# Looking for a party puzzle

I'm having a block party coming up soon and thought it might be interesting to have some kind of riddle or puzzle for the guests to solve. The idea would each guest would be given a clue when they arrive and they would need to talk to one another to get other clues and figure out the final riddle. Has anyone seen anything like this or have suggestions on specific puzzles to try?

• About how many people are invited to the party? Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 14:30
• What is the sum of all your numbers? Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 14:37
• I expect about 40 people Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 17:07

There is Sid Sackson’s game Haggle from A Gamut of Games.

Every player receives a set of coloured pieces of paper (as a kind of money). Players can freely trade these pieces of paper in any way they want (“I will give you a red piece if you get my next drink.”)

Further, you create a set of rules that assigns a value to each collection of pieces of paper. For example, each red piece might be worth 2 points, each blue piece 1 points, and so on, a full collection of all colours an additional 5 points, and another combination might give negative points. However, you don’t make these rules public; instead, each player also receives a couple of hints about the precise rules. Of course, they are encouraged to also trade with this information.

At a set time, everyone should submit a collection of pieces of paper, trying to achieve as high a score as possible. You judge each collection according to the complete set of rules and give a price to the most valuable collection.

The hints you give out can be pretty direct, or you can turn them into a giant logic puzzle. Make sure that there is enough redundancy in the hints you give, so that players can get a good idea about what is valuable.

Sounds like you want an icebreaker (that involves puzzles!) at your block party. After looking for a little bit, I can't find anything much like what you're specifically asking for, but here's a couple of ideas:

• A big crossword where you hand out individual clues to guests

• Something like a word ladder, where the goal is to get everybody in order

• A "who am I" kind of riddle, split into lines and handed out one at a time

• If you're willing, a series of harder puzzles that individuals are unlikely to solve on their own isn't quite what you asked for, but could probably achieve the same goal

• A jigsaw puzzle :P

• For a jigsaw puzzle, an option would be to buy a 24 piece (or larger if needed) puzzle. One piece per person, find and talk to someone who has a piece that touches yours in the puzzle! Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 21:42
• The who am I riddle was my first thought. I was thinking like a murder mystery theme. A kind of who done it game. Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 23:40

I'm very new here, so I don't know if a framework is enough for an answer, or if a full, complete puzzle is required to be considered an answer, but here goes:

1. Get a list of 20 compound words (with no overlapping word parts).
2. Print each word part out on a piece of paper and give one to each member. Explain that people are allowed to describe what their word is to other party attendees, but that they aren't allowed to actually tell them their word.
3. When people think they've found their "word-mate" they can check a list of the compound words to see if they're right.
4. The winner(s) would be the couple that found their word with the least amount of mismatches.

This is a great icebreaker and is accessible to anyone from frequent puzzlers to complete newbies.

You might try making it optional, because getting someone who doesn't really care when you're actively trying to win would be frustrating.

• +1, but you have to choose the word really carefully. Putting "blueberry" and "waffle iron" in there is just asking for trouble, just like mixing "lemongrass" and "tea party". No, wait, I take it all back. Put exactly those kind of awkward mixup possibilities in there! That should get people to know each other a lot better (Lemon tea is amazing. Yup.)
– Bass
Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 18:43

Seeing as how you just invited the entire Puzzling.SE family to your party, this probably will get solved quickly, but you could

Give each person an integer {0-9} in this order:
3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971...
and see if they figure out that their numbers, collectively and in order, make up the number for Pi.

• I like this idea as a generator of a puzzle but I'm not sure how "math-y" my guest would be. I'm definitely going to use this idea for our engineering holiday party! Commented Jul 21, 2018 at 23:39

Make up a 9-by-9 Sudoku. Remove the middle square, and place this in the centre pf a physical grid in your room. Partition the rest of the Sudoku into 2-by-1 dominoes. Give each guest a domino.

Finally, ask them to reform the Sudoku. Should generate a real buzz!