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

#381

Post by Bird Lives » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:40 am

tim1217 wrote:
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.
Is this any better?
WSJ.jpg

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Joe Ross
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#382

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:50 am

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:40 am
tim1217 wrote:
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.
Is this any better?

Image

Great minds...

WSJCC Where is the Rest w-pdf jpr.gif
Last edited by Joe Ross on Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

boharr
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#383

Post by boharr » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:57 am

LaceyK wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:14 am
Well I might win the prize for the most rabbit holes and finding a solution that works in so many ways, but didn't leave me completely 100%.

Here's my initial observations:
1. Dime, Liter, Head or Mast, Cast.
These go many places: associations--five and dime, dime a dozen, heads or tails, liter/quart, head and shoulders (above the rest) (nod to shampoo); cast and crew, cast and reel, cast a spell, cast a web.
Cast is part of a PLAY. Dime is part of a PRICE.
Dime is 10 (or 5 or 12), Liter is 10 x 10 x 10 ml; Head first, Cast a die, 6 sides.

2. Dime and quarter, liter is about a quart, headquarters, quarter cast.
Also quarter rest in music. Baroque is the only Q on the page, and clue can form quartet.

3. Rest. It is hidden in the clues. Forest. Restaurant. Insertions, Silverstein. That gives you MOSS, PREP, STENTS, SHEL. Those letters don't spell anything, nor the Clue first letters. Where are those items: Tree, kitchen, vein, beach. Or their numbers: 4, 23, 44, 53. Divide by 10 and remainder 4, 3, 4, 3. Add them up 124. CXXIV.

4. WheRE'S The REST. Double rest. Music. Looks like a double blank space on the grid. Letter at end spells RING or GRIN. (Also WHE and HE are left over. Found a couple HEs in the grid and clues.)

5. Almost Rest in clues: wEST, Dest, theRE'S one, FiguRES co-star. W D O C

6. Take 10 is REST. Dime 10. sTENts. If sub TEN in for DIME, get the word Tension.

7. Ten is X. Add it to words in the grid. X-RAY, TRI-X.

8. Going back to quarter. Add 4 to words. Four dimensions. Four liters. Forehead. or Fore master (ship). Forecast (gust or snow in the grid). four dimes is 40, 40 winks which means a rest.

9. Add RE to words in the grid to form REST. RESTAB, RESTACKS, RESTILES, RESTIR, RESTENTS, RESTATUS (not a word).

10. Phrases with Rest. Not KNEE, but Arm REST.

11. Also can I add EST to a grid answer with an R ending? Searest, Pairest. Stirest. Choirest. Uberest.
Dearest, Fairest, but it seems to end there.

12. I also have tried to go beyond the grid answers to see if there's any other words (looking for the REST). Shel could be made into SHELF, to put something to rest.
This could be turned into a great meta in its own right. We've already got 12 steps, and we haven't even begun.

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BarbaraK
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#384

Post by BarbaraK » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:58 am

AnswerPfinder wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:31 pm
Thank you all for the kind words and helpful feedback! I really loved reading these comments!

I will usually opt for the "# of letters" style prompt when there are X number of items in the puzzle that each lend a letter to the answer. For example, last week with Leonard's puzzle, I recommended this type of prompt because there were 4 "subthemers" that each provided a letter of the answer. Same sort of situation this week. However, I never considered "a 3-letter word" for Geography Quiz since there were not 3 theme entries that each lent a letter - you had to complete the group of terms with letters outside of the puzzle. I have no clue if Shenk or Gaffney use these guidelines, but I suspect they might, given last week's WSJ prompt. Please let me know what they say if they answer that question! I unfortunately cannot attend either webinar.

Cheers!
I often wonder if puzzle constructors read the comments here looking for “rules” they can break in a meta.

This comment was posted Wednesday on Will’s Weekly Meta topic, and then Thursday’s WSJ called for a 4 letter answer but had 5 theme entries! That has to be coincidence, right? I have no idea what the lead time is for publishing a puzzle in a newspaper, but it has to be more than one day?

