|NBC Daytime, March 26, 1973-March 29, 1974|
|NBC Studio 4, Burbank, California|
Baffle (also known as All-Star Baffle) was a game show.
The object of the revival was for a team of two players (a contestant and a celebrity player, in the original version, pairs of celebrities in the second) to guess a word or short phrase in less time than the opposing team. One player would sit in an isolation booth and the partner would stand outside the booth in front of a rack, on which letters representing the answer were placed. These letters were out of view of the partner in the booth. When signaled by Enberg, that player would take three letters from the answer and place them on a board behind him or her where the partner in the booth could see them. The first letter of the answer had to be used, but the first three letters could not, nor could letters that appeared the same (e.g., if the answer is "Boston Red Sox", B-O-S could not be used even if the S from "Sox" was used, although B-S-O was allowed). A player who did so was penalized, with 15 seconds being added to their elapsed time. The player with the letters would then make gestures, similar to charades, that would aid the partner in guessing the answer.
Every few seconds a bell would ring and the player would add a letter from the rack to the board. The partner in the booth would shout out answers until the correct one was guessed, at which time the clock stopped, or the time limit of 60 seconds was reached.
John Davidson helped set the fastest time on the show, four seconds by using the K, S, and M for "Kiss me."
The process would be repeated for the other team, using the same answer; the player in the other team's booth could not hear the show's audio when the first team was playing. The team that solved an answer the quickest won a prize.
Four rounds were played; after two rounds, either the contestants changed partners or, in the all-star version, each team's partners switched positions. The team with the lowest total elapsed time won the game, and the "civilian" contestant went on to the bonus round. On All-Star Baffle, the winning celebrity team drew a card from the drum (filled out by the studio audience) and the lucky audience member got to play the bonus round.
There were two versions of the bonus round. In both versions, the contestant had 30 seconds to guess words based on three-letter clues given by Enberg, such as "GDN" for "garden". In the celebrity-contestant version, the contestant played up to five words, and each correct answer was worth $50 plus three seconds toward a sixth, much harder, word. If the sixth word was guessed correctly, the contestant won a car.
In the all-star version, there were nine words. The contestant won a prize based on how many correct answers were given, with the prize for eight always being a new car. The reward for getting all nine was not only the car, but also a trip and $5,000.
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No known merchandise was made.
The series is believed to be destroyed. Three episodes from 1973 (March 28, April 5, and April 13) are held in the UCLA Film and Television Archive.