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.
Post Reply

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#102

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

20200221 JPR Game Pieces 2.gif

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#103

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


User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#104

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

20200228 JPR 2+2=5.gif


User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#106

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

20200228 JPR In the Hopper.gif

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#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!

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#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
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:49 pm

#109

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

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

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#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.



User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#113

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

20200320 JPR Variety Show.gif


User avatar
spotter
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:48 pm
Location: SLO, CA

#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


juliet
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:11 pm

#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!

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#118

Post by Joe Ross » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:08 pm

Link to 20200410 WSJCC Between Meals Excel Blank

EDIT1: NOTE WELL: This template has been upgraded incorporating spotter's simple & effective methodology.

Fill in the grid from cells A1 to O15, as normal. 4 additional grids are automatically created below Row 30, which can be used to highlight & mark-up.

Thank you, spotter!

spotter wrote:
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.

juliet
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:11 pm

#119

Post by juliet » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:14 pm

Thank you for posting the current week in an Excel file! I'm not very skilled, but did figure out that to move it out of "read-only", I need to save it, open it, and enable editing.

So far, I've only been able to enter letters into the squares by selecting the column or the row, and I'm not able to add any highlighting because every time I move the cursor over the grid, I have the picture tool.

Please kindly provide a few extra instructions for navigating into the excel file.

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 795
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#120

Post by Joe Ross » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:40 pm

juliet wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:14 pm
Thank you for posting the current week in an Excel file! I'm not very skilled, but did figure out that to move it out of "read-only", I need to save it, open it, and enable editing.

So far, I've only been able to enter letters into the squares by selecting the column or the row, and I'm not able to add any highlighting because every time I move the cursor over the grid, I have the picture tool.

Please kindly provide a few extra instructions for navigating into the excel file.
juliet,

You'll find an Excel link to every week's WSJCC posted here. You belong to MGWCC, I can provide that, too, if you request. I also post BrianMac's puzzle's Excel links within his topics, when he posts them.

To edit "beneath" the puzzle image, click on any cell in Column Q or higher, then use arrows on your keyboard to move to cells within the grid & enter letters in CAPS.

As you enter letters & complete the grid, you are — as of today, inspired by spotter — creating four copies of the grid starting at Row 31 & further below. These copies are much easier to highlight & mark-up.

I see that you have solved MGWCC #619 Big Game. Congratulations! I will PM you a link to my solved spreadsheet & you can see what I mean. I solved by highlighting the first copied grid, cells B31 to O53, rather than the grid within the puzzle.

Post Reply