"City Blocks" - September 4, 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.
Rate the difficulty of the meta
Locked
User avatar
Al Sisti
Posts: 895
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:28 pm
Location: Whitesboro NY

Re: "City Blocks" September 4, 2020

#361

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:13 pm

TPS wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:53 pm
cbarbee002 wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:58 pm
Wow, got the Pappy! I have another suggestion, also a Buffalo Trace product - - Stagg Jr.
I am a big fan of Pappy and Buffalo Trace. Currently, I am having a love affair with a Utah distillery’s Double Rye - High West. I first had it in the best Manhattan I’ve ever had and then tried it in my own OF but it’s also fantastic neat.
Yeah, I couldn't help but notice the Pappy too. Tough to get around here, so I'm contenting myself with Weller's and Jim Beam Blue.

User avatar
Hector
Posts: 802
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:15 pm
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

#362

Post by Hector » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:42 pm

Rye fans: ever tried Whistlepig? If you're looking for something to get me for my birthday . . .

(My birthday is every day.)

JAQT
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:55 pm
Location: California

#363

Post by JAQT » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:43 pm

ReB wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:09 am
With so much time lounging on the beach this weekend, I came up with a number cipher based on this week's states, where each letter stands for a number from 0-9:
  • MD
    ID
    AK
    MA
    IN
    +FL
    USA
There are no leading zeros, and to hopefully at least eliminate alternative solutions involving number/letter transpositions, it's also true that...
  • AK
    +MS
    IL
Not sure if there is more than one possible answer, but if so I do have other sums at hand
This was hard. Each individually might have been easy, but together, as simultaneous equations, it was hard (at least for me). Here is what I came up with:

A4, D8, F6, I7, K9, L0, M2, N5, S1, U3

So:
  • MD 28
    ID 78
    AK 49
    MA 24
    IN 75
    +FL 60
    USA 314
  • AK 49
    +MS 21
    IL 70
Thanks, ReB, for posting!
JustAQuickThought

User avatar
norrin2
Posts: 64
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:41 pm
Location: Charleston SC

#364

Post by norrin2 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:45 pm

It seems the conversation has turned from crosswords to cocktails. Does anybody have any good rum recommendations?

User avatar
TPS
Posts: 495
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2020 2:19 pm
Location: Florida

#365

Post by TPS » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:55 pm

norrin2 wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:45 pm
It seems the conversation has turned from crosswords to cocktails. Does anybody have any good rum recommendations?
Since you probably don't have access to Havana Club if you live in the US - I'll give you the rum that is tied with it for my favorite Rhum Barbancourt - I had it for the first time in London at an awesome rum bar (that is unfortunately now closed) Wax Jambu.

Rhum Barbancourt and Havana Club are two of the only rums I can drink neat.

User avatar
ReB
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:34 pm
Location: East Tennessee

#366

Post by ReB » Mon Sep 07, 2020 8:38 pm

JAQT wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:43 pm
ReB wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:09 am
With so much time lounging on the beach this weekend, I came up with a number cipher based on this week's states, where each letter stands for a number from 0-9:
  • MD
    ID
    AK
    MA
    IN
    +FL
    USA
There are no leading zeros, and to hopefully at least eliminate alternative solutions involving number/letter transpositions, it's also true that...
  • AK
    +MS
    IL
Not sure if there is more than one possible answer, but if so I do have other sums at hand
This was hard. Each individually might have been easy, but together, as simultaneous equations, it was hard (at least for me). Here is what I came up with:

A4, D8, F6, I7, K9, L0, M2, N5, S1, U3

So:
  • MD 28
    ID 78
    AK 49
    MA 24
    IN 75
    +FL 60
    USA 314
  • AK 49
    +MS 21
    IL 70
Thanks, ReB, for posting!
Yes, that is the solution set I had in mind.

I had to post a second sum, which was a bit of a challenge, because the first sum alone would allow for twelve transposition solutions. Taking the above solution set, the numbers for K L and N could be transposed (six ways) because they only appear once in the one's column. And then the numbers for M and I could also be transposed (two ways) because they only appear (twice each) in the ten's column - for a total of twelve solutions. Hence I had to come up with a second sum that would eliminate the transpositions while not overly simplifying the solution process. Plus I hoped that including an S in that equation might help to eliminate the possibility of a second independent solution set.

And of course I wanted the second sum to also comprise state codes as well, rather than just use random letter pairs.

Thanks for taking on the challenge, I was starting to wonder if anybody would take an interest.

