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

#361

Post by juliet » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:33 pm

boharr wrote:
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
Many flinched.
I grimaced.

Good sportsmanship matters here too, I think, even more so when playing defense.

The war between the states was the worst. May we never see that again.

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billkatz
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#362

Post by billkatz » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:38 pm

boharr wrote:
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?
Over on crosswordfiend he admitted it was an inelegance he should have omitted.

boharr
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#363

Post by boharr » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:41 pm

billkatz wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:38 pm
boharr wrote:
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?
Over on crosswordfiend he admitted it was an inelegance he should have omitted.
Thanks. I'll go read.

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Toby
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#364

Post by Toby » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:57 pm

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?
New to me, but loved it!!!

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Julie O
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#365

Post by Julie O » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:35 pm

Count me as never having left the ship, even though I had a very kind muggle on the beach waving semaphores in an attempt to hint me in the right direction. There's always next week!

Laura M
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#366

Post by Laura M » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:41 pm

DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:25 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?
As a member of Team Carnegie on that puzzle, I flinched just now. I followed the instructions and pulled MELLON from the grid, but I assumed that this answer indicated the school Carnegie Mellon, founded by Andrew Carnegie. I think that's a different category of wrong answer, although I honestly don't think I would have complained if that answer hadn't been accepted. My fault, insufficient Googling :-)

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yourpalsal
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#367

Post by yourpalsal » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:04 pm

So how many right answers did they get, and who won the mug?

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spotter
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#368

Post by spotter » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:29 pm

Over in the comments at crossword fiend, Matt Gaffney himself says he'd accept ADMONITION. Maybe that settles the debate going on here today:

"Ah, using the AD from MADE BACON, as here. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=339&start=300#p16579

I have to admit that that’s very clever and understandable. If this were a MGWCC I would count ADMONITION as a correct alt-answer based on this.

That’s quite remarkable that my MADE BACON inelegance could lead to another answer like this. True, the fragments aren’t in order and you have to randomly use two of them backwards, but still. That’s just an amazing set of circumstances."

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MajordomoTom
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#369

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:42 pm

you think "Don't Stand So Close To Me" is monotonous?

you haven't listened to "Roxanne" recently, have you?

Yes, that's an admonition to NOT listen to it.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

steveb
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#370

Post by steveb » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:53 pm

Laura M wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:41 pm
DrTom wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:25 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?
As a member of Team Carnegie on that puzzle, I flinched just now. I followed the instructions and pulled MELLON from the grid, but I assumed that this answer indicated the school Carnegie Mellon, founded by Andrew Carnegie. I think that's a different category of wrong answer, although I honestly don't think I would have complained if that answer hadn't been accepted. My fault, insufficient Googling :-)
Yeah, that was a different situation. I also submitted Carnegie on that one because, just like Laura, I pulled Mellon from the grid and thought it probably referred to the school, not the person. I wondered if Mellon had founded a college I never heard of, so I googled "Mellon college founder." The answer: Andrew Carnegie!

I'm afraid you won't get support like that from Google for the alternate answer this week.

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Eric Porter
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#371

Post by Eric Porter » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:15 pm

After seeing DrTom's post on ADMONITION, I'm more sympathetic to counting it as a correct answer, but it's a stretch.
While I was solving it, I saw 'MADE', but thought that 'MOUSE' was better. I'd even considered ADMONITION, but couldn't justify it, so I explored other options.

The grid is divided vertically into 4 sections, which is highly unusual. There are 4 theme answers. Each of the 4 theme answers has exactly one 'ME' in its fourth of the grid besides the 'ME' in the theme answer itself AND which fits the theme! When I saw this, I was 100% sure that MONOTONOUS was the intended answer. I was also 100% sure that MELLON was the intended answer for Higher Education too, though as I explained in that forum, I went to CMU and knew he was considered a founder.

I'm guessing most of the people who got ADMONITION saw the 'AD', assumed the answer was ADMONITION, then went about looking for evidence to justify their conclusion. I feel that's the wrong way to solve a meta crossword. It's like in the TV show CSI, you follow the evidence. You don't assume someone's guilty and only look for evidence supporting that theory, because it will blind you to any contrary evidence.

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MajordomoTom
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#372

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:17 pm

yes, but you "started" with MO

the very first theme answer is "DON'T START WITH ME".

we started with the 4th one and then looped back. You started with ME - you didn't follow answer #1's second layer/meaning.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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DrTom
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#373

Post by DrTom » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:51 pm

Eric Porter wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:15 pm
After seeing DrTom's post on ADMONITION, I'm more sympathetic to counting it as a correct answer, but it's a stretch.
While I was solving it, I saw 'MADE', but thought that 'MOUSE' was better. I'd even considered ADMONITION, but couldn't justify it, so I explored other options.

