"Grid Daring" - February 14, 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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Joe Ross
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Re: "Grid Daring" - February 14, 2020

#221

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:15 am

Four asterisked theme clues -17A, 30A, 47A, 63A - had answers with 4 doubled letters, plus two more letters. Each of those extra two letters had three-letter words started by the two found in theme answers: 17A FE > 18D FES, 30A RK > 50A RKO, 47A NS > 42A NSA, 63A NA - 65D NAP. The four letters ending each of these word are SOAP, suggesting the 10-Letter entertainment category SOAP OPERAS, which also follows the 4 doubled letters: SOAP OPERAS.

NOTE: Before submitting this posting, I see that I am nth in line to offer the same reasoning. I've posted my spreadsheet, also.

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Abide
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#222

Post by Abide » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:21 am

I noticed the pattern pretty quick. After a day I only had the leftover letters, and could not do much else with them. I assumed the answer would be in the 4, 6 pattern. There were only 8 leftover letters, and considered using the other two from the title. FERN KANSAN didn’t cut it.

Tried to backsolve _ _ _ _ MOVIES and the like for another day.

When people were claiming they had the first part (I assumed that was the first word), I took a better look at the grid. The RKO finally came into focus and SOAP came next. It was easy to justify the answer for me because I had experimented with the pattern (second part) so much. I even gave a shout out to the META MASTER in my comment. ;)

There is no further reason to deal with the leftover ER, although coincidentally the show ER had some soap opera moments.
Last edited by Abide on Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

Tony S
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#223

Post by Tony S » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:23 am

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:02 am
This one was a more "classic style" Gaffney where the grid doesn't really lead you to the answer, it more establishes a pattern which you need to follow, you get part of the answer, and the pattern provides the rest of the answer.

Four theme answers in the grid, as follows:

RING FINGER
MEAT MARKET
MADE AMENDS
TRUE NATURE

Note that each of these is a 4 letter word, and then a 6 letter word, where the 6 letters are the four from the first word, plus two more. Removing the duplicates, leaves you with:

FE
RK
NS and
NA

Now, looking at the grid, we find the following three letter words which all start with those two letters:

FES
RKO
NSA and
NAP

The last letters of these spell SOAP.

Ok, now we need to construct a "fifth" theme answer, which, if it were in the grid, would satisfy this pattern and also be a ten letter entertainment category.

SOAP + SOAP with two letters

and SOAP OPERAS comes to mind and is what I submitted.

There's no "ER" that I can find in the grid which follows the same pattern, so that's why I wasn't 100% on the answer, only 99.44% ivory soap confident.

:)

We'll probably see an answer on this pretty soon.
There are no 3 letter answers that have ER in them but there is ERIE --- ER, that is.

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#224

Post by BethA » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:23 am

I got soap Thursday night + operas. Noticed Friday over breakfast that it followed the theme because SOAP is contained in OPERAS with 2 letters left over. That gave me the big CLICK! Still wondering about the ones who posted that they got the second part first? I’d love to hear it!

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Joe Ross
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#225

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:28 am

BarbaraK wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:54 pm
I don’t love the title, but I can’t think of a better one.
GRID REGIRD ?

GRAD REGARD ?

Let's try to pry another mug out of Matt & Mike by offering a better puzzle title. :D

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#226

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:29 am

Tony S wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:23 am


There are no 3 letter answers that have ER in them but there is ERIE --- ER, that is.
That's ... SOUP EERIER, but that's a different lake altogether.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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Joe Ross
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#227

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:31 am

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:29 am
Tony S wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:23 am


There are no 3 letter answers that have ER in them but there is ERIE --- ER, that is.
That's ... SOUP EERIER, but that's a different lake altogether.
EERIER ERIE ?

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Abide
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#228

Post by Abide » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:31 am

I was GRID RIDING all weekend.

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DrTom
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#229

Post by DrTom » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:52 am

Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:28 am
BarbaraK wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:54 pm
I don’t love the title, but I can’t think of a better one.
GRID REGIRD ?

GRAD REGARD ?

Let's try to pry another mug out of Matt & Mike by offering a better puzzle title. :D
Well one that would have helped would have been TUNA NATURE because that at least would have given me the ER for OPERAS!

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#230

Post by jclee » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:54 am

Abide wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:21 am
I noticed the pattern pretty quick. After a day I only had the leftover letters, and could not do much else with them. I assumed the answer would be in the 4, 6 pattern. There were only 8 leftover letters, and considered using the other two from the title. FERN KANSAN didn’t cut it.

Tried to backsolve _ _ _ _ MOVIES and the like for another day.

