Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Kiwanis Treasure Hunt is back again on 30th/31th May, starting from KBU College Bandar Utama, all the way south to Pulai Springs Resort, Johor. As usual, most of the Jedi Knights will be there to fight for glory. Many, many Padawans will be present too.
In the previous years, Yoda, the Jedi Master, was the one who set up the battle arena—last year he conjured up the terrifying riddle and mind-boggling bird-hunting quest which absolutely whitewashed the entire field. But this year, Jedi Master Yoda himself will be the terrifying one, as he himself will be there in the field to fight for glory!
I was there last year, riding with Jedi Knight Teck Koon and some fellow Padawans. Because of the strong field, Teck Koon seeded our team outside the top 20. But many Jedi teams crashed and burnt along the way—some probably died standing when dealing with the terrifying beings; others got lost in the jungle in pursuit of the elusive bird; others still became blind, watching too many moons and stars. Thus my team made a surprise leap to the 14th position.
This year I will be there again—this time riding with 3 strong Jedi Knights to be reckoned with, but all of whom have never gotten the better of the Kiwanis. Who knows, maybe it can happen this year?
It won’t be smooth sailing though. Apart from Jedi Master Yoda, there will be the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious Dom and Count Dooku Lim, whom together had overwhelmed all the Jedi teams in the last two battles.
Master Yoda would say, “Still a lot to learn you have my old Padawan!”
Who will win the battle this time round? Will Yoda be able to stop the force from the dark side? Will the Order of the Jedi be restored once again? Be prepared for the Empire to strike back! All shall be known by the end of this week.
And so, let the fight begin… May the force be with you all!
The Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2009, organised by Rotary Club of Kota Kinabalu, will be held on 19-20 June. Performances are by those named in the above picture, but I'm afraid I don't know any of these people!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The theme for this hunt is:
Date of Hunt: 26 July 2009
Briefing: 25 July 2009 @ 2pm @ Grand Ballroom, Sutera Megellan Hotel
Entry Fee: RM350 per team
Closing Date for Entry: 18 July 2009 @ 3pm
1) Dr Joseph Ninan (088-761472)
2) Ellen Yee (088-231505/257507, 013-8109963)
3) Angela Enggoh (088-231505/257507)
A friend, Michael Pang, is kind enough to help me with "hosting the entry form" for this hunt (one of these days I will learn all these stuff). It is now possible to download the ENTRY FORM from here. I have also created the Entry Form link at the announcement on my sidebar. Thanks Mike.
It is also possible to download the Entry Form from the sidebar of A Hunter's Tale. Thanks Hunters "R" Us.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
I’ve been to KL several times for treasure hunts, and I’d always find myself lingering around the KL Sentral Station waiting for my bus to the airport. Whenever I’m on the run, I always end up eating fastfood. In KL Sentral Station, there is a McDonalds outlet. Even if I’m not eating there, I’d always buy a milkshake or ice cream while I walk around to kill the time.
It was during one of those occasions when I was queuing up for a milkshake when I noticed that McD sells bottled mineral water too. Most people, when eating at fastfood outlets would order the wide variety of carbonated drinks, but hardly ever plain water.
Later on, while shopping for groceries at the Giant Supermarket in KK, I noticed the same type of mineral water again—Aquarius. Everything about the product is the same, i.e. the size, the shape of the bottle, the company producing it (Coca Cola); but for one exception—the one sold at McD has the tagline “I’m lovin’ it”.
And immediately an outrageous idea came to my mind! Upon reaching home, I recorded the Aquarius into my “treasure archive”. It’s just waiting to be unleashed in one of my future hunts…
Then during the Tembak Series 1 last Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised to see the following treasure clue:
A BOTTLE OF NATURAL MINERAL WATER,
BY THE COCA COLA COMPANY IS WHAT I’M AFTER
SEARCH, BUY, I’M LOVIN’ IT,
FOR THIS IS WHAT YOU MUST SUBMIT
Without so much as thinking out the clue, I told my team mates on the spot:
“OK, this particular treasure is the mineral water available at McDonalds. The name is Aquarius. You should be able to see the words “Coca Cola” and the tagline “I’m lovin’ it” printed on the bottle.”
There was a pause and Dennis looked at me doubtfully. He tried to argue with a lame “But Coca Cola produces mineral water kah?”
It’s quite a coincidence that the CoC thought of this same trick. A number of the regular teams did not realise the significance of “I’m lovin’ it” in the clue, just as I had expected. Carelessness can happen even in the strong teams. When Alvin revealed the treasure, there was a chorus of a long-drawn groan from the crowd. Most of them submitted the Aquarius without the “I’m lovin’ it”.
