"Pardon My English" - June 4, 2021

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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Hidden in 3D
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#381

Post by Hidden in 3D »

CPJohnson wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:37 pm I think that those of you who know lots of French were impeded by your knowledge. I was able to come up with Pardon My French when I read the title, but, were it not for Meta Daughter, I'd have never thought of all 4 "___de___" phrases, let alone chef-d'oeuvre or any of the other possibilities.

On a side note, we are headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow to see three Dodgers/Pirates games. The weather forecast is iffy, at best. Does anyone have a recommendation for Things To Do In Pittsburgh? We've been to the Conservatory, the Science Center, the Duquesne incline, and the Heinz Center. Thanks for any suggestions.
Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, National Aviary (both indoor and outdoor exhibits) just to name a few. Not sure if you have transportation, but Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is about 90 minutes from downtown if you have the time. My husband grew up in Pittsburgh, and we used to fly up for Steeler Games once a year (pre-pandemic). It's a great city, but you know that because you've already seen some of the highlights! Have a great trip!
Sara
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DBMiller
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#382

Post by DBMiller »

JaneGummy wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:06 pm Forget a nudge, I needed a full body slam on this one. Got tangled up in the four French words in the grid (ciao, forte, elyse, cest), thought English could Relate to billiards spin, basically lost. In hindsight, i should have recognized the sequence of parens numbers, another learning moment, but there was Absolutely no way I was gonna work my way thru this multi step process on my own.

Many thanks for the patience of my nudger, I imagine him thinking "come on dumbass! You can do it" 😊🤣
Umm... Ciao is Italian, and Elyse is Hebrew. So that really sent you down the wrong rabbi(t) hole.
hoover
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#383

Post by hoover »

CPJohnson wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:37 pm On a side note, we are headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow to see three Dodgers/Pirates games. The weather forecast is iffy, at best. Does anyone have a recommendation for Things To Do In Pittsburgh? We've been to the Conservatory, the Science Center, the Duquesne incline, and the Heinz Center. Thanks for any suggestions.
Well, it's Stanley Cup playoffs time, but it seems that this year, the Pens have a lot of free time on their hands...
SarasotaSun
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#384

Post by SarasotaSun »

Hidden in 3D wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:44 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:37 pm I think that those of you who know lots of French were impeded by your knowledge. I was able to come up with Pardon My French when I read the title, but, were it not for Meta Daughter, I'd have never thought of all 4 "___de___" phrases, let alone chef-d'oeuvre or any of the other possibilities.

On a side note, we are headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow to see three Dodgers/Pirates games. The weather forecast is iffy, at best. Does anyone have a recommendation for Things To Do In Pittsburgh? We've been to the Conservatory, the Science Center, the Duquesne incline, and the Heinz Center. Thanks for any suggestions.
Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, National Aviary (both indoor and outdoor exhibits) just to name a few. Not sure if you have transportation, but Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is about 90 minutes from downtown if you have the time. My husband grew up in Pittsburgh, and we used to fly up for Steeler Games once a year (pre-pandemic). It's a great city, but you know that because you've already seen some of the highlights! Have a great trip!
I was born in Pittsburgh, and graduated from Carnegie Tech / Carnegie Mellon Univ. Touring: Don't forget Heinz Chapel (on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh), the Cathedral of Learning Nationality Rooms (on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh), Saint Paul's Cathedral, the Point State Park (at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongehela, and Ohio Rivers, take a ride on the river boats, and visit the Pittsburgh Zoo.
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Abide
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#385

Post by Abide »

sharkicicles wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:17 am But if you google “masterwork french” you get both of those but not TOUR DE FORCE.
If you put “masterwork” in a synonym finder you get all three.
The site is just a web page, a meeting place, a clubhouse - it's the group that's special.
—Brian MacDonald
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CPJohnson
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#386

Post by CPJohnson »

Thank you, everyone, for all the Pittsburgh suggestions! We may get to see more than one thing if some games are rained out. But we'll have time for at least one. I'll report later.
Cynthia
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sanmilton
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#387

Post by sanmilton »

Abide wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:48 pm
sharkicicles wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:17 am But if you google “masterwork french” you get both of those but not TOUR DE FORCE.
If you put “masterwork” in a synonym finder you get all three.
Everyone's experience is different, I suppose. I put MASTERWORK in at synonym-finder.com, and I got "Sorry, we could not find synonyms."

