Monday, 25 October 2010

It's a Puzzling Post

It begins with three of us, hubby, Munie and I going back to Taman Arboratum in the Kiara hills yesterday morning - after a 6-month hiatus.

Noticed that a few new signboards had been put up along the tarmac path.

The first says that the park is now under the purview of the National Department of Landscapes.

That was since 1st August 2010. Good news indeed and about time too.

This place was slated for a luxury hillside residential development and is nestled between the Taman Tun Dato' Ismail Recreational Park and the sprawling KLGCC Golf Course.

It would have been a very desirable address to live in and to coolly mention to the curious.

Although roads and drainage are  already in place,  nature lovers of TTDI and the surrounds have managed to stop the project.

Yesterday in full throng, exercisers descended on this place and then ascended the sometimes steep inclines for a vigorous workout.

Hubby did three and a half circuits, Munie two.

I cheated and went the opposite direction which is mainly downhill for one round.

Still  huffed and puffed in places and worked up a sweat.

They had erected a signboard where Sg. Pencala originates and also one  further downstream cautioning people about polluting the stream or introducing aquatic animals there.

Came across this flower in full bloom. Am hopeless where flora is concerned and have no inkling what it is.

Bumped into a friend... Suzy, and exchanged pleasantries.

I took the "strolling" theme further by finishing my single round and then buying the Sunday papers at the end of the trek.

I plonked on the seller's plastic stool to read while waiting for the other two to be done with their masochistic acts.

And there I undertook my own route for pleasurable pain - the CRYPTIC crossword puzzle!

Years ago, before marriage and baggage, I used to tackle the one in the New Straits Times.

It was taken from the Daily Telegraph and was of course British-oriented with clues that refer to very British icons like the Queen, their political parties, the British Rail, or the Tube, or even plain tea.

But the one in the Sunday Star is on general knowledge and you can almost always find the answers in the clues themselves.

That's what makes cryptic crosswords so enjoyable. rather than the straightforward ones for which you must possess a wide vocabulary or a Roget's Thesaurus at hand.

Take this cryptic clue:

Further chaos in Laos (4 letters)

I bet word pundits like those I have on Facebook will instantly spot the answer to be the word "ALSO".

It has nothing to do with  Laos the country, except the letters.

"chaos"  indicates a jumbling up of the letters that make up the answer. If you re-arrange the letters L.A.O.S, you get "ALSO" which is a synonym of "further" which is the answer.

Here's another one:

He could be in Madrid and Paris at the same time (8 letters)

The answer is neither a super-hero nor a cartoon character. Since Madrid is in Spain, the clue may be referring to a Senor, but if you can spot that "and Paris" is an anagram of "Spaniard", then you can be 99% sure that that is the correct answer.

Fun isn't it?

Anyway, those were the only two clues I managed to solve while waiting for my super-heroes.

How about this one?

Is afraid of disturbing adders (6)

(I'm not giving the answer)

Actually none in my family have taken to crossword puzzles like I have.

I'm also the only one who enjoys diabolical Sudoku.

Am I nerdy or what?

Sudoku was very popular when it first came out.

Although it has nothing to do with calculating anything, some people are put off by the numbers in the puzzle.

Actually it's just about  pattern recognition - and putting symbols in their rightful places.

The reason the puzzle designer used numbers in the first place is probably because everyone knows them and thus will have universal appeal.

Speaking of numbers, when I first went to school, they taught me to say

Nought, One, Two, Three, Four, Five....

Then Nought became Oh as in "Agent Double Oh Seven" or "Peejot (Peugeot) Five Oh Five".

Was it in Form Four when Oh evolved into Zero with maths teacher droning "when dee y dee x tends to Zero... ba,bla,bla...".

Now they tell me zero is not a number... it is a concept, and you can go from zero to hero!

OK... I'm not sure what this posting is about. Hence the title.


Red Alfa said...

Obviously it's lost as to why we had to work up sweat and pain last weekend. It's the start and we may be a little too late already!

We must train hard, don't we? It will be the holiday with a difference! We are going to be crossing mountain ranges and where we are going there probably won't be a soul in sight for miles and then if it's God will should there will be an earthquake ... we should be prepared for such an eventuality, shouldn't we?

Zendra-Maria said...

Ahhh... where we are heading is a jumble zale and not second-hand :)

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Zendra,
Is this the rambling of a zebra in an urban park? purrr....meow!

Zendra-Maria said...

Hey, you're right Cats! Due to the same old figures and forms - nothing inspiring - grrrr...

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Wah u r really good. Woe Woe Woe woman, have u got cheating on your mind.... cheating on physical exercise...hehehe as always, but this can be compensated by the mind exercise u do which I'm sure will keep u healthy & wise 'til a very2 ripe old age.

Hey try this Cryptic crossword;

This clue is a tantalising one (6)
Answer: Teaser :))

You SHOULD know the above that...kekeke.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

the one above that 'Labour exchange' (4, 6)

Pak Idrus said...

This is what City Hall did for us in Ampang Jaya Selangor[we live on the fringe of the boarder] read

Have a nice day.

Zendra-Maria said...

Tommy, I give up - Labour Exchange - what is it? The answer better be something funny!

Zendra-Maria said...

Pak Idrus, your park is beautiful and is quite similar to the Taman Tun Dato' Ismail Park. The one I went too is a hilly forest but with a tarmac path which makes it easy for us to trek.


Nin said...

Owhh... I miss semenanjung sunday papers... =(

Tommy Yewfigure said...

the answer is.................nahhhh I might just let u sweat a wee bit longer. I like that cryptic example I gave earlier, the clue is a tantalising one...kekeke.

***Clue; think something that's close to your heart in your career.

Wan Sharif said...

I love sudoku but normally skip the crossword puzzle as I could not complete it in less than 30 minutes..
Not that I lost interest after 30 minutes.. just that I think I have better things to do.. and like you write.. it is too british-oriented for orang pulau duyong to get it all answers correct in 30 minutes..

Zendra-Maria said...

Nin... shucks..

Zendra-Maria said...

Ayoh Wang.. agree.. so I just do whatever I can, at least just fill up a few boxes :)

Zendra-Maria said...

Tommy, lasst night 5 dabbled with "baby clinic", "post natal" (short by 1 letter tho), "post office" (but don't see the connection) "work centre"...

All are lame. Need the other across or down clues for possible letters. So....?

Zendra-Maria said...

ooops 5 should be I

Tommy Yewfigure said...

The answer I'd got is actually POST OFFICE, ya lor I cannot see the connection too :) silly me (gua mengaku lah)