"Please Find Enclosed" - July 2, 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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#321

Post by Wendy Walker »

Worksheet before
20210705_102654.jpg
and after supper!
20210705_102701.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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BarbaraK
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#322

Post by BarbaraK »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:31 am
Hey! My hope is that everymuggle posts their answers, explanations, graphic reveals, and whatnot at midnight & beyond. I don't own the franchise!
I'm in the eastern time zone, so my goal (not always achieved) is to be asleep at the midnight deadline on Sundays. There have been a couple occasions over the years when I've been so excited about solving that I stayed up to post the answer right at 12, but not lately and not likely.

I started out thinking about rolls - egg roll, lobster roll, pecan roll - OK never really heard of an almond roll or oyster roll, but that could be a thing, because once I get stuck in a rabbit hole, I don't want to let it go. So how can I roll those entries around something and come up with letters...

Next up was 1 across BENTO - can I somehow arrange those foods in a nice rectangular bento box? 27 letters totally, so has to be 9x3, so not really, but what if there's another part of the name somewhere...

Then, what are these enclosed in? Egg could come from an EMU (2 down) and lobster from ASEA (19A) and ... nothing for the rest

It was only when I finally tried the surrounding letters and saw the answer that I realized shell, not roll, was the commonality 🤦
Annabelle wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:04 am DNF for me too. Still on the boat. I found the hidden foods, but didn't get the number references after a couple of tries within each grid answer and the letters in boxes 1-10, to no avail. Didn't get paleo out of elapo,, the starts of the hidden words and didn't get the shell reference. And still don't get the numbers after reading the answer. What does the M in nutmeggeek have to do with the number 8? Oh, well, there's always another puzzle!
The M and the E are the "shells" around the EGG in nutMeggEek.

The M is the 8th letter in the solution and the E is the third letter:

Code: Select all

S H   E   L L G A   M   E S
1 2   3   4 5 6 7   8   9 10
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mntlblok
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#323

Post by mntlblok »

MikeM000 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 7:20 am I was lucky on this one...I saw the foods inside, and the first thing I did was to just write out the letters in 2 columns from the spots in the long answers named in parentheses. I got ESLLH TBOCE. My first reaction was "SHELL" anagrammed (which made me *headslap* on what the foods had in common) and knowing how a shell game works, figured an anagram was ok here. I then spent occasional time over 3 days trying to force GAMES out of the 2nd set of letters to no avail, and submitted the right answer at 10 pm last night after spending the holiday at my father-in-law's.
And, yet, you coulda wasted *much* more time down there. . .

lobst echel
blotch seel
tech sloble
stole belch
belt sleech
leech bolts
steel bolch
shoe bleclt
bolt scheel
cell shobet
best hocell
cello shteb
shell to bec
Last edited by mntlblok on Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Darth
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#324

Post by Darth »

For some reason, the answer rose to the surface quickly. Was it the force? Or, something else?... meTA COgnition, for example.
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C=64
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#325

Post by C=64 »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:34 am This answer made me think of the Foreigner Song Head Games.
Ugh, me too. For 3 days solid.
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DBMiller
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#326

Post by DBMiller »

Didn't start until late Thursday night. Finish the grid and saw the enclosed foods. Knew from the numbers that I needed two from each to make a ten letter answer. Tried first and last of each food and got nowhere so slept on it.

Went down the yolk/white/albumin and pearl/nacre rabbit hole. Got stumped on lobster and the nuts. Set it down for a bit and then realized they all had shells. Now I have ELAPOSSSSS and that went nowhere.

Went to lunch and took out my phone for another look now that I made the shell connection. Looked at the surrounding letters et voila!

When I posted my done and done I noticed someone used the word shellacked which I thought was a bit of a spoiler. Our fantastic moderator took care of that.
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mntlblok
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#327

Post by mntlblok »

Oh, and was initially certain (before being reminded of the numerals amongst the clues) that the answer must be about cracking a shell. *But*, having spent nearly four decades in the low country, I knew that one doesn't "crack", but rather "pries", oyster shells open. Was all revved up for some serious picking of nits.

When I finally tested the letters surrounding the items with shells (and I still have no idea "why"), I ended up with SHELL SAMEG. But, "shell games" *did* jump out at me, so I concluded that the final step had the letters for "GAMES" hidden under those English walnut half shells, waiting to be whipped around by the operator of said game into the proper re-arrangement. Couldn't decide whether that should be thought of as being rather harsh or kind of cute. :-) (No footnoting necessary should some puzzle writer wish to steal that). :-)

So, when my wife went right through things that afternoon on the beach - in spite of my constant taunting - and finally turned her puzzle over to reveal her answer, listed in the proper order from the first try. . .
Last edited by mntlblok on Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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whimsy
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#328

Post by whimsy »

Somehow I knew that it was what was around the food that would give me the answer. But rather than using the numbers to indicate placement in the final phrase, I tried to use them for letter selection. After enough machinations (Count 6 from the end of the theme for the second letter of the two, count 3 from the start, count backwards from the first letter of the food, forwards from the last letter -- all sorts of stuff.) And somehow, one effort gave me SHELL pretty reliably, which fit and was probably where I wanted to head. I was able to latch onto some of the letters of GAMES, but not all. (I admit to doing a lot of circular thinking!) So I simply went with that and chalked up the bits where I couldn't get it exact to some fancy-dancy thing I was supposed to be doing that would mimic the maneuvers of an actual carnival barker speedily swapping those outside shells around!