Jeff S
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:18 pm

#367

Post by Jeff S » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:01 am

TPS wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:55 pm
norrin2 wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:45 pm
It seems the conversation has turned from crosswords to cocktails. Does anybody have any good rum recommendations?
Since you probably don't have access to Havana Club if you live in the US - I'll give you the rum that is tied with it for my favorite Rhum Barbancourt - I had it for the first time in London at an awesome rum bar (that is unfortunately now closed) Wax Jambu.

Rhum Barbancourt and Havana Club are two of the only rums I can drink neat.
Bacardi 8 Year Old is actually quite good, and not expensive - it tastes nothing like regular Bacardi. And I concur with the recommendations for Barbancourt (especially the 15 Year Old) and Havana Club (particularly the 7 Year Old - I understand that fancier versions are available in Cuba, but the 7 is the best that's commonly available in duty free stores outside of the US).

Santa Teresa 1796 and Ron Zacapa 23 (which is not actually 23 years old) are also good sipping rums.

User avatar
DrTom
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

#368

Post by DrTom » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:34 am

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:35 am
Colin wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:34 pm
Safely ashore,
Minor delay,
Please start to pour,
Stone IPA.
Easy meta,
One has to say,
Makes for a better...
Happy Labor Day!
This meter sounds familiar to me and perhaps other Muggles of a certain age. So . . .

The meta’s solved,
He can begin
To smoothify
His cheeks and chin.
I loved this post
A nostalgic wave
To an iconic product
Burma Shave
Burma Shave.jpg

User avatar
DrTom
Posts: 725
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

#369

Post by DrTom » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:53 am

DBMiller wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:53 am
Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:00 am
[ PLACEHOLDER FOR OFFICIAL WSJ SOLUTION, DUE 4 PM EDT, MONDAY, DUE TO HOLIDAY ]


20200904 WSJCC City Blocks jr solution.gif
Joe, check your 46A/39D - You've got a U where there should be an A
SO, funny. I did EXACTLY the same thing and sat there wondering what trendy self referential thing is a METU, is it a fancy misspelling of ME TOO and the movement has changed to ME and You using a French word??? I was convinced that had something to do with the answer, until I realized it was META and I was using the wrong tense of STINK (guess I was trying to be perfect, or even past perfect!).

I don't know if the 68A helped or hurt me. I originally made three 5 square blocks across and down (number of squares - i.e. 5x5 - in height and width is 3) taking the wrong interpretation. Then it hit me, wait, what if he is telling me how big each block is? So I Googled for any city of 25 square blocks (nothing). Then CENTER CITY came to my mind (having lived in Philadelphia at one time) and I looked at the exact center and there it was ANCHORAGE - but hey, that is NOT 5 letters long? So I looked for the Inuit for Anchorage (if there is one they didn't mention it), then a city with an anchorage in the middle of it (yeah quite unlikely in center city, but hey. I was frustrated since EVERYONE was getting the answer and everyone raved about the ease), and that is when I saw POCATELLO. Wait, that isn't 5 letters either, its 9 just like ANCHORAGE - DUH 3 wide, 3 tall! SO I knew I had three more to find and there it was. I'd have been REAL mad if I missed MIAMI, well mad that I didn't get the answer because I have been to Miami and do not miss it at all. (sorry Miami folks, too much going on, too many crazy drivers, too many "beautiful people")

Tom Wilson
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:07 pm
Location: South Williamsport, PA

#370

Post by Tom Wilson » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:04 pm

DrTom wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:34 am
Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:35 am
Colin wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:34 pm
Safely ashore,
Minor delay,
Please start to pour,
Stone IPA.
Easy meta,
One has to say,
Makes for a better...
Happy Labor Day!
This meter sounds familiar to me and perhaps other Muggles of a certain age. So . . .

The meta’s solved,
He can begin
To smoothify
His cheeks and chin.
I loved this post
A nostalgic wave
To an iconic product
Burma Shave
Burma Shave.jpg
I still remember the Burma Shave sign near my hometown in Tioga County, PA:

Angels
Who guard you
When you drive
Usually
Retire at 65

At the time, that seemed soooooo far off ... but now that I'm only two years away, I hope those angels re-up for 50,000 miles.

User avatar
hcbirker
Posts: 569
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:24 pm
Location: Studio City, CA

#371

Post by hcbirker » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:18 pm

For all you whiskey fans out there, the LA Times has an easy whiskey-themed puzzle today.
Heidi

User avatar
femullen
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:02 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

#372

Post by femullen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:03 pm

eagle1279 wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:19 am
So who thinks they woulda gotten it without 68A? Not I!
I think I would have, despite my ordinarily being clueless. I was staring at the finished grid with my ordinary clueless mien, looking, however, for buried city names. 41A, "AHORA," got my attention because it was in the center of the grid, and I thought, "If I added NC between A and H, and if I added GE to the end, I'd have Anchorage."

