"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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HunterX
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#321

Post by HunterX »

Limerick Savant wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:57 am
escapeartist wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:24 am Wow - I am stunned that the "final solution" wasn't the English version of that phrase: "VERY GOOD" - considering the title of the puzzle was "Pardon My English"

IMHO very un-Gaffney-like without the twist at the end...

I hope both solutions are considered correct

GIMMIE THAT MUG!!
I had a similar reaction and waffled between the two for some time but ultimately decided to submit the French version based on three things:
1. The play on the common phrase in the title, indicating French
2. Trés Bien is a more flexible phrase
3. It was D-Day 😉

This week’s meta in all likelihood
Should arrive in a French neighborhood
Or you translate once more
And return to this shore
My decision was not very good
Didn't know it was D-Day. Otherwise... Agree! I waffled for a bit between the French and English, but opted against the French toast. Toasted with English ale instead.
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tigerfly222
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#322

Post by tigerfly222 »

Bob cruise director wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:53 pm
tigerfly222 wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:06 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:04 pm See post #35, Bob....I WAS on the boat. However, I am now on shore, thanks to Meta Daughter. Her knowledge base is much broader than mine. HOWEVER, we disagree on the correct answer, so we have submitted 2 different things. :roll:
I'd like to say there's some sort of interesting bet behind it, but there's not. In our family we prefer smug correctness, bragging rights, and fame and glory.

(And Oxford commas.)
See PM to you and your mom. But you have to announce who won and what the bet is
I have emerged victorious. (Smugly.)
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mheberlingx100
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#323

Post by mheberlingx100 »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:19 am
Limerick Savant wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:57 am I had a similar reaction and waffled between the two for some time but ultimately decided to submit the French version based on three things:
1. The play on the common phrase in the title, indicating French
2. Trés Bien is a more flexible phrase
3. It was D-Day 😉
1. The numbers speeled out TRÈS BIEN.
Yes, but my thought was that the French phrase was just the second to the last step, and to complete the meta, you had to translate back to the two-word English phrase. That would mirror the translation done for the clues.

I will bet there will be loads of VERY GOOD answers. Unfortunately, it won’t be very good for us solvers.
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Mister Squawk
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#324

Post by Mister Squawk »

(For once) I did not struggle with this puzzle. I spent a little time with HUIT CLOS and CHEF d"OEUVRE, but they didn't conform to the pattern (xxx DE yyy). I generally despise the numbers, but in this case the fact that the eight numbers were 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8 suggested that they provided the indices of the mismatched letters in an 8-letter phrase.

Mercifully, the idea of "VERY GOOD" didn't occur to me until after I submitted, sparing me a weekend of worry. But TRES BIEN is the result of applying the numbers, and it meets the stated requirements from the instructions: "...a two-word phrase." The language is unspecified, and of course there is no mechanism in the puzzle suggesting the translation.

Overall, a "classic' puzzle.
Plymouthrock
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#325

Post by Plymouthrock »

Kas 5. C’est magnifique.
Thought Pardon My English might refer to play Gershwin wrote songs for which actually has a song title, “So What” (clue in puzzle) in the sec act. Cul de sac did keep popping in thoughts but not enough to carry it further though some off color French expletives came to mind since forgiveness was being asked. A great puzzle and imagine a blast of serotonin getting this one.
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Bird Lives
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#326

Post by Bird Lives »

I had a different 25%. While others were looking for the Resistance, I was trying to find a cook. (Isn't a chef d'oeuvre the guy in the kitchen who cooks eggs?)
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Pardon 700].jpg
Jay
debbierudy
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#327

Post by debbierudy »

"Mon Dieu!" I complained in despair,
While losing my savoir faire.
"Shut your Francophile muzzle
and look at the puzzle;
there is a solution out there!"

