"What Not To Do" - March 27, 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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CPJohnson
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Re: "What Not To Do" - March 27, 2020

#321

Post by CPJohnson » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:54 am

I submitted monotonous, but it was a guess based on the MO and the OUS.

boharr
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#322

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:00 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:27 am
Well I'm going to argue that ADMONITION is perfectly acceptable and fits the criteria as well or better than MONOTONOUS:
My Grid S.jpg
At first I had ADMONITION too, but alas it is incorrect.

boharr
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#323

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:06 am

DennyB wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:38 am
Like others have mentioned, how does “monotonous” fit the description of puzzle? I came up with ‘ADVISORIES’ for the four DON’T entries. Complicated meta, made no sense to me, sorry.🧐
I think the puzzle title is not so much descriptive as it is prescriptive.

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Wendy Walker
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#324

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:09 am

Like so many others, I really tried to make ADMONITION work but (a) getting the letters was a real stretch and thus most un-Gaffney-like and (b) as Bulls* points out above, an adjective was required by the instructions. In contrast, MONOTONOUS involved an elegant strategy ("Stand so close to me," brilliant clue!), all the letters were in order, and it certainly describes the "tone" of the theme entries. In my mind there's no question that it is the only correct answer.
Good luck, fellow Muggles!

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Scott Medvetz
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#325

Post by Scott Medvetz » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:13 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:03 am
Had this delicious wine with supper the other evening - almost felt it was payback. I did wash my hands immediately after drinking it.
IMG_2265.jpg

It wasn't a 19 but rather a 2006, still I was taking all precautions.
Wow, the label even resembles the virus.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

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KayW
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#326

Post by KayW » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:18 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:27 am
KayW wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:05 am
Thank you BarbaraK for an understandable and thorough writeup.

I too got MONOTONOUS and once I sussed out the right mechanism I think it's a clever construction. I too spent a lot of time also trying to wedge in AD from mADebacon and many other things - including along the way excluding any square contiguous with any M or E in the grid.

From the beginning I really like and stuck stubbornly with mOUSe - according to litscape.com there are 300 10-letter words ending OUS. I also liked meMO and MO*OUS yielded 12 words including MONOTONOUS.

One more argument for mOUSe but not mADebacon is when you remove the interrupters from mouse you are left only with ME.

And BTW excellent write-up by DrTom for ADMONITION. I still think MONOTONOUS is better - probably because I found it ;) nor does it involve an anagram - but I think he makes a valid case. If I found that ADMONITION solution myself, I'd probably stop looking and submit.
Well poop - I had not considered that taking OUS from MOUSE left only ME, however by the same token if you take only the N from INME you don't end up with ME...so I'm ADMONISHING the judges to break the MONOTONY of single answers!!! I'm already drowning with the MGWCC so I'm hoping for one solve (even contested) this week.
True, but iNme was included as part of (DONT) TOUCH ME. So you had the N from iNme plus the OT from foOT above. I kind of thought the first O in fOot might also be considered "touching" but it's not monootonous :)

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jenirvin
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#327

Post by jenirvin » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:19 am

Well, I never got back to this, and have to admit, I'd likely have never gotten to shore. Kudos to those who did!
~ Jennifer/jenirvin

Hidden in 3D
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#328

Post by Hidden in 3D » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:22 am

While completing the grid and realizing all the theme entries started with "Don't Do Something" I immediately thought of ADMONITION. Then I couldn't get that word out of my head all weekend! But, like Wendy, I knew that it just wasn't an elegant-enough strategy for a Matt Gaffney solve. I decided my time was much better spent working in the yard! It's calling to me now as a matter of fact...
Sara

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KayW
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#329

Post by KayW » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:23 am

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:33 am
"How does MONOTONOUS describe the theme entries?"

I think that many children found their parents' continuous admonitions to be monotonous. Not my parents of course. What they repeated was the playing of the LP of "New Faces of 1952," which included this song by Eartha Kitt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXMwK18JQZs

She found other things monotonous.

Has anyone else around here even heard of this song?
I had not heard of this song but thank you for introducing me to it! Very appropriate for this enforced staycation.

