"2+2=5" - February 28, 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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MajordomoTom
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Re: "2+2=5" - February 28, 2020

#221

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:53 am

one deep rabbit hole (empty warren):

look at the letters of QUEEN and ESQUE
and there are SOOOO many QUs and COs in the grid, that made me want to find double letters
but, as much as I tried, could not find double letters in SEARCHOUT, so I knew that wasn't the answer

I just kept putting it aside to (a) work on taxes and (b) work on Sweet 16 until ... it just gelled for me. QUANT and COCOA were a big part of it, the word SEOUL in the grid was staring at me and when I realized it worked with SEARCHOUT, I was ... done.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

juliet
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#222

Post by juliet » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:36 pm

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:26 am
Luckily I zeroed in on the 5 in the title indicating to look at the 5 letter grid answers
Like the Commodore, I "Muddled" instead of "Muggled" for a while, though eventually found the way the way to shore. I quickly discarded the ridiculous and unGaffneyesque "QAGSEACCSO" and latched onto QUANT, GUSTO, COCOA and SEOUL as five letter grid answers that used letters from four of the five entries. However the first five letter answer I identified for EXPENSE ACCOUNTS, was STOIC. This led to TOIAL. . . so close to TOTAL, I even thought to myself, "If the I were a T, TOTAL would be a good answer." Then I found additional 5 letter entries that could be spelled with the letters from EXPENSE ACCOUNT so discarded this approach without seeing that it was really the first two letters of each of the two words in the long entries that would lead to the meta answer.

Additional muddling produced "DISCOB" (a detour using three letter grid answers and "NOOSE PECAN" (using matched pairs of across/down five letter grid answers).
Last edited by juliet on Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Eric Porter
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#223

Post by Eric Porter » Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:02 pm

While I got it quickly, I can see how some people got stuck. It took me days to see the answer to "Two By Two" for example, but my struggle on that one helped me see this one faster.

When I didn't see any hidden words in the theme answers, I wrote out the first letters to the left of the puzzle (QA, GS, EA, CC, SO). I thought that these probably were contained in a 5 letter answer and I quickly found out that it was always the first and third. When I looked at COCOA I realized the pattern.

I haven't seen anyone else describe solving it in these two steps.

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#224

Post by Nlobb » Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:49 pm

Well I tried doing 27 of these meta puzzles before getting one right. Slow learner I guess. But this one jumped out at me mainly because of queen Anne and quant being on the same line. I saw the qu and the an and the quant and then quickly found the rest. I don't know why some answers are easy to see for one person and not the next. Certainly I have not found the right answer on many other puzzles that everyone else seemed to find easy!!

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#225

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:00 pm

Nlobb wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:49 pm
Well I tried doing 27 of these meta puzzles before getting one right. Slow learner I guess. But this one jumped out at me mainly because of queen Anne and quant being on the same line. I saw the qu and the an and the quant and then quickly found the rest. I don't know why some answers are easy to see for one person and not the next. Certainly I have not found the right answer on many other puzzles that everyone else seemed to find easy!!
When you figure out why you get some hard ones easily and miss some easy ones, please let the rest of us know.
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MikeMillerwsj
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#226

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:48 pm

Greetings, we are still waiting to confirm a winner, but we can share some stats. 1100 entries precisely. 82% correct. A very wide range of incorrect answers including EQUATION (18), QUOTIENT (13), EXPONENT (11), EQUAL (10), COSINE (6), and COUNT (6) among many others.

Stay tuned...

Nlobb
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#227

Post by Nlobb » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:03 pm

I volunteer if you need someone to send a mug to...

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Scott Medvetz
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#228

Post by Scott Medvetz » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:30 pm

SEARCHOUT and XOUTS had me going in the wrong direction for far too long, exacerbated by the unusually high number of U's in the puzzle, which led to a number of "OUT's" in various configurations throughout the puzzle. Never recovered from there.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

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Bob cruise director
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#229

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:10 pm

Scott Medvetz wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:30 pm
SEARCHOUT and XOUTS had me going in the wrong direction for far too long, exacerbated by the unusually high number of U's in the puzzle, which led to a number of "OUT's" in various configurations throughout the puzzle. Never recovered from there.
I went that way for a long time looking for hidden letters in OUT combinations. Like ouSt, ouNt, XoutS, ouS, Hout, but just another dead end rabbit hole.

then there was the abnormally high number of double letters, EE, NN, CC, MM, double ST. And the three time instance of SEA.
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MikeMillerwsj
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#230

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:24 pm

And now congrats to the winner: Ron Hanovice of Plymouth, Mass.!

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DrTom
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#231

Post by DrTom » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:57 pm

I got this one by looking at it long enough and finally saying, "hey QU and QU so close together has got to mean something" and it did, Once I got the EXAC the path home and AHA became crystal clear. However, I was almost led astray by the EE CC and MM in the long answers. My desperately seeking justification brain said ...EE MM CC two of each while searching out the meaning of the universe and the most famous of all equations E=MC squared. I was sooo ready to submit equation and then the "wow that's a stretch Tom" and then I saw the QUs. I was almost TOTALly fooled,

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BarbaraK
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#232

Post by BarbaraK » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:18 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:24 pm
And now congrats to the winner: Ron Hanovice of Plymouth, Mass.!
Looks like the post-enlightenment thing works for you too. Post that the winner hasn’t confirmed yet, and the email appears.

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Bob cruise director
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#233

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:24 am

BarbaraK wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:18 pm
MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:24 pm
And now congrats to the winner: Ron Hanovice of Plymouth, Mass.!
Looks like the post-enlightenment thing works for you too. Post that the winner hasn’t confirmed yet, and the email appears.
Great
Now all we have to do is move about 80 miles up Interstate 495
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Colin
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#234

Post by Colin » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:01 am

Genius puzzle - just by the number of decoys!
One world. One planet. One future.

Bill Bovard
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#235

Post by Bill Bovard » Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:21 pm

Bird Lives wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:41 pm
The tile is correct: two plus two equal five . . . for very large values of two.
Yes. For example 2.3 + 2.3 = 4.6, rounding off gives you 2 + 2 = 5.

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DrTom
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#236

Post by DrTom » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:23 am

Bill Bovard wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:21 pm
Bird Lives wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:41 pm
The tile is correct: two plus two equal five . . . for very large values of two.
Yes. For example 2.3 + 2.3 = 4.6, rounding off gives you 2 + 2 = 5.
Well heck then, for VERY large values of 2, 2+2=6 (2.9+2.9=5.8) and that would have never worked, I'd still be looking

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DBMiller
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#237

Post by DBMiller » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:30 pm

Bill Bovard wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:21 pm
Bird Lives wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:41 pm
The tile is correct: two plus two equal five . . . for very large values of two.
Yes. For example 2.3 + 2.3 = 4.6, rounding off gives you 2 + 2 = 5.
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