"We're In This Together" - August 28, 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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Tony S
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Re: "We're In This Together" August 28, 2020

#341

Post by Tony S » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:00 pm

Plymouthrock wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:46 pm
KAS rating anyone? Figure if I can get it, all you smarties can.
Disclaimer: I'm no smartie when it comes to metas --- I missed the last 3 --- but whenever I solve the grid and meta in one sitting I call it a KAS 1. This was a KAS 1 for me.

JMac
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Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:17 pm

#342

Post by JMac » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:06 pm

JMac wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:24 pm
After a solid year of at least trying every week, I fell off for like 6 months and have gotten completely rusty. I thought I had it this week, but now I'm lost at sea. In sight of land, but lost. I may need a nudge.
I've been nudged along and am now ashore. Thanks everyone! Really loved the outpouring of support immediately after I asked as well. Next week, the goal is to get there without help.

Inca
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:55 pm

#343

Post by Inca » Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:38 pm

Did the grid on Thursday night...and basically missed the clue at 72A. (I do the grid as quickly as I can to "get" to the meta.) So, obviously nothing jumped out at me.

Almost forgot about the whole meta, but remembered just in the nick of time and came back at 11.00PM tonight; found the clue and solved the puzzle. Not one of my favorite puzzles...I don't like when I need to use google-eyes. But, I really liked the final answer. I sent in the full name...of course.

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Joe Ross
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#344

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:03 am

20200828 WSJCC Were in this Together.gif
Last edited by Joe Ross on Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

matthewmoravec
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#345

Post by matthewmoravec » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:03 am

Loved how the first name also fit the theme, was so hard not to request a hot cocoa on the beach!

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TPS
Posts: 479
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#346

Post by TPS » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:05 am

This one was slightly more difficult solve for me than last week’s DEDUCT but not as tough as the prior week’s which I could not solve. I also struggled with several grid answers and it took me about an hour to complete this grid and I needed to use google for 3 answers (which is high for me).

I rate this puzzle:
6/10 for difficulty; and
7/10 in elegance.

I started by first trying to identify the theme clues. Nothing was apparent to me right off the bat so I looked at the last Across Answer and saw ANDCO but the Clue mentioned 6 clues so I presumed I was looking for 6 theme answers. At first, I was convinced “clues” was a typo and that Matt meant “answers” – I also misread the clue and thought I was supposed to be looking for 2 word answers that had something to do with CO-. So I was looking at:

(Were I, Went At, I Got, Lie In, Plan On, Who So, In No, and Says No) which I was trying to match the first word with Co-. So I had like Co-in, Co-lie…

This got me nowhere and really just made me mad. So, I stopped and went for a three-mile run. During that run, I kept coming back to the fact no one thinks of Paul Allen as the sole founder of MSFT and no one thinks Regis Philbin as the sole host of Live. (I had actually first tried Gates and Gifford when I was filling out my grid for those answers). By the time I got back from my run I had pretty much figured out what was going on.

But my list of theme answer pairings was:

Marx/Engles, Allen/Gates, Philbin/Gifford, Vanzetti/Sacco, Elsa/Anna, and Kirby/Lee

I thought the theme was simply famous pairs (at this point I still had not figured out the “Co-“ thing). But taking the first letters yielded GIBBERISH. Next, I really sat down and reread 72A and realized I had misread it and then looked at the clues to the theme answers I had and replaced Elsa/Anna with Eckhart/Hanks (A pairing I did not like and do not think completely fit the theme). This still yielded gibberish.

Thoroughly frustrated by that point, I walked away and ate dinner – I was basically done and chalking this one up as a failure.

When I came back from dinner CHACOS just jumped off the page at me as SACCO plus an H (It probably helped that this was very similar to the ultimate mechanism in last week’s puzzle). Next, I saw ANGELES AND AGENTS. From there I got “HANEL” and based on the ANDCO (as in Coco Chanel) I knew the answer was CHANEL – but for the life of me I could not find GIFFORD in the grid to get the “C” so then I started looking for JOHNSON since that was Kathy Lee’s maiden name and I couldn’t find it. I was about to say screw it – I got the answer why am I bothering with this when I saw CAPRI and immediately realized he used RIPA.

