"Where's The Rest?" - September 11, 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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MarkL
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Re: "Where's The Rest?" - September 11, 2020

#361

Post by MarkL » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:07 am

Hmmm... Correct atoll, wrong beach??

Took the four missing Ss which make a hissing sound... HISS is 62D plus its 'missing' S. Just a little over-influenced by BOO, I guess.

Apparently, I will do anything to avoid seeing homophones and homonyms!

Cheers!
'tis... A lovely day for a Guinness!

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norrin2
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#362

Post by norrin2 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:23 am

I somehow figured this one out -- or slopped out the correct answer anyway -- even though I did not find SEA (or consequently USURP). I just knew the new words -- RAZE, BOOZE, et cetera, ended in -ZE, and DOZE was a synonym for rest, as in the title. I guess luck is as good as skill sometimes.

Schmeel
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#363

Post by Schmeel » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:43 am

I also stopped at four plurals and that threw me off for a bit. What's 'douh'? But about an hour after I put down the grid I realized that I must be missing a 'g', went back to the grid and found it.

Along with the other elegent elements mentioned, I also liked that all vowel sounds were represented:
A - raze
E - seize, bries
I - size
O - the answer, the missing vowel - doze
U - booze
Very impressive!

When I tried to show a friend what a meta is by showing him this puzzle, I could see I lost him after the first step. I don't think this particular meta is so good to get a newbie hooked. Or maybe it's just my explaining abilities.

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Wendy Walker
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#364

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:22 am

I'm a copy editor, so the plural discrepancies struck me from the very first clue I answered -- the SEA/SEAS one. Matt does not make careless errors, so it primed my brain to see the others. I am amazed at the varied routes that people took to get the correct answer this week!
Good luck, fellow Muggles!

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Deb F
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#365

Post by Deb F » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:22 am

Happy Monday, all. Just wanted to check in--been at the bar all weekend. Gave up on this one Friday night with occasional peeks through the weekend. This was not in my wheelhouse. Congrats to all you clever Muggles out there who solved it. Very impressive--Matt and you! Have a good week.

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Colin
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#366

Post by Colin » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:42 am

Nicely done Matt, although to me this seems like a ‘Da Vinci Code’ without the Fibonacci sequence!
Not even close to solving it.
One world. One planet. One future.

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Bird Lives
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#367

Post by Bird Lives » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:48 am

Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:22 am
I'm a copy editor, so the plural discrepancies struck me from the very first clue I answered -- the SEA/SEAS one. ...
I'm not a copy editor, but like Wendy, I noted the plurals and quickly knew to look for the homonyms. Unlike Wendy, I missed SEA and for too long wondered what word DOGH could possibly be indicating. When I realized that the answer had to be DOZE, I backsolved for the missing U.

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Commodore
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#368

Post by Commodore » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:04 am

Isaac, I shall keelhaul myself later today, as I was distracted from throwing a Hail Mary. It would have scored!

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tim1217
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#369

Post by tim1217 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:16 am

The solution explanation took me a longer time to read than the time it took me to solve the grid.
Screen Shot 2020-09-14 at 7.08.19 AM.png
"GET OFF MY LAWN!".
Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino

Cap'n Rick
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#370

Post by Cap'n Rick » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:25 am

Initially, after I had the 5 letters I anagrammed them to "GO DUH", thinking that this is something I wouldn't want a puzzle make me want to do. When I couldn't come up with a matching 4-letter verb, I eventually found the DOUGH. (D'oh!)

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damefox
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#371

Post by damefox » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:40 am

Usually when I stare at a grid for an hour getting nowhere - especially when there's an obvious entry point (the plural clues/singular entries) that I can't get past - it occurs to me it must be a "sounds like" mechanism. It took me much longer than usual to make that leap this time, and funnily enough the thing that made it click was the word "rest," because a couple weeks ago the REST/WREST homophone was part of an MGWCC mechanism. But without that I don't know if I would've gotten it. I think this could've been taken down in difficulty quite a bit with a title that was a little more informative, or at least hinted more strongly towards a "sounds like" meta.

Grover
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#372

Post by Grover » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:40 am

Got the answer but not before going down a rabbit hole that no one else has mentioned (or perhaps no one else fell for). Following the "REST" theme I saw 42A was CATNIP. Changing one letter made it CATNAP. Aha! Right on the theme. Went looking for others and conveniently found 21A was TAP and changing T to N gave me NAP. Then found 18D - NAH where changing the H to P gave me NAP. Now I had three changed letters I, T, and H. Couldn't find a fourth one. I went through the alphabet and only came up with two letters that would make anything close to a verb - C would give me ITCH, which isn't really a verb. The other letter was S, and we won't go there.

