Conundrum: The Big Picture

This is a new 3D Pic Tac Toe puzzle. If you are unfamiliar with the format, you can check out my last 3D Pic Tac Toe for guidelines.

In this particular 3D Pic Tac Toe, each of the forty-nine themes will be a movie. Each of the three images in that theme will picture at least one actor who was in that movie.

In Image B1, you will use the actors who voiced the animated characters shown, but none of the forty-nine movies in the solution is animated, a documentary, or Robert Altman’s The Player. A few of the movies have not yet been released.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:

Top Level – Level A

Middle Level – Level B

Bottom Level – Level C

Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.


UPDATE: Correct themes provided by Neel Mehta (36), Evan (10), Ken (1), and Rodney G (2). Alternate theme suggested by Evan. See comments for discussion, or click here to skip right to the answers.

30 Responses to “Conundrum: The Big Picture”

  1. Neel Mehta Says:

    I wonder if this would have been easier to create by putting Kevin Bacon in B5.

    A1-A5-A9: A Few Good Men
    A1-B1-C1: Apollo 13
    A1-B5-C9: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
    A2-A5-A8: Rain Man
    B1-B2-B3: Forrest Gump

    I’ll have to revisit this later.

  2. Bill Says:

    I actually started composing with this picture at B5, but things get switched around in the process. I really like having Kevin Bacon as the first person in the puzzle; he’s kind of a greeter.

    All five of your answers are correct, of course. Thanks for getting the ball rolling!

  3. Neel Mehta Says:

    My free time is intermittent. Also, it’s hard to memorize the picture placements, so I can’t think really think about it offline.

    A5-B5-C5: Interview with the Vampire
    A6-B5-C4: Ocean’s Thirteen
    A7-B8-C9: Open Range
    A8-B8-C8: Runaway Jury
    A9-B8-C7: Prizzi’s Honor
    C2-C5-C8: Batman Begins

    I’m assuming that’s Michael Caine in the middle of C8. I know the movie is A Bridge Too Far, but I haven’t identified all of the men pictured.

  4. Neel Mehta Says:

    A1-A2-A3: The Green Mile
    A1-B4-C7: Footloose
    A2-B2-C2: Michael Collins
    A3-A5-A7: Apocalypse Now
    A4-A5-A6: Assault on Precinct 13
    A7-B4-C1: The Godfather (or The Godfather Part II)
    A9-B6-C3: The Italian Job
    A9-B9-C9: The Lovely Bones
    B2-B5-B8: America’s Sweethearts
    B7-B8-B9: Grosse Pointe Blank

  5. Bill Says:

    Neel, you are correct on all counts. Great work! That’s 16 more themes solved.

    C8 is indeed A Bridge Too Far. The relevant actors pictured are Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, and Anthony Hopkins.

  6. Bill Says:

    By the way, RUNAWAY JURY (Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, Gene Hackman) was my intended answer for A8-B8-C8, but I also would have accepted THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (Owen Wilson, Angelica Huston, Gene Hackman).

    The following 28 themes remain unsolved:




    Lateral Diagonals

    Cross-Cube Diagonals

  7. Neel Mehta Says:

    A1-B2-C3: Flatliners
    A4-B5-C6: Rounders
    A9-B5-C1: The Departed

  8. Neel Mehta Says:

    A2-B5-C8: Legends of the Fall
    B1-B5-B9: The Terminal
    B4-B5-B6: The Rainmaker
    C1-C2-C3: A Time to Kill
    C1-C5-C9: JFK (finally!)
    C3-C5-C7: At Close Range
    C3-C6-C9: A Dry White Season

  9. Bill Says:

    Those are all good. That’s 10 more for Neel!

    I had a similar reaction to getting JFK in the puzzle. There were so many near-misses.

    The following 18 themes remain unsolved:




    Lateral Diagonals

    Cross-Cube Diagonals

  10. Evan Says:

    C7-C8-C9 is Wyatt Earp
    A1-A4-A7 is Made

  11. Bill Says:

    Both of these are correct. Welcome, Evan!

  12. Ken Says:

    A7-B5-C3 is MASH, I think.

  13. Bill Says:

    MASH is correct. Welcome, Ken!

  14. Evan Says:

    B3-B5-B7 could be America’s Sweethearts, but I notice Neel used that for B2-B5-B8… Looking for an alternative.

  15. Evan Says:

    Ah… the ever-so-popular Harry and Walter Go to New York seems to work for B3-B5-B7.

