August 18, 2004

Amuse a man, and he's amused for a few minutes. Teach a man to amuse himself, and he will annoy everyone he sits next to in a restaurant for the rest of his life.

Recently, some fellow puzzle dorks and I were playing a game that was introduced at July's National Puzzlers' League convention in Boston by its inventors, NeilFred and Henri Picciotto, "Unwords". This is a game even non-puzzle dorks would enjoy, it being highly entertaining and not requiring much preparation, so let me explain the rules.

The only thing you need to do is print out this list of sets of seven letters. None of those sets of letters has a single word anagram. Your job is to make up a word that can be anagrammed from those sets of letters, and define it so that the other players can guess it. There aren't really any turns -- once you think of a word and a definition, you call it out, and once someone figures out what word you made up, they call it out as well, and hopefully hilarity ensues.

Here are some examples from the game mentioned above. (Answers appear in the comments.)

A permit that allows you to spill oil

The act of turning the sound back on after the commercial break

Foods that aren't good for you...but aren't bad for you, either

Posted by Francis at 12:11 PM


Posted by: Francis at August 18, 2004 12:13 PM

As one of those fellow puzzle geeks, I can attest that the title is a pretty good approximation of it. I thought it was funny that during the time the restaurant was most crowded was when we inadvertently came up with the most sex-related ones...

Posted by: Ken/Cazique at August 19, 2004 09:07 AM

puzzle dorks. sorry.

Posted by: Ken/Cazique at August 19, 2004 09:07 AM

Glad to hear people are in fact still playing Unwords, and that some are even using it to annoy people in restaurants!

Posted by: neilfred at August 25, 2004 05:00 AM