"Sound Off" - May 29, 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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jimbo1
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Re: "Sound Off" - May 29, 2020

#281

Post by jimbo1 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:31 am

I got AUDIO
But
44A was LETSNOT
5 A Was NOTI
Same letter as
52 A ROADSIGN and 60 A sinAI

Alls well that ends well

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DrTom
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

#282

Post by DrTom » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:33 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:30 am
MileHighSolver wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:22 am
How is it not “Steak”? These were the only letters that were “sounded off” via silent letters in the across answers??? Consider me burning and looting the shore ;).
Hmm, that one I am going to need some more information on. I know all about arriving all ready for the trip at the wrong station, but how did you get STEAK? Just curious.
On second thought, MileHighSolver, Colorado, food, munchies - say no more, say no more!

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yourpalsal
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#283

Post by yourpalsal » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:34 am

I went with MUTED. And while it lacks the elegance of the answer’s path, it does address the title better than AUDIO and is indeed available:

RealM
MenU
SohoT
NilE
HateD

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DrTom
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#284

Post by DrTom » Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:40 am

Well this is a real pickle, so many ways to arrive at home, along with a couple to arrive at an undisclosed location. You often wonder if the creator (and that is different from THE CREATOR since certainly chaos is his/her big thing) is aware of these vagaries and leaves them in just for sport? I believe we may have been FROCKED!

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Streroto
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#285

Post by Streroto » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:14 am

Well that was interesting, and not at all what I expected. I had worked very hard to ram a square peg into a round (rabbit) hole, and I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say this was one I was never going to get. I did notice parts of it, and wondered if SKYHIGH was a hint of sorts, which is sort of seems to be even though it’s part of the solution. Let’s face it, BIZET is a pretty weird entry. Oh well. Thursday is just around the corner.

Stay well all.

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tigerfly222
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#286

Post by tigerfly222 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:53 am

My particular hangup at first was WHICH of the clues to be paying attention to. Clearly there were the four long across answers at 8 or 10 letters, and due to the hint I figured there was a fifth one. But there were three 7-letter across answers in the grid - which one to focus on whilst trying to establish a pattern? All of them? Purely for symmetry reasons I chose SKY HIGH.
Another contender I had was alliterative clues. Hey, there's five of those! ("Northern neighbor of Namibia", et al) But "Chestnut cousin" was only visually alliterative and thus suspect. Abandoned it.
I was convinced for a long time that the answer would be some sort of phonetic gimmick, and thought I'd struck genius when I wondered if the key was grid words with silent letters. The five players in that farce were SCI TECH, BIZET, AMOEBAE, PAS, and KNEE, which spells STOCK if you anagram a bit, but not only did that not seem to relate to "Sound Off" but the anagramming seemed an unlikely method, and also there were plenty of vowel pairs throughout the grid where you could technically consider the 2nd vowel "silent" (as in ROAM or GOAD) so what to do with those? Bah.
The trigger for me came whilst focusing on the monosyllabic 2nd word of the long answers. I was considering whether the G in HIGH and SIGN could be considered a silent letter, and then SINAI - SIGN-I jumped out at me. Looking back at my notes, early on I had written down "BEES - BIZET - A" and "BOWS - BOZO - O" ...[facepalm]... I don't know what I was thinking or why I didn't stick with it, I just know I didn't have any clue until much later.

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TMart
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#287

Post by TMart » Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:55 am

The first things I noticed were the title and a lot of words that sounded alike - bees, bows, Bizet, bozo. Also, a five-letter answer usually means the four longest words plus the center word are the themers. From there it was a quick swim to shore.

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PeterLeea1a
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#288

Post by PeterLeea1a » Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:46 am

I went with VOWEL since I thought that described the idea was that each of the five vowels (forget sometimes y) were represented. Oh well.

MaineMarge
Posts: 223
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#289

Post by MaineMarge » Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:46 am

My first thought was the answer was MUTED, but I abandoned that idea when I remembered the title was not supposed to be read as an actual definition of the answer. It is a hint to the answer and/or to the method of arriving at it. Serious AHA results when both of the above are fulfilled, as here.
I did start looking for the silent letter connection, but there were waay too many rabbits in that hole.
The answer popped out quickly when I followed my Golden Rule: say each grid word out loud.
Especially important when staring at that great big SOUND in the title.
Great meta, Mike. 🎧

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Bob cruise director
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#290

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:52 am

I got a lot of amusement about the comments that addressed two of the key words. First there were a lot of comments early about BOZO. These were followed by HEIDI commenting about here name. I did not know if they drew anyone's attention to the meta solution process.
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

JennyByrd
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:51 pm

#291

Post by JennyByrd » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:53 am

I also was hung up on DRONE, but couldn’t figure how it related to ROADSIGN. I was also hung up all the answers related to Russia (OLGA, IGOR, COSSACK, STOLI, REDS) and trying to make the sound of OFF into the Russian ending OV or OF. Also, the grid does not have an F, which I felt certain was meaningful. Anyway, congrats to all of you who solved it. Hope to be back on the beach next time.

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pddigi
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#292

Post by pddigi » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:04 am

Dom got it and had to coax me a bit to see step 1, after which it became obvious what the answer was. I thought Bizet was a stretch, but in service of a well-constructed meta.

