"Tormented Artists" - July 31, 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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yourpalsal
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Re: "Tormented Artists" - July 31, 2020

#361

Post by yourpalsal » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:41 am

...and did anyone else spend some time in the YOYO OBO/YOKO ONO rabbit hole? I think Matt might’ve done that one on purpose...

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MajordomoTom
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#362

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:10 am

LadyBird wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:10 am
I first saw DAGRITTE and thought the mechanism was going to be changing one letter. Then I saw WARLIFT but obviously couldn't change that to WARHOL. I saw the true mechanism then and found the 6 answers. But then I was convinced that I needed to keep finding artists until just one letter was left in each theme answer. I didn't mind looking at a list of 100 artists for inspiration, but balked at reading through a list of 3400 names!

I finally gave up on that idea but didn't know where to go. First names popped into my head and I saw GRAPES.
same

same

was looking for Van Gogh, that failed.

same

amusingly similar paths taken.

I also kept looking for DALI and DEGAS and wasn't thrilled that DALI had a few different paths to get those letters.

proud member of team GRAPES here.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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DrTom
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#363

Post by DrTom » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:24 am

Wow, it is amazing how many of us made the PEAR or PEARS mistake or almost made it. I actually almost made a MUCH bigger one. I saw the NAME hint right off the bat (thank you Mr. Ross) and started seeing artists names. DAGRITTE immediately caught my eye because, well because how does that not in an answer so clunky it HAD to have a piece of the META in it. But what I did from there is a typical Tom. I looked for other artists I could forge from a one letter change so:
POKEHOLIDAY- KEHOE --------------------E
LLAMGASLIGHTER – LEIGH -------------- E
PREWARLIFT ------------------------------ ???
EPICEFFECT – CLEEF --------------------- L
SNIDEASSOCIATES – DEGAS -------------- G
YODAGRITTED-MAGRITTE ----------------M

I was still missing one for PREWARLIFT but I was convinced it was my own fault for not finding something that I could add a U to and get LEGUME. Luckily everything I know now from solving these said “are you out of your mind, besides being clunky how may beans or peanuts or even vegetables (going full French) have you seen in paintings…try again."

When I saw that WAR HOL was available then DE GAS, MA GRITTE and the others came quickly EXCEPT OKEEFFE. So I initially had PEARS but (1) it did not flow from the answers (2) it involved me finding one-half of two artists in every theme answer except two, and again I know (thanks Mr. Ross) that Mike and Matt do not usually change the mechanism half way through. So I looked back at the two where I got only one name from the pair and saw the distinctive spelling of OKEEFFE and (once more the Ross kudos) 6 theme answers, 6 letters rule applied. GRAPES – in order, form artist “torn apart” and incidentally all from artists with rather tormented lives.

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DBMiller
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#364

Post by DBMiller » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:26 am

I got stuck on PEAR at first. Defensible but not that 100% click. I saw DALI in holiday before that, but couldn't find anything else. Magritte was first split name I found instead of the scrambled DALI.

Knowing there had to be more to it, I persevered and saw the LI for DALI in not one, but three places (hoLIday, gasLIghter, and finally LIft. The true mechanism finally clicked and I was able to see O'Keeffe.

I imagine there could be a lot of sour grapes regarding this one.

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BethA
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#365

Post by BethA » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:31 am

Magritte jumped out at me! I got GRAPES without much trouble. I was familiar with all of the artists, and it was one of those times when the first things you think of doing work out.

MAGRITTE brought back a good memory of a NYT Sunday crossword that I really enjoyed, and inspired me to learn more about him. I thought it was more recent, but I found it was Sep 23, 2018 The Art of Puzzle-Making. Now I’m a fan!!

pddigi
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#366

Post by pddigi » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:41 pm

If I knew that Mike was a hardcore hockey fan, I might have submitted "Don Cherry" to see if he would have accepted it.

PS: For those not fans of the NHL, Don Cherry, long-ago head coach of the Boston Bruins and decades-long analyst for CBC hockey broadcasts until earlier this season, was nicknamed "Grapes".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Cherry

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Bob cruise director
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#367

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:53 pm

pddigi wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:41 pm
If I knew that Mike was a hardcore hockey fan, I might have submitted "Don Cherry" to see if he would have accepted it.

