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.

eagle1279 wrote: ↑Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:34 pm
I hope it's not a database from the online submission portal, because I submit my answers via email. Maybe that's why The Mug has evaded me!!

I often wonder if the WSJ has even gotten my submission. I used to submit via the online form, but then I switched to email because I convinced myself the online form wasn't submitting my answer at all. Even just an automated confirmation message from the WSJ that your response was received would be nice.

I agree about a confirmation being nice. I email & copy myself, if only to assure myself that I have entered.

I do remember WSJ staff discussing the online form versus email. There is no difference, since the online form generates an email to the same account, crosswordcontest@wsj.com

yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.

MajordomoTom wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.

But someone has to go through to get statistics, even rough ones, of the number of correct submissions and some of the more interesting wrong ones.

MajordomoTom wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.

But someone has to go through to get statistics, even rough ones, of the number of correct submissions and some of the more interesting wrong ones.

That's my dream job. (No sarcasm or kidding--it really would be my dream job!)

eagle1279 wrote: ↑Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:34 pm
I hope it's not a database from the online submission portal, because I submit my answers via email. Maybe that's why The Mug has evaded me!!

I often wonder if the WSJ has even gotten my submission. I used to submit via the online form, but then I switched to email because I convinced myself the online form wasn't submitting my answer at all. Even just an automated confirmation message from the WSJ that your response was received would be nice.

I agree about a confirmation being nice. I email & copy myself, if only to assure myself that I have entered.

I do remember WSJ staff discussing the online form versus email. There is no difference, since the online form generates an email to the same account, crosswordcontest@wsj.com

To ease your mind a bit, I won a mug through an email submission. Does not have to be through the online submission.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain

MajordomoTom wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated

This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

MajordomoTom wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
yes, quite a few online forms result in sending an email when you press "submit", I really doubt there's a database involved in this one.

I'm imagining an Outlook account, with a folder for each week's contest. Emails are moved there, sorted by time. Cutoff for those which are late. Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated, if there's an email that matches that number, it's reviewed. If the number is too high, then another number is picked until there's one which matches the population size. Rinse and repeat.

It's likely manual, but it's simple, so it's probably never been changed, even as the size of the muggle-ati has been growing.

But someone has to go through to get statistics, even rough ones, of the number of correct submissions and some of the more interesting wrong ones.

MajordomoTom wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated

This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM

Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

MajordomoTom wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated

This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM

Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

Here comes TMI. I experimented. Just have ten, twenty, whatever cells with the same formula referencing the same cell that has X in it. Each of those ten or twenty cells will have a different random integer. Just go down the list until you get a winner.

flyingMoose wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm
This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM

Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

Here comes TMI. I experimented. Just have ten, twenty, whatever cells with the same formula referencing the same cell that has X in it. Each of those ten or twenty cells will have a different random integer. Just go down the list until you get a winner.

I often wonder if the WSJ has even gotten my submission. I used to submit via the online form, but then I switched to email because I convinced myself the online form wasn't submitting my answer at all. Even just an automated confirmation message from the WSJ that your response was received would be nice.

I agree about a confirmation being nice. I email & copy myself, if only to assure myself that I have entered.

I do remember WSJ staff discussing the online form versus email. There is no difference, since the online form generates an email to the same account, crosswordcontest@wsj.com

To ease your mind a bit, I won a mug through an email submission. Does not have to be through the online submission.

I always use the online submission, and I won a mug that way. So both ways apparently work (or don’t work, depending on your point of view).

Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

Here comes TMI. I experimented. Just have ten, twenty, whatever cells with the same formula referencing the same cell that has X in it. Each of those ten or twenty cells will have a different random integer. Just go down the list until you get a winner.

fM

Who are you people?

Guys who are stuck at home and can't wait until Thursday at 4 pm

MajordomoTom wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:22 pm
Then a random number (likely from 1 to 2000) is generated

This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM

Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in

flyingMoose wrote: ↑Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:19 pm
This is just a function (RANDBETWEEN) in a spreadsheet. I imagined 1 to X where X is the total number of submissions for the week. Just change X each week.

fM

Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in

But... it's probably a *signed* integer, so, 32767. Sorry, pedantic engineer of my brain had to chime in.

Agree. I then if the one the draw has the correct answer, end of game (except for the person/people who do go through all of them to collect up wrong answer statistics). And if the first draw is wrong, they rerandomize, I would supposed. Probably some multiplicative congruential random generator with a seed of 65539 (that was for my engineer friends. Don't ask me what that means...I'm more of a "shot an arrow in the air" kind of guy.

65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in

But... it's probably a *signed* integer, so, 32767. Sorry, pedantic engineer of my brain had to chime in.

And if you really want to get pedantic, you don't seed a random number generator with a fixed number. If you do, then it would generate the same numbers each time it is ran.

65535 is the highest number you can fit into 16 bits. Sorry, engineer part of brain had to chime in

But... it's probably a *signed* integer, so, 32767. Sorry, pedantic engineer of my brain had to chime in.

And if you really want to get pedantic, you don't seed a random number generator with a fixed number. If you do, then it would generate the same numbers each time it is ran.