"We're Back in Business" - July 16, 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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DBMiller
Posts: 274
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:59 pm
Location: New Hampshire

#321

Post by DBMiller »

  • Saw that title, knew something backwards would come into play
  • Did the grid, noticed the long clue to "NINETOFIVE" and knew it was a hint
  • Ok, so a stretch of letters from position 9 to 5 (Is that the back we need?)
  • Got the phrase from the other long answers, and looked at 10A
  • I forgot what the clue for 10A was, and thought it was a city
  • Googled HAIK CAR COMPANY" and found MAC HAIK. Could that be it?
  • What does the title have to do with this? CAM? Ohhhh... KIA!
I do wonder how many "MAC"s will have been submitted.
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C=64
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#322

Post by C=64 »

I understood the mechanism from "Back" and NINETOFIVE, but I got it in my head that 9 to 5 was four letters instead of five, so I got NAME, RCOM, ANYA, TENA, ROSS, three of which are names. Then at some point I noticed that some of these were 5 to 8 and others were 6 to 9, and I was finally on my way. This is what two degrees in Math Education will get you. 🙄
otlaolap
Posts: 122
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:48 am
Location: Palo Alto, California

#323

Post by otlaolap »

Since I knew that each of the three pairs of theme answers would yield one letter of the answer, the subsequent detailed rabbiting is of no interest here. Seems I am back into being blinded by assumptions.
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SReh26
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Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:48 pm

#324

Post by SReh26 »

TRidgway wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:37 am Not in a million years. Huge props to those who found it!
This is why I feel there is no shame in asking for a nudge (or eight 😅). If it‘s that or not doing it at all, take a nudge (or a check). What I am striving for is holding off asking until I‘ve truly given it my all.
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Colin
Posts: 293
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:57 pm

#325

Post by Colin »

Oh boy! I wondered why this one had a 3-star rating!
My too-simple solution was to read back from grid square number 9 to square 5… the three letters in-between are KSA, which in HR/recruiting speak refer to Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. Matt’s solution is really elegant, although after a wonderful weekend looking after our two little grandkids, I was looking for a quick solve and the title led me to business nomenclature rather than a company name.
PS - My first job after graduating eons ago, was 8:18 to 5 except Fridays, which finished at 4:00 due to the additional 5x12 minutes gained by starting early.
One world. One planet. One future.
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femullen
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

#326

Post by femullen »

They say repetition is the mother of learning. Learning how to fail metas repeatedly sure is a mother.

I wrote out all the words appearing backwards in the theme answers:

NAME, CAR,
TAR, ARC, COME
SPA, SPAN, PAN, ANY, DIM
TEN, ALL
CROSS, ROW
IF, TEN, IN,

You can almost read "Name (of) car company ten across" in this array even without applying the 9-5 rule. Alas.

Decrementing the win/loss record...now.
For nudges, feel free to PM me. I won't have a clue how to help you, but you just might shove me ashore.
MarkWoychick
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2021 6:15 pm
Location: Boise, ID USA

#327

Post by MarkWoychick »

One of the dead ends I tried was combining words in the long answers and got RAT RACE, WORKDAY and NET-NET - I was thinking “maybe the answer has something to do with terrible business speak,” so TLA (three-letter acronym) crossed my mind as a possible answer, but I figured that was too arcane
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mheberlingx100
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:39 am

#328

Post by mheberlingx100 »

SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:22 am
TRidgway wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:37 am Not in a million years. Huge props to those who found it!
This is why I feel there is no shame in asking for a nudge (or eight 😅). If it‘s that or not doing it at all, take a nudge (or a check). What I am striving for is holding off asking until I‘ve truly given it my all.
And if you’ve only been doing these for a short time, you will get better and better as time goes on. I’ve been doing the WSJ contest puzzle for 4 years. The first few puzzles I had no clue. After a couple of years, I got maybe 75% of them. Now I’m on my longest streak ever - since mid-December (with a couple of close calls).

So, keep at it! Soon you’ll be treating yourself to Guinness at 4:15 pm Eastern time like Al S.
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mntlblok
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#329

Post by mntlblok »

MarkWoychick wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:59 am One of the dead ends I tried was combining words in the long answers and got RAT RACE, WORKDAY and NET-NET - I was thinking “maybe the answer has something to do with terrible business speak,” so TLA (three-letter acronym) crossed my mind as a possible answer, but I figured that was too arcane
Had to be a common one. We didn't find any arcane ideas from them, however. :-)
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mntlblok
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#330

Post by mntlblok »

mheberlingx100 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:10 am
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:22 am
TRidgway wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:37 am Not in a million years. Huge props to those who found it!
This is why I feel there is no shame in asking for a nudge (or eight 😅). If it‘s that or not doing it at all, take a nudge (or a check). What I am striving for is holding off asking until I‘ve truly given it my all.
And if you’ve only been doing these for a short time, you will get better and better as time goes on. I’ve been doing the WSJ contest puzzle for 4 years. The first few puzzles I had no clue. After a couple of years, I got maybe 75% of them. Now I’m on my longest streak ever - since mid-December (with a couple of close calls).

