Thursday, November 20, 2008

First Anniversary Virtual Hunt Questions

Well, folks, at 10:00 pm tonight I will be posting the first question for the First Anniversary Virtual Hunt of this blog. Those of you who have been reading this blog, this is a rare opportunity for you to criticise the hunt critic (smile)!

But before that, final reminders to those who're interested to participate:

1) Answers are to be submitted by email to: and there is no need to include explanations to those answers. The first submission shall include the full name of the participant. This original email will be used (sent back and forth) for easy tracking.

2) Answers are to be found in any of Photos 1 - 4 in no particular order. The photos uploaded to this blog may not be good enough for some of the questions, and I would therefore encourage participants to write in soon so that I can send those photos to you.

3) Points are awarded based on the order of (correct) submissions (See Briefing Notes). However, bear in mind that only ONE answer is allowed per participant for each question. So be very careful before you hit the "send" button.

Good luck and have fun!

Q1) Extraordinary vocalist.

Q2) Look after one who adds?

Q3) It takes us together with her make-up.

Q4) The French goes to a dead end.

Q5) Current returns about a thousand.

Q6) Defend or toughen yourself first.

Q7) ______ nut = worm

And those are the 7 questions for this virtual hunt. I will now allow 2 days for submissions. Then I will close this hunt at 10:00 pm on Friday. Good luck!

This virtual hunt is now officially closed. I wish to thank all my friends who've participated in this hunt. I hope you have had fun and enjoyed working on my questions. Hunt review and Q&A analysis will follow shortly.


Cornelius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moon said...

Can't wait for the hunt to start. I know I'm not goin to win anything but this is good for training. haha.

Cornelius said...

Good morning, folks!

Ah! I see quite a fair number of you are having too much fun, hunting the whole night through, huh? Well, just make sure you don't fall asleep at the office today!... hahaha! Reminder of what you went through in the Volvo Online Hunt last year, huh?

Those of you who still can't make up your minds which answer to tembak, there is no need to worry, still plenty of time until I post the next question tonight!

Besides, you can still post your answer to Q1 even after I have published Q2, provided that you haven't already posted earlier.

Remember Amazing Race? Well, don't give up even if you are convinced that others are far ahead of you. If it's tough for you, others may be going through the same thing too!

Cornelius said...

The internet is such an amazing technology, huh? This virtual hunt has attracted hunters from as far Penang and Singapore. I have a feeling many more will be joining in the fun, although many of you are probably seeing a big blank wall ahead of you now... hehehe.

Jimmy Lee said...

LOL...corny, u are so cruel...ahahhaa.....i got one answer but i dont seem to be able to explain it actually...cos the first part of the question seems dont relate to it...hahahhaa.....

Cornelius said...


May I repeat, there is no need to include explanations to your answer. If it is correct, I will accept it and award the relevant points, even if it's a fluke shot! This is also the case in any real hunt; tembaks are valid answers too!

Jimmy Lee said...

LOL...i know there is no need for explaination but still i need to explain to myself why i choose the answer b4 submitting also....still cracking my head looking at other sign boards...hahhaha

Cornelius said...


I'm glad to see that you are having a lot of fun.

I should try to organise this thing more frequently. It seems that so many people are totally absorbed into this hunt!

Cornelius said...

An approximate 2 hours to go before I post Q2 at 10pm tonight. The excitement is mounting, is it not?

I'm glad to report that I've received a total of 17 attempts so far. And I happen to know that some of my loyal customers are still working very, very hard to find the answer for Q1. It's OK, as long as you have not submitted an answer, you can still do it later. In fact you can do it anytime between now and the time when I close this hunt in about a week's time.

It seems that many of you are struggling with Q1. I did promise some easy questions, but I also mentioned that I'm posting those questions in no particular order of difficulty. So who knows, maybe Q2 will be more agreeable to most of you. We'll just have to wait and see!

