by Mark Gottlieb, Wei-Hwa Huang (graphic design)
Answer: SOME REEL GLEE AND A LOT OF SOUL
Solvers must fit the emoji into the grid to create a coherent web of famous movies such that each movie starts at a colored arrow, goes through several emoji that represent visual plot elements of the movie (some of them more accurate matches than others), and ends at an arrow with a number in its arrowhead. (Icons meaning "and" and "in" each show up twice on arrows.)
The movies are, from oldest to newest:
|Movie Title||Emoji Sequence||Arrowhead |
|The Wizard of Oz, 1939||dog → house → tornado → shoe → witch → heart → balloon||12|
|Miracle on 34th Street, 1947||department store → envelope → Santa Claus||8|
|Cinderella, 1950||fairy → pumpkin → 12 o’clock → shoe → heart||9|
|Peter Pan, 1953||dog → fairy → island → mermaid → pirate flag → clock <in> crocodile||7|
|The Little Mermaid, 1989||mermaid → octopus + witch → leg → heart||8|
|The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993||jack o’ lantern → Santa Claus → "ghost" (Oogie Boogie)||15|
|You’ve Got Mail, 1998||books + store → envelope → heart||7|
|Cast Away, 2000||package → island → volleyball||4|
|Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, 2006||pirate flag → heart <in> box → "octopus" (Kraken)||33|
|Up, 2009||house → balloon → dog → "peacock" (colorful bird)||1|
There are two data streams to extract from the completed grid, one from the emoji and one from the movie titles.
The blank puzzle grid contains numbers in some of the squares. Using those numbers as indexes into the names of the emoji that are placed in those squares and reading the resulting letters in the grid left to right, top to bottom results in "SOME REEL GLEE AND".
|DESERT ISLAND (3)||S|
|DEPARTMENT STORE (7)||M|
|JACK O LANTERN (6)||L|
|HIGH HEELED SHOE (8)||L|
Each movie plot summary ends with an arrow that contains a number. Using those numbers as indexes into the movie titles, and ordering them by the roman numerals in the arrows (in rough rainbow color order), results in the message "A LOT OF SOUL".
The final answer for what Creative Pictures Studios needs to work, containing two movie lot puns, is thus: SOME REEL GLEE AND A LOT OF SOUL.