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Someone sent me a photo of the last few lines of a puzzle. They were:

  1. BULLDOZER OVENPROOF BROADTAIL
  2. BREAKER ASYNTACTIC TIFF
  3. ALKYNE ABOUND EVASIVE
  4. BEVERAGE HILARITY COOTIE

What was the point of the puzzle?


This is a true story — someone did send me such a picture. The picture also identifies the source of the puzzle, but I'll forbear from including that information because I want you to figure out rather than look up the answer to my question. I'll merely mention that the puzzle dates to 1990s United States, that I'm sure it came with instructions — and that I myself don't know the answer to my question.

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    $\begingroup$ You don't include the source because then we could look it up and find the answer ... but you don't know the answer? Those two are hard to reconcile. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 3 at 0:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Gareth, my source is a snippet which identifies where the original puzzle came from. If you (or I) were to look that up, you (I) would find the answer to my question. $\endgroup$ – msh210 Jun 3 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ And you know this and yet don't actually know the answer? Curious. (Not by any means impossible, of course. Just odd.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 3 at 9:07
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps I wasn't clear enough in the question post, @Gareth. My question is 'What's the point of the puzzle?", meaning what is the puzzlemaker asking us to solve, or at least what's the general idea behind it. That kind of thing will be in the puzzle's instructions or can be inferred therefrom. Based on where the puzzle was, I'm sure it had instructions. So, yes, I know that if I looked up the original puzzle I'd know the answer to my question. However, I don't know the answer to my question right now because I'm unable to look up the original puzzle, not having access to it. [continued] $\endgroup$ – msh210 Jun 3 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ [continued] Someone else might be able to, however, which is why I'm not including info on where to find it. $\endgroup$ – msh210 Jun 3 at 9:16
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Okay I'm not exactly sure of the answer but it is probably something along the lines of

Identifying famous three-word movies which have common starting letters with the words given

I think I've identified what each clue relates to
22.

BULLDOZER OVENPROOF BROADTAIL
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY

23.

BREAKER ASYNTACTIC TIFF
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S

24.

ALKYNE ABOUND EVASIVE
ALL ABOUT EVE

25.

BEVERAGE HILARITY COOTIE
BEVERLY HILLS COP

At this point, I'm not sure if there is more to it or if anything needs to be done with the leftover letters.

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  • $\begingroup$ I bet you're right -- nice find! -- and will award you the checkmark, but may yet remove it if someone else has a theory that seems better to me (or if I find out what the puzzle actually was and you're wrong). $\endgroup$ – msh210 Jun 3 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ I'll also note that at least 50% of each original word is present. $\endgroup$ – msh210 Jun 3 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Now that you point it out I'm totally kicking myself for not seeing it! Great observation hexomino - love this +1 $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jun 3 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv Thanks, I kept thinking to myself "Why does Beverage Hilarity Cootie sound strangely familiar?" $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 3 at 23:20

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