"Urban Shift" - October 1, 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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Joe Ross
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#321

Post by Joe Ross »

madhatter5 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:31 pm
sharkicicles wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:10 pm
hoover wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:49 am Ugh. I was thinking SHIFT as in ROT13. Also I got distracted by KOREA CAPITAL and tried to make SEOUL fit somehow. It didn't help that diagonally down from NE to SW there was a sequence spelling SEOU, and the letters S E O U L seemed to be everywhere, and there were multiple rhymes such as TOLL.
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Wendy Walker
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#322

Post by Wendy Walker »

Being a copy editor was a huge help in solving the now-infamous MGWCC tilde puzzle and this one: My livelihood involves being conscious of accent marks and capital letters!
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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mpmanning
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#323

Post by mpmanning »

Joe Ross wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:24 pm
mpmanning wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:12 pm Ashore after a late start while watching the Sunday football games. Depressed after the Notre Dame loss on Saturday.
I attended the Cincinnati vs Notre Dame game, Saturday. It was my first time there in 40 years. Despite the outcome for The Irish, Notre Dame made several positive impressions on this opposing fan:
  • With only one exception out of many dozen post-game encounters, Notre Dame fans were incredibly gracious in offering spontaneous congratulations.
  • Pre-game & post-game, Notre Dame fans & staff are inteligent, fun, & entertaining folk.
  • ND fans love their teams.
  • The campus remains amazing & beautiful.
  • The football stadium is awe-inspiring & there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Joe Ross, Thank You for your kind words on my alma mater. As I congratulated my neighbor, Bob Risch, a Bearcat grad, on the win I realized that disappointed rather than depressed was really the right word. ND alums are all ecstatic that we wooed Brian Kelly away from Cincinnati and that Coach Kelly went on to surpass Knute Rockne's record except for winning a national championship. We had been hoping, this year......

I guess, as both an ND alum and Boston Red Sox fan, I'll have to move to the eternal Plan B: Next year..........
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mikeB
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#324

Post by mikeB »

I noticed the numbers in the clues – first, tenth, seven, six – and (misconstruing “shift” in the title) interpreted these as counting numbers relative to the C anchor point of MIDDLEC. Counting squares, starting with C as 1, I got C-A-I-R. (Except: started at A per 55A) Could it be Cairo? Noticed ASP up there in the corner (remember Cleopatra?), as well as RAH (as in Amun-Ra), and was hooked on Egypt. What about the “O”? No more numbers, but noticed Bronze in 9D, which I interpreted as meaning “third” (bronze medal?). So that gave me C-A-I-R-O spelled in the order of the clues exhibiting numbers. Two lessons learned: First, if you want to avoid rabbit holes, you need to read the signs. Second, reading the signs may not be good enough. This is a very nice meta – very clever design – and would have been a good solve. If only.
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MikeMillerwsj
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#325

Post by MikeMillerwsj »

The contest answer is STOCKHOLM. As hinted at by 47-Across (CAPITAL), nine grid answers include uppercase letters (de Sade, Taft, type O, middle C, Korea, pH level, Ops, Laver, iMac). Those capital letters, in order, spell the contest answer.

This was an ingenious one, finding so many ways to use capital letters besides the start of proper nouns. It was a bit trickier than average for our solvers: We had 1598 entries, about 56% correct (below our usual level of about 75%). The wrong answered included a big turnout for SEOUL (282), perhaps because of KOREA sitting in the middle? Also SOCHI (why?) with 70, ROME (35), PARIS (26) and a tour of many other cities.

Congrats to this week's winner: Frank Kaplan of Atherton, Calif.!
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femullen
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#326

Post by femullen »

Barney wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:16 am
femullen wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:44 am Doh! Wrong shore.

Image
Which was?
TOKYO, of course, and I can prove it.

Well, not really. But there was an answer at 19A into which you could (urban?) shift three letters, which three letters made the shape of a capital letter T (63A, TEE, I took as a hopeful hint), and which transformed TYPEO into TOKYO. I wasn't utterly convinced of this, but it was the best I had, and the situation was not unlike other metas whose solutions I have found without finding the complete mechanism. So, I erred, but I erred bravely and with conviction.

There were other candidates too. Early on I liked TORONTO, which is the capital of my native province, and who can imagine a major-er world city! I noticed two arrangements of four letters in a square with upper row OR and lower row NT (you can see these at 27A and 53A). Well, these are no more and no less than the complete set of letters for TORONTO, and why would there be TWO such arrangements in a grid devoted to a capital? It required, however, not an urban shift but an urban contortion to trace TORONTO from these, so, with regret, I gave up on the Canadian solution.