PS: For those not fans of the NHL, Don Cherry, long-ago head coach of the Boston Bruins and decades-long analyst for CBC hockey broadcasts until earlier this season, was nicknamed "Grapes".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Cherry
And he wore his shirts with a neck about two sizes too small. Which made it look like his head was about to explode
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

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femullen
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#368

Post by femullen » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:57 pm

Patty wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:12 am
I’ve been swamped the last few weeks and only gotten the first step on recent puzzles but got this one. After the deadline but still a win in my book!
That's a win in my book too. I think it was the first of these metas that I solved, back around November of last year, and before I knew the rules. Hadn't solved it over the weekend, but picked it up again on Monday morning, found the answer, and submitted it...about nine hours after WSJ had published the solution. I still count that as a win, even though the Life & Arts editor was probably rolling her eyes.

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tim1217
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#369

Post by tim1217 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:04 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:53 pm
pddigi wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:41 pm
If I knew that Mike was a hardcore hockey fan, I might have submitted "Don Cherry" to see if he would have accepted it.

PS: For those not fans of the NHL, Don Cherry, long-ago head coach of the Boston Bruins and decades-long analyst for CBC hockey broadcasts until earlier this season, was nicknamed "Grapes".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Cherry
And he wore his shirts with a neck about two sizes too small. Which made it look like his head was about to explode
I worked with a guy at The Board of Trade who looked the same way, except that he had the body to match. We thought if you stuck him with a pin, he'd probably float around the room like a popped balloon. His nickname was 'heart attack'!
"GET OFF MY LAWN!".
Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino

Hidden in 3D
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#370

Post by Hidden in 3D » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:08 pm

My ability to solve this one was influenced by one of my high school teachers, Joanna Snyder. (I went to a very small school; there were 28 students in my graduating class.) Mrs. Snyder convinced school administrators that an art history class should be added to the curriculum and that she was the perfect person to teach said class. I was one of six brave souls who signed up, somewhat reluctantly, because we had each suffered through her English 10 class. Never our favorite teacher, she endeared herself to us near the end of first semester. Somehow she was able to assure the administration (and our parents) that she and her husband would be the ideal chaperones to herd Art History students on a multi-day field trip to art museums in NYC. If nothing else, she was one brave woman! Her passion instilled in me a lifelong appreciation of the arts. I hope that Mrs. Snyder would be glad to know that I saw Magritte as I was filling out the grid and knew immediately what else to look for. I, too, wanted to find enough artists to have only one letter left in each theme answer, so even after I had identified all six artists, I kept looking. There were too many other tormented souls to consider - I “forced” FRIDA (Kahlo) and searched in vain for Van Gogh and Munch. Finally, I realized I needed to follow the KISS principle and concentrate on the 6 artists. I wrote them down, including first names, and there was the answer staring me in the face.
Sara

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Richard
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#371

Post by Richard » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:02 pm

Since there were six two word entries in the grid I don't quite understand the PEAR PEARS people.

I saw Andy Warhol right away, then Pablo Picasso. Thought is was the first letter of the artist's first name and the answer was APPLES. Then found Edgar Degas and was sure it was APPLES. Then Salvador Dali and more confirmation. But could not find the L or other P. Then saw Rene Magritte and last Georgia O'Keeffe and the right order which got me GRAPES.

After a multi-week dry spell nice to get one.

AnnP
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#372

Post by AnnP » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:17 pm

yourpalsal wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:41 am
...and did anyone else spend some time in the YOYO OBO/YOKO ONO rabbit hole? I think Matt might’ve done that one on purpose...
[/quot
And I saw YoYo Ma, a different type of artist.

Louwers
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#373

Post by Louwers » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:44 pm

I got to PEARS... Finding Picasso was my aha moment that got me to a “solution”; never considered there might have been a sixth letter

Joepickett
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#374

Post by Joepickett » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:53 pm

I was working through the grid and found the first theme answer POKEHOLIDAY and saw the title so I thought BILLIE. She was an artist after all. But I corrected course soon after and found landfall.

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Abide
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#375

Post by Abide » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:07 pm

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:40 am
This is why I like the .puz format cpied into Paint.
Now THAT is a work of art!