So, keep at it! Soon you’ll be treating yourself to Guinness at 4:15 pm Eastern time like Al S.
My fear is that this could be a gateway habit leading to cryptics.
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Wendy Walker
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#331

Post by Wendy Walker »

I had the right idea all along, but I first misinterpreted the hint as meaning the squares in theme answers BETWEEN 9 and 5; thus, my first backward triple was AME. Well! as any acrostic fan knows, that MUST be the start of AMERICA. That path went nowhere (see detail from my worksheet). Only a few hours later did I think to broaden my horizons -- the hint actually meant 9 THROUGH 5. There we go!
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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
Posts: 365
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Location: Philadelphia, PA

#332

Post by HunterX »

kfahey714 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:55 am I found this one to be extraordinarily difficult. My first rabbit hole was the double letters in several of the long clues, NN EE DD LL TT SS OO RR SS - of which there were 9 only to reaffirm that it had something to do with 59A, but of course no doubles were in UNDEMOCRATIC so I eventually moved on. I then went to using 9 to 5 in each of the long clues but got stuck looking at letters 9, 2, and 5 and then 6, 7, 8 and thinking "what's between 9-5." After nudge I was confirmed that this was basically the right mechanism but I kept excluding 9 and 5. Eventually it came to me to use all of 9-5, but even after that it took me a fair amount of time to read them together.
I used to get caught up highlighting the double letters, and then adding the diagonal groupings as well. Eventually I learned to ignore them (most of the time), along with other diagonal letter arrangements (most of the time) and anagrams (most of the time). I'll try them if I get desperate. But they are not at all common in meta mechanisms.

(Most of the time. But all's fair in metas!)
JetStream
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:56 pm

#333

Post by JetStream »

Well DOH! I have my sheet in front of me with NAMEC, ARCOM, PANYA, TTENA, CROSS (and also VIFOT) but vertically and not horizontally combined but it never hit me. Nice puzzle but alas I am lost at sea again.
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mikeB
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:50 pm

#334

Post by mikeB »

mheberlingx100 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:10 am
SReh26 wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:22 am
TRidgway wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:37 am Not in a million years. Huge props to those who found it!
This is why I feel there is no shame in asking for a nudge (or eight 😅). If it‘s that or not doing it at all, take a nudge (or a check). What I am striving for is holding off asking until I‘ve truly given it my all.
And if you’ve only been doing these for a short time, you will get better and better as time goes on. I’ve been doing the WSJ contest puzzle for 4 years. The first few puzzles I had no clue. After a couple of years, I got maybe 75% of them. Now I’m on my longest streak ever - since mid-December (with a couple of close calls).

So, keep at it! Soon you’ll be treating yourself to Guinness at 4:15 pm Eastern time like Al S.
Agreed, each journey through a solution (or attempt) adjusts the approach. In retrospect, the double hint of 9-5 and “Back” in the title should have steered me away from fiddling with RAT RACE and so on. But no. And my real rabbit hole was overthinking the advisory that the solution is “three letters long”. Usually it would say something like “a three-letter word”. Aha! Must be something other than a word. I went for INC, looked for ways to pluck INCORPORATED out of the grid so I could submit INC. I was essentially trying to work the meta backwards, reverse engineering from INC, not using 9 to 5, not using “BACK” – signs of inexperience. I set the puzzle aside to reset my mental Etch-a-Sketch. Upon return, I focused back on that double hint I was ignoring. Quick work after that. Lesson learned: If I discern a relevant hint(s), I don’t say Aha and go off in some other direction chasing a shiny object. Rabbits lie there. Keep the hints close and use them.
AnnieMac
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:38 am

#335

Post by AnnieMac »

Hello, Muggles! First-time poster but long-time time puzzler and fan of this forum. I can't believe it, but I won the mug this week and wanted to share a funny story. On Friday morning, I poured hot coffee into a mug, then crossed the kitchen and heard a small pop. The mug had cracked, so I quickly poured the coffee into another mug and told the universe that it owed me a WSJ mug. Then I looked at my still-unsolved meta, swam crookedly ashore, and sent in the answer. Sure enough, the universe --and Mike Miller--supplied the new mug! Thank you for all the support you unknowingly provided over many puzzles!
LaurenB
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:02 pm
Location: Columbus, GA

#336

Post by LaurenB »

I was definitely in the MAC camp. I submitted it around 10:30 pm just so I would have something to submit and wouldn’t forget. Then, as I was laying down to go to sleep just after midnight, I thought, “Kia!” Dang it!
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BarbaraK
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#337

Post by BarbaraK »

AnnieMac wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:54 am Hello, Muggles! First-time poster but long-time time puzzler and fan of this forum. I can't believe it, but I won the mug this week and wanted to share a funny story. On Friday morning, I poured hot coffee into a mug, then crossed the kitchen and heard a small pop. The mug had cracked, so I quickly poured the coffee into another mug and told the universe that it owed me a WSJ mug. Then I looked at my still-unsolved meta, swam crookedly ashore, and sent in the answer. Sure enough, the universe --and Mike Miller--supplied the new mug! Thank you for all the support you unknowingly provided over many puzzles!
Thanks for coming out of lurkerdom to tell us! And what perfect timing for you. Love getting to share the celebration of the mug winner!
Magistra
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 7:14 pm

#338

Post by Magistra »

Well, I got KIA using a faulty mechanism that I could not recreate at this point. Since Kia has not been out of business, I discarded that to pursue other faulty mechanisms. Alas. Would have been a great one to solve and I admire all who did!
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ajk
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Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:22 pm
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#339

Post by ajk »

A good example of the put it down and come back to it phenomenon for me.

I had the mechanism almost immediately but left off the last letter in each case (i.e., did 9 to 5 but not inclusive). I even saw CROSS in 49A and still didn't get it (lol). Wandered off into some other rabbit holes and gave up for a bit. Then a few hours later the idea of adding the last letter to each one hit me and the rest took about 10 seconds.
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billkatz
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:46 pm

#340

Post by billkatz »

I'm traveling and behind in my forum posting, but I did get to shore in time, and submitted the correct answer!
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