How I met the meta?

A place to hang out, get to know other Muggles and discuss everything under the sun.
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Al Sisti
Posts: 1479
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:28 pm
Location: Whitesboro NY

#21

Post by Al Sisti »

BarbaraK wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:10 pm
oldjudge wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:01 pm ...
In high school I competed on the math team (yes, we really had a math team). In fact, the highlight of my high school “athletic” career was a playoff against Stuyvesant HS for the N Y City championship.
...Missed my high school graduation because the big regional meet was the same weekend.
What a coincidence! I almost missed my high school graduation because of math too.
Laura M
Posts: 910
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:49 am

#22

Post by Laura M »

BarbaraK wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:10 pm
oldjudge wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:01 pm ...
In high school I competed on the math team (yes, we really had a math team). In fact, the highlight of my high school “athletic” career was a playoff against Stuyvesant HS for the N Y City championship.
Oh, my! Another math teamer! My senior year, I made the county-wide team. Missed my high school graduation because the big regional meet was the same weekend.

Every time I think I couldn't be any surer that this is my tribe, something else pops up. Love this group!
Math nerds represent! My dinky HS math team never got farther than state or had higher-level teams or competed against Stuyvesant (!) but it was still pretty much the best thing in high school.
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MikeM000
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:31 am
Location: Metro Detroit

#23

Post by MikeM000 »

Hi I'm new here...

As I said elsewhere, I've been puzzling all my life thanks to my mom and her getting GAMES magazine and buying me huge newsprint puzzle books and doing newspaper crosswords and the like.

The pandemic has really turned me into a crazed person with the puzzles for sanity's sake and the metas have been my main focus. I have been an AVCX subscriber for about a year and sometimes go weeks with them D/Ling to my tablet without looking at them. Someone likely on Twitter was all "holy crap!!" about the Gaffney puzzle they published for Passover. I didn't get *it* (Catholic upbringing and all) but I *got* it and started googling, finding Matt's own puzzle site as well as the WSJ weekly and this forum. Now thanks to all of you I've found Muller, PGW, and a fella named Will as well as your homemade efforts. The great thing about the meta is that even if you don't solve it, you've at least done a high quality crossword for your efforts...
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SReh26
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:48 pm

#24

Post by SReh26 »

oldjudge wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:01 pm I got to crosswords fairly late in life. As a kid I loved math puzzles and had several books of Sam Loyd puzzles that I used to work on. In high school I competed on the math team (yes, we really had a math team). In fact, the highlight of my high school “athletic” career was a playoff against Stuyvesant HS for the N Y City championship. I was probably at least fifty before I started doing the NYT crossword. I was good on Monday, Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday, rarely Thursday and Sunday, and never Friday or Saturday. After a while I got bored and frustrated and just stopped. I was always a subscriber to the WSJ, but I rarely did the crosswords. In late-2017 I tried my first WSJ meta and won a mug a few months later and was hooked. However, I didn’t do any other metas till late last year when I signed up for MGWCC. Since then I have gotten deeper and deeper into the quicksand that these metas are. Between the thrill of the puzzles and the friends I have made on the board I have been spurred into doing more and more puzzles. I’m retired so I have plenty of time, but I have added M4, PGW, Fireball, and whatever other extra puzzles come along. I have gone back and done all the PGW puzzles since the beginning and have started doing puzzles out of Matt’s books. At the end of the day, if it wasn’t for the wonderful people on this board I probably never would have gotten as involved as I have. Thank you all.
Stuy alum here! But it will be no surprise that I have varsity letters in track, cross country and ... none in math. Although I did get a 99 on my Regents algebra ...

I met the meta in April of this year. Long time crossworder and WSJ subscriber. Id noticed people declaring themselves ashore but it all seemed too abstract and complicated. Then one day, like a scene out of the Twilight Zone, I stepped into another dimension. Boharr graciously met me on the other side, Joe Ross slathered praise and good cheer upon me, and here I am.
boharr
Posts: 1148
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:57 am
Location: Westchester, NY

#25

Post by boharr »

I always enjoyed doing an occasional crossword puzzle, and I liked acrostics (I get the feeling they are not so popular among muggles). But I was never obsessed.

