The Puzzle Decathlon

Welcome to Michael Pickard’s Puzzle Decathlon – featuring ten "events" whose requirements loosely mirror the Decathlon. Each question should test some different component of your brain in order to execute it properly. The main focus (but not exclusive focus) of the content is Popular Culture. Each question will yield something – a number, a clue, a word, a name; it is up to you to figure out how to use them. Each event will have a maximum score of 1,000 points. You can submit answers for events one at a time if you like, but I will only score each of the 10 EVENTS a maximum of one time per person regardless of how many submissions you make (for example, if you submit an answer for the 400 meters, two days later the High Jump, and a week later a complete answer for the entire Decathlon, your scores in the original 400 meter and High Jump submissions will stand, but I will tabulate for all other events). For each of the ten events, the first person to submit a perfect answer creates a new World Record, and a one-time-only Bonus of 200 points.

While most answers are ‘normal’ – like 509 or 87/2, some may be unusual - like tan30, seven cubed, or onze (translates from French language to mean ‘eleven’). Similarly, some answers that are words or names may need a prescribed action taken on them to convert them to a number (for example, the year the person was born, converting a word from Hex to Decimal, etc. Such conundrums will be well outlined.) Some answers are not related to numbers at all.

As events are completed, you may then plug certain solutions into the Decatholitic Formula, which will serve as a means of granting a bonus score. There is no World Record Bonus for the Decatholitic Formula – anyone who gets the answer will receive an extra 500 points.

The highest total score wins. In the event of a tie, preference will be given to the entrant with the most World Records. Any subsequent ties will be broken by random draw. Deadline for entry: February 28, 2005, 10:30pm EST. Multiple partial entries will be accepted; but no event will be scored more than once per person. Answers to be sent to mpickard -at - thezone.net.  Subject line: Decathlon.

The actual world record for the real Decathlon is 9,026 points, by Roman Sebrle (pronounced almost like Chevrolet, funnily enough) – I am curious to see if anyone tops it in this forum.

Prizes

Gold Medal: Your choice of any game from the 2004 GAMES Magazine 200.

Silver Medal: Two books from my Trivia Library – from a list of 10 I will supply.

Bronze Medal : The satisfaction of coming third, glory and honor, etc.

Winners

Gold medal: David Javerbaum 10,000 points, 3 World records. Wins the game of his choice from GAMES Magazine 200.

Silver medal: Jim Lessard 9,775 points, 1 World record. Wins two books from my puzzle library from a list of 10. I will send him the list separately.

Bronze medal: Stephen Williams 8,475 points, 3 World records. Wins glory of medaling, knowing that he was leader and favorite for most of the event.

Notables:

Don Vance: 6,775 points

Sean Forbes: 5,800 points (only competing in 6 events, 1 World record)

Paula Stevens: 5,720 points

Sue Bernstein: 4,575 points

Dropped out, but still submitted some answers:

John Daly: 2,000 points

Mark Greenhalgh: 1,200 points (1 World record)

Andrew Levine: 1,100 points

Bob Lodge: 500 points.

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Event #1: 100 meters

One short fast, tough, question, which by no coincidence at all, concerns the 100 meters.

Who is the man regarded in track and field circles as having clocked the fastest 100 meter electronic time in history, regardless of conditions (including times that may not be ‘officially recognized’ due to disqualifying factors)?

1A The man’s name (250 points) Obadele Thompson

1B His 100 meter time (250 points) 9.69

1C Sum of his the Olympic athlete numbers (only from the two Olympic Games in which he competed in the 100 meters) (500 points) 2325

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Event #2: The Long Jump

One short, fast, tough question involving 20 strides, which then requires some sort of leap of faith to bring the question together.

