A Knotty Problem

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Summary: A Knotty Problem is a game for folks who like to unravel knotty problems - and whose patience is rewarded with a charming new acquaintance at the end.

Ages: From 10 to adult

Recommended Number of Players:
Even number of players, best with 4 to 10

Lengths of string, like nylon cord. Thin string, like yarn, tends to tangle, so stay away from it. You will need half as many pieces of string as you have players. So for a ten-person party, you will need five lengths of string. Experiment in your space with a 40-foot string and see if you want to go longer or shorter.

Set Up:
Thread each piece of string through your living room (or entire home, or your yard, if you want to go big) looping through things, under things, and over things. Create a sort of obstacle course for each couple. But both ends of the string must be at the front door.

How to Play:
Once all your guests arrive, distribute one string-end per player. Each player must then crawl, climb, and burrow through the space, untangling, untwisting and unknotting as he goes, until he meets up with the person untangling from the other end.

The couple to find each other first wins, though the game continues until all couples have completed the task. Players who have finished should help the other players find their partners - by this point many other strings may also be knotted together anyway and it may require a group effort to find each other.

Comments, Variations and Stories

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Comments, Variations and Stories

Do you have a great story about playing a game listed on this site? Are there variations of the game you would like to share? Tell us!

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Best Advice from Dana Palmer

Picture of Dana Palmer, Owner of Perfect Party Games

Many people come to this site looking for a couple specific games. When they find them, great, the job is done. But there is one thing I want ALL my guests to know regardless of how many or how few pages they read. Therefore, if you see this box again on a few more pages, skip it and move on to finding more games for your event.

But for those reading this for the first time, here is the best advice I can pass on from my many years of experience planning and executing large and small events. Read on…

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” These are great words from A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh. I couldn’t agree more. And a solid foundation of organizing and planning is needed for most events. But I am here to tell you even with the BEST organization, no event is going to proceed EXACTLY as planned. You may even have a Plan B, C or D as a back-up. That’s fabulous! But trust me on this one; something will happen that you had no way of anticipating. So what now? Here is the trick. Pay close attention to this because it is the single most important piece of wisdom I can share with my readers.

Are you ready?

Learn to mentally let go of your perfect plans
the minute the party, event, game
or special occasion starts.

That’s it. I could write an entire page on how to “be in the moment” and “have fun at your own party.” But neither of those will happen if you don’t have the mindset that it’s alright to have things turn out differently than you imagined. The good news is that usually what you planned in your head that didn’t come through was never even missed by most.

So if you are going along, playing a game, or any other group activity, and it leads you down a road you didn’t foresee… Enjoy the ride.

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We only played the Christmas ABC game tonight, but it was fun and funny! I have 3 more games and quizzes that I will take to my parents' house on Saturday. Thanks again!!
Jill K. from California, USA

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