"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.
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Softie
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Re: "Continuing Education" - February 7, 2020

#261

Post by Softie » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:31 pm

damefox wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:11 pm
MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 am
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.
Perhaps this should've been done before the puzzle was published...
Hector wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:52 am
Not every puzzle can be perfect, so no surprise that there is a clanger once in a while. But as internet critics it falls upon us the important work of holding the geniuses' feet to the fire.
Or at least to ask that research be done before, not after, publication. Even geniuses need to fact-check sometimes.
Methinks you are taking a free, reliably entertaining, weekly crossword puzzle a touch on the serious side. I think the clue should have been worded better but I don't think we need to be scolding Mike(s) over this.

Olaf
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#262

Post by Olaf » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:48 pm

Well, I submitted Andrew Carnegie. I thought the school was Carnegie Mellon because of the UC Irvine thing (c . Mellon) even though it made me a bit squeamish since it didn’t totally fit the meta. I thought it could beMellon,so was unsure of the answer. Sounds like I get credit for the submission anyway!

steveb
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Location: Menlo Park, CA

#263

Post by steveb » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:48 pm

DrTom wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:40 pm
steveb wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:41 pm
DrTom wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:31 pm
I had this long rant about the subject but decided there are way too many rants. There is one answer for this puzzle - MELLON (whether RICHARD or ANDREW) because the hint says "The answer this week is a college founder", not "The answer this week suggests a College founder" or "The answer this week names a College that was founded by someone" (because the ONLY Mellon College [of Science] WAS founded by the Mellons).

It was kind of a gimme puzzle (must be cause I got it after throwing out IRVINE) and we are all just gun shy from previous burns, leave Mike alone.
Mellon College of Science was founded in 1967, I just learned from the all-knowing internet. Which Mellon was its founder - Andrew (d. 1937), Richard (d. 1933), or Andrew's son Paul? Hint: the published puzzle answer says "(Andrew) MELLON."
Oh, I submitted (Andrew) MELLON and was not griping because I missed the answer (if I did that it would be an almost weekly thing). I'm just saying that logical alternative answers can be derived from MANY of the CPC Fridays, but only if it is a "what could the answer be if you can justify it". For instance, if one came up with the letters RENAL, and the hint says "This weeks answer is an internal organ of detoxification" and the answer was KIDNEY, you could argue for BLADDER because it is an extension of the kidney, but that is not the answer the puzzle gave you. Or if the puzzle gave HEPATIC and the answer was LIVER but you answered BOWEL because that is how much of the detoxified substances leave, once again a decent argument but wrong.

Sure, we would all like to win a mug, but it seems like that is getting to be the only reason people are puzzling/posting and not for the fun facts and repartee found on this board. This forum is one of the places I go for intelligent "conversation" and to expand my knowledge. I've even been able to answer several Jeopardy questions based only on muggle info! So I'm making a request, in rhyme (and unfortunately I have no idea of its style but I suspect Iambic Pentameter):

While striving to work out the meta, many great things are gained
Knowledge of English and Science, hopefully all retained
Camaraderie with others like-minded, formulae for many drinks
Elation at grabbing the AHA, or breaking a few weeks of jinx
But when it comes down to griping, over possibly missing a mug
It reminds of the state of our Union and gives my heartstrings a tug
Please let’s return to our “nerd fests” when winning was not such a care
I believe we were all the most happy when our culprit was only the hare
Thanks for your thoughtful response and poem. After 146 correct submissions and 0 mugs (but who's counting?), I accept the fact that I'm doing this for fun. If I ever get a mug, that will be just the frosting on the cake.

I think the last time something like this happened was the MAINE/NEW MEXICO dichotomy. In that instance, I submitted New Mexico, but I would not have felt slighted if Maine had been the only accepted answer. There was an intended mechanism to get to the solution, I missed it, and that's that. This puzzle was different, with the correct mechanism leading to ambiguity. I think accepting both answers was the right decision.

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jhcogan
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#264

Post by jhcogan » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:30 pm

While striving to work out the meta, many great things are gained
Knowledge of English and Science, hopefully all retained
Camaraderie with others like-minded, formulae for many drinks
Elation at grabbing the AHA, or breaking a few weeks of jinx
But when it comes down to griping, over possibly missing a mug
It reminds of the state of our Union and gives my heartstrings a tug
Please let’s return to our “nerd fests” when winning was not such a care
I believe we were all the most happy when our culprit was only the hare

[/quote]

Thanks for the poem :-)

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Bob cruise director
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#265

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:31 pm

steveb wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:48 pm
DrTom wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:40 pm
steveb wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:41 pm


Mellon College of Science was founded in 1967, I just learned from the all-knowing internet. Which Mellon was its founder - Andrew (d. 1937), Richard (d. 1933), or Andrew's son Paul? Hint: the published puzzle answer says "(Andrew) MELLON."
Oh, I submitted (Andrew) MELLON and was not griping because I missed the answer (if I did that it would be an almost weekly thing). I'm just saying that logical alternative answers can be derived from MANY of the CPC Fridays, but only if it is a "what could the answer be if you can justify it". For instance, if one came up with the letters RENAL, and the hint says "This weeks answer is an internal organ of detoxification" and the answer was KIDNEY, you could argue for BLADDER because it is an extension of the kidney, but that is not the answer the puzzle gave you. Or if the puzzle gave HEPATIC and the answer was LIVER but you answered BOWEL because that is how much of the detoxified substances leave, once again a decent argument but wrong.