Those of you who are at the verge of giving up on Q1, please hang in there. There're still 6 questions to go, which means a possible 60 points still at stake. Plenty of opportunities to regain lost grounds.

Stay tuned... I'll be back at 10pm!

Cornelius said...

Ah! I see Q2 is more agreeable to many of you, eh? And I see an increase of participants too. Very good; the more the merrier!

Momentum building up too quickly I guess. Perhaps tomorrow I should slow it down a bit?

Cornelius said...

Listen up, folks,

Maybe in your haste and excitement, some of you do not really check your answers before sending them to me. Consequently, some of them contain mistakes, e.g. wrong spelling etc. It is a shame that after the hardwork figuring out the riddle, your answers are rejected because of the mistakes in them. It is unfair for me to accept such answers when your rivals spent those extra few seconds or minutes to double-check their answers before sending them to me. I will reject your answers even if it's obvious that you have figured out the riddle!

In the real treasure hunt, mistakes in recording answers can also occur from time to time. And almost everyone is not immune from such blunders. For example, in the recent theSun Hunt, some masters committed the sin by misspelling their answers.

I have reminded you all to check your answers before hitting the "send" button, and I am reminding you again now. Trust me, you don't want to get your answers rejected because of silly mistakes!

Cornelius said...

Just to report that the number of participants has now increased to 21. And I am still waiting to hear from some of my friends.

Who knows, maybe they will jump in when I post Q3 tonight at 10pm.

Cornelius said...

I'm still seeing defects in the answers some of you submitted to me. Make sure you write them as you see it on the board, except that I am not case sensitive; meaning you can submit those answers in capital or small letters.

If you see a wrong spelling, for example, don't try to be smart to correct the spelling when you submit the answer.

If, for example, the answer is shown as 2 or 3 words on the board, don't join them up to become a single-worded answer. In essence, don't modify what you see on the board.

Cornelius said...

People are so hard to please... sigh!

When they get "tough" questions, they grumble it's too "tough"; too stressful; killing the mood etc.

When they get the "easy" questions, they also grumble because many people can solve, and they solve those questions faster than the grumbling fellows too, leaving him or her with very few points to earn!

How lah?

Better don't join competition. I can just charge a question-setting fee and I will cater to personal needs. Just let me know you want all easy or all tough questions. Than I'll be happy that I can earn some money; and you, too, will be happy that you get exactly the kind of questions you like.

Jimmy Lee said...

It's normal human behaviour. Never satisfied with what they had. Anything also they will complaint.

I wouldnt be surprise if this hunt I ended with 0/7 correct answers. Learning still continues...never give up...hehehee....

Cornelius said...

That's the spirit, Slasher! But surely not 0/7?

Who knows, maybe Q3 will be another "easy" one? Last night was such an adrenalin-pumping question, huh? Everyone was rushing like mad to submit their respective answers; so much so that even a very, very seasoned hunter could also misspell his answer!... hahaha!

Let's see how fast you people submit for Q3. About 3 hours to go. Stay tuned!

Cornelius said...

A little over an hour to go before I post Q3.

I'm sad to say that only 2 of my Sabahan friends have attempted my questions so far. I would be very pleased if a Sabahan can win this hunt. It's not really about the prize. It is more about the satisfaction that a Sabahan can measure up to our friends in the west.

So come on, my Sabahan comrades. There is still 50 points to fight for. The win is still within reach!

Cornelius said...

Good morning, folks!

So how are we doing with the riddles so far? I'm glad to report that the number of participants had grown up to 26 now. Who knows, maybe more will join in the fun within the next few days?

I've received a popular request to announce the current standings of the participants. I can oblige, but I will do so only for the top 5 positions. However, looking at how things have been moving over the 3 questions so far, I can safely say that these positions can change very swiftly!

