It is not surprising, therefore, that there is a wide gap in terms of quality and accuracy in treasure hunt questions among the many CoCs in Malaysia. The result is what one might term as the different “flavours” or “style” of the CoCs.
Some CoCs are very strict in the questions—they obey the cryptic clueing rules religiously and pay special attention to details. A tiny grammatical mistake would spoil their whole day! Others are not bothered with details—they set a hunt, gather the crowd, hope that the hunters would accept their answers somehow, and then call it a day. Their answers and explanations are loose and grammatically wrong. And even the questions and tulips are plagued with spelling errors.
It is no wonder that treasure hunters quite often have to know the CoCs rather than knowing the cryptic clueing rules. If a particular CoC has the habit of not obeying the cryptic clueing rules, then that is considered as his style. And hunters will remember him for his style.
Q4) The French goes to a dead end.
Cryptically, not a very frightfully difficult clue. I set this question knowing very well that many in the audience would be able to solve the cryptic side of the riddle fairly quickly. No—the challenge for this question is not really about its cryptic-ness. Rather, it is about general knowledge. But first, let’s deal with the decoy.
“THE” in French = LE or LA or LES
But I do not claim to know the language! I just know the above from doing cryptic crosswords. Therefore, if there is anything wrong in my translation, someone please correct me!
“goes to = linking indicator.
It means that we need to link some letters to others in the sentence.
“dead” = MATI
MATI is the Malay word for DEAD. Yes, in Malaysian treasure hunts, hunters are constantly reminded to think in English and Malay. No translation indicators are required and the questions are still considered fair.
“end” = ending indicator
It means that we need to take only the ending letter of the adjacent word. In this case, we need to take the ending letter from MATI, i.e. the letter “I”.
Now we use the charade operation to get:
LA + I = LAI
And the answer is therefore POLIKLINIK LAI.
I don’t know about the style of other CoCs. Maybe they would be pleased with themselves when setting questions with intended answers such as this. But I will have none of it!
When we need to take only some of the letters from a given word, I don’t think it is fair to expect the solver to find its synonym (s) and then extract those letters therefrom. There would be no end to the possibilities!
SOMEONE = SA
That word SOME is a hidden-word indicator. It means that the solver is required to take only some letters from the adjacent word (s). In this case, it may be ON or NE (from ONE). But instead, the solver translates ONE into SATU first, and then take SA to satisfy that some. I do not condone this kind of nonsense!
Therefore in the case of DEAD end, I shall not tolerate taking the ending letter of the word MATI. I will only accept the letter D, which is the ending letter of DEAD.
So let us now look at the clue again in light of this fresh point of view:
THE French goes to a DEAD end
LE goes to AD
And so we have arrived at the word LEAD. I am convinced that many solvers must have arrived at this word. But the only problem is that it is nowhere to be found on the signboards in the sectors. So what now?
This is where the general knowledge part of the riddle comes in. Those who can still remember their elementary science will know that LEAD can mean a metal, otherwise scientifically known as PLUMBUM and symbolically known as PB.
Of course it is also possible to google up the word LEAD and Wikipedia will very quickly give the required information. But the trouble is that I did not reveal the requirement of general knowledge, and so some of you might have forgotten to check the other possible meanings of LEAD!
A4) PB @ URUT TRADISIONAL PB