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

#401

Post by DrTom » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:56 pm

LadyBird wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:45 pm
Being a retired ICU nurse, the first think that popped into my mind was CODE BLUE = get the crash cart STAT (I heard that way too many times)! There was no good blue in the grid (unless you really stretched ARTURO to TUR(quoise). But that didn't stop me from looking for other hospital color codes:

CODE GREEN (SAINTPAT) = all clear after a CODE RED (SLAVEANTS?) = fire

CODE PINK(RINK) = infant abduction

CODE BLACK (BLACKCATS) = tornado sighted. Heard that once--at the start of my evening shift. Called home quick to tell the kids to get into the basement. Then went into my patient's room to figure out how to protect him. Moving him down from the 7th floor--or even into the hall--wasn't realistic due to the ventilator, monitor, IV drips, etc. Fortunately, it didn't come close enough to do any damage.

CODE BROWN (BROWNS)--never heard on the overhead paging system--but mentioned to a co-worker as a way of asking for help with cleaning up a patient--my worst was diarrhea dripping onto the floor.

I never did figure this out--even with a little help. I waited too late to ask for that last nudge. After lunch with my son/wife and dinner with my daughter/husband, I just didn't have the time or the energy. Oh well, my little streak is over. On to a new streak on Thursday, I hope.

And a hearty congrats to all of you (or the few of you) who figured this out!
Luckily there was not the ubiquitous crossword answer ADAM or I'd have chased the same thing as you. We don't have a code PINK we have CODE ADAM for a child abduction. I'm actually surprised most hospitals have not changed to a Code AMBER for child abduction given that terms being associated with snatched kids (AMBER ALERTS here).

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DrTom
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#402

Post by DrTom » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:09 pm

TPS wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:50 pm
damefox wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:43 pm
The odds were 1 in 380 and I STILL didn't win the mug?? Rigged, I tell you!
I feel like they should just let you buy a mug for like $10 if you submit a correct answer. Some other contests do that - I’ve only been doing this for 18 months or so now and only ever submitted maybe 10-12 times so I can’t complain but I feel bad for some of the people on here who have been regular solvers for years and still have nothing to show for it.
As nice as a mug would be, and at this point I think I only want one because everybody wants one, I would hardly say I have nothing to show for all the time I have spent on the puzzles and on this board. I now have bunches of friends I did not even know before. I have people who will rush to my aid if asked, and ask for my counsel (which probably is a bad idea but....), and educate me on things on which I previously had no knowledge. I know more about music, mixology, birds, history of some towns, and so on. All of this without any shouting or snarking, mention of a political agenda or bad language. If I could transfer this group to my FaceBook account I'd do it in a heartbeat.

So, no I do not have a mug, but I would not trade this forum for anything. I almost feel like I would not WANT a mug because that might somehow suggest to me that I had reached the pinnacle (APEX, ACME) and no longer had to try, If I got the mug it would be completely by luck and not a reflection of my skill unless I solve every META from every constructor with ease within the first few minutes. That, I can tell you now would never happen and life would be sooooo boring if it did. The pleasure that I get when I actually get the answer would be so diminished if happened all the time. So Mike Miller, if you are listening, if you ever pull my name pick again. I'm not the champion and my pleasure comes from the collective not the individual. I guess we are kind of a BORG BOARD!

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hcbirker
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#403

Post by hcbirker » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:13 pm

DrTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:09 pm
TPS wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:50 pm
damefox wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:43 pm
The odds were 1 in 380 and I STILL didn't win the mug?? Rigged, I tell you!
I feel like they should just let you buy a mug for like $10 if you submit a correct answer. Some other contests do that - I’ve only been doing this for 18 months or so now and only ever submitted maybe 10-12 times so I can’t complain but I feel bad for some of the people on here who have been regular solvers for years and still have nothing to show for it.
As nice as a mug would be, and at this point I think I only want one because everybody wants one, I would hardly say I have nothing to show for all the time I have spent on the puzzles and on this board. I now have bunches of friends I did not even know before. I have people who will rush to my aid if asked, and ask for my counsel (which probably is a bad idea but....), and educate me on things on which I previously had no knowledge. I know more about music, mixology, birds, history of some towns, and so on. All of this without any shouting or snarking, mention of a political agenda or bad language. If I could transfer this group to my FaceBook account I'd do it in a heartbeat.

