"We'll Have Waters All Around" - March 26, 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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Kris Zacharias
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Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:05 pm

#401

Post by Kris Zacharias »

Conversation this morning after I read what the meta is and how to determine it:
Me: I did write down a column of all the numbers of the clues and add them up, but I did not get 1,000!
Husband: You should have used a calculator.
MatthewL
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#402

Post by MatthewL »

Respectfully disagree with those who contend that the grid was irrelevant, and that all you needed was the clues to solve the meta. Technically true, I guess, but so what? It's a crossword puzzle -- you're supposed to fill in the grid. That's part of the fun. I enjoyed filling in a rather straightforward grid and trying to figure out the island names from crosses where necessary, rather that having to laboriously come up with the non-intuitive long themers that often get included in the Friday puzzle (looking at you, "Nile Sludge" and "Welcoming Grotto" from the recent past). Plus, I think you sort of had to fill in the grid, if only to eliminate certain rabbit holes like -- do the answers combine to form some sort of shape?

As to the complaints about having to guess the last word of the solution, again -- so what? Wasn't the "Trial Judge" puzzle from a few weeks ago all about taking an educated guess as to which words rhymed with which? Or the movie puzzle where you had to fill in the last word of the movie? How is knowing that if you have "A Bug's", and you're looking for a movie title, the answer has to include the last word "Life", any different from knowing that if you have "Thousand Island" and you need a final word for a phrase of something you might order in a restaurant, "Dressing" sure makes a lot of sense. I mean, at the end of the day, you really do have to stand back and applaud cramming 23 island names into a puzzle (without ever using the word "island" in either a clue or in the grid answers) and having those clue numbers add up to exactly 1000. For that, I can overlook any perceived inelegance in the meta.
Matthew
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Wendy Walker
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#403

Post by Wendy Walker »

Kris Zacharias wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:31 am Conversation this morning after I read what the meta is and how to determine it:
Me: I did write down a column of all the numbers of the clues and add them up, but I did not get 1,000!
Husband: You should have used a calculator.
Kris, please share with us the conversation that followed that oh-so-helpful comment!
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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Dplass
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#404

Post by Dplass »

My rabbit hole was "take the clue numbers of each island. find other clue numbers that *add up* to that clue number, and use the letters to spell something". This, and its 3 variants, failed miserably.
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Bird Lives
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#405

Post by Bird Lives »

Prozach wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:32 am
I also found the "We'll have waters all around" not particularly helpful this week. With 23 islands clearly observable, and with 1 begging us to look at them, i thought it was redundant. Any suggestions for a different title?
There are three elements:
islands
"something you might ask for in a restaurant"
adding up the numbers.

"We'll have waters all around" isn't redundant because the word "islands" does not appear in the grid or the clues. The clue for 1A refers only to "23 answers." As I said in a previous comment, I can't think of anything better. "L'addition, s'il vous plait" is not bad, but it's redundant with the 1A clue, it leaves out the islands, and besides, its suggestion of a French connection is misleading.
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femullen
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#406

Post by femullen »

When I finally got it, I had to bite my knuckles to keep from typing here, "It finally added up!" and then asking for Sam Adams Summer Ale.
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Billy M
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#407

Post by Billy M »

A few notes/observations on this one:

Like many other muggles, I struggled with the idea of simply appending the word "dressing" to solve the meta. I wanted it to be revealed in the grid. But I also remembered that this is not the first time that the answer was not explicitly spelled out with the grid (and as others have noted "the rules are ARE THERE ARE NO RULES"). Most recently, TRIAL JUDGE from last month, was entirely derived via the rhyming of theme answers.

That being said, and this was in the back of my mind for most of the weekend, 1A could've been worded slightly differently to suggest that a third word would be found by adding. As written the clue reads
Put smaller numbers together to get a larger number, as you'll do with 23 answers here
An alternate wording could have been something like this
Combine that which is smaller to get that which is larger, as you'll do 23 times with 23 answers here
It would have implied that you were looking for 23 answers that had something in common and that you would be adding 23 times. In adding 23 integers, you'd perform the operation of addition 22 times, the 23rd time would be "adding" the word dressing. That being said, not my puzzle, and plenty of people still made their way to the shore. And somebody (once again not me) will be receiving a mug in the mail in the near future.
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Billy M
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#408

Post by Billy M »

An aside - I've seen a few posts indicating that someone would never ask for thousand island in a restaurant besides good ol' Micky D's. I'm here to confirm that while our esteemed group ;) may not, there are plenty of others that do. People like what they like, and that's okay. Pre-pandemic, I worked in a very well respected casual fine dining restaurant, and while it wasn't a nightly occurrence, I would say that about three times a month a guest would request thousand Island for either a seafood dish, a salad that was already dressed, or occasionally, and please bear with me, a very nice steak. While we didn't keep it in house, pretty much any kitchen has the things to make it, and I can remember leaving my place behind the bar or on the floor more than a few times during a dinner rush to make thousand island from scratch for a guest who had requested it. Or ranch, tartar, or cocktail sauce. There was no way in hell I was going to ask the chef or anyone on the line to make thousand island dressing in the middle of a rush.

