Trailers Solution

How It Works

First, teams should notice that the twenty numbered clips are trailers with subtitles inserted. The twenty-first clip is called "Order", and is where teams begin. That clip consists of a series of MST3K style comments referring to twelve of the other clips:

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Galaxy Quest
  • District 9
  • Predator
  • Cocoon
  • 2001 A Space Odyssey
  • Signs
  • War of the Worlds, The
  • Cloverfield
  • Stargate
  • Lost in Space
  • Starship Troopers

Taking those in order, pulling out the captions, and extracting the highlighted letter from each yields:


This tells the teams to take the other eight trailers, sort them by their title (ignoring "The" per usual sorting rules), then pull out the highlighted letters from the captions again, but skipping "falses" this time. "Falses" refers to one of two things:

  • Captions in quotation marks must be exact quotes, if they aren't, they're false.
  • Captions that aren't in quotation marks are statements of fact one way or another, the content is either true or false.

Here is the full list of captions:

AvatarThe statue with its head missing is the Statue of (L)iberty.
Contact(D)rew Pearson broadcasts from WMAL.
Day the Earth Stood Still, TheThe district (s)logan is "Paving the way to unity."
Ghosts of Mars(C)entral Park is now known as Incident Site U.S. 447.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The(FALSE) Indonesia was where Number 1 was (k)illed.
I Am Number Four(FALSE) "Number 2 (w)as murdered in China."
Independence Day"(W)e are a generation commanded by fate to defend humankind."
Men in Black(P)risoner 7713 AB.556 is James Williams, aka Desolation.

All of the captions refer to content within the trailers themselves, so watching through them should help determine which statements are true and which are false. Once done, this yields one final message:

NOISYINSECTORMIBWEAPON This is a trivia question, again referring to one of the trailers.



Design Notes

This was originally inspired by the MST3K portion of the puzzle, which most would agree is the part that's most fun. Finding a way to make this work for a whole puzzle's worth of content was intractable, though, which is where the subtitle portions came into play and things ran somewhat off the rail. The puzzle used to be twice as long, with sixteen additional trailers. The first test of this came in at 4.5 hours.

Even as is, this was too long and tedious, especially when not solving in a conference room with a projector, and we knew this coming out of the RC, we just ran out of time to do anything about it.

Construction Notes

Interestingly, there's no way to use Windows Movie Maker to make individual characters any different from the rest of the caption, which is how we landed on the parentheses approach for highlights.

GC Notes

We wanted to skip all teams over this puzzle, but when we got to that point in the Game, we had spread problems such that we needed the lead teams to go faster and the later teams to go slower. This worked for what we logistically needed, but was pretty rough for some of the teams in the back.