Clueless in Kent

With Matt due to be away with work (his trip ended up being cancelled due to Covid-19), I agreed to navigate for Mike Thomas on a 7oaks Scatter in Kent.

It had been pouring all week and we expected to find the lanes flooded, and they sure were! I was wearing almost knee high waterproof boots and at one particularly large puddle offered to wade through to see if it was passable – it was, but it was at that moment I discovered a hole in my boots…

Mike and I hadn’t competed together before, and one of the things I can find hardest on a scatter is cryptic clues and, of course, planning a good route. The clue planning had shown my lack of knowledge of roman numerals (swiftly resolved the following week with the addition of a new crib sheet for my nav bag!) but with Mike’s help, we’d got everything plotted.

It felt like we were having a good night, but unfortunately there were a couple of locations we got to and we couldn’t find the clues. We knew we had answered 24 questions which was the maximum score for the night, but it was all going to come down to whether we’d got the answers right.

The long and short of it was we got two wrong when we had been at the right locations – one was a maths error on my part. The clue was “add up the mileage on the signpost” and I had 31.5 when it should have been 32 – frustrating when you know you have been in the right place! I’d just miscalculated all the different distances to the local villages, there had been more than 12 and I’d miscalculated when doing it on paper (I felt a calculator wasn’t in the spirit of things!).

The second question we got wrong was “what is the make and type of padlock?” We got the make correct, but not the type and so whilst we’d been to both locations, we got 0 points for those answers.

With Matt’s work trip cancelled, he had entered with Kevin Ablitt on the maps. They beat us by one correct question – two wrong answers and two clues we couldn’t find cost us the win. I like to learn from events, but that was a rather frustrating result.

Second is good but it could, and should, have been better!


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