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

#341

Post by DrTom » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:25 am

Bulls****** wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:30 am
"The answer...is a ten-letter word describing the theme entries." Therefore the answer must be an adjective (rim shot...MONOTONOUS). If the answer required were "a category into which theme entries fit" then the noun, ADMONITION, would have some defense.
If the clue said that "The answer is a 10 letter adjective describing the theme entries" then MONOTONOUS would have some defense. Just as "The answer is a 11 letter word describing the theme entries" REDWINGS, BLACKHAWKS, MAPLELEAFS would be HOCKEYTEAMS or could be DESCRIPTIVE. How would you describe DON"T DO THAT, or DON'T BE HOME LATE, as an admonition no? Nobody is saying that MONOTONOUS is incorrect, but the same level of "elegancy" was required to get to ADMONITION as it was to MONOTONOUS because the letters were derived the same way except for MADE AND MOUSE - a point I know people are lining up on either side of but it was still an "inelegancy" in the puzzle. How would all of the MONOTONOUS people feel if the real answer is ADMONITION in the judges mind? I'm guessing there would be pages and pages of protest.

Gosh guys, although we all had opinions nobody flinched when all those who got the incorrect answer to Higher Education (i.e. did not chose MELLON) gave different answers and reasons for their answers even though they had not followed the instructions or pulled the answer from the grid but inferred what the grid might have been asking. There were deemed two correct answers for that?

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spotter
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#342

Post by spotter » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:37 am

When I highlighted the theme answers, it really highlighted the relevant 'ME's nicely. In the top is the start with me, then the touch me, then the standing me, and finally the interrupted me. I thought it was a nice clean construction.
Finished.PNG

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Commodore
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#343

Post by Commodore » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:37 am

"Better to be lucky than good" and other adages...
Stumbled upon answer early. Which gave me plenty of time to watch the Boston Bruins battle through the 2011 and 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. I am getting pretty good at gambling on these games.
Blind Squirrel.jpg

As my quarantine partner would advise you, 6-D.

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#344

Post by Jazzvibist » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:38 am

CPJohnson wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:54 am
I submitted monotonous, but it was a guess based on the MO and the OUS.
Using the title of the puzzle as the instructions for how to solve it, I quickly came to the same conclusion as you probably did (i.e. that it could not be coincidental that MO and OUS were such solid, logical beginnings and ends of the answer, although I spent a lot of time before discarding in the process the fiendish AD “interrupting” M and E in MADE BACON). Next, assuming that Matt would not likely choose a word as arcane as MONONYMOUS, I figured it was either MONOGAMOUS or MONOTONOUS, but for some reason had to come back to the puzzle three times before I spotted the paths to NOT and ON.

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#345

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:58 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:25 am
Bulls****** wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:30 am

Gosh guys, although we all had opinions nobody flinched when all those who got the incorrect answer to Higher Education (i.e. did not chose MELLON) gave different answers and reasons for their answers even though they had not followed the instructions or pulled the answer from the grid but inferred what the grid might have been asking. There were deemed two correct answers for that?
Many flinched.

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#346

Post by hcbirker » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:59 am

https://time.com/5811396/crossword-hist ... tter-brief

Interesting article in Time Magazine today.

No, I didn't get monotonous. First fail in a long while. I went down the same paths, just couldn't get there. When the ME words failed me, I went with the words that started with NO. That got me "unseemings". Oh well, all's fair in the meta-verse!
Heidi

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TPS
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#347

Post by TPS » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:02 am

Jazzvibist wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:38 am

Next, assuming that Matt would not likely choose a word as arcane as MONONYMOUS, I figured it was either MONOGAMOUS or MONOTONOUS, but for some reason had to come back to the puzzle three times before I spotted the paths to NOT and ON.
The - NOT was the worst. It seemed to me that the clue should have either included the diagonal "O" or not included the "N". But whatever - the "AD" / "OUS" is what would have really stopped me from completing the puzzle if not for the shove.

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#348

Post by FrankieHeck » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:25 am
How would all of the MONOTONOUS people feel if the real answer is ADMONITION in the judges mind?

Gosh guys, although we all had opinions nobody flinched when all those who got the incorrect answer to Higher Education (i.e. did not chose MELLON) gave different answers and reasons for their answers even though they had not followed the instructions or pulled the answer from the grid but inferred what the grid might have been asking. There were deemed two correct answers for that?
Well I submitted MONOTONOUS, and if the judges want ADMONITION, I won't care the slightest bit unless I should discover that they pulled my entry first and I missed out on the coveted mug. Even then I'd be a good sport. Bigger fish to worry about, or some such thing...

And I'd say there was more than a little flinching over the Higher Education puzzle!! Actually it sounds like you are flinching over it right now ;-)

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#349

Post by FrankieHeck » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:05 am

Oops. Double post, So I erased this one. And I'll take the opportunity to say I didn't mean to sound snarky in my post. Just teasing a little. We all get a little defensive after putting so much brain power into these, I think. We agonize over what the best answer is and we want everyone else to side with us, daggumit. Nothing wrong with that, but we are unlikely to change any minds.
Last edited by FrankieHeck on Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

boharr
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#350

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:13 am

SarasotaSun wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:10 am
Tony S wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:37 am
How does MONOTONOUS describe the theme entries? I pretty much figured out what needed to be done to solve the meta but couldn't settle on a word that I thought made sense. While I admire the process I'm disappointed in the solution.
I agree completely. Got all the parts: ME-MO, M-OUS-E, etc. and how they all join up to form MONOTONOUS.
But how does Monotonous fit with the puzzle title: What Not To Do? ADMONITION is a MUCH BETTER ANSWER.
The puzzle title was not descriptive but rather prescriptive. See post #277 for an elegant description.

