"Pre-Order Your Copy Now" - March 11, 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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boharr
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#341

Post by boharr »

Jeffrey wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:38 am Enjoyed the meta. Only issue is that Random House is a subsidiary of Bertelsmann, a European conglomerate, in contrast to a "classic American company".
Bertelsmann bought Random House in 1998 and more recently ate up Simon & Schuster.
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Scott M
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#342

Post by Scott M »

I noticed Heavy Metal - HARSH, and Metallica Drummer - LARS, and spent quite a but of time looking for something similar. Then started thinking Pre-Order might refer to letters before O, which led to gobbledygook. Then tried the letters before a series of letters in order, e.g. HARSH. Not enough instances of that in the theme answers, although plenty throughout the grid. It wasn't until I came up with Random House on my own that I saw the HOUSE's, but even then I didn't see the RANDOM for a while.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain
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SusieG
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#343

Post by SusieG »

Doh! I got the jumbled house, but never saw the RANDOM. My mind just didn’t put it together...SHOE-U, HOUSE SHOE.
MaineMarge
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#344

Post by MaineMarge »

Another good lesson for the newbies and oldsters alike- parse every word in the title carefully. A comment over on Crossword Fiend pointed out that pre-order told us to look in front of those properly ordered houses.

Now here’s a plant I’d suggest you pre-order
Conca d’Or lily
3E52D393-7629-4DA3-8C7F-E0E5514880B0.jpeg
Another queen of my garden. I’m just 5’ tall, so you do the math. In front you see yellow verbascum chaxii and our old friend Etoile Violette clematis.
An August photo.
RDaleHall
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#345

Post by RDaleHall »

My roundabout path included asking myself "there are all these mixed up SHOEs in the answers... what is a classic SHOE ordering company? Zappos?" But one of them had a U in the midst of them. Then went to the "PRE" in the puzzle title, found "RANDOM" and then realized... duh.... it's RANDOM HOUSE.
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Commodore
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#346

Post by Commodore »

Had a foot stuck in a rabbit hole with "SHOE" for some time.
So glad I found U.

;)
MatthewL
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Location: Atlanta, GA

#347

Post by MatthewL »

Tom Wilson wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:30 am My mind originally went to "Waffle House," what with those letters going all back-and-forth, and because I always seem to be craving a big ol' breakfast.
I was stuck on the Waffle House track for quite some time as well, once I saw the "houses". Perhaps that's because there's one right across the street from the entrance to my subdivision, so I see that sign every day. Was convinced that was it.
Matthew
flyingMoose
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#348

Post by flyingMoose »

After the merger of Random House and Penguin Group, do the Penguin Classics allude to the answer description? Or is it just that some of the Random House titles are regarded as classics? Or is it just my imagination? :)
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Billy M
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#349

Post by Billy M »

Commodore wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:11 am Had a foot stuck in a rabbit hole with "SHOE" for some time.
So glad I found U.

;)
Same over here.

I also spent a little while trying to make a connection between FOND(A) and the PREvious theme clue answer part JANE thinking that each pair of theme answers tied together, and maybe the missing letters spelled out the answer, but that quickly proved to be futile.
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auee89
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#350

Post by auee89 »

IMG_0014.png
So, I saw shoe in 12A and found the same letters in the other 5 long answers. Then, the "U" popped for me and there "house" was found. I then got stuck. Started looking for houses in the grid - abbey was a choice. But "Adobe" got me with me unscrambling that and getting "abode" = house! Brilliant! Not so much after trying to substitute abode for house everywhere. A nudge from Bohar got me to think of companies with House in them and behold, my notes on the right became clear and I saw Random. It was all there, but couldn't see the answer in my own writing!

BTW, I love using Notability on my iPad for doing puzzles. Good to have another note side-by-side when running through different options.
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Anita
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#351

Post by Anita »

I was stuck at the same place as Wendy, seeing HORS D'OEUVRE and trying to transform the other theme entries the same way. I didn't ask for a nudge, so I was never able to shake that.
boharr
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#352

Post by boharr »

flyingMoose wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:33 am After the merger of Random House and Penguin Group, do the Penguin Classics allude to the answer description? Or is it just that some of the Random House titles are regarded as classics? Or is it just my imagination? :)
It's Penguin Random House now. Over the years, classic books have been published under several imprints: Penguin Classics, Modern Library (Random House), Everyman's Library (Knopf). None of these imprints, however, were/are limited to books by American writers.