The grid is divided vertically into 4 sections, which is highly unusual. There are 4 theme answers. Each of the 4 theme answers has exactly one 'ME' in its fourth of the grid besides the 'ME' in the theme answer itself AND which fits the theme! When I saw this, I was 100% sure that MONOTONOUS was the intended answer. I was also 100% sure that MELLON was the intended answer for Higher Education too, though as I explained in that forum, I went to CMU and knew he was considered a founder.

I'm guessing most of the people who got ADMONITION saw the 'AD', assumed the answer was ADMONITION, then went about looking for evidence to justify their conclusion. I feel that's the wrong way to solve a meta crossword. It's like in the TV show CSI, you follow the evidence. You don't assume someone's guilty and only look for evidence supporting that theory, because it will blind you to any contrary evidence.
Actually I started with MO for Clue #1, then got IN for Clue #2, got ON for Clue #4, AD for Clue #5 (since I have never gotten three letters from one clue so I threw out MOUSE). I will admit with MO IN AD ON and knowing that all the themes entries were admonitions, I searched for the IT and saw IT "standing" on ME (which I posited was allowable after last weeks use of the clue in the solve). But you know what, it really is not worth all this concern. It is a game and one I am never likely to "MUG" in anyway since I probably solve only 80% of these at best and am always pretty late to the party. I'm gonna go back and fry some more fish.

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MarkL
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#374

Post by MarkL » Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:57 pm

I am sympathetic, and empathetic toward, the ADMONITION argument (I took the long, graphical route to that original alternate answer puzzle).

If we start accepting(?) solutions that require selected parts of clues and reading them backwards and/or anagramming them, then where does it stop?

Author/constructor intent is what matters. Other possible solutions are unintended "happy accidents," and could be appreciated as such.

I'll leave it to the math whizzes to figure out the number of possible usable fragments in a typical15x15 grid.

Hopefully, that wasnt monotonous.

Be safe out there.
'tis... A lovely day for a Guinness!

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DBMiller
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#375

Post by DBMiller » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:17 pm

I too, didn't think of these as double negatives. The title was a direction on what NOT to do. So letters/answers that violated the theme answers would be suspect.

I quickly found MEMO and MOUSE, and was also confused over what to do with INME. At first, I was thinking "IN" was touching "ME", and with MO - ? - IN - ? - OUS was looking for MOLIMINOUS, but MONOTONOUS was on my mind from just the MO.......OUS.

When I realized AME had ME "standing" in it, MONOTNOUS looked much better and so I looked again at INME and saw that the only squares with a full side of the square touch the ME squares were NOT. Click!

MADEBACON was also seen, but I liked MOUSE for interrupting ME much better, and quickly disregarded it.

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MajordomoTom
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#376

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:16 pm

chill out and make bacon.

if Matt wanted it to be MONOTONOUS, it is because ... HE HAS SPOKEN.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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Jeremy Smith
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#377

Post by Jeremy Smith » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:22 pm

I too was distracted by MADEBACON, even though I had the rest of the letters used in MONOTONOUS. I randomly dropped enough letters to make 10 letter words, and actually had MONOTONOUS on one of the lists. I disregarded that approach because I was stuck on the idea that the answer would be related to the current national crisis, ala last weeks’s MGWCC.

Inca
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#378

Post by Inca » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:33 pm

spotter wrote:
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
I'm with you on this one. I liked it and was surprised to see how many did not. And I think your explanation and illustration said it well.

DeneenOmer
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#379

Post by DeneenOmer » Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:26 pm

spotter wrote:
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

Thank you! For your picture and helpful explanation. I’m new to this and I was doubting myself on how Monotonous made it. Your color coded picture helped me sooo much!!

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BarbaraK
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#380

Post by BarbaraK » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:01 pm

spotter wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:29 pm
Over in the comments at crossword fiend, Matt Gaffney himself says he'd accept ADMONITION. Maybe that settles the debate going on here today:

"Ah, using the AD from MADE BACON, as here. viewtopic.php?f=5&t=339&start=300#p16579

I have to admit that that’s very clever and understandable. If this were a MGWCC I would count ADMONITION as a correct alt-answer based on this.

That’s quite remarkable that my MADE BACON inelegance could lead to another answer like this. True, the fragments aren’t in order and you have to randomly use two of them backwards, but still. That’s just an amazing set of circumstances."
This doesn't surprise me. Matt strikes me as generous (maybe sometimes overly so) in accepting alternate answers on MGWCC.

It also points out a big difference between MGWCC and WSJ. MGWCC runs a long term contest with prizes based on the number of unassisted solves in each year. So every submission must be marked right or wrong, and there's an appeals process plus an independent panel that can overrule Matt's opinions.

WSJ runs a newspaper with crosswords as just one small feature. They (cleverly, IMO) set up their contest to keep it simple to run. They don't have to adjudicate every answer every week, only the one randomly selected for the mug. Mike Miller coming by every week to tell us about the submissions is a much appreciated bonus.

So this forum is the perfect place to discuss alternate possibilities! Anyone can argue their case, collect opinions, and decide whether to count themself correct in their own personal record keeping.

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