Sure, we would all like to win a mug, but it seems like that is getting to be the only reason people are puzzling/posting and not for the fun facts and repartee found on this board. This forum is one of the places I go for intelligent "conversation" and to expand my knowledge. I've even been able to answer several Jeopardy questions based only on muggle info! So I'm making a request, in rhyme (and unfortunately I have no idea of its style but I suspect Iambic Pentameter):

While striving to work out the meta, many great things are gained
Knowledge of English and Science, hopefully all retained
Camaraderie with others like-minded, formulae for many drinks
Elation at grabbing the AHA, or breaking a few weeks of jinx
But when it comes down to griping, over possibly missing a mug
It reminds of the state of our Union and gives my heartstrings a tug
Please let’s return to our “nerd fests” when winning was not such a care
I believe we were all the most happy when our culprit was only the hare
Thanks for your thoughtful response and poem. After 146 correct submissions and 0 mugs (but who's counting?), I accept the fact that I'm doing this for fun. If I ever get a mug, that will be just the frosting on the cake.

I think the last time something like this happened was the MAINE/NEW MEXICO dichotomy. In that instance, I submitted New Mexico, but I would not have felt slighted if Maine had been the only accepted answer. There was an intended mechanism to get to the solution, I missed it, and that's that. This puzzle was different, with the correct mechanism leading to ambiguity. I think accepting both answers was the right decision.
I submitted MAINE and MELLON but no mug either. If I ever get the mug, I probably will get a dirty look from my wife as I am in the process of throwing out about 50 mugs from work programs, ski areas and colleges I visited at one time or another.
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

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MarkL
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#266

Post by MarkL » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:42 pm

Biting my tongue after reading the many remarks about the construction and constructor. My only question is: how many of the critics have created even one 15x15 meta-containing crossword puzzle, on deadline(?) and had it published in one of the leading, major publications in the world? And, repeated that feat again and again over a significant period of time? I am on team 'Give Mike a break'
Last edited by MarkL on Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'tis... A lovely day for a Guinness!

Inca
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#267

Post by Inca » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:10 pm

I love Mike and every single one of his puzzles....those I get and those I don't.

Laura M
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#268

Post by Laura M » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:20 pm

Team Andrew* Carnegie here, now I see why it didn't feel right to me but did to others.

I was distracted by U(C) IRVINE and (U)CLA (at 43A) and by not initially seeing BAY(L)OR and TEMP(L)E. I had to decide to go down the path of only using the ones that started at the right edge--even though I didn't think that was correct--before I found MELLON.

*I'm actually so ignorant that I thought it was Dale Carnegie (because the name sounded familiar, I suppose) until I looked it up. I'd be relieved that I didn't submit the wrong name, except that, you know, basically I still did...

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Janet P
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#269

Post by Janet P » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:23 pm

FrankieHeck wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:48 pm
Janet P wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:39 pm
Since the powers that be at WSJ considered CARNEGIE a "correct" submission, does that mean I can keep my streak?
I'm not quite sure it feels copacetic...
Help, please!
I say we keep our streaks, since we are the only ones keeping the data. We can attach a mental asterisk ;-)

They decided they would accept our answer if they'd drawn it, so that's good enough for me.
Thanks! And I was definitely planning on the asterisk (not star, BTW) :lol:
“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

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Janet
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#270

Post by Janet » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:26 pm

My only doubt on this one was UC Irvine. I kept looking for more letters to see if I had missed any, or did I have an extra. I decided that UC Irvine didn't count. I figured Mellon was good enough as a founder of Carnegie-Mellon,although I understand the quibbles. So another one solved, but mugless again.

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MajordomoTom
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#271

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:28 pm

Janet wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:26 pm
My only doubt on this one was UC Irvine. I kept looking for more letters to see if I had missed any, or did I have an extra. I decided that UC Irvine didn't count. I figured Mellon was good enough as a founder of Carnegie-Mellon,although I understand the quibbles. So another one solved, but mugless again.
same questions my wife & I had - kept seeing that and wondering if we were missing something else.

finally threw it away as the other 6 were all left justified and it wasn't, decided it was a hed rerring.

:)
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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Jacksull
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#272

Post by Jacksull » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:32 pm

Accepting both Carnegie and Mellon was the right way to go. I submitted MELLON, but only after a long internal debate.