So, no I do not have a mug, but I would not trade this forum for anything. I almost feel like I would not WANT a mug because that might somehow suggest to me that I had reached the pinnacle (APEX, ACME) and no longer had to try, If I got the mug it would be completely by luck and not a reflection of my skill unless I solve every META from every constructor with ease within the first few minutes. That, I can tell you now would never happen and life would be sooooo boring if it did. The pleasure that I get when I actually get the answer would be so diminished if happened all the time. So Mike Miller, if you are listening, if you ever pull my name pick again. I'm not the champion and my pleasure comes from the collective not the individual. I guess we are kind of a BORG BOARD!
Wish I could give you a hug Dr. Tom!
Heidi

steveb
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#404

Post by steveb » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:39 pm

hcbirker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:13 pm
DrTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:09 pm
TPS wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:50 pm


I feel like they should just let you buy a mug for like $10 if you submit a correct answer. Some other contests do that - I’ve only been doing this for 18 months or so now and only ever submitted maybe 10-12 times so I can’t complain but I feel bad for some of the people on here who have been regular solvers for years and still have nothing to show for it.
As nice as a mug would be, and at this point I think I only want one because everybody wants one, I would hardly say I have nothing to show for all the time I have spent on the puzzles and on this board. I now have bunches of friends I did not even know before. I have people who will rush to my aid if asked, and ask for my counsel (which probably is a bad idea but....), and educate me on things on which I previously had no knowledge. I know more about music, mixology, birds, history of some towns, and so on. All of this without any shouting or snarking, mention of a political agenda or bad language. If I could transfer this group to my FaceBook account I'd do it in a heartbeat.

So, no I do not have a mug, but I would not trade this forum for anything. I almost feel like I would not WANT a mug because that might somehow suggest to me that I had reached the pinnacle (APEX, ACME) and no longer had to try, If I got the mug it would be completely by luck and not a reflection of my skill unless I solve every META from every constructor with ease within the first few minutes. That, I can tell you now would never happen and life would be sooooo boring if it did. The pleasure that I get when I actually get the answer would be so diminished if happened all the time. So Mike Miller, if you are listening, if you ever pull my name pick again. I'm not the champion and my pleasure comes from the collective not the individual. I guess we are kind of a BORG BOARD!
Wish I could give you a hug Dr. Tom!
Yeah, it's not really about the mug - it's about the quest. But Mike, if you ever do draw my name, I'll accept the mug!

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Joe Ross
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#405

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:41 pm

Andrew Bradburn wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:00 pm
I would like to ask the folks on this board how they feel about people praising the construction/grid etc. of a still-live puzzle. Do you think it is a spoiler of any kind? I do. If not a great spoiler, a semi-spoiler. It certainly had that affect on me with this puzzle. I was getting nowhere after quite a while of pondering this, then after seeing someone's comment about how great the construction was, I got it in a few minutes. Why? If the construction is so notable, it tells me that 1) the answer is right there in the grid, no clues involved, and 2) the mechanism to solve the puzzle involves a highly restrictive set of letters. So I changed my focus to what was unusual or restrictive about this puzzle, and almost immediately the dearth of the letters C,O,D and E jumped out at me. Having created a few puzzles myself, I know just how hard it can be to get the right letters/phrases into a grid that is symmetrical.

I know people like talking about the puzzle while it is still live, and try to avoid obvious spoilers, but for me at least, I find this type of comment also spoilerish. Am I alone in this opinion?
You make an excellent point, one that hadn't occurred to me, and one which I've perpetuated. I'm not going to spend a lot of time gnashing my teeth with guilt, but I do take your point and will be careful in the future.

