Anti-Match Game – The Neighborhood of Make-Believe RESULTS

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Answers to the quiz were received by 36 neighbors. In the results post, the neighbors’ names will be abbreviated as:

Andy Berisford – ABe
Andrew Bradburn – ABr
Andrew Esten – AE
Alex Jeffrey – AJ
Al Sanders – AS
Brigette Anderson – BA
Ben Smith – BS
Christopher Adams – CA
Christy Meisler – CM
Dan Katz – DK
Debbie Manber Kupfer – DMK
Erik Agard – EA
Eli Barrieau – EB
Foggy Brume – FB
Jackie Anderson – JA
Jason Brown – JB
Joanna Cheng – JC
Jeffrey Harris – JH
Joshua Kosman – JK
Jack Martin – JMa
J Melvin – JMe
Jeffrey Schwartz – JS
Katie Hamill – KH
Michael Fleck – MF
Mark Halpin – MH
Matt Jones – MJ
Miriam Nadel – MN
Marc Spraragen – MS
Nathan Curtis – NC
Neville Fogarty – NF
Projectyl – P
Scott Weiss – SW
Joe Cabrera – T!
Trip Payne – TP
Wil Zambole – WZ
Yossi Fendel – YF

1. King Friday XIII
A black cat crossing one’s path (3) – BA JH YF
Breaking a mirror (1) – JB
Failing to respond to a chain letter (2) – AS MF
Hanging a horseshoe with the ends pointing down (4) – ABe ABr BS JS
Meeting one’s doppleganger (7) – MH
Opening an umbrella while indoors (2) – CM MN
Placing chopsticks straight up in a bowl of rice (6) – CA EA MJ MS NC P
Saying the word “Macbeth” while inside a theatre (4) – DK JA JC JMe
Seeing one’s doppelganger (7) – EB
Shoes on a table (5) – AE JK JMa TP WZ
Three on a match (2) – NF T!
Viewing one’s doppelganger (4) – AJ FB KH SW
Walking under a ladder (1) – DMK

The “meeting” and “seeing” answers were ruled incorrect because they did not match the enumeration or RSTLNE pattern of the puzzle. The unchosen correct answers are THUNDERSTORMS and TIPPING A SALT SHAKER OVER.

2. Queen Sara Saturday
Antigua and Barbuda (2) – FB NF
Australia (4) – DK DMK JC JH
Barbados (8) – ABe EA JMe JS KH MJ P WZ
Belize (2) – BS MN
British Virgin Islands (9) – MS
Canada (3) – BA MH SW
Grenada (1) – JA
Jamaica (3) – AS JMa MF
New Zealand (1) – CM
St Kitts and Nevis (4) – CA JB JK NC
St Lucia (3) – ABr AJ EB
St Vincent and the Grenadines (1) – TP
Trinidad and Tobago (9) – AE
United Kingdom (2) – T! YF

British Virgin Islands does not have “nation” status. Elizabeth II was head of state of Trinidad and Tobago until 1976 when the nation became a republic and the head of state position shifted to its president. The unchosen correct answers are the Bahamas, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

3. Prince Tuesday
A – Bono (3) – CA DK JH
B – Common (1) – EA
C – Drake (3) – FB SW YF
E – Logic (1) – AJ
F – Lulu (5) – AS JK KH NC NF
G – Moby (2) – JS T!
H – Pink (2) – JC MN
J – Sade (5) – ABe BS EB MJ MS
K – Seal (2) – MH P
L – Shaggy (5) – AE BA JA JMa MF
M – Slash (4) – ABr CM JB WZ
N – Sting (2) – DMK JMe
P – Vanity (1) – TP

Flea (D), Pitbull (I), and Thalia (O) were the unchosen answers.

4. Cornflake S. Pecially and Mr. McFeely
B – Best Buy (2) – BS TP
E – Apple (4) – EA JC NC T!
F – Abercrombie and Fitch (7) – EB
F – Burlington Coat Factory (3) – JB JS P
G – Target (6) – ABr AS CA FB JA WZ
H – Kohls (2) – AJ MN
(apostrophe) – Wendy’s (3) – CM DMK JK
(hyphen) – 7-Eleven (1) – NF
K – Kroger (2) – MF MH
L – Walmart (3) – BA JH SW
M – Yum! Brands (6) – ABe DK KH MJ MS YF
M – Yum! Foods (7) – JMa
O – Amazon (1) – AE
O – Costco (7) – JMe

This question went through a few different formats before the final draft, which may explain why some of the retail company choices seem a bit random. Costco is a correct answer but for the “C” envelope. The unchosen correct answers are (A)lbertsons, Home (D)epot, and Walgree(N)s.

