The recipe for basic chili is pretty simple: Meat, beans, celery, onions, peppers, garlic, tomato of some sort, seasonings such as cumin and chili powder, and salt and pepper. That's a good, easy-to-make chili, but it's not "Challenge" chili. It's sitting-in-front-of-the-TV-with-a-beer chili.
I can understand the horrified expression you have on your face and the ugly places your mind is going. While the term "Bat Nuts for Dessert" may take you where you never hoped to go, there really is a good explanation for all of this.
When I have some free time (ha!) I will continue to mine through the old databases and see if I can find some of the older stories and reviews to repost.