"Squeeze Play" - September 6, 2019

A place to discuss the weekly Wall Street Journal Crossword Puzzle Contest, starting every Thursday around 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please do not post any answers or hints before the contest deadline which is midnight Sunday Eastern time.
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MarkL
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:44 am

Re: "Squeeze Play" - September 6, 2019

#201

Post by MarkL » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:39 pm

I'm guessing a birthday in '61 won't carry much weight in the mug selection process!
The lovely lady in the Avatar is our retired racing greyhound, Tula! She leaves the rabbit chasing to me.

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Meg
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Location: St. Petersburg, FL

#202

Post by Meg » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:47 pm

At what time on Monday do you stop checking your email for the mug notification that never comes?

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tim1217
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#203

Post by tim1217 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm

Meg wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:47 pm
At what time on Monday do you stop checking your email for the mug notification that never comes?
Only after I see Mr. Miller’s post!!! Never give up hope!
"I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger

MikeMillerwsj
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:46 pm

#204

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:03 pm

Hello Muggles, we are still waiting to hear back from our winner. Meanwhile here's a brief report: 1018 entries. about 60% correct, significantly lower than usual. 288 votes for BUNT--a huge number for an incorrect answer. (And just a guess, right? Or is there a clever path to BUNT?) Stay tuned...

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Meg
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Location: St. Petersburg, FL

#205

Post by Meg » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:33 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:03 pm
Hello Muggles, we are still waiting to hear back from our winner. Meanwhile here's a brief report: 1018 entries. about 60% correct, significantly lower than usual. 288 votes for BUNT--a huge number for an incorrect answer. (And just a guess, right? Or is there a clever path to BUNT?) Stay tuned...
A squeeze play involves a bunt, but I don’t think there’s anything in the grid or clues to support BUNT as the meta.

juliet
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:11 pm

#206

Post by juliet » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:48 pm

I was in good company this week, scouring the rabbit fields! I think I visited all the holes mentioned so far, including learning about alternative squeezes in finance and bridge. My most promising rabbit seemed to be starting with ARI in MARIS for Arizona Diamondbacks, then looking for other team abbreviations (OAK, COL, KAN, BAL, and, for a while LA) with all the customary follow-up manipulations of cities, mascots, stadiums, etc.

The literal diamond was in a blind spot for me, spelling the teams out every direction, counter-clockwise and around corners. Congratulations to Mike for a great puzzle, to all who found CRAM and to the mug winner.

Tony S
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Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:14 pm

#207

Post by Tony S » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:31 pm

Thanks. There are metas that I should get but don't. This was one of them.

Colin
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:57 pm

#208

Post by Colin » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:39 pm

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:17 am
GlennG wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:54 am
Colin wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:58 am
As a supply chain consultant and engineer, I would love WSJ to make a short video documentary on the process Mike and Matt take to create such a puzzle.
It's like any other crossword puzzle. As a constructor you start in a blank grid by laying out the results you want (the theme entries or whatever else you want to be sure that exists in the grid, in this case the diamond and "MARIS"), and then develop whatever else that goes in the grid so it fits and follows the typical Farrar rule set.

There's no need for Mike and Matt to add to the numerous resources already out there that generically describe how a crossword is made. You can buy books aimed at teaching you how to do it (Patrick Berry's work is almost the go-to). Generically, the New York Times did a set of articles. And then Wired put out a video generically describing it. I'm pretty sure there's lots more out there.
The hard part is coming up with the idea for the meta, and I'm not sure that this process can be systematized for purposes of an instructional video. But maybe it can. Filling in the grid is the easy part, especially now with Internet resources.
Thank you for the advice and links, which I will read and watch with interest. However, I have no interest to actually construct crosswords... just curious how so many deliberate rabbit holes can be squeezed into the mine field that was this week’s puzzle! :)
And if you don’t know where you’re going
Any road will take you there

George Harrison/Lewis Carroll

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tim1217
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Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:58 pm

#209

Post by tim1217 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:48 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:03 pm
Hello Muggles, we are still waiting to hear back from our winner. Meanwhile here's a brief report: 1018 entries. about 60% correct, significantly lower than usual. 288 votes for BUNT--a huge number for an incorrect answer. (And just a guess, right? Or is there a clever path to BUNT?) Stay tuned...
BUNT was my first random guess, but I eventually got to CRAM. The BUTT and AUNTS answers had me going for awhile.
"I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then" - Bob Seger

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Al Sisti
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Location: Whitesboro NY

#210

Post by Al Sisti » Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:46 am

I got CRAM pretty quickly and sent it in... however, I noticed after I submitted that I had circled the "straight line" occurrence of ROYALS, as opposed to the "bent" one that he used, actually forming a nice diamond. My first thought was "well, ROYALS is ROYALS, whichever one I choose. But then I panicked... yes, CRAM is a verb formed by the start of each team name (whichever ROYALS we circled)... but what if the verb Mike actually intended for us to find used the letters at first base, second base, third base and home? GAA!! I checked quickly -- twice -- and fortunately, it didn't spell a verb... but I thought for sure he got me again in my haste.

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Scott Medvetz
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#211

Post by Scott Medvetz » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:32 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:46 am
I got CRAM pretty quickly and sent it in... however, I noticed after I submitted that I had circled the "straight line" occurrence of ROYALS, as opposed to the "bent" one that he used, actually forming a nice diamond. My first thought was "well, ROYALS is ROYALS, whichever one I choose. But then I panicked... yes, CRAM is a verb formed by the start of each team name (whichever ROYALS we circled)... but what if the verb Mike actually intended for us to find used the letters at first base, second base, third base and home? GAA!! I checked quickly -- twice -- and fortunately, it didn't spell a verb... but I thought for sure he got me again in my haste.
I also spent way too long looking for verbs made of letters at 1st, 2nd, 3rd & home of diamonds starting at 61, and any other diamonds that might be "squeeze"d tighter. Finally saw the diagonal Cubs running the base path and made it home from there.

damefox
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:18 pm

#212

Post by damefox » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:51 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:03 pm
Hello Muggles, we are still waiting to hear back from our winner. Meanwhile here's a brief report: 1018 entries. about 60% correct, significantly lower than usual. 288 votes for BUNT--a huge number for an incorrect answer. (And just a guess, right? Or is there a clever path to BUNT?) Stay tuned...
I don't know about a clever path to BUNT, but did you get any votes for SLOG? If you think of the whole grid as the suggested "baseball diamond," then the corners are the bases, containing the letters L, G, O, and S, which anagram to SLOG. This was actually my first guess, but it didn't seem quite clean enough to me, so I kept looking and finally saw the path to CRAM. Before I realized the diagonals of the diamond in the middle were names of baseball teams though, I just looked at the corners, which are C, O, A, and S, which fortunately don't anagram to a four-letter verb, otherwise that would've been my guess and I never would've seen the team names on the diagonals.

DBMiller
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:59 pm

#213

Post by DBMiller » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:44 pm

I looked at SOGL (Four corners), SDIA (4-letter square at the end of Maris), MRBN (3-letter square at the start of MARIS), as well as the 61 starters of COAS and C*MS. Saw CUBS when I looked at COAS, but it required a second look before I saw the entire base path. I also had REIN (3-letter diamond starting at the R in MARIS as my backup answer, but didn't like it. As a verb, it might have gotten a few submissions.

BrianDavidson
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm

#214

Post by BrianDavidson » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:53 pm

https://blogs.wsj.com/puzzle/2019/09/05 ... b9d5ec31d2
Mike Miller Staff
8 hours ago
And now congratulations to this week's winner: Fred Stewart of San Antonio, Tex.!

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