"Past and Present" - December 24, 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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mheberlingx100
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Re: "Past and Present" December 24, 2020

#341

Post by mheberlingx100 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:43 am

Franklin.Bluth wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:32 pm
Ashore...bullied my way to the 12-letter word first, based solely on noticing things that seemed a tad too coincidental, couldn't quite believe I was correct, and then saw the meta in hindsight after staring at my answer word.

So it's a win, but I still wish I'd have noticed the actual mechanism first (i.e. means to an end rather than vice versa).
Hey, a win is a win. As one of my golfing buddies from long ago used to say: the scorecard doesn’t ask how.

wordsmith
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#342

Post by wordsmith » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:03 am

Scraps wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 6:37 am
Franklin.Bluth wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:32 pm
Ashore...bullied my way to the 12-letter word first, based solely on noticing things that seemed a tad too coincidental, couldn't quite believe I was correct, and then saw the meta in hindsight after staring at my answer word.

So it's a win, but I still wish I'd have noticed the actual mechanism first (i.e. means to an end rather than vice versa).
Same here. The answer occurred to me when I realized one of the famous presents from the past had twelve letters.

“I wonder if that’s hidden in the puzzle somewhere.”

It was.

I found nine of the twelve letters before I noticed the mechanism.

It felt almost like cheating—but not enough to keep me from submitting my entry.
Same here! Guessed the word, found it, then stared at the grid for a while chanting "beneath the tree" until the mechanism jumped out.

RichA2
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#343

Post by RichA2 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:12 am

Nice construction. I like the way the three letter fragments that form the answer fit the symmetry of the grid.

Also, 1D and 1A read together can be read as a clue to the meta solution: GOD'S GIFT.

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pddigi
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#344

Post by pddigi » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:36 am

I posted in last week’s thread, but for anyone who cares: I had posted about modern technology that retained elements of forerunner technology (such as the 9-minute snooze interval on iPhone). I knew there was a word for it but couldn’t remember it. I came across it while reading an article online: skeuomorphism

The Wikipedia entry spends time on the topic as it involves Apple:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeuomorph

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mheberlingx100
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#345

Post by mheberlingx100 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:59 am

This puzzle reminded me of the one from a few years back that had eagle in the title and four sets of “par” in the answers. When you counted down two under par (an eagle) it spelled Arnold Palmer.

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SusieG
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#346

Post by SusieG » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:00 am

yourpalsal wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:53 am
I was stuck looking under the ELDER tree, at AVON, which was the only clue with “past” in it, as well as the 6 words with “present” in the clue. Those included that FOR TOY intersection that seemed like 40. Just another Watership Down full of rabbit holes...
I was hung up all of those, plus 33A and 34A FROS THY or FROSTY with a leftover H. I spent too much time looking for other words with extra letters and past tense words, while ignoring the real clue.

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Wendy Walker
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#347

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:14 am

mheberlingx100 wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:59 am
This puzzle reminded me of the one from a few years back that had eagle in the title and four sets of “par” in the answers. When you counted down two under par (an eagle) it spelled Arnold Palmer.
YES! I remember that puzzle! Another example of how every solution adds to the mental armamentarium (medical word -- I'll bet Dr. Tom uses it in every work conversation).
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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#348

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:48 am

mheberlingx100 wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:59 am
This puzzle reminded me of the one from a few years back that had eagle in the title and four sets of “par” in the answers. When you counted down two under par (an eagle) it spelled Arnold Palmer.
That was August 11, 2017 titles Eagle Scout

Good memory
Bob Stevens
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Bob cruise director
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#349

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:52 am

SeanS wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:01 am
Quick swim to shore this morning. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

My 5-year old daughter asked for, among other things, a unicorn. When I told her Santa probably couldn't get her a unicorn, she asked for a pony instead. Hopefully the Radio Flyer rocking horse goes over well--wish me luck!

If all else fails we are looking forward to the new Pixar film tomorrow.
Was the rocking horse an acceptable substitute for a unicorn or a pony?
Bob Stevens
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Nlobb
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#350

Post by Nlobb » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:01 am

Gold, frankincense and myrrh were the presents the three kings brought baby Jesus so it was a present in the past.

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John77
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#351

Post by John77 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:12 am

<Head slap!>

As usual lately, I latched on to the wrong grid answers and was unable to unlatch when I knew they didn't work.

Nice meta.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. —H. L. Mencken

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LadyBird
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#352

Post by LadyBird » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:28 am

I saw the 6 "present" clues right away. But there were also 4 other obvious Christmas type clues (2 carols, Rudolph, Nutcracker) so I spent some time hunting fruitlessly for 2 more. I could talk myself into the hit the mall/shop one, but couldn't find another. Then I got caught up on PAST--looking at the 2 letters past the "present" answers--then the letter before and after--then things in past tense. Nothing.

