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Ghosts is a wonderful game which will test both your memory and your ingenuity. It consists of the building up of a word, letter by letter.

The first player thinks of a word of three letters or more, and calls its first letter. The second player follows with another letter. This must fit with the first, but not complete a word. The third player adds another, and so on in succession. The aim of the game is to avoid finishing a word.

For example, the first player may think of the word BALL and say 'B'. The second player may think of the word BUGLE and say 'U'. The third player may think of the word BULB and say 'L'. At this stage, the letters spell BUL. Now the fourth player cannot say 'B' or 'L' because they would spell BULB or BULL. So he thinks of BULGE and says 'G'. The next player has little choice but to say 'A' as in BULGARIA. And the next will be able to add nothing apart from 'R'. He will then have spelt BULGAR, a full word, and will have lost that round.

Anyone completing a word and losing a round becomes 'a third of a ghost'. If he loses again, he becomes 'two-thirds of a ghost'. At the next loss he becomes a complete 'ghost' and drops out of the game.

But there is another way to lose. At any time during the game, one player can challenge the person before him to say what the completed word will be. If someone in our sample game above had tried to add an 'M' to BUL, he would have been challenged, for there is no word which starts BULM.

Any player who loses a challenge also loses third of himself to ghostliness. Abbreviations and foreign words are not allowed.

Superbrains can stretch their imaginations further by playing 'Superghosts'. In this version, letters can be added at the beginning of a word as well as at the end. Thus. TH can become ATH (as in BATH) or THU (as in THUG).

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