"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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Georgeall
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:57 pm

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

#361

Post by Georgeall » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:04 pm

I had earlier posted (#289) my justification for submitting SCENE as the solution. That was my second (and simpler) attempt. My first attempt, using a much different method, yielded the same result, so I figured that Matt had formulated a “double whammy” that enabled a solution from two directions with intermediate hints, and guaranteed that SCENE was correct. My initial solution follows:

On seeing the parenthetical numbers after certain clues, I knew immediately that these had to be dice rolls, and knowing Matt’s affinity for board games, I went into my stash of games and pulled out my old Monopoly board. Matt has used Monopoly in his solutions before, and it was apparent that this was his intent now. It became even more obvious after examining the sequence of parenthetical numbers, 5-7-8-8-7, for if you start at GO on the Monopoly board and advance by that sequence of squares, the only squares you hit are railroads (except Pennsylvania), free parking, and utilities, and you end up on Short Line. Matt had apparently dropped a prodigious hint here, for “Short” has five letters, and “Short Line” is part of the “certain set” of Monopoly railroads. Aha! The penny dropped!

Now for step two, to figure our how the words clued with parenthetical numbers reveal the final answer. Printing out the five clued answers in order yields: CHEERIESTINDOCHINESORRYTOHEARTHATAPENNINESFLUSTERED. I then went back to the Monopoly board to find and eliminate the letters that appear in the names of squares I had landed on: railroads (READING, PENNSYLVANIA, BO, SHORT LINE), FREE PARKING, and UTILITY. Note that PENNSYLVANIA was not one of the railroad squares that was landed on before, but I had to eliminate its letters also… more of Matt’s attempt at diabolical trickery that I’ll address (and rectify) later.

After the letter elimination, I was left with: CESDCERHEHTEE. The number that pops out of these letters is THREE, so I put that aside temporarily and I’m left with CESDCEHE. The railroad square that I missed going around the first time is Pennsylvania, so I needed to get to it, and it is 20 squares away from Short Line on the Monopoly board. I was able to get the number 20 by adding up the letters C (3), D (4), E (5), and H (8), so eliminating those leaves ESCE. Now landing on the Pennsylvania Railroad square after those 20 steps, I retrieved the number THREE that I had put aside, and I see that PENNSYLVANIA has three N’s, so I promptly added an N back to the sequence ESCE, yielding ESCEN, which anagrams to SCENE and solves the meta.

Overall, a logically straightforward puzzle, with two processes that yield the same result! What could be wrong?

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Wendy Walker
Posts: 527
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:44 pm
Location: Unionville, PA

#362

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:48 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:52 am
I had to look up the seven deadly sins - is there anyone here who knew what they are without a bit of googling?
In college I was in a Medieval Miracle Play that featured the Seven Deadly Sins, so I still remember all of them. I played Gossip (is that typecasting or what?). My job was to interrupt scenes and say, "OOOOO ... What's going on HERE, then?!" That is me second from left.
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Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday.

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ImOnToo
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 5:28 pm
Location: Texas

#363

Post by ImOnToo » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:17 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?
Mom's serving nachos!

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LizD
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:37 pm
Location: North Carolina

#364

Post by LizD » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:18 pm

Wow. This was a Kas 5 for me. Even with a nudge (thank you!) and having completed step one, I could not figure it out! But I was circling (literally) around the answers. If only I had an eye for anagram+1 I would have gotten there.

I went down the chess rabbit hole also, so I feel vindicated to see others were there. I also fell for the RED herring instead of LUST.

As crazy as this puzzle made me, I can't wait for the next one. That may be the first sign of addiction! 😝
I don't have an inner child... I have an inner old lady. :geek:

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Joe Ross
Posts: 1260
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#365

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:19 pm

Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:48 pm
Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:52 am
I had to look up the seven deadly sins - is there anyone here who knew what they are without a bit of googling?
In college I was in a Medieval Miracle Play that featured the Seven Deadly Sins, so I still remember all of them. I played Gossip (is that typecasting or what?). My job was to interrupt scenes and say, "OOOOO ... What's going on HERE, then?!" That is me second from left.
Time for an new avatar, Wendy.

WLW.png

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ImOnToo
Posts: 165
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 5:28 pm
Location: Texas

#366

Post by ImOnToo » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:20 pm

LizD wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:18 pm
Wow. This was a Kas 5 for me. Even with a nudge (thank you!) and having completed step one, I could not figure it out! But I was circling (literally) around the answers. If only I had an eye for anagram+1 I would have gotten there.

I went down the chess rabbit hole also, so I feel vindicated to see others were there. I also fell for the RED herring instead of LUST.

As crazy as this puzzle made me, I can't wait for the next one. That may be the first sign of addiction! 😝
I fell for the "red" herring, too. My husband, however, immediately recognized "lust". :lol:

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Dplass
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:09 am
Location: Long Island, New York

#367

Post by Dplass » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:28 pm

TPS wrote:
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.
I wasn't going to say anything, lol.

But I did say to a co-worker that the mechanism for this week's MGWCC is (joke) after you find the relevant entries, you then mutate and then add a letter, anagram, remove a letter, and THEN reorder... then they answered "and then get a word that sounds like that word, when said in a specific regional dialect"

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whimsy
Posts: 267
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:51 am
Location: Hopkinton MA

#368

Post by whimsy » Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:54 pm

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:31 pm


Let’s hear it for mnemonic devices...
BTW- what is my very earnest mother serving us these days?
Not sure, but She Makes Very Easy Meals as I learned it --
and if you feel like griping when she calls you in for supper Just Say U Never Play. (I'm a Plutoist! :D )

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whimsy
Posts: 267
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:51 am
Location: Hopkinton MA

#369

Post by whimsy » Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:18 pm

Janet P wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:00 am

Pluto is still considered a dwarf planet, so that 8 eluded me.