Pauvre cheval mort! But, again, IMO, tour de force is more literally "turn of strength," i.e., a standout performance. Often, such a performance would be of a MASTERWORK, a chef d'oeuvre. Matt may disagree, and I certainly didn't mind treating tour de force as a synonym for the purposes of this great meta puzzle, a chef d'oeuvre, bien sûr. Its construction was certainly a tour de force (merci!), and solving it was a pièce de résistance!
SReh26
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#388

Post by SReh26 »

I guess numbers in parens would almost always be the last step in the mechanism?
RDaleHall
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#389

Post by RDaleHall »

Some similar stories / observations from what I've seen in this post...

Literally tried to enter CULDESAC and NOMDEPLUME in the entries before realizing they were not going to fit... And then just didn't immediately recognize that they would be part of the meta.

Fortunately we had the French Open on and I was in charge of translating the Roger Federer disagreement with the chair umpire (though it was rough, to be honest... He's saying "I went there, then I went there, then here... and you're giving me a time warning?") and that got me thinking in the right spirit.

Like others I was more in the mindset of piece de resistance and chef d'oeuvre as they were more in my vocabulary. But seeing PLUMB got the wheels turning in the right direction.

I spent WAY too much time trying to check my grid for the answer CUE instead of remembering CEL was an entry...

Great puzzle all the way around. Merci to Madame Ulrich and Monsieur Aube (high school and university French teachers) for getting me through this one.
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Streroto
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#390

Post by Streroto »

As a near fluent French speaker (the skill I alluded to) this was very straightforward. Tour de force was my first thought and TBH I did no even consider any other alternatives. I now understand the host of “25% backsolve” comments however.

I thought the criticism Matt received over at DOACF was unjustified and overly harsh. Sometimes things are not perfect-

C’est la vie!

Soyez sains mes amis.
boharr
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#391

Post by boharr »

sanmilton wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:51 pm
Abide wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:48 pm
sharkicicles wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:17 am But if you google “masterwork french” you get both of those but not TOUR DE FORCE.
If you put “masterwork” in a synonym finder you get all three.
Everyone's experience is different, I suppose. I put MASTERWORK in at synonym-finder.com, and I got "Sorry, we could not find synonyms."

Pauvre cheval mort! But, again, IMO, tour de force is more literally "turn of strength," i.e., a standout performance. Often, such a performance would be of a MASTERWORK, a chef d'oeuvre. Matt may disagree, and I certainly didn't mind treating tour de force as a synonym for the purposes of this great meta puzzle, a chef d'oeuvre, bien sûr. Its construction was certainly a tour de force (merci!), and solving it was a pièce de résistance!
First: get a better synonym finder.
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Abide
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#392

Post by Abide »

boharr wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:36 pm
First: get a better synonym finder.
Most of us have heard of this one ;)

https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/masterwork
The site is just a web page, a meeting place, a clubhouse - it's the group that's special.
—Brian MacDonald
DannyWalter
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#393

Post by DannyWalter »

I'm definitely getting better at this. It took a while to click, but it did click, I knew what to do, and did it correctly with coup de grace and nom de plume. Found grice/grace and plumb/plume. Some helpful nudgers let me know I was on the right track.

It seems I keep getting stuck on the same issue which is getting past some of the licesnses that are taken by the constructors. Blind alley = cul de sac? Il ne traduit pas. Le sens est très différent.

So you sort of have to squint at it, and try different things until one works.

