"King Me!" - April 30, 2020

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CallMeShane
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Re: "King Me!" - April 30, 2020

#361

Post by CallMeShane » Mon May 04, 2020 6:03 am

The title immediately suggested the game of checkers.
57A confirmed my suspicion and suggested that all the occurences  of the letter O would represent checkers.
That's as far as I got Thursday evening.

During my restless night I consulted my mental attic stuffed with useless trivia.
Did Mike provide any easter eggs in the puzzle? Let's see. 

Any historic monarchs associated with checkers? Drew a blank. All I could come up with was useless trivia #1 - Richard Nixon's dog was named Checkers. Now Nixon was not a monarch, but his first name suggested three possibilities:

RICHARD THE LIONHEART
     RICHARD COEUR DE LION 
   RICHARD III

I thought about Nixon some more and came up with useless trivia #2 - "I am not a crook!".

Which segued into useless trivia #3 - Richard III was known as Dick Crookback.

When I dragged my sorry, sleep deprived body out of the sack around 0500, I headed for the grid. If I was right, the thing to do was look for each instance of theletter C (since C has the lowest frequency of any letter in RICHARD). Within a minute I found the correct one and saw that it sat between two of the faux checkers. And on either side of those checkers were an I and an H.

Bugles blaring! Drone of the bagpipes!!! Rockets' red glare!!!!!

Only the second time where I correctly guessed the solution before working out the complete mechanism.

Completely missed the significance of START until I got the solution. Doh!

P.S. once I realized the importance of the O squares, I should have printed a copy of the puzzle and marked the O squares with a bright color. I think the path would have jumped out. Will add that to my bag of tools.

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Gwert
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#362

Post by Gwert » Mon May 04, 2020 6:57 am

But if you start with the R in start and KING that letter and proceed in sequence you get Richard II. Jumping like a King is different from KING ME. Richard II stops you right before Finish and not in Finish, after stopping on the second I not the third.

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Gwert
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#363

Post by Gwert » Mon May 04, 2020 7:01 am

Except there’s a difference between a “King Move” and “KIng Me.” I took the title literally and got Richard II not III.

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damefox
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#364

Post by damefox » Mon May 04, 2020 7:18 am

Count me among those who got the right answer but never noticed START and FINISH. That always makes the reveal a little unsatisfying to me, when I'm able to arrive at the answer without using all the pieces of the puzzles. Makes it seem a little less elegant. Definitely a throwback to the "Knight Moves" puzzle from October as well. I wonder how many more board game pieces could be used as a meta mechanism?

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Bird Lives
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#365

Post by Bird Lives » Mon May 04, 2020 7:19 am

Some people got this one from jump street. Others, including me, spent a long time – the spring of our discontent — thinking that the checkers in the grid would be the jumpers, not the jumpees.

While I was still groping about in the dark, I tried to think of likely answers that would allow me to backsolve. What does that PLOT OF LAND signify? Aha, Richard II, “This sceptred isle . . . This other Eden . . . This plot of land . . “ No, that last bit isn't in that speech. But where have I heard the phrase before?

Got it. “Thou Swell,” by Rodgers and Hart. “Give me just a plot of, not a lot of land.” And the show it’s from is “A Connecticut Yankee in KING ARTHUR’s Court.”

The other backsolving guess turned into an unusually tenacious earworm: “I’m ’Enery the Eighth I Am.” Count the checkers, omitting the one in 57A that tells you what to look for. There are eight of them. Surely that couldn’t be a coincidence.

But if, like Barbara K, you highlight the checkers, hold the page up at just the right angle, and use your imagination, you can see the outline of a nasty hunchback looking to trade quite a lot of land in order to get a horse.

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Meg
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#366

Post by Meg » Mon May 04, 2020 7:47 am

Completely missed START and FINISH!! Geez! Once I get the meta, I don’t usually keep looking for more indicators. Still, it’s a bit embarrassing.

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Tom Shea
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#367

Post by Tom Shea » Mon May 04, 2020 7:59 am

This was just never going to happen for me. Never got past step one. Kept trying to unjumble the letters above the O's. Especially disappointing since I got the horseplay puzzle last year.
Rufus T. Firefly

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KayW
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#368

Post by KayW » Mon May 04, 2020 8:05 am

BarbaraK wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 12:14 am
Did anyone else think the arrangement of the checkers looked like a hunched back?
Great observation! I didn’t notice it myself but can see it now that you point it out.

Such a clever construction. I noticed THE LETTER O and the clump of Os in the grid immediately. My detour enroute to the answer was to highlight all the letters either below or above the Os, ala a kinged checker. When that yielded gibberish, I noticed the START and END (missing FINISH BTW!) and started making my moves.

SeanS
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#369

Post by SeanS » Mon May 04, 2020 8:28 am

I noticed a lot of "NI"s in the puzzle...wondered if it was related to the Knights Who Say Ni!

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TMart
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#370

Post by TMart » Mon May 04, 2020 8:34 am

Very elegant - Start at START and use every O. But I missed that FINISH was there too, so even more elegant than I realized.

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Joe Ross
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#371

Post by Joe Ross » Mon May 04, 2020 8:47 am

Gwert wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 6:57 am
But if you start with the R in start and KING that letter and proceed in sequence you get Richard II. Jumping like a King is different from KING ME. Richard II stops you right before Finish and not in Finish, after stopping on the second I not the third.
Without the jumping piece being a King, you wouldn't be able to make the backward jump — A to R — 28A BALI to 38A VARNISH.