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John77
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#373

Post by John77 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:42 am

So close-missing the
Penultimate step. So,
I remain Mug-less.

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Cindy
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#374

Post by Cindy » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:48 am

damefox wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:40 am
Usually when I stare at a grid for an hour getting nowhere - especially when there's an obvious entry point (the plural clues/singular entries) that I can't get past - it occurs to me it must be a "sounds like" mechanism. It took me much longer than usual to make that leap this time, and funnily enough the thing that made it click was the word "rest," because a couple weeks ago the REST/WREST homophone was part of an MGWCC mechanism. But without that I don't know if I would've gotten it. I think this could've been taken down in difficulty quite a bit with a title that was a little more informative, or at least hinted more strongly towards a "sounds like" meta.
Agree. But in hindsight I wonder if the "where's" with the s sounding like z was supposed to be our hint. Again, I did not notice this on the front end. I would love to know if anyone thought of that before solving.

Big Mac
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#375

Post by Big Mac » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:50 am

Doing regular crosswords daily for a while definitely trains the brain to see the singular/plural mistakes quickly and identify them as out of place - perfect for a meta puzzle. In addition, the title was a nice direct clue. Maybe its the beer-lover in me but when I saw the answer should be "boos" that set off the rest of the -ze pattern recognition. I really enjoyed this one (a first for a homonym puzzle).

RichA2
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#376

Post by RichA2 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 am

MarkL wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:07 am

Took the four missing Ss which make a hissing sound... HISS is 62D plus its 'missing' S. Just a little over-influenced by BOO, I guess.
I quickly got to HISS in exactly the same way, but was lucky enough to spot the plural/singular clues/answers and most of their homophones at about the same time, realized there was more going on, and so didn’t submit it.

Here I will confess that I was working with four homophones until post 95 in its original form reminded me that there was a fifth clue and answer that did not match in number. I had seen all five when solving the grid, but in looking for a four letter verb had dropped RAY from consideration.

Armed with all five homophones I worked my way to DOUGH. What an elegant mechanism, except for the fact that it produced a five letter noun, rather than a four letter verb, and DOUGH had nothing to do with the title.

The final step came to me only several hours later when I was doing something completely different.

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Joe Ross
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#377

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:59 am

RichA2 wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:54 am
What an elegant mechanism, except for the fact that it produced a five letter noun, rather than a four letter verb, and DOUGH had nothing to do with the title.
A necessary step in making DOUGH is letting it REST.

SusieG
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#378

Post by SusieG » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:02 am

I caught the singular/plural issue while solving the grid, so that step was easy for me. As soon as I saw BOOS I went to HOOCH, but got stuck on DOUGH...what does it sound like? Should I pronounce it like “cough” or “Dow?” I knew I had to have the right answer (the one word clues, plus the missing S, etc.). I went through many ideas that made no sense and realized I was just tired and needed some rest (and posted such). The minute I woke up on Friday I realized that I forgot to ADD S and it hit me. The irony was I needed to DOZE before I could solve it!

I thought this was a very clever puzzle, with fairly straightforward clues (“Where’s the rest?”, ADDS, “sounds like”), there were just a few steps to get to the end. No specialized knowledge required, nor any googling required. I had asked my daughter for her input on Thursday night and it made no sense to her, so when I explained it to her on Friday she looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Not unusual for a meta discussion at my house. Our minds all work so differently!

Notbitter
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#379

Post by Notbitter » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:17 am

I initially had the singular/plural mechanism - and even Brie > bries. It went south for me when I found 4 other singular/plural words and then did a quick internet search for brie. According to the answer that popped up on the web (a site called “Word Hippo”), “the plural form of brie is also brie.” Once I read that, and “knowing” that it was a four-letter answer, I was lost. I spent an inordinate amount of time on another homonym: to me the missing four -eses SOUNDED like forests...and I focused on not seeing the forests for the trees, especially with rest in the title. Definitely lost in the woods.

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Meg
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#380

Post by Meg » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:30 am

A commenter on the Fiend mentioned that DOZING also means catching some ZZZZZZ's. Cute.

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