#651 - "Missing Piece"

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: #651 - "Missing Piece"

#41

Post by Bird Lives » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:17 am

I have no idea. My first thought was that the answer is one of "my" creations. But I can't backsolve to get to it.

Priscilla
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#42

Post by Priscilla » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:23 am

Based on my first two weeks of the MGWCC I was feeling pretty good... but this week is not following suit! I would appreciate a nudge if anyone can spare one.

ellgee
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#43

Post by ellgee » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:14 am

i've been staring at this thing for two days now with only half-baked false leads. would really appreciate a nudge in the right direction! :|

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cbarbee002
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#44

Post by cbarbee002 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:23 am

Not seeing it - - had an idea that I can’t get off of that’s going no where. Will give it another day before requesting help!

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damefox
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#45

Post by damefox » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:54 am

Got it after a nudge from Cindy. If he starts this post on Friday with "Believe it or not, I thought this might be too *easy* for a week 3" for the umpteenth time, I might throw the computer across the room. If I hadn't subscribed before the Patreon era (and thus am paid up through next October), these last few weeks would probably be enough to make me unsubscribe from the MGWCC. So often this meta is just so much more of a slog than it's worth (overlay the grid - but only part of the grid! have fun figuring that out! - with a Chutes & Ladders board and then map every square that's the top or bottom of a chute or ladder and then take what you get as two additional clues to get to the answer??? impressive construction yes, but not a fun meta solve IMHO) - especially since you have to get all but 2 right in a given year to be eligible for prizes. That just is never going to happen - there are more than 2 weekends a year when I don't have time to look at the meta at all! Then add in the weeks when the meta is a painful slog and it's just not worth it. It's a shame, because there are some really clever ones sprinkled in there too.

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ChrisKochmanski
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#46

Post by ChrisKochmanski » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:18 pm

Whew. Beam me up.

BUT ... only after many wrong paths and a couple of nudges. The reason I feel OK about submitting, as a group solve, is that some of my early thoughts on what to look for WERE on the right path; I just needed to return to them and play them through. Laboriously.

I'll say it again: Whew.

Like many here, this wasn't my favorite MGWCC. Not by a long shot. BUT (another but!) ... I do admire several or more things about this puzzle. It is, as acknowledged above, an impressive construction. And ... well, I could say more, but it might give things away.

MattGaffney
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#47

Post by MattGaffney » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:31 pm

damefox wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:54 am
Got it after a nudge from Cindy. If he starts this post on Friday with "Believe it or not, I thought this might be too *easy* for a week 3" for the umpteenth time, I might throw the computer across the room. If I hadn't subscribed before the Patreon era (and thus am paid up through next October), these last few weeks would probably be enough to make me unsubscribe from the MGWCC. So often this meta is just so much more of a slog than it's worth (overlay the grid - but only part of the grid! have fun figuring that out! - with a Chutes & Ladders board and then map every square that's the top or bottom of a chute or ladder and then take what you get as two additional clues to get to the answer??? impressive construction yes, but not a fun meta solve IMHO) - especially since you have to get all but 2 right in a given year to be eligible for prizes. That just is never going to happen - there are more than 2 weekends a year when I don't have time to look at the meta at all! Then add in the weeks when the meta is a painful slog and it's just not worth it. It's a shame, because there are some really clever ones sprinkled in there too.
Happy to refund the remaining months on your subscription at any time. It's been clear to me for a while that you don't enjoy these and I should've reached out earlier offering a refund. My apologies. I'm at crosswordcontest@gmail.com and will process it right away.

Tina
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#48

Post by Tina » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:51 pm

I might try printing out another grid and starting over...not that that has ever worked before!

dudeski
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#49

Post by dudeski » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:19 pm

Matt,
I think this was a GREAT meta. Frequently (especially on the weeks 3-5), I need to do research to solve them and that is part of the fun. In my opinion, the MGWCC site with the updates and timestamps and the progressively challenging puzzles is a bargain. Quite frankly, I do not know why you don't charge more.

