"Drawbacks" - October 2, 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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LaceyK
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Re: "Drawbacks" - October 2, 2020

#301

Post by LaceyK » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:21 am

For those of us to that do the Monday Muggle Meta, this mechanism was very similar to Al's recent puzzle. The first or last clue gave instructions and the title made more sense after solving. All the meta creating surely must contribute to Al's lightning speed solves. :)
I often struggle with focusing on the title too much. I did try to find art words, backward words. Luckily the grid offered up some help, as I had circled all the ELs. Some had TI nearby to form tiles. But it wasn't until I put drawing medium with PAST-ELs that I finally put it together.
Others mentioned the toolbox, and I need to remember--look at first and last clues for instructions!

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Dplass
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#302

Post by Dplass » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:39 am

LaceyK wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:21 am
For those of us to that do the Monday Muggle Meta, this mechanism was very similar to Al's recent puzzle. The first or last clue gave instructions and the title made more sense after solving. All the meta creating surely must contribute to Al's lightning speed solves. :)
I often struggle with focusing on the title too much. I did try to find art words, backward words. Luckily the grid offered up some help, as I had circled all the ELs. Some had TI nearby to form tiles. But it wasn't until I put drawing medium with PAST-ELs that I finally put it together.
Others mentioned the toolbox, and I need to remember--look at first and last clues for instructions!
Oddly, I got BORNE ON THE 4TH OF JULY pretty quickly but this one was a dud.

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Dplass
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#303

Post by Dplass » Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:41 am

Tyler wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:04 am
A few of the many rabbit holes I went down:

- Nine clues have to do with writers/books (part of the arts) -- can't be a coincidence
- The drawing, artsy words: GRAPH, PASTE, BLEND, LINE, DETAIL
- PASTELS, PASTORALS
- AM RADIO -- AMARILLO
-- DEAD SET + TAIL ENDS = DEAD ENDS (Ironic, isn't it?!)
-- All of the double letters (TT, LL, NN, RR)
-- Taking a word from the beginning of the 7-and-8-letter answers = (to(fu), fat, graph, am, is, maim, tang, the, man, and, past(e), dead, tail, lip... (Got stuck on Boswell and unnerve)
-- Caryatids and pastorals have the word ARTS in common..
-- Looked up all the synonyms for "draw" with its various meanings (one is "GRAPH," by the way, also "MAP"), same for "back," same for "drawbacks"..
-- compound words or expressions with "draw" or "backs" = DEAD SET --> SETBACKS; TAIL ENDS --> TAILBACKS
-- On the top row, FIT is spelled backwards; on the bottom row, its synonym APT is spelled backwards
-- I noticed 60A early on, but "drawing medium" led me back to the "medium" in 16A-- has to be some connection!
-- I noticed the "EL"s very early on, can't even remember what I tried to do with them, but discounted them because of all of the red herrings looked more convincing
Almost the same here. I couldn't get past PASTELS and PASTORALS, not to mention how odd and out of place CARYATID was... to no avail.

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ReB
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#304

Post by ReB » Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:10 pm

RichA2 wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:51 am
DaveKennison wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:08 am
My first thought, before I even did the puzzle, based on its title and the comment about the contest answer, was that "EASELS" might somehow be involved . . .
Other methods having failed, I resorted to guessing a possible meta solution from the title: easels, since an easel is in back of a drawing as an artist works. The search for easels in the grid revealed all the ELs (but no EAS), so I knew that while the guess was wrong I was on to something. I went back to PASTELS (which I had earlier wrongly read as PASTE Ls), saw PAST ELS, and the trip to shore from there was easy.
Also, if you're in a studio making a drawing of a life model, part of the time you may be drawing their backs if they're facing away from you.

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ReB
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#305

Post by ReB » Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:11 pm

ReB wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:10 pm
RichA2 wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:51 am
DaveKennison wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:08 am
My first thought, before I even did the puzzle, based on its title and the comment about the contest answer, was that "EASELS" might somehow be involved . . .
Other methods having failed, I resorted to guessing a possible meta solution from the title: easels, since an easel is in back of a drawing as an artist works. The search for easels in the grid revealed all the ELs (but no EAS), so I knew that while the guess was wrong I was on to something. I went back to PASTELS (which I had earlier wrongly read as PASTE Ls), saw PAST ELS, and the trip to shore from there was easy.
Also, if you're in a studio making a drawing of a life model, part of the time you may be drawing their backs if they're facing away from you.