So good to have a specific knowledge of this product and where to get it. But on the other hand, I now have one less treasure clue in my archive.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Dealing with the weak teams is much easier—I can play with the questions at will and the performances of the weak teams are very predictable. The same, however, can't be said of the top teams. They have seen most, if not all, of the tricks in the book, and no matter how you turn and twist your riddles, they're bound to find their ways to the solutions. For this reason, being a CoC, the challenge is to set something which the top hunters can't solve somehow, but at the same time giving them sufficient opportunities to actually solve those questions. In a way, the thrill is to bring them very close to the answers, yet not allowing them to actually see the solutions!
These are the type of questions which I have described as “reserved for the CoC”, meaning that it’s very far-fetched to expect the hunters to be able to solve them. Nonetheless, in spite of the “reserved for the CoC” I’m always guided by the principle of fairness—there is no point to set a question which is impossible to solve. What I really want is to allow the prudent hunter who analyses my question methodically and systematically, and with a bit of patience and lateral thinking, he has a good shot of arriving at the answer.
I have written about the “terrifying question” of last year’s Kiwanis Hunt, of which I considered unfair, though perhaps some teams might have solved that question anyway. In the Tembak Series 1, we had another terrifying question, of which Dr Liaw objected to when the answer was revealed. No one solved that question. It’s like this:
QC5) PUT ON FIRST TO GET READY.
The answer for the above question was to be found within the City Mall sector. In the case of my team, it meant during the dying minutes of the hunt, and under the scorching sun. And upon reading the question, I immediately saw the “terrifying question” of the Kiwanis in my mind. I saw the question for what it was—a mere equation comprising variables with no known value.
Looking at the question, one can quickly figure out the intention of the CoC. He wants the synonym of “PUT ON” which is to come first, i.e. before something which is found on the board (the answer); and when those two elements are combined together, we can get the synonym of “READY”.
Thus the equation which we can construct from the question is like this:
[Synonym of PUT ON] + [the ANSWER (found within sector)] => [Synonym of READY]
All 3 elements of the equation have no known value. In mathematical sense, it is something like trying to solve the equation:
X + Y = Z
In other words, what’s really required from the hunter is for him to stretch his mind to guess at least one of the unknown elements above, and then start on trial and error therefrom to solve the equation somehow. Flipping through a good Thesaurus, one is able to find quite a lot of words which can fit “PUT ON”, for example. Perhaps the word “WEAR” might come to mind. And if you looked up for “WEAR” in the Thesaurus, you can find quite a daunting amount of possible synonyms.
This, however, should not be surprising, because the trend of “searching for a needle in a haystack” is quite commonly seen in most hunts these days.
Anyway, if one had plenty of time to do the trial-and-error thing, he might be able to decide—for certain—on the word “DON” for “PUT ON”. He then comes up with the following equation:
DON + [ANSWER] = [Synonym of READY]
And then flipping through the Thesaurus again, he is able to find "DONE", which is a synonym of the word “READY”. Therefore, he is able to simplify the equation further to become:
DON + [ANSWER] = DONE
And so, he is able to find the required answer:
A) E @ column of building
But of course, when looking at the solution from the direction of answer -> question, the whole thing appears to be very easy and solvable. Nevertheless it absolutely whitewashed the entire field in the Tembak Series 1. If I had only found "DON" during those dying minutes, I might have been able to solve this question. But, y'know, I'm just not such a lucky person.
Interestingly, when Dr Liaw objected, the CoC had a foolproof response which was not to be gainsaid:
Just consider like every team had 39 questions today—and not 40 questions.I must remember that line; I could use it one of these days. (Smile)
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Have just received official results from Alvin shortly ago, and am updating it here accordingly. There was apparently a slight mistake in the order of positions 7th, 8th and 9th. The final standings as follows:
Champion: Edward Baki, Euphemia Thien, Cornelius Koh, Dennis Koh - 78pts
2nd: Harry Koh, Vivian Cham, Chan Moon Hueg, Jona Stidi - 72pts
3rd: Frederick Samson, Teo Chen Lung, Leslie Liew, Jason Chin - 68pts
4th: Onalia Kong, Allister Kong, Benjamin Liew, Jeremy Pinso - 65pts
5th: Ellen Yee, Mary Lokupi, Shirley Lim, Dr Liaw Yun Haw - 65pts
6th: Claire Andrew, Grace Joy Chin - 64pts
7th: Gan Po Tiau, David Wong, Winnie Chee, Shirley Chai - 63pts
8th: Francis Omamalin, Eileen Yeoh, Moira Liew, Lee Tze Jim - 62pts
9th: Malcolm Abidin, Talissa Kiandee, Andrea Abidin Callum Abidin - 61pts
10th: Chee Chui Mee, Juriah Hj Uda, Ana Hiew, Angeline Joimol - 57pts