Thursday, July 29, 2010

1Malaysia Hunt—The Psychic Hunter

As far as treasure hunt is concerned, I prefer to be the hunter rather than be the Clerk-of-Course (CoC). But sometimes, I'm obliged to put on the CoC's cap, since we don't have very many people who consider themselves qualified to be one in KK.

Whenever I take up the role of the CoC, I try as much as I can to produce something which is entertaining. If possible, I want people to remember me for some of my outstanding Qs or tricks. There will be the tendency to throw in a couple of very tough Qs to prevent the hunters from getting the full score, though some of them will get very close to it! But side by side with that sadistic inclination to prevent full score, I am also guided by the principle of fairplay. No matter how tough I want to make my questions, I always make it a point to make them solvable. I know some of our local hunters may disagree with me, but you must trust me on this—my Qs are solvable!

Some other CoCs may also try to prevent teams from getting the full score. But sometimes they do it in a shameful way. They come up with Qs which are not solvable by us mortals. Such was the case in the recent 1Malaysia Hunt—in particular, a treasure clue which was merely there to safeguard the CoC's pride of beating all the hunters.

A Chinese uncle whose name comes to mind,
When One Malaysia initially goes back you will find,
Has mail in a different way for the right flavour,
Bring in this favourite since 1945 and I'll reward your endeavour.

The kind of treasure clue which is very easy to explain, but for one very important condition—the hunter must already know the answer beforehand. Otherwise there is almost no way to solve this clue!

If the hunter has all the time in the world to focus on only this one treasure clue for the entire 5.5 hours hunting time (plus 30 minutes penalty time), maybe—just maybe—he could use that entire time to search every single inch of the supermarket for the item on trial and error in the hope of making a lucky strike somehow.

There is nothing in the clue to help narrow down the search on the type of item to find. There is nothing there, for example, that tells us we are looking for, say, a can of drink; or a bottle of cooking mixture; or a packet of fabric item; or some sort of biscuits and other tidbits; or something wet etc—zilch! It means that we are forced to leave no stone unturned, one at a time, to see which item can fit the clue—cryptically.

Of course it is entirely possible that we can stumble upon the required item on the first trial-and-error attempt. For example, when we walk into the huge supermarket, we go straight to the canned drinks section, pick up a can from the many available choices and flavours, and then find that whatever is printed on that can fits the clue perfectly. Yes, that would be very nice.

Nevertheless, it is also possible that we may spend many hours checking all the items in the supermarket one by one, and yet will not find the required item because it just so happen that that supermarket had run out of stock of that forsaken item! That's life, I guess. So spending the entire 5.5 hours may end up with nothing at all!

A foolproof method, however, is if the participant is a psychic hunter. If he is one, then he would be able to read the CoC's mind and he would therefore know that he's required to look for a kind of tidbits contained in a yellow plastic pack with the brandname MO, and has the Halia Manis flavour; and it's a favourite item since 1945 too. Then every single clue can be explained very, very easily.

But only if he is a psychic hunter...


Claire said...

...Or is a fan of Mo's tidbits ;-)

Cornelius said...

Yes, that can help too, Claire. But maybe I am just aweful in my general knowledge. Before this I've never even heard of the Mo brand!

And when analysing the clue, I came up with "MO", or "MI"; or even "MOW". After I arrived at those, I couldn't decide where to start looking. I went to the tidbit sections of course, but somehow couldn't find the MO. It could have been a brandname for drinks, other packet food, spices, cooking ingredients, canned food and preservatives. The range is just so damn big.

In the end, we just grabbed canned MILO because of that MI in front. It was an extremely long shot, but you know how it is when in desperation.

scute said...

Talking about desperation. We managed to sieve through the supermarket and in the "MI" section was KEN CHEONG noodle that proudly stated it was around since 1945. Ken Cheong sounds like a Chinese man. LOL!

What didn't went through was the flavour as the noodle has no flavour, ha ha ha..........

But when desperate, boleh try juga.

Anonymous said...

Do you try to google MO 1945?

Cornelius said...


Yes I did. Tried "MO 1945 SNACKS", because there was a mention of "flavour". Then also tried, "MOW" and "MI". Too many hits. Dunno which one to choose. Did you manage to find the HALIA MANIS via googling? I'd like to know where I went wrong. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cornelius
when I google I put MO 1945. I choose page from Malaysia only and it direct me to one of the website
At that website you can see all MO product including sweet ginger (halia manis)

Cornelius said...

Ah! that is very interesting, Anonymous friend! If I had more time, perhaps it's quite possible to have figured out to google up - specifically - only "MO", and not "MI" and "MOW"; and for products in Malaysia only! Then maybe from there, I can search through the available range of products, and I would have realised that one of them, i.e. HALIA MANIS is the anagram of "HAS MAIL IN A", if I haven't already figured that out blindly anyway.

As I said, when searching for items which we already know, it is always very easy to find, especially with the help of the internet. But CoCs should put himself in the shoes of the hunters when setting clues.

But if one is hunting, with so many other tasks to perform, other treasures to solve, other route Qs, plus bolded Qs to solve and spot within the sectors, one is not always able to think of - specifically - MO (not MI and MOW) etc etc. Well, not unless if you already know the answer, of course.