#641 - "No-Win Situations"

An excellent puzzle written by one of the innovators of the meta crossword format. It comes out every Friday at noon and increases in difficulty throughout the month. Available for modest subscription (worth every cent) here: www.xwordcontest.com
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Bird Lives
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Re: #641 - "No-Win Situations"

#41

Post by Bird Lives » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:07 am

I got the right answer, but I don't see the 8000-pound elegance in the room. Or the inelegance. What am I missing?

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ChrisKochmanski
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#42

Post by ChrisKochmanski » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:31 am

Al Sisti wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:34 am
ChrisKochmanski wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:01 pm
Here in Detroit Tigers land, we have Milt Wilcox, some time in the early ‘80s, losing a PERFECT GAME, to the White Sox, with two outs in the ninth ... AND Armando Gallarago, eight or ten or so years ago (I’m too lazy to look it up), also losing a PERFECT GAME with two outs in the ninth, but this time because of the umpire Jim Joyce’s TOTALLY BLOWN CALL on a ground out to first!

Meg, we certainly don’t wish THESE fates upon you!
Worst call ever... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlDTBDJbNE4&app=desktop. But what I didn't know until tonight was that 7 weeks later -- after admitting he blew the call -- he saved a woman's life, giving her CPR and bringing her back after she flat-lined twice.
Yes, Jim Joyce was very nice about it. I felt sorry for him from the get-go, in fact. (And Gallaraga hadn't pitched THAT well. He only struck out three.)

I also remember a game from my childhood, in 1967 maybe, in which the Orioles' Steve Barber and a reliever (for the final out) no-hit the Tigers, but the Tigers won 2 to 1, with the runs scoring on walks and, as I recall, a dropped ball on a force out at second base.

Maybe 1969 or 1970. But not 1968 -- the Year of the Tiger!

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oldjudge
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#43

Post by oldjudge » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:42 am

The first "year of Detroit" was 1887, the one and only year that Detroit (then called the Wolverines) won the National League (yes NL) championship.

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Al Sisti
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#44

Post by Al Sisti » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:48 am

ChrisKochmanski wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:31 am
Al Sisti wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:34 am
ChrisKochmanski wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:01 pm
Here in Detroit Tigers land, we have Milt Wilcox, some time in the early ‘80s, losing a PERFECT GAME, to the White Sox, with two outs in the ninth ... AND Armando Gallarago, eight or ten or so years ago (I’m too lazy to look it up), also losing a PERFECT GAME with two outs in the ninth, but this time because of the umpire Jim Joyce’s TOTALLY BLOWN CALL on a ground out to first!

Meg, we certainly don’t wish THESE fates upon you!
Worst call ever... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlDTBDJbNE4&app=desktop. But what I didn't know until tonight was that 7 weeks later -- after admitting he blew the call -- he saved a woman's life, giving her CPR and bringing her back after she flat-lined twice.
Yes, Jim Joyce was very nice about it. I felt sorry for him from the get-go, in fact. (And Gallaraga hadn't pitched THAT well. He only struck out three.)

I also remember a game from my childhood, in 1967 maybe, in which the Orioles' Steve Barber and a reliever (for the final out) no-hit the Tigers, but the Tigers won 2 to 1, with the runs scoring on walks and, as I recall, a dropped ball on a force out at second base.

Maybe 1969 or 1970. But not 1968 -- the Year of the Tiger!
31 wins for Denny McLain... we'll never see that record broken.

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ChrisKochmanski
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#45

Post by ChrisKochmanski » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:35 am

Without looking it up ... Who was last MLB pitcher to pitch 300+ innings in a season? In what year? (We had a variation of this question a few years ago on a trivia night at the pub. They named the team, which made it much easier. I can't remember if they told the year.)

boharr
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#46

Post by boharr » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:43 am

ChrisKochmanski wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:35 am
Without looking it up ... Who was last MLB pitcher to pitch 300+ innings in a season? In what year? (We had a variation of this question a few years ago on a trivia night at the pub. They named the team, which made it much easier. I can't remember if they told the year.)
A guess would maybe be Steve Carlton a long time ago? Maybe we need a baseball meta.

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ChrisKochmanski
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#47

Post by ChrisKochmanski » Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:53 am

Yes!

Steve Carlton pitched 304 innings for the Phillies in 1980, a championship year for them. Wow, that was 40 years ago. Seems like yesterday (to me).

