"Let's Move Beyond It" - August 7, 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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SusieG
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Re: "Let's Move Beyond It" August 7, 2020

#361

Post by SusieG » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:06 am

This puzzle was fun once I was led to the mechanism. I was too obtuse to figure out the first step, and the title threw me for a loop. I felt like an idiot that I didn’t figure out the relationship between the six clues. We jokingly call our house Park Place (we live on a city street between two parks) and I murmured “luxury tax” and “electric co” to myself several times during the weekend. I should have paid more attention to my subconscious. In the meantime, I learned a lot about electric eels and ocean liners from the Internet.

michaelm
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#362

Post by michaelm » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:07 am

Initial rabbit hole was moving interstate.
This may happen with a lot of puzzles, but horizontally I think there are at least 15 US state abbreviations in the puzzle, including CTRI back to back in eleCTRIceel. Spent some time drawing lines from ME to OR, especially since the 53D clue was SEEME.
Then Reading and Short hit me, with relatively quick solve.
Haven't played Monopoly lately, but do remember when a Luxury Tax was actually a desirable outcome - to landing on Park Place or Boardwalk with houses or hotels owned by other players.

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Annabelle
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#363

Post by Annabelle » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:17 am

Bob Cobb wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:15 am
Bad week to be a professional board game hater. Did anyone get it who hasn’t played Monopoly in 25+ years / remembers next to nothing of it? If so, how?
I haven't played or thought about Monopoly in at least 25 years. Certainly was not reminded of it by the first words in the theme answers.

cherikee
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#364

Post by cherikee » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:23 am

I guess I'm in the minority, but I liked it. I think Monopoly is ubiquitous enough to be fair, although I understand the frustration for those that are totally unfamiliar. I don't remember the last time I played Monopoly, but it eventually clicked when I had all 6 themers written on top of each other searching for patterns (after I had given up on the word "IT").

I'm new to these, but I would guess that pulling up a picture of a Monopoly board is fair play - at that point it's just busy work executing whatever idea you've got. I spent some time looking for a few other patterns before it occurred to me to use the title that way.

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TPS
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#365

Post by TPS » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:31 am

sharkicicles wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:20 am

I don’t get all the hate for this one, I found it to be the easiest one of the last month and a half or so.
I concur. I understand why some people are frustrated but I didn’t feel like this was anymore esoteric than understanding sheet music or even knowing who say Rene Magritte is.

SewYoung
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#366

Post by SewYoung » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:34 am

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:04 am
1. If the title had been "Advance One Space," how much more crowded would the shore have been? My guess -- a lot.

2. I have a dim memory, somewhere around the time that I stumbled upon this WSJ contest, of a Matt Gaffney puzzle that also used the Monopoly board. IIRC, it involved not the names of properties but the pictures (faucet, light bulb, ring, cop, etc.). Or is this just some dream I had and should discuss with my doctor (a meta-physician, of course)?
Don't know if this is the one you mean, but very early on (maybe the first contest puzzle?) there was one based on the playing pieces and the answer was Scottie Pippen for the "Scottie Dog". I did not get that one. Or this one either.

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BarbaraK
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#367

Post by BarbaraK » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:40 am

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:36 am
Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:13 am
Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:04 am
1. If the title had been "Advance One Space," how much more crowded would the shore have been? My guess -- a lot.

2. I have a dim memory, somewhere around the time that I stumbled upon this WSJ contest, of a Matt Gaffney puzzle that also used the Monopoly board. IIRC, it involved not the names of properties but the pictures (faucet, light bulb, ring, cop, etc.). Or is this just some dream I had and should discuss with my doctor (a meta-physician, of course)?
1. Judging from the comments so far a lot of Muggles got hung up on the "IT." I know I did for a while!
2. I recall something like that, too! I think I took a temporary detour involving the game pieces (the iron, the shoe, the Scottie dog, etc.).
Your powers of recall are greater than mine. It was the pieces, not pictures.
I kept coming back to IT too, even though I quickly realized it was a dead end.
Actually, you're both right. Here's the one with pictures from the board.

https://crosswordfiend.com/2017/04/30/w ... l-28-2017/

That puzzle had a final clue "You’ll need a famous one of these to figure out the contest" for BOARD, which gave a least an idea what field of knowledge to google. The only pointer I saw in this one was "Roll the dice, say" for PLAY, and that's pretty subtle. I haven't played Monopoly in 4-5 decades, so I'm not sure why I happened to make the association, but I'd guess it was that 2017 puzzle. (Scottie Pippin was before my time.)

Once I did google a Monopoly board, moving one step beyond the named squares seemed an obvious next thing to try.

SewYoung
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#368

Post by SewYoung » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:40 am

SewYoung wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:34 am
Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:04 am
1. If the title had been "Advance One Space," how much more crowded would the shore have been? My guess -- a lot.

