"Variety Show" - March 20, 2020

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Bob cruise director
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Re: "Variety Show" - March 20, 2020

#281

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:23 am

Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:09 am
I spotted EQUITY and SAG in the grid -- the two major actors' unions -- and spent hours looking for TV show and movie names. Also went the aforementioned "VA" and "HO" and home show/light show/show place/show piece routes.
Friday-night text exchange with my nephew:

WLW: Just solved the puzzle. See if you can get it!
Cole: Is the answer something I'd be able to understand?
WLW: Definitely. WAY easier than we thought. There's a big fat clue.
Cole: I don't see this big fat clue. Wait. Does it have something to do with third place? I saw clue 61 is show.
WLW: Exactly! You got it!
Cole: Wait, is that it? If so they really had a stinker this week.
WLW: No. Use it in the theme answers.
[Six-minute pause]
WLW [gives numbers of appropriate answers]
Cole: Multimedia. Let the record show I had it before you sent the numbers!

I told him if he wins he will be insufferable!
Wendy - we ever get to requiring knowledge of the actors unions, then the ship will sink with the number of muggles on it.

Good luck to your nephew
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

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eagle1279
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#282

Post by eagle1279 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:40 am

Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:09 am
Friday-night text exchange with my nephew:

WLW: Just solved the puzzle. See if you can get it!
Cole: Is the answer something I'd be able to understand?
WLW: Definitely. WAY easier than we thought. There's a big fat clue.
Cole: I don't see this big fat clue. Wait. Does it have something to do with third place? I saw clue 61 is show.
WLW: Exactly! You got it!
Cole: Wait, is that it? If so they really had a stinker this week.
WLW: No. Use it in the theme answers.
[Six-minute pause]
WLW [gives numbers of appropriate answers]
Cole: Multimedia. Let the record show I had it before you sent the numbers!

I told him if he wins he will be insufferable!
Had a very similar conversation with my son, who is new to these. I told him he would have to share the mug with me if he won it. They he realized at 12:03 that he forgot to submit, thus increasing the odds for me (and the rest of us).

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FrankieHeck
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#283

Post by FrankieHeck » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:49 am

My son, who has little to no interest in crosswords or metas, was at home last week. So when I didn't see the answer immediately, I wrote down the five long answers and told him to take a look. He found the THIRD PLACE path after about 30 seconds, but wrote the 10 letters going from top to bottom instead of left to right. He said they almost anagramed to something (I forget what) and I immediately saw MULTIMEDIA. Then later my Dad, who often tries the meta but almost always fails, emailed that HE solved it! I think their relative inexperience might have helped. I've been doing these successfully for over a year, and I think this one would have stumped me for a good while if my son hadn't seen it right away. I'm not used to using an answer in that way, and I missed the use of "show" in the clue.

As for whether multiple email entries are allowed, I do hope they get back to us and tell us that they check that, or they are going to be looking at many thousands of entries this week. And those will just be from me ;-)

Nlobb
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#284

Post by Nlobb » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:15 am

Did anyone else go down the monster rabbit hole?? I noticed several clues related to vampires, Frankenstein, witches, blood etc and spent awhile trying to come up with a monster variety show! The tune from "monster mash" going through my head for hours was fun too (ha). Next I did see 61a third place. But I went straight down each first word then each second word and got mlieiutmda which anagrammed to multimedia. So it sounded right and I submitted it. Later I realized there was a more direct way! Enjoyed the beach yesterday and the company of many muggles even at a distance. Stay safe everyone.

edot
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#285

Post by edot » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:06 am

Few red herrings almost got me....

LIGHTS in FLIGHTSIMULATOR
CAMERA in CREAMSODA (bit of a stretch)
ACTION from ACTON

Thought it would have something to do with that--too complicated I guess!

Another one was PRISM going right down the middle of the puzzle, and the black squares seemingly refracting

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DrTom
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#286

Post by DrTom » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:09 am

MarkL wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:09 am
Someone posted they were having Merlot with Isaac and I almost responded with "try the '61" but that would have been too much a spoiler.

Until next week, be safe and stay healthy!
In that case the Clue should have been: "what does the Lone Ranger ride", yielding WHITE HORSE ...I'll share that with you if you have some :) :) :)

UTHfan
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Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 9:13 pm

#287

Post by UTHfan » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:21 am

The hint to look at the rainbow solution was helpful since it showed that one answer can explain everything. I was stuck for a while trying to extrapolate holy water to rome + ural and then doing the same for home equity.

