"Just A Step More" - October 23, 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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MaineMarge
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Re: "Just A Step More" - October 23, 2020

#341

Post by MaineMarge » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:31 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:52 am

And I had to look up the seven deadly sins - is there anyone here who knew what they are without a bit of googling?
I knew them all (not through personal experience of course), after helping a student study for an ethics class.
Let’s All Play Great Games Every Saturday
or
SLAP EGG
( wrath/anger and avarice/greed often vary)

Let’s hear it for mnemonic devices...
BTW- what is my very earnest mother serving us these days?

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damefox
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#342

Post by damefox » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:36 pm

I have an argument for SHELL. Obviously the S_ELL is the same. But if in INDOCHINE you see DO instead of DOC, this still works because DO is part of the 7 notes on the solfege scale. Then HAL is an anagram of LA + H, and ta da SHELL. Shell is considered one of the Big Oil companies, which it could be said is a "certain set."

Now, there are a couple issues with this. Perhaps the biggest one, why in the world would anyone make a meta about Big Oil? The second one is that entries TIC and OUD are also anagrams of a solfege note + one extra letter. Since DO is the note in the entry, we can rule out OUD. But TIC is a problem. However, all the other anagrammed entries appear in the same order in the grid as their respective themers, so TIC could be ruled out for that reason.

I generally feel like if a solver has 100% landed on the correct mechanism, there should be no ambiguity in getting to the answer, and to me this was a lot of ambiguity. The inelegance of having RED in FLUSTERED (I spent so long looking for anagrams of colors - it's lucky GREED is only one letter from GREEN or I never would've noticed it) also made for a frustrating solve. And then there's the title... what in the world. This puzzle really didn't feel like it was up to their normal standard.

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SusieG
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#343

Post by SusieG » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:53 pm

Very clever meta! Congrats to those of you who solved it. Not unusual for me, I got hung up in dead end rabbit holes. I thought it may be a chess piece (CASTLE, ROIS, CZAR). Saw DOC, but not Sneezy. Couldn’t see EARTH - stuck on HEART HAT. What’s a heart hat? And those parenthetical numbers always mess me up. Looking forward to next week.
851B4C12-53EF-4F18-8DD1-99494773FDA1.jpeg

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Janet
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#344

Post by Janet » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:55 pm

I didn't get this one, but there's always the next to look forward to.

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Streroto
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#345

Post by Streroto » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:03 pm

A big shout out to Todd aka TPS who I think really did a spectacular job of commenting and obviously helping quite a few people through. The tiny nudge into step one made all the difference and left me enjoying the rest of the meta-just enough. I had noticed LUST, but I guess I got FLUSTERED and didn’t see the others. And I am a PENN professor!!!!! DOH!!!!!


Stay well all
Last edited by Streroto on Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TPS
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#346

Post by TPS » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:03 pm

damefox wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:36 pm
I have an argument for SHELL. Obviously the S_ELL is the same. But if in INDOCHINE you see DO instead of DOC, this still works because DO is part of the 7 notes on the solfege scale. Then HAL is an anagram of LA + H, and ta da SHELL. Shell is considered one of the Big Oil companies, which it could be said is a "certain set."
Interesting take and solution and yes Shell is one of the 7 Sisters https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Si ... companies)
Last edited by TPS on Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SusieG
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#347

Post by SusieG » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:03 pm

boharr wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:21 pm
TPS wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:26 am
Janet P wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:00 am
Also, the refrain of "if you are trying to anagram, you're probably on the wrong track" always echoes in my mind and makes that a last resort in my toolbox.
I agree with this refrain but it might need to be amended to something more like, "If you need to anagram to get the answer itself then you are probably on the wrong track." Because in the past 8-10 puzzles searching anagrams to find excess letters that will ultimately spell out the answer in sequence has occurred 3 times.
Isn't there an actual name for the anagram + 1 device? I thought I read about it somewhere? Maybe on CrosswordFiend.
Yes! Joon called it “transaddition” and asked for a moratorium on that methodology. I personally like the method, even though I failed to see it this week.

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Bob cruise director
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#348

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:20 pm

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:31 pm
Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:52 am

And I had to look up the seven deadly sins - is there anyone here who knew what they are without a bit of googling?
I knew them all (not through personal experience of course), after helping a student study for an ethics class.
Let’s All Play Great Games Every Saturday
or
SLAP EGG
( wrath/anger and avarice/greed often vary)

Let’s hear it for mnemonic devices...
BTW- what is my very earnest mother serving us these days?
Please be more explicit. Which ones did you know well, a little and not much :lol:
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

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DrTom
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#349

Post by DrTom » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:44 pm

damefox wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:36 pm
I have an argument for SHELL. Obviously the S_ELL is the same. But if in INDOCHINE you see DO instead of DOC, this still works because DO is part of the 7 notes on the solfege scale. Then HAL is an anagram of LA + H, and ta da SHELL. Shell is considered one of the Big Oil companies, which it could be said is a "certain set."

Now, there are a couple issues with this. Perhaps the biggest one, why in the world would anyone make a meta about Big Oil? The second one is that entries TIC and OUD are also anagrams of a solfege note + one extra letter. Since DO is the note in the entry, we can rule out OUD. But TIC is a problem. However, all the other anagrammed entries appear in the same order in the grid as their respective themers, so TIC could be ruled out for that reason.

I generally feel like if a solver has 100% landed on the correct mechanism, there should be no ambiguity in getting to the answer, and to me this was a lot of ambiguity. The inelegance of having RED in FLUSTERED (I spent so long looking for anagrams of colors - it's lucky GREED is only one letter from GREEN or I never would've noticed it) also made for a frustrating solve. And then there's the title... what in the world. This puzzle really didn't feel like it was up to their normal standard.
Hmmm - had not considered that RED could have easily been part of the set: Orange Indigo Violet Yellow, Red, Blue, Green. There are certainly 7 colors of the rainbow, and I can sing it if necessary!

