"Hotlinks" - June 25, 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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#341

Post by mntlblok »

hoover wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:09 am I was already primed for a word ladder since I mentioned finding one in last week's WSJ puzzle:
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)
Thanks to learning your "ladder" term last week and learning also that the lower right corner is a "special" place with you crazies, I hopped right on that ladder train and rode it right into the ground, exploring numerous warrens. :-)

Testing my skills now at adding attachments. If they make it into the message, some of my more promising RH dead ends should be self evident. Seems no limit to various permutations and combinations possible. Most *definitely* limits on this boy's patience, however.

Could get ladders as long as seven words - forwards and backwards. The permutation of picking a spot to *add* a word would've felt like cheating. Wonder how many *other* random words could be stuck in between. "None" would seem an unlikely amount. Love me some sour grapes. :-)

Oh, and have no idea whether the term "permutation" has been used with accuracy here. :-)

Aha! That "Preview" thing suggests that the attachments shall appear!
Attachments
fires.JPG
ladder.JPG
otlaolap
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#342

Post by otlaolap »

After finding the three separate ladders in the theme answers, I went around the usual routines of counting up and down, looking for homophones, looking for anagrams, and so on. Got nowhere; came back the next day. Various other things did not pan out, and I was frustrated that I could find no way to connect things in the grid. Finally the good idea hit and I came up with WILD and FIRE. Seemed pretty good, and knew I'd likely not find anything else.

Decided to let it sit for a few hours, Then, after after a while, thought I might as well read the forum, as I'd reached the end of my rope. Oh God no: all these mentions of pageantry.

When I got up to page 8 I came across this (excerpted):
DBMiller wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:50 pm Pageantphobia: The unreasonable fear of thinking you have the wrong meta answer either because 1) It came too easy; 2) Because you don't trust the link between the puzzle's title/meta hint/theme answers/meta answer.

My advice is, "Don't worry". There hasn't been a pageant since the original where people didn't fully make the connection to the title, and only connected the themed answers.
Bingo: "make the connection to the title": I just had not seen that nice link this week. Email sent to WSJ.
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SReh26
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#343

Post by SReh26 »

I found ladder, array and the direction in the clues to put in order. So first I rearranged some of the theme entries into other words with one letter off, such as foreword and welfare. I also found shorter words in the theme entries (such as far, for, we, go, arm, ill and win). I tried writing the theme entries backward but got gibberish. I noticed the many Ws in the theme entries.

Then I solicited a nudge, my world fell into place and, after a brief detour into a poetic abyss, I spent the remainder of the weekend volunteering. ☺️ For Muggles Sans Frontieres.
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Cindy
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#344

Post by Cindy »

Laura M wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:43 am I got FIRE first and was completely certain that the answer was going to be FIREWALL, and even tried to shoehorn WALL into the word ladder against all evidence that it just wouldn't fit. I had to let go of that idea in order to see that WILD actually did work. (But FIREWALL still goes better with the title!)
And that is exactly what my "almost" pageant was. I saw FIRE missing first, looked at the tile and thought FIRE WALL. Then after a brief moment had sense enough to finish the ladder.
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SReh26
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#345

Post by SReh26 »

Muggles Sans Frontieres - S.O.S.Muggles International

We can assist
We can help you persist
When you want to desist
and the hints were all missed

So DM our crew
We will help you
or give you a clue
and see what you can do
to see the Meta through

(If someone you know is thinking of giving up metas, feeling stupid or discouraged, breaking or chewing pencils, tearing up grids and flinging them toward but not into a basket, or rearranging their friends‘ and loved ones‘ names to find additional words therein, let them know they are not alone. There is help available.)
Last edited by SReh26 on Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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mntlblok
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#346

Post by mntlblok »

wild fire.JPG
So, just too stupid to arrange em properly. Do note that the missing ladder words are present in "white", now. :-)
mitchel674
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#347

Post by mitchel674 »

Saw the ladder clue. Arranged all of the twelve 4 letter words. Sadly, I still couldn't make the leap to the answer despite "hot" being in the title.

Asked for a nudge, but I'm glad I didn't follow through with offers. I still would not have solved without being clubbed over the head with the answer.

On to next week!
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Mister Squawk
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#348

Post by Mister Squawk »

I may be the only person who took the title to indicate a WWW related answer. After much time trying different world ladders, in particular tracing different lines on the grid between word ladder pairs (literal ladders a la Chutes and Ladders) the answer came to me as I was composing a nudge request.

My guess was going to be INTERNET.
Last edited by Mister Squawk on Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Wendy Walker
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#349

Post by Wendy Walker »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:14 am Tthe answer came to me as I was composing a nudge request.