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TPS
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#288

Post by TPS » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:23 am

Nlobb wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:15 am
Did anyone else go down the monster rabbit hole?? I noticed several clues related to vampires, Frankenstein, witches, blood etc and spent awhile trying to come up with a monster variety show! The tune from "monster mash" going through my head for hours was fun too (ha). Next I did see 61a third place. But I went straight down each first word then each second word and got mlieiutmda which anagrammed to multimedia. So it sounded right and I submitted it. Later I realized there was a more direct way! Enjoyed the beach yesterday and the company of many muggles even at a distance. Stay safe everyone.
I did see the Halloweenish/monster references but I immediately abandoned it to go down the LED-TO, GROT-TO, AVERSE-TO, ON-TO, OC-TO - rabbit hole. I abandoned that when I could not make any plausible word with those letters. I then figured the word might be "Television" because of the use of words like Show, Pilot, Picture in the clues.

I then saw Third Place and figured maybe that meant something but since there were only 5 letters in from those five clues I then thought o.k. well maybe the LED-TO meant that you used the "TO" answers for the other 5. Ultimately, I just submitted "Television." Third Place wasn't a great direction because the in point of fact only 5 of the letters were really in the Third Place.

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Wendy Walker
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#289

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:33 am

edot wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:06 am
Few red herrings almost got me....

LIGHTS in FLIGHTSIMULATOR
CAMERA in CREAMSODA (bit of a stretch)
ACTION from ACTON

YES! I saw that, too! That "cream soda" answer doomed so many of my strategies. I really thought I'd found the right strategy with home show, water show, flight show, show place -- and then hit a brick wall: no such thing as a cream show or a soda show to my knowledge. I WAY over-thought this one until the light finally went on!
Good luck, fellow Muggles!

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Wendy Walker
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#290

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:37 am

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:23 am
Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:09 am
I spotted EQUITY and SAG in the grid -- the two major actors' unions -- and spent hours looking for TV show and movie names. Also went the aforementioned "VA" and "HO" and home show/light show/show place/show piece routes.
Friday-night text exchange with my nephew:

WLW: Just solved the puzzle. See if you can get it!
Cole: Is the answer something I'd be able to understand?
WLW: Definitely. WAY easier than we thought. There's a big fat clue.
Cole: I don't see this big fat clue. Wait. Does it have something to do with third place? I saw clue 61 is show.
WLW: Exactly! You got it!
Cole: Wait, is that it? If so they really had a stinker this week.
WLW: No. Use it in the theme answers.
[Six-minute pause]
WLW [gives numbers of appropriate answers]
Cole: Multimedia. Let the record show I had it before you sent the numbers!

I told him if he wins he will be insufferable!
Wendy - we ever get to requiring knowledge of the actors unions, then the ship will sink with the number of muggles on it.

Good luck to your nephew
Oh, come on, Bob: we've had metas requiring knowledge of logos on baseball caps and where dollar bills are produced, remember?!
Good luck, fellow Muggles!

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Commodore
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#291

Post by Commodore » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:50 am

Here in the flagship, the order of battle unfolds this way:
(1) complete grid online
(2) screen capture the filled grid & save image to desktop. [Cmd][D] makes multiple clean grids. For use after rabbit hole messes.
(3) open up one image of grid at screen left. Explore grid using a 'markup' tool. Many colors, notations, geometrical shapes.
(4) open word processing blank page at right side. Peck at possibilities.

This week, after walking away from puzzle many times, and swearing off Muggledom once or twice, I retired to quarters. At 3:30am awoke with usual "Huh?" Toss. Turn. Solve world problems. Toss. Turn. All in about 10 seconds. Only then remembered the joy & agony of a certain puzzle. Hmmmm. 10 letters? Variety show? Not C-A-R-O-L-B-U-R-N-E.... Oh! E-D-S-U-L-L-I-V-A-N. 10! V-A-U-D-E-V-I-L-L-E! 10! Now, at 3:31am I am fully awake, so creep like a stowaway to computer screen in captain's quarters. Uggh! Neither works. Re-read all Muggle shore-to-ship missives. Including "the clue is in the puzzle" and "study old Mike Shenk/Marie Kelly puzzles". Third Place/Show enters the cranium. Hmmmm.

Stare at the double words in grid at left. In screen right, position cursor at the ready.
Count three letters in. Type "M" Never look at screen right.
Keeping eyes on left of screen. Count 3 letters. Type "U"
Keeping eyes searching on left of screen. Type every 3rd letter.
Still haven't looked or thought about word, and haven't looked to right screen.
Probably spelling more gobbledygook as usual. But seemingly a good mix of consonants and vowels?
At last, eyes find last letter. "A" Punch "A" on right side screen.
Now slowly, heart racing, look over at right side of screen at what I have typed.

