We had quite a hunt today, even though the weather wasn't really on our side. It was drizzling during the first hour or so after the flag off, but thankfully the weather improved during the second half of the hunt. On the whole though, it was a pleasant day since the hunters did not have to walk in the hot and humid condition.
The KK Challenge 5 attracted 14 teams. Because of the timing of the hunt, several regular teams were unable to participate. But on the other hand, I'm happy that we've attracted some new teams to participate in the KK Challenge series for the very first time today. And we had quite some surprises too!
As usual, I designed this hunt to allow the top team to achieve very near to the full score while at the same time not to fail the weaker teams too badly. I'm glad to report that I have more or less achieved my plan—out of the 14 teams, only 2 teams failed the hunt.
I am pleasantly surprised that 2 relatively new teams created history when they beat a number of regular teams by breaking into the top 5 positions. In this sense, I'm happy to note that we've attracted new breed of treasure hunters who've improved in such a short time. The only question remains now is whether they will have the consistency to keep repeating the feat.
In terms of standard, I have not introduced anything new in this hunt. I have basically maintained my style of extensive wordplay, and as in my previous hunts, the local hunters have always been weak when dealing wordplays because they simply don't have the habit of looking up for words in the dictionaries. This is one aspect of treasure hunting which I think is not going to improve very soon in our local scene. Consider this question which most teams had to waste so much time on:
Q6) He left a jar here.
A6) The Leaf
A "jar" is of course a noun. But in this particular clue, I meant it as a verb, meaning to shake, jerk or vibrate etc. It's in this verb sense that "jar" is an anagram indicator. But when I set this question, I knew that most of the hunters will struggle with this question because they simply don't have the habit to check other possible meanings of the word "jar". And if I were to set a similar clue in my future hunts, they will still not check the dictionary! Some people will never learn, I guess.
There were also plain word-substitution questions such as:
Q2) Complete motivation.
A2) SHEER INSPIRATION
Q40) Simple fashion.
A40) Easy Way
However, it would have been uncharacteristic of my hunt if it's without the so-called "reserved for the CoC" questions. I did throw in a couple of them, but I'm glad to say that at least one was successfully solved. I shall discuss these interesting questions in separate posts later.
Other assortment of questions based on other themes such as observation/spotting skills, basic initial, reversal, containers etc were also given generously in this hunt. On the whole, I think it was quite an even spread of questions to cover most of the major cryptic themes.
The team, Cili Padi, of which my brother, Harry, was a member caused something of a stir when they sneaked in to the thrid place and ended up with the bronze medals. But although they have only hunted for the second time in an open hunt (they hunted together in the Novice Hunt 1), they have actually been training "secretly" by using the questions from my KK Challenge series 1 to 3 recently.
Another team which made heads turn was No Plastic Bags. Hunting for only the third time, and second time with the current members, they managed to find their way to fourth position. I must congratulate them for doing such a great job! However, I thought they could've done even better if not for some unforgiveable mistakes! So this is a good warning to the regular teams—that there are emerging strong teams out there!
De StoneS confirmed that their recent win in the Novice Hunt 1 was not a fluke when they finished with an impressive 79 points. They must have worked really hard on their treasures this time (which, I think, saved their day) and solved 3 out of 4 of the treasure clues.
But in the end, it was an anti-climax. As expected, team Main Tembak won decisively with 94 points. It's a bit sad to note that most of the regular hunters started the hunt this morning fighting only for the silver medals, saying that the gold medals have been taken even before the flag off!
The top 7 teams for the KK Challenge 5 are like this (maximum score—100 points):
1) Bernard Liew, Alvin Wong, Christine Netto, Audrey Chin—94pts
2) Frederick Samson, Tan Cher Kian, Teo Chen Lung, Leslie Yew—79 pts
3) Harry Koh, Buddy Jiliun, Sophia Lai—73pts
4) Julia Chan, Mior Azman Musa, Jaco Swanepoel, Paul Callaghan—72pts
5) Johan Amilin, Siti Nur Liyana, Siti Nur Hanaa, Johari Jan—68pts
6) Ellen Yee, Shirley Lim, Mary Lokupi, Felix Joikon—67pts
7) Christie Kong, Claire Andrew, Grace J Chin, Saidah Mohd Sahid—65pts
The Winning team, Main Tembak beside me, from left, Bernard Liew, Christine Netto, Alvin Wong and Audrey Chin.
Second place winners, Tan Cher Kian, Teo Chen Lung, Leslie Yew and Frederick Samson.
Third place winners, Harry Koh, Buddy Jiliun and Sophia Lai.
I just want to show the kind of fun some of you have missed. This was taken during the presentation after the hunt. Looking at this mother and daughter of the Jolly Roger team, it keeps me smiling all day long.