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words HOW, WHEN, and WHERE with question marks and arrows
No. of Players: 3+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: nothing


To guess a word from answers to three questions.

How to play

One player leaves the room and the other players choose a mystery word. Ideally this word is a noun with several meanings. Once chosen, the player returns and poses three questions to each of the other players:

(1) How do you like it?
(2) When do you like it?
(3) Where do you like it?

After each player answers all three questions, the questioner takes a guess at the mystery word. If incorrect, the questioner leaves the room again and the players select another word. But if the questioner is correct, the last player to have answered the three questions leaves the room to become the next questioner. Alternatively, incorrect guesses can be followed up with other questions, like 'Why do you like it?' or 'What do you like about it?' These additional questions are asked one by one until the questioner correctly guesses the word.


Ann goes into another room where she cannot hear the other players choose the mystery word nails. She comes back and begins questioning each of them in turn.

Ann: How do you like it?
Blaire: Long and glossy.
Ann: When do you like it?
Blaire: When I'm out on the town.
Ann: Where do you like it?
Blaire: Everywhere.
Ann: How do you like it?
Curtis: In a box.
Ann: When do you like it?
Curtis: When I need to build a deck.
Ann: Where do you like it?
Curtis: In the workshop.
Ann: How do you like it?
Dexter: About 2 1/4 inches long.
Ann: When do you like it?
Dexter: When I'm buying a wedding dress.
Ann: Where do you like it?
Dexter: At the tailor shop.
Ann: The mystery word is nails.

Dexter now becomes the questioner for the next round.

Did you know?

The historical origins of the question mark is (pardon the pun) a bit of a question mark.

scroll with letters and words QUESTIO, QO, and ?

One theory says that scholars in the Middle Ages would write the Latin word quaestio at the end of a sentence to show it was a question. Since this was rather cumbersome to write out each time, it was eventually abbreviated. First to qo, then to q on top of o, and finally into the "?" symbol we know today. This is much like how our own cursive signature, which we once perfected in third grade, eventually morphed into the squiggly lines we now use as adults. But alas, there is little evidence to back up this theory.

cat with tail in shape of question mark, with Egyptian pyramids

A competing theory, also unsubstantiated, argues that the curve of the question mark traces back to the ancient Egyptians. Since Egyptians were famed for their worship of cats, it makes sense they would have been inspired by the similar shape of an inquisitive cat's tail.

man thinking, with question marks

In the end, perhaps it's appropriate this question remains a mystery. What do you think?

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