English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Roger Zelazny’s Blood of Amber, Merlin and Vinta Bayle are playing the mutual interview game, in which one gains a right to ask an opponent a question by first answering the opponent's question.

Is there a name for this game?

share|improve this question
I believe you can also ask it there: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions – lexeme Mar 5 '13 at 10:13
Fantastic book selection, though I admit a preference for the first five in the series. – jimbotherisenclown Mar 5 '13 at 10:55
Riddle-game was an ancient game of the Hobbits, used as a means of settling disputes. The players continued to ask each other riddles until one failed to provide a correct answer. – coleopterist Mar 5 '13 at 11:58
@brick Not really. “What is this game called in the book?” would be a topic for Science Fiction & Fantasy. “What is this game (mentioned in the book) called?” is a topic for English Language & Usage. – Gilles Mar 5 '13 at 13:11

Though I am not familiar with any game name, there are phrases for what you are talking about.

Quid pro quo, meaning something for something, is a Latin loanphrase that indicates an equal exchange of information, goods, or services.

Other phrases with identical meaning are tit for tat, like for like, equal exchange, equivalent exchange of information, and several others which may easily be found by searching a thesaurus for 'quid pro quo'.

share|improve this answer
Quid pro quo, Clarice. – coleopterist Mar 5 '13 at 12:00
Well, there are some additional rules in the book, I think, that make the game narrower than just Quid pro quo. AFAIR, no more than one major standing question is allowed, but interviewer can ask for clarifications. If one refuses to answer, the game is over. And so on. – Alexander Gladysh Mar 5 '13 at 15:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.