  16. Evan Says:

    A6-B6-C6 = The Fan
    A3-B3-C3 = Flashback

  17. Bill Says:

    Those are correct. Three more points for Evan! And, yes, who doesn’t love Harry and Walter Go to New York? Hey, they can’t all be America’s Sweethearts.

    Or maybe they can. Nice catch on B3-B5-B7. And I just noticed that B7-B8-B9 is a third triad that could fit that movie. And we thought JFK was ubiquitous!

  18. Bill Says:

    Grodney from Ken’s message board created a shared spreadsheet that anyone can edit on Google Docs for people who want to collaborate on this. There is one page for identifying actors and one page for listing solutions.

    The following 12 themes remain unsolved:




    Lateral Diagonals

    Cross-Cube Diagonals

  19. Evan Says:

    A3-B5-C7 = True Romance.

    I will add this to the Google Docs spreadsheet as well.

  20. Bill Says:

    Evan, yes! Just 11 to go.

  21. Evan Says:

    A3-B6-C9 = Waterworld
    A3-B2-C1 = Places in the Heart
    A8-B5-C8 = The Haunting

  22. Evan Says:

    Sorry, last one should read:
    A8-B5-C2 = The Haunting

  23. Evan Says:

    C4-C5-C6 = Heat

    Wow, I spent a lot of wasted effort barking up the wrong trees on this one. Cape Fear, Deer Hunter, Zoolander (?!)… Finally, I noticed the dark corner of C5 and it came to me.

  24. Bill Says:

    Well done! That’s 4 more points for Evan, and only 7 themes left to go:


  25. Neel Mehta Says:

    A4-B4-C4: Investigating Sex/Intimate Affairs
    A7-B7-C7: Be Cool
    B1-B4-B7: Middle Men
    B3-B6-B9: Cradle Will Rock
    C1-C4-C7: National Treasure: Book of Secrets

    It looks like the last two were solved in the forum.

  26. Rodney G Says:

    Well, not “solved”.

  27. Bill Says:

    Neel, it’s all good. Five more points.

    Rodney, I’m pretty sure we’re all using the Internet to work on this. Go ahead and post your answers, and we can wrap this up.

  28. Rodney G Says:


    A7-A8-A9 = Untitled James L. Brooks Project
    A3-A6-A9 = The Man in the Iron Mask

  29. Bill Says:

    Excellent. Two points for Rodney, and we’re all done.

    I’ll post a summary of the answers later today.

  30. Bill Says:

    Thanks to everyone who participated in this. It was a bear to put together, and it was nice to see people working together to solve it.

    Here is a recap of all of the answers.


    Picture Credits and Actor Identifications

    Picture A1: Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell

    Picture A2: Aidan Quinn, Bonnie Hunt

    Picture A3: Dennis Hopper, John Malkovich, Barry Pepper

    Picture A4: Ethan Hawke, Famke Janssen, Terrence Howard

    Picture A5: Tom Cruise, Laurence Fishburne

    Picture A6: Ellen Barkin, Gabriel Byrne

    Picture A7: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Robert Duvall

    Picture A8: Owen Wilson, Dustin Hoffman

    Picture A9: Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Leonardo DiCaprio

    Picture B1: Woody (Tom Hanks), Stinky Pete (Kelsey Grammer)

    Picture B2: Julia Roberts, Sally Field

    Picture B3: Carol Kane, Billy Crystal, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn

    Picture B4: Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Craig T. Nelson, Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Claire Danes

    Picture B5: George Clooney, Elliott Gould, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matt Damon

    Picture B6: Jack Black, Danny Glover, Mos Def

    Picture B7: James Caan, Alan Arkin, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

    Picture B8: Angelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening

    Picture B9: Stanley Tucci, Joan Cusack

    Picture C1: Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon

    Picture C2: Samuel L. Jackson, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), Liam Neeson

    Picture C3: Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland

    Picture C4 Main: Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte

    Picture C4 Inset: Jon Voight

    Picture C5: Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Christopher Walken

    Picture C6: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando

    Picture C7: Michael Madsen, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi

    Picture C8: Gene Hackman, Ryan O’Neal, Michael Caine, Edward Fox, Anthony Hopkins

    Picture C9: Susan Sarandon, Kevin Costner, Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon



    A1-A2-A3: THE GREEN MILE (Sam Rockwell, Bonnie Hunt, Barry Pepper)

    A4-A5-A6: ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne, Gabriel Byrne)

    A7-A8-A9: UNTITLED JAMES L. BROOKS PROJECT (Working Title: HOW DO YOU KNOW?) (Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson)

    B1-B2-B3: FORREST GUMP (Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Robin Wright Penn)

