WordAroundWordAround is an ingenious word game that can be played as an actual game for 2 or more people, or, even better, as a solitaire.

You get 100 round cards. Each card has three words on it. Each word is printed in a circle, so there’s no way to tell where the word begins. There are three words on each card, each on a different color band. The backs of each card is one of three different colors, matching the different color bands.

You take the deck out of the sturdy, well-made box, and put them, in a stack, face-up, on the table. You might want to get a timer so you can challenge yourself to see how many words you are able to find in, say, two minutes, maybe three.

Start with the black ring on the top card. As soon as you figure out what it is, take it off the stack and place it, next to the stack, face-down. The color on the back of the face-down card determines which word you are trying to find on the card that on top of the stack that you just revealed.

On and on you go, seeing how many words you can find in whatever time limit you decided on, or just playing through, at your leisure, enjoying the challenge.puzzles

Obviously, you don’t have to play alone. Friends, family (with a good vocabulary), neighbors, strangers, whomever you can get to play with you, as many of them as you can gather around the table, will all find the game challenging and inviting. It’s very easy to learn. Stragglers can join in the fray after watching for maybe 30 seconds. The only problem is that the more you play the game, the less fair it is for everyone else you’re playing with. Yes, there are 300 words. But, oddly enough, even with all those different words, once you figure it out, it tends to get etched into your memory. On the other hand, if you’re not into fairness, you’re going to want to play it with everyone you want to impress.

Wordaround was designed by Joe and Dave Herbert and is available from Thinkfun.

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