Tuesday, June 2, 2009

26th Kiwanis Hunt—Shortened Footprint

During my early days of setting hunt questions, I had the unpopular habit of taking only one word from a multiple-worded signboard for my required answer. These are some of the examples from my past hunts:

Q) Returning here would be a waste.

A) Rizab @ Rizab Juta Sdn Bhd

Q) English word for the content of a local toilet.

A) You @ You Kee Bah Kut Teh

However, my "style" was criticised by several regular hunters. Although the intended single word from the multiple-worded signboard fitted perfectly, the solution was deemed not elegant, and may even be considered as "hitting below the belt" by some hunters. I have since changed this particular "style" and would try my best to account for the full names of business signs. The only exceptions are extensions such as "Sdn Bhd", "PLC", School, Supermarket etc.

Last year, during the 25th Kiwanis Hunt, we stumbled upon a similar question:

Q12) A striking catch for an angler?


BASS is the fish (catch for an angler) and ATTACK is the "striking" part of the clue. However, because my team was unable to find BASS ATTACK, we were eventually drawn to an appealing sign: PUSAT X-RAY SINARAN. "X" in bowling is a strike; and RAY is a fish. So this board seemed to satisfy the requirement of the clue. The only problem was the extra word SINARAN—it was unaccounted for in the clue. Therefore the CoC rejected this answer.

One year later, in the 26th Kiwanis Hunt—last Saturday—we stumbled upon a similar question, although this time the clue was a bit longer:

Q17) Value driven for our need to reduce this climate change footprint.

Quite a short and quiet sector and not many possible candidates to fit the clue. We were not thinking from the correct angle and was therefore unable to find the answer. Then on the second trip to the sector, I thought of CARBON as the "climate change footprint". But we couldn't find any CARBON within the sector. We then saw the signboard of AKADEMI MEMANDU NILAI followed by several other words; and within that same signboard were the types of licences, i.e. B, B2, C, D etc. VK suddenly realised that the words MAMANDU and NILAI could fit, albeit loosely, the "Value driven" part of the clue. And what about the CARBON? Well, from the many letters and words found on that signboard, there was a "C"; and that is the chemical symbol for CARBON, voila!

So we answered: C @ AKADEMI MEMANDU NILAI...

Although at that point I remembered how my PUSAT X-RAY SINARAN was rejected the previous year, I did not raise any objection to my team because (1) I had nothing better to offer; and (2) I adopted a democratic approach in selecting optional answers.

Later on, in the last sector of the hunt, there was another question based on the same consideration:

Q30) Head for the secret and famous numbers penned for children.

Upon reading the question I'm sure everyone would immediately think of the numbers 7 and 5, though perhaps not in that order. Now, within that sector, there's a parking lot with a "75" marked on it. And there was a shop No. 75. These were possible answers, but the problem with these answers was that they could not account for the word "Head" in the clue.

Then looking up high on a signboard, assuming that your eagle eyes were still not tired by then, you could see the picture of a head with many digits and the plus and substraction symbols in it. Among the digits seen in that head were 5 and 7. The question which the hunter had to answer was whether it's possible to extract only the 5 and 7 from the many digits and other rubbish found within that head? At least this board could cover the "Head" portion of the clue?

Such was the dilemma the then defending champion was in. They saw these possible answers, but having considered the pros and cons, and probably remembering the question from the 25th Kiwanis Hunt, they rejected the picture of the head with digits in it. And of course later on, they realised that they made a bad call because the CoC wanted that head after all.

As you can see, although the 26th Kiwanis Hunt was a pure hunt, the element of luck had quite an impact on the outcome of the hunt. It's a long abandoned "style" in hunt question, but if this is the "next change" we have to remember for the Kiwanis Hunt, then so be it. We are all resilient people and all we can do is learn and adapt to the "styles" of the many CoCs. But we hope that the style won't keep changing too frequently.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This was another flawed/badly phrase question given the answer.
Q. "Head 'for' ..." which then when read literal can mean 'go to', hence directing hunters to 'go to' the answer which is shop number 57 or 75 which should be accepted as the answer. In this instance, given the sequence of 'secret' coming before 'famous' in the question, then '75' would be the tight fit answer.

The COC's answer which was the 'head' with the load of numbers and other rubbish does not fit the structure of the question 'Head for' as the head already contains the 5 & 7 or 7 & 5. 'Head for' would mean head available to contain the answer and not already contained the 'answer'. Eg Storage for books - place available to store books but it does not mean that the storage place already has been stored with books.

The question should have been coined as "Head 'with' ...." which means the head contains the answer, it then tightens up the COC's original intended answer which was the numbers 5 & 7 on the sign/picture of the head with the load of numbers and other rubbish in it. However, this also begs the next question of why then the sequence of 'secret' before 'famous'?? Hence, had one had written 5,7 instead of 7,5 should this be marked as correct?

Perhaps our expectation of the COC in terms of questions and answers' precision, thoroughness and quality was too high?

Kok Seng