"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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juliet
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:11 pm

Re: "Grid Daring" - February 14, 2020

#81

Post by juliet » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:35 am

Ashore since yesterday. Loved all the "ahas"--both in the grid and the meta. "Grid Daring" is one of my favorites!

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Jazzvibist
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:31 pm
Location: West Bend, WI

#82

Post by Jazzvibist » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:56 am

steveb wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:27 am
Jazzvibist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:05 am
steveb wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:33 am


Since I'm the kind of nerd who keeps track of such things, I can tell you that this week is my 147th correct submission (yeah, I've had a few wrong ones, too). No mug yet.
Mathematicians: Out of curiosity, roughly what are the odds that (a) someone could have a 100% correct submission record from the inception of this contest and never have won a mug compared to (b) the odds that someone could submit only two correctly solved metas and win a mug each time?

And again, out of curiosity, because the WSJ mug is such a coveted trophy, what do Muggles think about a possible alternate path that rewards ability rather than rewarding pure luck? For example, assuming that WSJ keeps submission records by submitter (big presumption), what about the idea of allowing anyone with 100 or more documented correct submissions to be able to buy one?
The true odds depend on how many correct submissions there are, which varies every week. But let's assume a constant of 500/week. The puzzles have been going on for about 4 1/2 years now, so that would be about 235 puzzles, give or take a few.

Under these assumptions, the perfect submitter's odds of not winning any given week are 499/500. The odds of not winning every week would be 499/500 to the 235th power. That is (quick computation in Excel) ... about 62.5%. So the perfect submitter's odds of winning at least once would be 1 minus that, or about 37.5%. If you want to assume a higher number of correct submissions per week, then the odds are longer.

Using the same assumption of 500 correct submissions/week, the person who only submits twice has a 1/500 squared chance of winning both, or 1 in 250,000. If you assume 1000 correct submissions/week, then your chance of winning both of your only two submissions would be one in a million.

To answer the second question: I want to win the mug, not buy it. There is meaning and purpose in the struggle!
As to my first question, Steve, thanks for your elegant explanation. My very naive approach, using your 500 correct submissions example, would previously have been that because the odds of not winning each week would always be 499/500, the chances for failure or success would be identical regardless of the number of submissions.

As to my second question, while i completely get your response and in many ways am on the same page, my ego would be much more gratified with a record of 147 correct submissions and no mug than with far fewer correct submissions but the good luck to have won a mug. That’s the only reason I made my suggestion that significant success could at least entitle someone to buy a mug (I could have suggested that anyone with 100 or more documented correct submissions get a free mug but I knew better). Case closed.

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Bob cruise director
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:38 pm

#83

Post by Bob cruise director » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:56 am

Jazzvibist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:05 am
steveb wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:33 am
BrianMac wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 am



Nice shofar!

We have about 10 winners who have self-identified in this thread: WSJ Mug Winners Roll Call! (including one lucky player who won it twice!). There are other members who have won it but not posted in that thread, so the total is unknown. I won mine after about a year of regular playing. Some win it in less time and some in more. Welcome to the forum and good luck!
Since I'm the kind of nerd who keeps track of such things, I can tell you that this week is my 147th correct submission (yeah, I've had a few wrong ones, too). No mug yet.
Mathematicians: Out of curiosity, roughly what are the odds that (a) someone could have a 100% correct submission record from the inception of this contest and never have won a mug compared to (b) the odds that someone could submit only two correctly solved metas and win a mug each time?

And again, out of curiosity, because the WSJ mug is such a coveted trophy, what do Muggles think about a possible alternate path that rewards ability rather than rewarding pure luck? For example, assuming that WSJ keeps submission records by submitter (big presumption), what about the idea of allowing anyone with 100 or more documented correct submissions to be able to buy one?
Some time ago, one of the mug winners wanted to give to someone. There were no takers!!!!

The challenge is winning the mug and not getting a mug as a gift, purchase or whatever.
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

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Bob cruise director
Cruise Director
Posts: 836
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:38 pm

#84

Post by Bob cruise director » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:01 pm

Good Friday Morning muggles and happy St. Valentine's Day. My wife and I went to dinner last night at the Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth NH which I would recommend to anyone in the area.

