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An interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker, with enchanting illustrations by Pete Venters.
2,630 backers pledged $171,146 to help bring this project to life.

The Gatekeeper's Oscars Challenge

Every Sunday the Gatekeeper will post a challenge to our readers. Last week it was to fix the –GRY riddle. The Gatekeeper asked backers to create a rephasing of that riddle thusly: "There are three common English words ending in –[THREE LETTERS]. Two are [WORD 1] and [WORD 2]. What is the third one?" Of the 70+ submissions, The Gatekeeper could not decide which of Brian Joughin's pair he liked best: –ABI (KOHLRABI, WASABI, and the answer SYLLABI) or –FUS (TOFUS, SNAFUS, and the answer DOOFUS). So he picked them both as his favorite. Great job, all.

Today's challenge concerns tonight's Academy Awards. A fascinating coincidence could occur tonight. The Gatekeeper says:

"If ARGO wins Best Picture as many predict, it will mean a Best Picture will be a single-letter deletion from an earlier Best Picture, FARGO. So let's make that happen again. Write a short description of a hypothetical movie that is a single-letter deletion of any previous Best Picture. Don't name either movie; leave that for the Gatekeeper to guess."

You may respace or repunctuate the movie title after deletion. So, if my description was "A tender love story involving the letters between F and I," the answer would be G AND H, a deletion from GANDHI. The Gatekeeper will nominate his favorite for a 2014 Academy Award. Post your descriptions (but not the movie titles) in the comment thread of this update.

Cool contributions from our backers

Backer Cathy Saxton made us an awesome pricing calculator, which we sorely needed. If you have any questions as to what your pledge should be for whatever items you want, try that. It works great. Thanks, Cathy!

Backer Dan Kramarsky wrote us a puzzle for our recent milestone! It's fun. Give it a try, and feel free to send us more Maze of Games-related puzzles!

Maze of Games Kickstarter Update Puzzle #15

Your journey continues! Here is the next part of your adventure through the maze.

15. "You should leave right away," he says. "I'll help you find the royal du5. She knows the way out."

When you have the game name that answers the puzzle, go to puzzazz.com/mazeofgames. Type in the puzzle's number and your answer, in that order. If you're correct, you'll get a piece of a maze which you can assemble to help you find your way out! You can find all previous update puzzles at the @MazeofGames Twitter feed.

Thanks for supporting The Maze of Games!

Mike and the Sharks

Comments

    1. Creator Eric LeVasseur on March 6, 2013

      A biopic about Akira Kurosawa and his "King Lear" adaptation. - RAN MAN

      Two friends look back at their careers at the Piercing Pagoda. - THE BEST EARS OF OUR LIVES

    2. Creator Cousin Artaud on March 5, 2013

      The first was the first for all to see (the first Academy Award winner for best picture was WINGS)
      The second and first make a bumblebee (Put WINGS on a STING and you have a bumblebee)
      Of that, first and second of first do what can't be done (the WINGS on a bumble shouldn't allow it to fly)
      And the second of the seconds make you hurt and numb (what a STING will do to you)
      To find the second from the first remove a double at the start (take the W off of WINGS)
      Move the last to the first and add the end of a heart (move S to the front and add a T)
      It's the definite article that shows the score (the movie is called THE STING)
      My riddle is done, I can rhyme no more (insert witty comment here)

    3. Creator Sean Gugler on March 4, 2013

      Answers:
      "Experiment turns to horror when guests spend their weekend trapped in a research and development institute." -- Rand Hotel (Grand Hotel)
      "Musical celebration rehashing the worst from Monty Python's Meaning of Life." -- Liver! (Oliver!)
      "True story of a country music legend struggling to make ends meet." -- Cash (Crash)

    4. Creator Jeffrey Goodenbour on March 4, 2013

      mine was TITAN I, one of the early US ICBMs (derived from Titanic, obvs)

    5. Creator Peter Norby on March 4, 2013

      "Mutual hatred fuels two men's race to the finish." - Chariots of Ire.

    6. Creator MistWing SilverTail on March 4, 2013

      Here are the answers to my four puzzles

      Atton – Patton: A surprising hit concerning the goings-on at a commune in Northeastern France

      Cash – Crash: A humorous romp surrounding the acquisition of wealth

      Raiman – Rain Man: A somewhat exaggerated biography of a Canadian Pianist

      Al, the king’s men – All the kings men: A delightful comedy about the antics of identical twins in the service of the Monarch

    7. Creator William Dawson on March 3, 2013

      Here's the answer:

      "A fascinating look at the high stakes world of academia, where teachers and students engage in constant mind games."

      TESTING (The Sting)

    8. Creator Karen Knoblaugh on March 3, 2013

      My Oscar Challenge answer:

      He was broke, sleeping in secluded doorsteps and abandoned couches, knowing that if he just got that one break, everything would change. He yearned for the big stage, and he was now getting once last chance to prove he belonged there.

