"I See Right Through You" - October 30, 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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Bob cruise director
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Re: "I See Right Through You" - October 30, 2020

#321

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:42 am

It is only Tuesday but here is an interesting trivia question

Below are the favorite flavors listed alphabetically from each decade as determined by Taste of Home from 1900 until now. (1900’s, 1910’s…2010) All you have to do is match the flavor with the decade

Butter Pecan

Cake Batter

Cherry Garcia

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Fruit Sherbet

Mint Chocolate Chip

Neapolitan

Pineapple

Rocky Road

Rum Raisin

Salted Caramel

Vanilla Soft Serve


Tune in tonight for the answer
Bob Stevens
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PJM
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:06 pm

#322

Post by PJM » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:14 am

Wendy Walker wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:19 pm
On shore!
While most of us lazily dog paddle to shore or meander about without finding dry land, a few super-solvers (e.g. Wendy here) here have twin outboard engines and are on shore with astonishing speed.

I'd like to know from these super solvers: have you always been this fast? Or has experience gotten you to this level? Do you push yourselve to be as fast as possible or does it just flow?

Anyone who routinely solves these in less than an hour is a super solver in my book, so if you are one, don't be shy about taking on the mantle!

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Bob cruise director
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#323

Post by Bob cruise director » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:46 am

PJM wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:14 am
Wendy Walker wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:19 pm
On shore!
While most of us lazily dog paddle to shore or meander about without finding dry land, a few super-solvers (e.g. Wendy here) here have twin outboard engines and are on shore with astonishing speed.

I'd like to know from these super solvers: have you always been this fast? Or has experience gotten you to this level? Do you push yourselve to be as fast as possible or does it just flow?

Anyone who routinely solves these in less than an hour is a super solver in my book, so if you are one, don't be shy about taking on the mantle!
PJM - some of these people are beyond amazing. Every once in a while, I can be on the shore within an hour but that is rare. Some do it week in and week out.
Bob Stevens
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MikeMillerwsj
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#324

Post by MikeMillerwsj » Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:12 pm

Greetings and hope you all had a safe Halloween, free of howls and other eerie sounds. We had 1207 entries this week, with an above-average 83% correct. A strong showing for BOO (73) and TRICK OR TREAT (25), plus SCREAM (8), MOAN (7), DOORBELL (6), HOOTS (4) and many others.

Happy election day and congrats to this week's winner, John Wallace of Chesapeake, Va.!

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C=64
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#325

Post by C=64 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:18 pm

PJM wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:14 am
I'd like to know from these super solvers: have you always been this fast? Or has experience gotten you to this level? Do you push yourselve to be as fast as possible or does it just flow?
Experience, in stages.

Grid: 10 years ago, I got a book of NYT crossword puzzles and couldn't finish the Thu/Fri/Sat puzzles. As I got more practice, I learned the common tricks/clues/answers. Eventually, I stopped doing Mon/Tue puzzles because they were too easy, and doing them actually interfered with my ability to solve harder puzzles because I would overthink straightforward clues. Solving the WSJ meta grid is a formality that take 10-15 minutes; I may have a Natick (unfilled square) or two, but they never seem to interfere with the meta.

Meta: I started doing metas in June, 5 months ago, and I estimate that I have done about 150 meta puzzles in that time. My natural strength is seeing hidden words (APE+MAN) or backwards words (SULPA/APLUS) in the grid, but I used to struggle if the meta involved words in the clues or other grid entries with similar meanings. These used to annoy me, but at some point I absorbed these techniques and now they are part of my internal solving checklist.

Luck: If I happen to be free on a Thursday at 1:01PM Pacific, and if the meta mechanism is easy for me to spot -- which most likely means a Shenk and not a Gaffney puzzle -- then I can solve by 1:20. I'm not always lucky. This week's title clicked and I knew to skip invisible letters in the crossing entries, although I started with DIAPHANOUS before trying GHOST, but I often play the "I see you" = "I-C-U" game, with mixed results.

