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Participated in our OWL Quiz Challenge? Learn from this thread how to interpret clues provided in this type of a quiz - and win next time!
  • Category: Competition Entries

    Could not locate the OWL? Know how to read cryptic clues in a Quiz Challenge

    We got some interesting answers to the clues for the OWL Quiz Challenge and have announced the winners.

    In this thread, you can discuss the clues and give your feedback after seeing the attached Word doc which gives a detailed explanation of how each clue was to be interpreted. Suggestions for future types of quizzes are also welcome.

    Had a hoot? Took help from others? Let us know!
  • How to solve the OWL Quiz (161774-1-How-to-solve-the-OWL-Quiz.doc)
  • #650659
    It is good to see your explanation. But I wonder to see the answer Coaster for Q. 23.
    A coaster need not be purely a circular one. There are coasters available in different shapes and sizes - square, triangle, hexagon etc.

    No life without Sun

  • #650661
    The answer of one of the questions was Diya, which is an Indian word. Can such cross cultural, cross language answers be a part of this quiz? Wouldn't the quiz then become just way too hard to solve?

    Other than that the quiz was quite fun and I enjoyed it.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #650663
    I concur Aditya Mohan's response. While all the 29 answers are in English, the answer to Q. 16 is peculiar with a Hindi word 'Diya'. It is not acceptable.
    No life without Sun

  • #650664
    Yes, Sun. I stand corrected in the explanation - coasters come in all shapes. However, I do consider the clue itself to be accurate. Generally, most things kept on a coaster have circular bases, such as a bottle of cold water, a cup of hot tea, a mug of coffee, etc and these, if not kept on the coaster, do leave a circular ring on the table-top.

    Aditya - Diya is an Indian name and an Indian word. The hint of the object not being filmy indicated a film-related name. Why can't Indian words be part of a quiz? We have had clues, even, with Indian words, in previous quizzes as well. There was no indication that it was a quiz strictly with English words.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #650666
    Diya may be an Indian word, especially a Hindi word, and not known to all Indians. How do you expect a south Indian to understand what is Diya? You wrongly connected Oil and Diya. Should have been Oil and lamp, or Thel and Diya.

    Also, the answer to Q.23 should have been Coaster in the singular form. Coasters in the plural form is incorrect for a quiz. None of the other 29 answers had any plural form. I wonder.

    No life without Sun

  • #650675

    A quiz is never conceptualized while thinking of East, West, North or South Indians. It is just a quiz, with no regionalism or even nationality involved. There was not a murmur of protest when the 'Padosan' clue was given in the Brand Challenge quiz, was there? As for the plural form of answer no.23, looks like you obviously did not see the very clear Tips given at the top of the Word doc. of the quiz. I would advise you to go back and read those tips.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #650679
    Since you are the contest author and ME of ISC, we will have to accept your decision and abide by it. In contests, especially quiz contests, the contest author should think twice before posting questions to Indians who are from different regions speaking different languages. Finally, if this practice is continued in future contests, only the person who knows Hindi will be the winner. Others will have to watch the fun at ISC.
    @ I really wonder your connection between Oil(English) and Diya(Hindi).

    Also. the term 'generally' should not be used in contests. You said, "Generally, most things kept on a coaster have circular bases, such as a bottle of cold water, a cup of hot tea, a mug of coffee, etc When there are glasses, teacups, mugs and bottles with square/rectangular bottoms, such a question should have been avoided.

    No life without Sun

  • #650685
    Vandana brands are names. Diya is a name too so I understand your way of relating this quiz to previous ones but we are talking about objects here. This particular answer was very misleading because there are many 4 letter words that are related to festivals. I was a little unhappy about that particular answer in this quiz. You could have chosen something less conflicting.
    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #650701
    I found the explanations quite rational but have a little doubt about Q.17. The clue was 'Not to punch, just to contain'. The explanation is fine which is related to boxing and container. Well, I also thought of it in the same way, but my answer is 'Bag'. Now the explanation to my answer 'Bag' is, it is used by boxers for practice, they use punch-bags and a bag is used as a container too. Since this is not to punch and just to contain, I omitted punch so it remained a bag.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #650731
    For Diya, I have written Lamp. There were oil lamps earlier and Diyas are also oil lamps only. But the word we write should tally with the word given as the answer in the Key. Similarly, for Q 17 my answer was Bag. But the correct answer is Box. This how some answers were narrowly missing. Anyhow a good quiz and some useful time to spend on Sunday.
    always confident

  • #651513
    "Not at all filmy, it lights up our festive life (4) – Diya
    - The reference is to the film actress Diya Mirza; a Diya is used during the festive seasons."

    The actress spells her name as Dia, not Diya. So, it is Dia Mirza, not Diya Mirza.

    The actress's Twitter account -
    The actress's Instagram account -

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #651528
    There are many actresses by name Diya from Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu film field.
    No life without Sun

  • #651539
    Cryptic clues are always difficult to decipher and even those who are regularly doing crossword find it tough as new clues are being introduced by the crossword creators. Long back I was asked to submit an entry by preparing a hindi crossword with clues. I took it at once thinking that it was an easy job. It took me a number of days to finally make it and still there were so many doubts in my mind that the people who are going to solve it may cross question me about the validity of my clues and having a better solutions and exact interpretation rather then the solution given by me after some time.

    So from that experience I feel that solving a cryptic crossword is difficult but the person who is making it is also sailing in the same boat as he is over and above responsible to answer the intelligent people solving the crossword coming out with subtle but valid interpretations.

    So a making a perfect crossword puzzle without ambiguity is definitely a challenging task but it is worth trying.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #651542
    I had considered the Bollywood star, not those from the South (I did not even know there were any of them with the same name), and, frankly, had not checked for the correct spelling of her name. Thanks, Juana, for pointing it out. To be fair, since I had mentioned the answer as having four letters and not three, accordingly, I will give an additional 1 point and 1 cc as default to all the participants as it was my mistake. The winners are the same, though, as this does not change. Dhruv gave the answer as Diya and with the additional point gets 25; Juana gets 25 too, with the default point; Sankalan Bhattacharya gave the answer as Diya and gets 21, with the default point.

    Sankalan Bhattacharya - that was an interesting interpretation of the clue no. 17.

    Henceforth, we will take care to double-check the accuracy of the spellings of answers.

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

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