    B4-B5-B6: THE RAINMAKER (Claire Danes, Matt Damon, Danny Glover)

    B7-B8-B9: GROSSE POINTE BLANK (Alan Arkin, John Cusack, Joan Cusack)

    C1-C2-C3: A TIME TO KILL (Kevin Spacey, Samuel L. Jackson, Donald Sutherland/Kiefer Sutherland)

    C4-C5-C6: HEAT (Jon Voight, Val Kilmer, Robert De Niro)

    C7-C8-C9: WYATT EARP (Michael Madsen, Gene Hackman, Kevin Costner)


    A1-A4-A7: MADE (Sam Rockwell, Famke Janssen, Vince Vaughn)

    A2-A5-A8: RAIN MAN (Bonnie Hunt, Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman)

    A3-A6-A9: THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK (John Malkovich, Gabriel Byrne, Leonardo DiCaprio)

    B1-B4-B7: MIDDLE MEN (Kelsey Grammer, Luke Wilson, James Caan)

    B2-B5-B8: AMERICA’S SWEETHEARTS (Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, John Cusack)

    B3-B6-B9: CRADLE WILL ROCK (Cary Elwes, Jack Black, Joan Cusack)

    C1-C4-C7: NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS (Ed Harris, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel)

    C2-C5-C8: BATMAN BEGINS (Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine)

    C3-C6-C9: A DRY WHITE SEASON (Donald Sutherland, Marlon Brando, Susan Sarandon)


    A1-B1-C1: APOLLO 13 (Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks, Ed Harris)

    A2-B2-C2: MICHAEL COLLINS (Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson)

    A3-B3-C3: FLASHBACK (Dennis Hopper, Carol Kane, Kiefer Sutherland)

    A4-B4-C4: INVESTIGATING SEX/INTIMATE AFFAIRS (Terrence Howard, Dermot Mulroney, Nick Nolte)

    A5-B5-C5: INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE: THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES (Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater)

    A6-B6-C6: THE FAN (Ellen Barkin, Jack Black, Robert De Niro)

    A7-B7-C7: BE COOL (Vince Vaughn, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Harvey Keitel)

    A8-B8-C8: RUNAWAY JURY (Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, Gene Hackman)

    A9-B9-C9: THE LOVELY BONES (Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon)

    Lateral Diagonals

    A1-A5-A9: A FEW GOOD MEN (Kevin Bacon, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson)

    A3-A5-A7: APOCALYPSE NOW (Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne, Robert Duvall)

    B1-B5-B9: THE TERMINAL (Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci)

    B3-B5-B7: HARRY AND WALTER GO TO NEW YORK (Carol Kane, Elliott Gould, James Caan)

    C1-C5-C9: JFK (Jack Lemmon, Gary Oldman, Kevin Costner)

    C3-C5-C7: AT CLOSE RANGE (Kiefer Sutherland, Christopher Walken, Chris Penn)

    A1-B2-C3: FLATLINERS (Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland)

    A3-B2-C1: PLACES IN THE HEART (John Malkovich, Sally Field, Ed Harris)

    A4-B5-C6: ROUNDERS (Famke Janssen, Matt Damon, Edward Norton)

    A6-B5-C4: OCEAN’S THIRTEEN (Ellen Barkin, George Clooney/Elliott Gould/Brad Pitt/Matt Damon, Don Cheadle )

    A7-B8-C9: OPEN RANGE (Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Kevin Costner)

    A9-B8-C7: PRIZZI’S HONOR (Jack Nicholson, Angelica Huston, Lawrence Tierney)

    A1-B4-C7: FOOTLOOSE (Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Penn)

    A7-B4-C1: THE GODFATHER (Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Al Pacino)

    A2-B5-C8: LEGENDS OF THE FALL (Aidan Quinn, Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins)

    A8-B5-C2: THE HAUNTING (Owen Wilson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liam Neeson)

    A3-B6-C9: WATERWORLD (Dennis Hopper, Jack Black, Kevin Costner)

    A9-B6-C3: THE ITALIAN JOB (Mark Wahlberg, Mos Def, Donald Sutherland)

    Cross-Cube Diagonals

    A1-B5-C9: CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND (Sam Rockwell, George Clooney/Brad Pitt/Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore)

    A3-B5-C7: TRUE ROMANCE (Dennis Hopper, Brad Pitt, Chris Penn)

    A7-B5-C3: MASH (Robert Duvall, Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland)

    A9-B5-C1: THE DEPARTED (Jack Nicholson/Mark Wahlberg/Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin)

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