Thursday, September 9, 2010


PETALING JAYA, 8 Aug 2010: A good cryptic craftsman and a magician shares much in common. Both are entertainers out to deceive the audience. While a magician relies on props and the sleight of hand to conjure his illusions, the craftsman has in his arsenal the English language, one that is rich in synonyms, to hoodwink the solvers. A good cryptic riddle stands out for its misleading story-line with the added beauty of a good surface reading.

Though I somewhat agree with what has been said about the SF Hunt, yet I'd still like to give Uncle Chong the benefit of the doubt for the simple reason that I have seen better crafts from the man. Perhaps the month long football fever had taken its toll or perhaps this hunt was assembled in somewhat of a rush to coincide with the World Cup, I can't say for sure.

Most of the 30 route questions we were served today had very little deception. Quite the contrary, they were rather transparent making it fairly obvious what was required. Uncle Chong's efforts were more akin to a jigsaw puzzle. Most were like Q28 - pick out the right pieces of puzzle from the box and voila, you form the end graphic!

Q28: Dry compound with the answer describes a box seen in the Beautiful Game.
Ans: Axis Technology Centre.

But on a few occassions (like Q4), I felt there were just too many centre pieces with insufficient edge pieces in the box to assist the jigsaw enthusiast. Notice how in these situations, the pieces of puzzle (which are placed there to  help) do little to help the solver for there are just too many possibilities. The only way to solve these type of questions is to chance on the right word for the definition provided and engineer backwards. 

Q4: Terrible drink is consumed by intoxicated answer to arrive at a high place.
Ans: Paul Dental Centre.

In the end, we got entertained by Paul instead. Ten of us paid RM10 each to watch him perform live today. And disappoint his fans, he did not. In fact I felt he put on quite a show that left some of us awestruck. 

We challenged Paul into correctly ranking the top 5 finishers in today's hunt. And judging from his picks, it was evident that he delibrately intended to sabotage his end result - perhaps Paul's way of issuing the rest of us a handicap, yet he still out-predicted the rest of us. Extraordinary! I've learnt my lesson to stay away from Paul.

Paul wrapping his hand-y tentacles around his reward for his extraordinary performance.

Uncle Chong's SF (Self-Financed) Hunt
Maximum Score: 110

1st: Alexander Hoh, Claire Chin, Julie Tan, Goh Teck Koon (104)
2nd: Christopher Foo, Adrian Wong, Toh Weng Ngai, Michael Pang (92)
3rd: Liew Kok Seng, Lim Soo Khian, Lim Kong Yew, Teoh Cheow Teong (82)
4th: Razif Ahmad, Darmataksiah Abai, Dr Ben Lau (79)
5th: Chai Koh Khai, Chong Voon Kiat, Margaret Sha, Wong Sze Lynn (78)
6th: Peh Kok Hun, Loh Chee Kwan, Lee Ling Fei, Yeong Kig Siew (67)
7th: Venkateswaran, Florence Teng, Kumaran Nagappa (57)
8th: Tan Kok Cheeng, Chan Kah Seng, Roodi Mohd Rashid, Yeoh Hong Yip (53)
9th: Yeap Heng Boon, Tommy Ng, Jennifer Yeow, Lily Loh (51)
10th: Pavananthan, Shandra Dass, Selwyn Dass (44)
11th: Pirabakaran, Navamalar, Lim Chuan Leng, Komathi Dheana (42)


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