"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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#401

Post by mntlblok »

mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:04 pm Credit Lewis Carroll for the word ladder.
Inventor of a rabbit hole himself.
Am aloof to such.
[/quote]

Found the Wikipedia article on this fascinating as heck, actually. :-)
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mntlblok
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#402

Post by mntlblok »

This song could easily have been a contender for the Eurovision Song Contest! 😂 😢
[/quote]

Dang! I'm learning all *kinds* of stuff!

"Eurovision has however gained popularity for its kitsch appeal"
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LadyBird
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#403

Post by LadyBird »

MatthewL wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:49 am 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.
SAUSAGES was my Hail Mary. Alas, no reason to be checking my junk email folder this week to see if my mug email was waylaid!
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LadyBird
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#404

Post by LadyBird »

mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:46 pm
Ann wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:50 am The cost of solving the puzzle was steep: the hideous strains of “wildfire” running through my brain.
Dave Barry does an excellent analysis in his list of bad songs. And it’s bad. Really, really bad.
Thank you for that reference. :-) https://www.deseret.com/1997/6/29/19320 ... orst-songs
There is a quote in that article that should appeal to @Al Sisti : "Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs" is a short, lightweight book. But that doesn't mean it won't make you laugh at loud. Or that it won't take you on a fun-filled ride down memory lane after which you will have the tune of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" stuck in your brain.
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#405

Post by mkmf »

Ann wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:50 am The cost of solving the puzzle was steep: the hideous strains of “wildfire” running through my brain.
Dave Barry does an excellent analysis in his list of bad songs. And it’s bad. Really, really bad.
Thanks for the Dave Barry suggestion Ann! Googling, I found this excerpt from one of his bad song survey articles. I tried to read this paragraph out loud and couldn't couldn't finish for laughing. Gardeners take note:
...Many readers are still very hostile toward the song "Wildfire," in which singer Michael Murphy wails for what seems like 97 minutes about a lost pony. (As one voter put it: "Break a leg, Wildfire.") Voter Steele Hinton particularly criticized the verse wherein "there came a killing frost," which causes Wildfire to get lost. As Hinton points out: " . . . `killing' in `killing frost' refers to your flowers and your garden vegetables, and when one is forecast, you should cover your tomatoes. . . . Nobody ever got lost in a killing frost who wouldn't get lost in July as well."
Quote is from ChicagoTribune.com article "THE LION MAY SLEEP TONIGHT, BUT THE READERS ARE RESTLESS" Jan 31, 1993 by the great Dave Barry.
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Colin
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#406

Post by Colin »

LadyBird wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:29 pm
MatthewL wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:49 am 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.
SAUSAGES was my Hail Mary. Alas, no reason to be checking my junk email folder this week to see if my mug email was waylaid!
Sausages sounds good to me! My dear old dog would’ve voted for that too! Mine would have been LINEWISE - made up of the only two other four-letter words in the grid that ‘ladder’ into the twelve theme words.
One world. One planet. One future.
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femullen
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#407

Post by femullen »

Wildfire?

I must be the luckiest guy on earth...

I mentioned to Madame du chateau that the answer to this week's WSJ crossword contest was WILDFIRE, and that many on this forum seemed repelled by a song of that name. I asked if she knew it. The pretty nose wrinkled upward, the pretty mouth down. "Ugh," quoth she, which I think means the same thing in English. What's the matter with it, I wanted to know. "Treacle!" was all she could utter between splutters of distaste.

I must be the luckiest guy on earth: 1. Madame du chateau years ago said, "Yes," and 2. I've never been able to parse the words in pop music--so much noise. Wildfire? I have no idea what they're singing about.
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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#408

Post by MatthewL »

SusieG wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:22 pm
BarbaraK wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:15 pm
Susan Goldberg wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:22 am No. It’s called Wildfire by Michael Murphey from the 70’s. It’s about a now deceased former lover. Wildfire was her horse.
I thought it was her pony. Not willing to listen to the song to find out, but that's what's in my head.

