It was not after a good hour later when the usual warming up session began in the banquet hall with the dances for about 15 minutes or so. Having done my 21km run yesterday morning, I decided to opt out. After the warm up, Dominic spent the next few minutes to give us hunters a final briefing. Teams were soon flagged off.
Mia was unable to join us this time, as she wanted to spend the time supervising JJ with her revisions for her exams. I brought Vivian into my team. She has hunted with us in the Palliative Care Hunt last year which we won.
As a common feature of the KK City Hunt, it was mainly a case of organizing the team to complete many tasks including the so-called passport challenge, a walk-hunt, motorised hunt, and of course the annoying games.
As soon as we were flagged off, the first thing we did was to read all the instructions—all the tasks to be carried out, the challenges, the respective time windows etc. We quickly realised that we had insufficient time to perform all the tasks unless we split up the team members. Since Vivian and I are the strongest in the cryptic sense, Edward and Dennis dropped us off at the first walk-hunt sector at Gaya Street.
Those of you who know Gaya Street would know that we have the Street Market every Sunday morning. I don't know about the other hunters, but I simply loathe that sector for hunting. Apart from the thousand of people rubbing shoulders with each other, today was exceptionally annoying because there were also a lot of those lion troupes going around for their last bid to earn money. It was such a stressful experience—the noise from the drums, the many huge umbrellas which blocked the views and so many other distractions.
Viv and I spent quite a long time there looking for the location of a picture clue. It was very, very frustrating, but in the end we had no choice but to give up. In hindsight, I don't know if we could've found the answer had we lingered on a little longer. But I think it's certain that that question cost us dearly in the end.
At more or less the same time as we had abandoned our search of the answer to that picture clue, I received a call from Dennis, saying that they're done with the passport challenge. It was basically a joyride mission to go around several locations in the city to collect stamps. We walked the short distance to Maybank Jalan Pantai for a rendezvous with Edward and Dennis. From there, we were sent off to the Waterfront for the other sector of the walk-hunt. Then they were off again to secure Treasure 1 and a challenge which was to make and fly a kite at a seaside.
Although the questions at the Waterfront were mostly easy ones, there was one which Dominic designed to torture the strong hunters:
Q10) Neighbours indeed. Just like how some refer to the first lady.
There is something I'd like to comment about this particular question, which Dominic said was intended to be the hardest of this hunt, but I will do that in a separate post later. Suffice to say that I did get the right idea how to solve this question, but alas, I was unable to spot the answer. The clue was inaccurate, of course, but I will get to that later. It was a small sign, you see.
Having spent a good half an hour in this sector, I became somewhat desperate to just make a wild guess and then move on with the rest of the hunt. Of course I couldn't be sure of which sign to take. In fact the only thing I was sure then was that my urine bladder was at the verge of bursting. But one sign appeared at least a possibility—as remote as it was! There was a mention of "reference to the first lady", so the word "bull" seemed very appealing. But of course I couldn't account for "cock". Perhaps I would've been happier had there been a mention of the husband of that first lady too. Maybe in that case I would've been more willing to force-fit the word "cock", I don't know.
In the end, we made a wild guess and decided to proceed to the DBKK office for another challenge, which was to pick soya beans with a pair of chopsticks from among red beans within 60 seconds. It wasn't a particularly difficult task except for the time limit. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I only managed 12 beans.
By the time we finished with that challenge, Dennis and Edward had also completed the kite making/flying challenge. We then submitted our answers for Leg 1 and embarked on Leg 2 of the hunt. Leg 2 was basically a motorised hunt, except for a short stop at the Monsopiad Cultural Village for the blowpipe challenge and walking on coconut shells. I thought those were decent challenges. However, the darts for the blowpipe were made smaller so that when blown, the air would escape from the sides, causing the darts to emerge with very little force on the other side. I think this was deliberately done by the organiser. What eventually happened was that most of the darts couldn't even reach the target which was a mere 6ft or 8ft away. Anyway, to make the long story not so short, I was the fool who volunteered to handle the blowpipe challenge and ended up with nothing to show! And the moment I failed in that challenge, I knew that we've lost the top 5 finish. From then on, it was a mere struggle to stay in the top 10 finishers. In hunts of this sort, any experience hunter will tell you that a silly mistake on the question or a poor performance in the games, however small, can completely wipe off any chance of winning!
After those challenges at Monsopiad, it was a matter of finishing the motorised hunt, with a short stop at CKS to buy the remaining 2 treasures which we solved since first thing in the morning. And then later on, we realised that we had a lot of time to spare when approaching the finish line. We turned back to check out an answer which I wasn't happy about, as I felt our answer did not fit perfectly. It was possible that that answer was a red herring, which turned out to be indeed a red herring in the end. But unfortunately, we did not spot the intended answer. I think this riddle would have been a masterpiece by the CoC, except that I was a bit disappointed that the clue was again imperfect in the technical sense. This obviously deserves a further discussion in a separate post later.
There isn't much more to tell. We arrived at the finish station, submitted our answers and had to wait several hours before the answer and prize presentations. And of course during that long wait we had plenty of opportunities to mingle around with the other strong hunters for the "denial routine". It is almost a ritual in most hunts that the strong teams would try their best to tell the other teams that their teams did worse. Even if they did good, they will say that the did badly one way or another (smile.) I did the same too, but of course I was telling the truth this time! In the end, we managed to sneak in to 7th place.
1. KK Chai, Margaret Sha, Claire Chin, Sin Y L (109)
2. Tan Cher Kian, Teo Chen Lung, Leslie Yew, Frederick Samson (106)
3. Allister Kong, Chong Voon Kiat, Jeremy Pinso, Benjamin Liew (105)
4. Ellen Yee, Dr Liaw Yun Haw, Shirley Lim, Mary Lokupi (105)
5. Sallehuddin Yusof, Kheirul Nazib, Johan Salul, Dr Ben Lau (103)
6. Bernard Liew, Alvin Wong, Christine Netto, Audrey Chin (102)
7. Cornelius Koh, Vivian Cham, Dennis Koh, Edward Baki (101)
8. Claire Andrew, Grace J Chin, Christie Kong, Saidah Sahid (?)
9. Francis Omamalin, Eileen Yeoh, Lee Tse Jim, Moina Liew (?)
10. Gan Po Tiau, Davin Wan, Winnie Chee, Shirley Chai (?)
11. Benedict Bisoni, Oliver Bryan, Morris Bisoni, Sharon Antius (96)
12. Ag Ahmad, Ag Sarpudin Ag Kassim, Masri Khan, Zurinah Hanafiah (?)
13. Dunstan Lojitan, John Binggiap, Miklin Ationg, Gerry K Chandran (95)
14. Noraimy Jawahir, Ahmad Rijaluddin, Roslina Abu Hassan, Betty Wong (?)
15. Wee Pei Ling, David Wong, Alan Tan, Patricia (92)
16. Harry Koh, Buddy Jiliun, Lai Mui Chan, Frinkley Lian Chin (90)
17. Julia Chan, Jaco Swanepoel, Paul Callaghan, Mior Azman Musa (?)
18. Robinetta J Malangkig, Talissa Kiandee, Malcolm Abidin, Andrea Abidin (89)
19. Noorainee Jamal, Siti Moira Jamal, Mohd Norif Paival Yahya, Retty F Simok (89)
20. Denny Lajitan, Jeffrey Ismail, Shamsul Alfian, Mervyn Tham (88)