"Build Your Brand" - May 8, 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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Bob cruise director
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Re: "Build Your Brand" - May 8, 2020

#521

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue May 12, 2020 3:11 pm

Bird Lives wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 2:14 pm
LadyBird wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:43 pm
I see that the difficulty rating on this puzzle is a 4. If this one is a 4, then I'm not sure that I want to see a 5!
I went back and checked.

Puzzle People (aka Yma Sumac) had 96 correct entries out of 357 -- 27%.
Build Your Brand 297 of 802 -- 36%.

Looks like there are a lot more meta-heads around now than a year and a half ago.
The all time low was our famous Pageant (Play Grounds) in December 2017 at 13% (242 out of 1863)
That was followed by
Puzzle People as you mentioned
Mismatch in August 2017 at 33% (337 out of 1022)
Toybox in December 2017 at 33% (98 out of 296)
What Not to Do in March 2020 at 36% (571 out of 1587) lots of hail Mary's there
Go Down For the Count in March 2017 at 37% (334 out of 907)
Marking Time in July 2018 at 37% (130 out of 352)
This week as you mentioned
Sound Investment in February 2017 at 38% (212 out of 558)

And there were 11 more below 50%

That is 21 out of 211 where we scored below 50%. So it is not uncommon for Matt/Mike/Marie to throw a toughie at us about every 10 weeks. They would have to indicate whether it is planned or not.

And yes, there are a lot more of us crazies around. The number of submissions has increased from 700 per week four years ago to 1500 per week now. However the percentage correct has stayed around 75% (long term average) pretty consistently.
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BarbaraK
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#522

Post by BarbaraK » Tue May 12, 2020 4:49 pm

Cindy wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 1:32 pm
Wendy Walker wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:49 pm

"5" for me was the one where you had to know that dollar bills had letters on them that indicated at which mint they were printed.
I know exactly where I was sitting when I solved the dollar bill one. I doubt if I know where I was for any of the others.
And? Do tell. Don’t leave us hanging:)

I actually remember that one too for some reason. I was on an airliner. I made my husband pull out his wallet so I could look at his bills. Still had to wait til I got home and could google to finish it though.

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Bob cruise director
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#523

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue May 12, 2020 5:13 pm

And also some more useless factoids about the metas

Total submissions to WSJ for 211 weeks

226,049

Total number correct for 211 weeks

177,421

Highest percentages correct (note that we only get percentages to the nearest whole number and not the exact number correct unless the percentage is to a decimal)
September 2016 Title search 98.9% (1380 out of 1395)
February 2019 Just Say the word 98%
February 2018 What's The Difference 98%
October 2018 No Presents, Please 98%
August 2018 Mind the Gap 98%
November 2019 That's A Plus 97%
June 2017 One, Two, Three Four 97%
December 2017 Connect the Dots 97%

And the longest answer was (note, I have as the answer for December 15, 2017 "Sue Grafton, Peril, Wasted" - does anyone remember what that means?)
August 2019 - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Second place tie
October 2019 Molten Lava Cake (including spaces)
August 2016 Ice Cream Sundae


The shortest answer was

November 2018 - W - a record that won't be broken

Second Place Tie
November 2016 - Ale
January 2019 - QED
June 2016 - BLT
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Cindy
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#524

Post by Cindy » Tue May 12, 2020 5:50 pm

BarbaraK wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:49 pm
Cindy wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 1:32 pm
Wendy Walker wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:49 pm

"5" for me was the one where you had to know that dollar bills had letters on them that indicated at which mint they were printed.
I know exactly where I was sitting when I solved the dollar bill one. I doubt if I know where I was for any of the others.
And? Do tell. Don’t leave us hanging:)

I actually remember that one too for some reason. I was on an airliner. I made my husband pull out his wallet so I could look at his bills. Still had to wait til I got home and could google to finish it though.

I was in a restaurant and I made Rick take out his wallet.

