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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #35: Restricted Title 1. Title based on this xkcd.


Find the lead actor.credits

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Cute flavor quirk that phenomist may have missed (or at least didn't mention in his answer) is the

common accreditation of actors in credits as "X as Y" (e.g. "Emma Stone as Mia Dolan"); hence "GR as SHOPPER", etc.

With that in mind, and based on Phylyp's comment, the solution seems to just be

NITROGEN AS OLD ARGON = N AS A = NASA (which can be seen as the lead actor in the sense of "a participant in an action or process"; in 2010, NASA research fellow Felisa Wolfe-Simon isolated GFAJ-1, a microbe that was supposedly capable of substituting arsenic for a small percentage of its phosphorus to sustain its growth.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations on a very well-written first answer! Thanks to phenomist, Phylyp and Riley for their contributions, too. $\endgroup$ – noedne Jun 12 '18 at 17:31
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Partial answer

Based on the title of the puzzle, perhaps we should find animals (and other things) that contain an As (for arsenic):
enter image description here
We manage to find: grASshopper, jASmine, mAStiff, parASite, pegASus, pheASant, wASp, weASel, yeASt. Next, look at the letters that each line goes through in order of the left side. You get the cluephrase NITROGEN AS OLD ARGON, which seems like a pretty good cluephrase about a puzzle about elements, but not sure where to go from here. (There's a film called "Arsenic and Old Lace" who is starred by Cary Grant, but that connection is tenuous at best.)

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    $\begingroup$ ROT13(Hagvy 1957 netba'f flzoby jnf 'N'. Znlor n fhofgvghgvba bs bar sbe gur bgure, juvpu vf EBG-guvegrra?) $\endgroup$ – Phylyp Jun 5 '18 at 2:27
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    $\begingroup$ So then (Wbua Tyraa)? $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jun 5 '18 at 2:55
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Partial answer based on @phenomist's answer.

From the cluephrase of

Nitrogen as old argon

We do the following:

Convert to chemical symbols:

.

N As ? Ar ("as" was already the chemical symbol for Arsenic)

And because

Carbon is old (now it's arsenic based life) we replace "old" with "C".

So we get

Nascar

At first I thought this was the final answer, but now I see it doesn't really fit with the movie theme, and isn't an actor. The search continues.

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