"Continuing Education" - February 7, 2020

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.
Rate the difficulty of the meta
Locked
User avatar
grwinski
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 2:39 pm
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Re: "Continuing Education" - February 7, 2020

#221

Post by grwinski » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:02 am

Well we (Rita and George) are also CMU grads, which led to overthinking this as well. As Joe Ross noted, Mellon Institute wasn't really a college (or school) when founded, but rather a research institute; and it really was founded by both Andrew and Richard Mellon (and the pink box asks for a single founder). So the idea of taking this puzzle one step further and choosing Andrew Carnegie was quite strong (who was a single founder of Carnegie Tech).

Unlike Joe, however, our four possibilities were:

Andrew Mellon
Richard Mellon
Andrew Carnegie
William Mellon (who was a single founder of GSIA back in the 40s - and is a 'school' (think college)).

We also took the Jeopardy approach and chose 'Mellon', which turned out to be the 'correct' answer; however, the Monday solution indicates the intended answer was Andrew Mellon, which, as noted by Joe and others seems to be 'wrong' either because it's a singular answer or that Mellon Institute wasn't really founded as a college.

While some may say that the two 'Andrews' founded CMU, most CMU grads would say it was founded by the one who said 'my heart is in the work'.

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 781
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#222

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:23 am

After submitting, a fellow muggle pointed out this site: 50 Years as Carnegie Mellon University › Founder Stories › Founders: Andrew Carnegie & Andrew Mellon

CMU seems to recognize Andrew Carnegie & Andrew Mellon as the founders of Carnegie Mellon University, despite its merger well after their deaths. There's no specific exclusion of Richard Mellon, but he's not mentioned in the title, story, nor pictured as a founder, along with the Andrews.

Per this CMU page, Andrew & Richard Mellon "co-founded the Mellon Institute and School of Specific Industries at their alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. The Institute conducted so much important research (smog abatement for Pittsburgh, the invention of the gas mask, a pneumonia serum, and more) that in 1928, it was incorporated as the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research." Per 26D and the above, Andrew & Richard Mellon founded a college, not just an institution, as I originally thought and others argue here.

Per this CMU page, Andrew Carnegie "designated $2 million to create the Carnegie Institute of Technology, nicknamed Carnegie Tech." Wikipedia says, "Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical Schools, the university became the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1912 and began granting four-year degrees."

Per this CMU page, "By the 1960s, Andrew Mellon’s son, Paul, secretly proposed a merger between the two institutions. While the administrators of both Carnegie Tech and the Mellon Institute realized that each had strengths that would increase if they merged, few could have predicted how fast the new institution would transform into a global powerhouse. And so, in 1967, these two legends' visions merged to become Carnegie Mellon University, forever impacting the world of higher education, research and discovery."

Since the meta clue, "a college founder", is asking for a singular person, a case can be made for entries of ANDREW MELLON and RICHARD MELLON. (The WSJ solution parenthetically notes Andrew, but not Richard, similar to the CMU founders story. Why?)

Per the puzzle (& Jeopardy! 'last name only' rules?), MELLON works as an answer.

Since there are at least two MELLON founders, it's not hard to see where muggles submitted the singular ANDREW CARNEGIE in lieu of ANDREW MELLON, RICHARD MELLON, or MELLON.

Some might argue for PAUL MELLON, but he made a persuasive merger suggestion, rather than founding a college, IMO.
Last edited by Joe Ross on Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
KayW
Posts: 352
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:10 am
Location: Chicago

#223

Post by KayW » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:25 am

I am not familiar with CMU and relied on the interwebs for my info. I derived MELLON from the grid but then was perplexed when everything I searched seemed to indicate only Carnegie as the founder. Further delving saw that the Mellon family was involved (as others have mentioned here, and I fully expected given the name), but I sat on my submission for over a day, debating whether to submit Carnegie or Mellon. I scoured the puzzle and grid and found no reference at all to Carnegie so I went with Mellon (Andrew). I must admit the other Mellons never occurred to me; they did not figure prominently in any of my search results.

I enjoyed the mechanism of this meta very much - incredibly clever as always! But the phrasing of the contest problem made my brain hurt (ala Professor Gumby, not of CMU). Also, I think I was a bit gun-shy as I very recently got tripped up on a semantic technicality in another meta.