This could have been a reverse pageant: a meta where the simple and obvious answer is rejected in favor of a more complex and devious one.

"Last week I got pageanted, this week I got melloned."
Jack Sullivan

Inca
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#273

Post by Inca » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:48 pm

Laura M wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:20 pm

*I'm actually so ignorant that I thought it was Dale Carnegie (because the name sounded familiar, I suppose) until I looked it up. I'd be relieved that I didn't submit the wrong name, except that, you know, basically I still did...
You made me laugh. It happens to be that this week I actually knew the names but I do the "sounds familiar" so much in the grid as well as the meta.

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Al Sisti
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#274

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:53 pm

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:29 pm
I'm also in Camp MELLON (but not a big fan of John Mellencamp/Cougar) ...
I actually do have a Mellencamp story. Back in 1979, our band was set to open for a Southern Rock band called "Point Blank." At the last minute, the club owner told us someone else was going to open for Point Blank, so did we want to open for the next act he had coming in. "Who's that?" we asked. "Johnny Cougar," says he. "Johnny Cougar!? Johnny who? We don't want to open for someone named Johnny Cougar!" So we didn't. That definitely was the wrong answer.

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MajordomoTom
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#275

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:11 pm

yep, we all make mistakes sometimes, and as long as we learn from them ...
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

Limerick Savant
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#276

Post by Limerick Savant » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:19 am

Limerick Savant wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:57 am
The meta was surely the pits
Man, I really must pick a few nits
Though
I think I’m ashore
It could be either or...
That you see it’s still giving me fits!
I submitted Carnegie, the Pitts(burgh) Man too, discerning that there was no actual Mellon school and metas are seldom that easy. And I found the apparent red herring reference to Cal. Irvine troubling. As I said “That U. C., it’s still giving me fits!”

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TMart
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#277

Post by TMart » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:54 am

My initial instinct after finding MELLON was Andrew Carnegie, but it didn’t quite feel right - seemed like a stretch. Then I noticed the line that contained UC Irvine, which led me to acknowledge some trepidation. I considered submitting “Andrew”, but in the end concluded the simplest answer was correct and decided on MELLON. And after all that, I forgot to actually submit it! Oh well. This is the first time I can recall the WSJ accepting two completely different answers, which I think confirms the overall inelegance of the meta. Great meta idea and design, just not a clean answer.

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DrTom
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#278

Post by DrTom » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:14 pm

TMart wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:54 am
My initial instinct after finding MELLON was Andrew Carnegie, but it didn’t quite feel right - seemed like a stretch. Then I noticed the line that contained UC Irvine, which led me to acknowledge some trepidation. I considered submitting “Andrew”, but in the end concluded the simplest answer was correct and decided on MELLON. And after all that, I forgot to actually submit it! Oh well. This is the first time I can recall the WSJ accepting two completely different answers, which I think confirms the overall inelegance of the meta. Great meta idea and design, just not a clean answer.
There was just such an occasion on June 8, 2018. The Meta was Border Crossing and one was supposed to find the state, NOT already named in the grid, that fit the META. Well it was supposed to be MAINE because many of the 13 states in the grid crossed letters with each other but ONLY if you used the letters from those which had a common border did you get MAINE. However, some people found that all of the states were contiguous EXCEPT for Texas, but if you crossed the "border" of New Mexico you could get to it. Therefore many people submitted NEW MEXICO and after considerable carping it was awarded as an alternate answer.

I don't think that makes that META or this one inelegant. You could solve both (I did NOT solve that one with either answer by the way) using the grid, META and the hint. Sure you could come up with an alternate answer to fit your interpretation of the data, but that was not what the information was. It is easy to find fault with the constructor, but in reality one can only do that if one can do better. I have tried with great difficulty and no success to create a 15 x 15 crossword META and I find it darn near impossible. So, I'm just going to say that MELLON was the answer, really the only answer that one could get from the grid, self referential data and hint and if you were clever enough to get something else that someone allowed that's great, but it is not the answer and that is not Mike's fault. If someone came up to you and said Quick, name one of the two founders (if your name is on the building I think it is safe to say you are considered a founder) of Carnegie Mellon University (lets disregard the college/university dichotomy for a minute because if you search for colleges CMU does appear) whose last name is MELLON, what do you think you might answer?

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grwinski
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#279

Post by grwinski » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:43 pm

Being Carnegie grads, our only fear from the controversy is that Mike may never again have a meta (or even a clue!) that uses CMU. Mike, please don't shy away from us 'techers'!

Rita and George

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Kas
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#280

Post by Kas » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:02 pm

Eric Porter wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:10 am
The correct answer is MELLON. The symmetry in the rows and the fact that all 6 start in the leftmost column were enough to convince me that Mellon was what Mike Shenk was going for.
AAAAGHHH! Sorry, busy week, just now getting to this...and absolutely a Kas 4...I just DID NOT SEE IT. Grr. (But great construction!!!)

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