad it was out of sector, if not I am sure the COC would have received many fishy answers.

Cornelius said...

Ah! I'm gald to have failed in this one!... Thought I was not up to the mark! Turns out the Q is not up to the mark!... but am running late now... need to go for short run. Will comment further later!

Cornelius said...

OK, the reason I couldn't get the "Local" was I couldn't connect to the solution on paper. I guess if the sector is in Temerloh, one might be better able to connect the "Local" to "Temerloh". I can live with that.

But the rest of the clue, is just way out lah.

First, the issue of language. As far as I know, this issue first arose in the Riddle Raiders Blog where there was a clue set in the English language. In desperation, the late Master Vincent Woo tried to force fit his answer by attempting to take one word in an English clue as a Malay word! If I'm not mistaken, the word was "main", which was clearly intended as an English word in the clue, but Master Vincent took that as a Malay word instead (Malay word for "play"), thus adopting it as an anagram indicator! That brought about an interesting discussion.

To make the long story short, however, the conclusion was that the majority of hunters thought that that was inappropriate.

The conclusion was that when a clue is set in the English language, every word in that clue should carry their respective English meanings, although those meanings and synonyms may be translated into Malay. Likewise, if the clue is set in Malay, then all the words in that clue should take their respective Malay meanings, although again they may be translated into English.

If follows that when we set a clue in English containing the word "cat", then that word must take its English meaning(s). So we can replace that with, say, feline. And we can, if we want to, translate it into, say, "kucing", which is its Malay translation. But we can't read "cat" in an English clue as a Malay word, which is then to be translated into English, i.e. "paint"!

In other words, when reading an English clue, we may need to translate the English-only meanings into Malay, but not see those original English words as Malay words.

I will post this first, and then continue shortly...

Cornelius said...

Next, let's look at "suspicious". In the English language, we can replace that word with "fishy". I think no one will challenge that.

But now we need to think a little further. Can we then connect that word "fishy" with, say, "tuna" or "sardine"? Well, I would say that is a fifty-fifty question; it may be possible! However, can we connect from the source word with the last word in the link? In other words, we are actually asking if we can equate:


or in this case,


Well, "suspicious" is most certainly NOT "patin" as far as I am concerned. So my answer to the question is an obvious "NO".

Oops!... need to fetch my kid from her grandma's. Will continue later!

Cornelius said...

Now many people are inclined to believe that just because someone found the intended answer, then that clue is technically sound. Nothing can be further from the truth! The fact that someone answered the question as intended by the CoC does not prove its accuracy. I have come across many instances where people have guessed correctly an answer which was wrong! And Q18 in this hunt is an example I can add to those I have come across.

Cornelius said...

Oh yes, I wanted to say that the conclusion of my analysis is that PATIN is wrong from both approaches, i.e. from "cat" as well as from "suspicious".

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

I think I can live with riddles constructed in more than one language. For after all, in our country it is stylishly common to hear English and BM used interjectingly in the same sentence during everyday conversation.

Amy talking to Lisa, "Amy punya best friend so fashionable lah today!".

weiming said...

The COC explanation mentioned about the double use of the word 'local' in the clue:
(i) 'local' as in the local area = Temerloh; and
(ii) 'local cat' to indicate the Malay word 'cat' = paint.

After not finding anything relating to a local feline on the few sign there, I worked on the angle of 'local cat' = paint, but stopped looking when we hit the START of the roundabout, so ended up with Seamaster as my option.

Cornelius said...


Elsewhere, I have written extensively on my objection to "Double Duty" in cryptic clues, so I shall not go into that here.

Before seeing the above explanation, and because I had no benefit of knowing the sector was in Temerloh, I did for a brief moment consider adopting the "Local" as the translation indicator. Meaning that to translate the adjacent word, "cat." However, I quickly dismissed that approach.

I fancy that in treasure hunt clues, translation indicators were originally used as a norm when translations were involved in the clues. However, over the years, it has become a norm that hunters are now required to think in English and Malay all the time, so much so that the use of translation indicators is deemed as superfluous these days. Still, we can still see translation indicators in hunt clues from time to time when CoCs decide to be "kind" to remind the new hunters of a specific translation.

However, in this case, I still can't except the use of the translation indicator "Local" as intended by the CoC. As I said earlier, "cat" in the context of this clue should be an English word. Translating that word should yield something like "kucing" or even "harimau", but not "paint."

Cornelius said...


I suppose if we really want to expand the boundaries of the tricks and twists in hunt clues, there is nothing to stop us. It is a matter of preferences I guess.

Before we make this language-cocktail-in-a-single-clue thing a norm in hunt clues, I think we ought to be very careful not to push the boundaries too far to the extent of losing total control over what signboard we can block.

I want to comment further on this, but I will do it later, perhaps during lunch break.

Cornelius said...

The CoC is free to set the parameters of the game. So he can, if he wants to, expand the boundaries of cryptic clueing to include language-cocktail-in-a-single-clue. The effect of doing so would then be:

(1) Hunters’ Perspective:

The scope of search will inevitably be broadened substantially. And this is not only referring to the filtering of signboards within the hunt sectors. Every single word which may have meaning(s) in both languages will have to be considered. And of course there will be twice as many possible synonyms too. Hunters will therefore have much more work to do during the hunt.

(2) CoC’s Perspective:

Clues can be set with an added dimension for tricks and twists. This can be a useful tool for the CoC, bent on protecting his ego by making the clue so twisted and therefore denying the best team in the fray of the perfect score.

But in the real world of treasure hunting, what can potentially happen is that the CoC, determined to frustrate the hunters, chooses an extremely small sign which is somewhat faded, though still visible from the car, and set:

Q) Wild cat.

The wicked CoC confidently believes that no one would notice that tiny sign: PUMA on the glass wall of a sports shop.

He plans to surprise everyone when he reveals that PUMA to the hunters, but instead is surprised himself when told that there is a sign "U. C. King Enterprise" within that sector. The hunters explain that "wild" is an anagram indicator and CAT = KUCING.

And while the pathetic CoC is still trying to think of a way out of the embarrassing situation, yet other hunters surprise him with the sign "Patin Sdn Bhd", and explain that they see "cat" as a Malay word.

The moral of this story is that if the CoC tries too hard to expand the scope of search, is he up to the task of going the full distance himself?

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Your point noted. But I don't see it as being any different from the norm (should a CoC choose to walk this path).

Either way, a responsible CoC will still have to tighten the nuts and bolts against alternative signages to ensure his intended answer is not only a tight fit, but the ONLY fit.

And by the way, when I said "I can live with it", it doesn't mean that I like it. It just means that if it pops up I'll be ready for it.

We rarely bat an eyelid when Malaysians express themselves in multi-languages. Similarly, I don't expect hunters to be overly bewildered.