"I've Got Two Words For You" - July 30, 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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KayW
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#461

Post by KayW »

SusieG wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 am
I was also triggered by Don Ho. Can’t recall is I’ve told that story here? He’s in the crosswords frequently enough I suspect that I have.
ol' teflon brain here is not the one to ask, but I don't remember a Don Ho story. Do tell, please.
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Janet
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#462

Post by Janet »

pjc wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:57 pm
Tom Shea wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:49 am

I had JG Ballard via a similar route.

On to next week.
That's what I had first, too.

But it didn't feel solid, so I kept looking, noticed the five two-word entries, saw NICE KID as the outlier and Google led me to the answer.

I was expecting more of a confirmation in the grid or the answers - since all of the other authors had two works listed, I was hoping to see two of her works somewhere, but, no. That kept it from being a solid CLICK for me. I tried to convince myself that the clue 'Groundbreaking' could refer to 'Broken Earth' - or that 'Great Cities' could be coaxed from the slightly odd 'wrestling great' clue and the city names crossing NICE KID. But I was just fooling myself :-)

Anyway, I submitted what turned out to be the correct answer, so all's well that ends well...
Yeah, I was hoping for a couple of her works referenced, too, but I think that may have made it too easy.
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SusieG
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#463

Post by SusieG »

KayW wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:57 pm
SusieG wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 am
I was also triggered by Don Ho. Can’t recall is I’ve told that story here? He’s in the crosswords frequently enough I suspect that I have.
ol' teflon brain here is not the one to ask, but I don't remember a Don Ho story. Do tell, please.
Everyone in our house has a chuckle when they hear his name. When I was 17 my grandmother took me to Hawaii. The highlight of the trip (for her) was going to a Don Ho show. Afterwards we went backstage to get his autograph and he would peck the little old ladies on the cheek. The ladies loved it. When he saw me, he jumped over the table, grabbed me and French kissed me. I was HORRIFIED! The old ladies - my grandmother included - whooped and whistled like it should have been the thrill of my lifetime. I still cringe when I hear/see his name, or god forbid, hear “Tiny Bubbles.”
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hcbirker
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#464

Post by hcbirker »

KayW wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:57 pm
SusieG wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 am
I was also triggered by Don Ho. Can’t recall is I’ve told that story here? He’s in the crosswords frequently enough I suspect that I have.
ol' teflon brain here is not the one to ask, but I don't remember a Don Ho story. Do tell, please.
All I know is if I had married him, my name would be Heidi Ho.
Heidi
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SusieG
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#465

Post by SusieG »

hcbirker wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:25 pm
KayW wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:57 pm
SusieG wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 am
I was also triggered by Don Ho. Can’t recall is I’ve told that story here? He’s in the crosswords frequently enough I suspect that I have.
ol' teflon brain here is not the one to ask, but I don't remember a Don Ho story. Do tell, please.
All I know is if I had married him, my name would be Heidi Ho.
It does have a nice ring to it!
architect
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#466

Post by architect »

Solved this puzzle over the weekend, but I wasn't on the computer where I have my password, so I couldn't report my success.
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Tom Shea
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#467

Post by Tom Shea »

SusieG wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:23 pm
KayW wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:57 pm
SusieG wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 am
I was also triggered by Don Ho. Can’t recall is I’ve told that story here? He’s in the crosswords frequently enough I suspect that I have.
ol' teflon brain here is not the one to ask, but I don't remember a Don Ho story. Do tell, please.
Everyone in our house has a chuckle when they hear his name. When I was 17 my grandmother took me to Hawaii. The highlight of the trip (for her) was going to a Don Ho show. Afterwards we went backstage to get his autograph and he would peck the little old ladies on the cheek. The ladies loved it. When he saw me, he jumped over the table, grabbed me and French kissed me. I was HORRIFIED! The old ladies - my grandmother included - whooped and whistled like it should have been the thrill of my lifetime. I still cringe when I hear/see his name, or god forbid, hear “Tiny Bubbles.”
Don Ho got around, as they say. From Wikipedia:

"Personal life
Relationships and children
Ho married twice and had ten children by three women"

"Since Ho's death, his estate has been in limbo because of numerous management conflicts[12] and legal changes that transpired while he was struggling with his mental and physical health."