Recently, I've been trying to avoid mentioning I alcohol in every post, which I'll continue. Damn y'all for making me a better person!

Thank you for bringing it up, Andrew, and explaining the issue in a clear way.

M and M
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#406

Post by M and M » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:44 pm

Hi, everyone.

I'm the lucky Muggle who won the mug this week. I know we are always tickled when it is one of us that wins, so I wanted to give a quick cheer to this lively and fun group that is always my best companions in rabbit-chasing. I post under the name M and M - and there I am on the cruise director list with my husband. (the other M)

Anyway, I'll just say that my first reaction was to check with my whole family to be sure it wasn't a prank email! But it wasn't - and now that I have a WSJ mug, I have no more ambitions in life.

Emily

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C=64
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#407

Post by C=64 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:45 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:43 pm
Congrats on this week's winner: Emily Koczela of Peterborough, NH!
I went to high school in Peterborough and once published a shoddy crossword puzzle in the school paper. That's all I got.

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hcbirker
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#408

Post by hcbirker » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:51 pm

M and M wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:44 pm
Hi, everyone.

I'm the lucky Muggle who won the mug this week. I know we are always tickled when it is one of us that wins, so I wanted to give a quick cheer to this lively and fun group that is always my best companions in rabbit-chasing. I post under the name M and M - and there I am on the cruise director list with my husband. (the other M)

Anyway, I'll just say that my first reaction was to check with my whole family to be sure it wasn't a prank email! But it wasn't - and now that I have a WSJ mug, I have no more ambitions in life.

Emily
Congrats Emily!
Heidi

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Al Sisti
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#409

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:03 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:06 pm
Andrew Bradburn wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:00 pm
I would like to ask the folks on this board how they feel about people praising the construction/grid etc. of a still-live puzzle. Do you think it is a spoiler of any kind? I do. If not a great spoiler, a semi-spoiler. It certainly had that affect on me with this puzzle. I was getting nowhere after quite a while of pondering this, then after seeing someone's comment about how great the construction was, I got it in a few minutes. Why? If the construction is so notable, it tells me that 1) the answer is right there in the grid, no clues involved, and 2) the mechanism to solve the puzzle involves a highly restrictive set of letters. So I changed my focus to what was unusual or restrictive about this puzzle, and almost immediately the dearth of the letters C,O,D and E jumped out at me. Having created a few puzzles myself, I know just how hard it can be to get the right letters/phrases into a grid that is symmetrical.

I know people like talking about the puzzle while it is still live, and try to avoid obvious spoilers, but for me at least, I find this type of comment also spoilerish. Am I alone in this opinion?
I'm not sure what the answer is and if there will be a consensus, but I think you make some good points.
Totally agree. I never say a meta is easy (even if it is), but I know I'm guilty of praising a meta for the elegance of its construction. I do hear what you're saying though...

SusieG
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#410

Post by SusieG » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:18 pm

M and M wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:44 pm
Hi, everyone.

I'm the lucky Muggle who won the mug this week. I know we are always tickled when it is one of us that wins, so I wanted to give a quick cheer to this lively and fun group that is always my best companions in rabbit-chasing. I post under the name M and M - and there I am on the cruise director list with my husband. (the other M)

Anyway, I'll just say that my first reaction was to check with my whole family to be sure it wasn't a prank email! But it wasn't - and now that I have a WSJ mug, I have no more ambitions in life.

Emily
-.-. --- -. --. .-. .- - ..- .-.. .- - .. --- -. ... / -- / .- -. -.. / -- -.-.--
(Congratulations M & M!)

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Jeremy Smith
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#411

Post by Jeremy Smith » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:29 pm

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:36 am
I'm a non-Eagle scout and also the current holder of a Novice-class Ham Radio license (they don't even grant those anymore, mine's grandfathered, I keep it renewed) and I had no idea how to find this.

Morse code or not.


That’s okay—I’m an Amateur Extra, and I never thought of Morse code being the key to the solution.