Someone must have already commemted that it might have been much easier to catch this mechanism if you used both upper and lower case letters for your grid. I'm afraid my habits are too firmly set to change at this point, so the benefit was lost on me. I do note, however, that the online solver defaults to all caps, which put us online solvers at a systemic disadvantage. I think Mr. Shenk should spot us a beer.
Last edited by femullen on Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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Flying_Burrito
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#327

Post by Flying_Burrito »

I did spend some time reviewing airports like a plethora of others (thanks https://airportcod.es/# ), courtesy of ORD, PHL and SAV. in addition to redeye, ETA and middleC (= middle seat). Had a Cuban and 3 scotch on Friday evening and out of the smoke I surmised that typeO and middleC had to go together and from OC I quickly zeroed on Stockholm and reverse engineered the other letters. I guess the scotch kills my slow brain cells and allows the surviving and fitter ones to operate those neurons more efficiently (also known as the Cliff Clavin's buffalo herd theory for you Cheers fans).
But 24D was my favorite one on this xword, courtesy of Napoleon Dynamite.
Senor Guaca Mole :mrgreen:
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joequavis
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#328

Post by joequavis »

MikeMillerwsj wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:07 pm The contest answer is STOCKHOLM. As hinted at by 47-Across (CAPITAL), nine grid answers include uppercase letters (de Sade, Taft, type O, middle C, Korea, pH level, Ops, Laver, iMac). Those capital letters, in order, spell the contest answer.

This was an ingenious one, finding so many ways to use capital letters besides the start of proper nouns. It was a bit trickier than average for our solvers: We had 1598 entries, about 56% correct (below our usual level of about 75%). The wrong answered included a big turnout for SEOUL (282), perhaps because of KOREA sitting in the middle? Also SOCHI (why?) with 70, ROME (35), PARIS (26) and a tour of many other cities.

Congrats to this week's winner: Frank Kaplan of Atherton, Calif.!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I nearly submitted SOCHI because if you are looking for capital letters found in the middle of words instead of also the ones at the beginning of words, you get S-O-C-H...and then it breaks down and you're left staring at iMac wondering if the 'i' is supposed to complete it.
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rosiegirl
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#329

Post by rosiegirl »

I have enjoyed reading these posts as it made me feel less ignorant for not coming up with the correct answer without a not-so-gentle nudge. I followed many of the rabbit holes others mentioned and came up with some of the same incorrect answers. Looking forward to Thursday!
katnahat
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#330

Post by katnahat »

This process is kind of like Covid: just when you think you've got it figured out, it morphs! So much to learn!!! Can't wait til Thursday.
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mntlblok
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#331

Post by mntlblok »

Flying_Burrito wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 5:07 pm I did spend some time reviewing airports like a plethora of others (thanks https://airportcod.es/# ), courtesy of ORD, PHL and SAV. in addition to redeye, ETA and middleC (= middle seat). Had a Cuban and 3 scotch on Friday evening and out of the smoke I surmised that typeO and middleC had to go together and from OC I quickly zeroed on Stockholm and reverse engineered the other letters. I guess the scotch kills my slow brain cells and allows the surviving and fitter ones to operate those neurons more efficiently (also known as the Cliff Clavin's buffalo herd theory for you Cheers fans).
But 24D was my favorite one on this xword, courtesy of Napoleon Dynamite.
My daughters had us watch that movie at my mom's one holiday visit get-together. I commented during this torture that I couldn't *believe* that they'd choose to watch such tripe more than once. Have now probably watched it half a dozen times. Do chickens have large talons?
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Annabelle
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#332

Post by Annabelle »

mpmanning wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:38 pm
Joe Ross wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:24 pm
mpmanning wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:12 pm Ashore after a late start while watching the Sunday football games. Depressed after the Notre Dame loss on Saturday.
I attended the Cincinnati vs Notre Dame game, Saturday. It was my first time there in 40 years. Despite the outcome for The Irish, Notre Dame made several positive impressions on this opposing fan:
  • With only one exception out of many dozen post-game encounters, Notre Dame fans were incredibly gracious in offering spontaneous congratulations.
  • Pre-game & post-game, Notre Dame fans & staff are inteligent, fun, & entertaining folk.
  • ND fans love their teams.
  • The campus remains amazing & beautiful.
  • The football stadium is awe-inspiring & there isn't a bad seat in the house.
Joe Ross, Thank You for your kind words on my alma mater. As I congratulated my neighbor, Bob Risch, a Bearcat grad, on the win I realized that disappointed rather than depressed was really the right word. ND alums are all ecstatic that we wooed Brian Kelly away from Cincinnati and that Coach Kelly went on to surpass Knute Rockne's record except for winning a national championship. We had been hoping, this year......

