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

#401

Post by tonyrobots » Mon May 04, 2020 1:04 pm

Ugh! Basically got 95% of the way there right away, but I was "jumping" from O to O, rather than "jumping" the Os -- so I had IXHLB_IT. Then I was distracted by the "ME"s in the last row, thinking clearly those were meant to be kings, since you say "king me" when your checker reaches the last row. And a king is a double checker, so what if we replace ME with OO? Quite the rabbit hOOle there.

Oh well, maybe next week!

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mheberlingx100
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#402

Post by mheberlingx100 » Mon May 04, 2020 1:23 pm

tonyrobots wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:04 pm
Ugh! Basically got 95% of the way there right away, but I was "jumping" from O to O, rather than "jumping" the Os -- so I had IXHLB_IT. Then I was distracted by the "ME"s in the last row, thinking clearly those were meant to be kings, since you say "king me" when your checker reaches the last row. And a king is a double checker, so what if we replace ME with OO? Quite the rabbit hOOle there.

Oh well, maybe next week!
I went down that first rabbit hole for a short while until I saw the Start in the grid. Then it all came into place. Funny, I never saw the Finish, but I knew there couldn't be any more Roman numerals after III.

UTHfan
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#403

Post by UTHfan » Mon May 04, 2020 1:32 pm

Nlobb wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:04 am
Did anyone else go down the monarch butterfly hole? My first idea was that the monarch had been named for William III of England also called William of Orange. This leads to all kinds of interesting facts about William and all the things named for him like William and Mary college, Nassau etc plus the butterfly. Guess I got into this having seen some on my walk... I soon realized it wasn't getting anywhere so switched to playing checkers also making the mistake of trying to move the O's instead of jumping over them... Finally saw the error of my ways after a small nudge and got the answer.
I thought about the butterflies. Also, there was some sort of stationary (if you jumped from letter -> land after the string of O's in the jumps). I tried to figure out info about the spanish mission in Cali they historically visit but no, there was only one "Y" in the puzzle. So, I stuck with mis-jumping the letter's.

I was stuck forever on trying to figure out why I was getting "I-X-H-L-B-D-I-T-F" and then at 11:50 I saw it the right way.

And yes, as soon as I saw the R-I-C...I thought of Daughter of Time. "there's one historic monarch..."

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sanmilton
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#404

Post by sanmilton » Mon May 04, 2020 1:37 pm

BarbaraK wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 12:14 am
Did anyone else think the arrangement of the checkers looked like a hunched back?
Barbara, I saw a vaguely equine head, admittedly 11D, and thought the king tried to swap his kingdom, but all he got for it was a hobby-horse.

For me, this was a brilliant construction job, and I thought it was about the right amount of difficulty for this activity. I mean, I can't go all weekend without a drink and sturdy ground under my feet.

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Dplass
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#405

Post by Dplass » Mon May 04, 2020 1:37 pm

I had HELI instead of HELO and that didn't help. Just couldn't figure out how to do what. I thought maybe the Os were the checkers and they had to move until they became kings. Then I saw O in RIOT on top of O of OBOLOS and thought THAT was the "king" that had to move. Le sigh.

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anjhinz
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#406

Post by anjhinz » Mon May 04, 2020 3:08 pm

I had this Saturday but forgot to check in... took me WAY too long though!

First I had an error so the main bottom answer was "THE LETTARO", which I figured was some famous Roman ruin that resembled the Coliseum - and sent me down a whole Roman monarch rabbit hole there, which was more confusing because I *knew* START and FINISH had to be part of it, but I couldn't make the connection... I also assumed the route would go up and around most of the grid like the Chess puzzle did... so I completely missed the whole "O" part for a day.

Then I realized I completely forgot that checkers only uses half of the squares, and couldn't not see the "jumping between the O's" letters, especially because of the XI right there.

So happy I finally saw the light though

EmilyW
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#407

Post by EmilyW » Mon May 04, 2020 3:15 pm

I originally had HELI in the grid instead of HELO so that was throwing me off because of a missing O. I went back and looked at the notes I had jotted down, and saw I had CHARDIII and then it clicked that the answer may be RICHARDIII. I also did not notice the Start and Finish. Very clever and fun puzzle!

Inca
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#408

Post by Inca » Mon May 04, 2020 3:30 pm

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:34 am
CPJohnson wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:55 am
If you have ever heard of either obolos or obolus, you are way ahead of me! Cynthia J
OBOL, usually defined as "Greek coin." If I had a nickel for every "obol" I've seen in a crossword . . . .
I never saw and obol,
and I never thought I'd see one,
but, I'd rather see one....and solve the meta, than not. :)

With credit to Gelett Burgess's The Purple Cow
Last edited by Inca on Mon May 04, 2020 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Inca
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#409

Post by Inca » Mon May 04, 2020 3:35 pm

MarkL wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 10:37 am

.... At one point, I did count the I's thinking it may add up to a significant sum, but no.....
I also looked at the I's for a bit, thinking maybe King Me referred to the fact that the I was the King Checker that had to jump the O's, but that went nowhere quickly.