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HunterX
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#329

Post by HunterX »

whimsy wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 11:21 am Somehow I knew that it was what was around the food that would give me the answer. But rather than using the numbers to indicate placement in the final phrase, I tried to use them for letter selection. After enough machinations (Count 6 from the end of the theme for the second letter of the two, count 3 from the start, count backwards from the first letter of the food, forwards from the last letter -- all sorts of stuff.) And somehow, one effort gave me SHELL pretty reliably, which fit and was probably where I wanted to head. I was able to latch onto some of the letters of GAMES, but not all. (I admit to doing a lot of circular thinking!) So I simply went with that and chalked up the bits where I couldn't get it exact to some fancy-dancy thing I was supposed to be doing that would mimic the maneuvers of an actual carnival barker speedily swapping those outside shells around!
My son also noticed that counting from the left for the first number in a pair, and counting back from the right for the second, yielded SHELL for numbers 1-5. It broke down after that. Smug dad here just said, "You're over-complicating it."
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iggystan
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#330

Post by iggystan »

As some here have said, the foods jumped right out at me. Then I started to look for entries that would go with those foods, such as pecan pie. The entry "pile" looked promising but only yielded one letter. One rabbit hole squash-ed. I had thought the answer was "shell games" before finally getting the "aha" moment to use the letters surrounding the food items. I always try to remind myself to apply the KISS principle to these puzzles. It doesn't always work, but often it does.

EDIT: Forgot that I looked at "Barr" for "oyster bar", but again it only yielded one letter.
Last edited by iggystan on Mon Jul 05, 2021 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Al Sisti
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#331

Post by Al Sisti »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:34 am I found the foods and noticed they all had shells. Like others I focused on what is inside the foods: yolk, nut, meat but obviously that went nowhere. After I nudge I got shellgame and declared victory too soon. My nudgor in chief put the last S on, for savings.

This answer made me think of the Foreigner Song Head Games. Actually so does every meta.
I wondered if anyone was going to flag your original post (#68) as a semi-spoiler. I know it cinched it for me...
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MikeM000
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#332

Post by MikeM000 »

Al Sisti wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:52 pm
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:34 am I found the foods and noticed they all had shells. Like others I focused on what is inside the foods: yolk, nut, meat but obviously that went nowhere. After I nudge I got shellgame and declared victory too soon. My nudgor in chief put the last S on, for savings.

This answer made me think of the Foreigner Song Head Games. Actually so does every meta.
I wondered if anyone was going to flag your original post (#68) as a semi-spoiler. I know it cinched it for me...
On Thursday, when I first saw that post you reference, I was thinking it was the *first time* she had solved the WSJ meta and the Foreigner song was, well, you know....
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SReh26
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#333

Post by SReh26 »

MikeM000 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:56 pm
Al Sisti wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:52 pm
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:34 am I found the foods and noticed they all had shells. Like others I focused on what is inside the foods: yolk, nut, meat but obviously that went nowhere. After I nudge I got shellgame and declared victory too soon. My nudgor in chief put the last S on, for savings.

This answer made me think of the Foreigner Song Head Games. Actually so does every meta.
I wondered if anyone was going to flag your original post (#68) as a semi-spoiler. I know it cinched it for me...
On Thursday, when I first saw that post you reference, I was thinking it was the *first time* she had solved the WSJ meta and the Foreigner song was, well, you know....
There are so many foreigner songs tho. I don’t think it was a spoiler. Esp given last week’s Wildfire references. And Joe kind of gave up reining (no pun intended) me in.

As far as my solving history, you’d have been correct, except I had two nudges. And I got two puzzles on Hail Mary passes - Reese‘s Pieces and Water. I‘m not SANGUINE that I will ever solve one SOLO, but if and when that occurs I‘m not going to hide it. 😅

Topic: is getting it on a Hail Mary a sign of innate genius (my hypothesis 🤣) or does it not count because it was just a guess (majority view)?