OK, here are the 5 top performers so far:

1. Margaret Sha (Q1-0; Q2-8; Q3-8 => 16pts)

2. V K Chong (Q1-10; Q2-2; Q3-1 => 13pts)

3. Chan Kah Sing (Q1-0; Q2-6; Q3-6 => 12pts)

4. Claire Chin (Q1-?; Q2-10; Q3-1 => 11 pts)

5. Chan Heng Chew (Q1-0; Q2-1; Q3-10 => 11pts)

Of the above, Claire has not attempted Q1 so far.

There is still a possible 40 pts (maximum) to fight for in the remaining questions, so it's still very much anybody's game at this stage.

I'd like to mention here that I can see some of you joining the hunt for personal satisfaction in that you're taking your time to try to solve all the questions, but are not bothered with winning the hunt. Others are using the hunt for self improvement, i.e as a learning process. Whatever the case is, I'm happy to see the crowd. And I am also having so much fun seeing the self-imposed torture some of you are going through!

Cornelius said...

Good morning, folks!

Well, we have just passed the halfway point of this hunt. And the heat is building up, is it not? The situation at the top of the leaderboard is getting very exciting now.

Margaret is still leading with 22 points. But she only leads by a thin 1 point over VK Chong and Claire Chin who both secured 21 points. 3 remaining questions with a possible 30 points to fight for. Getting very intense, and a silly mistake (or slow in thinking) can cause one of them to fall out of the race!

It is amusing to note that some (but very few of them) of these freak hunters are implying that the questions are too easy - that the racing-format hunt are keeping them on their toes; that it's getting very difficult to keep up with my 10pm appointment etc.

And then on the other hand, the vast majority of the participants are saying that I haven't been keeping my promise - that I'm giving easier questions for this hunt.

Those in the business of setting hunt questions will understand the difficulty of catering to a wide audience of hunters of widely varying skills. And it is often very difficult to draw the boundary of what's easy and what's not.

When you do get the answers eventually, you will just kick yourselves and say something like "why the hell didn't I see it earlier? I should have seen it a long time ago!" That's how I have designed this hunt, i.e. that the questions are solvable, but how quickly can you do it!?

Hence, the race continues...

Cornelius said...

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that this virtual hunt has attracted the attention of quite a number of people from USA, UK and some European countries. And they have been coming back several times to check on the progress of this hunt!

So watch out, guys, you must do well, ya hear? You are being watched by all those cryptic experts from afar. Show them your cryptic skills!

Cornelius said...

Wow! I am glad to see the sudden involvement of the new hunters again after a few days of silence. Well, I told you that I will throw in some easy questions didn't I?

Well, I'm afraid Q5 was the last of the "easy" question. Q6 and Q7, although still solvable by everyone, will be slightly more interesting.

Approaching the final homestretch now. Still anybody's game as far as I am concerned. Stay tuned!

Cornelius said...

As you all know, only 2 questions remaining. I will no longer announce the leaders until after the hunt is over. I want to keep you people in suspense. Who knows, maybe the current leaders will also be going through a kind of mental torture... hehehe.

I want to take this opportunity to announce the names of those who have done very well so far, i.e. those who have answered all the 5 questions correctly. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are the leaders.

Although they have managed to answer correctly, they may have taken too long to figure out the riddles and therefore ended up with very few points. Obviously their main goal is to try to achieve all correct answers, but not really concerned with winning the hunt/prize.

Others have just entered the competition very recently and are therefore facing an uphill task to try to catch up with the current leaders, if indeed they're planning to catch up.

Well, here are those perfect solvers so far:

1) Chong Voon Kiat (5/5)
2) Chin Kar Peng (5/5)

The following participants have also done well in that they have submitted correct answers so far, but have not fully attempted all the questions. Therefore, their chances of achieving the "perfect solver" status are still alive:

1) Claire Chin (Q1 pending)
2) Liong Chian Min (Q4 pending)

I'd like to mention here that my friend, Chai Koh Khai, would have also solved all the questions so far, but for one of his answers which I rejected on grounds of wrong spelling. Indeed I am sure he prides himself with the thought of having solved all the questions, but for the technical "accident".

