"In Bed By 9" - December 18, 2020

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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Bob cruise director
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#301

Post by Bob cruise director »

I also got the meta from the Z's and the title as 11D meant nothing to me. I was highly distracted by the 20 O's scattered throughout the grid especially after the meta Monday braille meta last week.

And I pursued minutes both from a time sense and a longitude/latitude sense with no value. And since 11D focused on squares, FWIW there are 39 black squares in the grid.
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KayW
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#302

Post by KayW »

I've heard of snooze buttons but as a light sleeper/early bird never used them myself. I had no idea 9 minutes was a standard interval. But 11 and 34 down jumped out and bit me on the nose, and I got the puzzle pretty quickly from the title and all the Zs on the left side of the grid.
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Cap'n Rick
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#303

Post by Cap'n Rick »

DrTom wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:25 pm
Cap'n Rick wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:30 pm
DrTom wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 4:09 pm Well, I think I have an answer, it is 6 letters and it really fits well with the theme BUT I am quite unsure because it is not 100% and this looks like one of those where it will be 100%. I will probably submit it anyway because I can make an argument. I will not be cowed and will holler long and herd in the dogied way I do when I have a beef (Oh, come on you certainly didn't expect I'd quit the puns yet, I mean I was rhealy challenged a few posts back!). Oh, and if I do not submit the puzzle creator's solution but win the argument I'll no doubt yell Whoopie Ti Yi Yo!
Maybe you need to "steer" at the puzzle a little longer Dr. Tom. :lol:
Well, it had me buffaloed for a while but eventually I was able to meat the challenge. I'm glad because if I had missed this it would have been a pain in the rump.

Shanks for all your concern though always good to have a tri tipping the balance. As it turns out I was skirting the answer for quite some time but after I went to my friend Porter's house the answer beefell me. OK, I'll stop before someone tries to chuck me out the window and I hit the ground round my front door.
Touche' DrTom! You win the award for top cowPUNcher of the week!
otlaolap
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#304

Post by otlaolap »

Immediately while solving the grid I had noticed the six (!) Zs, and thought that they must be a signature. And I immediately did some simple counting by 9 starting from them in the grid. But I got nowhere. Do the Zs get counted as zero or one? How do I compensate for the black squares? Nothing emerged for me.

Then I spent a lot of time, after finding that each square in the grid was one minute per 11D and noticing that there were fifteen squares on each side of the puzzle -- an hour in total if the corners count twice -- trying to discover a pattern in a clock face that might be overlaid on the grid. Let's see, the square for 9 minutes past, 19 minutes past, and so on . . . . Tried several variations of this, and then remembered my lesson from last week: if something seems like it is going nowhere then it likely is not the answer.

Ultimately, later, I invoked another lesson -- Write It Down -- and on my paper wrote down "hit snooze" and "one minute" and then "for nine minutes". The last phrase hit my brain naturally when the first two were on the paper. (Corpus callosum difficulty here -- other muggles mention things emerging when they speak about what they've noticed with a spouse or friend.) The words "for nine minutes" finally clicked. Only then did I go back to my initial start-from-Z counting and counted "for nine minutes" the squares themselves regardless of filling. And that resulted in my wife's movie-watching being disturbed by the previously-reported loud shout of "GOT IT!".
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SusieG
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#305

Post by SusieG »

This may have been easier for me without 11D. I knew the Z’s were significant and 9 was in the title. However, I kept trying to turn the grid into a clock face with the ONE MINUTE clue. Also there were several ONEs in the grid that distracted me. Took me a couple days to realize 34D was a better clue.

My college roommate was very annoyed with my use of 34D. I can’t think about hitting snooze without thinking of her.
Susan Goldberg
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#306

Post by Susan Goldberg »

I knew I was going to feel this way when I saw the solution to this one. I did everything but the counting of nine from the z’s. I too was thrown off by the one minute clue, the ones, and the number of o’s. But for now I’ll rue this one as I still do “Russian Doll,”. I should have gotten that one too!
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ReB
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#307

Post by ReB »

Not having an IPhone or being aware that it sets 9 minutes as the standard snooze time, after puzzling over the numerous and asymmetric Z's (which I realized were also indicative of sleep) and once I realized that I should try counting "snooze minutes" (i.e. squares) to the right of the six Z's, I had to brute force list all the letters vertically under each starting "Z" (including the black spaces, as 11D did not distinguish between blank and black) till I got far enough to feeI I could stop. I hoped that since the wordy clue to 34D mentioned a "standardized period of time" that the hoped for answer would involved the same number of letters after each "Z".

And then, after finishing with the last "Z", I looked down my listings, and lo and behold CATNAP appeared. And then when I counted and realized this was the 9th row (after the row of Z's) and that the puzzle title contained "9", I knew that had to be the answer.

