"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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Deb F
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Re: "We're In This Together" August 28, 2020

#381

Post by Deb F » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:50 am

Count me in as another who fell in the Martini & Rossi/Gilbert and Sullivan trap. Even adding Em & Em. But that's where it ended. Then the lightbulb went on and I saw the pointer to the clues, not the grid. Just a small jump to co-creator, etc. Of course, once I had those identified, I was stuck. Another look yesterday morning took me back to the grid and the gates/agent connection. From there, it was a matter of finding the other anagrams. A fun one and, for me, nice to have one solved after way too many fallow weeks. Have a good one, all, and continue to stay safe.

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anjhinz
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#382

Post by anjhinz » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:58 am

I started off by putting GATES in for the Microsoft clue, which naturally made the entire NW unfillable, but I just worked around it and figured I'd get it later. Once I had the the rest of the grid, I figured out the mechanism and assumed all I needed was the 6 themers' better halves... I had the first five (I knew I would need to google the comic book creator, and I hoped I could decide between RIPA and GIFFORD just based on context clues). In grid order (with the GATES/ALLEN mis-match), gave me "HEA(R/G)S_" and I thought "Great, now I just need to confirm that the co-creator of the comic books was someone whose last name started with T and I'd have HEARST (William Randolph) who was definitely a well-known business magnate - but of course the co-creator was Stan LEE... HEARSL?!?!?! I felt so sure I couldn't let go of it, then after a while I thought "this grid's fill wasn't really up to Gaffney's standard, there's just GOT to be more theme material around.. and voila!

I'm just glad I was able to curb my enthusiasm and not submit til I had it 100%, which is an especially ridiculous thing to do with the WSJ which has no leaderboard :)

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ky-mike
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#383

Post by ky-mike » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:02 am

I thought "this is in my wheelhouse" and started down the drinking path when I first tried to solve the meta -

Early (Times)
Jim (Beam)
Jack (Daniels)
Martini (Rossi)

But couldn't get any further than that.

When I sobered up, the true meta path became much clearer :)

PJM
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#384

Post by PJM » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:17 am

eagle1279 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:48 am
So glad that we had 72A as a starter! I could see where we could have been left on our own to find "Co-___" in the grid. That would have made it impossible for me, as I had to stretch (Google) to find the Co-___s even after knowing the six that I was looking for, and even then was very confused by the LEE/GIFFORD/RIPA quandary. But with 72A and having first entered GATES as the founder of Microsoft, I felt like I had a head start.

It's always interesting to read about rabbit holes and coincidences and inelegances (?) when I solved, less so on the many occasions when I didn't solve. :)
The RIPA issue was further compounded if you (like me) found RIPA in IMPAIR. One could get LEHMAN out of the resulting letters but there was an I left over. Fortunately I decided that was an inelegance too far and kept looking. Seconds later I found CAPRI and it was an easy swim to shore from there.

boharr
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#385

Post by boharr » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:24 am

C=64 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:44 am

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).
I noticed these as well.

Notbitter
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#386

Post by Notbitter » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:35 am

PJM wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:17 am
The RIPA issue was further compounded if you (like me) found RIPA in IMPAIR. One could get LEHMAN out of the resulting letters but there was an I left over. Fortunately I decided that was an inelegance too far and kept looking. Seconds later I found CAPRI and it was an easy swim to shore from there.
Same here. I had most of the mechanism but couldn’t figure out an answer based on “Haimnel” (with the “IM” from “impair” left over from spelling Ripa). The extra letter forced me to look around.
Last edited by Notbitter on Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Joe Ross
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#387

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:36 am

TPS wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:32 am
... I often wonder if they only look at the subject of the email...
Mike Miller explained the process as this:

- The WSJ Puzzles team eliminates duplicate entries by email address.

- They make a random selection of all entries, until they select a correct entry.

- They then contact the entrant by email to notify them that they've won and require a reply.

- Entering by online form or email doesn't matter, since the form generates an email entry to crosswordcontest@wsj.com.


I suppose you could misspeel your email address on the online form. For that reason, it may be better to enter by email.

