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Sunday Puzzle is a weekly party, featuring puzzles suitable for group puzzle-solving. Everyone is welcome, and you don't need to be a puzzle genius to take part.  

What you'll find tonight:

* a new 54-clue JulieCrostic;
* a new mystery puzzle;
* the world's shortest Crypto-Gremlin;
* answers to last week's unsolved Mystery Puzzle; and
* the answer to the very first puzzle I posted here, which was finally solved this week!

All that, plus the weekly "Where's Vagina?" challenge. Each week the word vagina appears somewhere in one of the clues or one of the answers to the week's puzzles. Where is the shy vagina hiding this week?

What you won't find tonight is the solution to the logic puzzle Hal Humbug's Horrible Headache, which has gone unsolved for 4 weeks now. (Sorry but once again I'm running way late.) I'm surprised no one has solved this puzzle yet; it may look hard, but it's a perfectly fair logic puzzle and there's a simple and logical way to figure out which faction each of the candidates belongs to. Just because the problem stumped Rush Limbaugh (aka Sir Hal Humbug) doesn't mean it has to stump you.

All right, that's enough chatter from me. So come on down to comments, introduce yourself if you'd like, take a look at the puzzles, and have some Sunday night fun!

I. Let's start tonight with a re-post of the very first puzzle I ever posted here -- followed by, after a four and a half year wait, the solution!

PUZZLE # 1: Mystery Image!

Who is this woman -- and where did this image originally appear?

? ? ?

I posted that in the diary without explaining more about the puzzle, so that people could approach it with a fresh eye. But in the comments I provided a fuller explanation:
Here is the story.  In 2005 a woman (Angela) appeared on the Montel Williams show on a day Sylvia Browne was appearing.  She had with her a photograph which she said she had taken at a Christmas Eve party in 2002.  

She didn't get the pictures she'd taken back until a couple weeks later, and when she did there was an image on the tv screen which she didn't recognize.  She wanted to know if it was an angel.  Sylvia said it was.

Here is the picture:

Robert S Lancaster does an excellent web site, StopSylviaBrowne.com  If the original source of the image in the photo can be tracked down, he can add an article about this to the site.  It's not the biggest or most important or most hurtful lie Sylvia Browne has ever told, but it's one which could provide a clear, simple, and interesting example.  If we can find the source of the image.

You will notice that, in the photograph, the woman's head appears in an oval rather than a circle.  Some of us suspect that the image on the tv is stretched -- that the tv was set to display a widescreen image and that led to horizontal stretching of the picture.  That's one reason I think the picture is genuine rather than a hoax.  

I think it was a brand new set, which the family had gotten for Christmas, and that they had it turned on even though no one was really watching it.  (And they hadn't learned how to set the picture display properly yet.)

I think the most likely possibility is that the image on the screen is from a television program (although it might be from a commercial, it might be from a video, it might be from a video game, it might be from anything...)

I have obtained copies of the 2002 and 2003 TV Guide issues for Christmas week (2003, on the possibility the woman might have been mistaken about the date).  I've also photocopied tv schedules for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve for those two years, and 2001 as well.  So far neither I nor others puzzling over this have been able to find the program (or video, or game, or...) that the scene is from.  

It doesn't appear to be from a network program (although there are still a number of programs I haven't crossed off yet), so I'm starting to think about music videos which might have been shown on MTV or VH-1 that night.  That's a lot harder to work on, though.

Since no one who has looked at the image yet has been able to correctly identify it, it seems probable to me that it's not something common.  So one of my hopes is that, by showing it to a variety of groups of people, at some point I'll show it to the one in a million person who happens to be familiar with whatever the image is from.  

My apologies for posting a puzzle the answer to which I do not know.  It's a puzzle I'm still working on myself.  I am hopeful this puzzle can be solved -- and when I know the answer I'll post it here for those of you who are curious.

For more than 4 years some of us have been trying to identify the source of that image. And this week at JREF, poster lylfyl succeeded! It's from a commercial for Splenda.

I'm not able to embed the video, but here's a link to the commercial if you'd like to watch it. It's a definite match. Puzzle solved!

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II. All right, here's an easy puzzle you folks can warm up on: tonight's Mystery Puzzle.

    H
margolik
 gravity
As usual with these Mystery Puzzles, I won't tell you what kind of puzzle this is -- but once you figure that out, this should be an easy puzzle to solve.

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III. Here's a re-post of last week's Mystery Puzzle, which went unsolved. You'll find the answer to this puzzle in comments, immediately below the Tip Jar.

XCIKOC
As usual with these mystery puzzles, I'm not going to tell you what kind of puzzle this is. But I will give you a hint to it's solution:

HINT: Elizabeth Akers Allen wrote a famous poem which begins:

    Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
     Make me a child again just for tonight!

That's 13 more words than you need to solve this puzzle.

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IV. The World's Shortest Crypto-Gremlin!

Anomurin drewbr, esim proverbs!
Crypto-Gremlins are cryptograms designed to be uncrackable by online cryptogram solvers. If you've never worked Crypto-Gremlins before you can find complete rules and instructions here.

One nice aspect of Crypto-Gremlins is that they lend themselves to longer passages than regular cryptograms do. With regular cryptograms, any text longer than a sentence is generally going to be too easy solve; with Crypto-Gremlins, it generally requires a couple of sentences in order for the puzzle to be solveable.

So tonight's Crypto-Gremlin -- only 4 words, and none of them a 3-letter word -- looks like it should be just about impossible to solve.

So go ahead and work the other puzzles first, while you ponder this one, if you'd like. But if you go about it right, this is actually a fairly easy puzzle to solve. (Here, I'll even give you a small hint as to how to solve it: 4, 3, 1, 2.)

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V. All right, now that you're warmed up here's tonight's feature puzzle: a 54-clue JulieCrostic.  (If you're not familiar with JulieCrostics, you can find a complete explanation of how they work, examples of solved puzzles, and introductory puzzles to practice on in our companion series Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up)

1. evans valley
2. tied securely
3. takes care of

4. omission
5. not paying attention
6. satisfied

7. gravy paddle
8. puffs up
9. votes

10. loves
11. oppressor
12. what she did to conquer

13. walk
14. floated on a river
15. devised

16. arthur harvey
17. baked
18. gives

19. queen or princess
20. often comes before my god
21. student

22. privates
23. loopy gaskets
24. married woman

25. ship
26. magician
27. troublemaker

28. devises
29. going this way is crazy
30. entries

31. ad follower
32. kind of projection
33. long ropes

34. pointed
35. dressed in armor
36. asserted

37. controversial kind of strike
38. more affectionate
39. sink below the surface

40. what coulter got in trouble for using
41. clarence
42. military leader

43. guilty, guilty, guilty!
44. bailey jam
45. prayer book

46. limbaugh and hannity
47. critical black
48. usurps

49. joke after this
50. kowalski
51. outstanding

52. demand
53. extras
54. attack with false charges

A few notes on tonight's JulieCrostic clues:

# 4 ("omission"): No, this is not a placeholder clue. I only use those at the end, when I need some additional clues to make the total evenly divisible by 3.

# 16 ("arthur harvey"): When I wrote this clue I checked Wikipedia to see if Arthur Harvey is listed. Well, yes and no: they do have a listing for Arthur Harvey, but it's no one I've ever heard of. The person who comes to my mind when I hear Arthur Harvey is an anti-war activist and war tax resister.

# 40 (what coulter got in trouble for using): No, this is not this week's Where's Vagina answer.

# 54 (attack with false charges): No, corsi is not a verb.

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