"In Character" - February 19, 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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BethA
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#361

Post by BethA »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:14 am My beautiful copy, which my parents gave me in 1970:
I still have mine, too. It’s the Illustrated Junior Library version, illustrated by Louis Jambor. Pressed between the pages, I found several paper snowflakes! Inside the cover is written my name, then “from Mom & Dad (for your 12th birthday)”.
MaineMarge
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#362

Post by MaineMarge »

Much loved book, many times read.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Mike.

Little Women? Middlemarch?? Gotcha covered-
My own little garden woman:
5BD681B8-6FDF-4F00-A6E2-BC2FA82A5B35.jpeg
“Carrie Underwood” ( she has wood under her- built upon a cedar post). Photo dated March 10, 2008.
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Joe Ross
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#363

Post by Joe Ross »

BethA wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:34 am
Wendy Walker wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:14 am My beautiful copy, which my parents gave me in 1970:
I still have mine, too. It’s the Illustrated Junior Library version, illustrated by Louis Jambor. Pressed between the pages, I found several paper snowflakes! Inside the cover is written my name, then “from Mom & Dad (for your 12th birthday)”.
These are great, Wendy & Beth!

Beth, shouldn't it have been inscribed, "from Marmee & Dad (for your 12th birthday)"? No? :oops:
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C=64
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#364

Post by C=64 »

A couple of solvers remarked on the precision of the meta construction; each of the four names was precisely centered in the middle of its theme entry, not just anywhere in the middle. A nice touch.
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DrTom
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#365

Post by DrTom »

HunterX wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:39 pm
DrTom wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:29 am
HunterX wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:33 pm On shore.

Wait... I tipped the cabana boy QUITE well to ensure he set up a well appointed and well equipped cabana for me, with a sunset view over the bluest part of the ocean, just above high-tide mark, and a ready supply of appropriately chilled Vinho Verde. Yet where is he? Too busy running around serving umbrella-drinks to the ladies, I see? And there's no room for my cabana? He left me a sandy Smurf towel to sit on!?! WELL I NEVER!!! (Okay, maybe once in the 70's...)

Fine... I'll just get a burger and one of those $12 bottles of wine that's been "aged" in bourbon barrels to give it more kick. If I can't live in style, at least I can live in a blissful stupor.
LOOK! Up on the beach...is it a bird, is it a crane....no it's Stuporman. Able to leap tall sandy towels with a single bound

Yes, it's Stuporman ... strange visitor from another zip code, who came to the island with powers and abilities far beyond those of moral men! Stuporman ... who can change the course of mighty rivers of thought, bend words with his bare mind, and who, disguised as Hunter X, mild-mannered meta solver for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for [6 letter word for veracity], [7 letter word for fairness], and the [Expresso shot topped with hot water at Starbucks] way!
Ah, Dr. Tom. We meet again. I Marvel at your wit. I'd ask what caper you were up to, but I see you fully consumed your bloody mary and have not even a stalk of celery left. And as I gaze down the beach, across the water, just past the Incredible Hulk sitting off the pier, and listen to the dulcet sounds of Black Sabbath's Iron Man playing over the tiki bar speaker, I see we can Watch Men play volleyball. But I would say to you, "Doctor, Strange, it's only men playing. There's a woman standing there watching. I Wonder Woman doesn't join them." I remember the last time we were here on this beach and you told me to watch my step, saying, "Look, it's a Spider, Man." I was impressed by your Hawk Eye. But you didn't notice the other 3, so I said, "That's Fantastic, Four of them together!"