Bonus points: thinking of updating my screen name to Plain Chacalaca. SReh26 seems a bit dated. I won’trush this decision since it is of great moment. DrTom, who introduced Muggledom to that rara avis, gave his unofficial blessing. It also would be a phenomenal password component, so I‘m torn.
Last edited by SReh26 on Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HunterX
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#334

Post by HunterX »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:06 pm Topic: is getting it on a Hail Mary a sign of innate genius (my hypothesis 🤣) or does it not count because it was just a guess (majority view)?
Whether it "counts" is all in the eye/mind of the beholder. For your own sake, if your Hail Mary turns out to be correct, do you feel as if you "solved" the meta? (I doubt it.) Or do you perhaps feel like a meta-savant who subconsciously perceived the mechanism and worked through the various steps without consciously knowing you did so? Or, on the other hand, do you think you made a logical guess that fit the theme and/or title and/or clue, and might have been evoked by various themes or letters/words, and then got lucky?

I'm guessing there's a sliding scale at work here. It's possible seeing elements of the answer could cause you to prefer one (correct) guess over another (wrong) one.
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Limerick Savant
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#335

Post by Limerick Savant »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:36 am Worksheet before 20210705_102654.jpg and after supper! 20210705_102701.jpg
So what was for dinner?

Egg drop soup
Oysters Bienville
Lobster Thermador
Pecan pie
And an
Amaretto cordial on shore?
Dedicated to no nonsense nonsense
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SReh26
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#336

Post by SReh26 »

HunterX wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:25 pm
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:06 pm Topic: is getting it on a Hail Mary a sign of innate genius (my hypothesis 🤣) or does it not count because it was just a guess (majority view)?
Whether it "counts" is all in the eye/mind of the beholder. For your own sake, if your Hail Mary turns out to be correct, do you feel as if you "solved" the meta? (I doubt it.) Or do you perhaps feel like a meta-savant who subconsciously perceived the mechanism and worked through the various steps without consciously knowing you did so? Or, on the other hand, do you think you made a logical guess that fit the theme and/or title and/or clue, and might have been evoked by various themes or letters/words, and then got lucky?

I'm guessing there's a sliding scale at work here. It's possible seeing elements of the answer could cause you to prefer one (correct) guess over another (wrong) one.
Def logical guess with a side of luck. With Reese‘s, I had the considerable advantage of being a long standing connoisseur of junk office candy. But PEA was in the lower right corner of the puzzle, so with that and the clue of bit parts, pieces really leapt to mind. However, Charleston Chew had been my first guess. 😂

WTTW: 99.6 percent of what I write here is not intended to be serious.
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ajk
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#337

Post by ajk »

Spotted foods quickly, recognized the shell connection almost as quickly. Initially forgot about the numbers, so was thinking maybe it was a phrase that was just supposed to be obvious and not encoded.

After a short while came up with "A SHELL GAME" (lol almost right), but still didn't feel like it was sufficiently obvious. I was literally in the middle of writing a PM to someone when I remembered my standard blindspot is to forget to look closely at the clues, and of course as soon as I did I remembered the numbers.

Still dithered about for a bit trying to index various things like the full grid entries, the foods with SHELL tacked onto them, etc. Eventually backsolved it by assuming the answer was A SHELL GAME and looking for the M's in the grid, which led to spotting the enclosures.
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HunterX
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#338

Post by HunterX »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:34 pm
Def logical guess with a side of luck. With Reese‘s, I had the considerable advantage of being a long standing connoisseur of junk office candy. But PEA was in the lower right corner of the puzzle, so with that and the clue of bit parts, pieces really leapt to mind. However, Charleston Chew had been my first guess. 😂

WTTW: 99.6 percent of what I write here is not intended to be serious.
Charleston Chew? That's a new one on me. Named after the dance, not the city, no less. Can't imagine why they combined a dance and a candy. Wonder if there's a Jitterbug Jawbreaker...
Twist Twizzler...
Moonwalk Milkdud...
Robot Rolo...
Squaredance Sourdrop...
Breakdance Bubblegum...
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SReh26
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#339

Post by SReh26 »

HunterX wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:53 pm
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 1:34 pm
Def logical guess with a side of luck. With Reese‘s, I had the considerable advantage of being a long standing connoisseur of junk office candy. But PEA was in the lower right corner of the puzzle, so with that and the clue of bit parts, pieces really leapt to mind. However, Charleston Chew had been my first guess. 😂

WTTW: 99.6 percent of what I write here is not intended to be serious.
Charleston Chew? That's a new one on me. Named after the dance, not the city, no less. Can't imagine why they combined a dance and a candy. Wonder if there's a Jitterbug Jawbreaker...
Twist Twizzler...
Moonwalk Milkdud...
Robot Rolo...
Squaredance Sourdrop...
Breakdance Bubblegum...
if not, there certainly should be!

Disco Dots
New Wave Nougat
Hip Hop Honeycomb
Zydeco.....?
Ben B
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#340

Post by Ben B »

Our Rabbit Holes this week included ROLLS which we were stuck on for some time. Then I became convinced the answer was WORDSEARCH and tried to backsolve. But we are getting better every week and this is yet another reason that Friday is my favorite day of the week. We still solve old school with the paper and email our answer.
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