A good one from Gaffney again;
My friends, do I hear an "Amen!"?
Though it was a struggle
for many a muggle,
I say of this meta, "TRES BIEN"!
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Colin
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#328

Post by Colin »

Got to three of the four ‘de’ solutions and saw the unique instances of 1 thru 8 early but could not get past piece de resistance for master work, nor see the close words in grid (duh). At eleven fifty-something last night the grid lit up and I applied the meta to three of the four, now realizing p de r was wrong. TRES BIEN leapt out at me and submitted right on the deadline… but without the accent! I hope WSJ will be a little lenient?
One world. One planet. One future.
hoover
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#329

Post by hoover »

Wow, I was so almost there. I had the grid solved, had identified the four long words, had translated them to French with 2 or 3 choices for each translation:

17A DEATH BLOW (2,6) COUP DE GRÂCE / COUP MORTEL
64A PSEUDONYM (8,5) NOM DE PLUME / NOM DE GUERRE
11D BLIND ALLEY (3,7) CUL DE SAC / IMPASSE
28D MASTER WORK (4,1) PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE / TOUR DE FORCE / CHEF-D'OEUVRE

After I saw GRÂCE / GRICE, I went looking for the others and saw SEC, FORTE, and PLUMB, and that told me which translations were the correct ones.

Spent some time trying to fiddle with the 2nd letter, 6th letter, etc. and getting gibberish.

I eventually realized that each of the numbers 1-8 was represented exactly once in the parenthetical numbers, so they probably represented the order in which the pieces needed to be arranged, but I still didn't have the pieces.

I even started trying to work with the replacement/substituted letters, but with the originals, so I must have been 50% of the way there but it still looked like gibberish:

3,7 CULDESAC / SEC / A E
2,6 COUPDEGRACE / GRICE / A I
4,1 TOURDEFORCE / FORTE / C T
8,5 NOMDEPLUME / PLUMB / E B

TAACBIEE

I swear that at one point I tried to find an altered version of one of CUL, COUP, TOUR, or NOM in the grid and failed. I think it was CUL; for some reason the little 3LW were hard to find in the grid. Or maybe it was COUP, and I saw SOUR and discarded it because it altered two letters (not realizing that SOUR was 1 letter off from TOUR, ugh!)

Oh well, I had fun anyway!
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Joe Ross
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#330

Post by Joe Ross »

debbierudy wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:54 am "Mon Dieu!" I complained in despair,
While losing my savoir faire.
"Shut your Francophile muzzle
and look at the puzzle;
there is a solution out there!"

A good one from Gaffney again;
My friends, do I hear an "Amen!"?
Though it was a struggle
for many a muggle,
I say of this meta, "TRES BIEN"!
Amen!

& Halleluia!
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Bird Lives
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#331

Post by Bird Lives »

Plymouthrock wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:21 am Kas 5. C’est magnifique.
Thought Pardon My English might refer to play Gershwin wrote songs for which actually has a song title, “So What” (clue in puzzle) . . .
I hadn't known about this one, so I checked Wikipedia. It cleared up something that had always bothered me about the lyric for the one surviving song "Isn't It a Pity." I had thought that the presence of Heine and Schopenhauer were just Ira being Ira. Now I now discover that the show was a satire on Prohibition but set in Germany.
Jay
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Wendy Walker
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#332

Post by Wendy Walker »

I was so lucky with this one! When I was filling in the grid, my first guess for 11D was cul de sac. The "French" portion of my brain lit up and stayed lit up when I encountered deathblow and immediately thought of coup de grace. After that nom de plume came easily. But like, oh, 75% of my Muggle colleagues I had trouble finding the "right" translation for masterwork. Neither chef d'oeuvre nor piece de resistance worked. A little (more) Googling uncovered the correct phrase.
It didn't even occur to me to translate the final phrase because its letters were so clearly delineated.
Attachments
tresbien.jpg
Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday. Just send me a PM and tell me what you've tried so far.
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FirstMax
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#333

Post by FirstMax »

escapeartist wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:24 am Wow - I am stunned that the "final solution" wasn't the English version of that phrase: "VERY GOOD" - considering the title of the puzzle was "Pardon My English"

IMHO very un-Gaffney-like without the twist at the end...

I hope both solutions are considered correct

GIMMIE THAT MUG!!
VERY GOOD wouldn’t be consistent to me. To fit the mechanism, it would have to be Sery gooT or something like that. Why have all this misspoken English only to end with a correct English phrase?
Dapperdan
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#334

Post by Dapperdan »

Holy wa...I studied Francaise all the pandemic and only got the cul de sac !
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Wendy Walker
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#335

Post by Wendy Walker »

sharkicicles wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:17 am I'll repost here what I said on Crossword Fiend, this is one of the few Gaffneys I didn't enjoy, solving them or not.

