"Endnotes" - January 22, 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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FrancesY
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:54 am

#381

Post by FrancesY »

Oh boy. From the long answers, I saw the note FA, which is F, was missing; which could be found in the ends of Man “of la” Mancha. And from the ends of clues, an F was missing. In a convoluted way, I took the word CHAFF because it ends in FF, and end of Mancha, and ta-da, submitted cha-cha.
CopperRiver
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:42 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

#382

Post by CopperRiver »

68A told me the key of C was important which in music has no sharps or flats. So I knew the letters in the six clues corresponded to the musical scale in the key of C with the exception of the missing F note. But using the six clues got me to see the end letters of the six answers which led to MELODY. Kudos to those who saw Step 1!
Alvibu67
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:18 pm

#383

Post by Alvibu67 »

I couldn’t get to a solution and guessed wrong. I couldn’t get past the absence of FA from the solfege lineup. I thought that might have something to do with the solution.

Oh, well. Next time!
Dow Jones
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#384

Post by Dow Jones »

I never saw Step 1. After staring at the grid and not seeing anything, I went back and looked at the clues. I noticed that there were 6 clues that ended with a Capital Letter. Aha! I anagrammed the last letter in the answers and that was that. I was confused by the talk of shortcuts. I thought it was too easy (for a Shenk meta). I believe those 6 clues stood out like a sore thumb. Maybe, adding other clues ending with letters (other than A thru G) would have forced me to find Step 1 and 2. I was lucky to stumble upon the solution.
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Tripod
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Location: Massachusetts

#385

Post by Tripod »

So did music knowledge hurt, or help here? I feel like the ignorance was bliss in this case.

I never would have converted DO/RE/MI into letter-notes, so I'm glad I noticed the last letters of the answers to clues with letter-notes in them and anagrammed. Felt good in the gut-instinct department. Six letters, musically related, followed the clues.

After reading about an elegant solution, I was trying to use a staff (from 3rd grade recollection) to re-order the letters to no avail. Almost had me change my answer, but stuck with the gut, thankfully.

Also found it interesting that all the last-letters were at the bottom of the grid except the one. I even bugged a few guitar players about chords....glad I stuck with my gut.

Congrats to the folks who saw that first step.
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Laura M
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Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:49 am

#386

Post by Laura M »

jhseeman wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:19 pm
Joe Ross wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:17 pm A bit of harmony over which I've been obsessing (trigger warning: religiousy stuff) the last few weeks, especially the note ("here") held by top tenor from 3:35 through 3:52. Some guys know how to ride out a pandemic.
Big fan of Home Free...great harmonies and acapella
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQt9jKDCqHo
Thanks for the links; those are some truly excellent hamonies! I'll throw in a song that I stumbled on recently by Pentatonix, who are always outstanding but I thought this was especially lovely:
https://youtu.be/o10drRI3VQ0
MileHighSolver
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:46 pm

#387

Post by MileHighSolver »

I always enjoy reading the explanations on Sunday nights, especially after I solved MELODY so quickly. Was it just a coincidence that there were two ways to solve the puzzle correctly? If so, hats off to Shenk on this one. I saw the single note letter clues and immediately took the bait.
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C=64
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#388

Post by C=64 »

MileHighSolver wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:46 am I always enjoy reading the explanations on Sunday nights, especially after I solved MELODY so quickly. Was it just a coincidence that there were two ways to solve the puzzle correctly? If so, hats off to Shenk on this one. I saw the single note letter clues and immediately took the bait.
From what I've seen (which isn't comprehensive and others can chime in), the constructors always take care to arrange the letters in order somehow: top to bottom, left to right, in a spiral if that fits the theme... Whenever a solver says they randomly anagrammed some letters to get the meta answer, they're missing something or doing it wrong.
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C=64
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#389

Post by C=64 »

I got the hints about the key of C and knew what rabbit I should be looking for, but I got *really* hung up on the RAIMI = RE MI coincidence / red herring.
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Al Sisti
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#390

Post by Al Sisti »

Joe Ross wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:17 pm
Al Sisti wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:27 am
Joe Ross wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 9:59 am

Thank you, Al! This hit me at the right time, since yesterday turned out to be 'Jackson Browne Day' (for me), when I spent a good chunk of time rediscovering his & his incomparable back-up singers' repertoire.
  • ...but I don't know if I can (walk awa-a-ay...!) open up and let you in! Here come those feelings, again...
I was in the correct mindset of the era, if not decade. The REO Brothers got some chops.

Other brothers doing covers worth hearing are Boyce Avenue. They partner with great young talent, mostly women, and the songs are modern & typically acoustic. One of my favorite talents they showcase is Jennel Garcia, whose 5'-maybe self has an incredibly gutsy voice. Their cover of Shallow is worth a listen, as is the rest of hers & their efforts.

Another Filipino phenomenon is Morissette Amon. Her music couldn't be farther from what the REO Brothers cover, but her voice & range are unbelievable and have to be heard.
Well thanks a boatload, Chet; I was supposed to go grocery shopping and instead I'm lost in YouTube land. Great stuff... I love belters (e.g., Idina Menzel, Linda Eder, Eydie Gorme and the little powerhouse from the Phillipines, Lea Salonga). And now a little payback for you. If you like good harmonies, check out Foxes and Fossils, starting with " "Don't Worry Baby" . And for another example of non-English-speaking mimicry, check out Leonid and Friends, a Russian band that does killer Chicago covers... here's "25 Or 6 to 4" . And now I've really got to go grocery shopping.
You've got every penny's worth of payback, today, Lochinvar. I haven't bought groceries and may have forgotten to feed the dog, until I remembered my son picked her up a long while ago.