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CPJohnson
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#525

Post by CPJohnson » Tue May 12, 2020 6:01 pm

SueGrafton.png
Here's the official explanation for the Sue Grafton puzzle. (I didn't solve that one.) Cynthia J

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#526

Post by MajordomoTom » Tue May 12, 2020 6:01 pm

but why was Humphrey Bogart in that restaurant?
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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Joe Ross
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#527

Post by Joe Ross » Tue May 12, 2020 6:34 pm

20171215 WSJCC Mystery Woman.gif

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TPS
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#528

Post by TPS » Tue May 12, 2020 9:07 pm

Holy crap - That one is obscure. That’s PGW level. I don’t even understand the solution with the grid and explanation.

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Bob cruise director
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#529

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue May 12, 2020 9:35 pm

TPS wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 9:07 pm
Holy crap - That one is obscure. That’s PGW level. I don’t even understand the solution with the grid and explanation.
Neither did most of us. Only 348 submissions with 47% correct.
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#530

Post by TPS » Tue May 12, 2020 9:42 pm

If you had told me the over/under on the number of people getting that right was 5 - I’d have taken the under. I mean I’ve never heard of the author or the books. It’s one time to do a meta about a song by one of the most popular bands of all time but it’s something different to do one about an author 99% of the population has never heard of.

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#531

Post by Nycerjohnnie » Tue May 12, 2020 10:16 pm

What was the explanation for “W”?

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BarbaraK
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#532

Post by BarbaraK » Tue May 12, 2020 10:16 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 3:20 pm

Past experiences would indicate about 780 submissions to the WSJ with about 585 correct. Hopefully we will know soon
Actual result: 802 submissions and 297 correct.

Amazingly close on your prediction of submissions but a bit overoptimistic about the success rate.

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Al Sisti
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#533

Post by Al Sisti » Tue May 12, 2020 10:17 pm

...I think she died like two weeks after this puzzle, something like that.

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TPS
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#534

Post by TPS » Tue May 12, 2020 10:22 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 10:17 pm
...I think she died like two weeks after this puzzle, something like that.
Maybe she tried to do the puzzle and it killed her.

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BethA
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#535

Post by BethA » Tue May 12, 2020 10:53 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 10:17 pm
...I think she died like two weeks after this puzzle, something like that.
I couldn’t believe it was that soon! She died on Dec 29, same day as the infamous Pageant puzzle! (I’m hearing Twilight Zone music now).

Nlobb
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#536

Post by Nlobb » Tue May 12, 2020 10:55 pm

She wrote a series of mysteries starting with A is for Alibi...all the way through the alphabet but no Z mystery since she died. Fun books to read.

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#537

Post by yourpalsal » Tue May 12, 2020 11:55 pm

Joe Ross wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 6:34 pm
20171215 WSJCC Mystery Woman.gif
I wasn’t around then but I never would’ve got that. I’m staring at the solution and I still don’t get it! But I got ADOBE! :-)

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Joe Ross
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#538

Post by Joe Ross » Wed May 13, 2020 1:06 am

TPS wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 9:42 pm
If you had told me the over/under on the number of people getting that right was 5 - I’d have taken the under. I mean I’ve never heard of the author or the books. It’s one time to do a meta about a song by one of the most popular bands of all time but it’s something different to do one about an author 99% of the population has never heard of.
Be careful. You'll start with "A is for Alibi" and, several dozen Quarter Pounders with Cheese later, you'll have read through "Y is for Yesterday", maybe even twice.

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#539

Post by oldjudge » Wed May 13, 2020 3:04 am

I had to read it three times, but I finally understand the solution. I have never read any of her novels so that one would have been awfully tough for me. It came out just a little after I started doing metas. I’m fairly certain I would have whiffed on it.

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#540

Post by oldjudge » Wed May 13, 2020 3:07 am

BethA wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 10:53 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 10:17 pm
...I think she died like two weeks after this puzzle, something like that.
I couldn’t believe it was that soon! She died on Dec 29, same day as the infamous Pageant puzzle! (I’m hearing Twilight Zone music now).
I was still relatively new when the Pageant puzzle came out. I had very few preconceived notions of how to solve metas so somehow I got it right.

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