There are many dimensions to treasure hunt questions; whether they're absolutely cryptic in nature; whether they're about general knowledge etc. Some questions are very long and may even consist of several sentences. Others are very short and may even be single-worded clues.
The trouble with a very short clue is that a lot of the time, the solver will find insufficient hints which are required to arrive at the answer. But on the other hand, that short clue, while containing insufficient hints, also contains insufficient restrictive parameters. Essentially, what it means is that the solver will only need to come up with a logical explanation to his answer to be valid, and it will be difficult for the CoC to reject that answer!
Consider this double jeopardy clue from a past hunt:
An awesome illustration of an imaginative and creative setter. The word "New" is an anagram indicator. Then "sNow" is "salji" in Malay. That "salji" is rearranged to become "Jails". Therefore, the answer fits the clue.
BUT! had there been a signboard bearing the word "OWNS" within that sector, is there anything in the question which will disqualify that board as a valid answer too? That word "OWNS" is a more direct anagram of "SNOW", and should reasonably qualify as the answer too. I would challenge any CoC who would reject "OWNS".
Now check out this interesting clue from the Eye-Q Hunt 2008:
Q18) Half tongue.
A strange-looking clue which is likely to trouble many hunters. There is hardly any restrictive conditions for the answer. The hunters are therefore free to interpret however they like, provided that they do it within the general cryptic "rules".
According to the CoC, the correct answer: AKADEMI BAHASA JEPUN. He explained it like this:
Half = Demi
tongue = language (or bahasa, in Malay)
"Half tongue" = "Aka (also known as) Demi (half) Bahasa (language) + Jepun"
But alas, my team did not get this complicated solution. I saw this signboard, but was unable to put two and two together. In fact, Vincent did point out that "tongue" may be referring to a "language". But even with that reminder, we were unable to connect the rest.
Instead, we eventually abandoned this AKADEMI BAHASA JEPUN signboard because Margaret found a much more direct solution in TAN ENTERPRISE. I saw no fault in her solution and was quick to give my vote for it!
Half of the word "tongue" may be "ton" or "gue". But "gue" meant nothing to us. We were therefore forced to take "ton". "ton" is a unit of weight. There is nothing in the clue that restricts the translation from English to Malay. We therefore translated "ton" into Malay, i.e. the word "tan". Hence, the solution, TAN ENTERPRISE.
Unfortunately, perhaps our solution was too simple and straightforward, and it did not accord well with the complicated style of the CoC. We were therefore denied our 4 points for this question.