Beholder presents PLANETARIUM a puzzle story

The Girl’s Name

When Planetarium was first released, we challenged readers to see who would be the first to solve it completely. This is now known as the 9/9/99 Competition (because that’s when it started), and twelve weeks later, several people had indeed completed it. To help distinguish between them, Planetarium contained a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker was simply to suggest a name for the girl central to the Planetarium story — she’s never explicitly named in the story (the oddity of this is somewhat justified when you find the tiebreaker for yourself).

Now the competition is over the tiebreaker serves no function, but we kept it in as an interesting diversion for readers working through the story. As a result, from time to time readers still post new suggestions in the xiii Forum.

Two years after Planetarium’s release, we decided to compile our favourite suggestions and present them outside of the xiii Forum. If you are currently working through Planetarium you might prefer not to read further — there are no ‘spoilers’ here, but the tiebreakers were suggested by people who, by definition, had the benefit of knowing the complete story. Also, remember that we offer no firm confirmation of what the girl is really called. Maybe we know, maybe we don’t, but either way we’re not saying. You can decide for yourself.

The reader-name of whoever originally nominated the name is shown too.


  • ADA  by Susan
  • ANNA  by Rosaleen
  • ANONA  by Pete
  • ELLE  by Tomc
  • EVE  by Bwhittak
  • HANNAH  by Margaret
  • NELL ANN ALLEN  by Digby_Mcwiggle

Anagrams and Word-play

  • ANNETTE (found in Pl-Annette-arium)  by Falcon
  • AMNESIA (“is a name”)  by Mhatter
  • ANNA KRONIKGAL  by Dummy
  • ELGIRTH (“the girl”)  by Polgara
  • KAY SARA SARA  by Ciderwoman
  • PETUNIA MARL (“Planetarium”)  by Keithirwin

Contrived Names and Allusions (Classical, Temporal or Astronomical)

  • AMANDA (Latin — “will be loved”)  by Lollius
  • ATROPOS  by Blaze79797
  • CASSANDRA  by Mysa
  • CLAIR VOYANT  by Adampudsy
  • CRYSTAL  by Nickgard
  • DELPHI  by Trip
  • JANICE (from Janus)  by Mrstickman
  • NOW (from a literal reading of the love-letter)  by Vegeta
  • SONNYMEME (“Mnemosyne”)  by Zarf
  • STELLA (“a good name for the star of Planetarium”)
  • SYZYGY  by Slander

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