"One of the few times I will actually criticize the Gaff, by the way; I was split between CHEF D’ OEUVRE (and it’s clued as 4,1 which sidesteps the D’ versus De problem) and PIECE DE RESISTANCE. But if you google “masterwork french” you get both of those but not TOUR DE FORCE. Eh, it’s a f***in’ crossword puzzle. And Matt has given me a lot of fun puzzles over the years, so don’t get me wrong. But I’m a little pissed over this one. (I’ll get over it and gladly solve his puzzle next week.)"
SharkIcicles, I am still in awe of you for getting MEANDER so quickly ... but surely if you feel the need to blame someone, shouldn't it be Google, not Matt, for failing to deliver the correct phrase to you immediately, and on a silver platter?
Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday. Just send me a PM and tell me what you've tried so far.
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CPJohnson
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#336

Post by CPJohnson »

tigerfly222 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:06 am
Bob cruise director wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:53 pm
tigerfly222 wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:06 pm

I'd like to say there's some sort of interesting bet behind it, but there's not. In our family we prefer smug correctness, bragging rights, and fame and glory.

(And Oxford commas.)
See PM to you and your mom. But you have to announce who won and what the bet is
I have emerged victorious. (Smugly.)
Meta Daughter wins! (But just wait until she's home for a visit and we get out the Scrabble board. I shall show no mercy.)

In case anyone is interested, here's my (ahem, faulty) reasoning:

Pseudonym to nom de plume, etc. – English to French
Nom and plume to non and plumb, etc. – French to English
Letters from non, plumb, forte, cel, etc. to tres bien – English to French
Tres bien to very good – French to English
English is in the title, so I went with English. Oh, well. C'est la vie.
Cynthia
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CPJohnson
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#337

Post by CPJohnson »

mheberlingx100 wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:37 am
Joe Ross wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:19 am
Limerick Savant wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:57 am I had a similar reaction and waffled between the two for some time but ultimately decided to submit the French version based on three things:
1. The play on the common phrase in the title, indicating French
2. Trés Bien is a more flexible phrase
3. It was D-Day 😉
1. The numbers speeled out TRÈS BIEN.
Yes, but my thought was that the French phrase was just the second to the last step, and to complete the meta, you had to translate back to the two-word English phrase. That would mirror the translation done for the clues.

I will bet there will be loads of VERY GOOD answers. Unfortunately, it won’t be very good for us solvers.
Sad, but true.
Cynthia
MaineMarge
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:57 pm

#338

Post by MaineMarge »

When filling the grid, I had initially tried to squeeze nom de plume into pseudonym’s spot. And even noticed plumb not far above. After my solving buddy and I latched onto the
French connection, that plumb came in handy.

For those of you who pageanted yourselves with VERY GOOD, here’s another very good actual Pageant-
3D351B3C-6544-4774-930D-9A7B4FBBB539.jpeg
She had been one of my favorite peonies long before I became a Muggle- now of course doubly special. I’d suggest ordering one for your own garden, for her beauty and for some meta deja vu irony.
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lbray53
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#339

Post by lbray53 »

DrTom wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:49 pm
SReh26 wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:42 pm
boharr wrote: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:04 pm

Hey man,
Thank you for being a part of this forum.
I almost quit metas last week but kind words, nudges and solves pulled me back. Which makes me think there may be Seven Stages of Meta involvement... anyone?

Enthusiasm / Confidence
Defeat / Disillusionment with Self
Sour Grapes / Depression
Hope
Solves w Fewer Nudges
Getting the Hang
Addicted!
Well I think there is also a 12 step program if you find yourself too addicted. Problem is that around step 6 or 7 you are looking back at previous steps to see if they spell anything.....
Reading Dr. Tom's comments is reason enough to keep working on these metas.

Part of my current frustration is the change in my life with summer weather and lifting of COVID restrictions. I am back to playing tennis three early mornings per week which takes up six of the hours that I used to spend in my basement bar working on puzzles. By the way, I have a coffee station down there!
otlaolap
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#340

Post by otlaolap »

For those of you who submit online, does the online submit mechanism actually allow an accented character to be entered (asks one who does not know French and who submitted an unaccented character be email}?
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