User avatar
PeterLeea1a
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 5:49 pm

#224

Post by PeterLeea1a » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:31 am

I'm a Andrew Carnegie submitter. I could see the logic in any variety of answers, but to me, Andrew Carnegie is the only recognizable person associated with the founding of CMU without googling. Also, I looked at past answers which were a person's name, and it always required a full name, and there were too many Mellons to choose from.

Hopefully there will be an expansive definition of the "correct" answer, since it seems to me that if you got to the point of having to make this decision, you really have solved the meta for all practical purposes.

User avatar
Bird Lives
Posts: 330
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:43 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

#225

Post by Bird Lives » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:31 am

I am a graduate of Andrew W. Mellon Junior High (we insisted that the W stood for Water), now called a middle school, nine miles southwest of what was then Carnegie Tech, now called Carnegie Mellon. But that change didn't happen until 1967. So was Mellon a "founder" or just some Andrew-come-lately?

User avatar
BethA
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:44 pm
Location: Beaver, PA

#226

Post by BethA » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:59 am

DART and CORN jumped out at me, and Continuing Education made me think that _I_ was supposed to continue and complete the rest of the name. So I scoured the grid for the beginnings of other schools, and the first letters of the completions neatly spelled MELLON!

Only after reading BarbaraK’s comment did I go back and see the name endings were there in the grid, too. Then wondered if I deserved extra credit for doing it the hard way, or a dunce cap for not even noticing!

Seeing the true mechanism draw focus to exactly the letters in MELLON gave me confidence that that was the desired answer. No trepidation.

Inca
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:55 pm

#227

Post by Inca » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:19 am

I went with Andrew Carnegie. My logic (FWIW) was that the school Mellon founded was not a college. When the schools Carnegie and Mellon merged that was Carnegie Mellon University. SO: when filling in the letters of the colleges I came up with MELLON, I assumed that was the name of the school and went with Carnegie as the founder.

When searching desperately in the puzzle for further clarification as to whom to choose as my final answer, I came up with something interesting in the grid that led nowhere--there were group of similar words/clues: "enroll" & "enlist", "dregs" & "dross", "rare" & "slim, "dart" & "ammo"

User avatar
anjhinz
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Dallas, TX

#228

Post by anjhinz » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:32 am

I also submitted Andrew Carnegie, because the prompt asked for "a college founder" and not "a college", which I felt meant was purposefully not asking for "Carnegie Mellon University", for whatever reason. And after discovering the two Mellons, I felt very confident Mike was looking for Andrew Carnegie, from some strange reason. :/

steveb
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA

#229

Post by steveb » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:35 am

PeterLeea1a wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:31 am
I'm a Andrew Carnegie submitter. I could see the logic in any variety of answers, but to me, Andrew Carnegie is the only recognizable person associated with the founding of CMU without googling. Also, I looked at past answers which were a person's name, and it always required a full name, and there were too many Mellons to choose from.

Hopefully there will be an expansive definition of the "correct" answer, since it seems to me that if you got to the point of having to make this decision, you really have solved the meta for all practical purposes.
Google “who founded Carnegie Mellon?” The top result names one person: Andrew Carnegie. That was enough research for me.

User avatar
BrianMac
Site Admin
Posts: 500
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:45 pm
Location: Connecticut

#230

Post by BrianMac » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:40 am

steveb wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:35 am
Google “who founded Carnegie Mellon?” The top result names one person: Andrew Carnegie. That was enough research for me.
Goolge "college founder mellon" and you get the same thing.

User avatar
tim1217
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:58 pm
Location: Small Town America

#231

Post by tim1217 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:50 am

I found dartMouth and then braNdeis, so knew I was on to something. My fear was that Mike added ‘obscure’ colleges which would add a challenge to locating the other letters. Then I found loyOla and bayLor, started building the answer (because 99.9% of the time, the answer reads from top to bottom) and quickly surmised MELLON. It was then relatively easy to fill in the E and L blanks. Never occurred to me to submit anything else.
No man steps into the same river twice.
Because it is not the same river,
And he is not the same man.
Heraclitus

User avatar
tim1217
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:58 pm
Location: Small Town America

#232

Post by tim1217 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:53 am

My very first thought turned out to be quite a few red herrings. Noticing the following grid entries:

