Joe Ross' Guide to Solving the WSJ Meta with Excel

This is a place to learn about the Muggles community and some of the terminology we use. It also contains suggested strategies for solving meta crosswords, as well as a repository of all past WSJ crossword contests and solutions.

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Joe Ross
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#102

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:06 am

20200221 JPR Game Pieces 2.gif

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Joe Ross
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#103

Post by Joe Ross » Thu Feb 27, 2020 4:06 pm


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Joe Ross
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#104

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:00 am

20200228 JPR 2+2=5.gif


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Joe Ross
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#106

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:00 am

20200228 JPR In the Hopper.gif

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Joe Ross
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#107

Post by Joe Ross » Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:30 am

I will be traveling, this Thursday, and may not be able to create this week's WSJCC Excel blank and post its link until late in the evening.

Here is the formatted spreadsheet from which I start. Send a PM with questions.

Good luck to all in winning the mug!

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Joe Ross
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#108

Post by Joe Ross » Thu Mar 12, 2020 4:12 pm

I think that tomorrow's WSJ Crossword Contest will be late posting due to this past week's time change & a failure to adjust. I will post the Excel blank late this evening.
Last edited by Joe Ross on Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cashk
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#109

Post by cashk » Thu Mar 12, 2020 5:15 pm

Are you sure the cruise wasn't canceled because of COVID 19?

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Joe Ross
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#110

Post by Joe Ross » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:38 pm

Last edited by Joe Ross on Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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#113

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:44 am

20200320 JPR Variety Show.gif


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spotter
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#115

Post by spotter » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:51 am

Here's my process for a second solve using Excel. I don't get fancy pasting the clues or the grid in the background, so if the meta is hidden in the clues, I'm out of luck this way. But sometimes, being able to highlight (and erase highlights) makes a clearer picture.

Step 1: Change the cell width to be square. I usually input a width of 2.1
Resize Columns.PNG
Step 2: Make a 15x15 outside border, and black fill the squares to mimic the grid
Recreate Grid.PNG
Step 3: Retype the answers, letter by letter, cell by cell. Sometimes this helps me notice clues I may have missed the first time, similar to how rewriting notes can be an effective study method in school.

Step 4: Highlight away and hope something jumps out! In this weeks puzzle, it really made the important "ME" squares stand out more clearly. I was fixated on MADEBACON for a while, and doing this made me deem it irrelevant as it didn't "start with me".
Highlighted.PNG
Step 5: (Hopefully) Solve the META!
Finished.PNG


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#117

Post by juliet » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:16 pm

spotter wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:51 am
Here's my process for a second solve using Excel.

Wow--than you Spotter! I don't have the full version of Adobe and haven't been able to take advantage of Joe's version, but I just finished filling out the Excel grid following your instructions and am looking forward to using it!

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