Unless maybe it was just a small change to what was already planned?

Well, either way. Amazing how the universe works, or amazing how Matt & Mike work.

boharr
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#385

Post by boharr » Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:59 am

SewYoung wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:20 am
In the words of Maxwell Smart; "Missed it by THAT much." Absolutely kicking myself. I can't believe I didn't get the last step. I had all the right letters but I guess I was thrown off by there being 5. For some reason, I just couldn't see it.
That there were five not four seems to have been an almost universal stumbling block.

LesY
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#386

Post by LesY » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:17 am

BarbaraK wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:58 am
AnswerPfinder wrote:
Wed Sep 09, 2020 6:31 pm
Thank you all for the kind words and helpful feedback! I really loved reading these comments!

I will usually opt for the "# of letters" style prompt when there are X number of items in the puzzle that each lend a letter to the answer. For example, last week with Leonard's puzzle, I recommended this type of prompt because there were 4 "subthemers" that each provided a letter of the answer. Same sort of situation this week. However, I never considered "a 3-letter word" for Geography Quiz since there were not 3 theme entries that each lent a letter - you had to complete the group of terms with letters outside of the puzzle. I have no clue if Shenk or Gaffney use these guidelines, but I suspect they might, given last week's WSJ prompt. Please let me know what they say if they answer that question! I unfortunately cannot attend either webinar.

Cheers!
I often wonder if puzzle constructors read the comments here looking for “rules” they can break in a meta.

This comment was posted Wednesday on Will’s Weekly Meta topic, and then Thursday’s WSJ called for a 4 letter answer but had 5 theme entries! That has to be coincidence, right? I have no idea what the lead time is for publishing a puzzle in a newspaper, but it has to be more than one day?

Unless maybe it was just a small change to what was already planned?

Well, either way. Amazing how the universe works, or amazing how Matt & Mike work.
Is it possible they're trying to HAY(S) the new guy? (jk - I'm sure it's a coincidence; just wanted to use the pun)
Last edited by LesY on Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

nkumar
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#387

Post by nkumar » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:24 am

MarkL wrote:
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!
I followed the exact same logic and came up with the same solution! Including the BOO non-hint.

brulo
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#388

Post by brulo » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:33 am

Before being nudged to the light by "try to say the words" I went down a great rabbit hole to get me to an answer of CUSS.

Four of the five non plural answers have an appropriate answer anagrammed in the puzzle if you swap a letter, and i wasn't convinced that BRIES is a plural of BRIE.

34A BOO has another answer in the puzzle -> 18D NAH if you rearrange it to AHS and replace N with S
55A RAY has another answer in the puzzle -> 1A ABCS if you rearrange it to BUCS and replace A with U
58D SIGH has another answer in the puzzle -> 28D MONAE if you rearrange it to MOANS and replace E with S
64D SEA has another answer in the puzzle -> 17A DIMENSION if you rearrange it to MISCOINED replace N with C (Seas are widely considered to not really be a thing except as a language construct).

Getting SEA to MISCOINED was definitely the largest leap of those but when one is down a rabbit hole everything seems to fit!

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#389

Post by MajordomoTom » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:54 am

To those who didn't get it ... keep the faith and keep trying and working on these.

I started with these last November, so I'm at the 10 month point. When I'd started, I concur - this one would have been beyond my wildest hopes.

But I got it, with a slight nudge of "you're on the right track, keep going" and I was able, with that, to find the 5th one and transform it and then transform the result to the answer.

I had the DOUH, from that I surmised DOUGH and DOUGHS and DOZE. I had missed the "cheeses/brie/breeze/gust" linkage. Until sometime yesterday afternoon, at which point I saw the path to the "G".

I call this one "a mean 3". It's doable, but it's mean to have a 5 letter noun be the gateway to a 4 letter verb.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

boharr
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#390

Post by boharr » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:58 am

MajordomoTom wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:54 am

I call this one "a mean 3". It's doable, but it's mean to have a 5 letter noun be the gateway to a 4 letter verb.
One man's "meanness" is another's ingenuity.