ENROLL
IRVINE
CLASS
GRADS
SOPH
REGRADE
DORM

Of course there is also SCHOOLS which given its central placement, was a clue to the mechanism.
No man steps into the same river twice.
Because it is not the same river,
And he is not the same man.
Heraclitus

User avatar
damefox
Posts: 282
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:18 pm

#233

Post by damefox » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:01 am

I submitted the right answer, but this was a deeply unsatisfying puzzle for me for several reasons. First of all, as many others have pointed out, Andrew Mellon is not a college founder. And if you are going to claim that founding the Mellon Institute of Technology counts as founding a college, then Richard B. Mellon is an equally valid answer, since they founded it together. Carnegie Mellon University in its current form was founding 30 years after the Mellon brothers died and nearly 60 years after Andrew Carnegie died, so I dispute that any of them can correctly be called "a college founder." I'm a grad student at CMU right now, so I was initially pleased to see a shout-out in the WSJ contest, but quickly became extremely displeased when I saw how poorly the meta was executed. It seems like a lot of the ambiguity and frustration could've been resolved by simple changing the prompt to "a college namesake" (arguably either of the Mellon brothers or their father, Thomas, would've been a valid answer, but there is no dispute that the Mellon family is indeed the namesake) or "a family name in higher education," or something along those lines.

Second of all (this is sort of a nitpick, but it bugged me), the meta mechanism is... sloppy? There's no symmetry to the puzzle (except for SCHOOLS down the middle), and just using 6/15 rows to fit school names into seems arbitrary. There was a meta a while ago where you had to add letters outside the left and right of the grid to make new words (answer ended up being PHIL SIMMS, also I can't remember if Shenk or Gaffney made that puzzle), but every single answer that touched the edge of the grid was used in this. I realize meta construction is painstaking and annoying, but this felt like a very poor showing from a constructor who we have seen do a lot better.

User avatar
FrankieHeck
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:57 pm
Location: West Virginia

#234

Post by FrankieHeck » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:08 am

I was in the Carnegie camp. Alas, my first wrong submission to WSJ. I suspected as much when I sent it in, but I didn't feel good about Mellon, either. But it's all good, it's all fun (and free!) and I learned some things.

I may be spending too much time on these puzzles. Last night I dreamed the kid from across the street crawled up through our heat vents and asked for help with a sports-themed meta crossword.
Last edited by FrankieHeck on Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Janet P
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:29 pm

#235

Post by Janet P » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:12 am

Another Carnegie submitter here. I kinda feel like I pageanted myself! Found MELLON very quickly but it felt like there needed to be another step since the school actually has both names. Oh, well. It was a good streak.
“For myself, I am an optimist. It does not seem much use being anything else...”
― Winston Churchill, The Lord Mayor's Banquet, 9 November 1954

Geoduck
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:40 pm
Location: Somewhere Nawth of Bangaw, or on The Other Cape

#236

Post by Geoduck » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:14 am

Commodore wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:42 pm
Just returned from four days cross country skiing and snow-shoeing in the beautiful 100-Mile Wilderness. (Marge of Maine will know it.) Sounds rigorous, but not really. A trek from lodge-to-comfy lodge over meticulously groomed trails. Warm cabins, terrific cooks and an abundance of food. Baggage hauled by motorized sledge! Sauna bathing! Thanks, Appalachian Mountain Club! Now I need a good shave, and Mr. Occam seems to offer the proper tool, such that I might make a shorn and proper appearance at the Tiki Bar.
This is not a trivial trek, especially at this time of the year. Respect.

I live an hour south of the northern terminus at Abol Bridge and an equal amount east of the southern terminus in Monson. .

I was not aware that there were ANY lodges along that segment of the trail, though. (Hence, its name.) No paved roads cross the trail, and only about three unpaved roads in 100 miles, which I believe are not maintained in the winter (other than as snowmobile highways.) How did that work out? Were you transported out on snowmobiles to more civilize places for the evenings? Or, is the 100-mile wilderness more tamed now than it was when I was younger?
Last edited by Geoduck on Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tony S
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:14 pm

#237

Post by Tony S » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:14 am

MELLON was so obvious from the meta mechanism that I never considered any other submission. Fear of pageants must be the cause of so much overthinking.

