"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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SReh26
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#301

Post by SReh26 »

I got a late start on this as I was busy with other things this weekend. So I found myself panicking as we approached the deadline. I ignominiously begged some muggles for aid like Eliza Doolittle. I frantically looked up words with ough in them. Midway through, I wondered, essentially, WTAF?? Why does this matter so much to me? Across-and-Down Syndrome? Meta-Bolic Syndrome? But once the aha moment occurred, I knew it was all worth it.
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Cindy N
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#302

Post by Cindy N »

ALTHOUGH/THOUGH was one of two sticking points for me. I knew 6/8 of the ACROSS fills to use and figured out some of the OUGHs, but ACROSS was actually the other sticking point. Since I took that as the Gaffney hint, I did not expect it to be used with the solution. When I figured out the FORMAN/ATTENBOROUGH and I had a friendly suggestion that what I had was "very good with one small modification. There is symmetry to help to identify all 8." Figured out the modification was ALTHOUGH and then went to work with ACROSS.

I've looked a couple of previous Gaffney's and it bore out that the hint itself didn't seem to be used - or I suppose at least not consistently - as one of the fills.
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femullen
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#303

Post by femullen »

Probably like many of us, I looked quickly through the clues and answers for OUGH words and came up dry. For reasons that rational man cannot rationalize, I suddenly noticed the side-by-side answers DURABLE and FAIRWAY were related to TOUGH and ROUGH. This lucky break (my goal in life is to be as lucky as Wendy or Al) soon led to _ _ STRACT, which was enough to send in an answer and join the shore party.

Never went back to figure out where A and B might come from. I just inferred them, which is, fittingly, a method of abstraction.
For nudges, feel free to PM me. I won't have a clue how to help you, but you just might shove me ashore.
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Tom Shea
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#304

Post by Tom Shea »

Anyone else have the Fabulous Thunderbirds earworm like me?
Rufus T. Firefly
MatthewL
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Location: Atlanta, GA

#305

Post by MatthewL »

For some reason, this one, unlike so many others, just came very quickly to me. Manhattan was what jumped out to me first, as no one's first thought on that would be mixed drink. Then pumpernickel. Then the rest came fairly quickly once I realized the OUGH mechanism. Did get stuck on "Beer Hall Vessels" briefly, as that seemed like the alternate answer could be TROUGHS. But I had enough letters by then to discard that and find the final letter (Attenborough). Also, I noted that this one just seemed to be a variation on a theme of Gaffney puzzles -- I'm thinking of the This That and The Other Thing one he did back in April. Substitute a word in the grid for another word that the clue could also describe. Anyway, fun puzzle. Still waiting on the email that tells me I won the mug. Should be arriving any time now ...
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kfahey714
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#306

Post by kfahey714 »

Congratulations to anyone who is crazy enough to reach that solution. In what world are those 8 answers symmetrical, much less so obviously symmetrical so as to constitute a clue that we should look at only those 8? My first answer on Manhattan was "Metropolis" but I was never going to get there with "alternate" answers that would not actually fit into the grid. Back to a zero week streak!
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BarbaraK
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#307

Post by BarbaraK »

I’ve had a bad track record with this type of meta, where you need to find an alternate answer for the theme clues. So I was extra pleased with myself for seeing this one and hope the lesson sticks.
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JJD
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#308

Post by JJD »

I’m great at finding very plausible rabbit holes!
There are 8 “thorough enough” answers:
Doctor electric October second previously professor urban examination (or, you could use Delicatessen, which contains the word delicate, an antonym for rugged.) surely that’s the right path!

Yeah, I have always struggled on these alternate answer metas. The long answers all made perfect sense to me, so I didn’t think they were wonky at all.

Also, it couldn’t possibly be a coincidence that AIWA fits nicely into FAIRWAY, leaving you a R. And the wonky URB fit into DURABLE, leaving an A. Or maybe PUMPERNICKEL is a rye, which is similar to RAY.

Even when I was literally shoved off the boat towards shore, I got Though instead of Although, and just got stuck because there was only 1 vowel and 7 consonants.

