"Closing Credits" - November 13, 2020

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JeanneC
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Re: "Closing Credits" November 13, 2020

#301

Post by JeanneC » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:12 am

cbarbee002 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:02 am
Seems like lots of folks didn't like this one. Me? I tend to like them all (unless they are KAS 5), especially the few I get. :-)
Agree. I figure it this way: Mike’s meta, Mike’s rules. 😁
“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions”. Lillian Hellman

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damefox
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#302

Post by damefox » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:15 am

JeanneC wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:12 am
cbarbee002 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:02 am
Seems like lots of folks didn't like this one. Me? I tend to like them all (unless they are KAS 5), especially the few I get. :-)
Agree. I figure it this way: Mike’s meta, Mike’s rules. 😁
That doesn't mean you have to like them all.

boharr
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#303

Post by boharr » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:35 am

damefox wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:19 am
SusieG wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:09 am
This is perhaps the easiest meta that I have missed.
Don't feel bad. This isn't really a meta. This is a non-meta crossword puzzle with a semi-related word puzzle next to it. As others have pointed out, the grid was basically optional. If you noticed the six similar clues, you could get the answer just from that, which when I realized that made me really annoyed that I had bothered with the grid at all.

I also agree with BarbaraK's nit about the inconsistencies in the actors' names. It's not like DAVIS was the wrong length - why put Geena in there at all? And as BrianMac pointed out to me earlier this week, why are the only actors we could come up with five old white men and one old white woman?
For me, the inconsistencies in the actors' names served as a warning or hint to avoid considering them in solving the meta. I didn't really see that there was an agenda.

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TPS
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#304

Post by TPS » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:53 am

boharr wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:35 am
I didn't really see that there was an agenda.
This is second mention of “agenda” I don’t think the insinuation was Mike had an agenda in picking the actors - more there was maybe an unconscious bias.

And I wouldn’t say I had a problem w/ Mike’s rules per se - my issue was that the hint if followed verbatim was at minimum imprecise yet a lot of solvers here represented this was an “easy” or “obvious” solve if you only followed the hints which wasn’t really the case.

Also, the Title “Closing Credits” made the clue HOLLYWOODENDINGS superfluous - which is odd and I can’t recall ever having seen in another puzzle. If Mike had used the title to point to using all the words in the title - it would have removed the imprecision and the title wouldn’t have made the central clue superfluous.

boharr
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#305

Post by boharr » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:59 am

TPS wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:53 am
boharr wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:35 am
I didn't really see that there was an agenda.
This is second mention of “agenda” I don’t think the insinuation was Mike had an agenda in picking the actors - more there was maybe an unconscious bias.

And I wouldn’t say I had a problem w/ Mike’s rules per se - my issue was that the hint if followed verbatim was at minimum imprecise yet a lot of solvers here represented this was an “easy” or “obvious” solve if you only followed the hints which wasn’t really the case.

Also, the Title “Closing Credits” made the clue HOLLYWOODENDINGS superfluous - which is odd and I can’t recall ever having seen in another puzzle. If Mike had used the title to point to using all the words in the title - it would have removed the imprecision and the title wouldn’t have made the central clue superfluous.
Perhaps it just sounded like an insinuation but wasn't meant to be one.

Actually, I think there were fewer folks calling this one easy or obvious than there are most weeks. But I didn't do a count.

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Cosmo
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#306

Post by Cosmo » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:00 am

I initially fell into the same FEOBAK trap that others have mentioned. After that, I had my aha moment when I noticed "Filmography listing", "Puzzle listing", and "Indeed listing" (TITLE CLUES JOB?, JOB TITLE CLUES?). My next best step with JOB TITLE CLUES was "Mixologist's Mixer", "Pitcher's Delivery", and "Maj.'s Boss" (TONIC SPIEL GEN). It was at this point I noticed "Spiel" with the Hollywood ending of "berg" ... this led to rabbit holes of more directors and more Hollywood endings leading to nothing :( Needless to say, I'm kicking myself a little after seeing FADE TO BLACK this morning. Luckily every failure is just an opportunity for more experience!
It's a coffee table book about coffee tables

EVJ
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#307

Post by EVJ » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:02 am

TPS wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:00 am
FEOBAK

That’s the answer the hints pointed me to - that’s what I had 10 minutes into solving and couldn’t turn into a three word answer. We can debate whether I should have looked longer but that is what the hints pointed me to: “The Ends or Close” of the “Title” within the “Clues”. Since that didn’t work and it seemed unlikely you could get to the meta without working the grid I did try somethings with the actors names after but obviously that went no better.

