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Uma To Oprah In Zero

May 11, 1997

Not to rain on anyone's entrepreneurial parade, but we've been playing our own version of the Kevin Bacon/Starcrossed game since the early '70s in Chicago, and it's neither limited to certain actors nor requires a cash outlay (Film Clips, by Susan King, May 4).

The game is played much like "Bid-A-Note" from "Name That Tune." As an example, a player calls out two actors at random: "Boris Karloff and Cybill Shepherd." Everyone then contemplates for a while, until Player 1 proposes a connection in two jumps. Player 2 says he can do it in one. The ideal connection is "zero" (both actors were in the same film).

Whoever can connect in the least moves wins the round and one point, with play ending at a predetermined time or score, or when everyone gets sick of playing. TV movies and documentaries are not accepted.

In our version we also allow directors, thus the connection proposed by Player 2 above. (My answer: Cybill Shepherd was directed in "The Last Picture Show" by Peter Bogdanovich, who also directed--and co-starred with--Karloff in "Targets." There may be others as well, since in this game there is no "right" answer.) As a variation, one can add "family member" as a criterion.

Like many classic games, this one has a very simple premise, can be played anywhere, and doesn't require a lot of "equipment." Hope all your readers enjoy playing. As a challenge, I offer "Diana Rigg to Clifton Webb in 1" and "Lee Remick to Harpo Marx in 1."

JACK FRIEND

Sherman Oaks

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