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Here in the Greasespot Gallery and Reading Room, there are a number of "game" threads for your amusement. Most of these threads have gone on for a few years, and so sometimes it's tough for a new person to join the fray. Here, I shall outline some general rules for gameplay, with more specifics for the individual threads.


Most of the threads involve the giving of clues, either in the form of a line from a song, movie, or TV show, or pictorially. The person who correctly identifies what the clues represent then gets to post the next puzzle. It is incorrect form to jump in, out of the blue, with your own puzzle while another is going on. (This is a common "rookie" mistake. New players are always welcome, but wait your turn.) It is good form to wait for confirmation by the cluegiver that you have the right answer, but you may go ahead if you're sure you are correct. (This is especially true in the "...Remembered from One Line" threads, where the clues are supposed to be easy.)

It is also not allowed (though, of course, there is no way to police this) to "google" the answer. These games are tests of your memory, not your websurfing skills! :) It is perfectly acceptable,however, for the cluegiver to google quotes, in order to get accuracy in the clues. In a similar vein, in the Pictionary threads, one should not right-click a picture to get its Properties and, hence, its meaning.

If no one has figured out your clues, and you will be away from your computer for a while, just give the answer and declare a "Free Post." Anyone then can start with a new clue.

Similarly, if you have no intention of posting the next puzzle, don't answer the current one.

NAME THAT... threads:

In these, the cluegiver gives quotes from a movie, TV show, or Star Trek episode. It's easy enough to find the quotes. Just google "[name of movie, etc]" "quotes", and you'll get a number of hits from various sites, like IMDb, TV.com, Memory-Alpha.com (for Star Trek), and so on. I find it best to have two browser windows open, to make it easy to copy-and-paste from the source site to here. Obviously, you will not want to give song lyrics which include the title, or quotes which include the name of the character that a film or show is named for. (E.g., "Hey, Quincy! Could you come over here, please?")

I would usually post two or three lyrics/quotes at first, perhaps a bit obscure, then more every couple of days, making it easier and easier, until someone gets it.

Songs in "Name that Tune" are limited to songs that actually made it on the airwaves, not your favorite album cut. Although the songs don't have to be overwhelmingly famous, giving really obscure songs tends to eliminate most players. Also, experience shows that most players are pretty familiar with songs up to the early 90's, with the "sweet spot" probably in the 60's and 70's. Rock or C&W tunes are fine, and the occasional show tune pops up, as well. A correct answer in "Name that Tune" has title and artist. If a number of artists have recorded the song, any one is fine, unless a lyric specifically marks the tune as one particular version. (E.g., the BJ Thomas and Blue Swede versions of "Hooked on a Feeling" have some differences which would identify the version.)

In "Name that Flick," a correct answer is the title, and some identifier if two or more movies have the same title. (E.g., "Batman" Adam West version vs. Michael Keaton version.)

Same for "Name that TV Show," now that a lot of shows are remakes of older ones.

In "Name that Star Trek Episode," a correct answer includes the series (original, NG, DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise, not the cartoon or any of the movies) and either the title or enough of a description to identify the episode. "Kirk hits on a girl" wouldn't be sufficient (as it describes about half of the original series episodes); but "Kirk hits on a girl he fights in a three-point-star-shaped arena" would be enough to identify the episode ("The Triskelions"). Most players seem pretty familiar with original and NG episodes, and somewhat less with DS9. I throw in the occasional Voyager or Enterprise episode to keep it honest, but there aren't many takers for those.


Songs should be so easy that they are remembered from their first line. If the first line is the name of the song, another line can be given. In this case, the burden is on the cluegiver to make it easy, not on the answerer to figure it out. Usually, there is no need to wait for confirmation for a correct answer.

Ditto for Flicks, though the line will usually not be the first line of the film. The line should be memorable enough that anyone who has seen the film will get it, and often even those who haven't seen it, because the tag line is well-known.

...PICTIONARY threads:

These were very popular when they were started but have dropped off a lot recently. Perhaps as well as the older players losing interest, I think "newbies" aren't sure how to post the clues, so here's the deal.

First, the general idea: post pictures from the internet, which when sounded out give the name of a movie or TV show. You can be straightforward, giving "I Spy," for example, as EYE + SPY:



But you can also be a bit more clever using ICE + PIE:



Sound matches don't have to be exact. d for t or th, v for f, etc. On the other hand, don't use whole words when the sound is only part of it. Don't use a jaguar for the letter J. (On the other hand, a blue jay would be quite appropriate.)

How to do it: Open the Reply window and open another browser window, with a search engine that gives images. (I imagine that they all do.) I prefer Google. Yahoo gives all sorts of Flickr images that don't seem to work well here. Type in what you want to see and click Search. You'll get pages of image thumbnails. Find one you'd like to use (note: the size of the full image is usually given with the thumbnail. I find that images around 400x400 are a good size, but larger or smaller is okay). Click on the thumbnail, and the page where the actual picture resides should come up. Right-click the picture to get its Properties. Select and copy the URL, and come back to the Greasespot window. Among the icons above the Reply window is a picture (two to the right of the smiley). Click on it, and paste the URL of the picture in the box, then click Insert Image. You won't see the picture in the Reply box, just the URL surrounded by "img" in brackets. Repeat the process until you have all the pictures you want. Before you hit "Add Reply," I would suggest hitting "Preview Post." This will show you how the final post will look, and let you know if any pictures didn't work out. (I find that, as well as Flickr photos, pictures taken from blogs don't work well.) You can go back to the Reply window and fix or replace any URLs. When Preview Post gives you what you want to see, go ahead and Add Reply.