Engles - A Angeles 40A
Gates - E Agents 49A
Ripa. - C Capri 1A
Sacco - H Chacos 25A
Lee - L Elle 70A
Hanks - N Shaken 54A

CHANEL

What I really like about this puzzle:
• Using Kirby as an answer on his birthday
• Using Philbin as an answer the day after his birthday
• Using Sacco and Vanzetti on weekly anniversary of their execution
• I liked that ANDCO as a check for your meta answer
• Using Coco Chanel – a female business magnate the week that is the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment

What I did not like about this puzzle:
• I did not like PHILBIN as a theme clue – there were two possible answers here which I don’t think was ideal especially when you consider Regis and Kathy Lee started Live and were on air together for 13 years compared to 10 with Ripa also and not that this matters but Regis and Kelly did not like each other. Nothing against Kelly Ripa – I actually met her while having dinner at CraftSteak in NYC about 10 years ago and she was a perfectly lovely woman with amazingly toned arms.
• I did not think ECKHART/HANKS fit the theme particularly well. In my view, the others all did something together that famously linked them: committed a crime, founded a company, hosted a show, wrote a book… I don’t think anyone thinks of Aaron Eckhart when they think of Tom Hanks or vice versa. I think (CO-)STARRED would have been a better clue for ECKHART but I really think a better clue and answer might have been something like:
o C: Starred in a film where one of the characters now has a festival named after him.
o A: NEWMAN/REDFORD (because they were traditionally linked)
o C: Bamboo e.g.
o A: FRONDED.
I honestly have no idea how hard it is the construct these puzzles so I don’t know how hard it is to make all the stars align but Matt’s done a lot of these and some pretty amazing ones – so I do not think he is offended by honest criticism (at least I hope not).
• While I like ANDCO as a check for the meta, I didn’t like it as a clue to get you started on solving the meta. It confused me and if it had not been there and I only had the title to work with I feel like I would have solved this within 90 minutes instead of almost 4 hours.

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DrTom
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#347

Post by DrTom » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:05 am

Well I’ll be darned! Someone had commented to me that the answer CHANEL was perfect because of Coco and I wasn’t sure why he said that, thinking perhaps there was some connection I missed. Actually he was making the comment based on the AND CO, linking it to be CO CO. In the meantime I went looking for the connection since I was wondering what I missed. Turns out there is even a bigger connection and if it is not intentional then it is serendipity at its utmost.

Several people mentioned the song “We are all in this together” and I doubt thought it was a possible spoiler BUT, a little while ago the cast of the animated movie Coco put out a PSA to thank kids who were practicing social distancing and hygiene measures and the title of the video – yep you guessed it “We are all in this together” (https://youtu.be/ZS3GGHTfBZI) so if Matt didn’t know about it then what a coincidence, and if he DID know about it then I am even MORE impressed with the META.

UPDATE: I emailed Matt and asked if this was planned or coincidence. Truth is he knew nothing about the Coco cast and the PSA “We are all in this together’. WOW!
“Offered for your consideration, a crossword META whose answer had been previously referred to by a completely unrelated website”…. cue Twilight Zone music.

Geezer Weezer
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#348

Post by Geezer Weezer » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:11 am

This answer and I were in two entirely different universes. I would have needed a wormhole to get there.

steveb
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#349

Post by steveb » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:17 am

In addition to the aforementioned link between AND CO and COCO, there were at least two Chanel products in the grid: ALLURE and EROS.

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Joe Ross
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#350

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:17 am

1st incorrect answer: John Wesley Hanes

WSJCC WitT bad solution JPR.gif

Laura M
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#351

Post by Laura M » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:23 am

DrTom wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:05 am
Several people mentioned the song “We are all in this together” and I doubt thought it was a possible spoiler BUT, a little while ago the cast of the animated movie Coco put out a PSA to thank kids who were practicing social distancing and hygiene measures and the title of the video – yep you guessed it “We are all in this together” (https://youtu.be/ZS3GGHTfBZI) so if Matt didn’t know about it then what a coincidence, and if he DID know about it then I am even MORE impressed with the META.
Whoa. I think I was the first to bring up the song "We're All In This Together" from the 2006 Disney Channel movie "High School Musical," and it never occurred to me to think it might be a spoiler. Sorry! I never saw the movie Coco (or even thought about it in relation to this meta) or heard about that PSA.

Laura M
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:49 am

#352

Post by Laura M » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:27 am

Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:17 am
1st incorrect answer: John Wesley Hanes
That deserves at least partial credit!

brulo
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Location: Denver

#353

Post by brulo » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:31 am

I got this one with all of the theme answers except for Eckhart/Hanks. Prior to submitting I was trying to make the E work for confirmation and went with 19A HUN/KHANS to justify removing the E from SHAKEN. I wanted to ignore the Eckhart answer since it was the only theme answer with a down orientation and I was convinced that couldn't be the case.....

