by Dan Katz
Problem: Arbor Day Town/​Pi Day Town

The flavortext for this puzzle takes the form of a haiku, and the segments in the three columns can be used to build seventeen more haiku. To form each haiku, the right trio of segments (one from each column) must be ‘crosscut’ and reassembled. In other words, the first line of the haiku consists of the first parts of these three segments, the second line the second parts, and the third line the last parts. Deciding which segments go together and where to break them up is the meat of the puzzle. When the haiku are assembled, each one refers to a film with a nine-letter title.

Segment 1Segment 2Segment 3Haiku Line 1Haiku Line 2Haiku Line 3Film Title
Bullies circus fear our bigDemand folks fakeFood aren’t warriors birdBullies demand foodCircus folks aren’t warriorsFear our big fake birdA Bug’s Life
Fear you know some cokeThe lobster nothing of my andSquad work a sneezeFear the lobster squadYou know nothing of my workSome coke and a sneezeAnnie Hall
Dancers mysterious stopWant dual back stabbingRole scratches yourselfDancers want dual roleMysterious back scratchesStop stabbing yourselfBlack Swan
Don’t open your dadThat panic room killedCrate has roaches by voodooDon’t open that crateYour panic room has roachesDad killed by voodooCreep Show
Girl during blackouts thanksBuilt by pair for theRecluse conspires chopperGirl built by recluseDuring blackouts pair conspiresThanks for the chopperEx Machina
Lab shrinking loveBat makes you care my toxicHas issues for trees loveLab bat has issuesShrinking makes you care for treesLove my toxic loveFerngully
Loan lucrative he gotShark pitched insurance his coatA script scam backLoan shark pitched a scriptLucrative insurance scamHe got his coat backGet Shorty
Oregon skinhead deadPunk boss looks like girl bodesShow Picard poorlyOregon punk showSkinhead boss looks like PicardDead girl bodes poorlyGreen Room
She have some wigJust wants racist bomb schemeTo dance brainwashing goes wrongShe just wants to danceHave some racist brainwashingWig bomb scheme goes wrongHairspray
Someone gangster says to paintMissed their keep the cans hurtFlight change your faceSomeone missed their flightGangster says to keep the changePaint cans hurt your faceHome Alone
We are escaping the topIn your limbo keepsHead is hard spinningWe are in your headEscaping limbo is hardThe top keeps spinningInception
Voices that Ingrid’sSay poet’s not just onTo fight the Dauphin fireVoices say to fightThat poet’s not the DauphinIngrid’s just on fireJoan of Arc
Baby this clock oneBro’s goes up door’s certainKidnapped to thirteen deathBaby bro’s kidnappedThis clock goes up to thirteenOne door’s certain deathLabyrinth
Your sanctuary is I’mCrystal’s a thirty-oneFlashing myth nowYour crystal’s flashingSanctuary is a mythI’m thirty-one nowLogan’s Run
Damon how will these guysLeaves Brad win on get onOakland the cheap baseDamon leaves OaklandHow will Brad win on the cheapThese guys get on baseMoneyball
Space nerve avoid Shuttle’s gas will kill that dude’sBeen swiped everyone teethSpace shuttle’s been swipedNerve gas will kill everyoneAvoid that dude’s teethMoonraker
Her dad’s wine let’sA tastes like make ClaudeNazi uranium tallerHer dad’s a NaziWine tastes like uraniumLet’s make Claude tallerNotorious

Since the movie titles are each nine-letters long, and the entries in the crisscross grid are nine letters long, it’s natural to try to fit the titles in the grid, but they won’t fit. That’s because, like the haiku, they need to be crosscut; so, for example, ABUGSLIFE must be cut into ABU/GSL/IFE and reassembled into the string AGIBSFULE. (You can think of this as crosscutting or un-crosscutting, since the process is its own inverse.) The crosscut versions of the titles do fit into the grid as shown:

The highlighted letters, in order from top to bottom, spell JKUABECAR. When this string is crosscut, it forms the answer to the puzzle, JACK BAUER.