You can't legally download his songs because there are so many parties arguing over the estate still (He died 14 years ago).

Another of his hits that isn't Tiny Bubbles:
Rufus T. Firefly
MikeMillerwsj
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#468

Post by MikeMillerwsj »

A very big turnout this week--2345 entries (nice number, right?), with about 63% correct. That figure (below our usual rate of about 75%) was suppressed by a massive vote for H.G. WELLS (503, or about 22% of the total). Other voters saw the two-initial trick but missed the mark with JG BALLARD (75), JK ROWLING (6), GJ OGDEN (5), and HP LOVECRAFT (an entry in the puzzle itself, but he got 26 votes). Plus a bunch of sci-fi writers: ASIMOV (44), VERNE (25), BRADBURY (20) and sundry others.

Congrats to this week's winner: Nancy Baliga of Rockford, Ill.!
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SReh26
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#469

Post by SReh26 »

ok I feel better! HG Wells was my first thought and hope too!
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Meg
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#470

Post by Meg »

That’s a lot for H.G.! My first guess, but cooler heads, or at least this cooler head prevailed. 503!
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mikeB
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#471

Post by mikeB »

I thought this was a very clever meta and fun for the solving. As for the target-named author’s eminence, it doesn’t seem to me to be a factor. If a solver gets to the two-words abbreviated, times four, then happens to notice that NK is the distinctly orphaned fifth pair of letters, then the only impediment to hitting the beach is their lack of a very specific piece of knowledge in a niche subject area. At that point, whether they’re on the beach as a long-time fan of Jemisin, or resort to googling NK, or give up after searching for secondary hints as to the last name, they have had the fun, earned at least a sip of the mai-tai, and learned from the challenge. As with others here, I would have loved seeing H.G. Wells as the solution. Imagine if, instead of NICEKID, the answer at that spot had been MERCURY. (As in: the owner of the atomic symbol HG, as well as linking to Mercury Theatre, where his War of the Worlds caused so much angst). But NICEKID closed the circle very nicely for this meta, in my opinion..
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LadyBird
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#472

Post by LadyBird »

Janet wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:53 pm Greetings all! I sneaked out of the ship and forgot to inform our Captain I was ashore. I really enjoy Jemisin's work. I wonder if she knows she was the puzzle's meta?
Even though we Muggle nerds may find it hard to believe, she has probably never heard of us! Or the WSJ meta contest. ;)
JRS51
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#473

Post by JRS51 »

ZooAnimalsOnWheels wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 1:34 pm I'm new to the cruise, as you can see by my post count, but I had to come aboard to discuss this one. I quickly noticed the author double initials and the associated answers, but wasn't sure where to go from there, even though NK stood out as an unused two-word entry. I hadn't taken note of NK Jemisin until now.

But I was drawn to the books used in each author's clue. It was always one well-known example, and another seemingly plucked from their works at random. The more well known work was always listed first, except in the case of JD Salinger. Then I noticed the titles of all the books listed second contained 'Out' (for Lovecraft) or 'In' (for the three others).

But like @MatthewL and @woozy above, I had found 'helipad' as my HP clue and never saw 'hot pot'! And it continued to bother me that 'helipad' wasn't really a two-word answer. But I then connected it with the fact that Lovecraft's second work was the only one that contained 'out', and so I thought he shouldn't be part of the grid.