Crazy that my justification worked out the same as the actual answer. Very fun puzzle and meta!

JeanneC
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#354

Post by JeanneC » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:33 am

Whoa........!!!!!!!!!! If I had about a light year to work on this, maybe......nah, probably not.
I bow to you, Mr. Gaffney! Truly elegant.

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C=64
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#355

Post by C=64 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:44 am

I solved this one due to learning from past failures. I started doing metas less than three months ago, and I have often had trouble with puzzles that require me to match up pairs of entries and add or subtract a letter. (I didn't solve last week's DEDUCT puzzle without a massive shove, for instance.) I didn't understand how to work 72A properly, but it was clear to me that I needed to find ENGELS, GATES, et al. I think it was ANGELES that caught my eye and sent me looking for anagrams with an extra letter. I mistakenly paired up ANNA with ELSA (losing track of RIPA/GIFFORD), which worked with 41D NAANS and gave me the meta answer HANSEL. One of a famous pair, to be sure, but not known for his business acumen. After finding RIPA and getting CHANEL, I finally realized that the CO- belonged on the front of the six clues, and, in particular, that ECKHART played Sully's CO-pilot.

My best rabbit hole was looking for famous pairs in the clues, and I found three in a row: 54D Martini (& Rossi), 56D Gilbert (& Sullivan), 57D Patience (& Fortitude, the lions in front of NYPL).

burak
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#356

Post by burak » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:56 am

burak wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:44 pm
This was a very quick swim ashore for me. Experienced Gaffney solvers will find this easy, whereas for newbies it'll be a great learning experience.

That being said, I have my very subtle pageant doubts on this one. The mechanism gives you a very clear answer in X steps, but it feels like there should be an X+1th step because of how we got there (although I cannot produce it).

Edit: I'm glad to know that I'm not alone but it looks like the probability of there being a pageant is 0.01 and the cherry on top of the answer is tasty enough.
Now I can safely elaborate: It looked like the mechanism called for an answer that would be Chanel's partner. A Google search yielded WERTHEIMER but they aren't well-known at all, and it'd be too much of a push given there's no justification of that answer in the grid. Plus the CO-CO thing wrapped CHANEL up perfectly.

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Eric Porter
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#357

Post by Eric Porter » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:15 am

First of all, I can't believe this was another one where I unscrambled the answer rather than highlight the letters. I was only looking at them in the order of the special clues. It only took seconds to unscramble, so no big deal, but I missed the elegance.

From seeing 72A and 7D, I quickly realized that this puzzle was about alternative answers. For some reason, looking for grid entries which have an extra letter was the first thing I thought to do.

My stupid mistake was not following the instructions from 72A and putting CO- at the beginning of the clues. Further, because I didn't highlight, I didn't realize that all of them were across. I'd already seen CAPRI & ELLE, so when I saw "Frozen" role, I thought ANNA then saw NAANS. I'd forgotten that Marx had a co-author.

Inca
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:55 pm

#358

Post by Inca » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:50 am

Everyone knows I hate to google...and I guess I'm not that good at it either. Anyway, when the answer was Coco Chanel, I just was curious if magnate is the word for both female and male magnates or if there was a separate version of the word for female magnates. The results I got were all about "man magnets", as in. how to be one!

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KayW
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#359

Post by KayW » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:52 am

I completely missed the “Coco” link to the theme. Excellent!

At first I took a wrong turn in trying to decipher 72A when I spotted 54a Martini (and Rossi) and 56a Gilbert (and Sullivan). But when I was unable to come up with any additional business duos among the first words, and G&S more artistic than business anyway, I eventually hit on the co- theme.

Nice one!

Schmeel
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Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:38 pm

#360

Post by Schmeel » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:12 am

KayW wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:52 am
I completely missed the “Coco” link to the theme. Excellent!

At first I took a wrong turn in trying to decipher 72A when I spotted 54a Martini (and Rossi) and 56a Gilbert (and Sullivan). But when I was unable to come up with any additional business duos among the first words, and G&S more artistic than business anyway, I eventually hit on the co- theme.

Nice one!
I took the same wrong turn. You can add 43A 'Em' as the first half of M&M that I tried to fit in until I gave up on that path.

Another nice link to the theme is 2D - 'Allure' is a Chanel fragrance.

Not my favorite puzzle, but hats off to Mr. Gaffney.

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