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Anyone ever heard of 'the traveling game'?
April 23, 2008 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Anyone ever heard of 'the traveling game'?

My drinking buddies are playing this riddle-like game that they call 'The Traveling Game'.
The goal is to guess the name of a major city by interpreting clues.

Somebody gives clues.

They may or may not start out by saying, "i'm taking a business trip to..."
Then they list the names of cities, "I'm going to Richmond..."
And they may or may not say something like "stay there for X number of days"
Then they list the name of other cities.

There is some sort of code going on.

Can somebody enlighten me as to what is going on?
posted by itheearl to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is it like the "Im going on a camping trip and taking_____."?

Like my name is Amy so I would say "I'm taking apples." (using the first letter of your name)?
posted by texas_blissful at 9:17 PM on April 23, 2008


I had read about this sort of game on Wikipedia, and know there is a name for it. But I cannot find it after a while of searching.

Another example is when you are going on a trip, and the person has to figure out the rule for what they can pack. If they ask "can I take a hat?" you'd say "You cannot take a hat, but you can take a boot".

I'm banging my head that I cannot recall the name.

There are also the sort of games similar to Nomic games: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomic. However the kind I am thinking of is where the rules are only known to the group, and one person has to figure them out. However, the rules change based on what the one person does/says.

Lastly, they're drinking buddies. It's possible there is no game but messing with you ;)
posted by jesirose at 9:30 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's some sort of system going on...

It's like they are going to a place by taking a certain route.
I'm almost certain it has something to do with giving away the letters of the name of the place.

I may just need to get a pen and paper and figure it out for myself.
posted by itheearl at 9:34 PM on April 23, 2008


Ok, my friend slipped up, and said "sorry, I was thinking of the wrong TEAM", so i think it has something to do with sports teams. I think that the initial phrase "i'm going on a business trip" or "I'm going on a vacation" might denote the type of sport, and then they might be spelling out the name of a sports team.


An example:
"I'm going on a vacation, going to stay there for 5 nights, then stay for one night, then go to Bristol."

Answer is Birmingham, Alabama


Another Example:

I'm going on a business trip to Charleston, then to Houston, going to stay one night, then go to Richmond, then Georgetown where I'm going to stay two nights.

Answer is Sacramento.




Perhaps the names of sports teams in the towns that they are mentioning are spelling out the name of a town?
posted by itheearl at 9:47 PM on April 23, 2008


I bet the number of nights indicates vowels. 1 night = A, 2 nights = E, so forth. Perhaps consonants are then just the first letter of the city.

This, means that Sacramento would be "CHARGE", and Birmingham would be "UAB". Does that make any sense?
posted by goingonit at 9:52 PM on April 23, 2008


I think you're onto something, goingonit......

I'm going on a business trip to Charleston, then to Houston, going to stay one night (A), then go to Richmond, then Georgetown where I'm going to stay two nights (E), then on to Raleigh, and finally Springfield.

C H A R G E R S

Answer is San Diego.
posted by iconomy at 10:08 PM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


You've got it!

Business trip means they are naming the the capital, and "summer vacation" means that it's a college team.

Thanks!
posted by itheearl at 10:18 PM on April 23, 2008


Was this a liveblog of a riddle being told? I love this place.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:20 AM on April 24, 2008


There's an exceptionally difficult-to-get version of this which goes as follows. You ask any question which has a yes or no answer, and anyone who's 'in' on it can reply with a yes or no.

Typically the questions are about a journey like "Can I got to Dundee?", "Can I go to Zimbabwe?", "Can I go to Boston by train?", "Can I got to Boston by train now?" and so on.

The game is very confusing because the answer to the same question can change, and yet everyone who's 'in' on it will agree on what the answer is.

Of course, the poor victims come up with increasingly elaborate rules about vowels, starting letters, longitudes, latitudes and so on, until they finally get it.

It's best played slightly drunk and with more than one person in on the secret, because otherwise people tend to suspect that there IS no secret. But there is. And it's this:

If the person says "um" or "err" in the question, the answer is yes, otherwise it's no. So, "Can I go to Paris?" is no, but "Can I go to, um, Paris?" is yes. Typically, when people think they have it cracked, they start to 'um' a lot more, so get a string of false positives.

It's viciously cruel, but fun.
posted by unSane at 6:21 AM on April 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


unSane,
I will absolutely try that one tonight.

wemayfreeze,
My friends were actually over... on a Wednesday night. It's pre-finals week at my college, and there's nothing pressing to do (yet).



If anyone wants to weigh in with more ways to frustrate my friends, feel free.
posted by itheearl at 6:58 AM on April 24, 2008


Is it like the "Im going on a camping trip and taking_____."? Like my name is Amy so I would say "I'm taking apples." (using the first letter of your name)?

We called this I'm Going on a Picnic, and I had forgotten all about it.

Are there any actual rules, aside from the parameters decided on by the picnic holder? (IE, "First letter of first name"?) Can anyone remind me of any other parameters? Firstname is the only one I can recall.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:58 AM on April 24, 2008


We used to play one in high school, that involved rolling dice and adding them up in a specific, secret way. People who were in on it always got the same answer, people who weren't, didnt. The secret was that the number was based on what the person who had rolled the dice did with their hands after the roll.

