Solution to Bombs

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by Connor Moss

Solvers are presented with a 9×8 grid with some cells shaded, as well as nine newspapers outlining events related to bombs. Each newspaper clues a specific movie that has been labelled as a “box office bomb”: the article and newspaper name clue plot points and key names from the movie, and the given images are blurred versions of a poster for the movie. Also hidden in each article are two numbers between one and nine. By taking those numbers as X and Y values, each box office bomb can be plotted on the grid.

As clued by the fact that none of the plotted movies border the shaded squares, and all the movies are bombs, we realize that the grid is a minesweeper grid, with the movies corresponding to individual mines. As in minesweeper, we can indicate in each blank cell of the grid how many mines are next to it. Then, as suggested by the flavourtext, we add up the mine adjacency values for the cells surrounding each mine. Indexing the sum into the corresponding movie’s title, we extract the answer NET LOSSES.


Table LetterNewspaperCoordinatesBox Office BombSumExtracted LetterPoster used
ASmith’s Sun(3,2)Gemini Man9N
BThe Times(3,7)A Wrinkle in Time14E
CJamaica Observer(7,3)Cutthroat Island9T
DThe Denver Post(6,6)Battlefield Earth10L
ENNN News(9,1)Osmosis Jones4O
FMill Valley Star(3,8)The Invasion8S
GThe Boston Globe(1,5)The Finest Hours8S
HEuronews(2,3)Mortal Engines12E
ISpace Daily(4,5)Mars Needs Moms13S

Author’s Notes

Thanks to Alan Huang for the minesweeper idea.