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HALF A MINUTE

Have you heard the radio panel game called 'Just a Minute'? This is a variation on it, which tests your way with words and your quick wits. The only equipment needed is an efficient watch with a second hand. A stopwatch would be even better. In any case, one player is given the job of time-keeper.

The object of the game is to tell a story which lasts for at least thirty seconds. The time-keeper thinks up a first sentence for the story, such as 'It was a dark night; and the traveller was lost in the wood'. Then the first player must carry on with the story.

If all goes well, he will still be talking when thirty seconds is up. But there are several things he is forbidden to do. He must not use any word (other than 'a' or 'the' or 'is') more than once. And he must not hesitate for longer than two seconds. If he makes either of these mistakes, the time-keeper stops him, notes how much time is left, and hands the story on to the next player.

The player who is still talking when the half-minute is up is awarded one point. The first to reach five points is the winner. And remember the time-keeper's decision is final!

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