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TPS
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#293

Post by TPS » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:06 am

JennyByrd wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:53 am
I also was hung up on DRONE, but couldn’t figure how it related to ROADSIGN. I was also hung up all the answers related to Russia (OLGA, IGOR, COSSACK, STOLI, REDS) and trying to make the sound of OFF into the Russian ending OV or OF. Also, the grid does not have an F, which I felt certain was meaningful. Anyway, congrats to all of you who solved it. Hope to be back on the beach next time.
Yeah, I thought it was going to be something Russia related - I thought it might even have been ROMAN as in ROMANOFF.

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femullen
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#294

Post by femullen » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:07 am

Call me Alice.

I was sure I was onto something, but I couldn't make it connect. Now I've read the solution, turns out I was way down a rabbit hole. Another week where I say, "I'd have never thought of that."

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eagle1279
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#295

Post by eagle1279 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:10 am

My rabbit holes included many of the above, plus answers that related to sound such as musical instruments (OBOES, HORN, VIOLIN) or other sounds or vocalizations (APOP, BAH, IMBORED). Then the “Field of interest” duplication got me looking at words that overlapped (aREA/REAlm) which somehow led me to BEES/BIZet. Like DrTom, my initial solve was based on BOWS + O = OBOES, then while gleefully explaining the solution to my patient wife I realized that it was BOZO.

Clever puzzle.

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TPS
Posts: 560
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#296

Post by TPS » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:10 am

pddigi wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:04 am
I thought Bizet was a stretch, but in service of a well-constructed meta.
I solved across to get Bizet who I had never heard of so I didn’t know how to pronounce - so that was a challenge even once I knew what the methodology was.

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CPJohnson
Posts: 225
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#297

Post by CPJohnson » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:36 am

tigerfly222 wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:53 am
My particular hangup at first was WHICH of the clues to be paying attention to. Clearly there were the four long across answers at 8 or 10 letters, and due to the hint I figured there was a fifth one. But there were three 7-letter across answers in the grid - which one to focus on whilst trying to establish a pattern? All of them? Purely for symmetry reasons I chose SKY HIGH.
Another contender I had was alliterative clues. Hey, there's five of those! ("Northern neighbor of Namibia", et al) But "Chestnut cousin" was only visually alliterative and thus suspect. Abandoned it.
I was convinced for a long time that the answer would be some sort of phonetic gimmick, and thought I'd struck genius when I wondered if the key was grid words with silent letters. The five players in that farce were SCI TECH, BIZET, AMOEBAE, PAS, and KNEE, which spells STOCK if you anagram a bit, but not only did that not seem to relate to "Sound Off" but the anagramming seemed an unlikely method, and also there were plenty of vowel pairs throughout the grid where you could technically consider the 2nd vowel "silent" (as in ROAM or GOAD) so what to do with those? Bah.
The trigger for me came whilst focusing on the monosyllabic 2nd word of the long answers. I was considering whether the G in HIGH and SIGN could be considered a silent letter, and then SINAI - SIGN-I jumped out at me. Looking back at my notes, early on I had written down "BEES - BIZET - A" and "BOWS - BOZO - O" ...[facepalm]... I don't know what I was thinking or why I didn't stick with it, I just know I didn't have any clue until much later.
Four long answers plus the middle answer is a common pattern, I think. My first inkling came when I decided to concentrate on the monosyllabic 2nd words of the long answers and then noticed MEN and MENU.

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Bird Lives
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#298

Post by Bird Lives » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:37 am

I started by spotting the OBOES / BOWS connection. That led me to BIZET, HEIDI, SINAI, and MENU. The wrong rabbit hole had an underground passage leading to the right one. But why was the O at the beginning? Then I was explaining the mechanism to my wife (not a puzzle person), and she, unbidden, saw BOZO.

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LittleGood
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#299

Post by LittleGood » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:49 am

I was hung up on SOLI/STOLI for a good long while.

flyingMoose
Posts: 57
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#300

Post by flyingMoose » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:50 am

For your amusement-

When filling out the grid, I noticed a number of given names. Their first letters could spell out CHOIR (hopefully choirs do better than a Sound, but still). There were seven letters and they weren't in the right places (Across/Down) or order, but there seemed to be possibilities. So down the rabbit hole I went, never to return.

With Olga and Igor in the upper corners, I at least had two letters in the correct order. Then I noticed CHekhov in the first clue. Heeding the notion that there are no rules, I decided I could take letters from the clue *and* the grid. Now I have CHOI. Then in the SW corner I have Reds, an allusion to the Red Army in the Russian Civil War? All of the letters now have a Russian connection. Also chekHOV and “sound OFF” seem related.

Hmm. But what do I do with the SE corner? Wait! The Prozorov sisters are from the Chekhov play, Three Sisters. I am only supposed to use the first three corners. Eureka! CHOIR it is!

Even as I arrived at this meta, what did I not like about it? 1) It did not use any of the long answers in the grid. 2) The connection of the meta with Sound is tenuous at best. 3) There were a couple of odd answers in the grid that must be there for a reason, and I did not use any of them. What did I like about my meta? I could not come up with anything else. :)

As noted in an earlier post, hopefully I will be in the running for the Innovative Imagination Mug awarded at the end of the year.

I am only eleven weeks into trying these things. With my incipient skill level and experience, anything above a 2.5 is going to be a struggle for the time being.

Later: I see I should have pursued the long answers a little harder. For example, I saw the similarity of BOWS and BOZO while I was deep down the rabbit hole, but never drew the inference that this was an example of the mechanism. I had my blinders on.

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