Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley dusted off their 1960's syndicated offering _"PDQ" (1965)_ (qv) for this game show, which replaced the venerable _"Concentration" (1958)_ (qv). The format at first involved two celebrities and two contestants playing as teams. The celebrities first went into the "Baffle Booth" where the sound could be turned on and off, as each team played the same phrases.
The contestant was presented with a phrase spelled out in marquee style letters hidden from the celebrity's view. The contestant put up three letters of the phrase, which had to include the first letter but not the first three letters, to begin. When a bell sounded, the contestant could add any letter. The contestant was assessed a 15 second penalty (accompanied by the "tacky buzzer" made famous on _"Hollywood Squares, The" (1965)_ (qv)) if he put up the first three letters, added a letter too soon, or added spaces in the phrase.
After two phrases, the celebrities and contestants switched positions. Best total time for four phrases earned a trip to the bonus round, in which contestants could win a car by guessing single words boiled down to groups of three letters (CRT could be cart, crate, court, carton, cartoon, etc.). One such contestant in the early days of the format, Dawn Krantz, succeeded in running the table and winning five cars.
After Heatter and Quigley tired of giving away so many cars, the bonus round was changed. Contestants now had to guess up to ten words in 60 seconds. If they got all 10 words, they won $5000 in cash, a trip around the United States, and a new car. Anything less, they won a mystery prize.
Finally, HQ tried an all-celebrity format, but the ratings damage had already been done and NBC canceled the series.
Dick Enberg, already a familiar face on _"Sports Challenge" (1970)_ (qv), did a smooth job hosting this one. Noteworthy about this show was its futuristic looking set designed by 'Jim Newton' (qv), said to be the first game-show set to use neon in its design. Throw in a very peppy 'Mort Garson' (qv) music package and that was your show. But "Baffle" was certainly worthy of a run equal to or exceeding that of its predecessor.
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