Every year, Thanksgiving arrives like the gun shot from a starting pistol! It feels like Halloween was just last week and here we are gobbling down turkey with all the fixings! But, that’s just the beginning. Put on your track shoes and carefully place the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth before assisting others! Here comes Black Friday, Cyber Monday, one day only sales, early bird sales, night owl sales, BOGO sales and all the rest. Holiday preparation can turn from childhood dreams of sugar plums in your head to a shopping nightmare that leaves you slapping it!
Once you’ve macheted your way through the jungle of holiday sales and drag home the gifts, there’s still wrapping, decorating, baking, cooking, cleaning and planning needing to be done. So much is happening in the month’s time between Thanksgiving and Christmas that it can make your head spin around like demon possessed elf spitting egg nog! (You get my drift. We’ve all seen the Exorcist, right??)
With the marathon to Christmas day complete, let’s talk about time for the holidays. Use time thoughtfully to enjoy family, friends, good food and drink, the spirit of giving and receiving and the sentiment of the season. This beauty only happens once a year, so don’t miss it!
My present to you this year is the gift of time. Take some time to breathe, kick back and play this domino solitaire game called THE BIG CLOCK. It’s fun, challenging enough to keep your interest and it can be played at your leisure. AHHH!
Pull out your set of double 12 dominoes.
To win this timeless game, get all 12 double dominoes into a circular formation that mirrors a clock face. The double 12 tile is at the top of the circle followed clockwise by the 1-1, then 2-2, 3-3 and so on.
Remove the double blank from the set. Then put the dominoes face down and shuffle them. Draw 12 dominoes and put them face up in a circle lengthwise to represent each number on a clock face. The double blank is placed in the center pointing at the domino in the 12 position. The remaining dominoes become the boneyard.
To play, draw dominoes one at a time from the boneyard. Tiles are laid on top of another in the clock face when at least one end of the domino matches at least one end of the tile you are covering. For example, if you drew a 5-8, it could be placed over the any clock face domino with an end containing a 5 or an 8.
Dominoes are never laid on top of a double, whether the double is in the right location on the clock face or not.
When you pick a domino that can’t be matched to one on the clock face, it is set aside and out of the game.
When a double is drawn, and there isn’t a match on the clock to overlay OR if there is a double on the clock in the wrong place, you’ve got a “DOUBLE IN TROUBLE!” The top domino of any pile may be moved to the top of another pile as long as the pips on one end of the tile match the pips on one end of the tile being covered. Make as many moves as needed to get the “DOUBLE IN TROUBLE” in its correct location on the clock face. If all the tiles from a time slot are removed making a black space, it can be filled with the correct double or filled immediately with a new tile.
When a domino is placed in its correct time slot, the tile and the entire stack under it is turned to radiate out from the clock face.
Get all 12 doubles in the correct position on the clock face to win!
BUT, if you pick a double from the boneyard that can’t be placed on the clock face, the game is over and this time you’ve lost! WAH-WAH!!! You’ll have to reshuffle and try another time to win!
Here’s a hint on play. Before laying a domino, take a second to see how to get at least one number of a domino in the correct position. For example, if you have a 2-3 at the 6 o’clock position and you draw a 2-6, place it on top of the 2-3 (since the 2’s on both tiles match). When the double 6 is drawn, it can be matched to the 6 on the 2-6 and laid in its correct position. A little thinking ahead of time can make the difference between victory and defeat!
And now it’s time to wish you all Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Have fun and enjoy your time for the holidays!
The Big Clock instructions, Kelley, Jennifer A. & Lugo, Miguel, The Little Giant Book of Dominoes, 2003, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.