I have to stop. My pun-muscle is getting Thor...
Hunter, thanks for your response, I would have assumed nothing less from an X man. Unfortunately you were pretty complete and by the time I got up to Bat Man I saw you were Robin all the good superheroes. So I sat back, enjoying some smoked pork from the company of a former Iranian ruler (Shah’s Ham) and thought about what parts of my day would allow me to respond most appropriately. I went to the Dermatologist and as I was sitting at the intersection waiting for that large Green Lantern to change I was getting beeped at because I had missed the Green Arrow that was showing me I could go. Needless to say I was out of there in a Flash. I went past a large moving van on the way, that lumbering Hulk was going to make me late but I got an open lane and knew it was my Destiny to arrive on time. I’m glad because I was getting angry at his pace but the open lane allowed me to Nick Fury early enough that I arrived at the appointment calm and did not have to Storm in and go Rogue. Some people are doing these visits virtually but I kind of like the Human Touch. Still it got a bit testy while there because the receptionist took four other people before me and finally I had to ask “What, am I Invisible, Woman? She recognized my zeal (no doubt honed during my years of following Michigan football, I am a Wolverine after all) and once that little problem was solved I Groot to like her so I will say Namor about it.

So now home I am having a bite to eat (coffee and one of those Ante Mans crumb cakes) and replying to my favorite Punisher. If you a re looking for some Meta Puns then look no further than and upcoming puzzle by Madhatter and myself (don’t know whether it will be a MEOW or MMM) that is easy but disgustingly punny. Plus (shameless plug) I have the honor of being the MMM today, so if you have not already, give it a shot…if you Dare Devil!

Oh, and my pun muscle seldom gets tired, I guess it's just my Thing, though I'll admit it has Been Grim at times.
NUDGES! If you see that I have solved, feel free to PM me, along with what you have done so far, and I'll be happy to nudge you onto the right track.

This is a community, feel welcome, and never feel uncomfortable asking a question.
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KayW
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#366

Post by KayW »

I wish this month they had included one on whatever-the-heck-it-is mechanism Matt is using in MGWCC this week. Still :shock: :shock: :shock:
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HunterX
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#367

Post by HunterX »

DrTom wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:28 pm
So now home I am having a bite to eat (coffee and one of those Ante Mans crumb cakes) and replying to my favorite Punisher. If you a re looking for some Meta Puns then look no further than and upcoming puzzle by Madhatter and myself (don’t know whether it will be a MEOW or MMM) that is easy but disgustingly punny. Plus (shameless plug) I have the honor of being the MMM today, so if you have not already, give it a shot…if you Dare Devil!
Nice! Should be PhUN!
MikeMillerwsj
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#368

Post by MikeMillerwsj »

Hello--this was a standout contest in every respect. An absolutely ingenious construction (finding symmetrical pairs of entries with the sisters sitting in the middle of each--respect!). And a record-shattering turnout of 3998 entries (an even 4000 if you count two that trickled in past midnight), with an above-average 94% correct.

Other guesses included THE IDES OF MARCH (51), BEAU GESTE (from Beaujolais?, 15), ADAM BEDE (13), and SILAS MARNER (13).

And congrats to this week's winner: Dan Gerstman of Buffalo, NY!
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Bob cruise director
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#369

Post by Bob cruise director »

MikeMillerwsj wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:04 pm Hello--this was a standout contest in every respect. An absolutely ingenious construction (finding symmetrical pairs of entries with the sisters sitting in the middle of each--respect!). And a record-shattering turnout of 3998 entries (an even 4000 if you count two that trickled in past midnight), with an above-average 94% correct.

Other guesses included THE IDES OF MARCH (51), BEAU GESTE (from Beaujolais?, 15), ADAM BEDE (13), and SILAS MARNER (13).

And congrats to this week's winner: Dan Gerstman of Buffalo, NY!
It is only fair that the entries to the contest were short of a round number as the muggles on shore at 249, also a record and short of a round number :lol:
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DrTom
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#370

Post by DrTom »

I tried sooo hard to screw this up because when I saw the GRID everything fell into place:
incharacter.jpg
MIDDLEMARCH - well what else could that be but the Ides.