I would think that they might look beyond the Subject of every chosen entry, but the rules state that the correct answer must be in the subject of the email entry (or, unstated in the rules, but in past explanations, in the proper place on the online form, which places it in the generated email message's Subject line).

SusieG
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#388

Post by SusieG » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:04 am

RichA2 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:36 am
steveb wrote:
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.
After the solve, I looked back at the puzzle to see if Matt had done something clever with clue No. 5 to reference the only Chanel fragrance whose name I know. He hadn’t. But clue 28D, Fashion, is an obvious tie to the meta solution.
Yes, and ELSA Schiaparelli was a rival of Coco Chanel. I also enjoyed that Chanel’s legal name was misspelled with an extra letter (CHANSEL), matching the step 2 mechanism a bit. I enjoyed the puzzle, but I guess that’s to be expected when I actually solve it.

Finding step one was a cinch for me because my instinct was to answer the alternates on most of the clues (Gates vs Allen, Lee vs Kirby, Hanks vs. Eckhart). I’m always looking for anagrams, so step 2 wasn’t too far behind. I did scratch my head for a bit, though. I also used IMPAIR before I spied CAPRI. Chalked that up to “words intended to deceive” rather than inelegant.

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spotter
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#389

Post by spotter » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:30 am

After first getting hung up with HEGGSL (and yes, thinking of Hanes/L'Eggs as well) the title of this puzzle spoke to me and told me the partners were also in the grid.

wordsmith
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#390

Post by wordsmith » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:35 am

I spent forever trying to figure out Attila's "co" subject! I had all the other letters but was looking for an "e." Finally found it (the right way) with a little nudge to look at the down clues. CHACOS and ANGELES were the key to the mechanism. Loved this one! Clever!

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femullen
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#391

Post by femullen » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:42 am

I was so sure that Martini & Rossi and Gilbert & Sullivan had to fit into the meta scheme that I never bothered to look for deeper mechanism. Once again hypnotized by the first shiny object I see. I think that with time and experience, I'm actually getting worse at these.

Gpiggies
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#392

Post by Gpiggies » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:44 am

This one came more easily for me than past puzzles (and by that, I mean I didn't need a nudge and wasn't down to the wire on Sunday evening).

Once I noticed the missing pair, I figured it out. Add me as one thrown off by Ripa being in IMPAIR as I saw that one first before I saw CAPRI. I wondered if ELSA was a nod to Schiaparelli.

Not to be nitpicky, because I love doing these puzzles, but this one didn't strike me as being elegant like it did to some others. After I saw CHANEL, I thought it couldn't be the answer (because it seemed too easy), and because of the Co- theme. Yes, she's Coco, but I was stuck on co-founder, co-author, etc. So then I turned to Google and came up with Wertheimer, but didn't see the name in the puzzle. I really expected that to be the answer, because Alain and Gerard Wertheimer are co-owners of Chanel!

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Joe Ross
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#393

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:51 am

BarbaraK wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:57 am
I hate to complain about an otherwise nice puzzle, but 7D really stuck out as not being like the others. Gates and Allen are both co-founders, Marx and Engles are both co-hosts, etc. But Eckhart and Hanks did not both play co-pilots!!! English is a funny language. An airliner does have two pilots, but co-pilot is used only for the second-in-command. No one would ever call the captain a co-pilot.

I saw some other comments here about inelegance in the puzzle and initially assumed that's what everyone was complaining about. But then I wondered if people outside the aviation community even know that. So I was pleased to see Laura mention it in the Fiend review.

I also wondered if there was a way to spin the answer - something like the person in the grid is a co-whatever and you need to find their colleague (who in 5 of 6 cases just happens to also be a co-whatever).

But no, the official answer says, "ECKHART’s co-pilot was HANKS," and this is WRONG.
As long as we're picking nits: I would have preferred co-stars, even if technically not "co-stars" in official credits. As actors (as called out by name in grid), they were "co-stars". Their characters were "co-pilots" (actually pilot & co-pilot).