And a warm welcome to our newest muggle: cashk who is safely on shore

and we have launched several of the lifeboats for those who know enough to jump ship but are floundering in the surf.

Right now we have 12 on the ship or most likely in or grabbing for one of the lifeboats. There are also many who have not sent out the SOS signs yet.

And there are 44 on the shore who have clearly seen what those of us in the lifeboats are still looking for.

And we have viewed, dissected and parsed the title to no avail

p.s. If you missed this at the end of last week's comments, we have made the big time: https://money.cnn.com/2015/10/02/media/ ... index.html

click on the link and it will fill in the …. part
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

Homer Buckle
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:12 pm

#85

Post by Homer Buckle » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:07 pm

I am ashore - great puzzle to enjoy on a morning that started out at 14 below zero.

Softie
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:37 pm

#86

Post by Softie » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:38 pm

Jazzvibist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:56 am
...
As to my first question, Steve, thanks for your elegant explanation. My very naive approach, using your 500 correct submissions example, would previously have been that because the odds of not winning each week would always be 499/500, the chances for failure or success would be identical regardless of the number of submissions.

As to my second question, while i completely get your response and in many ways am on the same page, my ego would be much more gratified with a record of 147 correct submissions and no mug than with far fewer correct submissions but the good luck to have won a mug. That’s the only reason I made my suggestion that significant success could at least entitle someone to buy a mug (I could have suggested that anyone with 100 or more documented correct submissions get a free mug but I knew better). Case closed.
Two notes:
- I've been keeping track of the weekly results since I started submitting regularly last February. The average number of correct answers over the last year has been a hair over 1000, so the odds are quite a bit longer than you estimated :(
- As to your desire to reward skill, the harder puzzles naturally have fewer correct submissions, so the talented individuals who get those have comparatively better odds beyond just more entries in the drawing. The infamous YMA SUMAC had fewer than 100 correct submissions, so the odds from that puzzle alone were over 1%. The naive estimate of equal chance each week would give a perfect submitter a 4.8% chance at a mug in the past year. The actual odds for a perfect submitter were 7.5%. For paragons of mediocrity such as myself (I got 31 of the last 52), my chances were 3.2%

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FrankH
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:15 am

#87

Post by FrankH » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:52 pm

boharr wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:43 am
rexthree wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:20 am
DrTom wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:06 am
Well I think I can see the mechanism and I also think I can get the letters. However, that is where this little train stops because I cannot seem to make anything intelligible out of them. Gonna be a long week-end I can tell, or I think I can.

RATS - I hate it when I get so far and then cannot get out of the woods - come HERE rabbit!!!
I'm in the exact same boat (so to speak) as you. Working hard for that as of yet "aha" moment. Frustrating to be so close!
Hope there's a little more room in that boat.
Trying to squeeze into the bar. Looks like Isaac is busy.

Dplass
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:09 am

#88

Post by Dplass » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:01 pm

I think I'm ashore but I have two problems with the answer (assuming it's correct), which I will happily complain about later.

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CallMeShane
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:16 pm
Location: Victor, NY

#89

Post by CallMeShane » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:02 pm

Yes , I believe I see. Call me onshore

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billkatz
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:46 pm

#90

Post by billkatz » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:08 pm

I didn't want to err in my haste or wind up on any old shore, so I believe I have carefully navigated to the correct place, and I'm now resting upon the beach. Onto the MGWCC!

steveb
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA

#91

Post by steveb » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:26 pm

Softie wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:38 pm
Jazzvibist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:56 am
...
As to my first question, Steve, thanks for your elegant explanation. My very naive approach, using your 500 correct submissions example, would previously have been that because the odds of not winning each week would always be 499/500, the chances for failure or success would be identical regardless of the number of submissions.