Somehow I responded to the wrong posting. But I see others have addressed this issue as to the relevance of the title, so that's that.
Last edited by ReB on Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Al Sisti
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#306

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:13 pm

LaceyK wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:21 am
For those of us to that do the Monday Muggle Meta, this mechanism was very similar to Al's recent puzzle. The first or last clue gave instructions and the title made more sense after solving. All the meta creating surely must contribute to Al's lightning speed solves. :)
I often struggle with focusing on the title too much. I did try to find art words, backward words. Luckily the grid offered up some help, as I had circled all the ELs. Some had TI nearby to form tiles. But it wasn't until I put drawing medium with PAST-ELs that I finally put it together.
Others mentioned the toolbox, and I need to remember--look at first and last clues for instructions!
Yeah, this one ended up being a quicker than most for me because a) the grid seemed to be in my wheelhouse, so I got through it fairly quickly (forgiving myself the sloppy writing), b) immediately applied the "last grid entry" trick (especially when the clue seems to directly tie to the title) and c) my first parsing of the grid entry had me looking for a letter after "EL." I quickly got LIFE MODELS and sent it in (already had the email ready except for the answer in the subject line), but then panicked when I left the room and said "ARGH! What if it was actually "LIVE MODELS" and I had the "F" wrong (like Norse King = "OLAF vs OLAV")!!" Ran back up and saw the crossing word confirmed an F... but man... I thought I pulled another "haste makes waste" thing, like "Grilled [Ham and] Cheese," which I turned in at 4:23 EST on that Thursday. Or "PAGEANT," for that matter... which, according to my records, I turned in at 4:31 EST on that Thursday.

boharr
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#307

Post by boharr » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:29 pm

Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:13 pm
LaceyK wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:21 am
For those of us to that do the Monday Muggle Meta, this mechanism was very similar to Al's recent puzzle. The first or last clue gave instructions and the title made more sense after solving. All the meta creating surely must contribute to Al's lightning speed solves. :)
I often struggle with focusing on the title too much. I did try to find art words, backward words. Luckily the grid offered up some help, as I had circled all the ELs. Some had TI nearby to form tiles. But it wasn't until I put drawing medium with PAST-ELs that I finally put it together.
Others mentioned the toolbox, and I need to remember--look at first and last clues for instructions!
Yeah, this one ended up being a quicker than most for me because a) the grid seemed to be in my wheelhouse, so I got through it fairly quickly (forgiving myself the sloppy writing), b) immediately applied the "last grid entry" trick (especially when the clue seems to directly tie to the title) and c) my first parsing of the grid entry had me looking for a letter after "EL." I quickly got LIFE MODELS and sent it in (already had the email ready except for the answer in the subject line), but then panicked when I left the room and said "ARGH! What if it was actually "LIVE MODELS" and I had the "F" wrong (like Norse King = "OLAF vs OLAV")!!" Ran back up and saw the crossing word confirmed an F... but man... I thought I pulled another "haste makes waste" thing, like "Grilled [Ham and] Cheese," which I turned in at 4:23 EST on that Thursday. Or "PAGEANT," for that matter... which, according to my records, I turned in at 4:31 EST on that Thursday.
Caryatids was in your wheelhouse? I'm impressed.

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SusieG
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#308

Post by SusieG » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:47 pm

This would have been a perfect grid to put into The Joe Ross Excel file. I was too lazy to get my laptop out, so instead I floundered until he explained it to me. I guessed that it would be some sort of “models” after seeing NUDE in the bottom left corner, and given the title. I also knew PASTELS was a clue, but was sure I needed to find the color names. Is GUAVA a pastel?

I was happy to have CARYATIDS in my back pocket. They have fascinated me for a long time (I had an archaeology obsession in middle school).

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Al Sisti
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#309

Post by Al Sisti » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:53 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:29 pm
Al Sisti wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:13 pm
LaceyK wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 11:21 am
For those of us to that do the Monday Muggle Meta, this mechanism was very similar to Al's recent puzzle. The first or last clue gave instructions and the title made more sense after solving. All the meta creating surely must contribute to Al's lightning speed solves. :)
I often struggle with focusing on the title too much. I did try to find art words, backward words. Luckily the grid offered up some help, as I had circled all the ELs. Some had TI nearby to form tiles. But it wasn't until I put drawing medium with PAST-ELs that I finally put it together.
Others mentioned the toolbox, and I need to remember--look at first and last clues for instructions!
Yeah, this one ended up being a quicker than most for me because a) the grid seemed to be in my wheelhouse, so I got through it fairly quickly (forgiving myself the sloppy writing), b) immediately applied the "last grid entry" trick (especially when the clue seems to directly tie to the title) and c) my first parsing of the grid entry had me looking for a letter after "EL." I quickly got LIFE MODELS and sent it in (already had the email ready except for the answer in the subject line), but then panicked when I left the room and said "ARGH! What if it was actually "LIVE MODELS" and I had the "F" wrong (like Norse King = "OLAF vs OLAV")!!" Ran back up and saw the crossing word confirmed an F... but man... I thought I pulled another "haste makes waste" thing, like "Grilled [Ham and] Cheese," which I turned in at 4:23 EST on that Thursday. Or "PAGEANT," for that matter... which, according to my records, I turned in at 4:31 EST on that Thursday.
Caryatids was in your wheelhouse? I'm impressed.
Pretty sure the Down entries gave me that one! The only thing I know about Greece is that Olivia Newton John looked hot in those black pants at the end.