And I bring it up only because I was just this afternoon wondering - are horses and ponies different species or different breeds or what? Sure, I could google it, but with all the smart people here there must be an equine expert to ask :)
Believe it’s the same species, but they’re just different sizes. Horses are over 14 hands high, ponies are under. Hands are how horses’ heights are measured. I grew up riding Western, but I believe the differentiation is 14.2 for English riders.
My daughter has a pony and rides in USEF and USDF events. It's 14.2 hands in that world. You actually have to get the pony measured by a USEF or USDF judge every year until the animal turns 8, whereupon you get your permanent pony card. My daughter's pony is exactly 14.2, so just made it. We told him to slouch when he was getting measured. :roll:
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LadyBird
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#409

Post by LadyBird »

Oh my goodness, the rabbit holes that I have seen this weekend:
***Like several others, all of those Ws made me think of the internet.

***I was suspicious of the clue for LADDERS (should be rungs not steps)--and did have some attempts at word ladders, but not nearly enough of an attempt.

***I saw TEE up in the NE corner and thought Links=golf=tee. It didn't help getting out of that hole when I discovered 8 Ts in the grid.

***Then I saw ENDWISE. Maybe that means "END Ys". Alas, there were too many clues with words ending in Y and not enough grid answers ending in Y. I also tried putting all of the theme answers endwise, but that too went nowhere.

The weekend was spent chasing bunnies. Today, at my volunteer gig, my time was spent chasing (more like cleaning up after) baby raccoons and baby goslings and baby oppossum.
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tigerfly222
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#410

Post by tigerfly222 »

woozy wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:01 pm "This week it seemed the Submit button was missing from the online version of the puzzle, so I had to submit via email for the first time. Did I just miss it?"

Rather strange. I've never seen a submit link at all on the online puzzle ever. But interestingly, on the non contest puzzles when you complete the grid correctly you get a congratulations pop-up. You don't get that on the meta puzzles as you are not done just by doing the grid. This week I *did* get the pop-up when I completed the grid. I hypothesis, however data-entered the puzzle forgot to indicated it was a meta.

I guess I will further hypothesize that there is something about the Firefox Browser that the script to give a submit button when you complete the grid just fails to work and that is why I have *never* seen one and have no idea what you are talking about.

I do sometimes wonder if *none* of my submissions have ever been received as I've always submitted by e-mail and have never received any form of confirmation.
Since you've answered my question, I'll try to answer yours. I also use Firefox. And the Submit button is there from the start, not just when you've completed the grid. It's below the puzzle, in a small row of other buttons like "Contest Info." It's nothing fancy, all it does is pop up a window where you enter your name, email, and meta answer.
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#411

Post by ricky »

One thing I couldn't stop getting distracted by was the presence of both LOATHES and LATHES, especially given that LATHES could have been replaced with another valid entry (CACHES, I think). Never mind that the relationship between those two entries had no parallel elsewhere in the grid.
Check out the contest meta at Lexicon Devil

Latest puzzle: "Put Your Foot Down," 9/25/21

Deadline: Thursday, September 30, 12 PM EST
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KayW
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#412

Post by KayW »

woozy wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:01 pm I do sometimes wonder if *none* of my submissions have ever been received as I've always submitted by e-mail and have never received any form of confirmation.
I have a story about that. I've been submitting answers since the very first WSJ contest five years ago. Not the right answer every week mind you, but most weeks I submit. I played around with the web submission form a few times but mostly I submit via email so that at least I have a record in my sent folder as to whether or not I submitted.

I have won zero mugs to date. I never ever got any acknowledgement of my submissions except for once back in March of this year. I checked my inbox as usual on Monday morning and was so excited to see a message from Contest, Crossword at 10:58 am (LOL the message is still in my inbox).

But it was not to notify me that I won. The text:

Code: Select all

Hello, we don't always read every note in our contest mailbox but just stumbled on yours--many thanks for such kind words 
and hope you and your family is well too!
(Throughout the pandemic, I've been adding a little extra "thank you note" to my submissions in appreciation to the WSJ for doing its part to help maintain my sanity by cranking out the paper and contest.)

It was nice to get a "thank you for my thank you". And to know that not all my submissions are ending up in the cyber dead letter office. But WHY did they have to send that message out on a Monday morning? And if they really appreciated my sentiments, couldn't they have picked me for the mug while they were at it? :lol:
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John77
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#413

Post by John77 »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:00 am Image
Thanks, Joe. That explanation helped me more than the one published in the WSJ.
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. —H. L. Mencken
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#414

Post by Zobo3737 »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:03 pm
Zobo3737 wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:52 pm Clever puzzle, but can someone please explain how “hotlinks” is relevant to the solution?
HOTLINKS - WILDFIRE