Total number of star ratings (e.g. the movie The Cell was given 4 stars) assigned by Roger Ebert to 20 movies, determined by the 20 hints below, in movies that all share a common feature. Scoring: perfect score: 1,000 points; +/- 0.5 stars: 800 points; +/- 1 star: 600 points; +/- 1.5 stars: 400 points; +/- 2 stars: 200 points. +/- 2.5 or more stars: 0 points (fouled out). 55 Stars

2A. The treasure map in this movie was designed by the author who wrote the book Timid Virgins Make Dull Company. Romancing the Stone ***

2B. Notably, the title character’s favorite book is Rubyfruit Jungle. Educating Rita **

2C. The title character in this movie is based loosely on the author of the novel The Catcher in the Rye. Finding Forester ***

2D. This movie contained one of the first movie roles for a thespian who subsequently became more widely known as a character on Frasier. Crossing Delancey **.5

2E. Two main characters in this comedy are Neil Diamond fanatics. Saving Silverman .5

2F. This movie stars one of the people listed in the 1,500 meter event of The Puzzle Decathlon. It has the name of a university in its title, but originally had the name of a different university in it. Stealing Harvard *

2G. Movie was directed by the same man who directed the movie based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by a woman whose first name is Edna. What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ****

2H. The movie which brings together two actors who (on separate TV shows) played an electrician that didn’t know what an outlet was, and a crime scene investigator with a gambling problem. Playing God ***

2I. The last 20 minutes of the movie: after self-doubt ("I can’t beat him") and fast action, the protagonist realizes he has won, but gives the antagonist a ‘way out’. The antagonist declines, but then realizes the error of his ways. Searching for Bobby Fischer ****

2J. An actress (whose mother’s nickname is a palindrome) stars in two movies that fit this event’s common feature – released within a year of each other. The movie in question was the one released more recently. Inventing the Abbotts **

2K. This is the only movie that fits this event’s common feature that stars the notable actor who, on a website that has a segment called HITG!, always stars as "The Sun" in a different segment on the site. Regarding Henry **

2L. Film that starred an actress who won an Oscar 9 years after the movie in question was released, and an actor whose father won an Oscar 9 years after he (this particular son) was born. Dying Young **

2M. You’ll find a place in this movie called Judgment City. Defending Your Life **

2N. Though set in Ireland, this film was shot on the Isle of Man.  Waking Ned Devine ***

2P. Movie’s main character goes by two initials (like comedian D.L. Hughley goes by D.L.) which (surprise!) happen to be an official state abbreviation (the way DL is not). Raising Arizona *.5

2Q. Movie that has a character whose square root is the name of a TV show that had a memorable episode featuring Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney. Leaving Normal **.5

2R. Both Albert Brooks and Elliott Gould were in line to star in this 1997 movie, before the role was taken by the writer himself. Deconstructing Harry ***.5

2S. The middle name of the real person featured in the movie is Gavin; in the movie, his middle name is Horatio. Being John Malkovich ****

2T. Movie in which the title character is referred to as Bingo, Elmo, Fabio, Chico, and Harpo. Finding Nemo ****

2U. Perhaps the only person to date both Mike Tyson and Robert De Niro, she had several scenes from this critically-acclaimed movie deleted (and thus she is uncredited). Leaving Los Vegas ****

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Event #3: The Shot Put

A simple, tricky brute of a question.

Country calling code (the UK’s, for example, is 44) of the country, whose people you would associate with an anagram of the initials of the real name of the most famous athlete in the movie whose title is synonymous (in a language other than English) with the first name of the most famous athlete from the country longed for by the main character in the movie that featured the object that has words printed on it determined by solving this unpunctuated Cryptogram: FAKE TV SATIS VA PIN

45 (Denmark)

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Event #4: High Jump

The High Jump requires some finesse and technical strengths. Scoring is tricky, so read carefully.

Answer as many of the 5 questions as you like – ‘passing’ on any one(s) you choose. Your total score for the High Jump will be the highest score you attain without having any wrong answers preceding it (maximum of 750 points). Wrong answers nullify correct answers that follow. For example if you answer 4A and 4B correctly, pass on 4C, answer 4D incorrectly, and 4E correctly, your score will be 300 points (your correct answer for 4E will have been nullified by your miss on 4D). I will give an extra 250 points (for 1,000 in total) to anyone who submits the correct answer for all five questions (and of course, the first will receive the World Record Bonus).