BEAUJOLAIS - One of the more famous is Julienas (a favorite) named after Julius Caesar
BLAMEGAME - well if you have read about the fall of the empower you have probably seen the famous Cicero quote: "do not blame Caesar, blame the people..."
DREAMYOGA - Caesar's wife has a dream that tells Caesar he should stay home that day
ILLBETHERE - Veni, Vidi, Vici - DUH

So of course the book had to be Julius Caesar, no doubt about it except....

These were supposed to be easier, this took some specialized knowledge, some were a bit of a stretch. Thankfully I picked up the razor and chose the simpler path, PWHEW. I would have been quite mad at myself.
Last edited by DrTom on Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
NUDGES! If you see that I have solved, feel free to PM me, along with what you have done so far, and I'll be happy to nudge you onto the right track.

This is a community, feel welcome, and never feel uncomfortable asking a question.
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Thurman8er
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#371

Post by Thurman8er »

Bob cruise director wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:39 pm
MikeMillerwsj wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:04 pm Hello--this was a standout contest in every respect. An absolutely ingenious construction (finding symmetrical pairs of entries with the sisters sitting in the middle of each--respect!). And a record-shattering turnout of 3998 entries (an even 4000 if you count two that trickled in past midnight), with an above-average 94% correct.

Other guesses included THE IDES OF MARCH (51), BEAU GESTE (from Beaujolais?, 15), ADAM BEDE (13), and SILAS MARNER (13).

And congrats to this week's winner: Dan Gerstman of Buffalo, NY!
It is only fair that the entries to the contest were short of a round number as the muggles on shore at 249, also a record and short of a round number :lol:
I solved the meta on my way to the beach and forgot to check in that I was...wait for it...ON THE BEACH!!

Here's to 250!
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Bob cruise director
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#372

Post by Bob cruise director »

Thurman8er wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:09 pm
Bob cruise director wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:39 pm
MikeMillerwsj wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:04 pm Hello--this was a standout contest in every respect. An absolutely ingenious construction (finding symmetrical pairs of entries with the sisters sitting in the middle of each--respect!). And a record-shattering turnout of 3998 entries (an even 4000 if you count two that trickled in past midnight), with an above-average 94% correct.

Other guesses included THE IDES OF MARCH (51), BEAU GESTE (from Beaujolais?, 15), ADAM BEDE (13), and SILAS MARNER (13).

And congrats to this week's winner: Dan Gerstman of Buffalo, NY!
It is only fair that the entries to the contest were short of a round number as the muggles on shore at 249, also a record and short of a round number :lol:
I solved the meta on my way to the beach and forgot to check in that I was...wait for it...ON THE BEACH!!

Here's to 250!
There were several regulars who either did not check in or did not do the contest.
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Bird Lives
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#373

Post by Bird Lives »

DrTom wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:28 pm
HunterX wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:39 pm
DrTom wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:29 am
LOOK! Up on the beach...is it a bird, is it a crane....no it's Stuporman. Able to leap tall sandy towels with a single bound
<snip>
smoked pork from the company of a former Iranian ruler (Shah’s Ham)
<snip>
There are more superheroes than you can imagine or makes puns on who have never seen the light of day, or should I say never seen the light of Ben-Day? They languish, locked in the vaults of DC, Marvel, et al. NPR's Planet Money podcast had an episode recently where they tried to buy the rights to DoorMan -- yes, that's a superhero, for realz. It's worth a listen. https://www.npr.org/2021/02/19/96951223 ... o-loophole
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HunterX
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#374

Post by HunterX »

Bird Lives wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:56 pm
There are more superheroes than you can imagine or makes puns on who have never seen the light of day, or should I say never seen the light of Ben-Day? They languish, locked in the vaults of DC, Marvel, et al. NPR's Planet Money podcast had an episode recently where they tried to buy the rights to DoorMan -- yes, that's a superhero, for realz. It's worth a listen. https://www.npr.org/2021/02/19/96951223 ... o-loophole
DoorMan??? Wow. I bet he got teased by all the super villains with the old trope, "You're the DoorMan? Well there's the door, man!"
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HunterX
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#375

Post by HunterX »

Oh, how I long for the "normal" metas, even if they are harder. No one posted of their difficulties solving this one. No one talked about their "A HA!" moments. And no one posted of all the rabbit holes they went down, because there were none. (Or none anyone noticed having swum to shore so quickly.)

