"Looking for that Spark" - February 12, 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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Al Sisti
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#401

Post by Al Sisti »

I raced to get my answer in, and then panicked as I ran back to check my sent folder to make sure I hadn't sent in "When Sally Met Harry." Whew... I'm assuming/hoping that they don't count that as the correct answer. It *is* the name of a movie, but not that movie.
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TPS
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#402

Post by TPS »

Limerick Savant wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:24 am Claimed my spot on the beach yesterday when I got around to a fair grid and what seemed like a foregone meta if you agree with TimeOut.
H&S.png

On the other hand they don’t even list in their top 50 one of the best screwball comedies ever : The Awful Truth
I was glad to see my favorite Rom Com was at least on their list at #37 - Ten Things I Hate About You - It’s basically just a 90’s version of Taming the Shrew but the chemistry between Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger was palpable - her sonnet at the end gets me every time.
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DBMiller
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#403

Post by DBMiller »

I went into my grid solve mode, so didn't pay attention except for 39A. Then I looked at the long answers and BELAFONTE and STRUTHERS led me immediately to the right answer. But how did 39A fit in? Another long answer was RABBITRUN, is there some sort of hop to go from the F in BELAFONTE to the E in STRUTHERS? The other two long answers had the I and R, but I saw no connection.

But when I looked at the I in RABBITRUN, I noticed it was also in HOUDINI. I then remembered FORTH and FIELD, and the rest fell into place at that point. 39A was now the confirmation needed as F-I-R-E were the "connections" where each Harry "met" each Sally in the grid.

As a teaching tool, I think this would have better if 39A was not in the grid; If the puzzle's title was, "When Harry met Sally"; and the meta answer was a "Four letter word".
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cbarbee002
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#404

Post by cbarbee002 »

HunterX wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:30 am
Dplass wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:21 am
ky-mike wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:20 am

Since this is part of a series of puzzles to help bring new meta solvers into the fold, it is demonstrating one technique of a meta construction. This one was pretty easy for seasoned solvers, but may not have been quite as easy for those newer to meta-land.
Then I'd contend that the FIRE would be even MORE confusing to newer solvers...
I think you might be right. But I do feel the Belafonte/Struthers combo was sufficient for most people to guess the answer. The FIRE construction would then be 1) a satisfying confirmation for experienced solvers, and 2) something to show newbies a la "This is a way we REALLY construct these things, so look for mechanisms like this."

Exactly right. Like most, I had the answer quickly, but without the mechanism (FIRE) to confirm, it didn't feel right.
Lesliethenuke
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#405

Post by Lesliethenuke »

First time posting. Also, I saw 52D (YESES, as in Yes! Yes! Yes! from the famous scene) as a nod to and confirmation of the meta answer.
SewYoung
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#406

Post by SewYoung »

DBMiller wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:31 pm I went into my grid solve mode, so didn't pay attention except for 39A. Then I looked at the long answers and BELAFONTE and STRUTHERS led me immediately to the right answer. But how did 39A fit in? Another long answer was RABBITRUN, is there some sort of hop to go from the F in BELAFONTE to the E in STRUTHERS? The other two long answers had the I and R, but I saw no connection.

But when I looked at the I in RABBITRUN, I noticed it was also in HOUDINI. I then remembered FORTH and FIELD, and the rest fell into place at that point. 39A was now the confirmation needed as F-I-R-E were the "connections" where each Harry "met" each Sally in the grid.

As a teaching tool, I think this would have better if 39A was not in the grid; If the puzzle's title was, "When Harry met Sally"; and the meta answer was a "Four letter word".
That would have been cute if they had entitled it "Where Harry Met Sally"
JRS51
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#408

Post by JRS51 »

Joepickett wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:10 pm
Dplass wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:06 am What was the point of the FIRE? It was completely inconsequential with respect to getting the name of the movie. It kind of made me feel that the setter was showing off their mad meta construction skillz.
Yes I agree. I saw BELAFONTE and FIELD and then POTTER and STRUTHERS and that was enough for me. I didn't even find or bother with the downs that crossed these. I'm a busy man. I've got things to do. :D :D :D
This was exactly how I realized the answer, and I also stopped there. I didn’t get to the puzzle until Sunday and the Pebble Beach tournament was calling for me to watch!
In addition, I never heard of the Forth comic strip so that answer was in no way a clue that helped me.
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TomAndDenise
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#409

Post by TomAndDenise »

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Last edited by TomAndDenise on Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tom and Denise Greaves
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anaerobe
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#410

Post by anaerobe »

Good puzzle. I saw 'Belafonte' and thought: "hmmmmmm....what rom-com was Harry Belafonte in?" Then 'Struthers' set me straight.

