December 2021 - Gilligan's Island

Tap or click on any hint box to view it.

Location: The Howells

  1. Arrange the RSVP cards into a rectangle.
  2. Use the icons in the borders to guide assembly.
  3. Place cards next to each other so that matching icons are aligned. Two cards will be horizontal, three will be vertical.
  4. Look at the confetti for a 6-letter answer. Reading order is specified by the icons, as shown on the invitation.


  1. Each answer to this puzzle is a combination of two real movie titles.
  2. For example, "A princess is awakened by the kiss of her true love, a cursed prince who lives in a castle staffed by animated household objects" describes the plot of Sleeping Beauty and the Beast.

Mary Ann

  1. Start by shading any squares that are adjacent to two numbers, e.g. right and below the 8, which are also adjacent to the 5.
  2. Add dots to crop areas that have just one option for expanding, e.g. the 8 must take the square to its left, and then down twice.
  3. Expand path (shaded) areas so that they don't become isolated, e.g. the shaded square below the 8 must expand down since there are crop areas above, left, and right.
  4. All dots and shading are logical conclusions; you won't need to guess. Work in another area of the grid when you don't see a logical step in the area you're working on.
  5. The scarecrows in the crop (unshaded) areas indicate the answer. How are they different from one another?
  6. The scarecrows are showing semaphore letters.


  1. Many of the clues are too vague to indicate a specific word. Start by propagating letters in the word chains (including from the bottom up!) and see what words you can make.
  2. One of the materials is VINES.
  3. The word for 'split apart' is CLEAVE.


  1. Each group of words can be preceded by a word to make a compound word or 2-word phrase.
  2. link goes with mail and reaction.
  3. tide goes with chair and way.
  4. airplane goes with clip and cut.
  5. key goes with arrest and plant.
  6. Use the numbers by the misplaced words to index into the "head" words.
  7. A few of the head words are: high, house, paper, thumb, water.

Meta: Gilligan

  1. The board game is a two-letter name; it is played with black and white stones on a grid.
  2. The liquor is RUM.
  3. Gilligan has made changes. Look at those changes to get one letter from each transformation.
  4. Use the letter supplied by Gilligan (as an addition or change).

Bonus 1: S.S. Minnow

  1. All dots must be visited, and there is only one way to include the corners in the path.

    In the lower left of the Example, consider the dot that's one step in from the left and bottom; how can it connect to two other dots? It can't go up (that dot is already in the path) and it can't go both left and down because that would make a loop, so it must go right (and then either left or down, which will be resolved later).
  2. Since the path through the upper right corner of the Example reaches an island, that must be the destination. Therefore, no other connections can be made to any island (illustrated with small Xs).

    Each new path in this step results from having just two possible connections for the dot at its corner.
  3. In the lower right corner of the main grid, the path will go around the corner (as in the Example). In the cell above that (with the "R" in it), the path will go through the upper right corner because that corner has only two open dots available.

    That forms a partial path on the top, right, and bottom sides of the R-D region. The path can't take both segments on the left side of the R-D region because that would form a loop. So, the dot in the middle of the left side must connect to the left (as well as either up or down); this connects to an island, which is therefore the end point.

    (This analysis is also explained in Example Step 1 and is used elsewhere in the puzzle.)
  4. There are 16 letters that have been looped around on three sides by the path. The answer phrase is 4 words.

Bonus 2: Visitors

  1. Eva Grubb is an aspiring actress.
  2. The Mosquitoes are a band.
  3. Read the letters that aren't crossed out, from top to bottom. The answer is 10 letters, 2 words.
  4. THE WRITERS were responsible for keeping the castaways stranded!

Meta-meta: The Radio

  1. How many ships are there? How many months in a year?
  2. Each ship's name hints at a month.
  3. Mustard refers to Condiments, the name of October's set.
  4. The rest of the first column of ships refers to Mythology (April), Poirot (July), Seven Wonders (November), Chess (June), Gilligan's Island (December) and Life in 2020 (March).
  5. The second column of ships refer to Steven Universe (May), Vikings (August), Tenet (September), Puzzfeed (January) and A Series of Unfortunate Events (February).
  6. Use the roman numerals to index into the meta answer for that month's puzzle set.