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Dplass
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#394

Post by Dplass » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:24 pm

Really wish WSJ (MG?) would lay off on the "anagram plus extra letter" mechanism. We had a brief respite in the first half of 2020, but I guess it's back. Anagrams make my brains hurt.

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lbray53
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#395

Post by lbray53 » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:40 pm

Personally, I was not upset about the pilot/co-pilot issue in this puzzle. I think they are technically called the Captain and First Officer. I believe that they are both fully qualified as pilots and the less formal designation of pilot versus co-pilot denotes hierarchy of responsibility, and probably pay grade, determined by experience, seniority or other criteria. They share duties in flight, and while it may not be how this is looked at in the aviation industry, I took it to mean "co"operating pilots. Some of the other partnerships were not 50/50 either.

Having said that, the whole debate inspired me to learn more about the "Miracle", its aftermath, and the important role that Jeff Skiles played in the event.

And if nothing else, we have had some very interesting discussion.

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Richard
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#396

Post by Richard » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:53 pm

I had the first step. I first thought it was Kathie Lee Gifford and not Ripa but then saw Ripa as an option. I was confused by the copilot.
However I never saw the anagram thing and probably would have found Ripa had I got some of the others.

Oh well, 3 more days until Thursday.

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Cindy
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#397

Post by Cindy » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:04 pm

lbray53 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:40 pm
Personally, I was not upset about the pilot/co-pilot issue in this puzzle. I think they are technically called the Captain and First Officer. I believe that they are both fully qualified as pilots and the less formal designation of pilot versus co-pilot denotes hierarchy of responsibility, and probably pay grade, determined by experience, seniority or other criteria. They share duties in flight, and while it may not be how this is looked at in the aviation industry, I took it to mean "co"operating pilots. Some of the other partnerships were not 50/50 either.

Having said that, the whole debate inspired me to learn more about the "Miracle", its aftermath, and the important role that Jeff Skiles played in the event.

And if nothing else, we have had some very interesting discussion.
Miracle is a fascinating story. For a number of years in Charlotte we had pieces of the aircraft and the story in an exhibition at the Aviation Museum. It was so interesting. And it hit pretty close to home for us. One of our best friends was routinely on that flight. As soon as I heard, I called his wife from my car to see where he was at that moment. It was not his day to be on that flight.

michaelm
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#398

Post by michaelm » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:26 pm

PJM wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:17 am
eagle1279 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:48 am
So glad that we had 72A as a starter! I could see where we could have been left on our own to find "Co-___" in the grid. That would have made it impossible for me, as I had to stretch (Google) to find the Co-___s even after knowing the six that I was looking for, and even then was very confused by the LEE/GIFFORD/RIPA quandary. But with 72A and having first entered GATES as the founder of Microsoft, I felt like I had a head start.

It's always interesting to read about rabbit holes and coincidences and inelegances (?) when I solved, less so on the many occasions when I didn't solve. :)
The RIPA issue was further compounded if you (like me) found RIPA in IMPAIR. One could get LEHMAN out of the resulting letters but there was an I left over. Fortunately I decided that was an inelegance too far and kept looking. Seconds later I found CAPRI and it was an easy swim to shore from there.
Did exactly the same with Impair the first time through. Whoever would think to look at 1A (Capri) first? :roll: The Lehman Brothers were technically in it together, so not a total whiff with regard to puzzle title, but, as noted, missing full elegance.

boharr
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#399

Post by boharr » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:32 pm

michaelm wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:26 pm
PJM wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:17 am
eagle1279 wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:48 am

Did exactly the same with Impair the first time through. Whoever would think to look at 1A (Capri) first?
I've noticed though that sometimes the constructors employ 1A in a solution, sort of like the way they use the last across or down answers as hints.

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TPS
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#400

Post by TPS » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:36 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:32 pm
I've noticed though that sometimes the constructors employ 1A in a solution, sort of like the way they use the last across or down answers as hints.
This is especially true of MG from what I have seen.

Speaking of MG, does anyone else do his Daily Beast puzzles - there are 5 a week and quick solves and tend to be focused on current events. I usually do them on my lunch.

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