"Under the Table" - July 9, 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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hoover
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#441

Post by hoover »

Thanks for the correction re 2018, not 2017. Please refer to the upthread message re off-by-one errors. ;)
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mntlblok
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#442

Post by mntlblok »

KayW wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:05 pm
mntlblok wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:25 am
Found it fascinating back when my wife explained to me that she enjoyed programming because "it's like working puzzles". :-)
My sentiments exactly!! Back when I worked, I was mostly a maintenance coder because I knew :sauropod: languages - COBOL, FORTRAN, SAS... Modifying or debugging existing code is often just like solving a meta. And even more frustrating/rewarding (depending on which side of the solution I'm on). They paid me to solve puzzles!
However, she *did* just inform me that the language most used in programming is profanity.
zach
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 1:55 pm

#443

Post by zach »

Bob cruise director wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:28 pm
zach wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:22 pm
Bob cruise director wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:38 am

In case anyone was wondering, from the beginning of written records (April 29, 2016), the solve percentages by constructor are:

Matt Gaffney - 72.4% for 132 metas
Mike Shenk - 78.0% for 109 metas
Peter Gordon - 82.1% for 6 metas
Patrick Berry - 85.6% for 16 metas

Overall average of metas is 74.8%
Weighted average (total solves/total entries) is 79.7% - A lot more submissions on the easier contests
Interesting data! Thanks for sharing.

I’d love to see the Gaffney puzzle success rate by “with parentheses in the clues” vs. “sans parentheses.” I bet those parentheses puzzles are what make his puzzles the most difficult.
If you go back through the puzzles the Joe Ross has posted and tell me which ones had parentheses vs sans parentheses, I can give you those statistics.
Sent you a PM.

For my fellow dataheads out there:
- 19 of 136 Gaffney puzzles (14%) since 4/29/2016 have had parentheses in the clues as a step in the mechanism
- Of the 19, 13 puzzles (68%) had what I am calling “cryptic numbers only.” For example: “(4,7)”
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whimsy
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#444

Post by whimsy »

Bunnies are not all bad --
Why, this one is completely above board, not under the table, when it comes to cash transactions --

https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... ing+change
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mntlblok
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#445

Post by mntlblok »

zach wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 12:49 pm
Bob cruise director wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:28 pm
zach wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 3:22 pm

I
Sent you a PM.

For my fellow dataheads out there:
- 19 of 136 Gaffney puzzles (14%) since 4/29/2016 have had parentheses in the clues as a step in the mechanism
- Of the 19, 13 puzzles (68%) had what I am calling “cryptic numbers only.” For example: “(4,7)”
By "cryptic" you mean? Sorry for my density.
zach
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#446

Post by zach »

mntlblok wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:23 pm
zach wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 12:49 pm
Bob cruise director wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:28 pm

Sent you a PM.

For my fellow dataheads out there:
- 19 of 136 Gaffney puzzles (14%) since 4/29/2016 have had parentheses in the clues as a step in the mechanism
- Of the 19, 13 puzzles (68%) had what I am calling “cryptic numbers only.” For example: “(4,7)”
By "cryptic" you mean? Sorry for my density.
Numbers that have no designated meaning. Some of his puzzles have years in parentheses, and one recent one, for example, had number of miles. Others are just things like “(4,7)” and the solver must determine what the numbers represent.
JetStream
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Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:56 pm

#447

Post by JetStream »

Dang! I think I might have been able to get this one - I was looking for periodic table clues - but I only printed out the finished grid and didn't keep the clues. Oh well......
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Bob cruise director
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#448

Post by Bob cruise director »

Hello all - Zach asked an interesting question this week about the dreaded parentheses. Are Matt Gaffney's metas with parentheses more difficult than ones without parentheses. The second part of the question is that there are two kinds of parentheses - those where he tells you what they mean and those which are just there.

So Zach went through Matt's metas and sorted out which ones had parentheses and which ones did not. He also separated the two kinds of parentheses but I have not gotten to them yet. I merged Zach's work with the data I had and concluded the following:

Matt has done 133 metas of which 18 had the dreaded parentheses and 115 did not have any parentheses

The average of the 18 metas with parentheses is the WSJ submissions were 68% correct
The average of the 115 metas without parentheses is the WSJ submissions were 73% correct.

More analysis to follow but there is good reason to dread the parentheses

LOL
Bob Stevens
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Meg
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#449

Post by Meg »

I wonder, if Matt reads these comments, what he thinks about Muggles and our relationship with parentheses. Aren’t they like asterisks? Helpful pointers toward the meta? Isn't it the numbers inside the parentheses that are really the problem? Yeah, that’s the ticket! Blame it on the numbers!!
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RPardoe
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#450

Post by RPardoe »

Bob cruise director wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:50 pm
The average of the 18 metas with parentheses is the WSJ submissions were 68% correct
The average of the 115 metas without parentheses is the WSJ submissions were 73% correct.
My conclusion: Parentheses = better odds for getting the MUG!
Meta Nudges - If you need some help, please feel free to PM me with what you have tried and where you are stuck.
Cryptic Puzzles - If you are stuck or want to understand how to parse a clue, please feel free to PM me.
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mntlblok
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#451

Post by mntlblok »

Parenthetical numerals showing up around 4 today would be a near certainty, then? :-)
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mntlblok
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#452

Post by mntlblok »

mntlblok wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 2:32 pm Parenthetical numerals showing up around 4 today would be a near certainty, then? :-)
Never mind. :-)
P1h3r1e3d13
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#453

Post by P1h3r1e3d13 »

Joe Ross wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:26 am Not to mention B, Ba, C, *H, *I, N, O, P, Pr, Re, U, & *W!
Dang! You've pulled my chemist card. Nice spreadsheet.
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