Red Herrings

Also Known As:

Call My Bluff

Three or more definitions of an obscure word are given, but only one is correct. This quiz-style game is a version of a much-loved radio and TV programme, 'Call My Bluff'. There is a popular board game, 'Balderdash', that works on a similar principle. There are also many versions of this puzzle in newspapers and magazines such as 'Reader's Digest', where it goes under the name of 'Word Power'.

The game depends on the quality of the red herrings, the definitions designed to deliberately mislead the solver.

Good red herrings often include a colourful but plausible etymology, or an element of humour (for example, the erroneous definition of MINIVET as, 'An animal doctor specialising in small animals'). They may define a word that is similar to the obscure word (for example, 'The least possible' may be included as a potential definition of the word MINIUM, because it defines the similarly spelt word MINIMUM). There are several other strategies.


Identify the correct meaning of each word from the given options.