Forget tournaments or when not familiar with a player. But imagine placing only one card per location, but using only your Action or object used by the player himself. I would definitely try this for the fun of it, but all these ideas seem a bit much for the given objective.
I think the simplest and best way would be to use palaces where there are 11 clear locations on the left (hand to memorize on my left) and 11 on the right.
My kitchen is the first place that comes to mind.
On my left is stove, shelves above, countertop, shelves below, sink, toaster, microwave, freezer, fridge, tv, door to WC.
On the right are just as many places I can place one card per location and theres no way to mix the two up…
P.S Ive simply placed them wherever I thought of first (generally close to the player playing it) , one card per location, no linking, without trying too hard, and it has always been enough to remember what had been played and by whom.