Well, don't you know, there's an NC above AHORA and a GE below, so it was just a question of finding the mechanism of assembling them the right way. After my mind did a couple tentative yoga poses, the correct 3x3 block appeared, and I thought, "Oh, so that's what 68A meant!" Three more cities then made themselves apparent, and Pocatello, of which I'd never heard, was the only pronounceable 3x3 in the NW quadrant. (Forgive me, father, I had to look it up on Mr. C, else wouldn't have gotten to Idaho.)

It took me an embarrassingly long time to find Miami after that, because I'd written down the cities and states such that the first letters of the state names, in order from top to bottom, spelled IMAIM. This I carelessly passed over, subsequently trying and failing with a dozen even less obvious decryption schemes. Then, accidentally performing the inverted Downward Dog, the bright sun revealed MIAMI.

User avatar
whimsy
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:51 am
Location: Hopkinton MA

#373

Post by whimsy » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:07 pm

Tom Wilson wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:04 pm
DrTom wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:34 am
Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:35 am


This meter sounds familiar to me and perhaps other Muggles of a certain age. So . . .

The meta’s solved,
He can begin
To smoothify
His cheeks and chin.
I loved this post
A nostalgic wave
To an iconic product
Burma Shave
Burma Shave.jpg
I still remember the Burma Shave sign near my hometown in Tioga County, PA:

Angels
Who guard you
When you drive
Usually
Retire at 65

At the time, that seemed soooooo far off ... but now that I'm only two years away, I hope those angels re-up for 50,000 miles.
Hmmm...I see this a bit differently and want to reassure you, Tom, that you'll be safe for years to come provided you stay under the speed limit! :)

Tom Wilson
Posts: 122
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:07 pm
Location: South Williamsport, PA

#374

Post by Tom Wilson » Tue Sep 08, 2020 1:25 pm

Oh, my gosh! Like many of these metas, the most obvious answer is the one that flies right past me! "Of course, it's a reference to the speed limit," he said, hanging his oblivious head.

MikeMillerwsj
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:46 pm

#375

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:29 pm

A preliminary report on this contest, which was a blockbuster. We had an enormous turnout, 2626 entries, about 82% correct.

Other guesses included OMAHA (39), TAMPA (18), BOISE (6), SALEM (22) and its anagram SELMA (7).

Still waiting to confirm the winner, so stay tuned...

User avatar
yourpalsal
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:28 am

#376

Post by yourpalsal » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:05 pm

yourpalsal wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:26 pm
BrianMac wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:33 pm
YourPalSal began hosting Muggle Zoom meetings a few weeks ago, and they are a blast. We've been getting around 20 participants a week, and generally discuss the crossword puzzles of the week, quickly digressing into any number of other interesting topics. Whether you are a veteran Muggle or new to the site, it's a great way to meet lots of other members and put names and voices to avatars. The call occurs Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. Eastern (4:30 p.m. Pacific) and lasts about an hour and a quarter. The Zoom link information is below:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89184367093

Hope to see you there!

New solvers especially welcome on Tuesday!
Starting in about an hour and a half...

User avatar
Bob cruise director
Cruise Director
Posts: 1728
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Location: any golf course that will take my money

#377

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:58 pm

Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

User avatar
hcbirker
Posts: 569
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:24 pm
Location: Studio City, CA

#378

Post by hcbirker » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:17 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:58 pm
the link for this week's Q&A

https://www.wsjplus.com/invites/wsj-cro ... lus_emails
It says you have to be a subscriber with a digital subscription. Take notes Bob!
Heidi

User avatar
Joe Ross
Posts: 952
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#379

Post by Joe Ross » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:24 pm

hcbirker wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:17 pm
Bob cruise director wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:58 pm
the link for this week's Q&A

https://www.wsjplus.com/invites/wsj-cro ... lus_emails
It says you have to be a subscriber with a digital subscription. Take notes Bob!
From my registration confirmation email:

'If you'd like to join the discussion, and are not a WSJ member, please register HERE before the event. You may also receive a follow-up after the event."

User avatar
TMart
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:13 am

#380

Post by TMart » Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:02 pm

Hector wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:42 pm
Rye fans: ever tried Whistlepig? If you're looking for something to get me for my birthday . . .

(My birthday is every day.)
My son got me a bottle for my birthday last year....good stuff. I'm more of a bourbon drinker (Blanton's and Jefferson's). The Whistlepig knocked my socks off.

Locked