2. I have a dim memory, somewhere around the time that I stumbled upon this WSJ contest, of a Matt Gaffney puzzle that also used the Monopoly board. IIRC, it involved not the names of properties but the pictures (faucet, light bulb, ring, cop, etc.). Or is this just some dream I had and should discuss with my doctor (a meta-physician, of course)?
Don't know if this is the one you mean, but very early on (maybe the first contest puzzle?) there was one based on the playing pieces and the answer was Scottie Pippen for the "Scottie Dog". I did not get that one. Or this one either.
I was very late to the forum this week and was reading the pages in reverse order and see that several people clarified this before I did. Sorry for the repetition.

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TPS
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#369

Post by TPS » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:43 am

Dplass wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:43 am
In my opinion, the best metas do not require trivial knowledge or knowledge outside the grid. The answer is spelled in the grid, or perhaps in the clues + grid. Anything else (e.g., PHIL SIMMS jersey number?) is a test of trivial knowledge and not crossword ability.
I used to have this opinion - I was a purist and didn’t count a regular crossword complete if I had to use any outside resource. I tried this approach for the meta and realized that if I took this approach I was just not going to be able to solve 50% of the metas and wouldn’t be able to complete a fair amount of the grids.

So after several months of being frustrated by using that purist approach I finally decided to take some advice from a song in a film I watched for the first time this weekend and “Let it go”. Now I only limit myself from using Google when I’m stuck to the Mon-Wed WSJ puzzles. Thur - Sat I use Google when I get stuck for both the Grid and Meta. It has made the experience significantly more enjoyable.
Last edited by TPS on Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Scott Medvetz
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#370

Post by Scott Medvetz » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:12 am

Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:22 am
Moving "one space past" the MONOPOLY spaces suggested by the first words of the Theme Entries is a guess, probably noticed due to their proximity to the TE properties. Good on those who found the spaces speeling BLOCKS, but there is nothing to point the solver to "one space past".

In fact, 13D - Roll the dice, say - PLAY can be considered an Indicator Clue. It makes sense & points the solver in the direction of a game that uses dice, such as MONOPOLY. 1A - PIPS may be considered another dice game clue. Fair.

So why is "one space past" the correct number? How is the solver to divine that? In MONOPOLY, two six-sided dice are used, so the given range of possible moves in a turn is 2 through 12. This is why I say that "one space past" is iffy & inelegant.

Sure, there are no rules in metas, but I'd wager that if a puzzle constructor offered that puzzle to an editor for publication, the editor would reject it and insist on changes.


[EDIT1: speeling correction]
[EDIT2: "1A - PIPS..." added]
Agreed. I came up with BLOCKS but didn't feel comfortable with it, so I (on the Comments tab of your ever-so-helpful spreadsheet) looked at all the possibilities one through twelve (highest possible roll) past the square. The other eleven were all gibberish, so BLOCKS is what I submitted.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

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BethA
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#371

Post by BethA » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:15 am

It’s getting close to 5 years since I did my first meta puzzle (when WSJ started theirs), but I still find it so fascinating to hear the ways different people’s brains work in trying to solve!

I was lucky this week that it clicked quickly for me. Actually this time was less of a click, and more like the scene from Charade where Audrey suddenly realizes it’s the stamp, and there are all these quick screen flash shots zoomed in on STAMPS, stamps, STAMPS! (Sorry I hope it isn’t necessary to say spoiler alert for such an old movie). Anyway, the monopoly deeds/squares flashed at me like that!

Not sure if it was intended, but another thing that screamed at me — the phrase “Let’s Move Beyond It”, triggered in me the phrase you always enjoy chanting at your opponent — “Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.” 😀 So I felt immediately that I needed to go to the Monopoly board and do some moving.

There were other metas this year that I guess gave me the same feeling some others are expressing over this one. I like to enjoy the ones I can, get lots of mental gymnastic exercise on the ones I can’t get, and feel that it evens out in the long run.

Enjoyed this one!

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eagle1279
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#372

Post by eagle1279 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:28 am

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:28 am
I was totally lost until the Monopoly connection jumped out at me at lunch on Friday and the rest fell into place as the title told me what to do.
Well, I need to know what was for lunch on the ship that day, I must have missed it, as well as spending too much time in the ship's lounge working a jigsaw puzzle (someone had stolen the Monopoly game for some reason, maybe they took it to shore).

I took the title too literally. I tried "moving beyond" the theme answers and discovered that LUXURYLINER --> VIA formed NERVIA, which is a river and province in Italy sharing a watershed or something with France. Aha, IT is the country code for Italy, so maybe we are moving beyond IT to find other country codes! Confirmed by the references to Roma and Paris in the grid! Whereupon began long, somewhat educational, and eventually bourbon-soaked online searches of various systems for same, learning en route that RE is the country code for something called Reunion, and SH is Saint Helena. Once stuck on the IT=Italy (or Italia) route, I could not get beyond it. I'm impressed by those who saw the Monopoly connection.