Cornelius said...

Oops! I forgot to include the name of my Sabahan comrade who has also solved all attempted questions so far, and still maintaining his chance to be a perfect solver:

3) Alvin Wong (Q1 pending)

Cornelius said...

Just like to update you people that we now have a total of 29 participants for this hunt.

I know many more are watching intently from the sidelines, based on the statcounter readings. Well, aren't you gonna attempt my questions too?

The questions appear meaningless, huh? No logical solutions? Well, why not jump onboard. As I said, this is a rare opportunity to criticise the hunt critic! You will never know if you don't try!

Cornelius said...

Last night I received a call from a friend who's a master hunter. Apparently this is the first time he's seeing my hunt questions. According to him my questions are similar to those of Jayaram Menon's.

Those of you who don't know Jay, he's the hunt guru from Penang. I have had the honour to join his hunt once; but I have also analysed some of his past questions.

Perhaps it's almost an insult to Jay that my questions are said to be comparable to his, because of course they're not! Personally, I feel that Jay's questions are very sophisticated, and he has the habit of using rare words; and even if he's using a common word, it is likely that that word is linked to a very rare synonym which is required to lead to his intended answer. Therefore, those with a limited command of the English language is apt to suffer in his hunt.

The other aspect of his questions - at least from what I can remember - is that he uses comparatively plenty of punctuations in them - and cleverly so, too - to mislead the solver.

Quite a lot of the time, the solver might say, "Oh! I would never have been able to solve that question no matter how much time I had" when Jay reveals his answer. At least I remember saying that to myself for some of his questions!

My style is very different. You will see that there is hardly any punctuation in my questions - no commas, or quotes etc. And I hardly use rare words like Hokum or Mobius. I'd like to keep things simple and down to earth. And when I finally reveal my answers, a lot of the time the solver will kick himself for not seeing something which was so glaringly clear in the first place!

But don't get me wrong; I like Jay's style. If there is another opportunity, I don't mind going for another migraine-inducing hunt of his. I just love the challenge, you see. And the educational value of his hunts is high too.

If Jay and I are chess players, then I would say he has more "style". He is one who is able to come up with fancy moves - almost magically so - to do something like sacrificing his rooks, bishops and even the queen, and then finally mates his opponent with the knights only.

As for me, I'd like to keep things simple and more straightforward. I just follow classical moves in the hope of mating my opponent somehow.

Cornelius said...

We have come to the final homestretch, folks. Tonight I will post Q7 - the final question of this hunt.

I'm glad to report that I have successfully kept my promise to pose "solvable" questions for this hunt so far. And I see some non-masters able to solve too.

Some of the questions are "easy" ones which, I hope, have been an enjoyable learning experience for the new hunters. But unfortunately, those questions were too easy for the masters, and most of the correct submissions arrived in my inbox within the first 10 minutes; even within the first 5 minutes!

Before this, the only question which posed a bit of problem to the participants was Q1, of which the first successful answer came in almost an hour after it was posted. But again, as I said earlier, all my questions are solvable, and many more have since successfully answered Q1.

Looking at the speed of submissions over the last couple of days, I decided to up the ante last night with Q6. Although the average hunters find my questions considerably tough, the masters have been having "a stroll in the park". Therefore I had no choice but to throw in one of my tricks in Q6. I have many more of those sneaky little tricks waiting for the right moment to be unleashed, you see.

I had all the questions set a few weeks ago, but due to the development in this hunt, I decided to reconstruct Q6 totally earlier yesterday morning. I meant to make it a little more challenging while still keeping my promise - that it is solvable. Well, Q6 was indeed solvable as I had intended, but the first successful answer did not come in until more than half an hour after its posting. And then, yes, many more have since solved it too.

So now I can imagine many of you must be eagerly waiting for Q7. Let's see who's gonna be the fastest to submit a correct answer.