I guess, as both an ND alum and Boston Red Sox fan, I'll have to move to the eternal Plan B: Next year..........
Fellow Domer, class of '74. Campus has changed a lot since those days, but still a wonderful place to be. Also, a Cubs fan, so with you on Plan B. sigh
Cow
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#333

Post by Cow »

I didn't make it to the shore on this one, but found some nice rabbit holes. First up, the "add one letter and rearrange" (shift?) trick:

LIGERS + A = ALGIERS
CIAO + R = CAIRO

... and that's all I could find. But in both instances, you swap the second and third letters and then insert the extra letter somewhere, so I tried looking for that specifically, obviously with no luck.

Then, while comparing the grid against a list of world capitals, I found a bunch of "replace one letter and rearrange" options:

RAPID - D + S = PARIS
HEARTS - S + N = TEHRAN
OILS - I + O = OSLO
IMAC - C + L = LIMA

Thinking about it now, these cities have such common letters that you're likely to find one-letter-away words in pretty much any grid.

Next, I saw the PHOTODRAMA - Montevideo connection, giggled at that a bit, and decided to put my list of cities away and look at the clues instead. This is when I noticed that each clue had only one uppercase letter. If I had mentally described them as capital letters, I might have made the connection, but there we are.

Better luck next time, I hope! (And hoping for a Gaffney... Mr Shenk has incredible metas, but I always struggle with the grids. If I were to draw a Venn diagram of his realm of knowledge and my realm of knowledge, I would have two non-overlapping circles.)
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TheCatt
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#334

Post by TheCatt »

MikeM000 wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:09 am
Heddafish wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 7:15 am Anyone else see SEOU (l) on the diagonal missing the L so I went down that rabbit hole and got stuck looking for how the Ls connected somehow.
the other thing that got me on the right path quickly was the vertical alignment of TYPEO and MIDDLEC. Everything else clicked after I noticed that....
This was kinda the path we were on. Type O, Middle C, pH Level, and iMac clearly stood out. Sadly we then solved by looking for country capitals with those letters, because we couldn't quite figure out the mechanism, then realized looking back.
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Bonnibel
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#335

Post by Bonnibel »

I guess I am a simple minded person.

I "shifted" the A from ASSISTS to the left to change TYPEO to TYPEA = Taipei. Taipei is one of the worlds largest CAPITAL cities. Bottom right grid answer TEE also seemed to confirm.

Knowing this was likely too easy to be true, the fact that it related perfectly and 100% to the title and hints, I submitted it anyhow.

Kudos to all who solved correctly!
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SewYoung
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#336

Post by SewYoung »

Missing ya'll and the Tuesday night meetings. Hope you are all well. See you again in December.
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Al Sisti
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#337

Post by Al Sisti »

SewYoung wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 7:15 pm Missing ya'll and the Tuesday night meetings. Hope you are all well. See you again in December.
I'll be back soon too. I hear there's a baseball game on tonight.
EmilyW
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#338

Post by EmilyW »

I was out of town this weekend and never got around to the puzzle. I don't think I would have gotten this one. But I did get to go to a real beach and went whale watching at the Jersey Shore. I got to see 2 humpbacks which was very cool!
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Al Sisti
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#339

Post by Al Sisti »

EmilyW wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 11:52 pm I was out of town this weekend and never got around to the puzzle. I don't think I would have gotten this one. But I did get to go to a real beach and went whale watching at the Jersey Shore. I got to see 2 humpbacks which was very cool!
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ricky
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#340

Post by ricky »

whimsy wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 12:33 am A day or so after solving, I went back to look at the grid in order to give someone a nudge.
Here's what I found scrolling below the puzzle --
Capturestockholm.PNG
1) This puzzle was a lesson in why not to leave the WSJ for Sunday night (although it made my weekend a little more relaxed). I had O, C, I, and PH - and I thought I had something wrong with the capitalization on PH. And I couldn't figure out why Ops was clued the way it was - seemed odd. Then I ran out of time.

2) I've been wondering when publishers would get around to offering advertisers the chance to use crosswords as branded content. UBER and Nabisco (for OREO) probably have no idea how much free advertising they get as it is. And I want to say, as a meta constructor, that I am absolutely open to being paid handsomely to work the names of particular products and services into my puzzles.
Check out the contest meta at Lexicon Devil

Latest puzzle: "Put Your Foot Down," 9/25/21

Deadline: Thursday, September 30, 12 PM EST
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