Monday, March 31, 2008

TrailBlazers Hunt—Delicacy

To my fellow Sabahan hunters, I'm glad to report that I have finally obtained a set of Questions & Answers for the TrailBlazers KL Motor Hunt which took place last Saturday. A friend sent it to me this evening. I find that many of the questions are newbie-friendly, but in my opinion some of them could use a bit of fine-tuning.

Since we don't have many hunts here in KK, I hope my Sabahan friends can benefit from the discussions of some of the questions in the above hunt. I propose to discuss those questions independently in separate threads. I will publish those questions and answers as provided by the Clerk-of-Course (CoC); then give my comments and/or criticisms; and where appropriate, follow them up with suggestions on how I think they might be improved.

Let's start with a dubious seafood delicacy.

Q6) The first of limpet introduced to form this seafood delicacy.

A6) Musse

Before we go into deep analysis of this question, I am sure that many of you who've hunted in my hunts before would know that I am a big fan of this so-called "jigsaw-puzzle" type of clue. What happens is that the clue tells the solver that he needs to find a missing piece to fit into, or atttach to, an existing word to form a new word. Take this example from one of my past hunts:

Q) Will start this to become the main star of Mork & Mindy.

A) IAMS @ Pinnacle Pet Supply

The solver needs to combine the letters W-I-L-L with "this" to form another word. The solver must first determine what does the word "this" in the question mean. Looking at the question as a clue or riddle, that word "this" must necessarily be referring to the intended answer which is found on the signboard.

The letters WILL start the word IAMS (found on the signboard) to become (Robin) WILLIAMS, who's the main star of the TV series, Mork & Mindy.

A simpler example is like this:

Q) This is the answer to 2 x 3.

Again, that word "this" must necessarily be referring to the intended answer which is found on the signboard. Therefore, the solver should be keeping an eye open for, say SIX or ENAM or VI.

Now let's go back to Q6 of the TrailBlazers:

"The first limpet" tells the solver to take the first letter of the word "limpet", i.e. the letter "L". That L is then introduced, meaning added to, something (found on the signboard). As a result of that addition (to form) "this seafood delicacy".

I would have been happy with the question but for that word "this". To repeat, looking at the question as a clue or riddle, the logical interpretation of the word "this" in that clue must necessarily be referring to the answer which is found on the board.

In other words, the word "this" must be referring to the intended answer, MUSSE. However, MUSSE is not a "seafood delicacy". Therefore, "this seafood delicacy" can't agree with MUSSE. In the end, MUSSE can't be the answer!

In my opinion, if the CoC must include the word "this" in the question, a possible improvement is like this:

Q) The first limpet behind this forms a seafood delicacy.

Now in this modified question, that word "this" is really referring to the intended answer, MUSSE, which if added with the L will become MUSSEL, which in turn agrees with "seafood delicacy" (although I would have preferred "shellfish" instead of "seafood delicacy").

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