"Color Code" - July 24, 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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boharr
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Re: "Color Code" - July 24, 2020

#361

Post by boharr » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:12 pm

Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:57 am


Al, I run into that ALL THE TIME. It's especially exhausting when I'm doing a project for a British publisher and an American one simultaneously.
Isn't there some macro you could run that would flop the period and quotation marks both ways as needed?

VanVeen
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#362

Post by VanVeen » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:14 pm

I only got this accidentally.

Not having a printer, I screen-capped the grid and opened it in Photoshop. Then, in a new layer, I colored in the c-o-d-e squares thinking that maybe those squares along with the black squares already in the grid would form a shape or word or something. I stared for a long time hoping something would pop out, but nothing. So I went to hide the layer with the filled in squares but accidentally hid the grid layer instead. All that was left was the dot-dash pattern.

I'd have never gotten it otherwise.

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Al Sisti
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#363

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:38 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:12 pm
Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:57 am


Al, I run into that ALL THE TIME. It's especially exhausting when I'm doing a project for a British publisher and an American one simultaneously.
Isn't there some macro you could run that would flop the period and quotation marks both ways as needed?
I've wondered that too. My favorite author is John Connolly -- an Irishman -- and the books in his Charlie Parker series usually come out in Ireland four months or so before they're released in the US...and I suspect a lot of the time is necessary because of the different styles/spellings. We showed him though... during the four month wait for one of the books, we went to Ireland and bought a copy there. Between airfare and Guinness(es), that may be the most expensive book I ever purchased.

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Wendy Walker
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#364

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:39 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:12 pm
Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:57 am


Al, I run into that ALL THE TIME. It's especially exhausting when I'm doing a project for a British publisher and an American one simultaneously.
Isn't there some macro you could run that would flop the period and quotation marks both ways as needed?
You bet! But it's not always that simple: British English often uses single quote marks where we would use double ones, so if you're not careful you end up with apostrophes in words like "can't" turning into double quote marks. I also need to do a careful search-and-replace for "behaviour," "colour," "whilst," and the like -- but of course you can't change the wording/spelling of direct quotations and references.
Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday.

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cbarbee002
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#365

Post by cbarbee002 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:40 pm

Feeling a bit better - - onshore with the MGWCC meta.

MikeMillerwsj
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#366

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:43 pm

Greetings contest fans--and if this one stumped you, you are not alone. This was one of our toughest contests ever! We had 703 entries, only about 54% correct. Your faithful correspondent had to beg Mike Shenk for hints.

67 of you guessed PAINT (whose letters showed up enticingly in 19A SAWPRINT and 51A SAINTPAT. Lots of 5-letter colors in the guessing pile: GREEN (24), BLACK (20), SEPIA (7), and several others. Plus SHADE (24), PRISM (22), and heartbreakingly close, WINES (12).

Congrats on this week's winner: Emily Koczela of Peterborough, NH!

boharr
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#367

Post by boharr » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:49 pm

Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:39 pm
boharr wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:12 pm
Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:57 am


Al, I run into that ALL THE TIME. It's especially exhausting when I'm doing a project for a British publisher and an American one simultaneously.
Isn't there some macro you could run that would flop the period and quotation marks both ways as needed?
You bet! But it's not always that simple: British English often uses single quote marks where we would use double ones, so if you're not careful you end up with apostrophes in words like "can't" turning into double quote marks. I also need to do a careful search-and-replace for "behaviour," "colour," "whilst," and the like -- but of course you can't change the wording/spelling of direct quotations and references.
Yeah, always complications with this sort of things. Not to go back to a previous discussion, but back in the day we had a macro that would change a period followed by a double space (still favored by many) to a period followed by a single space. It was the first thing we ran before we started editing.

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BethA
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#368

Post by BethA » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:13 pm

I was on PRISM island. Several of my various contorted solving attempts produced the P, R, and S. The 56A clue ...NBC... suggested peacock, a rainbow of colors. A prism sort of decodes a light beam by splitting it into the separate colors.

Clue 55D confused me. I never took it literally and never colored in any squares! Misguidedly thought that TINT was the important part. Obviously it must be because why else would there be so many other INTs in the grid??