As to my second question, while i completely get your response and in many ways am on the same page, my ego would be much more gratified with a record of 147 correct submissions and no mug than with far fewer correct submissions but the good luck to have won a mug. That’s the only reason I made my suggestion that significant success could at least entitle someone to buy a mug (I could have suggested that anyone with 100 or more documented correct submissions get a free mug but I knew better). Case closed.
Two notes:
- I've been keeping track of the weekly results since I started submitting regularly last February. The average number of correct answers over the last year has been a hair over 1000, so the odds are quite a bit longer than you estimated :(
- As to your desire to reward skill, the harder puzzles naturally have fewer correct submissions, so the talented individuals who get those have comparatively better odds beyond just more entries in the drawing. The infamous YMA SUMAC had fewer than 100 correct submissions, so the odds from that puzzle alone were over 1%. The naive estimate of equal chance each week would give a perfect submitter a 4.8% chance at a mug in the past year. The actual odds for a perfect submitter were 7.5%. For paragons of mediocrity such as myself (I got 31 of the last 52), my chances were 3.2%
Thanks for that additional information. If there were exactly 1000 correct submissions each week, then someone who submitted the correct answer 235 weeks in a row would have a 79% chance of coming away empty-handed.

Softie
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:37 pm

#92

Post by Softie » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:39 pm

steveb wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:26 pm
Thanks for that additional information. If there were exactly 1000 correct submissions each week, then someone who submitted the correct answer 235 weeks in a row would have a 79% chance of coming away empty-handed.
Additional perspective: if the distribution of puzzle difficulty is consistent year to year, one would have to submit correct answers to every single puzzle for NINE YEARS before it would be more likely than not that they would have won a mug.

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MaryCC
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:16 am

#93

Post by MaryCC » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:41 pm

On shore!

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EdStrong
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:37 pm

#94

Post by EdStrong » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:01 pm

Doh! Ashore. Love it!

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yourpalsal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:28 am

#95

Post by yourpalsal » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:02 pm

BrianMac wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 am
yourpalsal wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:53 am
I'm curious how many folks on this chat have won the mug, and how many years of playing it took?

Nice shofar!

We have about 10 winners who have self-identified in this thread: WSJ Mug Winners Roll Call! (including one lucky player who won it twice!). There are other members who have won it but not posted in that thread, so the total is unknown. I won mine after about a year of regular playing. Some win it in less time and some in more. Welcome to the forum and good luck!
Thank you Brian - I confess I want that mug! I really get a thrill every time I solve the meta. Almost as satisfying as a getting different notes from of a ram's horn... :-)

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yourpalsal
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:28 am

#96

Post by yourpalsal » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:06 pm

Softie wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:39 pm
steveb wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:26 pm
Thanks for that additional information. If there were exactly 1000 correct submissions each week, then someone who submitted the correct answer 235 weeks in a row would have a 79% chance of coming away empty-handed.
Additional perspective: if the distribution of puzzle difficulty is consistent year to year, one would have to submit correct answers to every single puzzle for NINE YEARS before it would be more likely than not that they would have won a mug.
There it is. A daunting prospect!

Thurman8er
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:05 pm
Location: Fresno, CA

#97

Post by Thurman8er » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:24 pm

That was a thing of beauty.

Ashore.

RDaleHall
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:52 pm

#98

Post by RDaleHall » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:49 pm

Wow - it just all clicked after some thinking... and I'm literally chest-out proud dancing on shore. Very, very beautiful puzzle - if that's a thing. :)

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billkatz
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:46 pm

#99

Post by billkatz » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:50 pm

steveb wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:33 am
BrianMac wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 am
yourpalsal wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:53 am
I'm curious how many folks on this chat have won the mug, and how many years of playing it took?

Nice shofar!

We have about 10 winners who have self-identified in this thread: WSJ Mug Winners Roll Call! (including one lucky player who won it twice!). There are other members who have won it but not posted in that thread, so the total is unknown. I won mine after about a year of regular playing. Some win it in less time and some in more. Welcome to the forum and good luck!
Since I'm the kind of nerd who keeps track of such things, I can tell you that this week is my 147th correct submission (yeah, I've had a few wrong ones, too). No mug yet.
I'm also a nerd that keeps track of such things - according to my records, this is the 229th contest, of which I have solved 204 correctly. The first one I solved was the 5th week (yale) and the last one I missed was pageant. There may have been a couple weeks where I solved correctly but forgot to submit. Still no mug. It would be fun to see the micromug calculator updated to include all of the data back to the beginning.

NuYear68
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:35 pm

#100

Post by NuYear68 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:57 pm

Made the leap to shore with what I believe is the correct answer, although I have a small gap in the path I took to get there.

-Paul

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