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 LSD—librae, 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 wordsalmost microscopic in sizefound 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!