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The following problems are for practice only. To view the synopses of the official 2023 - 2024 Odyssey of the Mind problems, click here!

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Something In Common

A. JUDGE READS TO TEAMS: (Do not read material in parentheses.)

  1. You will have 1 minute to think and 2 minutes to respond. Questions count against your thinking time. You may ask the judge questions but may not talk to each other at any time.
  2. You will receive 1 point for each common response. Highly creative or humorous responses will receive 3 points. This will be a subjective opinion of the judges and the judges' decision is final.
  3. A number has been placed before each of you. That is your assigned number.
  4. A stack of cards appears before you. When time begins, the judge will turn over the first card. The team member whose number corresponds to the card number will give a response.
  5. After the team member gives a response, he or she will turn over the next card. That team member will respond, and so on.
  6. You may not skip your turn, or repeat, or pass. If one member of the team is stuck, the team is stuck.
  7. Once the time begins, it will not be stopped. If the judge asks you to repeat a response, or to clarify it, or to give a more appropriate response, it counts against your time. Speak loudly and clearly.
  8. Your problem is to name two things that have something in common and what it is they have in common. For example, you might say, "Snow and rain both fall from the sky." (Repeat number 8, "Your problem is....")
  1. Be sure to give exactly 1 minute to think and 2 minutes to respond. Timing is critical. Students responding at the buzzer can finish and be scored.
  2. Score: 1 point for each common response, 3 points for each creative response.
  3. In order to ensure that in every 5 cards turned over each team member will give one answer, stack the cards in the following order for each team: 2,5,1,3,4; 1,5,3,2,4; 1,5,2,4,3; 5,3,4,2,1; 2,1,5,4,3; 1,3,2,5,4; 3,5,2,4,1; 4,5,2,1,3; 4,3,1,5,2; 3,5,1,2,4.
  4. If all the cards have been used, turn them over and start again. At the end of the session, the timekeeper should check the order of the cards.
  5. Be sure that all seat positions have been marked prior to calling in the teams. If there are fewer than 5 team members, have them turn cards until there is a team member in the numbered position.
  6. Examples of Common Responses:
    Obvious similarities: Pens and pencils write; Baseball and football are sports;
    Cars and buses move people;
    Dimes and nickels are coins;
    Steak and cake are foods;
    A and B are letters;
    1 and 2 are numbers;
    Moms and dads are parents;
    Red and white are colors;
    Oranges and apples are both fruits;
    Helicopters and airplanes fly;
    Socks and hats keep me warm.

    Weak associations: Horses and cats can't fly; June and July aren't winter months;
    Trees and ants can't speak;
    Car and house don't have the letter "d" in them.

  7. Examples of Creative Responses:
    Unusual or humorous similarities: Brown arid black both begin with "b"; Fish and people breathe;
    May and June are both girls' names;
    My ears and nose are both on my head;
    The principal's office and the dentist's office are two places I don't like.
    Things that have something in common, but are generally not related to each other: Clocks and people have hands;
    Nuns and soldiers both wear uniforms;
    Highways and paper clips go around;
    Some pizzas and golf courses have mushrooms.
NOTE: Once an answer is given, if a very similar answer is given, count it as common only and then declare any other answers that are basically the same as a duplicate and ask for another response.