Also wow: Today (in a full season) the innings leaders is usually at about 220 or 230 innings. And with the ways they're now using pitchers, I believe we can expect that number to get even smaller (in a full season).

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Streroto
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#48

Post by Streroto » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:44 pm

Fun little meta. Beam me up!

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Streroto
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#49

Post by Streroto » Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:48 pm

pgw wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:40 pm
Hector wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:26 pm
I think I know what you mean, but it seems more elegant the more I look at it.
I commented to Matt on what I thought was a small inelegance (which didn't bother me anyway) and he pointed out why it was less of an inelegance than I'd realized. Either way, I don't think it makes the solve any less solid.
Yes I see this now
Agree.

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#50

Post by cherikee » Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:10 pm

My fastest solve for sure - unless my answer is wrong. Think I see the inelegance too. Curious what the explanation is.

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anjhinz
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#51

Post by anjhinz » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:37 am

Got this one, heck of a grid but really enjoyed it!

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ky-mike
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#52

Post by ky-mike » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:48 pm

Just emailed Matt. Deadline for this puzzle is Wednesday at noon, not Tuesday, due to the delay in issuing the puzzle. No meta discussions until after noon Eastern time on Wednesday.

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mattythewsjpuzzler
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#53

Post by mattythewsjpuzzler » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:21 pm

So it's Wednesday night...any clarification? Got the answer just completely confused.

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BarbaraK
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#54

Post by BarbaraK » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:35 pm

Four tic-tac-toe like 3x3 squares in the four corners, each with no winner.

In grid order, they have
5 Os and 4 Ts
5 Vs and 4 Is
5 Es and 4 Ms
5 Rs and 4 Es

Take the 5s then the 4s to get
OVERTIME

stmv
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#55

Post by stmv » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:54 pm

mattythewsjpuzzler wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:21 pm
So it's Wednesday night...any clarification? Got the answer just completely confused.
Each week there is a nice discussion of the MGWCC posted just after the deadline at Crossword Fiend by joon, see https://crosswordfiend.com/

I recommend checking it out.

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Streroto
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#56

Post by Streroto » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:45 pm

The inelegance issue was lower right where one can theoretically find two different 3x3 grids. But if one looks closely the lower one has a diagonal EEE win so is not consistent with the no-win situation thus only the upper 3x3 is valid. This is not in my opinion an inelegance. It was fun figuring that out even after getting the meta. Thanks to those who raised this. Added some more intrigue. At CrosswordFiend there is discussion about getting the meta without anagramming based on order of play. That was above my pay grade so to speak! Was happy to get via anagramming anyway.

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#57

Post by MikeM000 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:26 pm

I never caught the tic tac toe aspect. Likely because it wasn't X and O? I just saw OVERTIME jump out from the 3x3 areas which fit perfectly with the title. No reference to wink martindale or War Games or anything like that in the puzzle to put that in mind.

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Joe Ross
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#58

Post by Joe Ross » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:03 pm

It's kind of a sloppy puzzle, even the lopsided 3x4 "tic-tac-toe" grid in the SE corner, which makes me wonder if Matt intended the tic-tac-toe aspect.

As Majordomo Tom put it: It took some brute force anagramming to solve. My justification for OVERTIME was that there is NO-WINner, as long as OVERTIME is ongoing. :?:

[Edit: Corrected quote attribution.]

MGWCC 641 SOLUTION jpr.gif
Last edited by Joe Ross on Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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damefox
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#59

Post by damefox » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:53 am

I tend to agree with Joe Ross on this one, although I'm not sure I would go so far as to call it "sloppy." I definitely don't find it as elegant as others seem to. As joon pointed out in his write-up, you could solve this just by noticing the overabundance of those 8 letters in the 4 regions of the grid and then anagramming (seriously, Chrome? that is totally a word, stop this spell-check nonsense) them, which is what I did. In my opinion, to qualify as "elegant" a meta shouldn't be able to be solved without seeing the intended mechanism. But others may disagree, and of course if you saw the mechanism from the beginning then it may never have occurred to you that you could've arrived at the answer without it.

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ky-mike
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#60

Post by ky-mike » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:16 am

My first thought after completing the upper left quadrant and seeing a tic tac toe -like section in the grid was "cats game" or "cat games", but those 8 letter answers were two words, not one. I did get OVERTIME by anagramming the repeated letters. However, I wasn't satisfied that I had the correct answer until I went back and saw that there were indeed 4 tic tac toe sections as BarbaraK spelled out above. This solidified the answer for me.

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