"At Odds" - May 15, 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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Meg
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Re: "At Odds" - May 15, 2020

#301

Post by Meg » Mon May 18, 2020 7:40 am

It turns out (again) that being a fan of cryptics comes in handy when figuring out a meta. I knew all those years ago, when I started the brain torture of cryptic crosswords, that the skills involved would come in handy someday.

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Colin
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#302

Post by Colin » Mon May 18, 2020 7:46 am

Spending all of Sunday with the cyber crowd on Muggles Beach was great - even had some live golf to watch and saw the pros carrying their own bags. Whatever next! Football players carrying their own water? Soccer players cleaning their own boots? Racing drivers changing their own tires? Crazy sports world coming up!
One world. One planet. One future.

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Joe Ross
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#303

Post by Joe Ross » Mon May 18, 2020 7:56 am

The very recent and multiple meta puzzles with dual-purposed clues & answers made this click quickly for me. Had this puzzle been presented a month ago, this forum might have been more of a clash beteeen nudge requests & debates there of. I didn't think this contest answer was easy and felt lucky to have seen part of the solving mechanism more than a couple of times.

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Bird Lives
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#304

Post by Bird Lives » Mon May 18, 2020 8:03 am

I didn't see the "reminds them of college years" comment that Dr. Tom mentions. But here’s a college connection.

A comment I posted early on said in part, “I guess this is one for the Charter, Colonial, Cannon, Cottage Crowd.” Those are the names of four of the Princeton “eating clubs” (Princeton's version of fraternities). If you knew about Princeton, then you might also know that their version of pledging, or the part where clubs select members, is called “bicker.”

I had thought that this was a reference that would be understood only by those who a.) had gone to Princeton and b.) had solved the meta. Stupid me. If you Google those four words, you find a Wikipedia page about the clubs, and if you read it carefully, you’ll find “bicker.”

When I discovered that, I edited my comment down to only two clubs, sufficient to throw Google off the scent.

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Joe Ross
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#305

Post by Joe Ross » Mon May 18, 2020 8:28 am

Colin wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:46 am
Spending all of Sunday with the cyber crowd on Muggles Beach was great - even had some live golf to watch and saw the pros carrying their own bags. Whatever next! Football players carrying their own water? Soccer players cleaning their own boots? Racing drivers changing their own tires? Crazy sports world coming up!
Quote of the day: "It'll be the first time a guy carrying his own bag is headed up for a one point one million dollar putt, potentially."

MaineMarge
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#306

Post by MaineMarge » Mon May 18, 2020 8:30 am

What are the odds of having 2 weeks in a row of a meta using a 2nd clue tied to the theme answers?
Let’s hope for “third time never fails”.
I was on the team that was stuck on being sure
“I know what the answer has to be“ from the start. Mine was Get Even. I still like it. 🤣
But imagine what I went through trying to fit that lone V into that answer.
Eventually got it by looking back through Mike's old metas (thanks guys!) to get on his wave length.
Wasn’t the lower left of the grid an enticing corner of deception? Oh Mike, what a tangled web you weave....
Loved it.

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Joe Ross
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#307

Post by Joe Ross » Mon May 18, 2020 8:43 am

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 8:30 am
I was on the team that was stuck on being sure
“I know what the answer has to be“ from the start. Mine was Get Even. I still like it. 🤣
I had GET EVEN and ARGUE. Felt that GET EVEN was a dream answer (Love it, too, & made myself chuckle outloud - was looking forward to posting it!) and that ARGUE would be 1 theme answer & letter short of correct.

Have a great week, Marge!

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JPMalone
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#308

Post by JPMalone » Mon May 18, 2020 9:00 am

So I had come up with "BERATING." A few different names show up in odd # answers, Ben, Ed, Roy, Anna, Tyra, Ian, Neera, Gus. Literally "people at odds." I don't think it would qualify as an alternate answer though, since "Ian" shows up twice in AVIAN and SATURNALIAN, plus Ed is too short a name/more of a coincidence. Also, BERATING is a gerund, which doesn't really answer the meta prompt cleanly.

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Tom Shea
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#309

Post by Tom Shea » Mon May 18, 2020 9:16 am

I actually looked at the every other letter mechanism and discarded it because I didn't see the clues. Must need new glasses, or better penmanship. The nuns were right when they said my sloppy writing would cost me some day. They were just wrong about how long it would take.

Heaved up the old hail Mary and submitted 'get even'. I'm with Maine Marge on that one. Got stuck on it and wouldn't let go, even with absolutely no justification. If only the WSJ (and as Dogbert says: their FREE puzzles) would make it so I could print after I've filled it in online. Then I wouldn't have to worry about penmanship (the only class I flunked, well before college :lol: )
Rufus T. Firefly

boharr
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#310

Post by boharr » Mon May 18, 2020 9:24 am

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:11 am
Good morning

Our final count was 170 - just shy if the record of 171 muggles on shore
Hope we counted DrTom!!!