While we are on the topic, my wife sat w/ me and watched my favorite rom-com (again) for Valentine's Day: THE MATRIX. That scene where Neo and Trinity break into the skyscraper!...with lots of guns!!...to rescue Morpheus!!!...then the helicopter crash!!!! Wow, just talking about it makes my heart go pitter patter!

...28 years.....the woman's a saint.
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Colin
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#411

Post by Colin »

Bob cruise director wrote: Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:25 pm
CPJohnson wrote: Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:27 pm
Colin wrote: Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:23 am Re squirrel-related devices: the collective experience here must surely know that squirrels don’t like safflower seeds? I was plagued with squirrels and switched from sunflower to safflower ... haven’t seen a single squirrel since. All bird varieties still feeding including red-bellied woodies. Hairy and downy only occasionally now, but cardinals increased frequency. Safflower a bit more expensive but well worth it and probably cheaper in total. Squirrels destroyed the wicker on our patio chair in between feeds!
That's useful information! Our squirrels have been discouraged by a Squirrel-Buster feeder, a Wild Birds Unlimited baffle, and a slinky (each on a different feeder). Our birds drop so many seeds that the squirrels are content to eat underneath the feeders.

(edit) My husband tells me he mixes safflower seed in with all our mixtures, except the niger seed.
I have found the most effective squirrel deterrent is running a strong wire between two trees about 40 feet apart and 10 feet up from the ground and attaching the feeder to it. High enough to keep the bears away and hard enough to walk on to keep all but the most Walenda squirrels away.
Good point about bears... haven’t tested them on safflower yet. They 100% like sunflower though, as demonstrated by this visitor to our deck....
https://youtube.com/watch?v=ZJrz-bBGCrY&feature=share
Last edited by Colin on Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
One world. One planet. One future.
Jace54
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#412

Post by Jace54 »

DBMiller wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:31 pm I went into my grid solve mode, so didn't pay attention except for 39A. Then I looked at the long answers and BELAFONTE and STRUTHERS led me immediately to the right answer. But how did 39A fit in? Another long answer was RABBITRUN, is there some sort of hop to go from the F in BELAFONTE to the E in STRUTHERS? The other two long answers had the I and R, but I saw no connection.

But when I looked at the I in RABBITRUN, I noticed it was also in HOUDINI. I then remembered FORTH and FIELD, and the rest fell into place at that point. 39A was now the confirmation needed as F-I-R-E were the "connections" where each Harry "met" each Sally in the grid.

As a teaching tool, I think this would have better if 39A was not in the grid; If the puzzle's title was, "When Harry met Sally"; and the meta answer was a "Four letter word".
I also tried to start with the “f” in Belafonte and work down through “i”, “r”, and “e” in the other long answers, convinced it would spell a movie. Finally just said the full names of Belafonte and Struthers and immediately knew the answer, then found the intersections.

Your last paragraph reminds me of a Christmas meta a few years ago where the 8 reindeer names intersected in four places. I think those intersecting letters spelled out “pine”, which was the answer.
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DBMiller
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#413

Post by DBMiller »

Jace54 wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:18 pm
DBMiller wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:31 pm I went into my grid solve mode, so didn't pay attention except for 39A. Then I looked at the long answers and BELAFONTE and STRUTHERS led me immediately to the right answer. But how did 39A fit in? Another long answer was RABBITRUN, is there some sort of hop to go from the F in BELAFONTE to the E in STRUTHERS? The other two long answers had the I and R, but I saw no connection.

But when I looked at the I in RABBITRUN, I noticed it was also in HOUDINI. I then remembered FORTH and FIELD, and the rest fell into place at that point. 39A was now the confirmation needed as F-I-R-E were the "connections" where each Harry "met" each Sally in the grid.

As a teaching tool, I think this would have better if 39A was not in the grid; If the puzzle's title was, "When Harry met Sally"; and the meta answer was a "Four letter word".
I also tried to start with the “f” in Belafonte and work down through “i”, “r”, and “e” in the other long answers, convinced it would spell a movie. Finally just said the full names of Belafonte and Struthers and immediately knew the answer, then found the intersections.