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#351

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:17 am

What I think I'm noticing here is that those who solved the puzzle correctly - MONOTONOUS - love it, think it's elegant and clever etc. And those who did not solve it or came up with a wrong answer tend to not like the puzzle so much at all. Human nature I suppose.

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#352

Post by Hector » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:54 am

Wanted MEDDLESOME for a while: starts with ME, in writing it you "stand" SO close to ME and ME is interrupted by EDDLESOM. The idea admittedly has several big problems, which I courageously ignored for hours.

I do like the puzzle, especially how it makes fun of its own repetitive themers, but isn't there a slight asymmetry in that, while N and OT do touch ME, ON does stand close to ME, and OUS does interrupt ME, MO does not start with ME. "DON'T FOLLOW ME" would be perfect, but it's too short; "DON'T COME AFTER ME" fits but isn't so pithy; so maybe DON'T START WITH ME is the best choice all told.

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#353

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:20 pm

I got MONOTONOUS, and I have absolutely no issue with is, or the mechanism, or its tie to the title. I wouldn't have a problem if alternative answer(s) are accepted, but MONOTONOUS to me was a 100%-er all the way. As an aide, at one point I had a year or two year streak with Pete Muller's MMMM which came to a screeching halt with a meta he had called "Prime Directive." Taking all the letters in the Prime numbered squares yielded "Don't Stand So Close To Me." In my haste, I sent in "867-5309" -- which is a prime number -- and when I saw I didn't make the leaderboard, I got the right answer within a minute. Argh. Haste makes waste and all that...

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DrTom
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#354

Post by DrTom » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:25 pm

OK, I'll quit before this become a "thing". Please do not misunderstand, I think the META was genius, as I do every one. The fact that I do not get them all (or even for that matter most) does not dissuade me. I did "flinch" a little on Continuing Education because I got the posted answer but saw how folks got there and did not begrudge them a solve because, to them, their method was correct and did meet the criteria. You are correct though, bigger fish to fry, and no paper towels to drain them on - DRAT!

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#355

Post by ReB » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:29 pm

Well, as often the case when I don't succeed, I was on the right track but just couldn't reach critical mass to discern the answer. Didn't help that I only saw the first two of the four puzzle "me's" (memo, in me). Well, there's always next week. Actually, I'm encouraged with my recent efforts compared with how far out to sea I was with the first few Metas I tried. I'm quite comfident if I'd recognized "mouse" I would have figured it out.

As for those arguing for a different answer, I'm reminded of the burgeoning lawyers in my school classes making the case for their test answer. Of course, I was right there a few times myself back in the day...

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#356

Post by Paul M » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:48 pm

I was trying to back into ADMONITION for a good long while but was always uneasy with it because it is singular. The clue is "a ten letter word that describes the theme entries [plural]". Same for IMPERATIVE. Second, I just couldn't find a consistent way to get all the letters. My breakthrough came when I stopped trying to back into any answer and just followed the clues in order, and that's also when I finally sow NOT for TOUCH ME. So, "mOUSe" and "mADe bacon" both fit DONT INTERRUPT ME, but mADe bacon is out of position. I think it was a deliberate red herring. Also, literally, MONOTONOUS means they all sound the same so it is an apt description of 4 instances of "DONT xxxxx ME".

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#357

Post by Tony S » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:05 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:17 am
What I think I'm noticing here is that those who solved the puzzle correctly - MONOTONOUS - love it, think it's elegant and clever etc. And those who did not solve it or came up with a wrong answer tend to not like the puzzle so much at all. Human nature I suppose.
That may be true of others but it's not the case with me. No, I didn't get MONOTONOUS but I don't see how I would have liked it if I did. (MARIE KONDO is another in that category.) However, there have been others I didn't get but I thought were quite good e.g. SOAP OPERAS and particularly SPRING ROLL, which I thought was pure brilliance.

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#358

Post by PeterLeea1a » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:19 pm

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.
I submitted ADMONITION under the same logic. In my various permutations, given both MADE and MOUSE fit the same interference model, I was more likely to jettison AD than OUS.

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#359

Post by Nlobb » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:29 pm

Oh me! Oh me!!! Oh my!!!! Well I got this one wrong even after seeing the me's. It all seemed really vague to me. And the answer certainly seemed off task to me. I submitted reprimand from the grid since they are all reprimands but I thought it probably wasn't right... But monotonous?? Seems like there's no connection to me. But I really enjoyed my weekend Guinness. Stay safe everyone.

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#360

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:31 pm

Paul M wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:48 pm
....but mADe bacon is out of position. I think it was a deliberate red herring.
I too think MADEBACON may have been a deliberate red herring. Does Gaffney ever say?

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