"A Sail of Two Cities" - June 18, 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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mntlblok
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#401

Post by mntlblok »

hoover wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:44 pm Looking at the answer and how it was obtained ... I had all of the cities correct, and I had gone as far as writing out the body of water that connected each, but didn't get to step 3 of finding their initials in the 3LW. Even if I had, I may not have gotten to the answer because I had Mohawk River connecting Utica and Rome.

Rabbit holes:
- I tried playing with the directions (N, E, NW, NNW, NE) and that went nowhere.
- I found a sort of a word ladder in SCARFS SCARES SCALES SCALP (missing its S)
Damn! My head's gonna explode.
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#402

Post by mntlblok »

Ergcat wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:51 pm
rosiegirl wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:50 am
MikeMillerwsj wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:20 am This contest was a Matt Gaffney special, taking solvers down an elegantly tangled trail with several
I guess no one came up with my answer....WINDY...which I was sure was correct until I was told otherwise?
Yes, I had thought WINDY at first. I saw RWR and thought the “w” replaced a “v” in “River” abbrev. then saw “yea” and thought that’s one letter off from “sea”. Next came “Cal” and that’s one letter off from “can” short for canal! So I had w - n -y. I thought had to be “windy” that fits with sailing. But then I couldn’t find the I or D.... but I did see the real path as I was investigating “LEM”!!
And *more* head explosions.
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#403

Post by mntlblok »

Bob cruise director wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:53 pm A quick note which will be posted a couple of places here. Tomorrow Matt will be sending over one of his early MGWCC that we can all do as a discussion topic for June 29
Public service announcement for any other thick-headed newbies. Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest (MGWCC) (Google worked).
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#404

Post by mntlblok »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:27 pm To some nudgees I mentioned a yen for Chinese food, since PAO was my aha moment.

This may have been too subtle of a nudge for some and or caused a sudden steep decline in my credibility with them. 🍚🥟🥡🥢

However I consider myself redeemed
Not a fancy eater so didn't remember that dish's name. Sadly also figgered "treats" could be "scores". :-) WOTER might not've worked. :-) Oh, and poo sorta rhymes with fu. :-)
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#405

Post by SReh26 »

mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:20 pm
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:27 pm To some nudgees I mentioned a yen for Chinese food, since PAO was my aha moment.

This may have been too subtle of a nudge for some and or caused a sudden steep decline in my credibility with them. 🍚🥟🥡🥢

However I consider myself redeemed
Not a fancy eater so didn't remember that dish's name. Sadly also figgered "treats" could be "scores". :-) WOTER might not've worked. :-) Oh, and poo sorta rhymes with fu. :-)
You are catching on quickly! Much quicker than I did btw.

The above is exactly the sort of -reasoning- that makes sense in this Alice in Wonderland illogical metaverse we have energized into.

One more thing— there’s no escape, ah ha ha...!
(Ive tried)
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#406

Post by mntlblok »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:59 pm
mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:22 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:49 pm

I don't think the mechanism is all that common. Maybe it is if you do LOTS of metas.
Might there be a list if mechanisms extant??
yes- under Come Aboard! Meta Solving etc.
Ahhh! Much better than having to slog through all the other puzzles - I *think*. Thank you!
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#407

Post by SReh26 »

mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:58 pm
HunterX wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:07 am Before I finally figured out the correct second step, I got caught up in the "Find an anagram of the [word] in other clues with one letter extra/off" rabbit hole. I noticed that there are anagrams of 'SEA' and 'LAKE' with one letter to change, and 3 for 'OCEAN'. Kept searching for 'CANAL' and 'RIVER' until my eyes went blurry.

Then tried looking for alternate bodies of water for each of the types. 'APIAN ANTICLIMAX' kept making me see 'ATLANTIC' as well as a broken up 'PANAMA'.

Also found the SE(L)INE river, NILE backwards, Lake (Loch) NESS.... And so much more.

One can expect these things to go to those kinds of bizarre lengths???
AH ha ha ha ha ha! :lol: :twisted:
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#408

Post by mntlblok »

CPJohnson wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:13 pm
mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:22 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 2:49 pm

I don't think the mechanism is all that common. Maybe it is if you do LOTS of metas.
Might there be a list if mechanisms extant??
Only my personal list, as far as I know. I haven't fully explored all the posts in the Come Aboard/FAQs/Hints for Solving section. Here are some of the entries in my list:
Complete the theme (or a set)
* in clues
(1,2,3, etc.) Some variation of numbers in parentheses after some clues
Center grid word or some other grid word is a clue
Commonality in theme answers
Hidden words in theme answers
[First or last] [words or syllables] of theme answers
Parts of meta are positional in grid
Something similar in many clues
meaningful words all over the grid
Change one letter or drop one letter or add one letter
Anagramming needed
Meaningful words cross each other in grid, leading to meta answer
"Sounds like"
Missing things
That's somewhere between very helpful (thank you) and enough to make me give up. Afraid my mind *automatically* looks for such things on its own even when *not* doing puzzles! I'm a walking red herring! It's that same "thinking in puns" thing. I now finally see that it's the same mechanism that has me constantly wise-cracking (or seeking out things on which to crack wise). Just a sick puppy. . .
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SReh26
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#409

Post by SReh26 »

Enter the nudge...

The Nudge and Its Discontents
by SReh

The Ego and the Nudge
by Siegmund Reh

The Art of the Nudge...

War and Nudge

The Triumph and the Nudge
Last edited by SReh26 on Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:57 am, edited 3 times in total.
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#410

Post by mntlblok »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:25 pm
mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:20 pm
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 2:27 pm To some nudgees I mentioned a yen for Chinese food, since PAO was my aha moment.