      "Gigi" = Gig

    9. Creator Keith Jackson on March 3, 2013

      Sinatra tries to express his independence, but no one approves!
      GONG MY WAY (Going My Way)

    10. Creator Jacob on March 3, 2013

      'A new twist on the "buddy movie" portrays the ages-old relationship between the human race and one Egyptian deity as a light-hearted romp through history.' -- Ra 'n' Man (Rain Man)

      'A young boy suffers taunts and ridicule from schoolmates for his unusual name, but soon finds bigger problems to worry about when a seemingly innocent nocturnal micturition sends him on an unlikely series of adventures.' -- Ithap Peed One Night (It Happened One Night)

    11. Creator Steve Williams on March 3, 2013

      Biopic detailing the fascinating life of the author of "Tulips and Chimneys":
      ALL ABOUT E.E.

      The couple living in apartment 7C attempt to unravel the mystery of the murder of their upstairs neighbor:
      IT HAPPENED ON EIGHT

    12. Creator John Howard on March 3, 2013

      This is the documentary of what happened when the major earthquake that all Californians were dreading actually occurred: Wet Side Story

    13. Creator James Lawrence on March 3, 2013

      "Initially they don't recognize each other when, after 10 years apart, college sweethearts Theo and Tabitha fall back in love through an online chat forum."
      -- T. HEARTS T. (The Artist)

      (And what was indeed very similar to one of Wei-Hwa's)
      "Documentary focusing on the part played by the European single currency in the 2009 global recession."
      -- A MAD E.U. (Amadeus)

    14. Creator Track Zero on March 3, 2013

      The Biopic of Thomas Nast....Pa Toon (Platoon)

      Quirky chef Wesley prepares a series of satisfying snacks for his conservative Canadian employer, helping him slake his hunger between meals....Wes Tides Tory (West Side Story)

      A thought-provoking documentary about a product made from wild acacia trees....Forrest Gum (Forrest Gump)

    15. Creator smercer on March 3, 2013

      Answer to my challenge:
      "The year is 2050. This docudrama shows how the new teleportation technology has completely changed every culture on Earth. This one-hour movie is shot in real-time, as we follow a team of social scientists from Tokyo, to Bangalore, to Jerusalem, to London, to New York and to Los Angeles, where we see the production of the very film you are now watching!"
      -- Around The World In 0 Days

      (The "8" was dropped.)

    16. Creator Wei-Hwa Huang on March 3, 2013

      "A modern-day Prometheus survives acute hepatitis despite impossible odds."
      -- LIVER (Oliver!)

      "An inquisitive yet captious documentary about the use of standardized questions in evaluating students."
      -- TESTING (The Sting)

      "A strange psychological disease outbreaks in America, turning all its citizens insane and easily irritated. A cracked team of specialists must infiltrate the country and stem the senselessness before it becomes a bananas republic from sea to shining sea."
      -- A MAD U.S. (Amadeus)

      "A retelling of the myth of Pygmalion, a troubled sculptor carves a beautiful maiden out of a large conifer, which then comes to life. Oddly enough, he names the maiden "Douglas"."
      -- MY FIR LADY (My Fair Lady)

      "A British snooker player invents a new way of spinning the cue ball and attempts to procure worldwide exclusive rights to his system, which is perceptibly absurd."
      -- THE ENGLISH PATENT (The English Patient)

      "An investigative reporter uncovers the fact that a large conglomerate of scientific research locations experiment on human cannibalism, but none of them are speaking up about their findings."
      -- THE SILENCE OF THE LABS (The Silence of the Lambs)

      "Dennis Ritchie invents a programming language that can do the voices of Bugs Bunny and Barney Rubble, among others."
      -- C AS A BLANC (Casablanca)

      "The fourth movie in the critically-acclaimed triskadekaology about the alphabet. The second half of this film focuses on the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, also known as the NATO or radio code."
      -- G AND HOTEL (Grand Hotel)

    17. Creator Kyle Parker-Robinson on March 3, 2013

      Answer to my movie:

      Synopsis: An olde time tale of a man's attempt to reconnect with his estranged love

      Answer: Thee Parted

    18. Creator Jacob on February 27, 2013

      A new twist on the "buddy movie" portrays the ages-old relationship between the human race and one Egyptian deity as a light-hearted romp through history.

    19. Creator Jacob on February 27, 2013

      A young boy suffers taunts and ridicule from schoolmates for his unusual name, but soon finds bigger problems to worry about when a seemingly innocent nocturnal micturition sends him on an unlikely series of adventures.

    20. Creator Austin Sumigray on February 26, 2013

      A hard-hitting documentary about one man's quest to make recyclable vehicles.

