Monday, June 21, 2010


The challenge posed by cryptic questions involving general knowledge is that unless you have an inkling on what to look for, you won't stand a chance despite having 4 of the best cryptic minds in your team. With this in mind, we decided that we (HRU) needed a focused Googler in our team. And much of our success in the past, can be attributed to having this key role in our setup.

Vincent had assumed this role in the past. He loved tech gadgets and googling was like second nature to him. He knew just the right words to use in the search engine to return the most reliable results. Instinctively he also knew which sites shared reliable information and which sites didn't.

With Vincent's demise, Margaret has primarily taken over this role (though her forte is in her ability to decipher clues) while I try to support her whenever there is a need. Understandably, juggling between the two roles can be distracting, sometimes maybe even a conflict of interest. While the Googler is focused on searching for facts, the clue-breaker most of the time will attempt to force-fit the facts (especially when the signage appears to be a promising fit).

I suspect that we had let down our guard in this sector, and in the process succumbed to one of three red herrings on the day. We knew what we had to do (signage + nation to yield South Africa). But alas none of us knew that South Africa was commonly known as the Rainbow Nation. When we came across this signage, Black General, it appeared promising. General = commonly known while Black nation seems to describe South Africa well. That was the reason most of us were satisfied with this answer.

Q20: It's commonly known , nation after this is a soccer World Cup host.
Ans: Rainbow.

One of the key roles of the Googler is to prepare the team ahead prior to arriving at the hunting sector. But it takes experience to be able to sniff out the general knowledge within the craft. While the experience Googler will be able to derive that Maneater is a single recorded by Hall & Oates within seconds, the inexperience could instead be looking for popular tiger characters like Shere Khan, Hobbes etc.

Q26. Maneater made famous jointly by a combination of this and a shell.
Ans: Toa.

See the difference and why this role is so important?

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