Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Eye-Q Hunt 2008—Reserved For The CoC

Whenever I set a treasure hunt, I have the habit of gauging the strength of the hunters in the field. I would make a rough estimate of the ability of the best team. Then, by adopting the attitude of the matador, I would set my questions in such a way that that best team would very nearly—but not quite—get the full score. I will try my best to bring them very, very close to the perfect score, but not quite giving them the satisfaction of actually achieving it. The reason I would do this is because I am convinced that it would make that team "want more" of my hunts! And so, each time after my hunt, I would hear something like "So, when's the next hunt?" or "Oh we were soooo close, next time we will get perfect score!" There will be one or two questions which one might term as "reserved for the CoC only", and not likely to be solved by even the best team in the field!

Having said that, however, my questions are still governed by my sense of fairness. Whatever I do, and however I twist, my questions must be solvable! I shall not ask for the specific name of a plant which originated from the Amazon, which went extinct about 130 million years ago. No—I will see to it that I give a fair chance to the hunters to solve my questions!

Q22) Spoilt British currency notes that Labour pockets?

An example of a question which was reserved for the CoC only in the Eye-Q Hunt 2008. To be quite honest, I don't know if any team solved this question; and even if some did, I am not very sure that they did so because of the correct explanation as intended by the CoC.

So how and where should we start? Well, that word "spoilt" is very likely an anagram indicator. What else? It seems that "British currency notes" must be referring to the "pounds sterling" (note that it's in plural form). "Labour" is spelt with a capital "L", hence suggesting a proper noun. Perhaps it is referring to the Labour Party? "pockets" may suggest some sort of pocketing money (by Labour) in the literal sense; but also possibly a container indicator in the cryptic sense. In all probability, I think it is quite safe to assume that the "pocket" is a container indicator.

It seems that this whole puzzle revolves around that "British currency notes" somehow. So it makes sense to investigate the possible words connected with the British currency. Can it be anything else? Perhaps the Euro? Shillings? Pence/Penny? Quid?

Sorry to disappoint you, folks, I'm afraid it's none of those. The intention of the CoC is much deeper than that.

The "British currency" refers to that pound sterling symbol shown at the top of this post. Do you know the origin of that symbol? Well, apparently the original pound sign came with 2 cross-bars, then later more commonly with a single cross-bar. This symbol was derived from the blackletter "L", from the abbreviation LSDlibrae, solidi, denarii—used for the pounds, shillings and pence of the original duodecimal currency system.

Very good! We progress! Now we know that "British currency" refers to LSD. But what about "notes"? Well, in this particular case, "notes" refers to musical notes. Which ones? Well, make a wild guess.

Anyway, the intended answer comprises 2 words—almost microscopic in size—found on the label of a bottled product; and that product itself is found within a picture on a signboard. The required answer: TEELSEED OIL.

Notice that with the words TEELSEED OIL are the letters LSD (British currency) + EEEE (musical notes) which have been rearranged within the word TOIL (Labour).

Burn the entire volume of the encyclopaedia. Then mix the ashes with plain warm water. Drink the whole mixture and then you'd probably have a shot at solving this question. May I repeat with pride, I did not faint during this hunt!


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Penang Mensa Hunt. Most hunters either love it or hate it.

Fairness? Mercy? Most that join this hunt, expect neither. They just enjoy what is dished out.

As for me, I love a recovery period in between 2 tough questions to savour the joy of solving a tough (or impossible) question / or to lick my wounds. If there are none, I will probably faint.

Cornelius said...

Hahaha!... you are right, 2R1I. Having seen the past Eye-Q Hunt questions, I did not expect anything less than extraordinary too. And indeed it was extraordinarily tough!

And don't expect recovery periods too. Almost every question was a "bolded" one! That's why I said I am proud that I didn't faint during this hunt.

I enjoyed the challenge—it was truly kopi-O kaw-kaw-kaw! I will certainly want to come back for more if I have the opportunity to do so. Perhaps next time we should hunt together, 2R1I. I'm sure we can rock the whole car with our debates, huh?

CK said...

wow.... tis is definitely out of my league...
gotta learn gotta learn....

Anonymous said...

I loved it. The mental torture just excites me so much. Pure ecstasy. Call me a sadist. ;)

We didn't faint either as we helped each other along the way... making sure none fainted by the roadside!

The only "recovery period" that we had was when we spotted "Enrico". Finally something that looked normal!

Cornelius said...

CK, if you want to learn, this is the hunt you should join. I don't mean learn cryptic clueing; no—you can learn cryptic from many other hunts. In this hunt, you will get to learn new English words, and alternative ways of using those words; a whole bunch of encyclopaedic knowledge.

No amount of learning will guarantee success in the Eye-Q hunt, unless of course if you can learn to the extent of becoming a walking encyclopaedia and dictionary. But even then you won't be certain of conquering this hunt!

We should start planning to form a team for this hunt, CK!

Cornelius said...

Claire dear, we were happy to see that "Enrico" question too after a few hours of gruesome mental torture. It was a much-needed breather, if you know what I mean. In fact, I personally found it a bit odd that that question was there at all. Perhaps while Jay was setting the questions, someone must have distracted his concentration—so much so that he "accidentally" set an easy question like that... hahaha!