"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.
Rate the difficulty of the meta
Locked
matthewmoravec
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:37 am

Re: "Sound Off" - May 29, 2020

#301

Post by matthewmoravec » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:16 am

I submitted the correct answer, although I was hampered by unknowingly mispronouncing Bizet (had thought Biz rhymed with fizz) and being stuck on HYPOS as the match for SKY HIGH for a while. It was satisfying to get the answer eventually, but I wondered if I missed something because the first words of the theme answers didn't seem to participate with the meta in any way.

Lost_at_Sea
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 10:02 am

#302

Post by Lost_at_Sea » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:25 am

BIZET, French or English?

It is not BEES - A, it's
Bees-eh

But clever meta nonetheless

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 781
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#303

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:27 am

flyingMoose wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:50 am
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.
This is the correct approach, attitude, and confidence.

I am over a year into these, am much better than I was at 11 weeks, and expect to be better in future years. Coming back every week and asking for & being open to help from veterans enhances my ability.

Despite being stuck on a Week 5 MGWCC currently, I expect to crack its code by noon, tomorrow. It took me several months to try my first, but I am getting better & enjoying every minute of it. I wish I had time to do all puzzles, particularly the Monday Muggles'. As my ability grows & solve times reduce, I expect to be able to.

As frustrating as these can be for those just starting to solve, the frustration lessens with experience. Confidence in that will keep you in the game.

The bonus is that this great community migrated here from the WSJ Crossword Contests' comments. Thank you to BrianMac for creating & maintaining this space, Bob - our Cruise Director for herding, counting, & welcoming everyone, to the seasoned veterans welcoming, aiding, & tolerating all, and to new muggles arriving every week to these shores to build & enhance this fun community.
Last edited by Joe Ross on Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Stukmn
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:15 pm
Location: Cincinnati

#304

Post by Stukmn » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:28 am

I got the answer but used oboes (like O-bows) instead of bozo. I don’t even think I remembered filling bozo in! HA! Bozo definitely works better as the sound is at the end like the others.

It will be interesting to see how many right and wrong answers there are with all the inventive rabbits that have been popping up on here.
Don’t bother me until I’ve had my coffee and done the crossword.

User avatar
Eric Porter
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun May 05, 2019 2:19 am
Location: Bellevue, WA

#305

Post by Eric Porter » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:04 am

Lost_at_Sea wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:25 am
BIZET, French or English?

It is not BEES - A, it's
Bees-eh

But clever meta nonetheless
Bees / Bizet was the first one I noticed. When I didn't see anything hidden in the theme answers I read them aloud. Then I got Sign / Sinai, followed by the rest.

I know some French, so I held off on assigning a letter to Bizet until I had the other 4. Wordplay is an inexact science.

Devilbunny
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:40 pm

#306

Post by Devilbunny » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:06 am

Well, I had AMOEBAS instead of AMOEBAE, which gave me xxZST, so I jumped to LIZST instead of BIZET. Never thought to Google it to check. That gave me LAH instead off BAH, but LAH is a fairly common word in Singaporean English, and maybe its meaning can be dismissive? Haven’t spent a lot of time around Singaporeans lately. So I left it.

I don’t think I would have gotten it anyway, as I was far too focused on something relating to the sections of an orchestra - HORN, OBOES, maybe STEEL drums if a somewhat modern production, VIOLIN for the strings, SOLI indicating it was a choral performance... and then SOLI/STOLI kept me going for a while.

boharr
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:57 am

#307

Post by boharr » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:14 am

TMart wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:55 am
Also, a five-letter answer usually means the four longest words plus the center word are the themers.
Good tip.

boharr
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:57 am

#308

Post by boharr » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:17 am

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:46 am

The answer popped out quickly when I followed my Golden Rule: say each grid word out loud.
Another good tup.

User avatar
LadyBird
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:20 pm
Location: Chicagoland

#309

Post by LadyBird » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:18 am

I see that I was doing a lot of socially undistanced mingling in a variety of rabbit holes on my way to the answer! First I got caught up wondering if Sound Off referred to military cadence, so I was looking for left/right or call/respond types of answers--that might have been a solitary rabbit hole. Then Soli/Stoli had me for quite a while. Then I went after silent letters but there were too many of them when you considered vowels. Then I got caught up in noticing that a lot of answers ended with the letter I.

It didn't help that I had Lizst as the composer for a while--doesn't everyone yell "Lah" when they are frustrated?

I wasn't sure exactly which 5 answers were the long answers at first. It finally clicked when I put together Bees and Bizet.

But then I ran in to my first sandbar on my swim to shore. I made Heidi an E--so there I had 5 vowels. Vowel must be the word. But it didn't fit the theme. And technically, with 5 of them, it should be vowels. Then I realized Heidi should be a D. Which brought me to sandbar #2. D with a bunch of vowels = adieu of course. But that's more like Sign Off, not Sound Off. Then I looked at the letters a little more closely and got AUDIO.

