"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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DrTom
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#281

Post by DrTom »

I got distracted by NADA and immediately thought NOUGHT, I also had THOUGH for ALTHOUGH (since THOUGH is the first thought for NEVERTHELESS and I had DOUGH for SOURDOUGH thinking that "bread" for a sandwich was a play on words and I needed to buy a sandwich. I echo the comments about TROUGH for Nosh Spot, maybe we just run in different circles?

Because of all my herrings I did not get to the answer without some "no, no, no don't do that" kind of directions so I did get to shore but this would not count as one of my favorites, I think there were too many distractions for me.
NUDGES! If you see that I have solved, feel free to PM me, along with what you have done so far, and I'll be happy to nudge you onto the right track.

This is a community, feel welcome, and never feel uncomfortable asking a question.
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sharkicicles
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#282

Post by sharkicicles »

This was one of those “never in a million years” ones for me.
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mlvilv
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#283

Post by mlvilv »

I had 'trough' for nosh spot and just 'dough' instead of sourdough for pumpernickel, so put all together those first letters did not spell out anything. I'm proud for having the right idea because once I had my list of 8 words I did assume the first letters would spell out something but they did not. I went for 'methodic' as an answer by plucking those letters out of the theme answers but it was not elegant so I knew it was a reach.
MaineMarge
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:57 pm

#284

Post by MaineMarge »

Oooh! I love homonyms! Whenever I get one of these word puzzles, I credit my years teaching 2nd grade. And Google when necessary.
I thought this fun meta was just tough enough.

Now here’s a thoroughly tough specimen
ED1614CD-045C-4C60-8DA3-071BB569E459.jpeg
The boughs of this young heirloom Wealthy apple tree are bowed nearly to the ground with fruit this year. Great name for a great apple!

The Wealthy Apple Tree was created by Peter Gideon in 1868 who named the apple variety after his wife, Wealthy Gideon!❤️
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SReh26
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#285

Post by SReh26 »

At first I thought it was a literary meta - Thoreau. I had rough for durable at first instead of tough. i thought the two longest vertical answers were relevant and came up with slough and draught. Nudges got me to shore. It all seems so obvious.... once you get it!
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CPJohnson
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#286

Post by CPJohnson »

This meta makes me feel obtuse.
Cynthia
bread-girl
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#287

Post by bread-girl »

RobM wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:04 am I couldn't get anywhere past the first step on this one. I got BOR, SOURD, TH (or possibly ALTH), and C, but couldn't figure out what to do with them.
Same here. Oh well, maybe next week!
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mheberlingx100
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#288

Post by mheberlingx100 »

I saw the NEVERTHELESS/although first and worked on from there. The last was sourdough, even asking my wife for a bread that conformed to s—ough construction. Fortunately I asked the (unofficial) Sourdough Queen of North Jersey. She gave out over 100 batches of sourdough starter last spring.
PQ63
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#289

Post by PQ63 »

Did anybody go down the George Thorogood (good bread), Thoroughbred (bread), Thoroughfare (fairway) rabbit hole?
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TheCatt
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#290

Post by TheCatt »

Oh man, briefly entertained the "What else could Manhattan be" trail, but couldn't find 8 of those to go with it.

Got stuck on all the clues that had As... so many As. Kept trying to make something out of A CROSS, or using the clues without As.
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Colin
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#291

Post by Colin »

Like my compatriots at the Ryder Cup, I stood no chance yesterday. My swing was nowhere near symmetrical and I missed the fairway… found the rough… this course was too tough for me!
Too much time on 70A trying to find a cross in the grid, which yielded tough and rough. Then got dough instead of sourdough… on and on. Found myself needing a ‘borough’ - whatever that is.
Congrats to solvers!
One world. One planet. One future.
Ergcat
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#292

Post by Ergcat »

Franklin.Bluth wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:10 am
RobM wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:04 am I couldn't get anywhere past the first step on this one. I got BOR, SOURD, TH (or possibly ALTH), and C, but couldn't figure out what to do with them.
I got stuck there too, but the clue about "8 Scrabble 1 pointers" = O TILE made me think I was looking for 8 across answers, and once I remembered Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1A) it was pretty close (ABS__AC_) already.
Why/how did “8 Scrabble 1 pointers” = OTile make you think 8 ACROSS answers? That was actually a rabbit hole for me making me look at the “O”s in the grid and seeing if 8 of them lead to the answer.
Then “70a = from one side OF to the other side OF” was another huge rabbit hole as I looked at the letters on both sides of the only “OF” in the grid —right in the middle— ( the end of PROF).
I also saw “Thor” in the title and “Odin” in the grid and went on a Norse god search….
Last edited by Ergcat on Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Flying_Burrito
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#293

Post by Flying_Burrito »

Very clever. I am still amazed by the same group who constantly gets the answer within the first 15 minutes.
I got to bits and pieces of the solution, but never stitched it together. Like Colin above, my via Crucis started with 70A and the search of a cross w/in the solution. Matt's definition "From one side of to the other side of" completely threw me off (why is adding the preposition 'of' was my constant question, which led to useless thinking about letters near "PROF") but now I understand why.
Senor Guaca Mole :mrgreen:
zach
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 1:55 pm

#294

Post by zach »

I spent the entire weekend trying to back into what turned out to be the correct answer, but I never got there.

