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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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Names and Occupations

(Do not read numbers or phrases in parenthesis.)
  1. You will have 1 minute to think and 3 minutes to respond. Questions count against your thinking time.
  2. You will receive one point for each response. Highly creative responses will receive five points. This will be a subjective opinion of the judge, and the judge's 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 the response. For example, if the first card is 3 then team member number 3 will give the response.
  5. After the team member gives the 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 an answer, or to clarify it, or to give a more appropriate response, it counts against your time. Speak loudly and clearly.
  8. Your problem is: Use a word or words to make a first and last name. You must relate this name to an occupation. For example: Budweiser could be split into Bud as a first name and Weiser as a last name. Bud Weiser could be a beer distributor. Or, saliva could become: first name "Sal" and last name "Iva" and Sal Iva could be a dentist. The first word must be a recognized name or nickname. (Repeat No. 8, "Your problem is:")
  1. Be sure to give exactly one minute to think and three minutes to respond. Timing is critical. A student responding at the buzzer can finish and be scored.
  2. Score: One point for each common response and five points for each creative response.
  3. In order to ensure that in every five cards turned over each team member will give one answer, stack the cards in the following order for each team: 2,4,3,1,5; 3,1,4,5,2; 3,2,5,4,1; 4,3,5,2,1; 2,1,4,3,5; 2,4,5,1,3; 1,5,3,2,4; 5,4,2,1,3; 4,1,3,5,2; 1,3,5,4,2.
  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 and rearrange them if any are out of order.
  5. Be sure that all cards assigning seat position have been placed into position prior to calling in the team. Place the blank response sheet on the table for the team to see.
  6. Examples of Common Responses:

    Examples given: Bud Weiser is a beer distributor
    Sal Iva is a dentist
    Responses similar to one already given, e.g., Bud Weiser is a bartender
    Poor quality, but acceptable answers

  7. Examples of Creative Responses:

    One word broken up to make a first and last name:
    Minnie Ster is a clergyman
    Lou Pole is a tax advisor
    Dan Druff is a hairdresser
    Paul Bearer is an undertaker
    Bill Fold is a pickpocket
    Bee Keeper is a honey farmer
    Clara Net is a musician
    Jack Hammer is a construction worker
    Ali Gator is a marine biologist
    Bill Board is an advertiser

    Two words put together to make a name:
    Chuck Roast is a butcher
    Rose Bush is a landscaper
    Jim Floor is a basketball coach
    Cliff Hanger is a mountain climber
    Sandy Rhoades works for the highway department
    Mark Spotter is a surveyor
    Carrie-West is a pioneer
    Armond Hammer is a carpenter
    Don Garments is a model
    Johnny Mop is a janitor
    Ted E. Bear is a zookeeper
    Al Kaseltzer is a pharmacist
    Matt Weaver is a tailor
    Will Writer is a lawyer
    Pete Spreader is a gardener

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 repeats.