The Satellite of Love
by Foggy Brume and Mike Selinker
Answer: PBM, MIA, ARG, GOP
The flavortext clues Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show on which various inventions were exchanged between Joel and the bots (stuck in the Satellite of Love) and the Mads (down in Deep 13). Here, the inventions selected from that show are represented by three components needed for making or using it.
- Episode 205, Mads' Water-Polo Foosball (water/INTERNATIONAL; foosball table/OLYMPICS; snorkel/COMMITTEE)=IOC
- Episode 411, Joel's Big Gulp Beret (large beret/ALIEN; straw/LIFE; criminally priced bottled water/FORM)=ALF
- Episode 313, Earth vs. the Spider's Cheese Phone (headset/OTHER; cheese/PEOPLE'S; phone/PROPERTY)=OPP
- Episode 302, Mads' Bird Cage Vacuum (vacuum/SPORT; feather/UTILITY; cage/VEHICLE)=SUV
- Episode 424, Mads' Chocolate Bunny Guillotine (chocolate bunny/ENVIRONMENTAL; guillotine/PROTECTION; basket/AGENCY)=EPA
- Episode 212, Joel's easy-to-make Halloween costumes (milk carton/TO; aluminum foil/BE; candy wrappers/ANNOUNCED)=TBA
- Episode 324, the bots' Gerbilsphere 2 (terrarium/TWIN; gerbil/ION; wooden log/ENGINE)=TIE
- Episode 211, Joel's Junk Drawer Helper (card for Harley Davidson dealership/RAPID; flower/EYE; junk drawer/MOVEMENT)=REM
- Episode 415, Joel's Pocket Pool (green underwear/DISK; balls/OPERATING; pool stick/SYSTEM)=DOS
- Episode 420, Mads' William Conrad Fridge Alert (William Conrad/GRADUATE; fridge/RECORD; alarm/EXAMINATIONS)=GRE
- Episode 504, Joel's Micro-Golf (paramecium/GROSS; microscope/NATIONAL; golf slide/PRODUCT)=GNP
Entering the inventions into the chart yields the message MOUSE OVER ME.
Mousing over the grid reveals the pop-up message "Good. Now mouse over each picture." Doing so reveals that each image has an alt tag that clues a word. These words form a phrase that has a common three-letter acronym. The three-letter acronym can then be entered into the final grid such that the », >, «, < and = are all true given the letters' placement in the alphabet, with the » and « symbols suggesting a difference of ten or more positions.
Shaded letters spell the clue GAME VIA POST. The answer is the acronym for play-by-mail, PBM.
Shaded letters spell the clue UNLOCATED G.I. The answer is the acronym for missing in action, MIA.
Shaded letters spell the clue I LOVE BEES, E.G.. The answer is the acronym for alternate reality game, ARG.
Shaded letters spell the clue PALIN'S GROUP. The answer is the acronym for Grand Old Party, GOP.
Aside: While we were running the Hunt, MST3K creators Trace "Dr. Forrester" Beaulieu and Joel "Joel" Hodgson held a seminar at MIT. The Manic Sages team showed them this puzzle, and Beaulieu and Hodgson were kind enough to autograph it for us. Thanks, guys!