I'm not stating this as a complaint. It's just another thing to learn about meta puzzles. Tip #119 - Sort of squint at it, and try different things until one works.
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hcbirker
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#394

Post by hcbirker »

Streroto wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:32 pm As a near fluent French speaker (the skill I alluded to) this was very straightforward. Tour de force was my first thought and TBH I did no even consider any other alternatives. I now understand the host of “25% backsolve” comments however.

I thought the criticism Matt received over at DOACF was unjustified and overly harsh. Sometimes things are not perfect-

C’est la vie!

Soyez sains mes amis.
That’s what I love about this forum. We’re so civil and accepting of the outcomes and understanding that the constructors have a tough job to do. All’s fair in the meta verse!
Heidi
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escapeartist
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#395

Post by escapeartist »

hcbirker wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:08 pm That’s what I love about this forum. We’re so civil and accepting of the outcomes and understanding that the constructors have a tough job to do. All’s fair in the meta verse!
All's fair in love and ware! :D
Ergcat
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#396

Post by Ergcat »

hoover wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:19 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:37 pm On a side note, we are headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow to see three Dodgers/Pirates games. The weather forecast is iffy, at best. Does anyone have a recommendation for Things To Do In Pittsburgh? We've been to the Conservatory, the Science Center, the Duquesne incline, and the Heinz Center. Thanks for any suggestions.
Well, it's Stanley Cup playoffs time, but it seems that this year, the Pens have a lot of free time on their hands...
Kennywood Park! Best roller-coasters anywhere!
Ergcat
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#397

Post by Ergcat »

SarasotaSun wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:43 pm
Hidden in 3D wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:44 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:37 pm I think that those of you who know lots of French were impeded by your knowledge. I was able to come up with Pardon My French when I read the title, but, were it not for Meta Daughter, I'd have never thought of all 4 "___de___" phrases, let alone chef-d'oeuvre or any of the other possibilities.

On a side note, we are headed to Pittsburgh tomorrow to see three Dodgers/Pirates games. The weather forecast is iffy, at best. Does anyone have a recommendation for Things To Do In Pittsburgh? We've been to the Conservatory, the Science Center, the Duquesne incline, and the Heinz Center. Thanks for any suggestions.
Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, National Aviary (both indoor and outdoor exhibits) just to name a few. Not sure if you have transportation, but Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater is about 90 minutes from downtown if you have the time. My husband grew up in Pittsburgh, and we used to fly up for Steeler Games once a year (pre-pandemic). It's a great city, but you know that because you've already seen some of the highlights! Have a great trip!
I was born in Pittsburgh, and graduated from Carnegie Tech / Carnegie Mellon Univ. Touring: Don't forget Heinz Chapel (on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh), the Cathedral of Learning Nationality Rooms (on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh), Saint Paul's Cathedral, the Point State Park (at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongehela, and Ohio Rivers, take a ride on the river boats, and visit the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Me, too! Born in Pittsburgh and graduated from CMU twice! I live in SC now and second all those suggestions for Pittsburgh.
SarasotaSun
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#398

Post by SarasotaSun »

Yes, Kennywood Park, Phipps Conservatory (Oakland), viewpoints of downtown from Mount Washington (on the south side of the Monongahela River), and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church (historic Polish church built to resemble St. Peter's in Rome).
Bill Bovard
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#399

Post by Bill Bovard »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:05 pm I guess numbers in parens would almost always be the last step in the mechanism?
I'm no expert, this one is way over my skill level, but I don't think that's true. Maybe in cases like this where each number appears once.
Big Mac
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#400

Post by Big Mac »

This was one of my favorite WSJ puzzles of the year so far. I could not get cul de sac out of my head when completing the grid as I had somehow never heard the term "blind alley" before (those of us who grew up/live in cul de sacs may have had an unfair advantage this week). And then once I saw the coup de grace connection I was off to the races. It's also good to know that my many years of french in high school and college actually did pay off in the real world.

Really fun idea and a well done meta.
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