"Between Meals" - April 10, 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.
Rate the difficulty of the meta
Locked
User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 791
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

Re: "Between Meals" - April 10, 2020

#361

Post by Joe Ross » Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:15 am

damefox wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:27 am
eagle1279 wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:34 pm
I hope it's not a database from the online submission portal, because I submit my answers via email. Maybe that's why The Mug has evaded me!!
I often wonder if the WSJ has even gotten my submission. I used to submit via the online form, but then I switched to email because I convinced myself the online form wasn't submitting my answer at all. Even just an automated confirmation message from the WSJ that your response was received would be nice.
I agree about a confirmation being nice. I email & copy myself, if only to assure myself that I have entered.

I do remember WSJ staff discussing the online form versus email. There is no difference, since the online form generates an email to the same account, crosswordcontest@wsj.com

User avatar
MajordomoTom
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:09 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

#362

Post by MajordomoTom » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm

yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

User avatar
Bob cruise director
Cruise Director
Posts: 1568
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Location: any golf course that will take my money

#363

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:29 pm

MajordomoTom wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.
But someone has to go through to get statistics, even rough ones, of the number of correct submissions and some of the more interesting wrong ones.
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

juliet
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:11 pm

#364

Post by juliet » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:54 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:29 pm
MajordomoTom wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.
But someone has to go through to get statistics, even rough ones, of the number of correct submissions and some of the more interesting wrong ones.
That's my dream job. (No sarcasm or kidding--it really would be my dream job!)

User avatar
Scott Medvetz
Posts: 121
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:10 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA

#365

Post by Scott Medvetz » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:05 pm

Joe Ross wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:15 am
damefox wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:27 am
eagle1279 wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:34 pm
I hope it's not a database from the online submission portal, because I submit my answers via email. Maybe that's why The Mug has evaded me!!
I often wonder if the WSJ has even gotten my submission. I used to submit via the online form, but then I switched to email because I convinced myself the online form wasn't submitting my answer at all. Even just an automated confirmation message from the WSJ that your response was received would be nice.
I agree about a confirmation being nice. I email & copy myself, if only to assure myself that I have entered.

I do remember WSJ staff discussing the online form versus email. There is no difference, since the online form generates an email to the same account, crosswordcontest@wsj.com
To ease your mind a bit, I won a mug through an email submission. Does not have to be through the online submission.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

User avatar
MarkL
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:44 am
Location: Tampa Bay, FL

#366

Post by MarkL » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:09 pm

I thought they burned the emails individually until one produced white smoke.
'tis... A lovely day for a Guinness!

boharr
Posts: 350
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:57 am

#367

Post by boharr » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:15 pm

MarkL wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:09 pm
I thought they burned the emails individually until one produced white smoke.
The white smoke signals that I have given up.

flyingMoose
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:35 pm

#368

Post by flyingMoose » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm

MajordomoTom wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated
This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM

SewYoung
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:25 pm
Location: Meridian, MS

#369

Post by SewYoung » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:48 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:29 pm
MajordomoTom wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.
But someone has to go through to get statistics, even rough ones, of the number of correct submissions and some of the more interesting wrong ones.
Muggle-ati….I love it!

User avatar
Al Sisti
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:28 pm
Location: Whitesboro NY

#370

Post by Al Sisti » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:55 pm

flyingMoose wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm
MajordomoTom wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated
This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM
Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

flyingMoose
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:35 pm

#371

Post by flyingMoose » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:21 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:55 pm
flyingMoose wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm
MajordomoTom wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated
This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM
Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.
Here comes TMI. :) I experimented. Just have ten, twenty, whatever cells with the same formula referencing the same cell that has X in it. Each of those ten or twenty cells will have a different random integer. Just go down the list until you get a winner.

fM

User avatar
Meg
Posts: 552
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:41 pm
Location: St. Petersburg, FL

#372

Post by Meg » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:17 pm

flyingMoose wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:21 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:55 pm
flyingMoose wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm

This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM
Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.
Here comes TMI. :) I experimented. Just have ten, twenty, whatever cells with the same formula referencing the same cell that has X in it. Each of those ten or twenty cells will have a different random integer. Just go down the list until you get a winner.

fM
Who are you people?

User avatar
TMart
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:13 am

#373

Post by TMart » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:24 pm

Scott Medvetz wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:05 pm
Joe Ross wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 11:15 am
damefox wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:27 am


I often wonder if the WSJ has even gotten my submission. I used to submit via the online form, but then I switched to email because I convinced myself the online form wasn't submitting my answer at all. Even just an automated confirmation message from the WSJ that your response was received would be nice.
I agree about a confirmation being nice. I email & copy myself, if only to assure myself that I have entered.

I do remember WSJ staff discussing the online form versus email. There is no difference, since the online form generates an email to the same account, crosswordcontest@wsj.com
To ease your mind a bit, I won a mug through an email submission. Does not have to be through the online submission.
I always use the online submission, and I won a mug that way. So both ways apparently work (or don’t work, depending on your point of view).

User avatar
Bob cruise director
Cruise Director
Posts: 1568
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Location: any golf course that will take my money

#374

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:39 pm

Meg wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:17 pm
flyingMoose wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:21 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:55 pm


Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.
Here comes TMI. :) I experimented. Just have ten, twenty, whatever cells with the same formula referencing the same cell that has X in it. Each of those ten or twenty cells will have a different random integer. Just go down the list until you get a winner.

fM
Who are you people?
Guys who are stuck at home and can't wait until Thursday at 4 pm
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

User avatar
sharkicicles
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 12:03 pm
Location: Chicago

#375

Post by sharkicicles » Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:41 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:55 pm
flyingMoose wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm
MajordomoTom wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated
This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM
Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.
65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in :)

User avatar
MajordomoTom
Posts: 629
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:09 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

#376

Post by MajordomoTom » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:22 pm

who am I?

physics/psychology double major, MBA, MSBA, CPA, JD, STEP, AEP

and I like numbers too, not just a collector of letters.

:)
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

User avatar
Dplass
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:09 am

#377

Post by Dplass » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:44 am

sharkicicles wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:41 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:55 pm
flyingMoose wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm

This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM
Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.
65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in :)
But... it's probably a *signed* integer, so, 32767. Sorry, pedantic engineer of my brain had to chime in. :)

User avatar
DBMiller
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:59 pm
Location: New Hampshire

#378

Post by DBMiller » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:51 am

Dplass wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:44 am
sharkicicles wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:41 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:55 pm


Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.
65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in :)
But... it's probably a *signed* integer, so, 32767. Sorry, pedantic engineer of my brain had to chime in. :)
And if you really want to get pedantic, you don't seed a random number generator with a fixed number. If you do, then it would generate the same numbers each time it is ran.

User avatar
Dplass
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:09 am

#379

Post by Dplass » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:53 am

DBMiller wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:51 am
Dplass wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:44 am
sharkicicles wrote:
Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:41 pm


65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in :)
But... it's probably a *signed* integer, so, 32767. Sorry, pedantic engineer of my brain had to chime in. :)
And if you really want to get pedantic, you don't seed a random number generator with a fixed number. If you do, then it would generate the same numbers each time it is ran.
True. That's why we have lava lamps. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavarand).

User avatar
Tom Shea
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:37 am
Location: Freedonia, NH/VT/HI/Sydney/Earth

#380

Post by Tom Shea » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:25 pm

I think it's an imaginary number. And a vector. Or maybe a Laplace transform. Or maybe ∇⋅B=0. Or the tarot cards lied!

I just know that my number (42) has never been picked. Now, what was the question?
Rufus T. Firefly

Locked