December 25, 2000
1:26 PM   Subscribe

Here's a gift for all. Someone got a deceptively simple card game as a stocking stuffer. Three shapes. Three colors. Three shades. Three different numbers of objects. Put 3 things together that are completely similar or completely different, for all four variables. It's a card game that instantly sucked several of us in and felt like playing Tetris the first time. Go ahead and give it a try (note, I've been playing this for a couple hours today and I could only find 4 of the 6 possible sets).
posted by mathowie (32 comments total)
Oooh...that was fun. I'm hooked. 12 minutes. I want more.
posted by frykitty at 1:46 PM on December 25, 2000

Don't play against people who are good. You will hate them forever. As they gleefully proclaim "Set!" every ten seconds, you will sink deeper and deeper into vile loathing... You may find a set, every once in a while, but no doubt they will snatch it from under you, as you flail your limbs in a pathetic proetst.

Trust me, I've been there.

Just say no.
posted by whatnotever at 2:25 PM on December 25, 2000

10 min 39 seconds for my first try :)
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 5:11 PM on December 25, 2000

20 minutes 38 seconds. (Half the time I had no clue, I had not read the rules. And after I did read the rules, I was equally clueless. I think I solved 4 sets with deduction, and 2 just luck.)
posted by tamim at 5:24 PM on December 25, 2000

14 minutes. would have been lower but i kept finding sets that i had already found. gotta work on that short-term memory. d'oh.
posted by gluechunk at 5:40 PM on December 25, 2000

we used to play set in high school and it got so popular and disruptive that people were cutting class to play & they had to ban it.

pretty much the same thing happened at summer camp one year. this game is awesome. and it's also the devil.
posted by palegirl at 6:19 PM on December 25, 2000

Gets the high score of 79 by spelling "rural" then "we"
hooray for shel
posted by starduck at 6:26 PM on December 25, 2000

Today's puzzle completed 4 Minutes & 43 Seconds

Nyah, nyah!

posted by luke at 6:29 PM on December 25, 2000

10 minutes and 53 seconds (Dec. 26).

Had 4 sets done in 3 minutes and change, but the last two took that long. Is it me, or the is definition of a "set" just too arbitrary?
posted by tamim at 3:30 AM on December 26, 2000

Tamim, the definition of set is very precisely defined actually.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 4:23 AM on December 26, 2000

Today's puzzle completed 7 Minutes & 19 Seconds

Luke must be on something.

posted by ceiriog at 6:55 AM on December 26, 2000

oer! I is smart! "Today's puzzle completed 3 Minutes & 21 Seconds"

Damn, this is entertaining.
posted by cCranium at 8:01 AM on December 26, 2000

[Today's puzzle completed 4 Minutes & 53 Seconds]

I am so smrt! I am smrt! S-M-R-T!
posted by luke at 9:58 AM on December 26, 2000

I tied cCranium. I'm getting rusty. (Not trying to brag, it's just that I've been playing this game for years and am the type that shouldn't play against whatnotever.)

It's all a matter of getting your brain in the habit of thinking in terms of the right patterns. The more you play, the better you get. Practice, young grasshoppers...
posted by jason at 2:36 PM on December 26, 2000

[Today's puzzle completed 8 Minutes & 21 Seconds]

whoa, I thought I took like a half hour for that! I kept choosing ones that had already been done. This is addictive..
posted by justnobody at 4:39 PM on December 26, 2000

Now you may enter the weekly contest...
[Today's puzzle completed 10 Minutes & 15 Seconds]

That was fun. :-)
posted by pnevares at 10:01 PM on December 26, 2000

[Today's puzzle completed 19 Minutes & 12 Seconds]

Of course that included figuring it out, explaing it to my wife and smashing my thick head into the monitor for a little while.
posted by mutagen at 10:14 PM on December 26, 2000 [1 favorite]

Well, I obviously got lucky yesterday. 6 minutes and 23 seconds for today's. :-)

This is too good of a game.
posted by cCranium at 5:11 AM on December 27, 2000

2 mins, 21 seconds for today's game. I have no idea how that even happened! I usually suck at stuff like that.
posted by sammy at 5:20 AM on December 27, 2000

7 minutes 40 seconds (Dec. 27). I am improving. I still can only find 4-5 "sets" by deduction and the last one or two always seem very "random" to me.

From the answers to the sample game and the rules page it would appear that only things that are not a "set" is if you have only two of the same color/shade/shape/number in the set of three. All other combinations can be "defined" as a "set." Maybe I am interpreting the instructions wrong, or maybe I am just 66% smart and logical and 33% irrational idiot.
posted by tamim at 11:02 AM on December 27, 2000

[Today's puzzle completed 3 Minutes & 29 Seconds]
(dec. 27)

i'm getting better too. thanks again, matt :-)
posted by pnevares at 3:14 PM on December 27, 2000

Tamim, you're right, but I think you're underestimating the number of possible combinations which aren't sets. There are four traits to a card (color, shape, shade, and number) with three possible values per trait. A set is a set of three cards for which the trio either have all the same value or all three values for each trait. So there are, uhh, 81 cards with 81 * 80 * 79 / 6 possible triples, of which only 256 are valid sets. That's quite limited.

[Today's puzzle completed 3 Minutes & 12 Seconds]
posted by snarkout at 4:40 PM on December 27, 2000

Thinking about it a bit further, I believe there are actually 1080 (81 * 80 * 1 / 6) possible valid sets, meaning that "good" sets are around 1.25% of possible sets. If you play long enough, you start to get better at picking them out quickly.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:02 PM on December 27, 2000

Is my utter inability to master this silly game tied to my glaringly bad results on the "spatial relations" portions of every intelligence/skills assessment I have ever taken?
posted by Dreama at 8:15 PM on December 27, 2000

[Today's puzzle completed 0 Minutes & 49 Seconds]

Booya! (must get back to work, must get back to work, must...)
posted by Avogadro at 5:38 AM on December 28, 2000

You can get a similar game for the Palm called Grouper.

posted by DragonBoy at 10:04 AM on December 28, 2000

3 min 12 sec. (dec. 29). I like my progress.

While the time has improved, I still can only find 5 sets right off the gate, but - always feel the 6th set is somewhat arbitrary.
posted by tamim at 8:57 PM on December 29, 2000

1 minute 12 seconds (dec. 31).

I am happy. Now I actually can think like the game. No further updates from now on.
posted by tamim at 1:15 AM on December 31, 2000

40 seconds flat. [April 5, 2002.]
posted by tamim at 12:13 AM on April 5, 2002

You shaved off only 32 seconds in 3 months? Go for 30 seconds flat!
posted by gluechunk at 10:49 AM on April 5, 2002

You guys still back here?

Aaaugh! got yesterday's game in 28 seconds, while I took over a minute, thanks to brain-freeze. My fiancee and I broke down and bought the card game a couple of weeks ago, and haven't stopped playing save for food and sleep. The card game is especially versitile, allowing you to play a lot of different games with one deck; we made up a "concentration" game, but there are others.

(By the way, congrats tamim; I haven't been able to improve on the aforementioned 49 seconds.)
posted by Avogadro at 1:04 PM on April 11, 2002

Avogadro is right. This game is pretty addictive. I stopped cold-turkey after I got my time down to a minute and 12 seconds in December 31, 2000. Only recently I went back to playing it again. So gluechunk, I guess it took me a year and three months to shave 32 seconds off my time.

I don't think I can better that 40 seconds mark though. I finished today's in only 47 seconds. That's seven seconds slower than my best time. [April 13, 2002.]
posted by tamim at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2002

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