Your last paragraph reminds me of a Christmas meta a few years ago where the 8 reindeer names intersected in four places. I think those intersecting letters spelled out “pine”, which was the answer.
SIGN OF THE TIMES — PINE — MIKE SHENK AS MARIE KELLY - December 16th, 2016. Used DEER/XING as the hint to solving.
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KayW
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#414

Post by KayW »

Al Sisti wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:33 pm I raced to get my answer in, and then panicked as I ran back to check my sent folder to make sure I hadn't sent in "When Sally Met Harry." Whew... I'm assuming/hoping that they don't count that as the correct answer. It *is* the name of a movie, but not that movie.
Why, yes. Much to my surprise, it IS. Al, how do you FIND these things? The sole public comment on the video sums it up for me: "I'm so confused."

When Sally Met Harry
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mheberlingx100
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#415

Post by mheberlingx100 »

JRS51 wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:15 pm
Joepickett wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:10 pm
Dplass wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:06 am What was the point of the FIRE? It was completely inconsequential with respect to getting the name of the movie. It kind of made me feel that the setter was showing off their mad meta construction skillz.
Yes I agree. I saw BELAFONTE and FIELD and then POTTER and STRUTHERS and that was enough for me. I didn't even find or bother with the downs that crossed these. I'm a busy man. I've got things to do. :D :D :D

This was exactly how I realized the answer, and I also stopped there. I didn’t get to the puzzle until Sunday and the Pebble Beach tournament was calling for me to watch!
In addition, I never heard of the Forth comic strip so that answer was in no way a clue that helped me.
I think the title of the comic strip is Sally Forth.
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Al Sisti
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#416

Post by Al Sisti »

KayW wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 am
Al Sisti wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:33 pm I raced to get my answer in, and then panicked as I ran back to check my sent folder to make sure I hadn't sent in "When Sally Met Harry." Whew... I'm assuming/hoping that they don't count that as the correct answer. It *is* the name of a movie, but not that movie.
Why, yes. Much to my surprise, it IS. Al, how do you FIND these things? The sole public comment on the video sums it up for me: "I'm so confused."

When Sally Met Harry
Just a Google search. It was okay, but it was no "The Wrath of Grapes."
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tim1217
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#417

Post by tim1217 »

Limerick Savant wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:24 am Claimed my spot on the beach yesterday when I got around to a fair grid and what seemed like a foregone meta if you agree with TimeOut.
H&S.png

On the other hand they don’t even list in their top 50 one of the best screwball comedies ever : The Awful Truth
Speaking of missing things, also nowhere to be found on (London-based) TimeOut's list is (IMHO) the best rom-com of all time, High Fidelity...and it's based on a British novel for goodness sake!

Jack Black's breakout role and in a way, he steals the show!

image.png

This scene alone is worth the price of admission...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc3TYIIpOZM
Last edited by tim1217 on Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HunterX
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#418

Post by HunterX »

tim1217 wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:58 pm
Limerick Savant wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:24 am Claimed my spot on the beach yesterday when I got around to a fair grid and what seemed like a foregone meta if you agree with TimeOut.
H&S.png

On the other hand they don’t even list in their top 50 one of the best screwball comedies ever : The Awful Truth
Speaking of missing things, also nowhere to be found on (London-based) TimOut's list is (IMHO) the best rom-com of all time, High Fidelity...and it's based on a British novel for goodness sake!

Jack Black's breakout role and in a way, he steals the show!

image.png

This scene alone is worth the price of admission...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc3TYIIpOZM
Love that movie, and all the music references. Plus the asides to the camera, etc. etc.

Definitely in my list of top 5 rom-coms. (Yes, that's a reference to the movie.)
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Joe Ross
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#419

Post by Joe Ross »

Al Sisti wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:21 pm
KayW wrote: Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:16 am
Al Sisti wrote: Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:33 pm I raced to get my answer in, and then panicked as I ran back to check my sent folder to make sure I hadn't sent in "When Sally Met Harry." Whew... I'm assuming/hoping that they don't count that as the correct answer. It *is* the name of a movie, but not that movie.
Why, yes. Much to my surprise, it IS. Al, how do you FIND these things? The sole public comment on the video sums it up for me: "I'm so confused."

When Sally Met Harry
Just a Google search. It was okay, but it was no "The Wrath of Grapes."
Was it better than Back the Empire Strikes (the Yoda Cut) ?
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Joe Ross
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#420

Post by Joe Ross »

Have to share the joy: Son's shepherd, 2½ yo Layla,❤️s snow.

Image
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