"Thorough Enough" - September 24, 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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iggystan
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#341

Post by iggystan »

Matt's puzzles can be quite devious, I learned that from working through a book of metas of his. I was nowhere near the shore on this one. I find it interesting that I don't have much trouble with "regular" crosswords (I love the NYT puzzles), but metas still give me some problems. I wonder if it's a different wiring issue or my relative lack of experience so far.
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ZooAnimalsOnWheels
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#342

Post by ZooAnimalsOnWheels »

I only solved it today with several nudges in the right direction and away from rabbits. I was thoroughly stumped for most of the weekend, but when I saw those who did solve it commenting here that it was clever and fun, I decided I was going to finish it with incremental help.

Like many others, I was hung up on the ACROSS, assuming it or its clue was a solving directive rather than one of eight meta clues. As a film fan, one of the first things I noticed was that FORMAN's clue only mentioned the 1980s, where I associate him first with "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" from 1975, and its symmetry with ACROSS kept me looking at it. But it took me a number of nudges away from other theories before I got to the place where I considered alternate answers and then one more to connect them to the puzzle title.

I doubt I would have got there on my own, but it was fun to eventually get there.
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TheDeej
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#343

Post by TheDeej »

PQ63 wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:26 am Did anybody go down the George Thorogood (good bread), Thoroughbred (bread), Thoroughfare (fairway) rabbit hole?
Yes, yes I did. You're not alone.
tiagomeunome
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#344

Post by tiagomeunome »

iggystan wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 6:55 pm Matt's puzzles can be quite devious, I learned that from working through a book of metas of his. I was nowhere near the shore on this one. I find it interesting that I don't have much trouble with "regular" crosswords (I love the NYT puzzles), but metas still give me some problems. I wonder if it's a different wiring issue or my relative lack of experience so far.
wow! he has a book of metas? i feel like i need to get this and start studying so i can get better at these contest crosswords lol
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JAQT
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#345

Post by JAQT »

JAQT wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:29 pm I'm totally lost at sea. I thought I had step one, but it eventually led to nothing significant.

I'm submitting a hunch based on that wayward path, but it's a total Hail Mary.
My rabbit hole (like others here) started with 71A (ACROSS). I interpreted ACROSS as a directive to find the A's adjacent the theme entries (at least, what I thought were the theme entries) and to go across the themers to the letter on the other side (A-Cross). There were 8 such A's (in truth, there were 9 but one of them had an A on both sides), which for me yielded the letters UAENBTSR -- Hey! Almost an anagram of the word ABSTRACT which fits the hint.

But I was never able to get it to work. I submitted ABSTRACT anyway, as my Hail Mary, expecting it to be wrong because (1) the mechanism had no relation to the title "Thorough Enough" and (2) I couldn't get it to work.

I would have taken the mug anyway, even though it was a guess.
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SewYoung
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#346

Post by SewYoung »

JAQT wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:48 pm
JAQT wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:29 pm I'm totally lost at sea. I thought I had step one, but it eventually led to nothing significant.

I'm submitting a hunch based on that wayward path, but it's a total Hail Mary.
My rabbit hole (like others here) started with 71A (ACROSS). I interpreted ACROSS as a directive to find the A's adjacent the theme entries (at least, what I thought were the theme entries) and to go across the themers to the letter on the other side (A-Cross). There were 8 such A's (in truth, there were 9 but one of them had an A on both sides), which for me yielded the letters UAENBTSR -- Hey! Almost an anagram of the word ABSTRACT which fits the hint.

But I was never able to get it to work. I submitted ABSTRACT anyway, as my Hail Mary, expecting it to be wrong because (1) the mechanism had no relation to the title "Thorough Enough" and (2) I couldn't get it to work.

I would have taken the mug anyway, even though it was a guess.
I have always said that if I should be lucky enough to win the mug on a guess, I would accept it on behalf of the ones that I actually solved and understood and didn't get chosen for the mug. Of course I realize that the odds of being chosen are not in my favor, anyway. One can dream, though, can't one.
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C=64
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#347

Post by C=64 »

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boharr
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#348

Post by boharr »

^
Interesting as Matt has said he often gets ideas from his kids' activities.
pjc
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#349

Post by pjc »

Oh, yes - all the replies talking about answer ACROSS reminds me. That answer was sitting at 70. Up at 50 was ATONE, which I could read as AT ONE, so I thought for sure there was some directive threading through the puzzle that ended as AT ONE ACROSS. Of course, there wasn't! :-D
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mntlblok
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#350

Post by mntlblok »

Deb F wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:56 pm
Bob cruise director wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:56 pm
Deb F wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 2:30 pm Like our Cruise Director, I've been immersed in Ryder Cup, so I'm very late in posting. It's clear to me that I am not in possession of "good crossword solver's thinking", certainly this week. Hanging with Isaac, happily, and not figuring on a beach side arrival this week.

Enjoy the weekend, Muggles.
I have never seen so many shots land in places that I am familiar with. And I have never seen so many impossible recovery shots either.

John Rahm made a bunch of unbelievable putts.