    21. Creator Cousin Artaud on February 26, 2013

      The first was the first for all to see
      The second and first make a bumblebee
      First and second of first do what can’t be done
      Second of second makes you hurt and numb
      To find the second remove a double at the start
      Move the last to the first and add the end of a heart
      It's the definite article that shows the score
      My riddle is done, I can rhyme no more.

    22. Creator Scott S. on February 26, 2013

      A new type of illness has emerged once again and has put the world on the brink. In the blink of an eye the course of human history is changed forever. Stock markets plummet. Oil prices sky rocket. Mass transit travel is deadlocked. How it started nobody knows, but very few are immune and it now up to them to find a cure before it is too late - If it is not already....

    23. Creator Scott S. on February 26, 2013

      One man takes a stand for his town when a major corporation threatens to buy the land and capitalize on its mineral rights.
      A company's fight for control of the ground beneath a city.
      One man's devotion to save the ground he grew up on.

    24. Creator Jeffrey Goodenbour on February 25, 2013

      A country on edge.

      A handsome fuel loader.

      A beautiful radio commander.

      A tale of mutual deterrence. And mutual attraction.

    25. Creator Peter Norby on February 25, 2013

      Mutual hatred fuels two men's race to the finish.

    26. Creator Track Zero on February 25, 2013

      The Biopic of Thomas Nast.

    27. Creator Erin Rhode on February 25, 2013

      Hate to be the pedantic one here, but Fargo didn't win Best Picture -- it lost to The English Patient. But I'll play the game anyway.

      "A fabulous musical about Hannibal Lecter's favorite main course!"

    28. Creator Track Zero on February 25, 2013

      Quirky chef Wesley prepares a series of satisfying snacks for his conservative Canadian employer, helping him slake his hunger between meals.

    29. Creator Track Zero on February 25, 2013

      A thought-provoking documentary about a product made from wild acacia trees.

    30. Creator smercer on February 25, 2013

      The year is 2050. This docudrama shows how the new teleportation technology has completely changed every culture on Earth. This one-hour movie is shot in real-time, as we follow a team of social scientists from Tokyo, to Bangalore, to Jerusalem, to London, to New York and to Los Angeles, where we see the production of the very film you are now watching!

    31. Creator Lone Shark Games on February 25, 2013

      We appreciate that all you very clever people did not point out that Fargo did not actually kinda sorta *win* the Best Picture Oscar. Ah well. Still a fun puzzle, it seems.

    32. Creator Eric LeVasseur on February 25, 2013

      A biopic about Akira Kurosawa and his "King Lear" adaptation.

    33. Creator Eric LeVasseur on February 25, 2013

      Two friends look back at their careers at the Piercing Pagoda.

    34. Creator MistWing SilverTail on February 25, 2013

      A delightful comedy about the antics of identical twins in the service of the Monarch

    35. Creator MistWing SilverTail on February 25, 2013

      A somewhat exaggerated biography of a Canadian Pianist

    36. Creator MistWing SilverTail on February 25, 2013

      A surprising hit concerning the goings-on at a commune in Northeastern France

    37. Creator MistWing SilverTail on February 25, 2013

      A humorous romp surrounding the acquisition of wealth

    38. Creator Amy Watson on February 24, 2013

      A movie about teenagers with different backgrounds who all meet one fateful day to take their SATs and leave with their lives changed forever.

    39. Creator James Lawrence on February 24, 2013

      (I suspect very similar to one of Wei-Hwa's)
      Documentary focusing on the part played by the European single currency in the 2009 global recession.

    40. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      A man wakes up from a big night out to partying to discover that he painted a masterpiece while under the influence of drugs. What happens when he realises that he can only paint while popping pills?

    41. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      The prequel to the previous movie about the letter B, which focuses on how the letter D was discovered.

    42. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      The prequel to the previous movie about the letter B, which focuses on how the letter D was discovered.

    43. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      The tale of how the letter B was added to the alphabet.

    44. Creator James Lawrence on February 24, 2013

      Initially they don't recognize each other when, after 10 years apart, college sweethearts Theo and Tabitha fall back in love through an online chat forum.

    45. Creator Cathy Saxton on February 24, 2013

      Gee, If you pledge at $50, you get the hardcover and a PDF, but the ebook is an additional $15 (See the 13 COINS CLUB description).

    46. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      A documentary on a growing first world problem - Road Rage.

    47. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      A postman's search to find the recipeient of a poorly addressed letter leads him on a wonderous journey which will change his life forever.

    48. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      A scientest goes to murderous lengths to achieve his goal of a peaceful work environment.

    49. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      An interior designer searches for the perfect shade of green to go with a burgundy couch.

    50. Creator Adam M on February 24, 2013

      The story of property investment on the habour of Australia's biggest city.