4A. 150 points. The lower of the two values that is typically associated with the word that is the same as the name of one of the two cartoon characters voiced by two reporters of “the fake news”.  1

4B. 300 points. The odds (_____ to 1) listed for the ‘longest’ long-shot ever to win the Kentucky Derby.  91

4C. 450 points. In the 1990s, M.H. Prasad’s starting point to set a new world standard.  732,915

4D. 600 points. Fill in the blanks, each with a different letter, to form fairly common words or expressions. 20,654

BA___P

D___IL

LA___NG

H___ME (answer is not ‘home’)

DE__RE

Take the resultant letters, and anagram them in the smallest number of words possible. One resultant description is loosely “a detective with an ophthalmologic problem”. Depending on what day you look (for some reason I cannot explain), this results in a googlewhack. What is the product of the first two parts of the resultant URL?

4E. 750 points. Total number of letters that were “returned to sender” in the short story, which was originally published in a magazine whose name is part of the name of the main character in the short story, written (in real life) by the actor who played the title character in a movie with a one-word title, whose character has something very distinct in common with the character who owns one of the objects found in Event #8: Pole Vault, which makes an appearance in the novel The Da Vinci Code. 187

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Event #5: 400 meters

Both finesse and endurance required. List of clues is on the following page. Answer the clues in the boxes on the next page, and transfer them to the grid below to spell out a quotation. 900 points – send the complete message; 100 points, name the author of the quote.

Please see the Word document for the boxes and grid.  The questions are listed (without letter matching) below.

The definition of focus is knowing wjere you want to be today, next week, next month, or next year, then never deviating from your plan.  Once you can see touch, and feel your bojective, put all you strength behind it and you'll hit the target every time.  --Bruce Jenner

5A. Nice Boats

5B. Sequel error in question

5C. Fat, or not qualified

5D. Ironically legitimate, to Hoover

5E. Chargex : VISA :: Esso :: _____

5F. Eldrick : Tiger :: Forsythe : ______

5G. Le clin d’oeil

5H. Time between green light and Yellow Cab honking its horn

5I. Peachy keen

5J. Study of the behavior of animals

5K. He can see right through people

5L. Award for losers

5M. Being

5N. Like a club

5P. Giddily in love

5Q. Voldemort : “You Know Who” :: Macbeth : _____

5R. A heated prank

5S. Sucker : Vampire :: Howler : ______

5T. Outside

5U. Brahe : nose :: Sprungfeld : ______

5V. He was not unprepared, but lacking counsel

5W. Dogma : Still :: City of Angels : ______

5X. Classic Heavy Metal Celebration

5Y. Official name says it is a sandwich

5Z. Said “America is a mistake”

5AA. English Road of note

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Event #6: 110 meter hurdles

10 tough obstacles to clear. 100 points per hurdle you clear.

6A. In a language spoken mostly in Europe, the number, which in a native North American language is an exclamation meaning "shouting for joy when meeting friends and family", which was the title of a singer’s only major chart hit in her country – the album on which the song is found winning her a Best New Artist award in her country’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards. 8

6B. Perfect game score (without fouls) in a game that features the term ‘century’, times the number of shots required for a perfect game in the main professional version of the game that features an oche, divided by the number of consecutive outs required for a perfect game in the sport as outlined in the book "Perfect!".  49

6C. According to James King and Gail Savant, murders might be interpreted trigonometrically as this. sin 15

6D. What is the only common word in the English language that is Finnish in origin? [Before you ask to define ‘common’, it really is the only ‘common’ word – less than 8 letters, everyone knows what it means.] Sauna

6E. Number associated with a man who wrote and performed a popular song addressed to his ex-girlfriend’s mother – the ex-girlfriend once being the solution to a Cartoon Rebus in GAMES Magazine (but not the March, 2005 contest, or JM will kill me!).  3000

6F. The Intelligence Quotient of the cartoon character who would gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today. 326

6G. Name of the film directed by a man with only one ‘director’s credit’, but many as a production assistant, including for Hidalgo, Old School, American Pie 2, and Deliver Us from Eva. Route 2

6H. Many places claim to have the world’s largest free-standing statue – but only one happens to also have a filthy penguin sidekick. What is the hat size of the statue’s character (not the penguin)? 112

6I. Name of the 15-minute kids’ TV program that consists of several short segments – one of which features the characters Captain Hopp and Crnkovich, and another segment features poetry written by a man who co-wrote a movie that featured an actor known more as a musician (who happens to be found in the 1,500 meter event), which has a one-word title that would not be an uncommon topic for GAMES Magazine. Four square = 16

6J. The answer to "The Ultimate Question", times the number of pieces of luggage left at the pier by the baker in the poem that has a strange word in its title who is also a minor character in Catch-22, divided by the sum of all the spots on a conventional cubic die. 84

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Event #7: Discus Throw

You may go ‘round in circles. Determine who each list is comprised of, find the keyword, and unscramble the results.