The Library of America, which does consist of books only by American authors, is now distributed by Penguin Random House.
JeanneC
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#353

Post by JeanneC »

Gonna date myself here. After filling myself with those red herring hors d’oeuvres and discarding the notion of cookbooks, I focused on “classic” in the title. For some mugglish reason I started thinking of the old Sunday night game show, “What’s My Line?” What a classy, sophisticated show that was! Bennett Cerf of Random House was one of the panelists. Once I saw the random “house” in every long answer, I was there.
“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions”. Lillian Hellman
Ffrohbose
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#354

Post by Ffrohbose »

I too saw SHOE jumbled in the theme answers, I did not have eyes for U for some reason, at first. Then I did. I never noticed the preceding "random" either. I just thought of company names with HOUSE in it and the preorder clue led me to Random.
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Limerick Savant
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#355

Post by Limerick Savant »

I probably have no license to comment on the solution and comments on same since I literally left the puzzle on the shelf after solving the grid because of the volume of pressing tasks assigned to me this weekend.

Nevertheless, I would like to highlight the claim that the houses in the grid were random. My reading of puzzle construction and editing is that they must, in fact, be pre-ordered to fit the titles of the ridiculously fictional works cited in the clues. And I think we can make book on that.
Dedicated to no nonsense nonsense
DannyWalter
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#356

Post by DannyWalter »

This was fun, the 3rd contest puzzle I tried - the first one I got. First I saw SHE, then SHOE, got stuck on SHOE for a while. I decided to copy the answers into Excel so I could highlight the letters. And then it became obvious. Was this cheating?
wsjxword314.png
Regards,
Danny
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Joe Ross
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#357

Post by Joe Ross »

DannyWalter wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:23 am This was fun, the 3rd contest puzzle I tried - the first one I got. First I saw SHE, then SHOE, got stuck on SHOE for a while. I decided to copy the answers into Excel so I could highlight the letters. And then it became obvious. Was this cheating?

Image

Regards,
Danny
NO!

EDITED to add: Welcome!

My use of Excel on this puzzle (but I didn't create the form until well after solving it on my phone - also, not my best work, but gets the job done):

Image

Also, auee89's use of graphics to solve (as well as others') are very well done.

TIP: Best advice for improvement of the Excel form I've received was from Dplass: Use a uniform-width font, which you did. auee88 accomplished the same effect by writing notes on quadrille 'paper'.
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Janet P
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#358

Post by Janet P »

DannyWalter wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:23 am This was fun, the 3rd contest puzzle I tried - the first one I got. First I saw SHE, then SHOE, got stuck on SHOE for a while. I decided to copy the answers into Excel so I could highlight the letters. And then it became obvious. Was this cheating?

wsjxword314.png

Regards,
Danny
Absolutely NOT cheating! Look for Joe Ross's weekly offering of the whole puzzle in excel format -- usually on the first page.
“For myself, I am an optimist. It does not seem much use being anything else...”
― Winston Churchill, The Lord Mayor's Banquet, 9 November 1954
Grover
Posts: 44
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#359

Post by Grover »

Did no one else spend some time down the Heavy Metal rabbit hole? I saw that SLASH from AC/DC crossed the HARSH OEUVRE entry and spent time searching for similar corresponding theme answers. If Matt reads this he is probably laughing, knowing that he caught at least one person in his web (excuse the mixed metaphor).
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Scott M
Posts: 228
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:10 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA

#360

Post by Scott M »

Janet P wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:35 am
DannyWalter wrote: Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:23 am This was fun, the 3rd contest puzzle I tried - the first one I got. First I saw SHE, then SHOE, got stuck on SHOE for a while. I decided to copy the answers into Excel so I could highlight the letters. And then it became obvious. Was this cheating?

wsjxword314.png

Regards,
Danny
Absolutely NOT cheating! Look for Joe Ross's weekly offering of the whole puzzle in excel format -- usually on the first page.
My mileage varies regarding the utility of the spreadsheet. The past number of weeks were simple enough it just wan't necessary, but this week it was a huge help! Thanks Joe for putting it together each week!
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain
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