The Simile Game

A creative game for two or three players.

Simile Game

Player 1 must silently think of an abstract thing, e.g. art or disappointment; Player 2 must silently think of a concrete thing, e.g. a shoe or an apple. A third player (or Player 1 if there are only two players) must be ready to explain the simile. When the first two players have thought of their things, the simile is announced as follows:

  • Player 1: “[Abstract thing] is like…”
  • Player 2: “…a [concrete thing]…”
  • Next player: “…because…”

And here the next player must spontaneously think of a way that the abstract thing is like the concrete thing. Some are more challenging than others. It is surprising how often the simile turns out to be quite sensible!

The Mad Hatter’s Riddle
Mad Hatter's Tango, by Satsumo
Mad Hatter’s Tango, by Satsumo, from John Tenniell’s original illustration. CC BY-SA 3.0

In Alice’s Adventures Adventures in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter poses a riddle, “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?” Alice gives up and asks what the answer is, and the Hatter says, “I haven’t the slightest idea.” Lewis Carroll said that the riddle was designed to have no answer. Much like the Simile Game, two seemingly unconnected things were thrown together. However, several solutions to this supposedly unanswerable puzzle have been posed over the years, including these by Sam Loyd:

  • The notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes.
  • Bills and tales are among their characteristics.
  • Poe wrote on both.

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brain teasers, word games, paradoxes, situation puzzles, and optical illusions