List 1

  • Famous Aunt of Socialite Nicole Richie
  • Band that has a song alluding to "the greatest song in the world"
  • Delivered joke news called "The Big Picture"
  • Filmmaker part of an elaborate hoax documenting his life on Sci-Fi Channel
  • Played "Reba the Mail Lady"
  • Belmont Island was renamed for him

Keyword: _____________

List 2

  • "A man", in police CB code
  • Only Acadian-Canadian Governor-General
  • Bad attitude character who was orange in 1969; became and remained green in 1970
  • Measures the sensitivity of the value of a derivative in Calculus
  • City largely destroyed in earthquake in 1746

Keyword: _____________

List 3

  • He ate some tacks
  • She got lost at sea
  • He was bored, and succumbed to ennui
  • She got swallowed up by fire
  • He had trouble eating a peach
  • She met her end in the depths of a lake

Keyword: _____________

List 4

  • Directed one-word movies you may associate with a snake, an underwater beast, and an epitaph.
  • Played an assassin recently whose last name is Green
  • Justice who wrote Of Men and Mountains
  • Journalist often called Raoul Duke.
  • Current co-star of a person in List 1.
  • Singer/actress/model, who is splitting up with someone with same last name as second person in this list.
  • The Queen of Shock Rock
  • Harvard professor and 60s Assistant Secretary of Defense.
  • Homonym of and character in a "mockumentary" featuring a character from many films that never speaks.
  • Sister of the "mockumentary" character.

Keyword: _____________

List 5

  • Founder of Rissho Kosei-kei Buddhist movement
  • Has twice played a surgeon on a season’s highest rated TV show – 30 years apart.
  • The second president of Turkey
  • Produced first permanent photographic image on metal
  • First British heavyweight boxing champ of the 20th century.
  • Musician who, if his name was one word, would mean ‘unyielding’.
  • Big-footed woman with a brother named Castor
  • Wrote "A short history of Nearly Everything"
  • Punched out Adam Sandler in film
  • Her ghost wheels her barrow.
  • Man nicknamed "The Big Easy"
  • Front man of dodgy consulting firm
  • Played Cat in the Hat
  • Got his directorial break through a video for the band YES
  • Won an Emmy as Jordache
  • Patriarch of MTV’s biggest hit to date.
  • Penned "I sing the body Electric"

Keyword: _______________

List 6

  • Assassinated four time premier of Japan who helped abolish feudalism
  • Leaf hockey star born in Belfast, Ireland.
  • Babe who won fame as Canada’s "Centennial baby"
  • Current castmate of one of the guys from 2H.
  • Name of a kid in the hall, and a carrot top.
  • If you remove the first letter of this late actor’s first name, his whole name sounds like the two physical changes men fear most as they age.
  • Actor once called a "warthog-faced baboon" in film.
  • Submarine Pirate Pitcher
  • Full name of narrator of Dickens’ most celebrated Bildungsroman
  • Multiple Grammy-winning singer with a sword tattoo on his cheek, and a vibrato voice.
  • Self-promoted "bad-boy" of NASCAR who died in 2001.
  • Actor who died while he was filming Gladiator.

Keyword: _______________

List 7

  • Famed for correctly saying "you call this one, and it’s all over, baby".
  • Wrote Almagest
  • Branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty

Keyword: _____________

Now examine all seven keywords. What one person do you associate them with?

(1,000 points)

Tony Randall (The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao)

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Event #8: Pole Vault

Using your 20 strides, for 40 points each, identify each picture. To make it simpler, I have put the words in alphabetical order. I have also given very rudimentary clues to give you a boost. There’s a 200-point follow-up as well.

The photos themselves are in the Word document

The clues are presented herewith:

Again, these are in alphabetical order.

8A. One of my favourite hands in Hold ‘Em Poker, it is called… Big Slick

8B. In addition to being a cute little vehicle, this is one of the longest words in English that is only one syllable.  Brougham

8C. Surely you’ve seen this icon before…but what is it called? Caduceus

8D. Memories of Differential Calculus: a mathematical curve, called a…? Cardioid

8E. I hope you don’t own one of these. Painful. Cilice

8F. A flower, a religious symbol, an architectural design, a… Cinquefoil

8G. Though made of metal here, this word’s origin comes from the French for "leather".  Cuirass/cuir bouilli

8H. Might read as ‘half a man’, though its etymology is elsewhere. Demijohn

8I. A devilish little instrument for a juggler. Diabolo

8J. The part in the middle is called a…? Gnomon

8K. Judging by the shape of his spear, you can see he’s a… Halberdier/Halberdsman

8L. As geography buffs, we’ve seen this type of map of the Earth before. But what’s it called? Homolosine (projection)

8M. You mixed your chocolate with my peanut butter. Yah, well you mixed your exclamation point with my question mark, to get a… Interrobang

8N. What is this specific style of hood called? Liripipe

8P. Has gained prominence by a recent video game, this is a… Ocarina

8Q. This gadget is out of this world. Orrery

8R. You’ve probably seen this before, mate. But what’s it called? Plimsoll Mark/Line

8S. Quick, flee through the… Portcullis

8T. A graphic representation of the number five is a…? Quincunx

8U. Weird flashback to Andrew Levine’s puzzle. What do you call a guy who hangs around way up there (no, not David Blaine)? Stylite

FOLLOW-UP (200 points) Of the 20 words, there are only 2 that have the property of forming a common word when anagrammed. Find those two words, then chop the two words each into two parts, add Word 1’s top to Word 2’s bottom and vice versa, and you get 2 new common words. (e.g. if the words were CONE and BADE (anagrammed from ONCE and BEAD), the chopping and splicing would create CODE and BANE). One of those words will relate directly and specifically to three letters somewhere in the Decathlon. Those three letters can be arranged to form a word…that word is worth 200 points. Ilk

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Event #9: The Javelin

OK, so the Javelin doesn’t really connect to a word search, no matter how hard I try. Find all of the words hidden in the Word Search grid below – forwards backwards, up, down, and diagonally. Once you have done so, there will be a bunch of letters remaining – unused in the puzzle. These are the key to finding your final answer. When you are done finding the words, write out these ‘leftover’ letters starting at the top left of the grid and moving across each row, until you get to the last row, and have found them all. Answer to the event (worth 1,000 points): the number typically associated with what is spelled out in the leftover letters.

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9A Cute roommate of THX1138  LUH3417

9B Nebuchadnezzar minus Magnum  486

9C License plate number of Lincoln carrying 120lbs of heroin in The French Connection 9 18LU13

D "Far Out Space Nuts" spacecraft number PXL1236

9E All cell numbers in Jailhouse Rock song and dance had this number 1313

9F Character featured in the movies Undercover Nerd and You Have the Right to Remain Dead  MCBAIN

9G Series of wars that lasted from 264BC to 146BC PUNIC

9H Smallest integer that has 40 integer divisors. 1680

9I Difference between the price paid for Kunta Kinte in the book and in the TV miniseries 695

9J In the Gene Chandler song "Duke of Earl", the number of times "Duke" is sung 132

9K Author of "The Elements" EUCLID

9L Chemical name is Diazepam VALIUM

9M Where Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. first played together 500 CLUB

9N Value, in pennies, of the pertinent article of clothing worn by a crazy literary character that has a silly unofficial holiday in his honor celebrated annually in October. 126

9P A street name in lyrics to Love Potion Number Nine VINE

9Q Movie whose tagline was "When these guys hit the streets, guess what hits the fan." DC CAB

9R Smallest number that is a sum of two cubes in two different ways 1729

9S Largest number whose square has strictly increasing digits 367

9T Olive Oyl's shoe size 14AAAAAA

9U Smallest number whose square has the same first three digits and last three digits 3489

9V A Heinz 57's lineage, for example MIXED

9W Precinct Numbers in TV Shows: NYPD + NYPD Blue + Barney Miller + Rocky King, Detective 78

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