One of the treasure questions which we practically solved on the spot was like this:
This item could be an unlawful application of force,
And is commonly associated with what sounds like a salt.
The one we require has two distinctions for size,
And in particular, the first lady is all prepared.
Two new ones in an unopened pack would be really nice.
The first line refers to the word BATTERY. The second line refers to the word ASSAULT (sounds line A SALT). The third line refers to the AA size. The fourth line refers to EVEREADY, which is the brandname of the item. The final line refers to the two-pack size. And so everything falls perfectly into place. The treasure is solved.
But there and then, I became very excited. I saw something in the clue—a crazy idea. It was quite a challenge for me to contain my excitement, but the rest in my team did not detect my excitement. The reason I was excited was because I saw an interesting possibility for a trick. It is also a unique opportunity to carry out a little experiment I had always wanted to do. But alas, it was also too far-fetched to actually find the right occasion to execute my plan.
Then came the news about the postponement of the Sutera Harbour-Angkatan Hebat Treasure Hunt. And hard upon that I received a special request from some friends to organise a hunt. The team members of Hunters "R" Us were coming to KK anyway, and they wanted to join my hunt too. And then an outrageous plan came to my mind. The opportunity to execute my trick was too good to be missed. Not only was I able to try out my trick on the average hunters, but also the master hunters! I therefore began to embark on my psychological trap...
First, I must create a decoy. I did this by conjuring up a seemingly scary Treasure 1 and 2. I put special emphasis on these two treasures. Upon flag off, I can imagine all eyes were focused on T1 and T2. It turned out that those treasures were kid's play. It must have been a relief to many of the hunters when they passed the hurdles of T1 and T2.
Then came Treasure 3:
This item can mean an unlawful attack upon someone,
It is commonly associated with what sounds like a salt,
One hundred is another way to describe its size,
Be sure that the first woman is all prepared,
It comes from a pack containing two,
Submit it in its pacakaging, I ask for no more, no less.
Obviously not a creative and poetic clue. The sentences don't even rhyme with each other. But I had to keep it as close as possible to the Hospis' clue—with minor alterations, of course. However, I had to make a significant difference in the clue also. Otherwise, my friends from the west would smell something fishy. I provided for this in the size, i.e. instead of AA, I am now asking for size C. If the clue is exactly identical with the Hospis' clue, they will look harder for the difference (s), and that might destroy my plan.
Imagine solving the "dreaded" T1 and T2 like a walk in the park, and then coming to a clue like the above. Would that result in some sort of relief? Would that make the hunters relax for a bit? I thought there is a good chance that that would happen...
And so, as I had expected, a few teams including my west Malaysian friends, fell right into my trap...
The item is the same; and the brand is also the same. The size is different, but still easy to find in any supermarket. Yet something which is so obviously correct turned out to be wrong!
Having analysed a fair number of hunt questions by CoCs in the west, I have noticed a peculiar tendency. Except for some CoCs, the rest are mostly either ignorant of the significance of grammar; or they can't be bothered about grammar at all. And because of that, most of the hunters are also not trained to be prudent in the grammatical sense. Some people were also mocking me for my obsession in grammatical accuracy when I discussed hunt questions in this blog. Since most hunters don't care about grammar, I decided to take advantage of it...
If only they had paid closer attention to every sentence of the clue, they would have realised that I'm referring to a single battery. In the 5th line, I said "It comes from a pack containing two," but that doesn't mean I am asking for two batteries. In the last sentence, I said "Submit it in its packaging, I ask for no more, no less." That word "it" in this last sentence must be referring to the single battery, and not the packaging.
Treasures are to be submitted intact, unless otherwise instructed. What I am getting at is, since I want only ONE battery, I am indirectly instructing the hunters to break the seal and remove one of the batteries!
Like I said, hunters are not used to grammatical tricks in treasure hunts, and I did not think for a moment that any of them would solve this treasure. However, because I know that Margaret is a very, very careful hunter, I had to make sure that their team won't see through this trick. That's why I had to create the decoy with T1 and T2. I consider it my masterpiece because it is so solvable and yet so "impossible" to solve.
I am sure many of you out there are saying to yourselves: "Oh this is a very easy clue; I would surely be able to solve it if I were there!"
See, I told you my clues are not very complicated? I'm sure you'd agree, right?