Not a perfect fit, but it sounds a bit like Speakeasy, a party game in which you use a secret password to identify your teammates and try to deduce as much as you can about the other side, including their passwords and roles etc.
There are two sides (Feds and Mob) which are equally balanced and the game includes roles and "powers" which mix things up a lot.
That's simple. Get two secret gifts worth at least as much as the exchange. At the end of the exchange, everyone votes for the most devious steal. Both the thief and the victim get one of the surprise gifts.
And great times were had by all!
I agree with @MazelTov that many people probably allow derivative forms as successful guesses, but I do not believe that was the intention of Taboo's designer. Some games may explicitly allow forms of the guess word, but Taboo is all about the WORD. It should be an exact match.
For reference, the rule for a successful guess is very concise when it refers to ...
I think your techniques are sound if, first, you've read the categories so they are in the forefront of your subconscious when you consider the letters.
Scattergories is a bit similar to 'Boggle' (Parker Bros.) and 'dig-it!' (Cadaco), in that words one's opponents also use are not scored, but different from Scrabble (Hasbro) in that...well, everyone knows ...
I tried looking them up on board game geek just encase and turns out they have a page for those who are interested https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/206903/its-just-theory
Makes no mention of when it will be on kickstarter though.
It is pretty common in other CCGs to play proxy cards. This is typically made up of a common card from the game being played, in a sleeve with a printed copy of the desired card, cut from plain paper and the same size as the other cards, placed in front of the proxy card.
You are correct to point out that the sleeves do make the cards, and subsequently the ...
This is generally a house rule, but generally the widely accepted answer is that any form of the word is correct. You can't use the variation to change the word, e.g. , but other than that, knock yourself out!