But I didn't know about the IPhone having 9 minutes as its default snooze time until today when I read the latest comments. So now I've added one more trivia item to my overloaded cortex.
Last edited by ReB on Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HunterX
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#308

Post by HunterX »

pddigi wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:52 am
PHOFER wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:14 pm Ashore after putting some pieces together. Those of us familiar with a certain feature of the iPhone may be slightly advantaged in finding the solution.
The iPhone borrowed the 9-minute interval from alarm clocks that preceded it. There’s a great word, which unfortunately I have forgotten, that refers to newer technology retaining features of forerunner technology although it’s unnecessary, usually because the older technology has become so familiar that users expect it. An example would be digital clocks that add sounds made by old clocks. In any case, the iPhone 9-minute snooze interval is akin to that: they could certainly choose to make it whatever they want, but mechanical clocks had it at 9 minutes, so they kept that.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/1479471 ... e-minutes/

A more complete investigation into “why 9 minutes?” here:
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/rea ... es-not-ten
I had no idea the "standard" snooze period was 9 minutes. My clocks always did 10. (Or was I too groggy to really notice? Perhaps it took me 30 seconds or more to actually hit the clock?) I just used 9 minutes because of the title of the puzzle. And because the Z in Ozone only had 9 squares after it, setting the limit.

But thanks for linking Cecil! I used to read The Straight Dope regularly. And who doesn't love Slug Signorino's visual interpretations of the subject?
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mheberlingx100
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#309

Post by mheberlingx100 »

otlaolap wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 8:38 am Immediately while solving the grid I had noticed the six (!) Zs, and thought that they must be a signature. And I immediately did some simple counting by 9 starting from them in the grid. But I got nowhere. Do the Zs get counted as zero or one? How do I compensate for the black squares? Nothing emerged for me.

Then I spent a lot of time, after finding that each square in the grid was one minute per 11D and noticing that there were fifteen squares on each side of the puzzle -- an hour in total if the corners count twice -- trying to discover a pattern in a clock face that might be overlaid on the grid. Let's see, the square for 9 minutes past, 19 minutes past, and so on . . . . Tried several variations of this, and then remembered my lesson from last week: if something seems like it is going nowhere then it likely is not the answer.

Ultimately, later, I invoked another lesson -- Write It Down -- and on my paper wrote down "hit snooze" and "one minute" and then "for nine minutes". The last phrase hit my brain naturally when the first two were on the paper. (Corpus callosum difficulty here -- other muggles mention things emerging when they speak about what they've noticed with a spouse or friend.) The words "for nine minutes" finally clicked. Only then did I go back to my initial start-from-Z counting and counted "for nine minutes" the squares themselves regardless of filling. And that resulted in my wife's movie-watching being disturbed by the previously-reported loud shout of "GOT IT!".
I too tried the 15 minute count along each side early on. I chalk up the approach to my advanced age, and the tendency to think of a clock face and analog approach rather than a clock radio and digital approach. Once I thought of what the snooze button does together with the title, it all fell into place.
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ky-mike
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#310

Post by ky-mike »

Sadly, no mug chance for me this weekend. Oh, I did complete the puzzle and meta on Thursday afternoon, but rarely submit on Thursdays. I got so wrapped up in the MGWCC that I completely forgot to submit my answer. That's OK as one mug this year is sufficient.

Happy holidays everyone!
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Scott M
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#311

Post by Scott M »

CATNAP was the Hail Mary guess I had, but couldn't find a way to justify it, so I didn't bother submitting. I'd have felt horrible if I had won the mug that way anyway. Merry Christmas Muggles!
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
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Wendy Walker
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#312

Post by Wendy Walker »

As a non-snoozer I got this meta only after a broad hint so I didn't submit.
My first guess was SETTEE, based on where the six Z's intersect the 40A answer, ENTERS. EE - TT - E - S. Why did I choose ENTERS? Because it is the answer that would be "just before 9" were the grid a clock face. (Those scribbles on the margin are 15-minute/hourly intervals.)
I then looked up SETTEE and had my doubts given that it doesn't look like it would be suitable for a nap of any kind.
See everyone on the Tuesday Zoom call, I hope!
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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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Joe Ross
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#313

Post by Joe Ross »

Scott Medvetz wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:44 am CATNAP was the Hail Mary guess I had, but couldn't find a way to justify it, so I didn't bother submitting. I'd have felt horrible if I had won the mug that way anyway. Merry Christmas Muggles!
Interesting... I'd be elated if a WAG of mine would win! Your position is the more honorable, of course, but you wouldn't find me apologizing. :)

My WAG for this week's MGWCC, immediately in mind after reading through the title & meta clue, turned out to be correct.
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BarbaraK
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#314

