"Risky Business" - December 11, 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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Wendy Walker
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Re: "Risky Business" December 11, 2020

#321

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:36 am

Commodore wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:38 am
DeMornay After
Isaac, ‘nuther round of Schlitz and Old Milwaukee for this crew. Yeah, in cans. Take those ol’ records off the shelf, and spin a lil’ Bob Seger. I cracked my egg on this one. “Cruise” director, indeed. Hmmph. Risky Business, this partying at home. (hiccup)
Shenk. There is no substitute.
Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday.

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Bob cruise director
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#322

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:39 am

lbray53 wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:07 am
Tom Shea wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:14 am
I suppose I should have got this one (I recall another 'prime' puzzle). Just not to be. I do have a whinge on not including 1 as a prime number -- it is. But I suppose that would have made the answer too easy to find.

Anyway, at least Isaac isn't lonely anymore.
The strict definition of a prime number is that it must have exactly two factors, namely 1 and itself. The number 1 has one factor. Kudos to the constructor for getting this right.

BTW, I know this mainly because I learned it the hard way long ago. It cost me a grade getting it wrong.
I started out with including 1 and immediately got OLIVE but when I moved on to the next letters it became obvious that 1 was not a prime. My senior moment problem was that after I did the first 10 or I included the number in the box so It one point I had Live on Bo (some gibberish)ed Time. Minor course correction.

And as a minor distraction, Risky Business is a ski trail at Sunday River in Maine.

and I agree with not including 1 as it falls in a special category called a "unit" (special for muggle nerds)
Last edited by Bob cruise director on Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#323

Post by NuYear68 » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:56 am

I remained on the ship again this weekend. After a quick grid solve, I knew that I was looking for something below prime, but never thought to consider prime numbers. Was instead looking for patterns within the grid, wondering what grades of steak fall below Prime, etc.

I fear I have placed a jynx on myself for December. After going 4-for-4 in November, I looked back at my batting average for 2020 and was happily sitting at .670. Now 0-for-2 this month with three games to go.

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Prozach
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#324

Post by Prozach » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:16 am

My first case of "I had the mechanic down" but dropped the ball gloriously. I marked a couple of wrong letters in Joe's fabulous spreadsheet and couldn't come up with anything sensible with the first half of the primes. So, I abandoned it so I can dive down holes and holes of nothing. It's good I didn't spend too much time, because I was busy grading all weekend. Oh, well.

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#325

Post by Nlobb » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:46 am

I was looking at words under the prime numbers and got nothing. I was going to try something else and was telling my husband (who hates crosswords) I was getting nowhere. He insisted it must have to do with prime numbers. So I thought some more and came up with the idea that it was just the letter under the number and there it was!!! So clever a construction once again.

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#326

Post by CPJohnson » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:50 am

burak wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:26 am
There was another WSJ meta from a couple of years ago, also involving clue numbers and letters. It was either prime numbers or multiples of a number. That's also something I check frequently, so this should've been an easy solve for me... BUT [Collection of miscellany] next to [T option] right on top of BILLMEDLEY threw me off hugely. (T option as in T-bills)

Obsessing over that, I tried to link [Police car] to AUTOREPAIR, [Mentally confused] to MAILSOFF, [Credit report listing] to LENDING or even BILL... I then tried to cross reference clues (like [Big do] and [Do penance]). I added ACROSS to beginning of clues to see if there's something there. Nope. Can I make something out of VNECKOLIO or UNITATONE? Nope.

At around 11:45 pm I started circling letters of suspected answers for one last push, starting with those that I was very sure involved in the answer: OLIO and VNECK. Is there a word in there? Can I backsolve this? OV------ maybe, like over- something? How about OLIVE? LIVE? And then it hit me. cbarbee had offered an 11th hour nudge to help and even though I avoid nudges I asked him to confirm I was definitely on the right track because duh. I was so damn sure, and being so damn sure of my wrong path led me to the right path somehow.

Still, my closest-to-deadline solve remains FADETOBLACK, which came to me at 11:57 pm. Won't ever beat that.
The previous WSJ meta was 6-1-18. I didn't get that one, but I remembered its use of prime numbers. But, not before feeling stumped for a long time.
Cynthia

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Kris Zacharias
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#327

Post by Kris Zacharias » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:52 am

debbierudy wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:13 am
One of the reasons I enjoyed this solution is my love of prime numbers. For years I taught my general math students about prime factorization with an analogy: a composite number is like a cake, and the primes that make it are like the list of ingredients. Multiply them together and voila! But it is easier to break down a number into its components than it is to unbake a cake :)
I like prime numbers too. FIve of my six grandchildren have birthdays that are prime numbers. When I figured out what was going on, I recalled having learned about the sieve of Eratosthenes.

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#328

Post by hcbirker » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:58 am

I have a huge blind spot when it comes to numbers. The one big hole I got into was Mike's clueing. "Bits of wisdom" is often "pearls", but "adages" was the answer. So I saw "earls" at 25 down and thought, oh, you add a letter to some of the words, which got me "pearls" and "bonus" and "folio", which of course led nowhere. Congrats to those that figured it out!
Heidi

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Kris Zacharias
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#329

Post by Kris Zacharias » Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:58 am

DrTom wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:19 pm
HunterX wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:44 pm
DrTom wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:25 pm
OK, MGWCC was pretty simple - fun but simple - so now all hands on deck for this one. Unfortunately with my hands on the deck I am probably ripe for what will befall me! Same precarious position as when you put your nose to the grindstone (ouch!) and your ear to the ground. Maybe I'll just bury my head in the sand because there is something in the way EMUved me (ouch, that one even hurt me!).
All hands on deck? I can deal with that.