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DBMiller
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#391

Post by DBMiller » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:03 am

When I do the grid, I'm so into grid mode that I don't think much about the meta. And I had enough from the across entries that I never saw the clue for BRIE.

My first "That ain't right moment" was BOO(S). As I filled in the rest of the grid, I got RAY(S), SEA(S), and SIGH(S). Since I found four items, and we were looking for a 4-letter verb, I didn't go back and look for another.

At this point, my answer would have been HISS as well. That's it? HISS? Where's the rest? Boo! Hiss! Just didn't feel elegant to me.

Kept coming back to the puzzle and then noticed how the plurals were connected to other answers and now I'm stuck with HOUD, or "O, Duh!". Still not a verb. And making no sense whatsoever. I also thought RAYS(S) might be RAISE, and UBER is a lift (And the lift/LYFT connection). But that gave me HUUD instead of HOUD and was no help.

There was also a brief HOOch - WHO moment where I thought I might have to go back to the clues to find the "rest". This led me to Saturday morning, and re-reading all of the clues and answers. I noticed BRIE could be BRIES/BREEZE and re-read the clue. Wasn't sure if this one was part of the pattern, as you can have Ford autos, do you also have brie cheeses? Why would there be a fifth letter when we are looking for a 4-letter verb?

Ah, but GUST was in the grid corresponding to BREEZE, which couldn't be just a coincidence. Now I was able to get the ordering straight and saw DOUGH. Went "Huh?" for a brief moment, then got DOUGH(S) -> DOZE. Click! Got on my paddleboard and rode to shore.

MikeM000
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#392

Post by MikeM000 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:05 am

brulo wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:33 am

Four of the five non plural answers have an appropriate answer anagrammed in the puzzle if you swap a letter, and i wasn't convinced that BRIES is a plural of BRIE.
I posted on Saturday afternoon about doubt that developed for me after submitting due to a logical fallacy. It was that "doughs" isn't really a legitimate plural like "boos", "rays", etc. After someone responded, it occurred to me I was forgetting "bries", which is also not entirely a legitimate plural, so I let my worry subside.

Joepickett
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#393

Post by Joepickett » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:08 am

Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:15 am
I got the answer (DOZE), but wow, I totally backed into it. I saw DIMENSION - SIGH(S)/SIZE and OBLITERATE - RAY(S)/RAZE, then noticed that the clues for 2D and 34A also asked for plurals, so that got me BOOZE (HOOCH) and BREEZE (GUST)... and tried to do something with/about those four. Only later did I see the clue for 64D was also asking for a plural, and I went from SEAS to Seize and to USURP. So now I had all five, so it should have been clear sailing, right? Here's where it got weird. Not noticing the initials of those five, I went back to the clue for USURP and saw it was "Commandeer." So -- noticing that the whole puzzle had homophones -- I parse it as "Common Deer," and from there, I got Doe and from Doe (to get the plural and bring in the Z), I got DOZE. Sometimes it's enough just to be lucky.
You just kept fouling them off and fouling them off and then hit a dinger.

ADS
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#394

Post by ADS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:16 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. 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!
I agree that the plural discrepancies jumped out, especially because of the number of them. One of the things I love most about crossword puzzles in general is the elegance of the coordination between each clue and its answer. When that was missing in this puzzle, it felt so awkward that it led me to the conclusion that it simply had to be part of the meta.

All in all, I thought this was a great puzzle because even though I picked up the trail fairly quickly, it was not an absolute given after that. I like that the meta still fought back even after I had gotten as far as dough. Because of the number of steps (brie > bries > breeze > gust > dough > doughs > doze), it gave multiple "aha!" moment along the way, which I loved. And, after solving it, I thought the double meaning of the word "rest" in the title was the icing on the cake.

This may not be an easy one to explain to new people, but I think a great one to illustrate how a meta solution proceeds in steps. (And, if nothing else, a good one to use to impress people.)