AHA!
Endorphins flush through brain & body. PEACE ON EARTH! VIRUS CONTAINED! SPORTS ON TV! BEER MAKES ONE SKINNY!
Two fists high in air. Huge exhale. Look back at puzzle and my genius achievement.
Then the big "Duh!" sets in.
Hand pummels forehead.
KAS-2.

Put on coffee at 4:00am, and enjoyed reading the full stories of this nutty bunch of sea-faring scoundrels.
Hearty welcome to newest enlistees! Anchors Aweigh!

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spotter
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#292

Post by spotter » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:56 am

From the start I thought two things:

1. THIRDPLACE is a strange answer for Show. Place Third would have made more sense to me.
2. There are 5 two word theme entries. Must be 10 letters out of those.

It took me a day to trust my instincts and put two and two together. Even as I started following the third letters I was thinking "this isn't going to work"

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FrankieHeck
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#293

Post by FrankieHeck » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:11 pm

MajordomoTom wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:42 pm

the entire answer is in the grid and there is a very strong clue to help you figure out how to pull it from the grid, so ... wait for the official answer tomorrow night.

The title is actually perfect for this puzzle. That shouldn't be a spoiler - most of the titles actually help you.
Just my opinion, but I think we should be careful about saying whether the answer is spelled out in the grid or not. To me, that's a very big hint and should be limited to private-message conversations.

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Al Sisti
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#294

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:16 pm

yourpalsal wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:40 am
I got it but wasted so much time first. Did anyone follow the four “prism” clues in the 3rd column? Fiance had an abutting n (that could be considered a triangle) to become finance, stat had an abutting r to become start, acton had an i to become action and chia had an n to become china. That’s four pretty unlikely coincidences for the third column of a puzzle based on third place. Do you think the constructor did it on purpose as a distraction?

I also didn’t see the number of letters on the online version, and only learned after spending ages in that rabbit hole that i needed a 10-letter word, and thus most likely needed to focus on the five two-word answers running crosswise.
Yeah, the PRISM clue in the important center spot was the rabbit hole I was referring to that I couldn't shake. There was the word LIGHT(S) coming at it from the left (as we're always shown in a Prism graphic), and, looking at the title -- Variety Show -- I couldn't stop looking for ROYGBIV, or RAINBOW or the color names, or something (a show of a variety of colors). As for a 10-letter answer, I was trying to force "Refraction." It was so hard to ignore it and get Over the Rainbow. Okay, I'll leave now.

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DBMiller
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#295

Post by DBMiller » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:38 pm

Earlier I admitted to cheating on this one.

After going down many of the same rabbit holes as others (and more, including looking for patterns of the letters in "level" spread over multiple rows/columns), I finally decided that I really must get the letters from the 5 long answers. So I went to a web site that can find words matching a pattern, and typed in [home][equity][holy][water][flight][simulator][cream][soda][third][place] for the search.

When "multimedia" was the one and only result, I knew I'd be looking at an "Oh, duh!" moment. When I noticed the letters were in the "third place" of each word, I realized I should have gotten that a whole lot sooner and without cheating.

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DBMiller
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#296

Post by DBMiller » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:45 pm

spotter wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:56 am
From the start I thought two things:

1. THIRDPLACE is a strange answer for Show. Place Third would have made more sense to me.
2. There are 5 two word theme entries. Must be 10 letters out of those.

It took me a day to trust my instincts and put two and two together. Even as I started following the third letters I was thinking "this isn't going to work"
Depends on whether you look at show as a noun or verb.

As a verb, certainly a horse that "shows" or "showed" is the horse that placed third.

As a noun, win/place/show refers to first/second/third place.

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BarbaraK
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#297

Post by BarbaraK » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:49 pm

DBMiller wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:38 pm
Earlier I admitted to cheating on this one.

After going down many of the same rabbit holes as others (and more, including looking for patterns of the letters in "level" spread over multiple rows/columns), I finally decided that I really must get the letters from the 5 long answers. So I went to a web site that can find words matching a pattern, and typed in [home][equity][holy][water][flight][simulator][cream][soda][third][place] for the search.

When "multimedia" was the one and only result, I knew I'd be looking at an "Oh, duh!" moment. When I noticed the letters were in the "third place" of each word, I realized I should have gotten that a whole lot sooner and without cheating.
And the URL of that web site is????

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DBMiller
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#298

Post by DBMiller » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:55 pm

BarbaraK wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:49 pm
DBMiller wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:38 pm
Earlier I admitted to cheating on this one.