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Bird Lives
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#311

Post by Bird Lives » Mon May 18, 2020 10:28 am

Tom Shea wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:16 am
. If only the WSJ (and as Dogbert says: their FREE puzzles) would make it so I could print after I've filled it in online. Then I wouldn't have to worry about penmanship (the only class I flunked, well before college :lol: )
You could take a screen shot, copy it to a picture editor (e.g, Paint) crop, and print. I've also used Paint to draw squares around particular letters that may be part of the solution. It makes things much clearer.

boharr
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#312

Post by boharr » Mon May 18, 2020 10:35 am

You can get a .puz file from https://www.fleetingimage.com/wij/xyzzy/20-wsj.html\

Solve and print from Across Lite.

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DrTom
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#313

Post by DrTom » Mon May 18, 2020 10:52 am

boharr wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:24 am
Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 7:11 am
Good morning

Our final count was 170 - just shy if the record of 171 muggles on shore
Hope we counted DrTom!!!
Well that would be appropriate, last to arrive at the party just before the host says, "Thanks for coming everybody, but we have a long day tomorrow!" Then the bickering would start up.....

It would be great if I managed to be the one to match the record cause then when I go around I could tell everyone I was groovy (yeah BABY Monday puns!).

Ffrohbose
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#314

Post by Ffrohbose » Mon May 18, 2020 11:11 am

I solved this week but not until 2 am on Monday

JoeS
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#315

Post by JoeS » Mon May 18, 2020 1:01 pm

Early on, I was convinced the answer was "Turn the other cheek". This was because of ASSes and ASSt in the bottom corner of the grid, with KEY between them, and the odd clue at 25A with the answer TES. TES intersects 8D, one of the answers to the dual clue "Denounce" which I found highly suspicious. But could never get to more than TURN THE ____ __EEK and abandoned this line of thought. Found CROOK by accident, and then it clicked what the puzzle title meant. Does Mike create these bunny trails as well, or does he simply rely on our own twisted imaginations.

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mheberlingx100
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#316

Post by mheberlingx100 » Mon May 18, 2020 2:19 pm

JoeS wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:01 pm
Early on, I was convinced the answer was "Turn the other cheek". This was because of ASSes and ASSt in the bottom corner of the grid, with KEY between them, and the odd clue at 25A with the answer TES. TES intersects 8D, one of the answers to the dual clue "Denounce" which I found highly suspicious. But could never get to more than TURN THE ____ __EEK and abandoned this line of thought. Found CROOK by accident, and then it clicked what the puzzle title meant. Does Mike create these bunny trails as well, or does he simply rely on our own twisted imaginations.
I don’t know for sure but I can’t believe that it’s just a coincidence. Thinking of last week’s puzzle, one of the down answers was “op ed column”, while the first across started with “op” and the last across ended in “ed “.

I spent a lot of time In that rabbit hole, looking up and down these columns trying to find something that made sense. Alas, I could not.

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DrTom
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#317

Post by DrTom » Mon May 18, 2020 2:48 pm

Ffrohbose wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 11:11 am
I solved this week but not until 2 am on Monday
Still counts! You aren't eligible for a Mug, and you did not have the advantage of bragging rights, but the fact that you finally swam to shore after the ship had gone down just speaks to your perseverance, of life perseverance if we are using nautical analogies (now for really naughty analogies - There once was a sailor named Decker....OK, OK, I'll stop!).
Last edited by DrTom on Tue May 19, 2020 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

howardl
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#318

Post by howardl » Mon May 18, 2020 5:37 pm

I did finally get BICKER, using the reasoning outlined in the official answer. But following Dr. Tom's example of exposing reasoning gone awry (and proving the rule, "if it's too complicated it's wrong") here's a rabbit I chased down a hole. "At Odds", so I found four answers that had the word "AT": Saturnalian, Sneer at, Etage, and Seta. Then I found the letters in those four answers that were in an odd number cell: ST SA SEA and T. I rearranged those letters to get "TASTE ASS". (Something that people at odds often do.) I did not submit that answer.

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MajordomoTom
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#319

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon May 18, 2020 6:24 pm

probably needed a K and an I and some more SSs to make it really work, but just a thought.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

pddigi
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#320

Post by pddigi » Mon May 18, 2020 7:39 pm

If you are willing to take two latecomers and declare a new record, Dom and I both got it independently. He got it first, and assured me that once I saw the first step, it would be easy. He was right, although I often regard that kind of advice as psyops on his part, meant to make me feel stupider than I otherwise would when I fail to join him on the beach. :lol:

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