I took consolation that once I had the method I was able to help 30+ people get off Mike’s FEOBAK atoll.
I was in the same place all weekend and all the nudges I got pointed me to the same place. The thought of using the last letter of EACH word in the title just never occurred to me. It seemed inconsistent somehow. This meta made me realize how inflexible my problem skills are. My personal challenge and goal are to be more flexible and open to more possibilities. Of course, I guess that’s what we are all trying to do. As other people have said “the brain works in funny ways”. Sometimes you just can’t force the mind to see what it can’t see. When I can’t see the possibility it feels like a lack of creativity. My hope is for more creative problem solving!

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damefox
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#308

Post by damefox » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:02 am

TPS wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:53 am
boharr wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:35 am
I didn't really see that there was an agenda.
This is second mention of “agenda” I don’t think the insinuation was Mike had an agenda in picking the actors - more there was maybe an unconscious bias.
I agree with that. This is something that comes up in crossword discussions a lot (see Diary of a Crossword Fiend), and it's hard to argue it's not the case. I'm not claiming there was any malicious intent, just that the end result has a pretty glaring bias in it. It may be up for debate whether this is all the result of the constructor's own biases or if he is trying to play to perceived biases in his audience regarding what can be considered "well-known." But I also think it's important for solvers to say that lack of malicious intent isn't good enough and we want constructors to be more proactive about including a diverse cast of characters in their crosswords. Mike's meta, Mike's rules, sure, but there has to be a line at which solvers will say they aren't going to play the game anymore. (I don't think we're anywhere near that line - I'm just pointing out it exists.)

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KscX
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#309

Post by KscX » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:08 am

With all due respect to the constructors and the commenters, I fully support the continued efforts of the WSJ team to keep it different, fun, and challenging. I also respect and hope for the continued efforts of generally all constructors at all publications to appeal to a wider demographic. It’s tough to appeal to all types of brains and knowledge. If there is one place I hope stays neutral to positive, it’s this one. This forum has been a haven during the pandemic and I’m forever grateful for the words of encouragement and a place to air my own missteps. Thank you, everyone. :)
P. S. Do you think my entry emails might be going to a spam folder?! I haven’t won a mug yet... ;)

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mpmanning
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#310

Post by mpmanning » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:26 am

cbarbee002 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:02 am
Seems like lots of folks didn't like this one. Me? I tend to like them all (unless they are KAS 5), especially the few I get. :-)
I'm a novice who hasn't learned all the scuttlebutt terms. What is KAS 5?

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TPS
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#311

Post by TPS » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:40 am

mpmanning wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:26 am

I'm a novice who hasn't learned all the scuttlebutt terms. What is KAS 5?
It is sorta a personal scale of relative difficulty named after a poster to this forum. Simply, KAS 1 = Easy KAS 5 = Impossible.

jrdad
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#312

Post by jrdad » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:46 am

When I saw 'fade to black', I thought it must be an instruction to go back to the grid to find words ending somehow in black squares.

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SusieG
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#313

Post by SusieG » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:04 pm

I rarely submit guesses, but I did this week just to force myself to stop thinking about it. (It worked.) Is it only three letters when one word is a contraction?
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TPS
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#314

Post by TPS » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:11 pm

^^^ That was my first thought upon reading the title and puzzle prompt.

boharr
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#315

Post by boharr » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:16 pm

mpmanning wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:26 am
cbarbee002 wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:02 am
Seems like lots of folks didn't like this one. Me? I tend to like them all (unless they are KAS 5), especially the few I get. :-)
I'm a novice who hasn't learned all the scuttlebutt terms. What is KAS 5?
From the FAQs in Come Aboard:

As we solve (or don't solve) these puzzles, we go through a range of emotions. Kas DeCarvalho created this scale to capture our levels of emotions - repeated verbatim

1. The Metas that yield the A-Ha Moment too early...and I'm irritable about it, because I'm a dork;

2. The Metas that I torture myself over, then the a-ha moment is basically a head-slapping "Oh DUH!! You Eeeediott!!" Those make me laugh, self-deprecation is no problem;

3. The Metas I gut through, *eventually* figure out...and then walk around the rest of the weekend like I just solved The Middle East or learned Sanskrit;

4. The Metas I DON'T get...but *should* have. (It happens. I don't want to talk about it.)

5. The Metas I don't get, and after the answer is revealed I think, "Yeah...that wasn't going to happen." (Those mostly make me want to put out a Mob hit on certain genius MUGgles here...YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Lol!)

jrdad
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#316

Post by jrdad » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:37 pm

Thanks, boharr; that's hilarious and spot on. LOL!

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DrTom
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#317

Post by DrTom » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:58 pm

KscX wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:08 am
With all due respect to the constructors and the commenters, I fully support the continued efforts of the WSJ team to keep it different, fun, and challenging. I also respect and hope for the continued efforts of generally all constructors at all publications to appeal to a wider demographic. It’s tough to appeal to all types of brains and knowledge. If there is one place I hope stays neutral to positive, it’s this one. This forum has been a haven during the pandemic and I’m forever grateful for the words of encouragement and a place to air my own missteps. Thank you, everyone. :)
P. S. Do you think my entry emails might be going to a spam folder?! I haven’t won a mug yet... ;)
I agree with KscX 100%, PLEASE do not let this forum descend to the depths! People are what people are, if their biases are unconscious then so be it. Believe me we all have them, even those biased against bias. I have done a META by a muggle where I did not get the answer because it was not in my wheelhouse. Once explained and then researched I got it and instilled it into my knowledge base. I have seen the same thing now in at least 5 other puzzles and because I learned something in the one I didn’t understand I could use it again and again. How much different is it if younger solvers have to search a bit of history? They are almost sure to use it again and I doubt I have ever learned anything that I said, “well that was useless” If “old white guys” have a different frame of reference should they have to change to a different one because a person with a different frame of reference didn’t feel it included them. How does that make them any better or worse than those they critique? Sure, if the title of the puzzle was “Dedicated to older white males, the rest of you – too bad” I could see anger abounding but, barring anything obviously demeaning or noxious, let’s be more forgiving. You have to remember that when you point a finger at someone, you have three pointing back at yourself. Let’s have one place where we don’t have to dread what the next post might be, this is entertainment.

Oh, and the SPAM folder thing - my supposition (since they are not in my SPAM folder) is that there is someone with a name suspiciously close to mine who keeps wondering , "What is with all these mugs I am winning and what are METAs" :lol:

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Thurman8er
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#318

Post by Thurman8er » Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:58 pm

My first nit has already been expressed by many of you: the meta answer that doesn't require the grid.

My second nit was the single first name among all the last names. Maybe it was a hint, but my OCD made my head hurt.

EVJ
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#319

Post by EVJ » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:11 pm

SusieG wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:04 pm
I rarely submit guesses, but I did this week just to force myself to stop thinking about it. (It worked.) Is it only three letters when one word is a contraction?
THATS ALL FOLKS! was going to be my Hail Mary.
SIL’s was going to be HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
I like hers better. But with a blatant nudge we finally got to shore. But did not submit.

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LadyBird
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#320

Post by LadyBird » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:14 pm

I think that my lack of knowledge of most things Hollywood kept me from going down any of the rabbit holes--I didn't know characters (OK--I could figure out Thelma and Louise from the title--plus we just watched it last weekend for the first time) or directors or ex-spouses or... I got FEOBAK, but fortunately my next thought was to use all of the words of the various titles.

One clue that gave me pause was 19D: Last name of the "Night Fever" singers. Oh no--How does "Saturday Night Fever" fit into this answer! Google reassured me that "Night Fever" was indeed the name of one of their songs. That and the fact that the entire movie title was not in the clues. Whew!

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