Then I noticed that there were only four 3-letter grid answers. 12 letters! I wrote all of those letters down and was trying to manipulate them. Saw the letters MY which made me think of Myrrh which led to FRANKINCENSE. I had my Hail Mary. Then I worked on reverse engineering to see if it was truly the answer. I started highlighting all of the random letters in the word frankincense, but realized that wasn't going to work after highlighting the majority of just the first two rows. I was still caught up on the 6 "present" answers, so then I thought that the letters would come in 6 pairs. Saw the FR and then the NK, but what about the "A". Then I thought to do 3-letter groupings and soon found the word. But I still didn't know why! So I kept looking and finally noticed the tree connection. Oh--BENEATH THE TREE. Doh! I made this very difficult! But I made it.

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Dplass
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#353

Post by Dplass » Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:55 am

I was stuck on beneath THE TREE, and OVER WHELM, not seeing the hidden TREES in the forest.

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cbarbee002
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#354

Post by cbarbee002 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:23 am

I was absolutely convinced that the 6 clues that contained the word "present" was the start to this solve, with the other 6 letters (needed 12) coming somehow from clues / answers related to "past". Couldn't get off that for the longest time.

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cbarbee002
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#355

Post by cbarbee002 » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:24 am

Nlobb wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 10:01 am
Gold, frankincense and myrrh were the presents the three kings brought baby Jesus so it was a present in the past.
I agree with this, but thought it would have been better titled without the "and".

MaineMarge
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#356

Post by MaineMarge » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:33 am

Great puzzle fun. After noticing all the R’s forming an upside down V starting at 8, I thought we were going to be finding a Christmas tree shape in the grid. Been there. Done that before.
It was the elm in 55A that brought things into proper focus for the meta.

Here’s a beloved elm that is the focus of the view from my kitchen window.
8C9FAC22-2D69-443D-9558-27BEB1454517.jpeg
This old tree is a true gift from Mother Nature, who has somehow protected it from the terrible Dutch Elm Disease that has killed them off on most Elm Streets across America.
Enlarge photo to see St. Francis again at far lower right. We have always affectionately called this “Frank’s garden”, she said, insensitively.
October 2020 photo

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Wendy Walker
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#357

Post by Wendy Walker » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:54 am

MaineMarge wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:33 am


Here’s a beloved elm that is the focus of the view from my kitchen window.
Marge, your ears must be buzzing on Tuesday evenings because on our Zoom Muggle meeting we ALWAYS talk about how much we love seeing your magnificent garden photos. Oh, and a heads up that we are organizing a journey to see it in person when the weather warms up!
Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday.

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Billy M
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#358

Post by Billy M » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:57 am

PJM wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 12:18 am
Just curious -- are there others who wasted time looking for answers beneath the ELDER and LIME trees?
Not only this, but initially was looking for letters beneath ARIA as well as I was looking for anything tree related. But once I spotted FIR and ASH I kind of figured I was looking for four three-lettered trees to make up a twelve-lettered word.

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HunterX
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#359

Post by HunterX » Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:21 pm

pddigi wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:36 am
I posted in last week’s thread, but for anyone who cares: I had posted about modern technology that retained elements of forerunner technology (such as the 9-minute snooze interval on iPhone). I knew there was a word for it but couldn’t remember it. I came across it while reading an article online: skeuomorphism

The Wikipedia entry spends time on the topic as it involves Apple:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeuomorph
Interesting. The word I was thinking of when you originally posted was "Steampunk." And although the article doesn't mention it, I see it mentions "Retrofuturism" in the Design section. And Steampunk is a type of retrofuturism. So it seems steampunk is a subset of skeuomorphism.

Now if someone could please tell me how to untie the knot in my tongue....

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Bob cruise director
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#360

Post by Bob cruise director » Mon Dec 28, 2020 1:59 pm

Bob cruise director wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:43 am
Colin wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:30 pm
Bob cruise director wrote:
Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:12 pm
A belated Sunday report as I was attempting to replace my daughter's kitchen sink faucet - unsuccessful as that nut that holds it on was rusted forever and needs someone with a sawsall to cut the faucet off.
I had same thing back in the summer with my bathroom faucets. In the end, it was easier to disconnect the plumbing (h/c and waste), lift out the sink (with faucets) after cutting the silicone seal and then saw through the nuts on the workbench. Saved a few bandaids on my head too!
I watched a couple of videos and laughed. First video the water shutoffs actually worked which they never do. And the nut twisted off by hand. HA

Second The guy drilled out the nut from below.
The plumber is coming on Wednesday. I want to see how he attacks the problem
Bob Stevens
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