My guess we going to be INTERNET.
I was lucky enough to be the "nudger" who witnessed Mister Squawk's epiphany on Sunday. He wrote, "As I'm typing this, it occurs to me that I could try to make a single ladder by adding some words... good wood word worm form farm fare FIRE fine wine wind WILD will well. Is that it? WILDFIRE?"
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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Colin
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#350

Post by Colin »

One of the beat pieces of career (and life) advice I ever had was “Trust your intuition.” If only I had applied that here. Like others, I got the three sets of ladder words that didn’t connect, checked all other 4-letter words in grid for the links, and then moved on to other time-wasting theories until I lost heart. Still, I did replace the alternator in my wife’s car and got rid of that hot link!
Last edited by Colin on Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
One world. One planet. One future.
JeanneC
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#351

Post by JeanneC »

Missed it this week. But I almost spit up my coffee this morning when I realized the song people were alluding to this weekend. Gawd, what a maudlin song! I remember rushing to turn off the car radio every time it played. What a good laugh I just had! 😂
“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions”. Lillian Hellman
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Joe Ross
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#352

Post by Joe Ross »

/\ /\ /\ /\
👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
Joe Ross wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:40 am Ashore, battered & bent.

Knew what I had to do in a general way. Couldn't do it. Remembered a major rule of engagement.
I spent more than a few minutes trying to document this "major rule of engagement" in Hints for Solving Meta Contests, but it isn't there. I will add it & reference this contest:

Look for what is NOT there, but 'should be.'
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SReh26
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#353

Post by SReh26 »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:05 am /\ /\ /\ /\
👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
Joe Ross wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:40 am Ashore, battered & bent.

Knew what I had to do in a general way. Couldn't do it. Remembered a major rule of engagement.
I spent more than a few minutes trying to document this "major rule of engagement" in Hints for Solving Meta Contests, but it isn't there. I will add it & reference this contest:

Look for what is NOT there, but 'should be.'
Very useful- in many contexts! 🤔
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DannyWalter
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#354

Post by DannyWalter »

Huh. A real challenge if you had never heard of a word ladder. I learned something new, so it's a good day.
michaelm
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#355

Post by michaelm »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:14 am I may be the only person who took the title to indicate a WWW related answer. After much time trying different world ladders, in particular tracing different lines on the grid between word ladder pairs (literal ladders a la Chutes and Ladders) the answer came to me as I was composing a nudge request.

My guess was going to be INTERNET.
You're not the only one!
I started extracting letters from many of the similar four letter words in the long answers and got very close to "mirrored", which seemed to fit the title.
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femullen
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#356

Post by femullen »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:14 am I may be the only person who took the title to indicate a WWW related answer. After much time trying different world ladders, in particular tracing different lines on the grid between word ladder pairs (literal ladders a la Chutes and Ladders) the answer came to me as I was composing a nudge request.

My guess was going to be INTERNET.
Maybe just one of two, Mister Squawk. Looking at the title, I thought, "Hotlinks, as maybe in golf, sausages, or computers." Looking then at the theme answers, I noticed the unusually large number of letters W, some of which were followed by the vowels O, I, and E, and this made me think "WOrld WIde WEb." Then, of course, I dove down the INTERNET rabbit hole for a while. (The northern half of my team again saved the day, pointing out the partial word ladder. Minutes later we were ashore. I'm nominating "Puzzled," my daughter, for Rookie of the Year.)
For nudges, feel free to PM me. I won't have a clue how to help you, but you just might shove me ashore.
otlaolap
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#357

Post by otlaolap »

JeanneC wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:43 am Missed it this week. But I almost spit up my coffee this morning when I realized the song people were alluding to this weekend. Gawd, what a maudlin song! I remember rushing to turn off the car radio every time it played. What a good laugh I just had! 😂
What is this song that people keep referring to? The puzzle contains "A Boy Named Sue". Never heard it or heard of it. Is that it?
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Joe
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#358

Post by Joe »

I ended up submitting my Hail Mary. Which was WILDFIRE. So I guessed I solved it.
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sharkicicles
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#359

Post by sharkicicles »

Joe wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:33 am I ended up submitting my Hail Mary. Which was WILDFIRE. So I guessed I solved it.
you didn't... not solve it? :)
MatthewL
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#360

Post by MatthewL »

mitchel674 wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 8:02 am Saw the ladder clue. Arranged all of the twelve 4 letter words. Sadly, I still couldn't make the leap to the answer despite "hot" being in the title.

Asked for a nudge, but I'm glad I didn't follow through with offers. I still would not have solved without being clubbed over the head with the answer.

On to next week!
100% this. Had the exact same experience. Saw the words, saw the ladder clue, came up with 3 different ladders of words, and never, ever thought to fill in the blanks. Even when I saw the solution, my first reaction was "what the heck??!!" Was going to throw a wild hail mary and submit "Sausages" (I mean, it fits with the title of the puzzle), but never got around to it. Next chance beckons in only 4 days.
Matthew
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