Oh, and my chances for getting a mug just decreased significantly. :(
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DrTom
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#376

Post by DrTom »

Bird Lives wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:56 pm
DrTom wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:28 pm
HunterX wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:39 pm

smoked pork from the company of a former Iranian ruler (Shah’s Ham)
<snip>
There are more superheroes than you can imagine or makes puns on who have never seen the light of day, or should I say never seen the light of Ben-Day? They languish, locked in the vaults of DC, Marvel, et al. NPR's Planet Money podcast had an episode recently where they tried to buy the rights to DoorMan -- yes, that's a superhero, for realz. It's worth a listen. https://www.npr.org/2021/02/19/96951223 ... o-loophole
I understand that they had originally considered a character built around a taxi driver named Matthew Dore, his superhero name would have been DoorMat and his catch phrase would have been "Step on It!" :D
NUDGES! If you see that I have solved, feel free to PM me, along with what you have done so far, and I'll be happy to nudge you onto the right track.

This is a community, feel welcome, and never feel uncomfortable asking a question.
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DrTom
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#377

Post by DrTom »

Bird Lives wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:56 pm
DrTom wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:28 pm
HunterX wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:39 pm

smoked pork from the company of a former Iranian ruler (Shah’s Ham)
<snip>
There are more superheroes than you can imagine or makes puns on who have never seen the light of day, or should I say never seen the light of Ben-Day? They languish, locked in the vaults of DC, Marvel, et al. NPR's Planet Money podcast had an episode recently where they tried to buy the rights to DoorMan -- yes, that's a superhero, for realz. It's worth a listen. https://www.npr.org/2021/02/19/96951223 ... o-loophole
Oh, and I am relatively sure there are not more than I can make puns on, I am after all the superhero PunnyBone, able to build great leapings in a single sentence and can steal benzes with my hair bands.....
NUDGES! If you see that I have solved, feel free to PM me, along with what you have done so far, and I'll be happy to nudge you onto the right track.

This is a community, feel welcome, and never feel uncomfortable asking a question.
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DrTom
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#378

Post by DrTom »

I am sorry to say that I will not be on the Muggle Zoom call this evening. My wife foolishly asked me to participate in something non-crossword related. The nerve of that woman, expecting time from me...well there goes my Noble prize (I just KNOW that META solving will be a category in the next selection and I apparently have as good a chance f getting the Nobel as that darn mug....)

So someone please take my position and make silly comments or double entendrés for me. If I had known my MMM was coming out yesterday I would have lobbied for a different day but too late now. I mean I suppose I could just beg off but 5-10 years of silence and askew glances might be a bit too much for me... :D

(Just kidding of course, I have got to love a woman who would put up with me for almost 40 years)
NUDGES! If you see that I have solved, feel free to PM me, along with what you have done so far, and I'll be happy to nudge you onto the right track.

This is a community, feel welcome, and never feel uncomfortable asking a question.
SewYoung
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#379

Post by SewYoung »

What a difference a week makes.... almost 70 degrees today, and look at the color of that sky!
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DrTom
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#380

Post by DrTom »

SewYoung wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:45 pm What a difference a week makes.... almost 70 degrees today, and look at the color of that sky!
Image
Impressive scarecrow you've got there!
NUDGES! If you see that I have solved, feel free to PM me, along with what you have done so far, and I'll be happy to nudge you onto the right track.

This is a community, feel welcome, and never feel uncomfortable asking a question.
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