May I just say, I love a bad pun as much as the next guy...

...but only when I'm the one making them. "EMUved" on the other hand... You'll 'roo the day you used that Australian animal in a pun.
Well I agree on bad puns (assuming there is actually anything like a 'bad" pun) and that ostrich sometimes to make one work. I get caught up in the tasmania of it all and turn into a little devil, but that is because I keep trying to make the grade instead of being a punning wallaby since no matter how fast I am there is always someone quokka. Instead I'll just wait for my favorite Month (March) because on the 15th Ides like to look back on the day before and instead of pie I honor the day and make MAR soupial, I don't know if I am odd or just stubborn, perhaps that is why I am considered a kooky burro? Well, if you'll excuse me I have to go to the potoroo....

Oh, and I'll bet you cannula hold the line on me, unless it gets late on a Sunday evening and I find I have to punt. Those are the days that I just cede the ride to shore and sit down with a book by my favorite author, Willa Catheter.

If your ears are bleeding don't blame me, I wasn't the one who told me how I'd roo the day! Bad puns indeed....

crack_bad_puns_0.jpg
Puns! I'd like to see even moa.

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DBMiller
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#330

Post by DBMiller » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:00 am

HunterX wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:29 pm
DrTom wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 11:19 pm
HunterX wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:44 pm


All hands on deck? I can deal with that.

May I just say, I love a bad pun as much as the next guy...

...but only when I'm the one making them. "EMUved" on the other hand... You'll 'roo the day you used that Australian animal in a pun.
Well I agree on bad puns (assuming there is actually anything like a 'bad" pun) and that ostrich sometimes to make one work. I get caught up in the tasmania of it all and turn into a little devil, but that is because I keep trying to make the grade instead of being a punning wallaby since no matter how fast I am there is always someone quokka. Instead I'll just wait for my favorite Month (March) because on the 15th Ides like to look back on the day before and instead of pie I honor the day and make MAR soupial, I don't know if I am odd or just stubborn, perhaps that is why I am considered a kooky burro? Well, if you'll excuse me I have to go to the potoroo....

Oh, and I'll bet you cannula hold the line on me, unless it gets late on a Sunday evening and I find I have to punt. Those are the days that I just cede the ride to shore and sit down with a book by my favorite author, Willa Catheter.

If your ears are bleeding don't blame me, I wasn't the one who told me how I'd roo the day! Bad puns indeed....

crack_bad_puns_0.jpg
Uncle!!! Uncle!!! You win! Please! I'll do whatever you want! Just stop and let me go!

I humbly bow to the master.
I once told ten puns in a row trying to get a laugh. No pun in ten did.

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Joe Ross
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#331

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:02 am

I refuse to give the previous post a thumbs up, on principle.

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Joe Ross
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#332

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:09 am

Email from Mike Miller, just received:

"Here's a copy while we sort out that glitch."

XWD12142020. PDF

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yourpalsal
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#333

Post by yourpalsal » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:22 am

So impressed with people who got this, and got it quickly. Geniuses! Hopefully the lesson will lodge somewhere among my grey cells in an accessible location for future metas... :D

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Bob cruise director
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#334

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:39 am

Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:02 am
I refuse to give the previous post a thumbs up, on principle.
I blame Dr Tom for all these groaners
Bob Stevens
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Joe Ross
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#335

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:41 am

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:39 am
Joe Ross wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:02 am
I refuse to give the previous post a thumbs up, on principle.
I blame Dr Tom for all these groaners
Oh, I thought is was funny enough, if a little overused, but - given the pun - there's no way I'm laughing at it, or giving it a thumb's up.

Blaming DrTom for anything is easy and 99 & 64/100ths effective.

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#336

Post by SewYoung » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:47 am

higgysue wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:34 am
Colin wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 7:56 am
Neat meta and grid,
Clouds covered the solution,
And hid Geminids! :(
Saw those Geminids this morning. Glorious!
I was thinking "Good night for looking for meteors snice I will be up anyway waiting for the puzzle solution." Sadly, it was pouring rain so I went on to bed. Maybe tonight...

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John77
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#337

Post by John77 » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:58 am

Tom Shea wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:14 am
I suppose I should have got this one (I recall another 'prime' puzzle). Just not to be. I do have a whinge on not including 1 as a prime number -- it is. But I suppose that would have made the answer too easy to find.

Anyway, at least Isaac isn't lonely anymore.
I always wondered about 1 as well. Then there's this: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ro ... me-number/
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. —H. L. Mencken

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Joe Ross
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#338

Post by Joe Ross » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:37 pm

Monday's WSJ Crossword PDF is now available on the WSJ Puzzles pages, also.

Clear your browser's history, if you get 2 blank pages.

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#339

Post by Thurman8er » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:46 pm

I teach math, so I'm always very grateful for puzzles like this. On the other hand, anything having to do with geography makes me openly weep.

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Dplass
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#340

Post by Dplass » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:50 pm

Tom Shea wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 8:14 am
I suppose I should have got this one (I recall another 'prime' puzzle). Just not to be. I do have a whinge on not including 1 as a prime number -- it is. But I suppose that would have made the answer too easy to find.

Anyway, at least Isaac isn't lonely anymore.
1 is definitely not prime

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