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whimsy
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#310

Post by whimsy » Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:55 pm

Bird Lives wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:34 am
Tina wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:50 am
Hector wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:03 am
You mean RAPH AEL had nothing to do with it?
I saw that and also tried to find MICHEL somewhere to pair up with tANGELO. Also found parts of BOTTICELLI in the first row. And spent way too long trying to find words hidden backwards.
Me too, but after Raphael and Michelangeo, I was hunting for Leonardo and Donatello -- more a turtle hole than a rabbit hole.
Had to respond since I couldn't post a half dozen thumbs up --- which is "frowned upon in this establishment" (ETrade Baby) not to mention impossible. TMNT was my first approach too! Although I did stop to consider whether the entire name would fit in a.) the grid; and b.) the solution box, never mind an explanation of the methodology. I thought too that the position and route to get RAPHAEL was sort of "drawn back" like a bow and arrow.

Since I'm here now anyways, I'll say that I love reading everyone's bunny trails, so many of which are very familiar. I look at it this way: The more red herrings, the more wide-ranging our creativity gets! :)

MikeMillerwsj
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#311

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:41 pm

We thought this one was a bit easier than the last few, but you never can tell--we had 788 entries, somewhat below our average. About 74% correct (close to average). Other guesses included CRITICS (15), PATRONS (11), NEA (7), IMPRESSIONISTS (4), ANGELS (4), DONORS (3), and several others. (Were these just guesses?)

Congrats to this week's winner (and regular Muggle): Wendy Walker of West Grove, PA!

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BarbaraK
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#312

Post by BarbaraK » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:43 pm

Yay Wendy!! Welcome to the mugged muggles club!

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hcbirker
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#313

Post by hcbirker » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:44 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:41 pm
We thought this one was a bit easier than the last few, but you never can tell--we had 788 entries, somewhat below our average. About 74% correct (close to average). Other guesses included CRITICS (15), PATRONS (11), NEA (7), IMPRESSIONISTS (4), ANGELS (4), DONORS (3), and several others. (Were these just guesses?)

Congrats to this week's winner (and regular Muggle): Wendy Walker of West Grove, PA!
Whoo hooo! One of my favorite Muggles! Congrats Wendy!
Heidi

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TPS
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#314

Post by TPS » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:44 pm

Congrats Wendy!

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hcbirker
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#315

Post by hcbirker » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:45 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:41 pm
We thought this one was a bit easier than the last few, but you never can tell--we had 788 entries, somewhat below our average. About 74% correct (close to average). Other guesses included CRITICS (15), PATRONS (11), NEA (7), IMPRESSIONISTS (4), ANGELS (4), DONORS (3), and several others. (Were these just guesses?)

Congrats to this week's winner (and regular Muggle): Wendy Walker of West Grove, PA!
"angel" was in Tangelo, and "astor" was in pastoral.
Heidi

boharr
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#316

Post by boharr » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:46 pm

Let's raise a glass to Wendy!

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Joe Ross
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#317

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:54 pm

WOO-HOO, Wendy!

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TPS
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#318

Post by TPS » Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:59 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:41 pm
788 entries, somewhat below our average. About 74% correct.
I sorta feel like I won a Mug - I feel pretty good about quickly solving a puzzle that less tha 600 people did - normally IF I solve one and IF it is fairly quick - it’s one where there are like 1700+ correct answers!

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Streroto
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#319

Post by Streroto » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:02 pm

SusieG wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:47 pm
This would have been a perfect grid to put into The Joe Ross Excel file. I was too lazy to get my laptop out, so instead I floundered until he explained it to me. I guessed that it would be some sort of “models” after seeing NUDE in the bottom left corner, and given the title. I also knew PASTELS was a clue, but was sure I needed to find the color names. Is GUAVA a pastel?

I was happy to have CARYATIDS in my back pocket. They have fascinated me for a long time (I had an archaeology obsession in middle school).
I actually found four references to color, it was down that rabbit hole for a very long time. Amarillo is Spanish for yellow, tangelo is orange, guava pink, and Congo red is a stain used in pathology. I had not thought of nude as a color, but I guess that’s right. I was looking for pastel colors however.

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ImOnToo
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#320

Post by ImOnToo » Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:03 pm

Congratulations, Wendy!

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