User avatar
Jazzvibist
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:31 pm
Location: West Bend, WI

#238

Post by Jazzvibist » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:34 am

Although there are no hard and fast rules governing metas, whenever a seemingly obvious solution pops up, I look at the infamous PAGEANT meta for guidance (which I blew, by the way). In that one, timed to come out when college Bowl games were being played, the names of seven of them were right there in the grid. In addition, the word “BOWLS” was in the grid to discourage solvers from submitting a solution containing that word. Because I couldn’t come up with any second step on that one, I submitted “BOWL GAMES” just in case it was a beginning of the year gimme.

As to this meta, the mechanism of “discontinuing“ the names of six institutes of higher learning by interrupting them with a single black cell whose missing letters spelled “MELLON” seemed inescapably to be either the solution or the first step to the solution. Since (thanks to a suggestion from Bird Lives) I use Google only to confirm rather than research when doing puzzles, I relied on my knowledge base when thinking about options. I couldn’t think of any college named just “Mellon,” nor could I think of a college with any other name reputed to be founded by anyone named Mellon. For that reason, I took a leap of faith that Mike wouldn’t have created a meta with a really obscure solution so I accepted that it had to be CMU. I next pondered whether the answer could have been Andrew Carnegie, obviously at least a co-founder of CMU, so I searched the grid and the clues for anything at all which would lead the solver to such a conclusion. Because I couldn’t find anything, I took what I believed to be the safer route and submitted “MELLON,” realizing full well that there could be some brilliant device that sealed the deal for Andrew Carnegie. Only after submitting, did I start Googling but never found anything that persuaded me that I submitted the wrong answer.

Having said all of this, and seeing the courage of so many Muggles in submitting “Andrew Carnegie” and their rationales for doing so, my humble opinion is that if the first name drawn this week is an “Andrew Carnegie” submitter, he or she should get, at a minimum, one of two mugs, the second one going to a “Mellon” submitter.

User avatar
CPJohnson
Posts: 192
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:38 pm
Location: Kingsport, TN

#239

Post by CPJohnson » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 am

damefox wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:01 am
I submitted the right answer, but this was a deeply unsatisfying puzzle for me for several reasons. First of all, as many others have pointed out, Andrew Mellon is not a college founder. And if you are going to claim that founding the Mellon Institute of Technology counts as founding a college, then Richard B. Mellon is an equally valid answer, since they founded it together. Carnegie Mellon University in its current form was founding 30 years after the Mellon brothers died and nearly 60 years after Andrew Carnegie died, so I dispute that any of them can correctly be called "a college founder." I'm a grad student at CMU right now, so I was initially pleased to see a shout-out in the WSJ contest, but quickly became extremely displeased when I saw how poorly the meta was executed. It seems like a lot of the ambiguity and frustration could've been resolved by simple changing the prompt to "a college namesake" (arguably either of the Mellon brothers or their father, Thomas, would've been a valid answer, but there is no dispute that the Mellon family is indeed the namesake) or "a family name in higher education," or something along those lines.

Second of all (this is sort of a nitpick, but it bugged me), the meta mechanism is... sloppy? There's no symmetry to the puzzle (except for SCHOOLS down the middle), and just using 6/15 rows to fit school names into seems arbitrary. There was a meta a while ago where you had to add letters outside the left and right of the grid to make new words (answer ended up being PHIL SIMMS, also I can't remember if Shenk or Gaffney made that puzzle), but every single answer that touched the edge of the grid was used in this. I realize meta construction is painstaking and annoying, but this felt like a very poor showing from a constructor who we have seen do a lot better.
But the constructors can do whatever they want, right? I’m pretty sure we’ve had other non-symmetrical puzzles.

MikeMillerwsj
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:46 pm

#240

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 am

Greetings--we had a big turnout this week: 1739 entries. Here at contest headquarters we have discussed the debate over whether CARNEGIE is an acceptable answer and concluded that it is. Anyone who submitted Carnegie clearly cracked the code of this puzzle and then added an additional, logical step. Like others above, we've been catching up on the history of CMU, and we see that the university's own website names both as founders. The details of the history (Carnegie started a school, Mellon started an industrial research center, and then they merged) also helps support Carnegie as a reasonable answer.

We had 1274 submissions for Mellon and 306 for Carnegie (including submissions that offered both names). Congrats to this week's winner (on Team Mellon): Janna Walker of Fall City, Wash.!

Locked