MaineMarge
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#330

Post by MaineMarge » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:24 am

Ah, Validation. It really IS all about ME. I’ll save this as proof to wave at my husband the next time he suggests it is otherwise.
I was out in left field without a glove on this one.
All the music references in the clues and grid had me looking for the answer to be a song title- that would have led me to guess Domination. I struggled valiantly to contort the theme answers into song titles- Let Peace begin with Me, Stand by Your Man, ( there’s My Man standing right by stand).
Eventually I tuned in that the themers were giving us the instructions. But do?? Or don’t?? And which me?? Even a nudge here couldn’t get me to the finish line.
Nice going, solo solvers. 🙋‍♀️

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grwinski
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#331

Post by grwinski » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:27 am

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:10 am
I also wanted it to be TOUCH(something).

As in

START WITH TOUCH
STAND OR NEXT TO INTERRUPT

striking the DON'Ts and the MEs altogether.

TOUCHINESS was the only such ten letter word, but couldn't find anything for the INESS, so that wasn't one of our submissions.

The other was ADMONITION, which is the AD from MADEBACON, the MO from the first clue, the IN from INME fully backwards (NI), the ON from the stand clue, and no TI in sight.

MONOTONOUS doesn't also fit the puzzle title, ADMONITION does, so we submitted two different words.
This was our thinking as well, and we submitted 'admonition' -- the word really fits the commands, and we didn't see the 'N' around the 'ME' in 'INME' (which we should have). But we initially thought the 'don't interrupt me' was part of MADEBACON, so we were to the races with ADMONITION, although we agreed that there was also MOUSE. Oh well, on the partial right track :-)

Ann
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#332

Post by Ann » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:29 am

I also fell into the admonition trap—tricked by the “made bacon” answer.

juliet
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#333

Post by juliet » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:35 am

ImOnToo wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:24 am
Dadgumit!
I had “Monotonous” at one point but let it go.
No matter. Every one that I don’t get only gives me another arrow in the quiver to solve future metas!
I agree. And, the metas I don't get are the ones I remember!

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OGuyDave
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#334

Post by OGuyDave » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:42 am

First thought: IMPERATIVE. Second thought (and all subsequent thoughts): garbled, even after a nudge.

Though I knew it wasn't the intended answer, I submitted it anyway. It surely solves the "fits the title" requirement.

TFTXWD anyway

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Joe Ross
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#335

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:42 am

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:24 am
...song titles- Let Peace begin with Me, Stand by Your Man...
An ADMONITION to muggles: DON'T suggest more MONOTONOUS earworms to ME

DON'T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME was enough and, with everyone socializing online almost exclusively, it's become A SMALL WORLD, afterall.

(Seriously: Great post, Marge!)

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TMart
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#336

Post by TMart » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:00 am

Remember, the rules are, there are no rules. The answer doesn't have to fit the title. In this case, the title was an instruction on how to solve the puzzle: what NOT to do. The themers were also instructions - things NOT NOT to do that pointed to grid items, that, when combined, spell a word that describes (i.e. adjective, as noted above) the theme answers. I liked this one a lot.

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lacangah
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#337

Post by lacangah » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:10 am

I was in "MOAD-ville" for many hours (maybe it was the bacon that distracted me), then I took a (socially distant) walk through the clues, finding 'interrupted MEs' (example: 19A 'Solo in MoviEs'). However, I couldn't prove that "MUSOVIBPLOY" was an adjective, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't 10-letters long, which slowly led my wife and I back to monotony (/rimshot).

Congrats to those who solved it, and distant fist bumps to all who tilted at it - good health to you all!

boharr
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#338

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:12 am

Ann wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:29 am
I also fell into the admonition trap—tricked by the “made bacon” answer.
I fell into this one too for good while.

boharr
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#339

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:14 am

TMart wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:00 am
Remember, the rules are, there are no rules. The answer doesn't have to fit the title. In this case, the title was an instruction on how to solve the puzzle: what NOT to do. The themers were also instructions - things NOT NOT to do that pointed to grid items, that, when combined, spell a word that describes (i.e. adjective, as noted above) the theme answers. I liked this one a lot.
Well put.

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OGuyDave
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#340

Post by OGuyDave » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:22 am

OGuyDave wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:42 am
First thought: IMPERATIVE. Second thought (and all subsequent thoughts): garbled, even after a nudge.

Though I knew it wasn't the intended answer, I submitted it anyway. It surely solves the "fits the title" requirement.

TFTXWD anyway
Correction: "IMPERATIVE" fits "...is a ten-letter word describing the theme entries.", not the title.

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