Obscure Movie House (MIT Mystery Hunt 2020)

Obscure Movie House
MIT Mystery Hunt 2020
Creative Pictures Studios
Author(s)Martin Reinfried
AnswerClick to reveal👠
No. solves16
No. total guesses49

Come watch movies you’ve never heard of! Some sample movies and their reviews are shown below, in no particular order. They are rather cryptic, so you’ll have to see for yourselves how they really begin and end.

Obscure Movie House is a Word Puzzle from the Creative Pictures Studios round of the 2020 MIT Mystery Hunt.

Puzzle Elements[edit | edit source]

Text-Heavy Presentation - The puzzle presents a barred crossword grid. Besides that, though, nothing about the puzzle reads like a crossword—there aren't any visible clues, which are instead replaced by a baker's dozen of awkward-reading movie reviews.


Cryptic Crossword - The catch is that the reviews are the clues—cryptic clues, rather, concatenated together and repunctuated to obscure where one ends and another begins. Even the titles get involved. The best strategy in this case (as it is with most cryptic clues) is to ignore the punctuation altogether, simply treating it as a long string of words; find things that look like wordplay and look for its definition nearby.

Hint in Flavortext - The flavortext directly says that (a) the movie reviews are actually cryptic clues and (b) the cryptic clues are run together.

Fill-In - The movie reviews also don't provide the clue numbers, and the flavortext also says the reviews are in no particular order; the puzzle thus becomes a fill-in after finding and solving the clues.

Marked Spaces - Three squares in the grid have an emoji on them, each one associated to one or two numbered entries in the grid. From the squares in the grid, read the four words around them. These then must be interpreted using the numbered entries associated with its emoji.

Final Clue Phrase - The result is WEDDING CHURCH TAIWAN. While churches are a common site for weddings, they would simply be called a church; however, there is a building in Chiayi that is called a "wedding church" despite not serving a religious function. Its distinct shape is the answer.