A review of MooT by Orrin Judd

Source: http://www.brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/1359

Memorial Day is rapidly approaching and with it the season of beach and lake houses, camping trips, and family vacations. When we were kids our grandfather used to have a summer place in Brighwaters, on Long Island.

One of the rules of the house was that there was no television. That meant you spent a lot of time outside, reading, and playing games (plus sneaking to the neighbors house to watch the Mets or listening to the games on the radio).

We always thought it was just a case of our grandfather being stubborn, but having rented beach houses and visited many, it seems this rule is not all that uncommon.

Anyway, if you've grown tired of sitting around asking the same Trivial Pursuit questions for the umpteenth time and need something to break the monotony of Scrabble and Hearts, has Jon Steeves got a game for you: MooT.

Mr. Steeves calls Moot, "the world's toughest language game" and it is diabolically difficult, but it's also fun and instructive. Here are a few samples to give a flavor of the questions:

(1) Is Howard Stern's mouth, literally, a sphincter?

[No. The sphincter is the ring of muscles around the anus. A mouth is an opening not a ring of muscles.]

(2) Is it possible to single out two people?

[Yes. To select from a group as being worthy of attention is to single out. Two or more people can be chosen for this purpose.]

(3) Is goat's milk a dairy product?

[Yes. Anything having to do with milk is dairy.]

(4) Is this a rhetorical question?

[No - It requires an answer. Rhetorical questions don't require you to answer.]

The rules of the game encourage teams of players to discuss their answers and the backs of the question cards give concise and informative explanations.

The game is homemade and the board and pieces rather basic, but the wit and wisdom of the questions are the point and they make it well worthwhile.

There are more posted at Mr. Steeves's website. Visit and if you try a few you're likely to get hooked.


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