But in the mean time, I'd like to remind those of you who haven't submitted the "pending" questions up to now. Try not to let those questions go to waste. Work on them and submit your answers soon. Trust me, they are all solvable!

Anna said...

Most of the questions are tough.. I'll keep trying but no need to submit... jz can't wait for the answer presentation

Cornelius said...

Thank you, Anna, for your feedback. And thank you, too, for being a follower of this blog. I hope my treasure hunting articles have been of help to you.

Perhaps it's my fault for not making myself clear from the beginning. When I said "solvable", I meant solvable to those with some basic knowledge of cryptic clueing. Of course for a completely new hunter, no matter how straightforward the questions are, they will all still be impossibly tough!

But if you have some cryptic clueing knowledge, then you should be able to solve many, if not all, of these questions. It's just a matter of how good are you with lateral thinking? Have you at least solve half - say, 3 questions - so far?

Well, after Q7 tonight, I will allow 48 hours before I close this hunt on Friday evening. Then I will give a review of this hunt; to be followed by the customary analysis of all the questions. The reason for that 48 hours is to allow enough opportunity for the late comers to work on the questions; and perhaps some of hunters to try to salvage some of the questions they haven't solved yet up to now.

When I eventually reveal the answers, I have a feeling you will no longer think that "most of the questions are tough".

Jimmy Lee said...

The questions are tough to new hunters for sure, especially myself...LoL.

I think the only question that I have abit confident is Q5. The rest seems dead end to me...But I will submit all answer still even I
"tembak" wrongly...hahaha

Cornelius said...


If you dream to beat the masters one of these days, it's this kind of questions that you need to conquer somehow. Once you can handle these questions, the usual straightforward ones will be very easy.

Many new teams are very pleased with themselves when they achieved good positions, say top 10, in hunts where the questions are straightforward. They have the false impression that they have improved. Nothing could be further from the truth! You can hardly learn much. Join the true cryptic hunts if you really want to learn. That's where the top achievers learn all the tricks.

You are saying that these questions are tough; so just imagine that I have correct submissions coming in within 3 - 5 minutes after I posted them here. That should give you an idea how quickly these top hunters can see through the tricks. That is why you keep seeing the same faces on the podium at the end of almost all the hunts. They've mastered the art of cryptic clueing. If you want to beat them, there is no way around it - you need to learn it too!

Wait till I reveal the answers, and then you will see how these masters employ their cryptic knowledge to break the clues.

Jimmy Lee said...

Yup..cant wait for the answer revealing and the tricks applies on those for now i am still trying on those pending question...cant believe myself actually sit in front the PC and looking the the boards for whole day and everyday after work as well...

Hope i learn something new here...:)

Cornelius said...

That's the spirit, Slasher!

And don't worry, I almost always introduce something "different" in my questions. Not in all of them though, because, y'know, human nature - not all of them welcome new things. New twists and ideas should be introduced into hunt questions gradually - and hopefully - painlessly.

So, yes, I'm sure you will get to learn something new!

Well, very soon now, the final question. I have a feeling it's gonna be another race. Everyone must be so pumped up and excited. This is it - it's time to go in for the kill!

Cornelius said...

Good morning, folks!

Hmmm... it seems that my prediction's wrong. I had expected a mad rush for the submission of A7. But there's a sudden slowdown instead!

So far I have received 7 submissions, but only 3 are correct.

May I express my admiration and respect to the genius master hunter from the north, Liong Chian Min, who sent in his correct answer at about 10:21pm last night. It means that he took only about 20 minutes to figure out the riddle.

Now I know 20 minutes for a single question does not seem to be something to shout about when you are in an actual hunt. In fact, if you take that long for each question in an actual hunt, you are bound to get into time trouble! But the situation is different in this virtual hunt. One has to work independently, and any hunter will tell you that it's just not the same!