Inca
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#410

Post by Inca » Mon May 04, 2020 3:39 pm

tonyrobots wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:04 pm
Ugh! Basically got 95% of the way there right away, but I was "jumping" from O to O, rather than "jumping" the Os -- so I had IXHLB_IT. Then I was distracted by the "ME"s in the last row, thinking clearly those were meant to be kings, since you say "king me" when your checker reaches the last row. And a king is a double checker, so what if we replace ME with OO? Quite the rabbit hOOle there.

Oh well, maybe next week!
Those MEs caught my eye as well.
And IXHLB IT looks familiar; I must have come across it somewhere in my journey. :)

Laura M
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#411

Post by Laura M » Mon May 04, 2020 3:41 pm

More to this one than I realized! I'm one of those who missed the START and FINISH, and it didn't occur to me that the piece would already have to be a king in order to jump in that path. (Actually I was expecting, at least once I started to understand this puzzle, for the piece to end up in the back row so that it would become a king.)

I must have played checkers once or twice as a kid, but it certainly wasn't a regular thing and any memory of it is long gone. Other games that I have no idea how to play: chess (despite my kid trying to teach me), bridge (despite my grandmother trying to teach me), and football (you'd think someone would have tried to teach me, but my dad and husband aren't big on it either).

MikeMillerwsj
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#412

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon May 04, 2020 4:02 pm

How clever was this puzzle! (Your correspondent was pleased with himself for figuring it out, and then realized he didn't even see that it started with START and finished with FINISH.)

We had 1386 entries, about 70% correct. 61 of you got close with Richard II. Another 27 guessed ARTHUR (by coincidence, those letters were hovering around the long entry "THELETTERO," in the words START and HURRY). Plus a distinguished gallery of other monarchs including NAPOLEON (9), EDWARD VII (6), OLAF (4), ELIZABETH II (4), ELIZABETH I (3) and many others.

Congrats to this week's winner, Gerald White of Battle Ground, Wash.!

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DrTom
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#413

Post by DrTom » Mon May 04, 2020 4:30 pm

OK, I promised a tale of dumb (and I accentuate DUMB) luck with this week’s META. I figured out fairly quickly with the title and the reference to a checker that the O’s were the key. However, that was where my cleverness ended.

I tried putting the letters on top of the Os to make a King, the O’s on top of letters, I tried looking for the instances of ROI knowing that meant King in French (why that was a “natural” I’ll never know) and I was having NO luck. Finally I said, “If I was going to get “Kinged” I’d have to move from one end of the board to the other to get back to the home row (unfortunately this was not set up in an 8 x 8 configuration but the concept seemed rational)). So I started at the top, a logical place to start in checkers (because of course I completely ignored the START message) but quickly ran into a problem because I had to move diagonally up and then down which a checker piece cannot do. Ah, “but what if you WERE a King, then you could”. So off I went along the twisted path and got I I D R A H C I R. Darn it, an anagram of a historical monarch, but Mike Schenk doesn’t usually do anagrams, he puts them in order???

So I “phone” (or rather PM) a friend who solved it already and ask simply if the answer was an anagram. I wanted to verify what seemed almost too right to be wrong but was an anagram (I’ve been in these “perfect fit, wrong answer” situations before). So of course he said NO, it isn’t, and it was only then I saw that it was EXACTLY (well almost) backwards and mentioned that. At which point my helpline asked “where did you start” and I told him 15 ACROSS. Then my eyes went down the GRID and I saw START, well of course I felt like an idiot. He asked one more question, “so are you done?” and with that question I knew I should not be, but of course starting at 15A I would have never used the last I, and only when I looked and saw that there was not only START but also FINISH that I twisted my spine around in the chair and chose RICHARD III not II.

So I’ll claim an 80% victory and give myself a B+ for effort and an A+ for having smart friends; I I D R A H C I R an anagram INDEED! I didn’t win the mug so I do not have to apologize for doing it sloppily (though I’d have taken it to be sure).

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GerryWhite
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#414

Post by GerryWhite » Mon May 04, 2020 4:52 pm

Woot!!

Now that I have a mug, am I still considered a Muggle?

burak
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#415

Post by burak » Mon May 04, 2020 4:59 pm

burak wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 1:13 am
Well, this meta made me realize my entire life has been a lie. Will explain after the deadline.
For those who are wondering, here's the explanation:

I grew up in Turkey, and dama was one of my favorite games to play. When I learned English, I also learned the name of this game that I played quite often: Checkers.

Fast forward to May 2, 2020.