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TPS
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#395

Post by TPS » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:21 am

MikeM000 wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:05 am


After someone responded, it occurred to me I was forgetting "bries", which is also not entirely a legitimate plural, so I let my worry subside.
Yeah - the BRIE - BRIE(s) thing was another issue. As I said - I was never solving this one because I was never going to see the homonym thing but part of why I didn’t get the (s) thing was because of BRIE. I asked my GF who has a masters degree in English Lit and in French lit - if BRIE was plural and she said BRIE in English is the plural and that in French BRIE is generally the plural although you can use BRIES but everyone would give you a strange look. So when I got to RAY - I thought well Matt is either being inelegant or maybe he knows of the sports radio debate that occurred over whether they were Rays as in Devil Rays or just the Ray because their symbol is now just a Ray of light that looks like a star burst.

LaceyK
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#396

Post by LaceyK » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:27 am

After reading all the comments--the single clues, the ADD S, the ZZZZs--I wish I had solved it because it would have been such a satisfying AHA! "Does the math" did jump out as a possible directive, but I went the way of looking for numbers.
I am so impressed by the construction. I do not think I would have ever discovered it. Some things you just don't notice, especially when you are noticing too many other possibilities.

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Al Sisti
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#397

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:17 pm

Joepickett wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:08 am
Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:15 am
I got the answer (DOZE), but wow, I totally backed into it. I saw DIMENSION - SIGH(S)/SIZE and OBLITERATE - RAY(S)/RAZE, then noticed that the clues for 2D and 34A also asked for plurals, so that got me BOOZE (HOOCH) and BREEZE (GUST)... and tried to do something with/about those four. Only later did I see the clue for 64D was also asking for a plural, and I went from SEAS to Seize and to USURP. So now I had all five, so it should have been clear sailing, right? Here's where it got weird. Not noticing the initials of those five, I went back to the clue for USURP and saw it was "Commandeer." So -- noticing that the whole puzzle had homophones -- I parse it as "Common Deer," and from there, I got Doe and from Doe (to get the plural and bring in the Z), I got DOZE. Sometimes it's enough just to be lucky.
You just kept fouling them off and fouling them off and then hit a dinger.
Sometimes they're 450 footers, sometimes they're like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QixQMUu4CKI

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Gman
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#398

Post by Gman » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:31 pm

Did anyone notice that DOUGH was a synonym for MONEY, which had a homonym MONAE in the grid? Alas, one misdirect too many for my small and feeble mind.

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KayW
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#399

Post by KayW » Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:36 pm

sanmilton wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:16 am
I was bothered by the (deliberate?) agreement problem in the online prompt (or "hint"):

Hint: The answer to this week's contest crossword is a four-letter verb that I hope this puzzles doesn't make you want to do.

The plural "puzzles" is not in the .pdf (print) version.

But I loved that the entry for 1D could be read as ADD S. And that the clue for it began with "Does" -- a near-homophone of the meta answer.

Soooo clever, Mr. Gaffney, once again!
There was also a singular "puzzle" in the print edition. This week - as usual - I looked only at Joe Ross' excel template and then later the print edition, so I never saw that "bonus" tip off. Was that an unfortunate editorial "correction" by Mike Shenk?

Excellent! I never noticed "ADD S" at 1D.

And in solving, I also was delayed because I "stopped at four" after I found the four across singular/plural discrepencies and was left with DUGH. But I knew that had to be the mechanism so eventually I resumed my search.

MikeMillerwsj
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#400

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:09 pm

We thought this puzzle was diabolically hard, but a lot of you cracked it!
We had 1595 entries, about 69% correct. A big turnout (100) for HISS (because of the missing S's?) and QUIT (71, just wild guesses?) plus SIGH (24), YAWN (20), CUSS (16), SNAP (7), MOAN (5) and sundry others.

Congrats to this week's winner: Leslie Owsley of Owings Mills, MD.
And look forward to seeing you at this special event behind the scenes of our crossword contest.
https://www.wsjplus.com/invites/wsj-crosswords-event

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