Was also in the resistor code group, but didn’t see how to get anything out of it. Thought it was a bit too specialized knowledge for a regular crossword, too. Hard to let go of with the big BLACK and BROWN so prominent right in the middle. Nice to learn that there is a mnemonic that is not offensive to women! I learned Bad Boys...yada yada yada...

Also studied up on tints and shades, and reviewed 5-letter color names. Had SEPIA and AMBER for quite awhile as prime backup answers.

I know a lot of this is repeating points in previous posts, but for some reason, coming here and “confessing” helps me put it behind, and start looking forward to the next one on Thursday!

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Gman
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#369

Post by Gman » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:17 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:43 pm
Greetings contest fans--and if this one stumped you, you are not alone. This was one of our toughest contests ever! We had 703 entries, only about 54% correct. Your faithful correspondent had to beg Mike Shenk for hints.

67 of you guessed PAINT (whose letters showed up enticingly in 19A SAWPRINT and 51A SAINTPAT. Lots of 5-letter colors in the guessing pile: GREEN (24), BLACK (20), SEPIA (7), and several others. Plus SHADE (24), PRISM (22), and heartbreakingly close, WINES (12).

Congrats on this week's winner: Emily Koczela of Peterborough, NH!
It gives me a small bit of comfort that I had 66 fellow muggles who also guessed PAINT. I will have to add Morse code (and maybe semaphore? :shock: ) to my repertoire. How Mike Shenk comes up with so many different mechanisms to construct these metas is absolutely amazing.

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Janet P
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#370

Post by Janet P » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:30 pm

yourpalsal wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:43 am
Another rabbit hole was hexcode for colors. If the answer had been six letters, I would’ve wrestled that one endlessly. But it was still interesting to learn how color codes in photoshop and other apps work. Base 16 is pretty cool.
I wrestled with that.
Endlessly. Or so it seemed.
Until I gave up.
“For myself, I am an optimist. It does not seem much use being anything else...”
― Winston Churchill, The Lord Mayor's Banquet, 9 November 1954

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Larrry
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#371

Post by Larrry » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:37 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:43 pm
Greetings contest fans--and if this one stumped you, you are not alone. This was one of our toughest contests ever! We had 703 entries, only about 54% correct.
Thanks Mike!

I dont know about everyone else, but each week I wait for Mike's post and say to myself, "If I can get them all correct, at this rate I will win a mug in 703 x 54% / 52 weeks = 7.3 years"

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whimsy
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#372

Post by whimsy » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:42 pm

Thank you, everybody!
I don't think I've ever learned so much doing a puzzle as I did this time. (Just did not get the ultimate answer.)
And I don't think I ever felt so much empathy, and so much familiarity with all your rabbit hole comments as this time around.
Or had so many hearty chuckles -- an excellent exchange for any disappointment! :D

stmv
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#373

Post by stmv » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:47 pm

One heuristic for solving these metas is to look for grid entries that seem out of place (wouldn't ordinarily appear in a well-constructed non-meta puzzle). A good example was SULPA in the (in)famous A PLUS puzzle.

In this puzzle I kept thinking that VALUTA and MIRI and MIII were out of place. In 20-20 hindsight, I now see that these sorts of less-than-ideal entries are there due to the constraints that the letters of CODE not appear anywhere else than in the five theme entries (in the right places). So in this case I wasted a lot of time puzzling over VALUTA and MIRI and MIII....

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pookie
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#374

Post by pookie » Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:53 pm

bhamren wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:06 am
After seeing the answer I regret putting any effort into it.
Ditto. Looked at it Friday for 20 minutes and put it away. Sunday my friend who also solves asked if I got anything. Nope.
These last puzzles remind me of watching a movie you really get into and follow the plot very closely and then the ending leaves you wondering why you wasted all that time invested in it.
WHAT? THAT'S IT?
Now we're supposed to be proficient in Morse Code.
Wake me up when we are required to transpose concert pitch for Alto sax, trumpet, tenor sax, French horn and know all of the substitute dominant 7ths.

