Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Are we there yet....

Road trips are fun. You are not stuck to a rigid schedule. No lines to stand. No security guy frisking you. No fear of a $100 tag if you want to carry the stuff you think you would want. I can go on. Road trips are for sure fun.
But they can be a little less fun if there are kids with you and if they start the ubiquitous ‘Are we there yet?’ chant fifteen minutes into a multi hour drive. Keeping the kids occupied isn’t easy. More so if they are of different ages and see choosing a movie as a chance to irritate each other and the parents.
I find puzzles and word games to be an effective diversion tactic. When the kids were young these used to be something simple like saying a word starting with the last letter of the previous word and making it a little more complex, as time goes, by asking them to choose a category and say words relating to that category.
This Thanksgiving, we had an eight hour drive and I had thought up some games based on some radio game shows. The kids found it interesting and so I thought I would share it with y’all.
Dis or That
The answer always is a word that contains the phrase Dis. The clue has to be in two parts – one referring to the meaning of the whole word and one about the part without the Dis.
For example, ‘a drama would be for all to see’ could be a clue for the word ‘Display’. A drama referring to the word play and when Dis is added, it becomes display, which is for everyone to see.
‘This month was a let down’ turned out to be Dismay. The Dis phrase need not come as a prefix always. ‘The black time machine’ was Tardis.
Anagrammatically yours
This game is about getting two words based on a given clue, with the condition being that the two words should have the same letters in different orders. A simple one could be ‘X-ray the containers'. The answer to that would ‘Scan the cans’. ‘The citrus fruit’ would be ‘Lemon Melon’. Or ‘an endless pond’ would be ‘a loop pool’.
The Addiction
This is a variant of the previous one, where a letter is added to one of the answer words to get the second one. ‘The bad Satan’ would be ‘The evil devil’. ‘Light beer’ would be ‘Pale ale’ and ‘a slice of your organ’ would be ‘a sliver of your liver’.
The most liked one was in the form of a question – ‘What would the car salesman say when you don’t want to buy a car?’ The answer, of course, is ‘Please lease’! The elders liked ‘Russian financial crisis’ which ended up to be ‘Rouble Trouble”.
The game started with the kids but drew in everyone in the car and was, for sure, good entertainment. There are variants you can have of adding a letter to the first word and jumbling to get the second word or switching one letter for another and so on. The kids really loved the variations. They cracked some of them right off the bat while some others had them stumped. When the answer was revealed, it was a face palm moment for them. While I was giving the clues first, it didn’t take long for the kids to come up with their own clues. And they had some interesting ones too.
I strongly recommend you have a bunch of clues on you when you start the car for the next long trip.