Post by BarbaraK »

Hidden in 3D wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:05 am Now I have the rest of the day to prepare some of my annual Christmas confections, buckeyes and toffee. The biggest challenge I will face is finding a place to hide my homemade goodies from my husband. If I'm not careful, he'll eat too many before I get a chance to share them with neighbors and friends.
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Joe Ross
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#315

Post by Joe Ross »

BarbaraK wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:01 am
Hidden in 3D wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:05 am Now I have the rest of the day to prepare some of my annual Christmas confections, buckeyes and toffee. The biggest challenge I will face is finding a place to hide my homemade goodies from my husband. If I'm not careful, he'll eat too many before I get a chance to share them with neighbors and friends.
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"Do [insert Peanuts teacher WHAWHAWHAWHAAAH here] eat" - Got it. THANK YOU!
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BarbaraK
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#316

Post by BarbaraK »

Scott Medvetz wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:44 am CATNAP was the Hail Mary guess I had, but couldn't find a way to justify it, so I didn't bother submitting. I'd have felt horrible if I had won the mug that way anyway. Merry Christmas Muggles!
I once submitted to MMMM with a very flimsy/mostly guess and it turned out to be right. I felt awful. I was never so happy not to win a mug as I can't imagine how I could have accepted it.

A friend once submitted a guess, just to get it out of her head because she didn't want to spend any more time on it. Then when she turned up on the leaderboard, she felt honor-bound to go back and figure out why it was right.
Joe Ross wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:58 am
Interesting... I'd be elated if a WAG of mine would win! Your position is the more honorable, of course, but you wouldn't find me apologizing. :)

My WAG for this week's MGWCC, immediately in mind after reading through the title & meta clue, turned out to be correct.
For some reason, I don't mind guessing on MGWCC. The only reason I don't is if I'm holding out hope for a last minute epiphany.

I don't have a rational explanation for why I feel differently about that one; it's probably just an example of the many ways I'm not always rational. But I rationalize it by saying that Matt is over generous in giving credit to alternate answers, and if people get credit for wacky theories, why shouldn't I for a guess.
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Joe Ross
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#317

Post by Joe Ross »

I do understand not submitting Hail Mary guesses & why.

For me, I guess it goes back to multiple choice exams where you don't have to "show your work." If I don't answer, I will get a question wrong 100% of the time versus having a 20% to 25% chance of getting it correct, if I do.

Plus, there is some skill in divining an answer from limited info (title, meta clue, theme answers, and indicator clues & entries), even if the mechanism isn't understood. Experience is teaching me that my WAGs are getting better over time. I don't mind being rewarded for that.

Merry Christmas & happy holidays, indeed, muggles!
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Meg
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#318

Post by Meg »

That snooze button and I have been close friends for decades, so I knew about the 9 minutes. It occurred to me that if you were not a snoozer, you might have trouble with this meta. I had to count several times...with/without the black squares and starting with the z/or the next letter.
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mheberlingx100
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#319

Post by mheberlingx100 »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:24 am I do understand not submitting Hail Mary guesses & why.

For me, I guess it goes back to multiple choice exams where you don't have to "show your work." If I don't answer, I will get a question wrong 100% of the time versus having a 20% to 25% chance of getting it correct, if I do.

Plus, there is some skill in divining an answer from limited info (title, meta clue, theme answers, and indicator clues & entries), even if the mechanism isn't understood. Experience is teaching me that my WAGs are getting better over time. I don't mind being rewarded for that.

Merry Christmas & happy holidays, indeed, muggles!
I’m with you. If I can’t solve, I’ll tip my hat to the puzzle constructor and try again the next week.

There are some times when I come up with a solution but only have 75% confidence, and in those cases I will submit. Usually my lack of confidence is the result of missing a second clue within the grid that would confirm the approach.
MikeMillerwsj
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#320

Post by MikeMillerwsj »

Greetings--we at puzzles HQ were stumped by this clever contest, perhaps because we are not acquainted with the workings of snooze buttons. As always we are humbled by the prowess of our solvers--a robust 1312 responses, about 77% correct (about a typical rate for our contests).

Lots of guesses from the (surprisingly) large lexicon of 6-letter sleep-related words, including ASLEEP (42), ZZZZZZ (26), SLEEPY (11), DREAMS (7), SNORES (7), ZONKED (6), and RETIRE (4), among others.

Congrats to this week's winner, Wayne Phoel of Arlington, VA! And a happy public service announcement: There's no print WSJ on the next two Fridays for Christmas and New Years, but we don't want contest fans to be deprived, so look for contests on the next two Thursdays (due the usual time, midnight Sunday, so you get the gift of an extra day). Happy holidays, stay safe and solve swiftly!
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