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Things From Another World
Puzzle Master
by (Public Domain)
Player Count
7 to 15
  • Word Game
  • Party Game
  • Designers
  • (Uncredited)
  • Mechanisms
  • Targeted Clues
  • Rating: 6.17/10 from 3 users


    Cluesome was an invention of the California NPL (National Puzzlers League) group, but traveling members and conventions have spread it to other parts. It requires a moderately large group of people -- 7 or 8 is barely enough to keep it interesting, 10 is good, and I have seen it played with about 15 players.

    The object of the game is to try to give clues for words such that some of the other people will guess the answer, but not more than half. Each player writes 5 words or phrases to be clued on individual note cards, along with his name on each card, and passes them face down to the player on his left. Each player draws one card (without looking) from the ones he is passed, then passes the rest of the cards on. Each player will end up with 5 cards from the 5 players to his right. Each player, in turn, becomes the cluer.

    The cluer chooses one of his cards, announces whose card it is, and gives a clue. The clue can be anything at all, as long or short as the cluer wants, even using part of the answer or clues that are wrong (like "the capital of New York" as a clue for New York City). The one limitation is that the cluer can't give a clue that turns the game into a multiple-choice guess among a few choices, such as "a planet" for Saturn or "a capital in New England" for Providence. After the clue is given, each player (other than the cluer and the submitter) has a short time to write down an answer, and then everybody in turn calls out what they have written down.

    If nobody gets it right, the cluer has to give another clue. The cluer loses one point for each clue he gives. If anybody guesses it, the cluer tells the correct answer and each of those people score a point. If exactly one person guesses correctly, this is called a "Cluesome" and the cluer gets 3 bonus points. If fewer than half the people guess correctly, then the cluer is done and the next player becomes cluer. If too many people guess correctly, the cluer has failed and must pick another word to clue, and thus lose more points for giving more clues.

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