HOT - FIRE, easy enough

LINKS - WILD & FIRE were the two missing LINKS in the word ladder, or word chain
Ok, thanks. Not your best, but fair.
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Limerick Savant
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#415

Post by Limerick Savant »

DrTom wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:50 am

I got really distracted by LATHES LOATHES when I was working the ladder because it was SO odd to have either of those words, and especially BOTH of them one letter apart. I spent a lot of time trying to find other "drop a letter" words, but had I done so I would have agonized over the long two word answers. I know Mr. Berry will say "Oh. no that was coincidence" but I'm not buying it
I too was distracted by the LOATHES/LATHES relationship while working the grid but was loathe to take that turn 😉 believing it likely led down a rabbit hole 🕳. I felt the eight letter answers broken into four letter words offered a more promising route since there clearly were elements of a word chain puzzle present but after reading about the many wayward paths some Muggles followed, I am grateful for my procrastination. Since I literally left myself only minutes to work on the meta before the deadline, I had no time to overthink the solution. Realizing the chain could not be completed without 2 missing links, I was content with a solution that also related to the hot in the title. Had I had more time I could have perseverated on any number of false leads. My new plan is to spend as little time as possible working the meta and see if that brings clarity in the future.

BTW, speaking of perseveration, I have a few 4 letter word chains for those who called my attention to that horrible earworm. It will take a lot of Mitchell, Dylan, and Coltrane to blot that out of my brain. 🤯
Dedicated to no nonsense nonsense
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Joe Ross
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#416

Post by Joe Ross »

The song, Wildfire, is universally reviled. No doubt. "Treacle" is its Whole-World Championship descriptor.

As an earworm replacement, along with a suggestion for another as bad, if not worse, I offer America's Horse with No Name.

Discuss. Fistfights & eye-gouging encouraged, but leave the pool cues in their racks, please.
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Al Sisti
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#417

Post by Al Sisti »

LadyBird wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:39 pm
mntlblok wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:46 pm
Ann wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:50 am The cost of solving the puzzle was steep: the hideous strains of “wildfire” running through my brain.
Dave Barry does an excellent analysis in his list of bad songs. And it’s bad. Really, really bad.
Thank you for that reference. :-) https://www.deseret.com/1997/6/29/19320 ... orst-songs
There is a quote in that article that should appeal to @Al Sisti : "Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs" is a short, lightweight book. But that doesn't mean it won't make you laugh at loud. Or that it won't take you on a fun-filled ride down memory lane after which you will have the tune of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" stuck in your brain.
Love Dave Barry! I also have a list of Christmas songs that I write about every year in a series I called "Badvent," where I work backwards from "so-so" to "What the...?"
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#418

Post by Wendy Walker »

Joe Ross wrote: Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:03 am
As an earworm replacement, along with a suggestion for another as bad, if not worse, I offer America's Horse with No Name.

Discuss. Fistfights & eye-gouging encouraged, but leave the pool cues in their racks, please.
Horse with no Name is far, far worse:
"In the desert
You can't remember your name
'Cos there ain't no one for to give you no name."
What does that even mean?
And HOW IS IT that I can remember these vile lyrics from high school at the drop of a hat ... but I can't remember where I put my eyeglasses????
BTW before he jumped ship to the Miami Herald Dave Barry worked at my home-town newspaper, the Daily Local News in West Chester, PA. His first-person colonoscopy story is a classic.https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv- ... 28847.html
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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#419

Post by mntlblok »

BTW before he jumped ship to the Miami Herald Dave Barry worked at my home-town newspaper, the Daily Local News in West Chester, PA. His first-person colonoscopy story is a classic.https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv- ... 28847.html
[/quote]

Once wrote Dave and accused him of having written the book about Ben Franklin entitled _Fart Proudly_, as I was only used to laughing out loud from reading *his* stuff. :-) He actually sent me a post card back and informed me that it had been written by George Will.
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MikeM000
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#420

Post by MikeM000 »

otlaolap wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:29 am
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?
I honestly do not know this "Wildfire" song, but (Apology In Advance for putting this through your head all day) am I right in thinking the performer is the same chap who did..

But what's the glory in livin?
Doesn't anybody ever stay
together anymo-ore?
And if love never...
Lasts forever, tell me -
WHATS FOREVER FOR?

As for my previous post, I cannot see "Wormwood" without thinking

They smelt of pubs
And Wormwood Scrubs*
And too many right-wing meetings

(*name of an English prison)

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