5. Henrietta Pussycat
A – “Annyong” [Hel-loh “Annyong” Bluth from “Arrested Development”] (4) – CA JS MF MS
B – “Beep beep” [Road Runner from Looney Tunes animated shorts] – (1) JB
C – “I am Groot” [Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy”] (3) – BA DMK JC
D – “Hello” [George from “Crazy People”] (2) KH MJ
E – “Hodor” [Hodor/Wylis from “Game of Thrones”] (2) JK MH
F – “Meep” [Beaker from “The Muppet Show”] (1) YF
G – “Mine” [Seagulls from “Finding Nemo”] (6) ABr FB JMa NC T! TP
H – Nevermore [Raven from “The Raven”] (5) ABe AS JMe MN SW
I – Pop pop [Magnitude from “Community”] (10) BS CM DK EA EB JA JH NF P WZ
K – “Timmy” [Timmy Burch from “South Park”] (1) AJ
M – “Yarp” [Michael “Lurch” Armstrong from “Hot Fuzz”] (1) AE

When a question requires players to identify an answer from a closed set, I tend to order the set members in alphabetical order by answer as a minor solving aid. An early version of this question used “Groot” as the catchphrase, and when I changed it to “I am Groot” I failed to adjust its alphabetical order. Even though the alphabetical order wasn’t explicitly established, I apologize if this caused confusion. “Smurf” from the animated series “The Smurfs” and “Whatever” spoken by Duane Moffat on “Full House” are the unchosen correct answers.

6. X the Owl
box elder (2) AS EB
boxwood (2) FB NF
flax (2) WZ JB
foxglove (11) ABr AE AJ  BA DK DMK JA JH KH MH YF
ilex (2) EA NC
oxeye (4) BS MF MS SW
phlox (8) ABe CM JK JS MJ MN  T! TP
redbox gum (12) – JC
wax bean (1) – JMa
wax palm (1) – CA
xanthum (12) – JMe
xeranthemum (12) – P

Redbox gum and xanthum are not 11C (xanthum is not a close-enough misspelling of a valid plant name). Xeranthemum is appears in Merriam-Webster Unabridged but not 11C. Most of the common tree and plant names were chosen, but an unchosen answer that puzzlers might be familiar with is saxifrage.

7. Lady Elaine Fairchilde
Alpha – For all (8) – AE AJ AS JA JK MS NF YF
Bang – Signo de apertura de exclamación (8) – ABe ABr EA JMa MF MJ MN WZ
Because – Therefore (2) – CA JC
Circumflex – Hacek (2) – JB KH
Comma – Okina (1) – NC
Euler’s number – Schwa (5) – BA BS EB MH SW
Fasila manqoota – Semicolon (1) – FB
Grasshopper – Queen (3) CM JH P
Intersection – Union (2) – DK T!
Mho – Omega (3) JMe JS TP
Omega – Union (9) – DMK

Omega – Union is a reasonable guess but I could not find a typographical variation of an omega that resembles an inverted union symbol. Komi de/Rho and Tau/Up tack are the unchosen pairs.

8. Ana Platypus
aboriginal (9) – YF
billabong (6) – CA JK MJ P TP WZ
boomerang (2) – AE DK
coolibah (9) – JC JH
corroboree (1) – MN
didgeridoo (9) – BA SW
dingo (1) – MS
kangaroo (5) – DMK EA EB JB MF
koala (2) – JA JMe
kookaburra (8) – ABe ABr AS BS CM FB MH T!
numbat (9) – NC
wallaby (4) – AJ JMa JS KH
wallaroo (1) – NF

“Aborginal” comes from Latin roots. “Coolibah” (a variant of “coolabah”) and “numbat” are in Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged but not 11C. Theories on the origin of “didgeridoo” vary though most scholars believe the word is an imitative Western invention, which is the theory presented in 11C. Unchosen correct answers include barramundi, budgerigar, galah, and wombat.

9. Donkey Hodie and Harriet Elizabeth Cow
A – bubble and squeak (6) – CM DMK FB JMe MJ P
B – chowder (1) – JB
C – colcannon (1) – BS
D – French fry (3) – ABr AE BA
E – gnocchi (6) – AS JA JC JH MN YF
F – hash browns (1) – MF
I – knish (2) – DK SW
J – kugel (2) – JK JS
L – raclette (8) – ABe CA EA EB MH NC NF TP
M – red flannel hash (1) – KH
N – shepherd’s pie (2) – AJ WZ
P – bouillabaisse (9) – T!
P – vichyssoise (2) – JMa MS

The unchosen answers are G – hotchpotch, H – Irish stew, K – latke, and O – tzimmes

10. Daniel Striped Tiger
A – archery (10) – FB
A – boxing (2) EB WZ
A – judo (10) – AE
B – figure skating (5) – BA BS CM JA JB
C – curling (10) – T!
C – polo (9) – ABe AS EA JH JK JMa MN SW TP
C – rugby (10) – JS
D – rugby sevens (1) – CA
E – water polo (1) – NF
F – basketball (2 ) – AJ MJ
G – American football (2) – JMe YF
H – ice hockey (4) – KH MF MS P
I – Australian rules football (2) – ABr JC
J – roller derby (1) – NC
L – association football (3) – DK DMK MH

Timed rounds in Olympic archery have no distinction between male and female competitors. Judo matches are 4 and 5 minutes maximum for female and male competitors respectively. Curling has “thinking time” limits but the term chukka is specific to polo. K – Field hockey is the unchosen correct entry.

Tiebreaker:
550,000 – SW
650,000 – WZ
768,000 – T!
5,000,000 – KH
7,150,000 – MJ
8,000,000 – JA
8,000,000 – JMe
11,000,000 – MS
11,111,111 – JS
11,500,000 – TP
14,000,000 – AE
14,000,000 – JB
14,200,000 – DK
17,000,000 – MH
18,742,103 – FB
19,800,000 – CA
20,500,000 – BS
22,835,787 – CORRECT
23,000,000 – AJ
25,000,000 – DMK
28,000,000 – BA
29,000,000 – JC
30,000,000 – NF
36,000,000 – YF
37,000,000 – MN
37,000,000 – ABr
40,000,000 – JK
42,117,285 – EA
53,000,000 – AS
55,000,000 – ABe
63,000,000 – JMa
67,764,377 – NC
88,000,000 – EB
135,000,000 – MF
200,000,000 – CM
250,000,000 – JH
300,000,000 – P

FINAL SCORES

RANK INIT Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10 TOTAL
1 JB 1 4 4 3 1 2 2 5 1 5 28
2 AJ 4 3 1 2 1 11 8 4 2 2 38
3 MF 2 3 5 2 4 4 8 5 1 4 38
4 NF 2 2 5 1 10 2 8 1 8 1 40
5 CA 6 4 3 6 4 1 2 6 8 1 41
6 MN 2 2 2 2 5 8 8 1 6 9 45
7 BS 4 2 5 2 10 4 5 8 1 5 46
8 NC 6 4 5 4 6 2 1 9 8 1 46
9 DMK 1 4 2 3 3 11 9 5 6 3 47
10 DK 4 4 3 6 10 11 2 2 2 3 47
11 KH 4 8 5 6 2 11 2 4 1 4 47
12 SW 4 3 3 3 5 4 5 9 2 9 47
13 FB 4 2 3 6 6 2 1 8 6 10 48
14 JC 4 4 2 4 3 12 2 9 6 2 48
15 JS 4 8 2 3 4 8 3 4 2 10 48
16 TP 5 1 1 2 6 8 3 6 8 9 49
17 MS 6 9 5 6 4 4 8 1 2 4 49
18 BA 3 3 5 3 3 11 5 9 3 5 50
19 JMa 5 3 5 7 6 1 8 4 2 9 50
20 CM 2 1 4 3 10 8 3 8 6 5 50
21 MH 7 3 2 2 2 11 5 8 8 3 51
22 YF 3 2 3 6 1 11 8 9 6 2 51
23 JMe 4 8 2 7 5 12 3 2 6 2 51
24 JK 5 4 5 3 2 8 8 6 2 9 52
25 T! 2 2 2 4 6 8 2 8 9 10 53
26 WZ 5 8 4 6 10 2 8 6 2 2 53
27 AS 2 3 5 6 5 2 8 8 6 9 54
28 EB 7 3 5 7 10 2 5 5 8 2 54
29 AE 5 9 5 1 1 11 8 2 3 10 55
30 ABr 4 3 4 6 6 11 8 8 3 2 55
31 MJ 6 8 5 6 2 8 8 6 6 2 57
32 JA 4 1 5 6 10 11 8 2 6 5 58
33 P 6 8 2 3 10 12 3 6 6 4 60
34 EA 6 8 1 4 10 2 8 5 8 9 61
35 JH 3 4 3 3 10 11 3 9 6 9 61
36 ABe 4 8 5 6 5 8 8 8 8 9 69

Congratulations to Jason Brown! Thank you all for your participation and patience with the early postings of the quiz. Please contact me if you spot a problem in the results report and I will correct it as soon as possible.

 

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Immersive Theatre Pop-Up

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Immersive Theatre Pop-Up is performance event that took place this afternoon at the downtown branch of Denver Public Library. The event featured six pieces and was overseen by the creative teams at Off-Center, a division of Denver Performing Arts Center. The event was experimental and each small team behind one of the six pieces faced the same goal: to collaborate on creating a repeatable performance piece that lasted 6-8 minutes, addressed a relevant library topic, and offered active participation opportunity for every individual who attended the piece. The time span between conceiving the piece and striking the set after the final performance was just under 24 hours.

I volunteered to be an actor in the event and was assigned to a team that would create a piece on the topic of banned books. Our team of five actors and director Leigh Miller met at the downtown library on Saturday afternoon to tour the performance space and then relocated to a DCPA rehearsal room to hash out a concept. We noted that books are rarely banned in the U.S. but many are challenged, and we used the DPL’s book challenge form as the inspiration for the piece. We would prompt attendees to choose a word they dislike, ask them what they disliked about it, and then submit this information to an unseen judge who would ban it based on the attendees comments. We felt a printed except from a familiar literary work would be useful as a source for attendees to pick words, and one of my castmates came up with the inspired idea to use an excerpt from The New Colossus. After a word was banned, attendees would be led to a “redaction room” to mark out the chosen word as well as adjacent, corrupted text. The attendee would be invited to keep the redacted copy of the poem, “as a record of what would now appear at the base of the Statue of Liberty.” We drafted a basic script, ran some table reads, came up with a prop list, and called it a night at 10 p.m.

On Sunday morning we met at the library to set up our space. The main set piece was a mountain of books piled on a round table in a conference room where we would read the Judge’s ruling. The five of us rehearsed, taking turns as the “advocate.” We also went to the spaces of the other five performance pieces to experience their works. At 1:30 we opened to the general public. Our piece, titled “Banned Together,” attracted about 100 audience members, and I led about dozen groups made up of 1-4 individuals. The concept was admittedly blunt and manipulative, but many attendees seemed quite affected by the gut-punch line of the redaction scene. Our piece was often the last of the pieces experience by attendees because we performed on the seventh (highest) floor of the library. I regretted this and wished more people has finished on lovely “Soñadores/Dreamerswhich explored the library as a refuge for persons of different cultural backgrounds. The last “Banned Together” groups finished at 3 p.m. and the teams met for a debrief before going our separate ways.

I enjoyed being in an acting role again, though a lot of the advocate’s dialogue was giving instructions, something I do a lot in the puzzle community. The abbreviated creation process was more remarkable than the actual performance, and I hope Off-Center will try this experiment again in the future.

Overlook Film Festival

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Two weeks ago my friend Ryan, one of the Puzzah! founders, asked me if I wanted to join him at the Overlook Film Festival. I’m not a fan of horror films but I looked at the festival website and was intrigued by the immersive, virtual reality, and puzzle/game events included on the Overlook schedule. I was also in need of a vacation and imagined New Orleans, a city I had never visited, as a great change of scenery. We spent the next few days making flight and hotel arrangements and registering for the festival events. Last Wednesday we arrived in The Big Easy and our haunt-scene adventure began.