User avatar
jenirvin
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:05 pm
Location: Alexandria, VA

#310

Post by jenirvin » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:18 am

I got stuck on the TANS/HANS, TORN/HORN rabbit and never got back to the puzzle all weekend. Congrats to all solvers!
~ Jennifer/jenirvin

User avatar
damefox
Posts: 282
Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:18 pm

#311

Post by damefox » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:19 am

When I stare at the grid for an hour and get nowhere, I assume the mechanism must lie in the clues. When I then stare at the clues for an hour and get nowhere, I realize it must be a "sounds like" situation (thank you, cryptic crosswords). Arguably that should've occurred to me a lot sooner given the title, but for some reason this is one of the hardest mechanisms for me. Even once I figured out it depended on the sounds at the end of the long entries, I was taking the letters not the sounds from the corresponding entries and getting such nonsense as ETDIO (which is annoyingly *so close*) before my boyfriend pointed out I should not switch from sounds to actual letters midway through the mechanism.

User avatar
spotter
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:48 pm
Location: SLO, CA

#312

Post by spotter » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:20 am

Devilbunny wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:06 am
Well, I had AMOEBAS instead of AMOEBAE, which gave me xxZST, so I jumped to LIZST instead of BIZET. Never thought to Google it to check. That gave me LAH instead off BAH, but LAH is a fairly common word in Singaporean English, and maybe its meaning can be dismissive? Haven’t spent a lot of time around Singaporeans lately. So I left it.

I don’t think I would have gotten it anyway, as I was far too focused on something relating to the sections of an orchestra - HORN, OBOES, maybe STEEL drums if a somewhat modern production, VIOLIN for the strings, SOLI indicating it was a choral performance... and then SOLI/STOLI kept me going for a while.
I did the exact same thing, except I had UDIO and knew the A had to be somewhere. I asked a fellow muggle for help finding the A, and it wasn't until he asked if I knew how to pronounce French names that I realized where my mistake must be. Turns out the name is LISZT, not LIZST anyway...

User avatar
TPS
Posts: 361
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:19 pm
Location: Florida

#313

Post by TPS » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:41 am

flyingMoose wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:50 am
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).
Glad I wasn’t the only one who saw this.

User avatar
tigerfly222
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:00 am
Location: Barcelona

#314

Post by tigerfly222 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:53 am

Devilbunny wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:06 am
I don’t think I would have gotten it anyway, as I was far too focused on something relating to the sections of an orchestra - HORN, OBOES, maybe STEEL drums if a somewhat modern production, VIOLIN for the strings, SOLI indicating it was a choral performance... and then SOLI/STOLI kept me going for a while.
After last week's musically-minded meta, I tried mightily to avoid any such topic this week. But what you described above made an appearance in my notes anyway. What with the title involving "sound" I couldn't ignore all those instruments hanging out in the grid.

User avatar
hcbirker
Posts: 486
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:24 pm
Location: Studio City, CA

#315

Post by hcbirker » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:56 am

Bob cruise director wrote:
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.
I had no idea my name would be part of the meta! I am hanging my head in shame!
Heidi

User avatar
TPS
Posts: 361
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:19 pm
Location: Florida

#316

Post by TPS » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:10 am

I probably would never have gotten this one and probably will never get one like it. I have a learning disability (IDK if they call them that anymore) where I have a hard time distinguishing between homonyms. I remember being in kindergarten and getting into an argument with my teacher that there is no difference in the pronunciation of “pin” and “pen”. I am also tone deaf - probably why I have minimal interest in or knowledge of music. I can tell the difference between a very high pitch and very low pitch but not between a low pitch and a slightly lower pitch. So any puzzle that relates to how a word is said - I’m not going to have a shot at. I think there was a PGW puzzle several weeks back that employed a similar technique and I was never going to solve that one either.

User avatar
DaveKennison
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:28 pm

#317

Post by DaveKennison » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:12 am

While working on the meta for this puzzle, I did something that I have not done before and it worked well: I created a list of all 76 grid entries (with prefixed periods to pad the shorter ones to a length of ten characters), sorted the list, and printed a copy of it to look at while sounding them all out. At 77, my short-term memory is beginning to go; the list served as a kind of external memory to bolster my own failing one and gave me the answer within a minute or two. (Of course, I had some idea what I was looking for already.)

User avatar
OGuyDave
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:03 am
Location: Philadelphia/Naples

#318

Post by OGuyDave » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:21 am

Unsolved. Can't imagine ever solving it.

The enjoyment I got out of this puzzle was a fond memory after seeing the answer to 5A. You see, it's also a town in Oregon. We cycled through this town near the end of a cross-country tour, and I remember Don the leader telling us the story of how the town got its name: "White man, no tie." Read about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noti,_Oregon under "History."

TFTXWD nonetheless
Last edited by OGuyDave on Mon Jun 01, 2020 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
tigerfly222
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 5:00 am
Location: Barcelona

#319

Post by tigerfly222 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:28 am

CPJohnson wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:36 am
tigerfly222 wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 5:53 am
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.
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.
Gee, it's almost like we're related or something! :lol:

User avatar
Bob cruise director
Cruise Director
Posts: 1557
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Location: any golf course that will take my money

#320

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:32 am

hcbirker wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:56 am
Bob cruise director wrote:
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.
I had no idea my name would be part of the meta! I am hanging my head in shame!
Potentially an inadvertent spoiler LOL :lol:
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

Locked