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Jeremy Smith
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#412

Post by Jeremy Smith » Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:29 pm

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:36 am
I'm a non-Eagle scout and also the current holder of a Novice-class Ham Radio license (they don't even grant those anymore, mine's grandfathered, I keep it renewed) and I had no idea how to find this.

Morse code or not.
That’s okay—I’m an Amateur Extra, and I never thought of Morse code being the key to the solution.

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Wendy Walker
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#413

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:43 pm

pookie wrote:
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.
Pookie, I recall a similar comment years ago from another frustrated Muggle who said it was singularly unfair to expect solvers to recognize common phrases in a bunch of different languages. But it's not like you have to KNOW the foreign phrases (or Morse Code -- which I don't). You just have to be aware of their existence and know how you can obtain the required information. As my seventh-grade history teacher used to say: "Work from the known to the unknown."
Good luck, fellow Muggles!

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Wendy Walker
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#414

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:45 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:45 pm
steveb wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:41 pm
Colin wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:15 pm

Wow! If the odds are that good, I’ll spend even more time on trying to solve! (if that’s possible!)
The odds would be slightly worse than that. Since Dec. 25 falls on a Friday this year, there will be no WSJ that day, and thus only 51 crossword contests in 2020. In fact, since Jan. 1, 2021 is also on a Friday, be prepared for a 3-week gap between metas. That happened at the end of 2015, too.
They won't move the contest to Thursday, the day before? They'll just skip that weeK?
C'mon, Boharr. You should expect anything less from this wretched year?!
Good luck, fellow Muggles!

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Colin
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#415

Post by Colin » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:39 pm

M and M wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:44 pm
Hi, everyone.

I'm the lucky Muggle who won the mug this week. I know we are always tickled when it is one of us that wins, so I wanted to give a quick cheer to this lively and fun group that is always my best companions in rabbit-chasing. I post under the name M and M - and there I am on the cruise director list with my husband. (the other M)

Anyway, I'll just say that my first reaction was to check with my whole family to be sure it wasn't a prank email! But it wasn't - and now that I have a WSJ mug, I have no more ambitions in life.

Emily
Well, we’ve just finished dinner, so I can’t toast you. But I do have some M&Ms so as well as the mug, you get a chocoholic toast!
Well done Emily!
One world. One planet. One future.

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MajordomoTom
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#416

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:52 pm

Jeremy Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:29 pm
MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:36 am
I'm a non-Eagle scout and also the current holder of a Novice-class Ham Radio license (they don't even grant those anymore, mine's grandfathered, I keep it renewed) and I had no idea how to find this.

Morse code or not.
That’s okay—I’m an Amateur Extra, and I never thought of Morse code being the key to the solution.
I think my novice license was issued circa 1985.

:)
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

SewYoung
Posts: 229
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#417

Post by SewYoung » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:13 pm

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:52 pm
Jeremy Smith wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:29 pm
MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:36 am
I'm a non-Eagle scout and also the current holder of a Novice-class Ham Radio license (they don't even grant those anymore, mine's grandfathered, I keep it renewed) and I had no idea how to find this.

Morse code or not.
That’s okay—I’m an Amateur Extra, and I never thought of Morse code being the key to the solution.
I think my novice license was issued circa 1985.

:)
I got mine about that time, too, but never did anything with it. I was in the Civil Air Patrol with my husband and several of us took the test at the same time. I crammed for it and promptly forgot everything that I "learned" in order to pass the test.

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#418

Post by DrTom » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:26 pm

hcbirker wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:13 pm
DrTom wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:09 pm
TPS wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:50 pm


I feel like they should just let you buy a mug for like $10 if you submit a correct answer. Some other contests do that - I’ve only been doing this for 18 months or so now and only ever submitted maybe 10-12 times so I can’t complain but I feel bad for some of the people on here who have been regular solvers for years and still have nothing to show for it.
As nice as a mug would be, and at this point I think I only want one because everybody wants one, I would hardly say I have nothing to show for all the time I have spent on the puzzles and on this board. I now have bunches of friends I did not even know before. I have people who will rush to my aid if asked, and ask for my counsel (which probably is a bad idea but....), and educate me on things on which I previously had no knowledge. I know more about music, mixology, birds, history of some towns, and so on. All of this without any shouting or snarking, mention of a political agenda or bad language. If I could transfer this group to my FaceBook account I'd do it in a heartbeat.