A bit of harmony over which I've been obsessing (trigger warning: religiousy stuff) the last few weeks, especially the note ("here") held by top tenor from 3:35 through 3:52. Some guys know how to ride out a pandemic.
Man... so beautiful!
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Tom Shea
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#391

Post by Tom Shea »

This was just another "DOH!" for "ME"!
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CPJohnson
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#392

Post by CPJohnson »

C=64 wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:33 am
MileHighSolver wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:46 am I always enjoy reading the explanations on Sunday nights, especially after I solved MELODY so quickly. Was it just a coincidence that there were two ways to solve the puzzle correctly? If so, hats off to Shenk on this one. I saw the single note letter clues and immediately took the bait.
From what I've seen (which isn't comprehensive and others can chime in), the constructors always take care to arrange the letters in order somehow: top to bottom, left to right, in a spiral if that fits the theme... Whenever a solver says they randomly anagrammed some letters to get the meta answer, they're missing something or doing it wrong.
Anagramming has been required a few times in the past. One example is the 4-26-19 puzzle; there are others. I'll mention a few others later if no one else has done it by the time I get back.It's 5:30 am, and I'm leaving to go get in line for my Covid vaccine.
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Omnibus
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:51 pm

#393

Post by Omnibus »

As elegant the RE-MI-SOL-etc. was in providing the order of the “notes” to spell out MELODY, it really wasn’t at all critical to solving the meta. Hats off to those who got that bit, but no extra points given for entries to the contest.
Omnibus
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:51 pm

#394

Post by Omnibus »

MileHighSolver wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:46 am I always enjoy reading the explanations on Sunday nights, especially after I solved MELODY so quickly. Was it just a coincidence that there were two ways to solve the puzzle correctly? If so, hats off to Shenk on this one. I saw the single note letter clues and immediately took the bait.
As described earlier, the way to solving the meta was the same - you still needed to see the end notes in the clues, then find the end “notes” in their answers to get the melody. The other part, while interesting, was irrelevant.
debbierudy
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Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:57 pm

#395

Post by debbierudy »

I got the solution MELODY through anagram and submitted it, but felt that there was a missing step in it, especially in reading comments on its elegance. So my husband played various permutations of GECDAB on his mandolin for me to find the mystery melody... nada. But I was still pretty confident that even through I was missing something, MELODY must be the meta!

53D, Lewis's partner, is William CLARK: commander, explorer, and map-maker of the Louisiana Purchase - and my great-great-great-great grandfather.
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Bird Lives
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#396

Post by Bird Lives »

The answer is MELODY.

“Endnotes” is about notes — specifically the solfeggio scale notes (do, re, mi, etc.) and the letter notes they designate. In the key of C, do is C, re is D, and so on.

“Endnotes” is also about the end letters:

∙ The end letters of each word in the six long entries
∙ The end letter of six clues that ended with a letter
∙ The end letter of the answers to those clues.
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WSJ 1-21 s.jpg
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Then there's the question of elegance.

You can get the right answer using just the end letters in the clues. That’s the “short cut” solution. In numerical order, across then down, end lettes to the entries for those clues are L E Y M D O . You don’t have to be Stephen Sondheim (musician and very sophisticated puzzle solver and setter) to figure out that these can be rearranged to MELODY.

But using the solfeggio designations in the grid puts the letters in the right order and is the more elegant solution
Last edited by Bird Lives on Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Deb F
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#397

Post by Deb F »

Nope. As never going get this one. Right church, wrong pew! Should have been in the choir loft🎼
Jeanrosz
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#398

Post by Jeanrosz »

I got to DEGBAC easily enough and then got nothing for a day or so..until I saw a post about “look at the whole puzzle”...
That clicked my brain to look at the clues. Great multi step puzzle...
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KayW
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#399

Post by KayW »

burak wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:12 am
burak wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:24 pm I most likely am missing something but I find the answer a bit inelegant this week. Good idea though.
Huh, of course I was missing something: The first step! I immediately noticed the letters in the clues and thought "OK I'll take the last letters of the answers to these clues" in the musical order: D, E, G, A, B, C. What did I get? MELDOY. It wasn't rocket science to figure out the actual answer but I was unhappy with the mechanism. It turns out the mechanism was actually pretty nice!
My mental process exactly! It bothered me that the letters were out of order - not like Mike at all. But I figured if it wasn’t MELODY, it would be the biggest PAGEANT of all time. That plus the enticement of being first to post.

Funny. On MGWCC’s BLANK STARES, I got the answer from the grid but missed the elegant touch of blanks in the key clues (which I later rationalized as being due to the fact that I solved online, which doesn’t allow a good look at all clues en masse). This time I saw the clues-based mechanism but missed the elegance provided by the grid-based step - until prompted to look for it by comments here. No excuses this time. Doh! (a deer...)

Fantastic meta!
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HunterX
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#400

Post by HunterX »

Whenever I think of solfege, I think of:
https://youtu.be/wcQiYSzwN3c
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