I retired but spent years catching up on reading stuff I never had gotten to, or re-reading stuff that was worth reading more than once. I still do that, but I only got into metas when my daughter went off to college and I had time to fill as basketball and volleyball games moved into the past.

I don’t do the daily WSJ or Times puzzles, but I somehow discovered metas in the WSJ. As Meg notes above, when I started I felt like someone not in on the private jokes. I remember staring at WSJ metas weeks on end and not having a clue. I found this site, and was even more perplexed. I even had to PM Bob to ask who Isaac was. True story.

I soon realized that regular crosswords just didn’t do it for me. I needed the extra hit metas bring. But that’s not due to just the challenge of all the metas available on this site. It’s the community I stumbled onto and the friends I’ve made here. I would not have stayed with metas as long as I have were it not for all of you.
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TMart
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:13 am

#26

Post by TMart »

Math team confession time - I was a "Mathlete" in high school in the early 80s. My team went undefeated my senior year and we won the Philadelphia Catholic League championship, and then went on to defeat the public league champs as well. I was the third-highest scorer in the league that year, but since my teammates were #1 and #2, I was considered the "dumb" one.

Also no groupies there, unfortunately, but our school did give us varsity letters, which was pretty cool for a bunch of nerds.

I've always been a puzzle fan, and I "met the meta" back late 2018 on the WSJ site, and was immediately hooked, especially given all of the strange comments in the comment section (Who are these people? They don't seem like the normal WSJ audience, which is very intriguing). I went back and did all the past WSJ metas in a matter of a week or two, and gained a ton of experience, which does seem to be crucial to both crosswords and metas. I won a mug early on, and that sealed the deal for me - hopelessly addicted. And the creation of this site made it exponentially more fun.

I joined MGWCC in early 2019, and started doing PGW and the Muller music meta as well, and pretty much did nothing but metas during the pandemic (including producing a few for Muggle Monday). But once I blew my MGWCC streak early this year, I've been a lot less stressed about keeping up with every meta.
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Al Sisti
Posts: 1479
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:28 pm
Location: Whitesboro NY

#27

Post by Al Sisti »

TMart wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 9:59 am ...

I joined MGWCC in early 2019, and started doing PGW and the Muller music meta as well, and pretty much did nothing but metas during the pandemic (including producing a few for Muggle Monday). But once I blew my MGWCC streak early this year, I've been a lot less stressed about keeping up with every meta.
I've liked your MMM metas from the start: ("Are You My Mother?")
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mntlblok
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:13 am
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
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#28

Post by mntlblok »

Laura M wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 10:13 pm
BarbaraK wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:10 pm
oldjudge wrote: Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:01 pm ...
In high school I competed on the math team (yes, we really had a math team). In fact, the highlight of my high school “athletic” career was a playoff against Stuyvesant HS for the N Y City championship.
Oh, my! Another math teamer! My senior year, I made the county-wide team. Missed my high school graduation because the big regional meet was the same weekend.

Every time I think I couldn't be any surer that this is my tribe, something else pops up. Love this group!
Math nerds represent! My dinky HS math team never got farther than state or had higher-level teams or competed against Stuyvesant (!) but it was still pretty much the best thing in high school.
*Knew* this place was loaded with brainiacs! Read through this "meeting the meta" thread. Fearing that I could be about to head down that path of addiction. Already addicted to the forum.
hoover
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:26 pm

#29

Post by hoover »

My high school didn't have a math team, but if it had, I probably would have captained it. As it was, I was 2x captain of the "Battle of the Brains" (local quiz bowl) team and 1x winner of the regional math contest. When I got to college and found that my roomie's dad was the faculty sponsor / coach of the ARML teams for the entire state, I was in awe ... and jealous. Then I learned about IMO and was disappointed that I had missed out on that, too.
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mntlblok
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#30