After going down many of the same rabbit holes as others (and more, including looking for patterns of the letters in "level" spread over multiple rows/columns), I finally decided that I really must get the letters from the 5 long answers. So I went to a web site that can find words matching a pattern, and typed in [home][equity][holy][water][flight][simulator][cream][soda][third][place] for the search.

When "multimedia" was the one and only result, I knew I'd be looking at an "Oh, duh!" moment. When I noticed the letters were in the "third place" of each word, I realized I should have gotten that a whole lot sooner and without cheating.
And the URL of that web site is????
https://www.quinapalus.com/cgi-bin/match

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Joe Ross
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#299

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:00 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:16 pm
Yeah, the PRISM clue in the important center spot was the rabbit hole I was referring to that I couldn't shake. There was the word LIGHT(S) coming at it from the left (as we're always shown in a Prism graphic), and, looking at the title -- Variety Show -- I couldn't stop looking for ROYGBIV, or RAINBOW or the color names, or something (a show of a variety of colors). As for a 10-letter answer, I was trying to force "Refraction." It was so hard to ignore it and get Over the Rainbow. Okay, I'll leave now.
Not sure whether to listen to Judy Garland or Pink Floyd!

Muggles' posts for this puzzle were extraordinary.

CallMeShane had a post that should be referenced for years to come:
CallMeShane wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:10 am
Midnight Loo Inspiration

Not for the first time, I found inspiration while drifting off to sleep after my bazillionth trip to the loo to service my aged bladder, whose suppleness approaches boiled leather ("TMI, Shane!" I can hear the wailing ...)

I am mentally reviewing the grid when... click (what's that sound)... breadcrumb... loose thread... wascally wabbit?

Like Nero Wolfe catching the first faint whiff of motive, I examine the loose thread and keep pulling. Ten minutes of mental exercise and ...

BANGO!!!!

First instinct is to bolt upright, fill my lungs, and scream "I JUST SOLVED THE META!"

Instead, in an abundance of consideration for my beloved, long suffering wife, without whom I would soon be subsisting on beans and beer, I crept like a ninja out of bed, walked on cat's paws to the desk, fumbled silently for pen and paper, wrote the answer, and left it on the keyboard, where I found it this morning.

What makes a man leap out of the bath and run naked through the streets of Syracuse screaming "EUREKA!!!!"?

I understand Archimedes perfectly. As, I am certain, do the rest of our merry band.
Many others also induced guffaws, but Wendy had me chuckling a full two minutes, which is a long time to be giggling like an idiot. My son timed me and came in from another room to be sure that I hadn't finally, officially cracked up:
Wendy Walker wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:57 am
Bulls****** wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:54 am
solved
But can we believe you?
DrTom, always hilarious, also had perfect timing:
DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:41 am
lacangah wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:16 am
I was in a ‘variety of languages’ box canyon for a day or two. ‘Octo-poulet-etats-pho...’ - que?

Good health and good luck (mugwise) to you all,
Oh, I was in a "variety" of languages before I finally got the solution, and I may even have uttered your last two words more than once....thankfully salvation arrived.
Al should nominated 'Grandfather of the Decade', if not the century:
Al Sisti wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:26 am
So yeah, my "story" is going to be nothing more than a quick description of "La chasse du lapine." But I did want to mention something cool I'm doing with my grandkids (I never had grandparents, so I wasn't familiar with the whole "when I was young, my grandfather used to..." kind of thing). But I've always done mystery hunts with my kids, and now my grandkids -- you know, read a clue which leads you to another clue, etc., until you find the treasure. But this time, I'm writing a kids mystery in the style of the old Juvenile Fiction mystery books -- even using the same font and style. They are the characters -- the Adventure Kids Detective Agency -- and I mail them a chapter every week or so which, so far, sets up the story and had them solve a coded message from Mr. E who has heard of their agency, and wants to hire them to find his lost [something or other]. Eventually, it'll get out of the book phase and into the physical stage, where they'll have to solve puzzles, collect objects to use later on (e.g., they might get a blank sheet of paper and remember that they found a black light a couple of steps ago...). They're loving it, I'm loving it... and hopefully someday they'll tell their kids "when I was young, my grandfather used to..."
So many contribute their wit & warmth to help us all mentally survive these trying times. It's impossible to recognize each muggle fairly. I hope I speak for everyone in thanking all muggles for contributing to this community.

Is it Thursday, yet?
Last edited by Joe Ross on Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nlobb
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#300

Post by Nlobb » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:01 pm

Are you kidding?? I would never have thought such a site existed!!!!! Not at all tech- savvy here...

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