Additional hints: I tend to use one picture per line, unless I want a "plural" sound. For example, I might use pictures of Anna Kournikova, Anna Torv, and Ana Gasteyer on the same line for the sound "anas" (as in "Bananas"). Although I have a predilection for cheesecake photos of beautiful women, we don't want any nudity or offensive pictures. Also be aware that if someone finds that you've used his picture without approval, he might change it with something nasty! (This isn't usually a problem, but it happens from time to time.) This isn't Politics 'n Tacks, so try not to be too political, although the use of GW Bush for "duh" and Barry O for "um" has become fairly standard.


This one is pretty tough, as it puts a real burden on the cluegiver. The idea is to describe what happens in a movie without really telling why it happens. The first post in the thread gives an excellent example: A woman traveling in a foreign land kills the first person she comes upon, then teams up with three strangers to kill again. It's "The Wizard of Oz." Obviously, the real story isn't Dorothy on a killing spree, but it does describe what happens. If the clue were: A girl's house falls on someone, and she teams with three strangers to find her way home, it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting. There should be a real "Ah hah!" moment when you figure one of these out. Again, it's tough on the cluegiver not to be obvious without being too cryptic, either.


Each post is three lines. If the last line of the previous post is an actor or actress, the reply begins with a movie that person was in, followed by another person in that movie, followed by a different movie featuring the latter actor. If the last line of the previous post was a movie, the reply begins with a person in that movie, followed by another movie that person is in, followed by a different person from the latter movie. For example,

My Fair Lady

Rex Harrison

Dr. Dolittle

can be followed by

Richard Attenborough

Jurassic Park

Laura Dern

(but not

Eddie Murphy


since it's a different "Dr. Dolittle")

Also, the same actor or film should not be used in close succession. And sequels probably shouldn't be used together, like

Star Trek

Leonard Nimoy

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

There's some disagreement about whether a person can be used if his part is a voice-over, as in a cartoon. My preference is no. If a person appears in a movie, although uncredited, that's fine, though you may be forced to prove it if someone challenges you.

There you have it.

Game on!


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More about the Pictionary threads:

Not every browser behaves the same, so a picture you post may not show up when someone else looks at it. It's a good idea to tell the number of pictures you post, so someone looking at it won't have to guess from a partial puzzle.

I also like to list how many actual names are needed. If I see a picture of, say, Catherine Bell smiling, is the clue "Girl," "Babe," "Smoking Hot," "Smile," or "Bell"? I usually also mention if character names are needed, say, "Fife" for Don Knotts (unless I mean "Don" or "Knotts").


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I should also mention two other "Name That..." threads.


An author is guessed from quotations of his works.


Like Name that Tune, but specifically for Christian hymns.

These were both a bit more "highbrow" than the other threads and interest faded quickly, but they can still be resurrected, if anyone is so inclined.


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  • 5 years later...

Do you have more than 1 thread in play at a time?

Except for some of the games in which players have lost interest ("Pictionary" threads, "Name that Star Trek Episode," etc.) ALL of the threads are in play. If you guess all of the current clues, you can be the "puzzler" in all of them at once!

And, if you'd like to resuscitate a thread that hasn't been active for a while, have at it. I always enjoyed the Pictionary threads, but none of these games work well as solitaire! :)


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"...MASH UP" (TV or Movie):

In these threads, ANY clues to the show or movie are acceptable. Trivia, a list of actors, etc., even quotes (though these are better in the "Name That..." threads).


Like the "Before and After" puzzles in "Wheel of Fortune," two shows (movies, TV shows, or one of each), for which the title of one ends with the same word or words as the other one begins, are combined, and a made-up "plot synopsis" is given. For example: Archie Bunker's orphaned nieces and nephew move in with him and his butler. "All in the Family" plus "Family Affair" equals "All in the Family Affair." Although not required, it has become customary to indicate whether the portmanteau is a movie (combines two movies), a TV show two TV shows), or a TV-movie (one of each). Ideally, the clue is given in title order, that is, the first part of the clue describes the first show and the second part describes the second; however, in the interest of making a sensible clue, it may be necessary to reverse the order. Lastly, "triples" (three shows linked A-B-B-C-C-D) or higher "multiples" can be given. Just mention that in the clue.


For a song whose title is in the lyrics (and this is most songs), give the line or lines preceding and following the title, indicating where the title would be with ellipsis (...) or [TITLE]. Example: Still like that [TITLE]; that kind of music just soothes my soul. (Answer "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger.) If the title isn't in the lyrics, don't use that song! :)


Either give a number of roles that an actress or actor has played (movies or TV -- live theater is probably out of the knowledge of most people), where the correct answer is that performer's name; or list a number of performers who have played a particular role, e.g., Sherlock Holmes. (Obviously, you want a character which has been around long enough for several performers to have portrayed it. "Spock" essentially limits you to two, unless you add the guys who played younger Spock in Star Trek III.) In this thread, you might want to start with more obscure actors or roles and then add easier ones, the longer the puzzle goes unanswered.


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  • 2 months later...


After five days of inactivity, anyone is allowed to kick-start a game by any means (answering a question by looking it up, posting a new question even if it's not your turn, etc).

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After five days of inactivity, anyone is allowed to kick-start a game by any means (answering a question by looking it up, posting a new question even if it's not your turn, etc).

Fair enough. :)

(We kind of do this, anyway.)


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