"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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Wendy Walker
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#361

Post by Wendy Walker »

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."
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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HunterX
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#362

Post by HunterX »

BrianMac wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 11:26 am Wow, best mug-winning odds we're likely to see for a while!
And yet, here I am drinking coffee out of an old mug I got from the company I've been working for these past 33 years...
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HunterX
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#363

Post by HunterX »

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."
Troublemaker, eh? ;)
rosiegirl
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:26 pm

#364

Post by rosiegirl »

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 steps. It appeared to be a bit tougher than usual--we had 952 entries and only about 56% correct. Lots and lots of incorrect watery 5-letter guesses including ROLLS (26) and ROILS (7) -- what was going on there? Also CANAL (18), OCEAN (10), ATLAS (6), SLOOP (6), FERRY (5), SHORE (4) and many others.

Congrats to this week's winner: Greg Roberts of Fayetteville, GA!
I guess no one came up with my answer....WINDY...which I was sure was correct until I was told otherwise?
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mntlblok
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#365

Post by mntlblok »

This newbie is holding off on trying that "nudges" thing, yet. Was sitting here feeling guilty about how much time I'm wasting reading through this forum, but concluded that, since I'm thoroughly enjoying myself, I shall waste away.

*Plus*, I managed to figure out - all by myself! - the references to the drinks and Isaac! :-) My "Word document" notes are turning up *nothing* that really makes any sense relative to the puzzle title. Shall settle for reading through this til the midnight Sunday posts. Anyway, the wifey is still out of town and hasn't started, yet. Betting that being a former math professor will not help her with that mileage clue stuff. :-)
b4alltime
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#366

Post by b4alltime »

Aaargh. Hasn't anyone else noticed that the first letters of the title are an anagram for" coast" a perfectly good answer in my opinion. What's killing me is that 'water' was my default answer if I couldn't find a solution.
hoover
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#367

Post by hoover »

higgysue wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:24 pm
SarasotaSun wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:32 pm It's amazing to me how many folks have been asking for nudges already.....it's only Friday! Is no one trying to solve the meta on their own anymore? Good grief people. Then I wonder how many people have asked for a nudge, solved the meta, submitted, but are too ashamed to post that they've had to have a nudge.
The rule (for me) is no nudges. Over on MGWCC I sometimes ask for a nudge since there is a “non solo solve” button you can click. Here I just keep thinking about it until the bitter end. Other people have different rules and that’s ok too.
Me too. I figure if I don't know how to get there to the degree that I need a nudge, then I'm not going to submit, so I might as well wait until Monday to see how it all went down. In the meantime, I keep coming back to it over the weekend to see whether I have any fresh ideas.
hoover
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#368

Post by hoover »

Bob cruise director wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:40 pm
Annabelle wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:41 pm Still on the boat, [spoiler redacted]? Only need five letters for the meta, [spoiler redacted], please bring me a Jamison's neat for some inspiration.
Don't you love it when you are on the boat, in some deep rabbit hole and you have not one, but two spoilers redacted. And you still have no clue why what you said was a spoiler. - been there, done that
If you're on a boat in a rabbit hole, that's either a tiny boat or an enormous rabbit hole!
hoover
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#369

Post by hoover »

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)
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Dplass
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#370

Post by Dplass »

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)
Same.
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Joe Ross
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#371

Post by Joe Ross »

I'm loving the nudges discussion and every point of view. A notable feature of our discussion is that it does not get heated.

I have strong opinions, one of which is that nudges to muggles new to the format help them become veteran solvers & helpers of future muggles. This process is, by its nature, very welcoming, which helps this community grow.

Personally, through this process, I have found the world's best co-solver (sorry folks, but I got lucky and I admit to benefiting more than my partner in this relationship), as well as the process of co-solving, itself. If you haven't experienced co-solving, you must. It introduces an entirely new, fun, and entertaining dynamic. Nearly all of our WSJCCs (and the excellent muggle, &c, puzzles shared here) are solo solves where there is a one-on-one competition added to the mix. Co-solving is usually reserved for Weeks 4 & 5 of MGWCC, but there are (:::cough:::) exceptions.

I don't discount those who prefer no nudges, whether for themselves or, as ideal only, for all. I understand it. I applaud & admire their discipline & talent.

No matter where you stand, @Bob cruise director put it perfectly,

Remember two things
We are doing this for our own enjoyment on our own terms.
The most you can win is a mug.
hoover
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:26 pm

#372

Post by hoover »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:57 am For those smarting from the meta, or otherwise seeking a mood boost on a Manic Monday, may I recommend the wsj Monday crossword, which can be done in 9 minutes and seven seconds? 😁

And if you want to ask me how I know, oh I’ll tell ya. If you really want to know.... with apologies to Ralph Kramden.
Or even 5:08. :D Would be faster if I could space-bar to switch directions and ALT-TAB to move backwards.
hoover
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#373

Post by hoover »

Scraps wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:40 am I am fortunate that I was too busy teaching scuba classes this weekend to spend hours not solving the meta.
That's a little bit of irony there.
hoover
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#374

Post by hoover »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 12:47 pm I'm loving the nudges discussion and every point of view. A notable feature of our discussion is that it does not get heated.

(snip)

No matter where you stand, @Bob cruise director put it perfectly,

Remember two things
We are doing this for our own enjoyment on our own terms.
The most you can win is a mug.
Not true! You can win Internet fame and bragging rights for a whole week if you make it to the front page! :P
RobM
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Location: Fairfax County, Virginia

#375

Post by RobM »

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.
I spent a lot of time in that rabbit hole, too, but couldn't find anything that corresponded to RIVER or CANAL.

Another hole I should be paying rent for, given the amount of time I spent there: Because the five types of body of water were all different, I fixated on them, and combined with "Sail" in the title, thought it could be types of vessel associated with RIVER, OCEAN, CANAL, LAKE and SEA. Got as far as river BOAT, ocean LINER, canal BARGE, but couldn't come up with one for lake or sea, and BLB wasn't a promising start.

Thus ends a four-week winning streak.
Ergcat
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Location: Seneca SC

#376

Post by Ergcat »

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”!!
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Bob cruise director
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#377

Post by Bob cruise director »

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)
Come to the Q&A with Matt on June 29. I am sure we will talk about red herrings and rabbit holes. Based on what the constructors have said in the past they don't have to create these red herrings - our mind will do that all by itself - terrifying
Bob Stevens
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Bob cruise director
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#378

Post by Bob cruise director »

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
Bob Stevens
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SusieG
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#379

Post by SusieG »

I immediately recognized the Rhine and Erie Canal and was able to guess Mediterranean, but what hung me up for so long was not realizing there were two words in each body of water. Once I got to that point I remembered Matt’s previous puzzle and ETC, so was soon able to finish. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out ROCLS and RPEMM. :?: I was also grateful Matt clearly stated “miles” with the numbers — I’m not sure I would have understood them without the unit of measure.

Also had that Erie Canal song rolling around my brain all weekend.
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SReh26
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#380

Post by SReh26 »

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
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