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ChrisKochmanski
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#50

Post by ChrisKochmanski » Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:40 pm

dudeski wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 1:19 pm
Matt, I think this was a GREAT meta. Frequently (especially on the weeks 3-5), I need to do research to solve them and that is part of the fun. In my opinion, the MGWCC site with the updates and timestamps and the progressively challenging puzzles is a bargain. Quite frankly, I do not know why you don't charge more.
Matt, I'm supportive of the view here. I know that if I weren't so hung up on my blasted streak, I wouldn't sweat being lost on some of your harder puzzles. Also, I really enjoy the whole process of reaching out to other Muggles to solve together (just as long as you know it's a group solve). I must say, there was something in particular with this puzzle I wasn't wild about (which I can't say here, because it's too revealing), but it's not a big thing, and I can see past it -- and I think this puzzle is an amazing piece of work on the whole. You go, Matt!

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BarbaraK
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#51

Post by BarbaraK » Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:47 pm

damefox wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:54 am
... you have to get all but 2 right in a given year to be eligible for prizes
Just a clarification - unless there was a recent rule change that I didn't see, you can miss 4 puzzles per year and still get a prize. All 52 right is a gold prize, 50 or 51 is silver, and 48 or 49 is bronze. (I'm still hoping to qualify for solo bronze this year; I need 3 more to do it.🤞Hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying it here.)

Andrew Bradburn
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#52

Post by Andrew Bradburn » Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:21 pm

Wow. Finally got it. There seem to be several reasons this one is playing especially hard. I probably tried more solving tricks on this one than almost any other puzzle. In this instance persistence paid off!

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MajordomoTom
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#53

Post by MajordomoTom » Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:53 pm

still got nothing, got a different idea, but it hasn't produced anything.

<deleted>
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

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MajordomoTom
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#54

Post by MajordomoTom » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:18 pm

RPardoe wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 9:12 am
Laura M wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:31 pm
Grid was unexpectedly easy, meta apparently not so much. I have something that feels very dubious, not submitting yet.
15 Solves on 22 Submissions - probably wise to be cautious before submitting. That seems like a higher early miss rate than normal.

(For those who wonder how to know how many guesses have been made - look at the Overall Tab. If you submit and are wrong, your name will appear - showing your overall solves for all of MGWCC.)
EDIT: 56 out of 73 (there are two 72s, so one is 73) as of 10:18 pm CT on Sunday. Not promising.

got a nudge from Meg, got an answer which makes sense and have submitted it.
"Lots of planets have a North", the Ninth Doctor.

burak
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#55

Post by burak » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:06 am

The flashing lights in the grid and the theme answers is blinding. Like, "I mean it is improbable that it's a coincidence, and if it's a red herring than Matt Gaffney is a mean mean person" level blinding.

I'm onto step 2 of solving a hard meta puzzle: Sleep on it before going crazy. Let's see what tomorrow will bring.

eisense
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#56

Post by eisense » Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:54 am

Oofta. I'd welcome a ""nudge" but what's the etiquette for that? Does it begin with my sharing what I've found with a willing nudger? Thanks.
Eric

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cbarbee002
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#57

Post by cbarbee002 » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:31 am

Ok, looked at this for too long. Nudge appreciated. :-/

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Bird Lives
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#58

Post by Bird Lives » Mon Nov 23, 2020 9:39 am

Up with a nudge though still awaitning confirmation. I have a quibble with one thing. Maybe I'll even pound my fist on the table and demand that Matt return my $3 for this month.

mheverson
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#59

Post by mheverson » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:36 am

Giving up on this one. A nudge would be appreciated.

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Cindy
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#60

Post by Cindy » Mon Nov 23, 2020 10:43 am

eisense wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 8:54 am
Oofta. I'd welcome a ""nudge" but what's the etiquette for that? Does it begin with my sharing what I've found with a willing nudger? Thanks.
Eric
I don’t see a place to send you a PM. So I don’t think anyone will be able to help you with a nudge. Maybe something in your settings?

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