When people were claiming they had the first part (I assumed that was the first word), I took a better look at the grid. The RKO finally came into focus and SOAP came next. It was easy to justify the answer for me because I had experimented with the pattern (second part) so much. I even gave a shout out to the META MASTER in my comment. ;)
I similarly saw the 4/6 pattern but missed the three-letter connection. I figured this was another one of Mr. Gaffney's "find a fifth entry that fits the pattern" puzzles, so I ended up looking for relevant 4- and 6-letter words in the realms of entertainment, games, sports, Oscars, etc., and I eventually settled on "soap operas" as the most likely answer. But once I saw how many people were easily getting the meta, I looked harder for another route in the puzzle, and eventually saw the three-letter answers. Pity... I was hoping I was one of the few to get it this week. :)

Some other considered answers: "love novels" and "RealPlayer".

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Joe Ross
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#231

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:04 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:52 am
Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:28 am
BarbaraK wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:54 pm
I don’t love the title, but I can’t think of a better one.
GRID REGIRD ?

GRAD REGARD ?

Let's try to pry another mug out of Matt & Mike by offering a better puzzle title. :D
Well one that would have helped would have been TUNA NATURE because that at least would have given me the ER for OPERAS!
A 4/6 combo with ER as the extra letters is a must, of course!

GRID REGIRD

GRADE REGARD

ERIE EERIER

TUNA NATURE

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DrTom
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#232

Post by DrTom » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:05 am

,,,Or IRIS SPIRIT and at least have given us the name of an OPERA!

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#233

Post by EdStrong » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:28 am

Maybe GRID GRINDS ?

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#234

Post by pookie » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:43 am

Because tomorrow is a holiday, does that mean the WSJ won't publish a crossword showing the official answer?
I had SOAP OPERAS as well. I just couldn't find the extra E and R either. :shock:

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#235

Post by DrTom » Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:45 am

What the heck, I'm just glad I got it. I struggled for a while with the left over letters (there were of course 10) and trying to make words with them (and they were not friends)/ I was about to give up when I saw RKO and though, "Wow what a coincidence, because RK are two of the left over letters." A little more searching and I found all of them, EXCEPT the AN from GRID DARING (I figured I had to use all 5 similar entries to get the solution).

When I finally saw that eliminating the AN from GRID DARING and putting the three letter words in order of appearance gave me 'SOAP', well that was the aha. I immediately went to OPERAS as a 10 letter entertainment category, but still had not noticed that SOAP OPERAS followed the puzzle convention exactly. I therefore figured I was correct.

However, all the stuff about getting the second part first threw me and I was thinking, "where did they get OPERAS from anywhere???" At that point I was scared that I had made a mad DASH for a PAGEANT answer. Still the SOAP OPERAS fir so well I went with that ans was ready to argue long and hard that it was correct - thankfully I did not have to.

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#236

Post by pookie » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:07 am

I got hung up trying to make something out of words with repeated letters, like ally, inn, a little.
Also couldn't stop seeing MAD MEN at 47A.

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#237

Post by MaineMarge » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:01 am

Gram Margie checking in🙋‍♀️ I justified not finding the unmatched leftover ER in SOAP OPERAS by seeing the same pattern in the unmatched leftover AN in the title. Right up Matt’s alley.
For fun, and because Marie Kondo won’t let me have any more mugs, I submitted CROSSWORDS(😉). It is indeed my favorite 10 letter entertainment category.

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MarkL
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#238

Post by MarkL » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:09 am

Agree with all the analysis. Maybe there is an SW combo to go with AN and ER?

Only other angle I could finagle!
Last edited by MarkL on Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
'tis... A lovely day for a Guinness!

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#239

Post by MarkL » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:39 am

Or ...

64D ELM(O),
5D SKI(P),
39A ART(E), ???
52D. TEA(R) AND
65D NAP(A).

Still not 100%.
Last edited by MarkL on Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
'tis... A lovely day for a Guinness!

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#240

Post by KayW » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:23 am

KayW wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:15 am
LAS. Feeling like the dog that caught the car - I see what must be the mechanism but not what to do with it. ...What category are the Wonder Twins?🙂

(And I hope that’s not In any way a spoiler; I am so lost it would be completely inadvertent)
Like a few others mentioned, I saw the 4, 4+2 pattern right away but spent way too long including the AN from GRID DARING to get 10 letters and doing something with that. I figured the answer also would be in the 4, 4+2 pattern so it finally occurred to me to look at each of the 4 theme answers individually; RKO leaped out at me in the grid and it was smooth sailing from there.

It would have been a neat trick if the ER could be derived from the puzzle - perhaps as the extra letters in the title. GRID REGIRD? META REMATE? (lame) But IMHO, SOAP OPERAS is such a common phrase I had no problem taking the leap (a very small hop, really) to get it on your own.

Given my first LAS post this week, the personal icing on my cake would have been if Wonder Twins could be classified as a soap opera.

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