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whimsy
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#376

Post by whimsy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:17 pm

Another epic fail with some comic relief.
I found the 6 artists and became part of the Apple "core."
While I realize the theme clues are often a convoluted mouthful, this time they each seemed to have an especially unnecessary word in them, often the first. I used this to justify alternating between the clues and the first letter of the theme entries, achieving (A)nnual, (P)oke, (P)ack, (L)lama, (E)levator, for approximately the top half of the grid.
I needed 7 more letters (since I was essentially doubling the expected 6 letters by choosing one from the clues and one from the grid -- ya, I know, and I called the clues convoluted!) But I couldn't get anything from the bottom half of the grid no matter what machinations I tried! And ya, I know, you should not change horses in the middle of the meta. (Also, I don't think of it as going farther and farther down a rabbit hole; I think of it as loyalty! :D)
What I was hoping to get was (Apple) Records. And ya, I know; you can't eat a record, But that answer ap"peel"ed to me for a few reasons - a,) a picture of an apple is sort of a record of one, b.) the doubling up, as well as a two word answer, I thought could have been hinted at by the double Dali business, and c.) it was fun! (And rather whimsical? ;) )
So way too complex and slightly haphazard, but as the Commodore said; Hey, Surrealism! :lol:

RichA2
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#377

Post by RichA2 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:20 pm

Questions for those who got this one, particularly the experienced solvers:

1. What led you to look at the artists’ first names for the meta solution? Is this a standard puzzle construction technique or just an inspiration based on having done so many of these and knowing how to think creatively?

2. Is the answer to the meta puzzle always a single short word, or are the answers sometimes longer? I get that the description sometimes specifies a number of letters and that each theme answer then supplies a letter in some way, but for puzzles with no length specified can the answer be a phrase or even a sentence? In this case, I tried to fashion a solution using the theme answer letters that were not used in the artists’ names. I got to some interesting formulations several words long, but nowhere close to GRAPES. Was I wasting my time even contemplating a longer solution?

Thanks for any insight you might have. Congratulations to the many who got to shore. Hope to join you one of these weeks.

Nlbil
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#378

Post by Nlbil » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:20 pm

This was the quickest "solve" I have ever done and ever will!!! So we were traveling so I couldn't do the puzzle. But I looked at it and saw that it was asking for a fruit often painted by artists. So as luck would have it, I had just called the hotel clerk to get the WiFi password. You guessed it. It was "grapes." So I thought that was quite a coincidence so I submitted it! If I had won the mug, it would have been pretty funny!!

boharr
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#379

Post by boharr » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:23 pm

Nlbil wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:20 pm
This was the quickest "solve" I have ever done and ever will!!! So we were traveling so I couldn't do the puzzle. But I looked at it and saw that it was asking for a fruit often painted by artists. So as luck would have it, I had just called the hotel clerk to get the WiFi password. You guessed it. It was "grapes." So I thought that was quite a coincidence so I submitted it! If I had won the mug, it would have been pretty funny!!
Maybe we should all visit that hotel.

RichA2
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:22 pm

#380

Post by RichA2 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:29 pm

whimsy wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:17 pm
Another epic fail with some comic relief.
I found the 6 artists and became part of the Apple "core."
While I realize the theme clues are often a convoluted mouthful, this time they each seemed to have an especially unnecessary word in them, often the first. I used this to justify alternating between the clues and the first letter of the theme entries, achieving (A)nnual, (P)oke, (P)ack, (L)lama, (E)levator, for approximately the top half of the grid.
I needed 7 more letters (since I was essentially doubling the expected 6 letters by choosing one from the clues and one from the grid -- ya, I know, and I called the clues convoluted!) But I couldn't get anything from the bottom half of the grid no matter what machinations I tried! And ya, I know, you should not change horses in the middle of the meta. (Also, I don't think of it as going farther and farther down a rabbit hole; I think of it as loyalty! :D)
What I was hoping to get was (Apple) Records. And ya, I know; you can't eat a record, But that answer ap"peel"ed to me for a few reasons - a,) a picture of an apple is sort of a record of one, b.) the doubling up, as well as a two word answer, I thought could have been hinted at by the double Dali business, and c.) it was fun! (And rather whimsical? ;) )
So way too complex and slightly haphazard, but as the Commodore said; Hey, Surrealism! :lol:
Also, more simply, the presence of EVE in the center of the grid, with a clue not based on the Garden of Eden, suggested there might be an apple in there somewhere.

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