Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1Malaysia Hunt—Constructive Taglines

A common theme of hunt Qs which is no longer popular these days is that of spotting taglines on signboards. They emerge from time to time, but when they do, there will be very few of them.

Ordinarily, tagline Qs are very simple and straightforward. Let me give an example. Suppose there is a signboard containing the words "Air Asia" on it. And below those words is the tagline "Now everyone can fly". Now imagine that the CoC decides to set a question, of which he intends the "Air Asia" to be the required answer. How does he set the Q?

Q) Now everyone can fly.

As you can see, there is nothing in the clue that tells the hunter it is a tagline. It is all up to the hunter to reach the hunt sector and put two and two together. But when he finally realises that the Q is a tagline, how does he answer it? Well, he should simply write down what that tagline is referring to; in this case, it is referring to "Air Asia". So writing down "Air Asia" is quite good enough as the answer. There is no need to write down the entire tagline "Now everyone can fly", because that tagline is supposed to be the question, not the answer—hunters are supposed to write down the answer, not the question!

In the 1Malaysia Hunt, the CoC decided to throw in a "tagline" Q. But he did it differently from the normal way. Instead of quoting the tagline in verbatim as seen on the board, he put it like this:

Q29) Their tagline should be a constructive theme for us to emulate.

As I said, tagline Qs are not generally meant to be tough to answer. But in this case, it can become a bit complicated. Within that sector, there was a signboard containing "4Life", which is the business name, and then followed by the tagline "Together Building People".

Once again, we come to the same question—how should we write the answer?

Before we debate on how we should write the answer, we should first determine what the answer is.

Many of the hunters I have spoken to about this Q opined that the clue is asking for the name of the business, i.e. the "owner" of the tagline. In fact, similar as in the case of "Air Asia" above. I think that was the result of mechanical thinking. The mind has a sub-conscious tendency to follow the norm. So because it is the norm that a "tagline" Q requires the name of the business, the mind automatically assumes that that is always the case.

But what we have here is not the usual tagline Q. It is no more and no less a standard cryptic-style Q. For the benefit of the new hunters, the common format of a cryptic clue is like this:


Sometimes, it is also possible that the "definition" part of the clue is at the end of the sentence. The idea is that the "cryptic wordplay" part of the clue is supposed to produce the meaning of the "definition" part, and vice versa.

For example,

Being overweight, some of these bounce back (5)

In the above clue, "Being overweight" is the definition part of the clue; and "some of these bounce back" is the cryptic wordplay part. The word "some" is a hidden word indicator. It tells the solver that some of the letters found in "these bounce" will make the answer. Then the last word, "back", tells the solver to reverse those letters. And so, we will get obese, which agrees with "Being overweight".

Looking back at Q29, we are now able to see clearer based on the cryptic format:

[Their tagline] + [should be a constructive theme for us to emulate]

"Their tagline" is the definition part of the clue; and "should be a constructive theme for us to emulate" is the riddle part. From that riddle part, we need to find something that agrees with "Their tagline".

You will quickly notice that whether it's "His tagline" or "Her tagline" or "Their tagline", the thing we are looking for is the "tagline". Therefore the tagline is the answer we are looking for! It means that one way or another, the tagline must be written in the answer box.

But if there are many taglines found within that sector, which one should we pick? Well, from the "riddle" part of the clue, there is a mention of "constructive" (building) and "us", meaning people together. And so, we zoom in to "Together Building People", because those 3 words make a tagline; and a tagline is what's required.

But beyond that lies a deeper riddle. Should we, or shouldn't we, include the name of the business in the answer? If the clue had begun with "This tagline...", then I think the name of the business is not even important in this case. It is merely required as a "supporting evidence" that the hunter had actually spotted the required tagline. So in such a case, "Together Building People @ 4Life" is the way to go.

But what we have in Q29 is different—it begins with "Their tagline..."—so we ask ourselves why—"Their"? Could it be that the CoC had wanted the name of the business too as a significant part of the answer, and not merely as a "supporting evidence"?

This was the position I arrived at during the hunt. But I quickly decided that the CoC wanted the business name to be a significant part of the answer too. So, to be on the safer side, I instructed Vivian to write "4Life, Together Building People". These are 2 separate entities, of course, but I thought both are required as the answer for Q29.

I think it's also possible to write the answer as "Together Building People @ 4Life" anyway, in which case the fact that the tagline is found on the 4Life signboard might be interpreted as "belonging to 4Life". Just that I thought this approach may be a bit risky. In hindsight, I'm convinced that the CoC would have accepted both versions anyway!

So you see, such a simple Q can become quite complicated. The thought process can be quite daunting. But let me just say that if all these small effort can eventually translate into RM2,000, then it is well worth it!


CK said...

haha... i am waiting for this...

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...

When taglines are quoted verbatim in the riddle, the norm (which I think is practical) is that there is no need to repeat when writing the answer. Simply identifying the "owner" of the tagline would be sufficient.

However, in this case, since the tagline was not quoted verbatim, we need to both qualify that we had spotted a fitting tagline, plus its owner.

Writing the answer like this (or the other way around) would have been acceptable, I would expect:

Together Building People @ 4Life

Socrates29 said...

I beg to differ here.I think the correct way to write the answer should be as what the signboard has stated:-
4Life Together Building People

2 Romans 1 Impostor said...


Treasure Hunts are not the least like Science exams where each question posed must have a specific answer (written beside it).

Most COCs I have come across will be satisfied when both answers are provided irrespective of the orientation which I think is the practical thing to do.

Cornelius said...

Oh I am itching to respond now. But perhaps I better finish my post first. That, however, will have to wait till this evening. Please bear with me.

peter said...

There was a question in the recent Tropicana mall hunt: Napoleon exile island.

Answer is ELBA. So we wrote the answer as: ELBA @ (the name of the shop) - meant to tell the COC that we indeed saw the answer, and it was not just a guess.

I would say that writing ELBA alone should qualify us for the full point. Because the question does not asked: What and Where. We are answering strictly to the question. Which is exactly my point here - ANSWER THE QUESTION.

Looking at this Q29 - what is the question. Is the COC asking for the tagline or the name of the shop with that tagline or both.

My call is the shop - taking cue from the first word of the question, ie. Their!! What is 'Their' referring to? Obviously the shop name. So to me the answer is 4Life. But I would probably add the tagline into the answer as well. I have learned that it is never too much to write when answering.

But I have to disagree with the way Socrates29 wrote down the answer as: 4Life Together Building People, simply because 4Life and Together Building People are 2 separate entity and therefore there must be a separator.

Cornelius said...

Thank you all for your comments. But let me finish the post first before I respond.

Cornelius said...

OK, I have finished my post above, and perhaps have also addressed some of the points raised by the commenters. But I would like to respond a bit to peter.

I think as a rule of thumb, we should always prove that we have seen the answer by specifying its location, whether or not there is a "What and where?" in the clue.

For example, suppose on a signboard with the business name, "ROYAL SPORTS PALACE", one is able to find many sporting brandnames, including Reebok, adidas, Nike etc. And the Q is set like this:

Q) Mulanya, ada duit, isteri dua, apa susah?

There is no mention of "What and where?" Yet when the answer is written, it should be written like this: