Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pic-Tac-Toe (9th edition)

After a few weeks on the injured reserve, Pic-Tac-Toe returns with a mild flourish. As always, 9 images are arranged in a 3x3 grid so that each column, row, and diagonal are linked by a unique theme. With 3 columns, 3 rows, and 2 diagonals, there are 8 themes in all. It's your job to find them.

(Click the image to enlarge, and guess in the comments.)

SOLVED! Thanks to APL (top row), K-Lyn (bottom row, left column, right column), and Bill (middle row, middle column, and both diagonals).


K-Lyn said...


Left: BALD

OK. A sad outting for me but I have to leave for work and I'll be in a training class all day so I know Bill will have solved this by the next time I can even look at it. But I had to give you the ones that jumped out at me.

Neel Mehta said...

3 of your answers are correct. The top row has a much more specific theme.

Actually, a few of these themes are of the "Rat Pack" variety, in which a single element in each image adds up to a whole theme, and none of the images overtly state that theme. (If you're not Bill or K-Lyn, you have no idea what this means. Don't worry about it.)

My point is that unless Bill is in spectacular form, there'll be some puzzle left to solve, so waste some time at work thinking about it.

And I hope you're auditing that training class.

Neel Mehta said...

Yeah, now that I think about it, 4 of the last 5 themes would classify as "Rat Pack" type themes, and the 5th is a "Brands of Chili" theme, where one image at least gives a hint as to the whole theme.

No wonder I was having a tough time making this; it's easily the hardest puzzle I've constructed.

One hint: aside from Michael Cera in image 2, you pretty much need to know a little bit about everyone pictured: real names, characters, something.

Bill said...

Let me try a few...

Center column: ROMAN GODS (Juno, Apollo, Pomona)

Top row: 2007 MOVIES (Perfect Stranger, Juno, Enchanted)

Center row: CHARACTERS FROM THE OFFICE (Dwight, Creed, Michael)

Backslash: ACTION HEROES (Willis, Stallone, Schwarzenegger)

I'm still stumped on the slash.

Neel Mehta said...

Very nice work, Bill. ROMAN GODS and THE OFFICE are correct!

Maybe an alternate answer credit for the top row, but I'm going for something even more specific than that.

If possible, you're even closer with the 159 backslash, but I'm looking for something more specific about those three guys. Hint: think about my (non-)use of Stallone/Willis in a previous puzzle.

The 357 slash is the "Brands of Chili" theme. It's not a great theme by any means, but it works.

And remember, aside from Michael Cera, I make use of everybody.

Bill said...

Okay, the backslash is PLANET HOLLYWOOD

Neel Mehta said...

That's it. 6 themes down, 2 to go.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Top row: X-Men

Neel Mehta said...


This just leaves the slash diagonal, which really isn't as hard as most of the others.

Neel Mehta said...

Oh, and Bill, I forgot to mention:

You've earned One Schrute Buck for knowing what to do with President Eisenhower.

Bill said...

I've never seen The Office but I knew there was a Dwight and I looked up the rest.

For the last one, how about ALLITERATIVE NAMES (Amy Adams, Sylvester Stallone, California Condor)

Neel Mehta said...

Then I'm even more impressed you got that theme.

Unfortunately, you can't appreciate the value of One Schrute Buck, and what a motivational tool it -- and Dwight -- can be.

(I'm only a recent convert of The Office. I think it hit its stride around Season 3.)

Well done, people. For the record...

Top Row: X-MEN (Halle Berry, Ellen Page, James Marsden)

Middle Row: CHARACTERS FROM 'THE OFFICE' (Dwight, Creed, Michael)

Bottom Row: CALIFORNIA (California condor, Pomona, the governor in Anaheim)

Left Column: BALD HEADS (on Bruce Willis, President Eisenhower, and the California condor)

Middle Column: ROMAN MYTHOLOGY (Juno, Apollo, Pomona)

Right Column: DISNEY (Disney's Enchanted, former CEO Michael Eisner, Mickey Mouse)

159 Backslash Diagonal: PLANET HOLLYWOOD FOUNDERS (Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger)

357 Slash Diagonal: ALLITERATIVE NAMES (Amy Adams, Sylvester Stallone, California Condor)

Tune in next week! Or not. These are getting harder to me to make.

K-Lyn said...

Damn that was well done. Sorry I wasn't more of a contender. I could really use a Schrute Buck!