Fortune Puzzles

Word puzzles that stick to your forehead


A word puzzle game that’s a bit like Indian poker. Based on one of the games in Super Party Games, this set of PDF files lets you organize the game and still play. Just make sure you don’t see your own card.


Before playing, you should prepare the following:

  1. Read through these rules so you can explain them to the other players.
  2. Enough string to tie a headband around each player’s head.
  3. Something to cut the string.
  4. Download and unzip the file from the releases page.
  5. A computer and printer with enough ink and paper to print a page for each player, plus one. Scrap paper that has already been printed on one side is fine.

To play the game, follow these steps:

  1. Briefly explain the game to all the players. The most important rule is, don’t say anyone’s letters out loud! Watch out for people who wander into the room during the game and say, “Hey Bob, how come you have ‘ROF’ on your head?”
  2. Count how many people are playing.
  3. Demonstrate how to cut a piece of string and tie it around your head. Ask for a volunteer to help you. She can help the other players to tie their strings while you do the next steps.
  4. Choose one of the card files whose name starts with the number of players. For example, 10 players could use 10-0001cards.pdf, 10-0002cards.pdf, or one of the others that starts with 10.
  5. Print the PDF, but be careful not to look at any pages except the first page. Make sure you’re printing only on one side of the paper.
  6. Take the stack of paper with your volunteer out of sight of the other players so they don’t see their own sheets.
  7. The first sheet in the stack is the clue sheet. All the other sheets have just three letters on them. Leave the clue sheet on top to help keep the other sheets hidden. If you’ve got more than 10 players, you might want to print more copies of the first page.
  8. Ask your volunteer to close her eyes, take one of the sheets from the pile, fold it in half, and hold it up to her forehead so that you can see the three letters, but she can’t. Then let her slip it into her headband without looking at it.
  9. Now close your eyes and ask your volunteer to hold one of the sheets up to your forehead the same way, and slip it into your headband. If you accidentally saw one of the top sheets, just use one from the middle of the pile and give the other one to another player.
  10. You’re almost done. Your volunteer can fold the sheets in half, while you hold them up to the players’ foreheads. Be sure that nobody sees their own letters.
  11. Now the game starts, show the clue sheet to everyone. Each “abc” on the sheet represents one player’s letters. All the players try to organize themselves into a line so that the letters form a saying, a joke, or a famous quotation.
  12. Players can say anything they want, as long as they don’t say anyone’s letters out loud. You also shouldn’t say words from the puzzle, but you could say something more general like, “I think Dave and Betty combine to make a common six-letter word.” You can also point to part of the clue sheet and say where you think a player’s letters belong.
  13. When you think you have found a solution, get all players to stand in the correct order. Make sure everyone agrees, and then read it out loud together.

If you play the game regularly, you can print out the _README.txt file and cross off the puzzles you have completed.

These puzzles were automatically generated from the files used by the Unix fortune command. There may be some that are incorrect, confusing, offensive, or just dumb. Contact me at Google+, via e-mail, or log an issue here if you find a problem.