GeekDad Puzzle of the Week – Guess Who Questions

Reading Time: 4 minutes

On our recent beach trip, wife and the kids alternated playing the classic Milton Bradley game Guess Who? Each of the two players has a slate of faces and names, and selects a character for the other person to guess at the beginning of each round. The players then alternate questions to eliminate or select potential characters, and through the process of elimination, determine who the other player selected.
GuessWhoGameBox
The designers of the game selected different attributes for each character’s image, and split them 19/5 for the 24 characters in the game. In the copy of the game we have, such splits include there being 19 men/5 ladies, 19 light skinned characters/5 darker skinned characters, 19 characters with hair/5 bald, and even 5 characters with hats/19 characters without hats.

Given the 19/5 splits, the game is reasonably random, and typically takes 6 or 7 questions to have a certain finishing question, i.e., “Are you Connor?”

But is there a better set of questions that on average require fewer questions?

Below is the set of animal character images from the flip side of the Guess Who? game we used on our trip. For a chance at this week’s fabulous prize, and the fame/infamy winning a GeekDad Puzzle of the Week provides, send in your best set of questions–and the rationale behind them–that you would use to try to win the game. Tree diagrams are not only welcomed, but are encouraged!

FLASH
FLASH 
ZIGGY
ZIGGY
ROCKO
ROCKO
HARRIET
HARRIET
BABS
BABS 
FLUFFY
FLUFFY
SCOUT
SCOUT
JASMINE
JASMINE
MISTY
MISTY 
TOMMY
TOMMY
ARTY
ARTY
DOLLY
DOLLY
CLEO
CLEO 
BELLE
BELLE
MIKEY
MIKEY
CHIEF
CHIEF
LOUIE
LOUIE 
CLOUD
CLOUD
BOOTS
BOOTS
LADY
LADY
FREDDY
FREDDY 
PUDDLES
PUDDLES
IGGY
IGGY
SUNNY
SUNNY

Please note that questions should be asked so that “YES” and “NO” are the only appropriate questions. That is, “Are you a bird or a household pet?” is not a valid question.

A winner will be chosen at random from among the correct (or at least reasonably well reasoned) submissions sent in, with special mention to the reader that sends the most efficient set of questions. As always, send in your responses to GeekDad Central. This week’s prize is a $50 Gift Certificate from the fine folks at ThinkGeek.

Good luck, and happy puzzling!


All rights to the images, names, and game rules described, shown, or listed above belong to their respective owners.

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