Singles tomorrow should be outstanding

Couldn’t agree more on all your comments, Bob. Love where we we ended the day. Enjoy the matches and let’s hope the 4 we need come easily with maybe another 4 for good measure. Deb
Finally nearing the end of the coverage. The level of golf skill in the world now is just unbelievable. Most entertaining.
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KscX
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#351

Post by KscX »

mydogsam wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 2:17 pm THOROUGH ENOUGH: An Alternate Solution

Thorough = Thoreau

Thoreau: Say it right! The name of the man who penned Walden is Henry David Thoreau, pronounced THOR-oh, not Tho-ROW, say scholars, even though the majority of Americans accent the last syllable. How do we know? Jeffrey S. Cramer, curator of collections at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, says the evidence is irrefutable. "Thoreau himself made an incredible number of puns" on his own name, puns whose meaning hinges on saying the name as if it were "thorough."

Manhattan (17A): “I don’t like the city better the more I see it, but worse. I am ashamed of my eyes that behold it. It is a thousand times meaner than I could have imagined. It will be something to hate, —that’s the advantage it will be to me; and even the best people in it are a part of it, and talk coolly about it. The pigs in the street are the most respectable part of the population. When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man?”

Good Bread (27A): “With every new year, I find myself going back to bread. It’s the opposite of what we’re “supposed” to do in January; I should be telling you about a new energizing juice cleanse. But if we diet to restore the body, we bake to restore the spirit, cultivating the qualities we wish to embody throughout the year: the determination to begin, the self-assuredness to knead the dough, the resourcefulness to change course if it goes awry, the patience as it rises, the patience as it cooks, the patience as it cools.”

Never The Less (47A): Thoreau, seeing in his times that frightening compulsions for bigness, progress and excessive wealth were ruining the country, sought to gain his reader's attention with the two most magnificent - and - most moral - words in "Walden": "Simplify, simplify." For those of dim vision, he used directness: "Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one; instead of a hundred dishes, five; and reduce other things in proportion." For Thoreau, small was not only beautiful, it was sane and honorable. He pitied townsmen in nearby Concord who kept panting after larger farms, bigger houses, wider barns and heavier cattle. If acquired, this load of wealth crushes and smothers, until "men have become the tools of their tools."

Congestion/Common Cold (62A): “I have been sick so long that I have almost forgotten what it is to be well, yet I feel that it all respects only my envelope.” He caught a severe cold in December, 1860. The cold persisted and developed into chronic bronchitis with cough which lasted all through 1861. His condition gradually worsened and he died of “consumption” on May 6, 1862.

Hint: The answer to this week’s contest crossword is an eight-letter word describing a good contest crossword solver’s thinking.

What is common between a good contest crossword solver’s thinking and Thoreau’s thinking?

SOLUTION: Thoreau's writing style is dense with metaphor, and filled with sentences that pile on observation after observation, and reflection upon reflection, until, before you know it, you've gotten to the end of the paragraph without crossing nary a period.

Now isn’t META-phor a more sensible answer than changing all those answers to incorporate all that “OUGH” gobbely-gook?
More than a few sentences of explanation, but I like it. CORRECT.
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HeadinHome
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#352

Post by HeadinHome »

HunterX wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:36 am Nope. Never would have gotten this one.

Got stuck on a number of rabbit holes:
- The U shaped arrangement of I-D-E-X-A-L-A in both the upper-right and lower-left.
- The various 3-letter combos that repeated and had a letter on one side of it, then on the other side of it, such as ALI-G with D-ALI, EXA-M and T-EXA-(N), H-ALO and ALO-E(S), etc.
- AIWA was phonetically like Iowa.
- AIWA was in (F)-AI-R-WA-(Y) with an R in the middle, as URB was in (D)-UR-A-B-(LE) with an A in the middle.
- There were eight 2-word clues with alliteration, e.g. "Perfect place," "Antique auto," "Serious snake," etc. Though I usually find alliteration in clues is common and not helpful. But the CAB for "Pickup part" is a synonym for TAXI, and MULE is another MIXED DRINK...
- THOROUGH is pronounced like Thoreau so were there any pond references, or environmental themes, such as NEVERTHELESS contains E-R-T-H which could be made into EARTH with an A. And B.F. Skinner's "Waldon Two" is about a UTOPIA...
FREAKY how similar this list is to my flailings and failings. Also spent a lot of time with all the 4-letter words only one letter different as someone else said (DELI/DALI, DALI/ALIG), and felt sure there was a reason THOR was in the title and ODIN in the grid.
With the repeated groups of letters (such as AIWA in FAIRWAY — and sitting right above it, too), just like the repeated OUGH of the title, I never considered I should be looking anywhere but in the grid. Didn’t help that I had to do this on a hand-drawn grid because on vacay with no printer (hate doing them on screen/puz) — so I didn’t usually have the clues in front of me when analyzing… Which, by the way, would have been my Hail Mary if i had cared to submit one: ANALYTIC. (The word that I usually use when describing the kind of thinking needed to solve these is DISCURSIVE, but of course that’s too many letters.)
In the end, I just put it aside, since i was hoping to get some reading done on vacay and this had already occupied hours of my precious down time, with no reward.
The other Wendy. :roll:
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HunterX
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#353

Post by HunterX »

HeadinHome wrote: Thu Sep 30, 2021 10:01 pm
HunterX wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:36 am Got stuck on a number of rabbit holes....
FREAKY how similar this list is to my flailings and failings....

In the end, I just put it aside, since i was hoping to get some reading done on vacay and this had already occupied hours of my precious down time, with no reward.
Smart move.
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