If I had to have guessed an answer, it was going to be DETAILED, because the answers that weren’t THOROUGH ENOUGH were “de-tailed”.
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ship4u
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#309

Post by ship4u »

When I googled "pumpernickel" I learned that it is something you would not want to be called. My wife did not believe me when I told her the apparent German translation of the word.
Tom Wilson
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#310

Post by Tom Wilson »

I drove headlong into a cul-de-sac: a half-assed word chain that started promisingly, from "whiskey sour" to "sourdough" ... then stopped dead, with nowhere else to go. D'oh, indeed. Better luck next week, Wilson.
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hunkra
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#311

Post by hunkra »

ship4u wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:41 am When I googled "pumpernickel" I learned that it is something you would not want to be called. My wife did not believe me when I told her the apparent German translation of the word.
Thanks for introducing me to my newest insult! :lol:
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Kas
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#312

Post by Kas »

Kas 5. Guess I'll be hanging with with Isaac this week...it is what it is!
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HunterX
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#313

Post by HunterX »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 8:32 am (On what planet is pumpernickel considered a good sandwich bread?)
My planet, for one. But to each their own...
MatthewL wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:51 am Manhattan was what jumped out to me first, as no one's first thought on that would be mixed drink.
Excuse me??? I beg to differ!
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OGuyDave
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#314

Post by OGuyDave »

Reading about all the rabbit holes and solving tactics has been very interesting. My giveaway was the title, with both words ending in "ough." My first thought for the answer to "17A Manhattan, e.g." was borough, just like MatthewL. From there, easy sailing.

Aside: The city of New York hosts a Five Boro Bike Tour every year. When I did it close to thirty years ago, it had over 17,000 people, all wearing the mandatory orange safety vest. Never during the ride was I more than six feet from the nearest biker. It traversed the Verrazano Narrows bridge. I thought the views would be spectacular, but nope: monstrous guard rails were blocking those would-be views. The ride was fun, but was a once-and-done experience for me.


Coconut cream? No thanks.

TFTXWD again
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Gman
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#315

Post by Gman »

I was completely stuck on the 8 in the clue for U TILE, the ACROSS in the lower left (there were exactly 8 A's in the middle of a 3 by 3 cross), and the long O versus the ə sounds made by the ough sounds in the title. So, not only was this puzzle hard, but there were vicious killer rabbits to chase. Luckily this community supplied me with a Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch (thou shall count to three) with which to move on to pursue the magic WSJ Mug.
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Deb F
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#316

Post by Deb F »

JJD wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:29 am I’m great at finding very plausible rabbit holes!
There are 8 “thorough enough” answers:
Doctor electric October second previously professor urban examination (or, you could use Delicatessen, which contains the word delicate, an antonym for rugged.) surely that’s the right path!

Yeah, I have always struggled on these alternate answer metas. The long answers all made perfect sense to me, so I didn’t think they were wonky at all.

Also, it couldn’t possibly be a coincidence that AIWA fits nicely into FAIRWAY, leaving you a R. And the wonky URB fit into DURABLE, leaving an A. Or maybe PUMPERNICKEL is a rye, which is similar to RAY.

Even when I was literally shoved off the boat towards shore, I got Though instead of Although, and just got stuck because there was only 1 vowel and 7 consonants.

If I had to have guessed an answer, it was going to be DETAILED, because the answers that weren’t THOROUGH ENOUGH were “de-tailed”.
[It's always gratifying to see someone go down the same rabbit hole. I saw what you did and stayed there all weekend trying to make it work. And I did use delicatessen instead of examination! It still got me exactly where it got you--that would be nowhere close to the meta answer. Thursday is another day! ]
EmilyW
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#317

Post by EmilyW »

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.
This happened to me too, and then I thought I needed to use these to get some more alternate answers because if I add AT to BOR, I get BORAT which is an alternate answer to 20 across. I quickly realized that wasn't going to work for SOURD, ALTH, and C so I took another look and realized I was missing some more theme answers.
JetStream
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#318

Post by JetStream »

I'm glad I gave up early on this one. I am so impressed with those who figured this one out. Congrats.
RichA2
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#319

Post by RichA2 »

No way I was ever going to get there. This puzzle contained more rabbit holes than a Bugs Bunny/Oswald the Rabbit (remember him?) cartoon marathon.

There are all those “a” answers in the grid, plus eight “al” letter combinations in grid answers.

There are eight two word alliterative clues (“perfect place,” serious snake,” etc.).

There are five “Pro” clues, one of which, “Pro who might check your ticker,” looks contrived.

There appear to be a large number of the stock crossword answers (ONO, REO, ADEN, IDES, ECHO, ODIN, and even the full name of the great and ancient Giant who would likely be forgotten but for the usefulness of his last name to constructors, MELOTT), suggesting that their presence in a puzzle about solving crosswords might be deliberate.

There is that tantalizing ACROSS in the place often used to give us a hint.

I chased all of these, but none had any relationship to the title of the puzzle, and I never had a glimmer of the true route through the rough waves to shore.

Congrats and admiration to those who made it.
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Al Sisti
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#320

Post by Al Sisti »

Tom Shea wrote: Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:49 am Anyone else have the Fabulous Thunderbirds earworm like me?
Our Blues Society brought in Kim Wilson for a show earlier this month. He is as cool as the other side of the pillow.
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