So, no I do not have a mug, but I would not trade this forum for anything. I almost feel like I would not WANT a mug because that might somehow suggest to me that I had reached the pinnacle (APEX, ACME) and no longer had to try, If I got the mug it would be completely by luck and not a reflection of my skill unless I solve every META from every constructor with ease within the first few minutes. That, I can tell you now would never happen and life would be sooooo boring if it did. The pleasure that I get when I actually get the answer would be so diminished if happened all the time. So Mike Miller, if you are listening, if you ever pull my name pick again. I'm not the champion and my pleasure comes from the collective not the individual. I guess we are kind of a BORG BOARD!
Wish I could give you a hug Dr. Tom!
Five times better than the mug, even alphabetically!

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DrTom
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#419

Post by DrTom » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:29 pm

M and M wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:44 pm
Hi, everyone.

I'm the lucky Muggle who won the mug this week. I know we are always tickled when it is one of us that wins, so I wanted to give a quick cheer to this lively and fun group that is always my best companions in rabbit-chasing. I post under the name M and M - and there I am on the cruise director list with my husband. (the other M)

Anyway, I'll just say that my first reaction was to check with my whole family to be sure it wasn't a prank email! But it wasn't - and now that I have a WSJ mug, I have no more ambitions in life.

Emily
Hooray for you Emily - well now the ambition has to be to get it a brother/sister! (and apparently after that a dog or cat and then one more half mug)

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BarbaraK
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#420

Post by BarbaraK » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:31 pm

Andrew Bradburn wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:00 pm
I would like to ask the folks on this board how they feel about people praising the construction/grid etc. of a still-live puzzle. Do you think it is a spoiler of any kind? I do. If not a great spoiler, a semi-spoiler. It certainly had that affect on me with this puzzle. I was getting nowhere after quite a while of pondering this, then after seeing someone's comment about how great the construction was, I got it in a few minutes. Why? If the construction is so notable, it tells me that 1) the answer is right there in the grid, no clues involved, and 2) the mechanism to solve the puzzle involves a highly restrictive set of letters. So I changed my focus to what was unusual or restrictive about this puzzle, and almost immediately the dearth of the letters C,O,D and E jumped out at me. Having created a few puzzles myself, I know just how hard it can be to get the right letters/phrases into a grid that is symmetrical.

I know people like talking about the puzzle while it is still live, and try to avoid obvious spoilers, but for me at least, I find this type of comment also spoilerish. Am I alone in this opinion?
Comments about the construction don’t spoil me. Since I’m not a constructor, I don’t have much awareness of what makes a particular puzzle easy or hard to construct. In fact, I’d have guessed that this one was not too hard. It only had 18 theme squares. The rest could be anything except c o d e. Is that difficult? Apparently so. But news to me. And this is not the first time that my totally uninformed guess about this is totally wrong.

But I can certainly see how that could be a spoiler for someone who does know about construction, especially if they know the commenter also has some construction experience.

In fact, the more you know about the people here, the more any comment can give you an idea. When someone says, “I liked it,” if I’ve noticed what types of puzzles that person has liked in the past, I can get some small idea of what to expect from this one. (Once there was an MGWCC about New York City, and the first two muggles on the leaderboard were New Yorkers. Don’t know that that would actually have helped me if I’d seen it before solving, but even that might have been a tiny spoiler.)

So I don’t really disagree with you, but I also don’t see it as a huge problem or one that will ever be totally solvable other than by avoiding all discussion while working on a meta.

Which is not to say that we shouldn’t try and think twice before posting.

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