Post by mntlblok »

hoover wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:55 am My high school didn't have a math team, but if it had, I probably would have captained it. As it was, I was 2x captain of the "Battle of the Brains" (local quiz bowl) team and 1x winner of the regional math contest. When I got to college and found that my roomie's dad was the faculty sponsor / coach of the ARML teams for the entire state, I was in awe ... and jealous. Then I learned about IMO and was disappointed that I had missed out on that, too.
This place just keeps getting more intimidatinger and intimidatinger.
hoover
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:26 pm

#31

Post by hoover »

mntlblok wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:26 am
hoover wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:55 am My high school didn't have a math team, but if it had, I probably would have captained it. As it was, I was 2x captain of the "Battle of the Brains" (local quiz bowl) team and 1x winner of the regional math contest. When I got to college and found that my roomie's dad was the faculty sponsor / coach of the ARML teams for the entire state, I was in awe ... and jealous. Then I learned about IMO and was disappointed that I had missed out on that, too.
This place just keeps getting more intimidatinger and intimidatinger.
Nah, save that sentiment for the week where Gaffney or whoever comes up with a completely numeric grid with a obscurely mathematical meta.
(I haven't been here for very long, so maybe it's already happened.)
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mntlblok
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:13 am
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
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#32

Post by mntlblok »

This place just keeps getting more intimidatinger and intimidatinger.
[/quote]

Nah, save that sentiment for the week where Gaffney or whoever comes up with a completely numeric grid with a obscurely mathematical meta.
(I haven't been here for very long, so maybe it's already happened.)
[/quote]

Sure getting the sense that it's the same kinds of neuron use that's digging these metas out of the ether. :-) I know Feynman liked puzzles. . .
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ChrisKochmanski
Posts: 1009
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:51 pm
Location: Saline, Michigan

#33

Post by ChrisKochmanski »

At my older son's wedding in Nashville, now some seven years ago, I got into a conversation about crosswords with my daughter-in-law's aunt, who asked, "Have you done the Friday meta in The Wall Street Journal?" It all followed from there. Sadly, though, the aunt emailed me about three years ago to say that she had stopped doing the WSJCC because she was finding it too frustrating. It was spoiling her weekends!
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RPardoe
Posts: 588
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:09 pm
Location: Houston, TX

#34

Post by RPardoe »

Like others here grew up more on puzzles and less on crosswords. Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games was a favorite source for the types of puzzles I enjoyed (particularly the logic problems). There were also the books by Fixx, Smullyan, and of course Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games in Scientific American.

My journey to the meta really started with online puzzles such as the now defunct Tanga website. From that community, I was part of a solve group that met via an iRC chat channel to talk puzzles (and other stuff) each evening as the puzzles were published. That group continued after Tanga folded as other puzzle sites were identified and tried. \

Late 2014, the fingers finally pointed me towards Matt Gaffney's as well as Pete Muller's sites as having puzzles based on crossword grids. (I still consider myself more a puzzle solver then a crossword fanatic.) Had been doing those for some time before finally being made aware of the WSJ meta as well. Probably more as a did you know Matt also has a meta in the WSJ with "Marie Kelley". Much later (ie mid 2019) finally joined this group and expanded my pool of metas towards all the other offerings.
Meta Nudges - If you need some help, please feel free to PM me with what you have tried and where you are stuck.
Cryptic Puzzles - If you are stuck or want to understand how to parse a clue, please feel free to PM me.
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ChrisKochmanski
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:51 pm
Location: Saline, Michigan

#35

Post by ChrisKochmanski »

What started me on puzzles, generally, was Roy Blount, Jr.’s cryptic crossword in Spy magazine, in the mid ‘80s. You know, the magazine that never missed the opportunity to describe a certain former world leader as the “fat, short-fingered vulgarian.” Roy’s breakdowns of the previous month’s clues and entries would go off on many funny tangents, and were a joy to read in themselves. I finally decided to actually try the puzzle. It was a fun way to learn cryptics.

Then variety cryptics followed — especially the Puzzler, by HEX, in The Atlantic; Richard E. Maltby, Jr.’s distinctively twisted cryptics in Harper’s; and Henry Hook’s spiral-bound compilations, which were always available in a small independent bookstore in a vacation town we frequented.

Never did math or logic games, Sudokus and the like. Always word games.
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