Over two dozen films were screened at Overlook this year. The marquee offerings were the premieres of Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die and Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s The Lodge. I prioritized live events over screenings and in the end the only films I saw were a selection of horror shorts. I met one of the short film directors, Meredith Alloway, at festival registration. Her film Deep Tissue was technically adept and its theme of gender power dynamics was provocative. Fire Escape was an virtual reality narrative requiring special signup due to the limited number of headsets. The experience is a high-tech version of Rear Window set at a Brooklyn apartment building. The viewer watches the action from a fire escape across the alley and can select windows to eavesdrop on scenes in particular apartments. Afterwards I compared notes with some of the other viewers and got some insight on apartment scenes I had missed. Overlook had a free VR Lounge at the registration area and I experienced two short VR pieces: Campfire Creepers and Wolves in the Walls based on a Neil Gaiman story. I experienced very little motion sickness, confirming that refresh rates are improving since my last VR attempt two years ago.

I attended my first immersive piece of the festival on Thursday night. The Pumpkin Pie Show was a one-on-one storytelling experience performed by Clay McLeod Chapman. I met Clay at one of the theaters and he led me to an upstairs storage room, sat me in a chair, and told a creepy fifteen-minute story called “Rest Area.” The story was good and Clay’s first-person narration was powerful. On Friday I signed up for Home of Enchantments, another one-on-one experience. Belle (played by Ava Lee Scott) texted meeting instructions at the Olivier House Hotel. I sat beside Belle in the period-furnished and otherwise deserted hotel lobby and, unlike the explicitly non-interactive Pumpkin Pie, I was prompted to join her in conversation and … do other things. It was a mesmerizing and intense performance — the highlight of my festival experience. My Saturday night show was Room Service created by the team at JFI Productions. Ryan and I were ushered into a guest room at the Olivier, tucked into the bed, and told a bedtime story. The experience left a strong impression.

I learned that the Overlook organizers traditionally present a walk-around puzzle game that can be solved in free time throughout the weekend. This year’s game was built around the story of a pair of young artists who become consumed by a dark conspiracy. The structure was similar to an MIT Mystery Hunt. The organizers scheduled a series of events over the weekend where solvers viewed a plot-advancing “skit” and received puzzles that could be solved by visiting locations in the French Quarter. Festival attendees who registered at the premium level had access to more skits and puzzles. The project was ambitious and the skits had impressive production values, but the locations and times of the skits, which were revealed during the game, often involved a ride-share several miles from the festival sites and/or conflicted with other scheduled events. Ryan and I eventually abandoned the puzzles and sought out more dedicated solvers to get story updates. I hope the organizers continue developing games of this type, but give more logistical details in advance to help solvers prepare. Saintsbone was a two-hour puzzle event scheduled at various times throughout the weekend. Small teams attended a will reading in Jackson Square and then roamed the nearby streets meeting characters connected to dearly departed. Each character posed a puzzle and then gave a clue to the meta once the puzzle was solved. Ryan and I signed up for a Saturday evening slot and the parades and tourist traffic made the streets difficult to navigate. The game creators may have misjudged the navigation time and the character frequently rushed us through puzzles to ensure the event was moving at the right pace. Still, the characters were all very fun and the story invited solvers to consider issues of life and death and make a choice at the game’s climax.

Ryan and I took some time away from the festival to visit local escape rooms. We found two other festival attendees, Elaine and Rob, to help us make the four-person minimum for the games at 13th Gate Escape in Baton Rouge. Dwayne Sanburn and his team of film industry world builders have created games with amazing sets and effects. We played Tomb of Anubis and Cutthroat Cavern and were blown away by the spectacle. Back in New Orleans, Ryan and I formed a solving duo for Escape My Room. The games created by owner Andrew Preble and his team represent rooms in the mansion of the fictional DeLaporte family. Once you open Escape My Room’s door and step off the street you are immediately in the story. We played Smuggler’s Den and Inventor’s Attic. Both had clever puzzles and visually attractive period decor … well, I suppose I can vouch more for the visuals in Attic than Den.

Ryan did some advance research and scouted out some great restaurants and bars. Weekend highlights: Felix’s (great grilled oysters!), Bennachin (African comfort food), Loa (the Jean Lafitte cocktail contains “Spanish moss pillaged from city park”), Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 (I now want to make macadamia nut liqueur), and Manolito (intimate cafe with Cuban snacks and daiquiris — we went there four times!)