I eventually had to google "NK science fiction" to find Jemisin, but when I saw her name I said, "Oh, Lovecraft is out, and Jem-is-in!" I continued to look around the grid to see if I could find 'JEM' anywhere significant. I was still fairly sure that Jemisin was correct based on 'Nice Kid', but like other solvers said, it wasn't 100%. I'll be interested to see the discussion with the setter and whether those example works had any significance.
I did also notice the pairing of a famous and a more obscure title in each author’s clue. I didn’t delve as deeply as you did into a possible correlation, though ( and I’m glad I didn’t!).
JRS51
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#474

Post by JRS51 »

mikeB wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 6:04 pm I thought this was a very clever meta and fun for the solving. As for the target-named author’s eminence, it doesn’t seem to me to be a factor. If a solver gets to the two-words abbreviated, times four, then happens to notice that NK is the distinctly orphaned fifth pair of letters, then the only impediment to hitting the beach is their lack of a very specific piece of knowledge in a niche subject area. At that point, whether they’re on the beach as a long-time fan of Jemisin, or resort to googling NK, or give up after searching for secondary hints as to the last name, they have had the fun, earned at least a sip of the mai-tai, and learned from the challenge.
You sum this up very nicely. That’s pretty much how I felt all weekend as I read the comments here. I enjoyed this meta.
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TeaJenny
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#475

Post by TeaJenny »

hcbirker wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:25 pm
KayW wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:57 pm
SusieG wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:20 am
I was also triggered by Don Ho. Can’t recall is I’ve told that story here? He’s in the crosswords frequently enough I suspect that I have.
ol' teflon brain here is not the one to ask, but I don't remember a Don Ho story. Do tell, please.
All I know is if I had married him, my name would be Heidi Ho.
And just think: if the two of you had lived next door to Mister Rogers, every morning he could have waved to you and called out, "Heidi Ho, neighbor!"

(I'll see myself out...)
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ricky
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#476

Post by ricky »

I liked this meta a lot. I'm not a sci-fi reader but knew of Jemisin from people who are - she's about as big as you can be within a genre without yet breaking into the mainstream, a little like George RR Martin in fantasy before GoT became a TV show.

I appreciated having an answer that was an actual 2021 cultural reference, even if that meant many solvers wouldn't know it off the tops of their heads, because the puzzle mechanism's output told you exactly what to Google it no bells were ringing.
Check out the contest meta at Lexicon Devil

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SusieG
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#477

Post by SusieG »

So after hearing about the meta this week my husband bought a book by a well-known author of whom he was not previously aware. I hope she’s giving Matt some kickbacks.
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TheCatt
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#478

Post by TheCatt »

The solutions where the puzzles "suggests" an answer, like this one, and some others, are always a little unsatisfying to me. Also, since I was not familiar with the author. But when I asked my spouse if they knew of a writer with the initials NK, they immediately said "Well, NK Jemisin is super well-known." So, just a blind spot for me.
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DianeA
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#479

Post by DianeA »

TeaJenny wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:04 pm
hcbirker wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:25 pm
KayW wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:57 pm ol' teflon brain here is not the one to ask, but I don't remember a Don Ho story. Do tell, please.
All I know is if I had married him, my name would be Heidi Ho.
And just think: if the two of you had lived next door to Mister Rogers, every morning he could have waved to you and called out, "Heidi Ho, neighbor!"

(I'll see myself out...)
Wasn't "Heidi Ho, neighbor" the greeting for Tim "the Toolman" Taylor by his neighbor, Wilson? The 80's show "Home Improvement".
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TeaJenny
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#480

Post by TeaJenny »

DianeA wrote: Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:28 am
TeaJenny wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 8:04 pm
hcbirker wrote: Mon Aug 02, 2021 4:25 pm

All I know is if I had married him, my name would be Heidi Ho.
And just think: if the two of you had lived next door to Mister Rogers, every morning he could have waved to you and called out, "Heidi Ho, neighbor!"

(I'll see myself out...)
Wasn't "Heidi Ho, neighbor" the greeting for Tim "the Toolman" Taylor by his neighbor, Wilson? The 80's show "Home Improvement".
Was it? I didn't watch that show, so I honestly don't know.
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