Saturday, October 20, 2007

Puzzling Atheists #4: Blame Philly

PhillyChief recently complained that I didn’t have enough visuals on my blog, so I’ve decided to accommodate him.

The box below features sixteen images. Some of them may be immediately recognizable, others may not. As a slight help — minuscule, really — if you read from left to right, line by line, the subjects of the pictures are in alphabetical order.

Your job is to pair up these images so that they form the names of seven annoying personalities and one really irksome group of people. Some of the pairings will roll off the tongue easily; others may take a little indulgence on your part.

For example: if there were a picture of a hill somewhere in the grid and a picture of a ton somewhere in the grid (not necessarily next to one another), they could be combined pretty straightforwardly into Hilton. On the other hand, a picture of an oar and a picture of (Oliver Hardy) Ollie could be manipulated in your mouth to form O’Reilly. (I know that one's a stretch, but, hey — them's the rules.) Each illustration should be used once only.


I don’t think anyone will get all eight combos, although Hemant, the Friendly Puzzle Whiz, might. As usual, please don’t post your answers; email me as you find them. Comments will, of course, be appreciated, and you can even feel free to pose questions to one another about interpreting the individual images. I may pitch in with some help if enough people seem really stumped.

22 comments:

Max said...

I got 1!!

After we use up two pictures to make a name, can we use the pictures again or are they discarded?

The Exterminator said...

Good going, Max. I don't think any of the names are easy.

I did add this sentence to the instructions a few hours after I posted. You might have missed it: Each illustration should be used once only.

Max said...

Ha! 3 down.

Sorry, I must have skipped over that too quickly. Thanks for pointing it out.

tina said...

Hmmm...I think I got 5..?

Darrel said...

3 confirmed, I'm having trouble with the 14th and 15th pictures (the "general?" and the "temple?")

The Exterminator said...

OK, in response to your emails, I'll start giving hints. But I'm gonna be stingy with my information at first.

WARNING: IF YOU DON'T WANT A HINT YET, STOP HERE. DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS COMMENT.

Hint #1: In the bottom row, the image second from the right is a ziggurat. It's a famous one because it was found pretty much intact, and it often appears as a symbol of the ancient Sumerian city in which it was built. That historical city, by the way, was mentioned in Genesis -- which just goes to prove that everything in the bible must be true.

Hint #2: In the next-to-bottom row, the image at the left is a weapon and, believe it or not, its rather fancy sheath. The weapon is indigenous to Indonesia and many other parts of Southeast Asia. Its name is a word found in many crosswords constructed by third-rate puzzlers who have to resort to obscure clues. Ummm ...

Hint #3: The guy second from left at the bottom of the grid is not a general, not a czar, not a foreign dignitary, and not a World War I veteran. If you want to know who he is, you're going to have to clear all those ideas out of your mind and march to the beat of a different drummer.

The Exterminator said...

In response to popular demand, I'm going to give another two hints. Unfortunately, they may confuse you more than they help. Sorry about that.

WARNING: IF YOU DON'T WANT ANOTHER HINT YET, STOP HERE. DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS COMMENT.

Hint #4: No, you're not a lunatic. That picture you think is the moon IS the moon. I suspect that god made it specifically because he wanted me to use it in this puzzle. Notice, though, that there's a red line on the right-hand side of the image. That highlighted arc is something, the name of which is a fairly common word when used in non-astronomical contexts. In this particular case, however, it refers to the designated part of the whole. Sorry if that clue drives you further into solver's limbo, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Hint #5: One solution is a linguistic stretch, although not so much for people who come from New Yawk, most of New England, or parts of the Old South. And even though you may think the answer is not exactly the way things ought to be pronunciation-wise, it turns out that it's a pretty awful pun if you voice the result exactly as you see it. So you get three annoyances for the price of one: an obnoxious person, a slight "cheat" by the puzzle constructor, and a pun that'll make you groan. What more could you ask?

PhillyChief said...

I'm stuck at 6, and I'm howlin' mad that I can't figure out the moon picture.

aaaaahhhhhhhhwwOOOOOOOOOOO!

tina said...

Ha ha...I thought i had 5...not! But I think I got the annoying group of people!

Darrel said...

Well, I believe I have 6 after hints #4 and 5.

tina said...

Well, I had two to go (4 pictures) and can't figure them out. I'll be back tomorrow so don't post the answers. Oh, by the way, my husband was hooked on this stuff! Kept telling me, but I want to know what he answer is! Well, he'll have to wait for tomorrow.

Darrel said...

I now have 7, including the one with the moon and the fellow in the bottom row.

Darrel said...

And I now have all of them, and they are confirmed.

I am the puzzle master.

The Exterminator said...

Darrel:
Congratulations. This was really hard, even with those half-assed hints.

tina: I'm really thrilled that you and your husband (and the pets, I hope) have been chugging away at this puzzle. I had so much fun creating it; it's nice to see people having fun trying to solve it. When I showed it to my wife, she got one answer almost instantly, then studied the pictures for another two or three minutes before saying, "You're a mean bastard," and moving on to another site.

Philly: It's pretty much a race between you and tina now. Not that I want to put any pressure on either one of you. (heh heh)

Hemant: You didn't quit at a measly four, did you? I thought you were the most competitive guy in the Atheosphere.

Max: Have you given up? If not, blink twice so I'll know you hear me. At least email me with the three answers you got, so I don't have to put an asterisk next to your name at the puzzlers' hall of fame.

PhillyChief said...

Well I know which pictures go together of the 4 remaining for me and I know what 3 of them stand for. I think that's as far as I'm going to get though.

tina said...

Still plugging away...need to take a break though!

PhillyChief said...

I just accidentally got #7 watching tv. I didn't know the person existed before but as I watched, I grew increasingly annoyed until I saw the name. BING!

Now if I could figure out what that stupid red line is...

PhillyChief said...

I think I have no choice but to throw in the proverbial this

and for taking delight in torturing me Mr. Exterminator, you can kiss my ass

The Exterminator said...

Philly:
I can't imagine why you'd want me to kiss your burrito.

tina said...

Okay, I still can't get the last two! I guess tell me what the answers are....:(

Bekka said...

Answers! Answers please!

The Exterminator said...

Bekka:
Check out the hints scattered throughout these comments. If you still want the answers, drop me an email and I'll send them to you.