"Seeking Answers" - October 8, 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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TeaJenny
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#341

Post by TeaJenny »

First, I tried various combinations of grid answers beginning with S and A. Then, I played around with the many answers that were abbreviations, and got hung up on TSA for a while. Finally, I saw ESSAY and tried pairing it with every grid answer until I settled upon TEST. "Essay exam" is a more familiar phrase to me than ESSAY TEST, but it made the most sense out of what was available, so I went with it. Glad I did!
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SReh26
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#342

Post by SReh26 »

Once we found Essay, test jumped out at those of us with relatively recent exam PTSD. 🤩
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Colin
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#343

Post by Colin »

GTIJohnny wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:51 am ESSAY SEER here. I "really saw" many SA's throughout.
Makes sense to me. As did ESSAY ALOT. I also checked every combo of answers beginning with S and those starting with A, but only got gobbledegook. Settled on ESSAY TEST and submitted with fingers crossed 🤞 and slightly more confidence than I have of winning the mug!
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patpatchica
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#344

Post by patpatchica »

Newbie here! Last week was my first meta which I didn’t get. I missed this one too. I used TSA with IDES to come up with ID EST SA. Anyone else go down that rabbit hole? Oh well, there’s always next week!
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Dplass
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#345

Post by Dplass »

I've been waiting for this meta all my life.

When I was about 9 I asked my dad, who was a teacher grading tests, what "SA" stood for. You know, "SA tests". So this meta was a gimme for me.
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femullen
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#346

Post by femullen »

Scott M wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:47 am

Given that the clues were all in the form of a possible test question, Essay Test is the obvious answer. I don't see Essay Set as a viable solution.
Speaking as one for whom correct answers are obvious only on Monday mornings, I think ESSAY SET is a reasonable answer for reasons DrTom and others have given. I selected ESSAY TEST only because, to my mind, it made the least unreasonable pairing with 1D. As others have observed, there was very little of the confirming Aha! that ordinarily makes answers obvious, but even then only in retrospect.
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SusieG
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#347

Post by SusieG »

Sara Dacus wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:09 am I submitted ESSAY SET. Anyone else do this? I didn't look far enough to consider TEST. Should have spent more time on it.
Must be an Arkansas thing. :D

That was my first answer, because it was a set of similar answers. Once I saw TEST it seemed to be a better fit.
jrdad
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#348

Post by jrdad »

After seeing essay test, which felt sort of non-Gaffneyesque, I looked further to find ESSAY TSA = SAT essay. This seemed like a better answer by including the SA theme.
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Larrry
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#349

Post by Larrry »

RDaleHall wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 7:37 am Submitted ESSAY TEST with 85% confidence. With all the key clues in the form of a question, that felt the best to complete the theme.
I had pretty high confidence with the theme clues on the form of questions, and the title hint of "Seeking Answers". Both point to "Test"
EmilyW
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#350

Post by EmilyW »

GTIJohnny wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:51 am ESSAY SEER here. I "really saw" many SA's throughout.
SAme for me
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Joe Ross
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#351

Post by Joe Ross »

femullen wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:12 am ___________________________________________________________________________________________
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phykos
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#352

Post by phykos »

Come on, Matt! With the Boston Marathon today, how could the right answer not be ESSAY TAPAS (S-A Toppers)?!
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whimsy
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#353

Post by whimsy »

DianeA wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:57 am Happy to say i got it! It was not a "click" for me, since i first came up with ESSAY PLUS (the S and A starts of the long answers, PLUS more). That was after I tried to make something out of all the other words that began with S and A. SEER ALESON, anyone? That went absolutely nowhere.
I did note the phrasing of the clues as questions, but that's not unusual. I just figured ESSAY TEST is more common than Plus.
I liked PLUS with a slightly different approach. Since absolute "rules" can be played with, I took "combined" to mean that I could mesh the two words together arriving at ESS - PLUS - AY, which was the appearance of all the themers. Even though someone suggested TEST to me, I'd forgotten about the Jeopardy-like clues, and thought that "something-trickier" (looking at you, constructors! ;) ) than merely abutting the two words would be what did the trick. Bearing in mind all the "What...." clues now, I can see how TEST is the more better.
boharr
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#354