Well, it is now confirmed that ALL my questions are solvable, except that some people are taking much more time to solve them. That's my idea anyway when I set these questions!

Cornelius said...

A master hunter friend of mine has been busy and was therefore unable to keep up with this virtual hunt. He popped in for very short visits every now and then, and submitted only 2 answers for the easier questions. But last night, he had a bit of time and decided to really look into my other questions.

This is what he said in his email to me this morning:

"took some time off last night and really try the Qs. f**king tough."


Oh you are killing me, man! That single line can cause a heart attack due to uncontrollable laughter!

So anyway, I guess Anna and Slasher are justified after all. But really, I still insist that my questions are solvable. They just look frightfully impossible because they are not the typical kind of treasure hunt questions you'd see in KL hunts. But the cryptic principles behind them are the same. Honest!

Someone mentioned to me before, that I "can cari makan as a CoC in KL". Well, from what I can see in this virtual hunt, that is probably not true... hahaha!

For the purpose of "cari makan", one will need to give mostly easy questions. Then he is able to attract the crowd. There is not much point to create questions which only the masters can appreciate. And even worse, I am inclined to think that even the masters find my questions unattractive! There are so many masters in KL, but only a few of them would bother with the questions here!

But I just can't control myself; each time I do a hunt, I can't resist the temptation to throw in a bit of new twists here and there. I suppose not everyone think like me.

If I do another virtual hunt, I will seriously consider giving more easy questions, so that I can at least attract the new hunters.

Cornelius said...

Hmmm... we have more or less come to a standstill now. I suppose many of you are stuck with whatever questions which you haven't solved yet. Perhaps I will get all the tembaks later today, just before the closing of this hunt at 10pm, huh?

Not so easy to tembak after all even though there are only 4 photos. Besides, some of the signboards in those photos are too tiny to qualify as answers anyway! I want to say that in the real hunt, you are bound to encounter sectors which contain many, many more signboards than what you get here.

In an actual hunt you need a sharper pair of eyes to comb the sectors; the answers can be found all over the place - even on an ice-shaving machine at a chendol stall by the roadside. I remember failing on that particular question. It was extremely hard to focus on the ice-shaving machine because the lady who assisted the chendol guy had moustache. So my focus was mainly on her.

Ummm... well, except for Jayaram's hunt, of course. Some of the sectors in Jay's hunt contain only 10 to 15 signboards, yet it's difficult to find the answer! Talk about cryptic madness!... hahaha! Now you know why I enjoy his hunt!

Anyway, after I close this hunt tonight, I will give an overall review. I will then follow with specific analysis and discussion on all the questions. But I doubt that I will be able to cover all tonight, so it may encroach into Saturday or even Sunday. Please be patient, OK?

Claire said...

10-15 signs in Jay's hunt? There was a sector with only approximately 5-6 signs... and we still couldn't solve it!!
My verdict: Loved it to bits! :)

Cornelius said...

Claire dear, let's not mention it too many times. We really don't want to provoke Jay to direct us to sectors with many more signboards for his future hunts. We don't want that, do we?

By the way, to those parcipants who've been complimenting me with "good questions", "quality questions", "good job, can't wait for next virtual hunt" etc, please hold your horses!... hahaha!

You haven't even seen my explanations yet! Wait till you see my solutions and explanations, and then you decide on the quality. You may just regret complimenting me now!... hehehe.

One of you have also suggested that IF I do another virtual hunt, to change the format where I send out all the Qs simultaneously to all the participants and allow a fixed duration for submission of answers. And then allocate the same score for all correct answers. In the event of a tie, can adopt the question countdown method and time.

I find this suggestion very appealing. I will surely bear that in mind. But I don't know when I'll be doing my next virtual hunt!... hehehe. Who knows, maybe for my next blog anniversary? It might be dangerous if I do this too frequently. You crazy people may just end up able to read me like a dictionary. Then I will no longer be able to cari makan!