I"m trying to solve the puzzle, and I'm pretty sure I have to start at, well, START, THE LETTER O is involved because of its clue and the entry right above START, and I have to jump over the Os because the title is "King Me!" Like, it couldn't be any more obvious. But it just doesn't work. Because in the game that I loved and thought was checkers, the piece don't move diagonally! I'm trying to find a route that will spell a name or something but no matter where I go, I end up with a meaningless string of letters. After ~15 minutes of futile efforts, I finally go to Youtube and type in "how to play checkers" because obviously I'm missing something. When I watch the video I am i) in shock and ii) able to solve the meta in like 5 seconds.

Long story short: What I thought was checkers all my life is apparently another version called "Turkish draughts" which is a weird love child of chess and checkers. I actually have never played a single game of checkers in my entire life. So it goes.

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Jacksull
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#416

Post by Jacksull » Mon May 04, 2020 5:03 pm


And that is why I say this was not REALLY an elegant meta but more sloppy. Sure some people were able to figure out the answer but there was nothing that pointed to that hence why 80% of the people who either didn't get the meta or needed a nudge to get it were stuck on that one point. It was such a simple fix too as there could have been a clue that utilized one of the "O's" for Opponent as an answer. That would have been far more useful than a Start/Finish which a ton of people didn't even notice anyway.

I like the overall concept - the directions just could have been better. It certainly wasn't a "Russian Doll" type puzzle.
Directions?? Hints, wordplay, subtleties, clever variations maybe, but no directions. Quoting Matt Gaffney, “be not led astray by words intended to deceive“.
Jack Sullivan

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Janet
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#417

Post by Janet » Mon May 04, 2020 5:16 pm

GerryWhite wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:52 pm
Woot!!

Now that I have a mug, am I still considered a Muggle?
Yes, you are now a mugged Muggle! Congratulations!

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Joe Ross
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#418

Post by Joe Ross » Mon May 04, 2020 5:41 pm

DrTom wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:30 pm
OK, I promised a tale of dumb (and I accentuate DUMB) luck with this week’s META. I figured out fairly quickly with the title and the reference to a checker that the O’s were the key. However, that was where my cleverness ended.

I tried putting the letters on top of the Os to make a King, the O’s on top of letters, I tried looking for the instances of ROI knowing that meant King in French (why that was a “natural” I’ll never know) and I was having NO luck. Finally I said, “If I was going to get “Kinged” I’d have to move from one end of the board to the other to get back to the home row (unfortunately this was not set up in an 8 x 8 configuration but the concept seemed rational)). So I started at the top, a logical place to start in checkers (because of course I completely ignored the START message) but quickly ran into a problem because I had to move diagonally up and then down which a checker piece cannot do. Ah, “but what if you WERE a King, then you could”. So off I went along the twisted path and got I I D R A H C I R. Darn it, an anagram of a historical monarch, but Mike Schenk doesn’t usually do anagrams, he puts them in order???

So I “phone” (or rather PM) a friend who solved it already and ask simply if the answer was an anagram. I wanted to verify what seemed almost too right to be wrong but was an anagram (I’ve been in these “perfect fit, wrong answer” situations before). So of course he said NO, it isn’t, and it was only then I saw that it was EXACTLY (well almost) backwards and mentioned that. At which point my helpline asked “where did you start” and I told him 15 ACROSS. Then my eyes went down the GRID and I saw START, well of course I felt like an idiot. He asked one more question, “so are you done?” and with that question I knew I should not be, but of course starting at 15A I would have never used the last I, and only when I looked and saw that there was not only START but also FINISH that I twisted my spine around in the chair and chose RICHARD III not II.

So I’ll claim an 80% victory and give myself a B+ for effort and an A+ for having smart friends; I I D R A H C I R an anagram INDEED! I didn’t win the mug so I do not have to apologize for doing it sloppily (though I’d have taken it to be sure).
Dude, you completely skipped the part where you squealed, "OOOOOOOOO...!", then claimed that the answer SIMPLY *HAD* to be UTHER PENDRAGON. It took a minute to talk you down out of *that* tree...

This is a complete fabrication, on my part, but it's fun to fun DrTom, a truly great sport & good man.
Last edited by Joe Ross on Tue May 05, 2020 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

juliet
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#419

Post by juliet » Mon May 04, 2020 6:06 pm

I haven't played checkers since. . . well, my children were young, but as a child of the 60's we learned to use a set of rules that did not include being required to jump whenever it was possible. It was a tough adjustment to make after one of our grandparents came to live with us--we had a ready and willing checkers playmate, but only if we followed the "real, grown-up" rules. Mandatory jumping would frequently lead to traps. Thankfully, in this puzzle, it lead to a satisfying "aha!" and a shore excursion.

This was one of my favorites!

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tim1217
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#420

Post by tim1217 » Mon May 04, 2020 7:11 pm

GerryWhite wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:52 pm
Woot!!

Now that I have a mug, am I still considered a Muggle?
I would say YES! You are now considered a village elder!
"GET OFF MY LAWN!".
Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino

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