Post by boharr »

jh773 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:26 am
My reasoning for choosing “test” rather than “set” was because test is a synonym for “assay” which sounds like “s-a”… Funny that there was really no explicit reason for “test” to be the correct second part.
From post #325:
Given that the clues were all in the form of a possible test question, Essay Test is the obvious answer.
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TheCatt
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#355

Post by TheCatt »

Our first thought was PEN ESSAY in the tradition of philosophers and others penning essays in their quest for truth and on their journey of "seeking answers" to life's questions, etc.

ESSAY TEST seemed weak due to the seeking part of seeking answers. TESTs and answers, sure. But seeking implies a greater level of philosophical questioning. Clearly we were over-thinking it.
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HunterX
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#356

Post by HunterX »

Was in our new (to us) Pocono house with no internet all weekend. Submitted one of the wrong answers while sitting in the parking lot of a Weis grocery store that had free internet.

Not my favorite in that you could argue for alternates. We went for ESSAY A LOT since it describes the themed answers, they are a lot of S-A word combinations. And ESSAY SET was a backup choice too, since they are a set of S A word combos. None of the themed answers were a test, though I get why it's the correct answer.

I put all 76 answers into a spreadsheet, copied it to another, then had the two side-by-side with words justified right-and-left to align together. I could then scroll them all against each other to see possibilities. Other potential answers or fun combinations:

ASH ORE - Ashore! (Which non-Muggles wouldn't get)
ASH IDES - AS Hides (for A S being hidden)
ASH ALT - AS Halt (Cuz you HALT when you see the A S combos?)
ASH URLS - AS Hurls (Cuz Matt HURLed a lot of A S words at us?)
ESSAY ADDIN or ADDIN ESSAY (since you add in other letters to the S and A)
REDOS IDES - Redo Sides (since each answer is a REDO of both SIDES, the S side and the A side)
CUT ESSAY - Cute SS AY (kinda lame, it's a Cute SS AY combination?)

SEER provided many combos, none close:
See Rides
See Reps
See Rudder
See Race

In the end, I had 41D + 60D for this one: No Amore.
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HunterX
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#357

Post by HunterX »

boharr wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:37 am
jh773 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:26 am
My reasoning for choosing “test” rather than “set” was because test is a synonym for “assay” which sounds like “s-a”… Funny that there was really no explicit reason for “test” to be the correct second part.
From post #325:
Given that the clues were all in the form of a possible test question, Essay Test is the obvious answer.
Well, they are in the form of test questions. None are in the form of an Essay Test question.
boharr
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#358

Post by boharr »

HunterX wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:02 am
boharr wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:37 am
jh773 wrote: Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:26 am
My reasoning for choosing “test” rather than “set” was because test is a synonym for “assay” which sounds like “s-a”… Funny that there was really no explicit reason for “test” to be the correct second part.
From post #325:
Given that the clues were all in the form of a possible test question, Essay Test is the obvious answer.
Well, they are in the form of test questions. None are in the form of an Essay Test question.
I had Essay and only needed Test to be happy. Didn't need a prompt for writing five paragraphs.
kamashdas
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Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2020 12:30 am

#359

Post by kamashdas »

Initially liked VARY ESSAY but eventually talked myself into the correct answer. Never was 100% for me, though.
MatthewL
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#360

Post by MatthewL »

I submitted the correct answer, but I can't say I engaged in the thoughtful analysis many others did to arrive at the correct response. I saw the SA theme fairly quickly, saw ESSAY right away, and then just took a quick look at the grid and saw TEST in the bottom right, and decided that had to be right, as no other word made sense. Never thought of the theme answers being in the form of questions as an additional confirmation, but I think that makes sense. To be fair, I didn't have a lot of time to spend on this (so no chance to overthink it), as I spent the last 3 days helping my son move to Tampa (a lot of packing, lifting and driving over the last 3 days, all of which I am way too old for). Glad to have gotten started on a new streak -- hope it lasts more than 1 week.
Matthew
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