"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

#541

Post by Bob cruise director » Wed May 13, 2020 7:57 am

BarbaraK wrote:
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.
The ratio of the number of entries to the number of muggles on shore is amazingly consistent at 13 to 1.
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Nlobb
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#542

Post by Nlobb » Wed May 13, 2020 9:52 am

I MIGHT have gotten that one because I have read all her books. But if you hadn't, it would be ridiculously hard...

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#543

Post by MattGaffney » Wed May 13, 2020 10:46 am

Copying and pasting an e-mail I wrote to a solver who asked about my misuse of "row" in the clue at 55-D:

B-SIX is not great fill, but it was necessary in order to get BOW into the grid. But then I made the (critical, it turns out) error of referring to the left side of a bingo card as a "row" and not a "column," which is a very unfortunate mistake for me to make in a meta grid. As you and others noticed, it looks highly likely that it would be part of the meta, since a) it's cluing a somewhat strange and meta-suggestive entry (B-SIX), b) it's in the bottom-right corner, a common place for revealers, and c) the fact that there's an error in it (using "row" instead of "column") suggests even further that it's meta-related. Even the error itself seems like it could be meta-related, asking you to search rows and/or columns for a B-6 of some kind.

Unfortunately, none of this is true. It's just fill that I needed to use to make the meta work, and I accidentally used "row" there instead of "column" for the clue, and then it all looks meta-related even though it's not.

My apologies to solvers for this slip-up. I comb these metas looking for the tiniest errors since I know they can have larger-than-normal consequences in terms of wasted time and annoyance for solvers. This is one of the most unfortunate of these "small" errors that I've ever allowed to slip into a meta, and a reminder to me that I need to be extra-vigilant for issues like this in the future.

--Matt

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#544

Post by Bob cruise director » Wed May 13, 2020 1:32 pm

MattGaffney wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:46 am
Copying and pasting an e-mail I wrote to a solver who asked about my misuse of "row" in the clue at 55-D:

B-SIX is not great fill, but it was necessary in order to get BOW into the grid. But then I made the (critical, it turns out) error of referring to the left side of a bingo card as a "row" and not a "column," which is a very unfortunate mistake for me to make in a meta grid. As you and others noticed, it looks highly likely that it would be part of the meta, since a) it's cluing a somewhat strange and meta-suggestive entry (B-SIX), b) it's in the bottom-right corner, a common place for revealers, and c) the fact that there's an error in it (using "row" instead of "column") suggests even further that it's meta-related. Even the error itself seems like it could be meta-related, asking you to search rows and/or columns for a B-6 of some kind.

Unfortunately, none of this is true. It's just fill that I needed to use to make the meta work, and I accidentally used "row" there instead of "column" for the clue, and then it all looks meta-related even though it's not.

My apologies to solvers for this slip-up. I comb these metas looking for the tiniest errors since I know they can have larger-than-normal consequences in terms of wasted time and annoyance for solvers. This is one of the most unfortunate of these "small" errors that I've ever allowed to slip into a meta, and a reminder to me that I need to be extra-vigilant for issues like this in the future.

--Matt
Do you and/or Mike have a good idea how difficult a contest is when you publish it? Our data (we are nerd so we have a lot of data that we play with) shows both very hard and very easy metas. I was wondering if there was a "sweet spot" that you shoot for.

We also hope that you and Mike get some amusement out of our random wanderings here on the blog.
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Al Sisti
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#545

Post by Al Sisti » Wed May 13, 2020 1:39 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:32 pm
MattGaffney wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 10:46 am
Copying and pasting an e-mail I wrote to a solver who asked about my misuse of "row" in the clue at 55-D:

(Matt G's post)

--Matt
Do you and/or Mike have a good idea how difficult a contest is when you publish it? Our data (we are nerd so we have a lot of data that we play with) shows both very hard and very easy metas. I was wondering if there was a "sweet spot" that you shoot for.

We also hope that you and Mike get some amusement out of our random wanderings here on the blog.
^this^... I can't speak for everyone, but I think it's pretty cool that you, Pete Muller, Peter Washington and other noted constructors know about this forum and pop in to talk to us. Our "door" is always open to you...

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camandsampowercouple
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#546

Post by camandsampowercouple » Wed May 13, 2020 4:03 pm

Love to hear the response about BSIX. That clue tickled me the wrong way all weekend. It's a good lesson learned that if an entry feels forced, it might be not because of the meta, but because it intersects an entry for the meta...hmmm

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#547

Post by MattGaffney » Wed May 13, 2020 8:14 pm

Do you and/or Mike have a good idea how difficult a contest is when you publish it? Our data (we are nerd so we have a lot of data that we play with) shows both very hard and very easy metas. I was wondering if there was a "sweet spot" that you shoot for.

We also hope that you and Mike get some amusement out of our random wanderings here on the blog.
Bob,

Thanks for starting and operating this site. I read it more often than I comment but I'd like to up my presence here in the near future.

I can't speak for Mike, but I like to get a range of difficulty levels in. I didn't realize this one would play as hard as it did. I thought it'd be about a 6 or a 7, but it played like a 9 or a 10.

