Sunday, October 18, 2009

KK Challenge 5—Putting On To Jump

It has come to a stage where some regular teams challenge themselves to try to solve the so-called "reserved for the CoC" questions in my KK Challenge hunts. In a way, these questions are very much like the "bolded" questions in other hunts. In a typical KK Challenge hunt, there will be only a few of such questions.

Although I have termed them as "reserved for the CoC" questions, I always see to it that I allow for sufficient opportunities for the hunters to solve them. Typically, however, hunters require more time and mental stamina to solve these questions, but if successful, the achievement can be very satisfying even though they carry no extra points when compared to the other questions!

Q8) These are meant for putting on to jump.

I think the hunters could sense that this was intended to be a "reserved for the CoC" question even before reaching the sector, because it was a very short sector and comparatively fewer signboards when compared to the other sectors.

Only Team Main Tembak solved this question in the end, but not before investing a lot of time and mental efforts in figuring out the clue. I think it was a bold move on their part considering that it was still quite early in the hunt. Spending too much time on a single question is not always a good idea, as that strategy can backfire in the later stages of the game. So I consider this move by Main Tembak as very risky—and a risk not really worth taking too! But, y'know, some of us are willing to go against the best strategy for the satisfaction of the challenge!

When seeing the clue from the literal sense, one is apt to think of, say, the word PARACHUTES. But of course I scanned that sector and found no PARACHUTES there. The solution lies in the cryptic sense involving wordplay and a few other tricks, including "space deception" between words.

The word THESE tells the solver that he's dealing with something in the plural sense. So he should probably shortlist his candidates to those with the letter "S" in them. But of course this is not foolproof, since some plural English words have no "S" in the end.

The word JUMP at the end of the clue tells the solver very little, but he should at least flip through the Thesaurus to look for its synonyms.

The trickiest part of the clue is "meant for putting on", especially if read as a whole in the context of the entire clue. It gives the solver the impression that he's looking for some sort of outfit to put on to his body, such as a dress or cap or pants etc. But the beauty of the English language is that sometimes a single word may have many different meanings. It takes a hard-working solver to find the correct one.

PUT: verb - to move something into a particular place or position.

PUTT: verb - (in golf) to hit the ball gently when it is on the grass near the hole, so that it rolls across the ground a short distance into or towards the hole.

But in the participle form, both the above verbs are spelt the same way, i.e. PUTTING.

In the game of golf, those small patches of carpet-like areas which are "meant for putting (of the golf balls) on" are known as the GREENS. And once the solver can think of this possibility, he can quickly see the synonym of JUMP in this case, which is the word HOP. By joining both these words together, and in conjunction with the available board within the sector, the answer is GREEN SHOP.

There is of course a gap between the words GREEN and SHOP, but "space deception" is commonly used and acceptable in cryptic clues and treasure hunts.

1 comment:

Cornelius said...

By the way, I know the word "SHOP" is very faded, but this sign is very large and highly visible from the car. It's also a very short sector. So I consider that I've been fair to the hunters.