My particular tale of woe was getting to the "OK, I need another of each set" and then getting them from the wrong places:

misstep S.jpg
I started going for a MISSING letter so MAS - R, PETRI - D, SENZY - E

Of course the problem with that was its variability and the fact that I could find no lake or college, then I saw that one word contained all the letters of SNEEZY with one extra and the rest came pretty quickly.

Oh, and you know how the puzzle often plays into daily life...well today I was going by one of the local prisons and I saw GRUMPY climbing down the wall! "Gosh", I said to myself, "that's a little condescending!"

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DrTom
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#350

Post by DrTom » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:47 pm

In yet another answer to Ddamefox:
Perhaps the biggest one, why in the world would anyone make a meta about Big Oil?
Maybe he was just trying to be slick?

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Joe Ross
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#351

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:50 pm

DrTom wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:44 pm
"Gosh", I said to myself, "that's a little condescending!"
👻 boo

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Joe Ross
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#352

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:51 pm

DrTom wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:47 pm
Maybe he was just trying to be slick?
🤢 oof

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ImOnToo
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#353

Post by ImOnToo » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:53 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:37 pm
Greetings--this was an unusually difficult contest! We had 602 entries, only about 40% correct--both figures significantly less than usual. The puzzle gods raise the bar once in a while, and this was one of those times. Several wrong answers drew multiple responses, for reasons we'd love to understand: RISER (44), TASTE (ok that one we understand, 42), QUEEN (18), SEINE (14), MAINE (5), and many more.

Congrats to this week's winner: Gideon Fostick of Bergenfield, NJ.
I tried hard to make "Queen" work. I was fixated on the chess references (both actual and imagined) and the queen is the only 5 letter chess piece.

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DrTom
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#354

Post by DrTom » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:55 pm

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:31 pm
Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:52 am

And I had to look up the seven deadly sins - is there anyone here who knew what they are without a bit of googling?
I knew them all (not through personal experience of course),
Likely story! I on the other hand pride myself...oops, just fell dang it.
after helping a student study for an ethics class.
Let’s All Play Great Games Every Saturday
or
SLAP EGG
( wrath/anger and avarice/greed often vary)
Oh I don't know. lately my wrath/anger have both been pretty constant and my avarice/greed is pretty steadfast....

Let’s hear it for mnemonic devices...
BTW- what is my very earnest mother serving us these days?
Just Peaches

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DrTom
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

#355

Post by DrTom » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:02 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:37 pm
Greetings--this was an unusually difficult contest! We had 602 entries, only about 40% correct--both figures significantly less than usual. The puzzle gods raise the bar once in a while, and this was one of those times. Several wrong answers drew multiple responses, for reasons we'd love to understand: RISER (44), TASTE (ok that one we understand, 42), QUEEN (18), SEINE (14), MAINE (5), and many more.

Congrats to this week's winner: Gideon Fostick of Bergenfield, NJ.
I'm kind of surprised there were no GRADE or DPLUS answers:
Dwarf
Planet
Lake
University
Sin
DPLUS.

That was my 11:58 entry if I had not gotten a nudge towards the right shore.

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Dplass
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#356

Post by Dplass » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:16 pm

MikeMillerwsj wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:37 pm
Greetings--this was an unusually difficult contest! We had 602 entries, only about 40% correct--both figures significantly less than usual. The puzzle gods raise the bar once in a while, and this was one of those times. Several wrong answers drew multiple responses, for reasons we'd love to understand: RISER (44), TASTE (ok that one we understand, 42), QUEEN (18), SEINE (14), MAINE (5), and many more.

Congrats to this week's winner: Gideon Fostick of Bergenfield, NJ.
I was going to guess QUEEN too - there were a few chess-related clues, and the last answer was "MEN" ("chessmen", ironic lack of gender parity notwithstanding).

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DrTom
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#357

Post by DrTom » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:17 pm

Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:51 pm
DrTom wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:47 pm
Maybe he was just trying to be slick?
🤢 oof
As the bill collector said - my work here is dun!😆

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DrTom
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#358

Post by DrTom » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:20 pm

Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:50 pm
DrTom wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:44 pm
"Gosh", I said to myself, "that's a little condescending!"
👻 boo
I'm just gonna say what I said when they told me someone had dwarfed my accomplishments - "I'm not Happy!" (of course I was feeling a little Grumpy at the time...)

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norrin2
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#359

Post by norrin2 » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:33 pm

I look forward to Mondays almost as much as Thursday. I enjoy reading about other people's rabbit holes. It's interesting that there are so many ways to be wrong. I was waiting to see if someone went down the same RH that I did but it looks like I'm the only one, so here's how I ended up submitting the fourth member of the Three Stooges. I got ERIE and HEART and all he containerized words and I figured out what the parenthetical numbers meant quickly. So far so good. One step more from Earth is obviously MARS so I had an M. The next great lake has to be Superior (HOMES, right?) The others are a little less obvious. If you Google "Seven Dwarves in Order" Happy comes right after Doc. Now I got an H. Alphabetically Princeton comes after PENN. Now I've got SHMP. I'm not sure now how I figured Envy was a step away from LUST, (Wikipedia has them ranked from least evil (Lust) to most (pride) with envy coming in at #6) maybe it was wishful thinking. But anyway that gave me SHEMP, and the Three Stooges are a set, right?
Oh well, there's always next Thursday.

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TPS
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#360

Post by TPS » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:48 pm

SusieG wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:03 pm
Yes! Joon called it “transaddition” and asked for a moratorium on that methodology.
I can think of at least one person here who'd cosign that petition - looking at Dplass.

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