20200501 King Me solution.gif
Last edited by Joe Ross on Mon May 04, 2020 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PeterLeea1a
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#372

Post by PeterLeea1a » Mon May 04, 2020 8:48 am

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 12:19 am
Start with the R that's SW of the bottom-most O in the grid, jump over the O to the I, then continue jumping O's and you'll get the answer.

I was trying, for far too long, to jump with the O's, not jump the O's.

Hence the old lady/young lady image I posted earlier in this thread.

I submitted SOLOMON, based on jumping O's over letters and landing on S, L, M and N (yes, that was a backwards jump) and filling in the missing O's. However, there was also a "D" based on that method that I conveniently didn't see.

My wife & I later saw the R3 answer and she submitted that to WSJ. So hopefully a lurking muggle (she's not registered here) is a winner?

EDIT: the Oct puzzle was right before I started doing these, so I hadn't seen this mechanism before.
I also submitted SOLOMON, with similar logic. The path of the Os gave the letter S, which is both the starting letter of Solomon, and if you start with the letter S in START and replace in between letters with O, you can spell out S-O-L-O-M-O-N. Goes to show that you shouldn't trust an answer that you wake up in the middle of the night with.

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Joe Ross
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#373

Post by Joe Ross » Mon May 04, 2020 8:54 am

SeanS wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:28 am
I noticed a lot of "NI"s in the puzzle...wondered if it was related to the Knights Who Say Ni!
"Ecky-ecky-ecky-ecky-pikang-zoop-boing-goodem-zu-owly-zhiv-wom"

"...zhiv-wom"

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tim1217
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#374

Post by tim1217 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:54 am

Gwert wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:01 am
Except there’s a difference between a “King Move” and “KIng Me.” I took the title literally and got Richard II not III.
That's the 'Sisti' I almost pulled. Got so excited with finding Richard II that I stopped...then a few minutes later I noticed one more checker move to make and there was the final 'I'.

Also never noticed the START/FINISH.

I got over the issue about moving backwards assuming the title implied the checker doing the jumping had just reached my end of the board, and hence my opponent said; "KING ME!" So that checker could now moved both forwards and backwards.

Finally, like others (including BarbaraK), I had to watch a YouTube video to refresh myself on how to play the game. It's been a while!
Last edited by tim1217 on Mon May 04, 2020 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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CPJohnson
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#375

Post by CPJohnson » Mon May 04, 2020 8:55 am

UTHfan wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 12:21 am
had it from start to finish...in retrospect, I don't understand how I was making the checker jumps I was making.

still, we need to talk about 34a...usually spelled with a 'u'

right?

from above:
"Did anyone else think the arrangement of the checkers looked like a hunched back?"

I thought it was an "S" like Jor El's family crest...Kal El was a monarch? naaaa.
If you have ever heard of either obolos or obolus, you are way ahead of me! Cynthia J

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eagle1279
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#376

Post by eagle1279 » Mon May 04, 2020 9:01 am

Not even close. My longest rabbit hole was reversing direction at the end of a word (like the checkers king that reverses direction upon being crowned), which (mis)led to all sorts of possible palindromes and anagrams, the most intriguing of which was ETNA and ANTE joining at the SW corner. My only excuse is that I lacked the paper version, increasing my respect for Muggles who solve on a computer screen.

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Al Sisti
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#377

Post by Al Sisti » Mon May 04, 2020 9:09 am

tim1217 wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:54 am
Gwert wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:01 am
Except there’s a difference between a “King Move” and “KIng Me.” I took the title literally and got Richard II not III.
That's the 'Sisti' I almost pulled. Got so excited with finding Richard II that I stopped...then a few minutes later I noticed one more checker move to make and there was the final 'I'.

Also never noticed the START/FINISH.

I got over the issue about moving backwards assuming the title implied the checker doing the jumping had just reached my end of the board, and hence my opponent said; "KING ME!" So that checker could now moved both forwards and backwards.

Finally, like others (including BarbaraK), I had to watch a YouTube video to refresh myself on how to play the game. It's been a while!
Yeah, that's a textbook case of pulling a Sisti.

boharr
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#378

Post by boharr » Mon May 04, 2020 9:17 am

Meg wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 7:47 am
Completely missed START and FINISH!! Geez! Once I get the meta, I don’t usually keep looking for more indicators. Still, it’s a bit embarrassing.
I felt so foolish when I realized I missed START and FINISH. Seems though I was not alone.

MaineMarge
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#379

Post by MaineMarge » Mon May 04, 2020 9:22 am

Good morning to all you Jumping Frog Muggles.
I got the method of the o’s as jumping checkers, but where to start? Aye, there’s the rub.
Then I remembered Mike had given us a clue to the starting point in his chess move meta. When I spotted the START, I looked for the FINISH, and there it was.
It took a solving buddy to show me we had to jump over the O, not with the O.
Fun fun fun, Mike 🙋‍♀️
This meta shows THE reason to always print out the puzzle.

Big Mac
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#380

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 04, 2020 9:23 am

Similar to others I noticed the start and finish and the Os right away, but tried to draw a straight line through them instead of jumping around them. Came back on Sunday and it popped right away. Crazy what a day away from the paper can do to change the perspective when the brain gets stuck on one idea.

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