"Tormented Artists" - July 31, 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.
Rate the difficulty of the meta
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Post by MarkL »

Happy to report that I am ASHORE and will head back to "the booth in the back, in the corner, in the dark" next week.

Addiction is a funny thing.

Be safe, all on the east coast.
'tis... A lovely day for a Guinness!
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Post by TPS »

I think this was a good puzzle after the ones the last few weeks. The grid was about average - possibly slightly above average. The meta while not completely simple I think was solvable for anyone who has spent several months trying these and not a bad puzzle for someone new to Meta puzzles to try to cut their teeth on. I juxtapose that with last two weeks puzzles which might have made me never try another meta puzzle if it was my first solving experience.
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Post by erosecomm »

Washed ashore. Nice to grasp the answer pretty quickly. I completely failed the last two.
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Post by matthewmoravec »

Ashore, this was a nice meta, it required some work without leading us down any rabbit holes.
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Post by Ronaldo »

Al Sisti wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:27 am
Ronaldo wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:49 am Funny how a fresh look in the morning sets you on course to the solution. Guinness with a full Irish breakfast.
So I'm not the only one who loves blood pudding?
A friend used to drag me to a sports bar to watch English Premier League "football". Because of the time difference in England, the games were on weekend mornings, anywhere between 7:30 and 10:am. The bar regulars were each rooting for their own teams on multiple screens. Let's just say that the Guinness started flowing early and often which only fueled the fanatic atmosphere. Plates were full of the heaviest breakfasts I've ever seen.
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Post by whimsy »

I feel all over, around, and about this puzzle but so far I can only get a satisfactory half an answer so let me drift on the big boat a while longer.
I feel as though Robert Frost has been "helping" me with this:
We dance round a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.
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Post by Schmeel »

My 17-year-old daughter helped come up with the answer this week. I'm not certain she'd consider English her native tongue, so filling the grid is probably beyond her capabilities at this point. But once that was done she was willing to help me look for the contest answer. I think she got a sense of that AHA moment when it all clicked. My wife and kids usually suffer through my explanation of the meta only after I get it (if I do), so it was nice to have a more active participant this time!
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Post by elementary »

Ashore! Came to me after I had all but given up for the day.
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Post by Ann »

Hooray! Solved.
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Post by SewYoung »

Still on the ship. I saw something and followed it down a rabbit hole, but it didn't pay off. Will put it away and look at it again in the morning.
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Post by JRS51 »

Ashore, ready for my ice cold Manhattan! Did the grid yesterday evening; the idea for the meta mechanism kept rolling around in my head during the night. So it fell into place pretty readily when I sat down to work on it today.
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Post by AnnP »

Ashore, liked this one very much.
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Post by PHOFER »

Ashore with not too much trouble. I'm still amazed at how our constructors think of these things.
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Post by BarbaraK »

Inca wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:52 pm Got it (Thank you, Joe. I took the time to fill your grid and of course it helped).
Am afraid I am getting a bit burned out on the metas. This one left me with a slightly sour taste in my mouth...not really sure why. That's why I think I am just meta-ed out.
Where have the recent metas been falling for you on the Kas scale (*)? Seems like that's a big factor in how much I enjoy them.

The 1's are OK - not that exciting but they don't take much time anyway, so no problem. The 5's are annoying and not fun at all. I think if there were a long run of nothing but 1's and 5's, I could lose interest.

The 2's are enjoyable and would keep me going a good while. The 4's are tantalizing; knowing I was so close makes me want to keep trying.

But the 3's, oh baby. They're what keep me hooked.

I sometimes feel like the rat in that psych experiment with intermittent rewards that keeps pressing that bar over and over because eventually the pellet will come out.

(*) forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=35
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Post by Tony S »

tonyrobots wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:36 am
Tony S wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:42 am IMO the answer is a 100% no-doubter.
In a way you’re right, as I am 100% confident in my submitted answer, but mechanically this puzzle lacks the precision of what I would call a 100%er. I’ll leave it at that for fear of spoiling anything, but we can discuss more on Monday if you’d like.
I think I know what you're talking about.
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Post by Tony S »

BarbaraK wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:11 am
Tony S wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:42 am
DBMiller wrote: Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:15 pm Done and I think I'm done. I have an answer that I can defend nicely, but doesn't have that 100% click. Will ponder it a bit more before sending it in.
IMO the answer is a 100% no-doubter. There's nothing stopping you from submitting your answer and later submitting a different one. Who would know but you?
The WSJ rules actually say only one submission per person. No idea exactly how they enforce that, but it wouldn't be hard. So if you are going to skirt the rules, you at least want to use a different email address for the second submission.

Since there's no advantage to submitting early though, may as well wait if you're not sure. (Just don't forget!)
I've often wondered how multiple submissions are handled. I never submit an answer unless I'm certain that I have the correct one --- my only incorrect submission was the infamous "pageant" contest --- but there have been comments (in jest) about submitting every possible answer when a finite number of possibilities exist.
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Post by Tony S »

Al Sisti wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:27 am
Ronaldo wrote: Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:49 am Funny how a fresh look in the morning sets you on course to the solution. Guinness with a full Irish breakfast.
So I'm not the only one who loves blood pudding?
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of going on a multi-day whisky tour on Islay --- our mornings started with a very large Scottish breakfast that included "black pudding" and haggis. Good stuff.
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Post by JeanneC »

Family visiting. That means I have had to steal off to do the grid and meta.

However, I am onshore.

It was funny trying to explain to the family what I was off doing and why it is such fun. Plenty of sideway looks. 🙄
“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions”. Lillian Hellman
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Post by KscX »

Ashore for the first time in weeks - after being stuck since Friday morning my mind wandered to the answer while watching Hamilton with my son. Amazing how our subconscious is always working while we don’t know it.
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Post by Guy »

Best part of the week is reading and connecting with very fine muggles from many moons now, and the new ones with their fresh wit and grace. Smarmy, but truthful. Ok, I am still with Isaac.