According to the CoC, he intended the following clue as the toughest for the KK City Tourism Hunt 2010:
Q10) Neighbours indeed. Just like how some refer to the first lady.
As I have mentioned in the preceding post, only Vivian and I handled the walk-hunt for my team. After we have found the answers for the other questions within this sector, Vivian came up to me to seek my opinion on how to crack this clue.
I explained to her that in the cryptic sense, there is a significance to that word "indeed". Basically, it means that a preceding word will have to be inserted into the word "deed" (in-DEED) or its synonyms. And "neighbours" here might be referring to neighbouring letters of the alphabet, e.g. AB, CD, DE etc.
That then was the angle to be analysed. The task therefore was merely to search for any "neighbours" letters that's contained in other words, of which the latter might fit "DEED". Unfortunately, after walking the short hunt sector for almost half an hour, we failed to spot the intended answer. As any hunter would attest to, when in desperation, one would try to "force-fit" anything in sight.
And that's exactly what I did. I chose CHIVAS REGAL which brought a smile to Vivian's face. The reason I chose this answer was because of the "HI" which satisfied the requirement of "neighbours". But CV did not seem to fit DEED. I could live with "LIKE HOW" equated to "AS". Then again, equating "FIRST LADY" to "REGAL" is a bit far-fetched. So although we wrote down that answer, I knew it was not convincing.
Little did we know, somewhere within that sector, there was a small word found on a signboard which was partially hidden under the roof, i.e. the word STUDENT. Notice that "DE" are the "neighbours" as explained above. And STUNT, in a way, is a DEED. So DE inserted into the STUNT can yield STUDENT.
But now we come to an interesting point. What's the story with the second sentence in the clue, i.e. Just like how some refer to the first lady.
According to the CoC, that word "first" is the initial indicator, and the fodder is the word "lady". So taking only the first letter of "lady", we get the single letter "L". After arriving at "L", one is expected to expand the idea a little further. The letter "L" standing on its own is a common abbreviation for LEARNER. For example we can see the "L" (usually red in colour) on a car when it's driven by a person learning to drive. And here LEARNER is supposed to support STUDENT.
So to recap, "the first LADY" = L; and L = LEARNER. Do you follow so far? Capital! we progress!
Nevertheless, upon closer scrutiny, one will see that the solution can't hold water!
although first LADY = L; and L = LEARNER, first LADY is not LEARNER!
This is an error commonly seen in many hunts in KL where CoCs were practically unchallenged in the past. However, about 2 years ago, in an interesting discussion I had had with the late Master Hunter Vincent Woo in the Riddle Raiders blog, we arrived at the conclusion that the above riddle was inaccurate on technical grounds!
According to (the late) Master Vincent Woo—and I agree with him—sometimes CoCs, when setting questions, are too absorbed in setting multiple levels of word substitutions by adopting several synonyms. However, sometimes they forget that after several substitutions and branches from the original word, the meaning of that original word might have changed!
first LADY => L => FIFTY (Roman numeral) => LIMA PULUH
But first LADY is not LIMA PULUH
And then later on, another Master Hunter under the nickname "renroc" came up with an interesting example to illustrate the point even clearer. For the benefit of the new hunter-readers of this blog, renroc's example was something like this:
TULIP is a FLOWER;
and FLOWER in the cryptic sense, is quite frequently equated to RIVER (one that flows).
However, TULIP is not RIVER!
Therefore, THE FIRST LADY is not NEIGHBOURS INDEED!
In my opinion, on technical grounds, the second sentence in this clue spoils the beauty of the riddle.