In closing, I'll add that I don't care about streaks and I don't keep track of my solving success rate. If I solve it fast, that's great. If I have to struggle with it for hours over the course of three days, that's great; I'll probably have some amazing rabbit holes to share. And if I give up because I'm just not seeing it, that's fine too. (Or I'll PM someone who posted "Oh FFS, I finally got it" and ask for a nudge so I can have that "Oh FFS" sour grapes moment. 😀)

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DrTom
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#326

Post by DrTom » Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:31 pm

I think we are going to need levity today, I know I am (well levity and alcohol). To that end, and since I cannot pour Bourbon into the computer (well I can but that pretty much shoots the rest of the day - he opined speaking from experience) here is another little thing that just cracked me up:
Stonehenge.jpg

Which matches my evaluation of the extra work (and missed appointments) twice yearly!

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Streroto
Posts: 281
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#327

Post by Streroto » Tue Nov 03, 2020 3:56 pm

I’ll add one more rabbit hole. I thought maybe (since it was a Mike puzzle) “i see right through you” referred to glasses since we all know he like plays on words. Turns out there were quite a few 4 letter entries which could be changed to LENS by changing one letter. Certainly a well known mechanism. This and a similar rabbit hole consumed me for quite a while before I walked away and when I can back the aha moment occurred. I know others have said not to do this but I (too) often try to power my way through one I don’t get right away... with predictably poor results. Just stubborn.

PJM
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 8:06 pm

#328

Post by PJM » Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:09 am

C=64 wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:18 pm
PJM wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:14 am
I'd like to know from these super solvers: have you always been this fast? Or has experience gotten you to this level? Do you push yourselve to be as fast as possible or does it just flow?
Experience, in stages.

Grid: 10 years ago, I got a book of NYT crossword puzzles and couldn't finish the Thu/Fri/Sat puzzles. As I got more practice, I learned the common tricks/clues/answers. Eventually, I stopped doing Mon/Tue puzzles because they were too easy, and doing them actually interfered with my ability to solve harder puzzles because I would overthink straightforward clues. Solving the WSJ meta grid is a formality that take 10-15 minutes; I may have a Natick (unfilled square) or two, but they never seem to interfere with the meta.

Meta: I started doing metas in June, 5 months ago, and I estimate that I have done about 150 meta puzzles in that time. My natural strength is seeing hidden words (APE+MAN) or backwards words (SULPA/APLUS) in the grid, but I used to struggle if the meta involved words in the clues or other grid entries with similar meanings. These used to annoy me, but at some point I absorbed these techniques and now they are part of my internal solving checklist.

Luck: If I happen to be free on a Thursday at 1:01PM Pacific, and if the meta mechanism is easy for me to spot -- which most likely means a Shenk and not a Gaffney puzzle -- then I can solve by 1:20. I'm not always lucky. This week's title clicked and I knew to skip invisible letters in the crossing entries, although I started with DIAPHANOUS before trying GHOST, but I often play the "I see you" = "I-C-U" game, with mixed results.

In closing, I'll add that I don't care about streaks and I don't keep track of my solving success rate. If I solve it fast, that's great. If I have to struggle with it for hours over the course of three days, that's great; I'll probably have some amazing rabbit holes to share. And if I give up because I'm just not seeing it, that's fine too. (Or I'll PM someone who posted "Oh FFS, I finally got it" and ask for a nudge so I can have that "Oh FFS" sour grapes moment. 😀)
Thanks so much for the reply and for sharing your insights!

While it's doubtful I'll ever reach your level, your message tells me there's hope I'll be getting more of my weekend time back in the future. :D

Good luck today and thanks again.

minimuggle
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:33 am

#329

Post by minimuggle » Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:56 am

Thanks so much for this explanation. I am very excited to one day solve a Meta. I fell through so many rabbit holes last week that I was seeing all kinds of things. All of the double letters jumped out at me but couldn't put anything together. Then I tried to find something with the ICU type clue. I also kept seeing boo. At one point when I found "I ate too much" in the grid I realized I was too far gone. Thanks again.

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