Matt

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DrTom
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#548

Post by DrTom » Wed May 13, 2020 11:34 pm

Joe Ross wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 8:02 am
DrTom wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 10:53 pm
And speaking about not being quiet - WOW the folks on the WSJ site are NOT a happy bunch of campers. According to them, those who solved the puzzle are actually slightly insane and of questionable moral status - well, at least they are observant if not kind.
I am an admittedly HUGE fan of DrTom, but the above makes me love him more. It has nothing to do with others' posts, but Tom's way of signing off of every post with something that is sure to make me chuckle & snort.

Thank you, Tom!
Thanks Joe, I have always tried to add a little levity to the situation. To paraphrase Chuckles the Clown " A little song, a little dance, a little water down my pants" - now granted as I age that becomes more of an incontinence thing..but the motivation is what counts.

Tom

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DrTom
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#549

Post by DrTom » Wed May 13, 2020 11:51 pm

While everyone harps about nudges
We all should be our own judges
If it piques your desire to solve
Then perhaps further META evolve
It might taper down the “OH FUDGES”

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BarbaraK
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#550

Post by BarbaraK » Thu May 14, 2020 12:25 am

MattGaffney wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 8:14 pm
Do you and/or Mike have a good idea how difficult a contest is when you publish it? Our data (we are nerd so we have a lot of data that we play with) shows both very hard and very easy metas. I was wondering if there was a "sweet spot" that you shoot for.

We also hope that you and Mike get some amusement out of our random wanderings here on the blog.
Bob,

Thanks for starting and operating this site. I read it more often than I comment but I'd like to up my presence here in the near future.

I can't speak for Mike, but I like to get a range of difficulty levels in. I didn't realize this one would play as hard as it did. I thought it'd be about a 6 or a 7, but it played like a 9 or a 10.

Matt
Just to make sure credit is given where due, BrianMac is the one who created this site and does all the techie things to keep it going.

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DrTom
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#551

Post by DrTom » Thu May 14, 2020 1:30 am

BarbaraK wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 12:25 am
MattGaffney wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 8:14 pm
Do you and/or Mike have a good idea how difficult a contest is when you publish it? Our data (we are nerd so we have a lot of data that we play with) shows both very hard and very easy metas. I was wondering if there was a "sweet spot" that you shoot for.

We also hope that you and Mike get some amusement out of our random wanderings here on the blog.
Bob,

Thanks for starting and operating this site. I read it more often than I comment but I'd like to up my presence here in the near future.

I can't speak for Mike, but I like to get a range of difficulty levels in. I didn't realize this one would play as hard as it did. I thought it'd be about a 6 or a 7, but it played like a 9 or a 10.

Matt
Just to make sure credit is given where due, BrianMac is the one who created this site and does all the techie things to keep it going.
And we all value Brian and Bob more than we can say. Along with the constructors they have provided a place for us all to go and discuss this obsession that we have with people who don't think we are bit daft or at least won't think that because of a silly crossword puzzle (emphasis my wife's).

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camandsampowercouple
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#552

Post by camandsampowercouple » Thu May 14, 2020 11:16 am

today is the day...

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Hector
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#553

Post by Hector » Thu May 14, 2020 4:11 pm

This week's contest is gonna be EXTRA hard, what with no clues, title, or prompt to go by.

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Bob cruise director
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#554

Post by Bob cruise director » Thu May 14, 2020 4:17 pm

Hector wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 4:11 pm
This week's contest is gonna be EXTRA hard, what with no clues, title, or prompt to go by.
Or extra easy - you make up the contest and clearly get the right answer

Refresh
Refresh
Refresh....
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Joe Ross
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#555

Post by Joe Ross » Thu May 14, 2020 4:18 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 4:17 pm
Hector wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 4:11 pm
This week's contest is gonna be EXTRA hard, what with no clues, title, or prompt to go by.
Or extra easy - you make up the contest and clearly get the right answer

Refresh
Refresh
Refresh....
:::buying stock in AA battery makers:::


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Bob cruise director
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#557

Post by Bob cruise director » Thu May 14, 2020 4:21 pm

13 neurotic muggles and 26 neurotic guests on the blog
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Nycerjohnnie
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#558

Post by Nycerjohnnie » Thu May 14, 2020 4:21 pm

One just needs to play with the URL a bit to get the pdf. I believe it's what I posted.

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#559

Post by Nycerjohnnie » Thu May 14, 2020 4:24 pm

Now it's up "officially"

Inca
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#560

Post by Inca » Thu May 14, 2020 10:51 pm

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.
I always knew I was weird. I am a 1%er? I definitely heard of her books. Now all those popular bands (or any songs)--that's a different story altogether. And, don't even get me started on TV shows and other entertainers.

As far as the puzzles go: There is no rhyme nor reason to which ones I get which ones I miss (although having to use the clues will usually do me in). I mean I actually had no problem with the infamous PAGEANT and I know not a thing about the Bowls or football at all. Maybe that's why I got it. Who knows?

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