Devilbunny
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#375

Post by Devilbunny » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:00 pm

I will say that the rabbit hole I got stuck in before a nudge was that five answers implicity or explicitly indicated a color:

SAW PRINT ->black
BLACK CATS ->black
DIOCESE ->white (for vestments), possibly purple or red?
SLAVE ANTS ->red or black, could be either
SAINT PAT -> green

Obviously, could make nothing of that.

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SusieG
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#376

Post by SusieG » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:13 pm

Inca wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:59 am
I'm relieved when I see the answer and realize I never would have gotten it no matter what.

The problem is that I don't know that before I start and although I no longer spend as much time as I used to, the puzzle still stays somewhere in the background of my mind all weekend and pops up from time to time to taunt me, "Maybe, you should keep trying and you'd figure it out." That is not an enjoyable situation for me.

The metas I really enjoy are the ones that are much more word play than this one. (Not a complaint about the puzzle which was great--just my personal preference) I did get the word play part of coloring in the letters of the word code (pretty obviously spelled out) but not the leap to morse code from there. So, at least I was spared googling to "translate".

I wish there was a way I could know right away if I should let it go or keep on keeping on.
I do wish I’d given up earlier in the weekend instead of thinking “I will print a fresh copy and I’m sure it will be obvious.” THREE times. My family will probably host an intervention if I have another weekend like this. I just kept thinking I was really close because I saw so many false clues. I can’t imagine being able to give it up before Sunday afternoon, though! :lol:

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Hector
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#377

Post by Hector » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:13 pm

I love the mechanism, fun and clever, and enjoyed the solve. The hint, "Color, like you might want to do with the title's last word," though, was for me more of a hindrance than a help, since it sounds like either you're supposed to color something with a code, or color the *word* "code," or color something somehow using the word "code." There really isn't a reading of that clue that accurately describes what you want to do, unless I'm missing it. Coloring the letters in a word that are scattered in the grid is not a way of coloring the word (the word isn't there to color), let alone coloring *with* the word. It's similarly a stretch to construe the title as "Color C, o, d, e," but that seems more like the kind of parsing sneakiness one expects in these things. I think I would have gotten there quicker without the hint, though who knows.

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Colin
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#378

Post by Colin » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:15 pm

Larrry wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:37 pm
MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:43 pm
Greetings contest fans--and if this one stumped you, you are not alone. This was one of our toughest contests ever! We had 703 entries, only about 54% correct.
Thanks Mike!

I dont know about everyone else, but each week I wait for Mike's post and say to myself, "If I can get them all correct, at this rate I will win a mug in 703 x 54% / 52 weeks = 7.3 years"
Wow! If the odds are that good, I’ll spend even more time on trying to solve! (if that’s possible!)
One world. One planet. One future.

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spotter
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#379

Post by spotter » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:21 pm

Hector wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:13 pm
I love the mechanism, fun and clever, and enjoyed the solve. The hint, "Color, like you might want to do with the title's last word," though, was for me more of a hindrance than a help, since it sounds like either you're supposed to color something with a code, or color the *word* "code," or color something somehow using the word "code." There really isn't a reading of that clue that accurately describes what you want to do, unless I'm missing it. Coloring the letters in a word that are scattered in the grid is not a way of coloring the word (the word isn't there to color), let alone coloring *with* the word. It's similarly a stretch to construe the title as "Color C, o, d, e," but that seems more like the kind of parsing sneakiness one expects in these things. I think I would have gotten there quicker without the hint, though who knows.
I got really hung up looking for a deeper meaning to this. And thought I was smart at one point for realizing THESECONDCOMING was a famous poem title and that maybe the intent was to tint out the last word, leaving only "THESECOND". Then I couldn't get any further, and realized there are many other titles of things scattered around and it must be incorrect.

boharr
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#380

Post by boharr » Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:24 pm

Hector wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:13 pm
It's similarly a stretch to construe the title as "Color C, o, d, e," but that seems more like the kind of parsing sneakiness one expects in these things.
It was very sneaky parsing-wise. I was looking for the word "code" too. It wasn't till I really saw SLAVEANTS with its single E that it occurred to me to look for the *letters* in the word code. Then turns out they were only in the themers.

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