Monday, April 19, 2010

KK Challenge 6—On Balance

Another question which stopped the top team from getting the perfect score is not one that I would describe as "elegant". I made sure that the solution is sound, of course, but in terms of entertainment, I don't really like it. As I have mentioned before, I like the kind of questions which are achievable by most teams, but for their trickiness—those which would make the hunters want to kick themselves when I reveal the solutions!

Q13) When everything is taken into account on this.

The reason why I don't really like this question is because I think not many of our local hunters had the required English ability to solve it! I think we have quite a number of Sabahans who can speak very fluent English, and know the language well. But in this case, we are dealing with a phrase. And not a very common phrase too!

In the above question, "on this" is supposed to be the "definition" part of the clue; and the rest of the sentence gives the meaning of that "definition". Essentially, it all boils down to whether one knows the phrase ON BALANCE, which is not very commonly used. It means, well, "when everything is taken into account", word for word from my dictionary!

So we say,

On balance, it was a well-organised event.

Which means,

When everything is taken into account, it was a well-organised event.


Like I said, I don't really like this question. Once the hunter is ignorant of the phrase "on balance", there is a very slim chance for him of ever getting the solution! I don't do this all the time though. In fact, most of the time, I try my best to allow a second and/or third possibilities to arrive at the same destination. So if the hunter is ignorant of one element required to find the solution, he may still find it anyway via a different avenue. For example, check out this question which was located in the Donggongon sector:

Q28) Terribly rough beginning, a wild kid will grow up to be this.

Perhaps not something which could be immediately solved on paper. However, upon carefully scanning the available choices in the sector, one is able to guess and connect the remaining part of the solution. And that guess can easily be confirmed by counter-checking from a dictionary.


From the word "beginning", which is an initial indicator, one is very likely able to spot TR from "Terribly Rough". And within that sector, if I'm not much mistaken, there is only one board with a TR in it. And even if there is another, it would be very easy to quickly narrow down the search anyway.

A hardworking hunter would then be able to look up for IBEX in the dictionary, and he is bound to find that it is a mountain goat with curved horns. This is of course assuming that the hunter does not already know it. I just happen to know it from my Scrabble years. And then beyond that, it is also easy to check and confirm that "kid" can refer to a young goat. So in the end, even if the hunter does not know KID = YOUNG GOAT; and IBEX = MOUNTAIN GOAT, it is still possible for him to find the answer!

Another example:

Q15) When found in a bus, you can count on it.

The kind of question which is solvable on paper! As long as one can remember the item and know what it is called, he will know that we're looking for AC, because when AC is found in A BUS, we will get ABACUS.



Update (Added at 1:10pm on 20 April 2010):


Update (7:40pm on 20 April 2010):

Still a bit too flowery, but the name on the shopping bag held by the woman is most certainly M7.


scute said...

There was another sign, "Treasure's" within the same sector, just before Tribex.

kkchai said...

TQ for a good hunt..we enjoyed ourselves. However Q22 bothered us for awhile especially after making so many turns and still couldn't find what we thought was an anagram answer. M7 is not exactly what it seem because the cursive writing of M would be in one stroke while on board in this case was broken into two where we make them out as NC7. It was only after we left the sector that my team mate decided it must be M7 to you in order to fit the clue. Can you claify the sign if it was indeed NC7 and not M7 ? On balance, it is a good question and I think a lot of hunters were caught here.

Cornelius said...

Yes, scute, I have since been informed that there was that TREASURE'S board. And also another one, I think the name of an eatery within that sector.

But anyway,I still think it's easy to check if there is a meaning to the rest of the letters after the "TR". It was still easy to shortlist the "candidates".

Cornelius said...

OK, kkchai, I have uploaded the photo in the above post.

It is strange that when I saw the board for the first time, and all the time up to the point when you brought up the possibility of NC7, I have always seen it as M7. But now that you have mentioned it, I can see why you saw it as NC7, which is of course also possible.

Obviously, this reflects badly on the signboard maker, because it seems that people can get confused on the name of the shop!

But anyway, the reason why I saw it (and still see it) as M7 as opposed to NC7 is because if it were N followed by C, I thought that the N would then be too slanting to the right and would then look somewhat awkward. The other reason is that if that is a C in in between N and 7, then it is exceptionally small and somewhat unharmonious, in terms of size, with the rest of the font. Finally, if indeed that is C in the middle, I feel there should be at least a small gap, but clearly separating N and C, not leaning onto the N.

This is of course not the ultimate test, since this is supposed to be a "flowery" way of writing the letters. I think I will try to actually go to the shop to ask the shop owner, just out of curiosity sake.

kkchai said...

And now, we wait....the truth is out there :)

Cornelius said...


I have since asked several of the hunters who joined this hunt. They all said M7, until I brought up the possibility of NC7, whereupon they exclaimed, "Oh ya kan! Possible also oh!"

But the mother of 'em all is when I raiseD the possibility of NC7, and after staring at the photo, she said, "Hey! it's also possible that its JVC7!" ... HAHAHA!

Claire said...

Moral of the story - If you want to set up a shop, don't use such fanciful fonts on your signboard which may end up confusing people!

Cornelius said...

Claire Chin,

I said more or less the same thing to some friends about using a fanciful font when putting up business names - that it can result in confusing people!

OK, this is what has transpired since a couple of hours ago. I asked several other people, i.e. hunters who were actually there during the hunt. I guided them to this blog to see the photo again. They all said that they saw it as M7. Some became doubtful when I raised the possibility of NC7. Some were still adamant on M7; to them there's just no way it is NC7. Interestingly, the reasons why they insisted that it's M7 were basically the same as mine.

Another friend "confirmed", after seeing the photo, that it is NC7 because according to him, he has seen the font before in Word. I told him quite truthfully that I did not know that! I tried to look for the font on my pc, but soon abandoned the search after a while.

Incidentally, my staff were out inspection, and I requested them to stop by the shop to actually ask the owner for the name of the business once and for all. And if possible, get a business card as well.

Well, the matter is now settled. The name of the business is most definitely M7 FASHION. Like I said, I saw it since the first time, and the whole time as M7 FASHION, and it did not even cross my mind that it could be NC7 until that possibility was raised today.

However, if some of you hunters actually solved the clue, but rejected this board because your saw it as NC7, I am so sorry for you! I honestly did not plan this kind of trick. The trick in the clue itself is quite enough for the challenge!

So obviously someone should shoot the signboard maker for confusing some of us; shoot Claire and KK Chai for causing the adrenaline rush in my body; and shoot that other friend who "confirmed" that it's NC7!... HAHAHA!

To put the matter to rest once and for all, I will upload the photo of the business card shortly after this.

Claire said...

Case closed. Such active imagination we have! An adrenaline rush in your body is good as it keeps the heart pumping strong. ;-)

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

Hoo Hoo! What the Dumb Announcer have said interests me. Quick, let us know the dates.

Cornelius said...

Hehe... I have been given strict instruction to make only that much announcement for now, and then further info will be given in May! And when anyone asks me for info, I am supposed to "act dumb", hence The Dumb Announcer! I think you can imagine how my emailbox and smsbox are flooded by queries about this announcement now!