Here's to starting a new streak next week!
So maybe even if Pluto got tossed from the planets, he can still sneak into the meta with the dwarfs! :D
BTW -- Love your sign off Winnie quote.

Anyway, it appears it was a good week for me to not have delved too deeply into the meta, but I'm glad instead to be spending time reading the results. Love checking out all the creative apophenia! I'm certain I would have spent time in most of the rabbit holes mentioned -- and would have remained in the most comfortable one until the chimes of midnight.

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Kas
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:23 pm
Location: Rhode Island

#370

Post by Kas » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:42 pm

Oof.
(Alas...the ship’s bar. Again.)

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Kas
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:23 pm
Location: Rhode Island

#371

Post by Kas » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:46 pm

Oh, and yes: Kas 5.
I circled the first step...saw Eerie, heart (and hearth), lust (and Luster)...
But I saw Nine (not PENN) and Chin and China (not Doc)...ah well—muffed it! Gaffeneyed again.

JennyByrd
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:51 pm
Location: Houston

#372

Post by JennyByrd » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:05 pm

Notbitter wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:38 am
A bit of a whine (and sorry if someone already posted this, I did not read all sixteen pages of comments here). I did the puzzle on the WSJ app on my iPad. Unless I am missing something, the app version did not include a clue for 59 across or list the number 59 in the puzzle (per my attached screenshot). Since the answer was “nil,” to me it was OBVIOUSLY important to the meta. It had me looking for empty sets, etc. I chase enough rabbits on my own without help from the app.
Weird! I do mine on the app too, (and on paper, and on pdf ... none of which helped with this puzzle). But I did have a clue for 59A.
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3E0ED2DA-92C2-4EE7-BC7C-24A1A4F72627.png

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C=64
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:29 pm
Location: PDX, via NH/VT

#373

Post by C=64 » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:56 pm

Laura M wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:34 am
Lake Champlain had been considered a Great Lake for a short period of time
There was a good mellow-folk band from Vermont called The Sixth Great Lake.

https://open.spotify.com/track/6rodhoTL ... H0NUnorEmA

wordsmith
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2020 9:51 pm

#374

Post by wordsmith » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:00 am

I really enjoyed this one! The first thing I did was look at previous Gaffney puzzles and found one with a similar (number) mechanism. Four clues came pretty easily, but CHINA prevented me from seeing "DOC." After enlightenment from TPS, I felt pretty DOPEY. :) After I found two ways to get MARS (one by adding a letter and one by subtracting), HURON popped out and the rest was....well, not easy, but fun!

Can't wait until Thursday!

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DrTom
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

#375

Post by DrTom » Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:00 am

Dplass wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:28 pm
TPS wrote:
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.
I wasn't going to say anything, lol.

But I did say to a co-worker that the mechanism for this week's MGWCC is (joke) after you find the relevant entries, you then mutate and then add a letter, anagram, remove a letter, and THEN reorder... then they answered "and then get a word that sounds like that word, when said in a specific regional dialect"
Wait, that WASN'T the mechanism????

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DBMiller
Posts: 214
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:59 pm
Location: New Hampshire

#376

Post by DBMiller » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:05 am

DrTom wrote:
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...)
Did Grumpy enjoy it? Oh, all the midget porn jokes...

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Janet P
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:29 pm

#377

Post by Janet P » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:16 am

whimsy wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 8:18 pm
Janet P wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:00 am

Pluto is still considered a dwarf planet, so that 8 eluded me.
So maybe even if Pluto got tossed from the planets, he can still sneak into the meta with the dwarfs! :D
Totally missed that.
Your whimsical comment had
Me laughing out loud!
“For myself, I am an optimist. It does not seem much use being anything else...”
― Winston Churchill, The Lord Mayor's Banquet, 9 November 1954

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KayW
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:10 am
Location: Chicago

#378

Post by KayW » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:42 pm

whimsy wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:54 pm
MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:31 pm


Let’s hear it for mnemonic devices...
BTW- what is my very earnest mother serving us these days?
Not sure, but She Makes Very Easy Meals as I learned it --
and if you feel like griping when she calls you in for supper Just Say U Never Play. (I'm a Plutoist! :D )
Yes, I’d rather have 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕too 😉

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yourpalsal
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:28 am

#379

Post by yourpalsal » Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:58 pm

Sounds like there will be lots to talk about in the meetup!
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?p ... s4YUQvdz09

If you need a password, it's muggle.

Hope to see you there!

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Bob cruise director
Cruise Director
Posts: 2167
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:38 pm
Location: any golf course that will take my money

#380

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:56 pm

Wendy Walker wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:48 pm
Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:52 am
I had to look up the seven deadly sins - is there anyone here who knew what they are without a bit of googling?
In college I was in a Medieval Miracle Play that featured the Seven Deadly Sins, so I still remember all of them. I played Gossip (is that typecasting or what?). My job was to interrupt scenes and say, "OOOOO ... What's going on HERE, then?!" That is me second from left.
I did not realize that we had so many muggles well versed in the Seven Deadly Sins
Bob Stevens
Cruise Director

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