It was really frigging annoying.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:01 AM on April 24, 2008


If they ask "can I take a hat?" you'd say "You cannot take a hat, but you can take a boot".

This game involves figuring out the spelling commonality-- in this case it would be a double vowel, but you can use any pattern (words with vowel-consonant-vowel, words ending in e, etc.). Once you know the game, this one is too easy for adults, but it's howlingly fun with kids, who up to the age of 8 or so are slow on the uptake no matter how many times you play this.

My husband and I also like to play what we call Sea World (really C-World) where you can't use anything that doesn't start with the letter C (or pick a letter). You can do it as the spelling game, or you can just try to have conversations where you can't refer to any noun (or verb) that doesn't start with that letter.

The travel one sounds like great fun. Plus, we'll need these games once the petroleum stops flowing and the lights go out!
posted by nax at 8:58 AM on April 24, 2008


See also Mornington Crescent.
posted by zepheria at 9:27 AM on April 24, 2008


If anyone wants to weigh in with more ways to frustrate my friends, feel free.

I was going to mention unSane's game, but here's another "secret rule" game called One Up, One Down: going round the circle, each person says either:
one up, one down
two up
or
two down

What's it's actually based on is where the person's hands are. e.g. Two hands in lap = two down; one hand in pocket, the other holding a drink = one up, one down; "two up" is less frequent, but you might be stretching your arms above your head or something. If you're in on it, a fun tactic is to pretend you're working out something in your head when it comes to your go, like "Hmm, so it was 2 up, then 2 down, so..." *counts on fingers* "...carry the four... I'm going to say one up, one down!".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:44 AM on April 24, 2008


We called this game "SNAP" (Jewish summer camp in NC). Much fun was had.
posted by zpousman at 9:59 AM on April 24, 2008


Perhaps its something like...

"OUR OLD GRANNIE DOESN'T LIKE TEA."
All the players sit in a row, except one, who sits in front of them and says to each one in turn: "Our old Grannie doesn't like T; what can you give her instead?"
Perhaps the first player will answer, "Cocoa," and that will be correct; but if the second player should say, "Chocolate," he will have to pay a forfeit, because there is a "T" in chocolate. This is really a catch, as at first every one thinks that "tea" is meant instead of the letter "T." Even after the trick has been found out it is very easy to make a slip, as the players must answer before "five" is counted; if they cannot, or if they mention an article of food with the letter "T" in it, they must pay a forfeit.

You can look up the games How When and Where, Proverbs, The Adventurers, The Game of Conversation, It, Thought Reading, Magic Writing, Wonderment, I Point, (there's probably some others but I haven't read the whole thing yet) all of which can be modified with the help of a "confederate" to dupe unwitting player(s) who have to figure out the catch in My Book of Indoor Games.
posted by tastycracker at 10:02 AM on April 24, 2008


The secret was that the number was based on what the person who had rolled the dice did with their hands after the roll.

Our teacher played a game like this with us in our fifth grade class -- the Yes/No answer being based on whether or not he crossed his arms after asking us a question.

It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure it out.
posted by fishfucker at 10:03 AM on April 24, 2008


We used to play one in high school, that involved rolling dice and adding them up in a specific, secret way. People who were in on it always got the same answer, people who weren't, didnt. The secret was that the number was based on what the person who had rolled the dice did with their hands after the roll.

It was really frigging annoying.
That one is called Petals Around the Rose
posted by Lame_username at 10:27 AM on April 24, 2008


Err, no it's not. I'm also familiar with Petals Around the Rose, and it's completely different. The one we knew in high school -- which I've also seen played with careful placement of pens instead of dice -- was based on how many fingers the person running the game left resting on the table after the throw.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:55 AM on April 24, 2008


When I was a kid, my sister taught me a game called "Who Has the Hat"--well, drove me nuts with it is more like it. (She was in college and I was about 10, but it works on people of all ages). It's best played in a large group, especially if only one or two people know how it's played.

The person who knows how it works starts off by saying something like: "I have the hat, I pass it to Mark, Mark passes it to Jen, Jen puts it under Luna's chair, and Luna eats it. Who has the hat?" The others try to answer. After a few wrong answers, the leader says, "No, [Judy] has the hat," and does another round. What's actually happening this: whoever says something first--even "um," or "What" after "Who has the hat?" has the hat. It really makes people crazy, especially if they've been drinking. :)

There's another game called "Behind the Green Glass Door" that's really for kids, but it works surprisingly well on adults who don't know it, too. The person who knows how it works makes statements about what's behind the green glass door, e.g. "Behind the green glass door, there are kittens, but no cats," or "Behind the green glass door, there are bottles, but no cans." When the other players think they've got it, they can make statements ("Hm--behind the green glass door, there is bacon, but no eggs?") and the leader tells them if they're correct: "No, there is no bacon, but there ARE eggs." Basically, anything that has a double letter (e.g. glaSS, dOOR) is behind the door; anything that doesn't is not. The best way to trick people is to find word pairs that seem related to each other like the ones above; people think the game is based on some oblique logic rather than spelling.
posted by Ms. Informed at 5:49 AM on April 25, 2008


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