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Solution to Something In Your I’s


by Kevin Wald
Art by Joe Cabrera

This puzzle references the film Midnight Madness (which is about five color-coded teams solving a drive-around puzzle hunt). Specifically, for the first clue:

The Sea is reversed. S.S. Itari is mixed up and blind. 38-22-23 / 56-10-11

the first two sentences are correctly solved by all teams as "See the stars," but all the teams except the blue team (which has a computer that can solve any puzzle) misinterpret what that means. Three of the colors in each block (red, yellow, and green) are colors of teams that make these misinterpretations. The first ("First Priority") line in each block is not in any team color, and refers to one of the subsequent clues in the hunt; the blocks can then be ordered as per the order of those clues. Then:

Red (sorority team, who incorrectly go to the "Starlight Disco"): Each entry contains clues for two answers; one answer contains an anagram of DISCO, and in its place the other answer contains a single letter. In order, these letters spell BOULEVARD.

Yellow (protagonist team, who incorrectly try to interpret maps of stars' homes): Each entry mentions three actors, and indicates whether they are dotty, loopy, or neither. In each case, those three were in a film which contains either a number (in Arabic numerals) or a direction. In order, these numerals (followed by . for "dotty" or ° for "loopy") and directions form latitude and longitude coordinates for the HOLLYWOOD sign.

Green (football team team, who incorrectly go to the wax museum): Each entry tells you to add n * |R letter - Y letter| (for some n) "figures" to a running total. For some, these are figures of a specified member of the LA Rams with a retired number; for some, you are told it "doesn't matter." Those for which it doesn't matter are in the positions corresponding to where BOULEVARD and HOLLYWOOD have the same letter; if we take |R letter – Y letter| (call this Δ for short) to be the difference in corresponding letters between BOULEVARD and HOLLYWOOD, Δ is 0 in those places, explaining why it doesn't matter. If we take the "figure" for each Ram to be his retired number, the sum of all the nΔ * # values is 6533.

The details are given in the chart below:

First PriorityClueRed Alert Clue 1Red Alert Clue 2Film + modifierCoord. pieceLA Ram, Ret #nΔ * #
Locate a good set of openers!. . . find the 8800 keys! A(CIDOS)ES
(instances of low blood pH)
(Vigoda, Fortas, etc.)
Miracle on 34th Street (dotty)34.4|B - H| = 24Isaac Bruce, #801920
Host from 11:30 to 12:30, once!Mr. Carson . . . M(ISCOD)E
(mess up when programming)
(That stooge with a bowl cut)
13: The Musical13|O - O| = 0n/a0
Mr. Uris is worthy of VIP treatment! Leon's Special . . . F(OSDIC)K
(Li'l Abner's favorite detective)
(Dr. Li, who directed the exploration of Mars)
This is 40 (loopy)40°3|U - L| = 27Eric Dickerson, #29783
Try putting things in the right place!Play a round of golf . . .C(ODISC)OVER
(together find)
NorthNorth|L - L| = 0n/a0
Observe the bar setups for musical gigs up front!Look at xylophones initially . . .P(SOCID)S
(twelve unciae)
Ocean's 11111|E - Y| = 20Jackie Slater, #781560
Check on the last fifteen fifths!. . . terminal number 3RA(DICOS)E
(with a large root)
(a big party of techno fans dancing)
Super 8 (dotty)8.9|V - W| = 9Marshall Faulk, #28252
Don't put weight on an unstable chair!. . . off your rocker . . .M(ID SCO)TLAND
(Fife's associate in the European Parliament)
(kicking Jo Nymo)
Saturn 337|A - O| = 98Bob Waterfield, #7686
Get a picture of some safety equipment!. . . [Photo of a safety pin] . . .LY(COSID)AE
(Wolf Spiders)
(Vega's name in part)
The Rebels of PT-218 (loopy)218°6|R - O| = 18Merlin Olsen, #741332
Fiddle with solar cooking equipment!Play the Star Fire video game . . .PRO(SODIC)S
(A Study of Intonation, Stress, and Rhythm)
(eggs on)
Wild Wild WestWest|D - D| = 0n/a0

The remaining misguided team in the film is the white (debate club) team, who think they need to look at the stars on Hollywood Boulevard. The answer is the person, among the ten people with a star at 6533 Hollywood Boulevard, whose name appears (as shown) in two lines: ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY.