Anagram Puzzle

A few years ago, the theater down the block from me, known for years as the Plaza, was bought by the owners of the Pavilion (at the other end of Park Slope) and renamed the Flatbush Pavilion. They showed a sequence of the worst imaginable movies, trying (I guess) to attract a crowd of undiscriminating teenagers. It worked, except for the crowd part, and the theater closed last summer. The marquee continued to display the names of the two dreadful Summer 2004 crap movies that were playing there, until this week, when someone rearranged the letters as shown at right.

Update: displays two suggested anagrams:




Knowing that the anagramming vandals used the letters from both sides of the marquee (each title was displayed two times, once on each side) and that they didn’t use four letters (N, I, I, L), can you tell what the movies were? For extra credit can you come up with an anagram that uses all the letters? (For the record, I cannot, at least not without programmatic assistance.)

Comments are screened, so all of you can feel free to guess away, and I’ll unscreen them all in a couple of days so we can see the winner and the amusing other suggestions I hope we’ll get.

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19 Responses to Anagram Puzzle

  1. Man of Fire and Van Helsing IIRC.

  2. madra_rua says:

    Van Helsing has got to be one of them.

  3. Well, I am kinda cheating cause I walked by there many times when I was dog sitting and went to the park slope gym practically right next door. One is Van Helsing. I think the other is Man on Fire.

  4. alterjess says:

    I should know, because I’ve walked by there a million times, but the only one I can remember is Van Helsing.

  5. sibyline says:

    The two movies are “Van Helsing” and “Man on Fire.” I had a hard time, with lots of movies potentially fitting, like “Raising Helen” and “Mean Girls” (which produces “Ivanhoe” as another title, but with an extra N and there’s not an Ivanhoe recently).

    Now onto the extra credit. 🙂


    Whew. Thank dog I got that. I thought my whole night was shot.

  7. anthromajor says:

    Well, I got Van Helsing and my roommate got the other one, Man on Fire.

  8. sibyline says:

    for an anagram, i came up with “A VAIN FIREMAN MANNING SHELL HONS GIVEN FREON.” It took a couple of tries but I think that works…. it would have been a lot easier if i had the letters as tiles….

  9. calieber says:

    Van Helsing and Man on Fire.

    I cheated, though: I used to live by the Brooklyn Museum and go to Target on the bus a lot.

  10. bobhowe says:

    A re-release of the great Dutch independent film:
    In a double bill with the French bedroom farce:

  11. sibyline says:

    in retrospect, it probably makes more sense to say, “A VAIN FIREMAN MANNING HON GIVEN FREON SHELLS”…. it sounds like a weird headline or something. this is fun! *geeky snort*

  12. Anonymous says:

    I dont have one of those anagram minds (i can rearrange ‘radar’ to form the word ‘radar’ , tho, if that helps).. but that phrase on the marquee, ‘hanna have snail venom from ginseng fern’ , apart from the bad grammar, sounds like a line from an early ’66 dylan song, (or maybe his book ‘tarantula’- — you know, the one about hanna, the two wheeled gypsy thief at the arabian crossing with the gray flannel pliers , inflatable yellow snail venom and the ginseng fern! 🙂


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