Ultimately, what I will call an “anti-spoiler” led me astray as someone posted early on that they were able to solve the meta using their phone. I read way too far into that post, assuming that if you can solve it on your phone, the clues probably don’t play a role. Whoops!
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Mister Squawk
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#295

Post by Mister Squawk »

This was my first page one solve. I figured out the mechanism before even finishing the grid based on the contrived and doofy answers to 17A, 27A, and 41A. (On what planet is pumpernickel considered a good sandwich bread?)

From there I got quickly to _BSTRACT. It took a quick visit to Wikipedia to find the A and that was that.

I got nowhere, however, with "Spider Dreams" and I also failed spectacularly with the Saturday NYT.
Katiedid
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#296

Post by Katiedid »

Darn. I got the meta very quickly, but forgot to send in the answer! :?
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HunterX
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#297

Post by HunterX »

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...

The closest I got was that THOROUGH contains ROUGH, which is also where a golf drive could land, and could be how you could handle something that is DURABLE. But never took it any further. And I focused on the 4 long/themed answers since 2 letters from each would result in an 8-letter word.

Oh well. The 43-week streak has ended. And Isaac has a mortgage on my house. I ended up finding some boxed wine in a closet used to store mops for swabbing the deck, and drank it out of a plastic solo cup until Doc found me and sent me to my cabin with some aspirin and an ice pack for my forehead.

Black coffee for me this morning. And lots of it!
MMac
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Location: Glencoe, IL

#298

Post by MMac »

Biggest rabbit hole in which I’ve ever been trapped:
Everything I saw pointed me clearly to use the word “OF”:

• The important final clue 70A conspicuously and unnecessarily uses the word: “From one side of to the other side of

• Exactly eight clues use the word “of”, also unnecessarily. E.g., Maker of Toast software could be clued as Toast software maker. I’m looking for an eight-letter word so this MUST be the right first step

• Exactly eight clues have a word containing “of” backwards (as in “follow”)

• THOROUGH shows how “ough” ends in an O sound; ENOUGH shows how the same letters make an F sound.

Never been so certain, never been so wrong.
Franklin.Bluth
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Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:22 pm

#299

Post by Franklin.Bluth »

Ergcat wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:54 am
Franklin.Bluth wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:10 am
RobM wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:04 am I couldn't get anywhere past the first step on this one. I got BOR, SOURD, TH (or possibly ALTH), and C, but couldn't figure out what to do with them.
I got stuck there too, but the clue about "8 Scrabble 1 pointers" = O TILE made me think I was looking for 8 across answers, and once I remembered Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1A) it was pretty close (ABS__AC_) already.
Why/how did “8 Scrabble 1 pointers” = OTile make you think 8 ACROSS answers? That was actually a rabbit hole for me making me look at the “O”s in the grid and seeing if 8 of them lead to the answer.
Then “70a = from one side OF to the other side OF” was another huge rabbit hole as I looked at the letters on both sides of the only “OF” in the grid —right in the middle— ( the end of PROF).
I also saw “Thor” in the title and “Odin” in the grid and went on a Norse god search….
It just felt like a clue...so specific (8 one pointers, we're looking for an 8 word answer), plus the O tile showed up in both words of the title. I started by plugging all the across answers into a Scrabble calculator hoping a few of them would have a score of 8, but only got two (UTOPIA and one other...can't remember now).

I also went down the OF hole like you, as well as looking from the westernmost squares of the grid to the easternmost.

I think ultimately it was the combination of COUGH and BOROUGH that got me through. Just seemed too coincidental among the four long answers. Then when I got ATTENBOROUGH, I had ABS__C_ and basically guessed at that point.
RDaleHall
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Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:52 pm

#300

Post by RDaleHall »

I had COUGH originally lightly penciled in for what ended up being CONGESTION, and similarly caught on to BOR, SOURD(or D?), TH (or possibly ALTH), and C; so kind of figured that was going to be the path.

Took a break and came back to notice TOUGH and ROUGH; though at first thought both might be ROUGH ("Rugged"clue) but the answer of DURABLE pointed more to TOUGH. So was in a mode of B S R/T R A/T C for a while but didn't have the last pieces.

Then went back to the clue and figured the word needed to be either something that ended in -TIC, or that the AC needed something like a T at the end. The rest fell in... As in my favorite ATTENBOROUGH line from Jurassic Park, my effort "Spared no expense..."
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