Next time I see C.D. Bob eating lunch on the ship, I will say to Isaac, "I'll have what he's having." :lol:

JoeS
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#373

Post by JoeS » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:33 am

Scott Medvetz wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:12 am
Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:22 am
Moving "one space past" the MONOPOLY spaces suggested by the first words of the Theme Entries is a guess, probably noticed due to their proximity to the TE properties. Good on those who found the spaces speeling BLOCKS, but there is nothing to point the solver to "one space past".

In fact, 13D - Roll the dice, say - PLAY can be considered an Indicator Clue. It makes sense & points the solver in the direction of a game that uses dice, such as MONOPOLY. 1A - PIPS may be considered another dice game clue. Fair.

So why is "one space past" the correct number? How is the solver to divine that? In MONOPOLY, two six-sided dice are used, so the given range of possible moves in a turn is 2 through 12. This is why I say that "one space past" is iffy & inelegant.

Sure, there are no rules in metas, but I'd wager that if a puzzle constructor offered that puzzle to an editor for publication, the editor would reject it and insist on changes.


[EDIT1: speeling correction]
[EDIT2: "1A - PIPS..." added]
Agreed. I came up with BLOCKS but didn't feel comfortable with it, so I (on the Comments tab of your ever-so-helpful spreadsheet) looked at all the possibilities one through twelve (highest possible roll) past the square. The other eleven were all gibberish, so BLOCKS is what I submitted.
It was kinda fun to drag out the Monopoly board with Natasha and daughters and drag 6 small squares of cardboard around to see if there was more than one possible answer. The lack of vowels among the first letters of space names quickly left one resigned to BLOCKS, but then my wife and I realized that if you reverse this process as Mike must have done, starting with one and only one such possiblity on the board made for a very clever construct. I personally prefers these metas that force one to think off the grid for their solution.

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Eric Porter
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#374

Post by Eric Porter » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:38 am

TPS wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:31 am
sharkicicles wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:20 am

I don’t get all the hate for this one, I found it to be the easiest one of the last month and a half or so.
I concur. I understand why some people are frustrated but I didn’t feel like this was anymore esoteric than understanding sheet music or even knowing who say Rene Magritte is.
I haven't played Monopoly for years, but played enough when I was younger to figure it out after reading the theme answers out loud a few times. Once I had that, I was able to get BLOCKS quickly.

I didn't know who Rene Magritte was, but from the title I knew that a Google search for "famous artists" would give me what I needed to know. I would have preferred some hint that it was board game related.

Some have commented about the different Monopoly versions, though because only US residents can win the mug, I suppose having something specific to the US version of Monopoly is OK.

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tim1217
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#375

Post by tim1217 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:41 am

Wake me up when it's Thursday afternoon.
"GET OFF MY LAWN!".
Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino

boharr
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#376

Post by boharr » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:51 am

JoeS wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:33 am


The lack of vowels among the first letters of space names quickly left one resigned to BLOCKS, but then my wife and I realized that if you reverse this process as Mike must have done, starting with one and only one such possiblity on the board made for a very clever construct.
This may have been key.

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Al Sisti
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#377

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:58 am

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:34 am
Abide wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:14 am
Your memory is accurate Jay-Bird. Here is the prior WSJ Monopoly meta https://crosswordfiend.com/2015/11/22/w ... r-20-2015/
Thanks. Wendy' remembered it more accurately than I did -- tokens, not pictures. And it was Peter Gordon, not Matt.
Matt had one too (https://xwordcontest.com/2016/03/mgwcc- ... g-set.html). I remember it fairly vividly because it was one where the trick hit me when was walking to my garage; i.e., nowhere near the puzzle. Sometimes that happens.

SewYoung
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#378

Post by SewYoung » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:59 am

tim1217 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:41 am
Wake me up when it's Thursday afternoon.
But before Thursday afternoon is Tuesday night (or afternoon if you are out west) and the weekly Muggles Zoom gathering. 6:30 pm Central Time. the link is usually posted on the current puzzle forum page sometime on Tuesday. Come join us.

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TPS
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#379

Post by TPS » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:02 am

boharr wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:51 am
JoeS wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:33 am


The lack of vowels among the first letters of space names quickly left one resigned to BLOCKS, but then my wife and I realized that if you reverse this process as Mike must have done, starting with one and only one such possiblity on the board made for a very clever construct.
This may have been key.
I’m not so sure - the only vowel you couldn’t find would be “U”

A - Atlantic Ave
E - Electric Company
I - Illinois Ave/Indiana Ave
O - Oriental Ave

I felt like 75%+ of the alphabet is covered by the first letters in the game spaces which gave him a lot of options to use for the meta if he so desired.

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yourpalsal
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#380

Post by yourpalsal » Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:06 am

SewYoung wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:59 am
tim1217 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:41 am
Wake me up when it's Thursday afternoon.
But before Thursday afternoon is Tuesday night (or afternoon if you are out west) and the weekly Muggles Zoom gathering. 6:30 pm Central Time. the link is usually posted on the current puzzle forum page sometime on Tuesday. Come join us.
Indeed!
(Note that it’s the same link every week)
Muggle Meetup
Tuesday at 4:30pPT/7:30pET
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89184367093

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