This may have been too subtle of a nudge for some and or caused a sudden steep decline in my credibility with them. 🍚🥟🥡🥢

However I consider myself redeemed
Not a fancy eater so didn't remember that dish's name. Sadly also figgered "treats" could be "scores". :-) WOTER might not've worked. :-) Oh, and poo sorta rhymes with fu. :-)
You are catching on quickly! Much quicker than I did btw.

The above is exactly the sort of -reasoning- that makes sense in this Alice in Wonderland illogical metaverse we have energized into.

One more thing— there’s no escape, ah ha ha...!
(Ive tried)
This is "catching on"??! Was born without the patience gene. . . :-(
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#411

Post by Joe Ross »

NEW LINK TO TUESDAY MUGGLE MEET UP

PLEASE JOIN IN, TONIGHT!

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#412

Post by John77 »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:35 am I move that in addition to the usual matters on the Zoom agenda we add a discussion point: "Omitting the mileage information would have simplified/complicated the puzzle."
The Basel-Bonn mileage was the one that forced me to realize that the travel route was the Rhine River, and not plane/train/automobile. The segments of the Erie Canal between Utica and Rome pretty straight and the distance short, so the waterway distance isn't far off the straight-line distance.

The other three are great circle routes.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. —H. L. Mencken
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#413

Post by John77 »

hoover wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:44 pm Looking at the answer and how it was obtained ... I had all of the cities correct, and I had gone as far as writing out the body of water that connected each, but didn't get to step 3 of finding their initials in the 3LW. Even if I had, I may not have gotten to the answer because I had Mohawk River connecting Utica and Rome.

Rabbit holes:
- I tried playing with the directions (N, E, NW, NNW, NE) and that went nowhere.
- I found a sort of a word ladder in SCARFS SCARES SCALES SCALP (missing its S)
I did the same, and even wrote the list RR, PO, ... And STILL didn't notice their appearance in the 3LW.

Maddening. Much like my golf game.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. —H. L. Mencken
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#414

Post by mntlblok »

Well, the wifey got home from her long drive. After her little nap, she blew through the grid and immediately found the cities and got all over the distances between them. Google quickly got her to Apia and Oran, too. Properly noted the names of the bodies of water. She's slept on it, now, without success, and refuses any hints, whatsoever. Liable to figure it out before she returns from her 4 mile run. All I got was a sneer when I pointed out that 81 is 9 squared and that seventeen squared came sorta close to one of the distances. Same with all my other simpleton rabbit hole scrambles. Guess I'll remain the junior solver. :-( Wait, she *did* stub her toe on "sml" possibly suggesting "ordering" the bodies of water by size.
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#415

Post by CPJohnson »

mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:35 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:13 pm
mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:22 pm

Might there be a list if mechanisms extant??
Only my personal list, as far as I know. I haven't fully explored all the posts in the Come Aboard/FAQs/Hints for Solving section. Here are some of the entries in my list:
Complete the theme (or a set)
* in clues
(1,2,3, etc.) Some variation of numbers in parentheses after some clues
Center grid word or some other grid word is a clue
Commonality in theme answers
Hidden words in theme answers
[First or last] [words or syllables] of theme answers
Parts of meta are positional in grid
Something similar in many clues
meaningful words all over the grid
Change one letter or drop one letter or add one letter
Anagramming needed
Meaningful words cross each other in grid, leading to meta answer
"Sounds like"
Missing things
That's somewhere between very helpful (thank you) and enough to make me give up. Afraid my mind *automatically* looks for such things on its own even when *not* doing puzzles! I'm a walking red herring! It's that same "thinking in puns" thing. I now finally see that it's the same mechanism that has me constantly wise-cracking (or seeking out things on which to crack wise). Just a sick puppy. . .
You will fit right in to the Muggles community.
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#416

Post by Ergcat »

Joe Ross wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:56 am NEW LINK TO TUESDAY MUGGLE MEET UP

PLEASE JOIN IN, TONIGHT!

Image
Great cartoon!!! Anybody have a WSJ mug I could put on my shelves ??? sure to impress and make a great Zoom background! 😂 but wait, who would believe it?
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#417

Post by Bob cruise director »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:35 am I move that in addition to the usual matters on the Zoom agenda we add a discussion point: "Omitting the mileage information would have simplified/complicated the puzzle."
Complicated it by a lot - NIce, Rome, Oran(ge), probably a few others.
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#418

Post by sharkicicles »

Yeah, I probably don’t get this one without the mileage. It was a nice check to know I was 100% on which hidden things to look at in the theme answers.
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#419

Post by femullen »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:35 am I move that in addition to the usual matters on the Zoom agenda we add a discussion point: "Omitting the mileage information would have simplified/complicated the puzzle."
Complicated, I think. I used the milage for disambiguation. For example, Orange, California to Nice, California was same order of magnitude as Oran to Nice, so could have derailed me.

I was surprised, though, that the numbers came identified as distances right off the bat. I'm more used to getting just the raw numbers and having to figger out what they mean.
For nudges, feel free to PM me. I won't have a clue how to help you, but you just might shove me ashore.
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Bob cruise director
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#420

Post by Bob cruise director »

Hello all

The Matt Gaffney Q&A is coming along nicely. In the link Come Aboard/FAQ-community/Solving Resources/ Q&Q with Matt Gaffney, there is one of Matt's MGWCC's from 2010 for everyone to do and be a focus to ask Matt about any aspect of it.
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