The Mixer Solution

How It Works

The first couple of minutes teams come to realize they cannot complete their task with the set of strips they have been given (none match). They must break one implicit rule of The Game (team collaboration). They must talk to the other teams in the room to be able to match grievances to apologies. Once they have made an appropriate match, they see a staffer who will give one token to each team for that pair. Once a team had enough tokens (12), a staffer would give them the solution, and the associated meta phrase.

The grievances and apologies are paired up in a pun-tastic manner. Here is the full set of complaints, and amends:

  • My house flooded after both levees failed.  =>  That's too darn bad.
  • I can't find my onion chopping goggles.  =>  That's a crying shame.
  • I once was hypnotized and turned into a nun!  =>  I'm so sorry, I had no idea it would be habit-forming.
  • I have spatial problems.  =>  I can't tell the difference between one yard and two. Apologies, but you should just use a fence.
  • I once was bitten by a reindeer.  =>  That's so sad, but it's what makes the grass grow, sweetie.
  • My wife Greta has turned into a zombie!  =>  That's regrettable.
  • I can't remember how to throw a boomerang.  =>  I'm sorry, but I'm sure it will come back to you.
  • My father drowned in a vat of orange juice.  =>  How awful, you must find it hard to concentrate.
  • I fell asleep in the sun, and now I'm horribly burned.  =>  Sorry to hear that, but at least you're well-read.
  • I lost my left leg in the war.  =>  I'm sorry, are you all right now?
  • All I ever wanted was a unicycle.  =>  I'm sorry, but I'm just too tired.
  • My teacher told me to stop being so mean.  =>  I'm sorry, but you could be better than average.
  • I once ran an entire marathon in dress shoes.  =>  I'm sorry you had to suffer the agony of defeat.
  • I hate geometry; I wish it was never invented.  =>  I'm sorry, but without that, life would be pointless.
  • People tell me I sound like James Earl Jones.  =>  You have my deepest sympathies.
  • My vacuum cleaner broke.  =>  That sucks.
  • One time, I got lost on top of a huge plateau.  =>  Don't worry, it's just the highest form of flattery.
  • It took forever for the exorcist to clear the poltergeist from my ride.  =>  I'm sorry, but I'm here to reposess your van.
  • That wine left with a horrible hangover.  =>  Well, someone stomped all over my copy of "The Grapes of Wrath".
  • I hate people who can't be spontaneous...the calendar is not all powerful.  =>  I'm sorry, but your days are numbered.
  • I was sailing in my blue ship when a red ship collided with us and caused a shipwreck.  =>  Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you were marooned.
  • These pantyhose I bought rip too easily.  =>  I'm sorry to hear you that you had a terrible case of the runs.
  • I was once kidnapped and tied up with someone in a giant bar code.  =>  My mistake, I thought you two were an item.
  • My parents were board game enthusiasts and named me Parcheesi.  =>  I'm Sorry, but you don't have a monopoly on a rough life.
  • I got let go from my job as a physician.  =>  Sorry, but what did you expect, you don't have any patience.
  • I was once thrown from my sled into a huge pile of snow.  =>  I'm so sorry, but at least you caught my drift.
  • I lost the race through the arboretum.  =>  I'm sorry. I was rooting for you.
  • I've given up my dream to become a historian.  =>  Well, what did you expect? There's no future in it.
  • I have never found the elusive giant snails.  =>  That's horrible, maybe they can't be found on the end of the giant's fingers?



Design Notes

We wanted to get teams a pick-me-up, light hearted event. It's the beginning of the late night portion, and having the boost (we hoped) would help them with momentum for this tough portion of the weekend. Coming up with enough puns that "cleanly" map to only one other item in the list was the hardest part of design.

Construction Notes

It's actually a pretty tricky problem to assign exactly 6 complaints and 6 apologies to a team, and still meet the necessary constraints (no team can have a pair of matching strips, matching pairs should be spread out as evenly as possible so a team has to interact equally with other teams, packets must be formed in "sets" such that we can swap backup packets in and out as needed).

GC Notes

Most iterations had an interesting nuclear fission process, where one team would make the initial deductive leap to team collaboration and send members out to query other teams (initial fission). When someone from that initial team interacts with another team, the new team will then send members out to others (neutron collision and fission). Eventually, the room devloves into a big blob of excited interns, often yelling out the key ingredient of their remaining grievance or apology ("I've got a nun!", "Does anyone have numbered days?!", "My wife Greta is a zombie!").