Also, Matt did say might :lol:
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HunterX
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#409

Post by HunterX »

Billy M wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:25 am An aside - I've seen a few posts indicating that someone would never ask for thousand island in a restaurant besides good ol' Micky D's. I'm here to confirm that while our esteemed group ;) may not, there are plenty of others that do. People like what they like, and that's okay. Pre-pandemic, I worked in a very well respected casual fine dining restaurant, and while it wasn't a nightly occurrence, I would say that about three times a month a guest would request thousand Island for either a seafood dish, a salad that was already dressed, or occasionally, and please bear with me, a very nice steak. While we didn't keep it in house, pretty much any kitchen has the things to make it, and I can remember leaving my place behind the bar or on the floor more than a few times during a dinner rush to make thousand island from scratch for a guest who had requested it. Or ranch, tartar, or cocktail sauce. There was no way in hell I was going to ask the chef or anyone on the line to make thousand island dressing in the middle of a rush.

Also, Matt did say might :lol:
Oh I'm definitely one of those who said I'd never actually ask for TID in a restaurant. ("Pu-LEEZE...") But it wasn't a judgement against those who like TID. It was an attempt to maintain my carefully curated image as a Class-A snob!

I have to keep up appearances, after all...

(And if you've ever seen the way I pour real maple syrup on just about anything, or the eyes of those watching the quantity I put on pancakes or French toast, you'd be surprised I just made that previous comment.)
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auee89
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#410

Post by auee89 »

Billy M wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:25 am An aside - I've seen a few posts indicating that someone would never ask for thousand island in a restaurant besides good ol' Micky D's. I'm here to confirm that while our esteemed group ;) may not, there are plenty of others that do. People like what they like, and that's okay. Pre-pandemic, I worked in a very well respected casual fine dining restaurant, and while it wasn't a nightly occurrence, I would say that about three times a month a guest would request thousand Island for either a seafood dish, a salad that was already dressed, or occasionally, and please bear with me, a very nice steak. While we didn't keep it in house, pretty much any kitchen has the things to make it, and I can remember leaving my place behind the bar or on the floor more than a few times during a dinner rush to make thousand island from scratch for a guest who had requested it. Or ranch, tartar, or cocktail sauce. There was no way in hell I was going to ask the chef or anyone on the line to make thousand island dressing in the middle of a rush.

Also, Matt did say might :lol:
These Deviled Eggs from a local fav don't work without the house-made 1000 Island Dressing - delightful!

FRIED DEVILED EGGS
HOUSE GIARDINIERA, NDUJA SAUSAGE, 1000 ISLAND
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Billy M
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#411

Post by Billy M »

HunterX wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:36 am
Billy M wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:25 am An aside - I've seen a few posts indicating that someone would never ask for thousand island in a restaurant besides good ol' Micky D's. I'm here to confirm that while our esteemed group ;) may not, there are plenty of others that do. People like what they like, and that's okay. Pre-pandemic, I worked in a very well respected casual fine dining restaurant, and while it wasn't a nightly occurrence, I would say that about three times a month a guest would request thousand Island for either a seafood dish, a salad that was already dressed, or occasionally, and please bear with me, a very nice steak. While we didn't keep it in house, pretty much any kitchen has the things to make it, and I can remember leaving my place behind the bar or on the floor more than a few times during a dinner rush to make thousand island from scratch for a guest who had requested it. Or ranch, tartar, or cocktail sauce. There was no way in hell I was going to ask the chef or anyone on the line to make thousand island dressing in the middle of a rush.

Also, Matt did say might :lol:
Oh I'm definitely one of those who said I'd never actually ask for TID in a restaurant. ("Pu-LEEZE...") But it wasn't a judgement against those who like TID. It was an attempt to maintain my carefully curated image as a Class-A snob!

I have to keep up appearances, after all...

(And if you've ever seen the way I pour real maple syrup on just about anything, or the eyes of those watching the quantity I put on pancakes or French toast, you'd be surprised I just made that previous comment.)
:lol: :lol: -again, people like what they like!
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ReB
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#412

Post by ReB »

I guess I was very fortunate this week: I quickly saw that the 23 place names were all islands (which was the first fulfillment of 1A), so I immediately jumped to THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING. I was pondering how to confirm THOUSAND, when I was struck by the oddness of there being exactly 23 islands.

Then I remembered again 1A tells us we'd have to somehow add the entries, and realized that you could add 23 numbers to get to 1000 if the average number was about 40. I did a quick scan of the distribution of the corresponding clue numbers, decided it was feasible, got out my calculator and was duly awed when the last number gave me 1000. No rabbit holes for once.

As far as DRESSING, I pondered a bit looking for confirmation but soon decided that (1) since THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING is so well-known a restaurant item and (2) since our puzzle author is not a sociopath, I would just have to go with that.
wb93
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#413

Post by wb93 »

I ended up giving much more consideration to the puzzle title than I should have. As a consequence, was certain that the something was drink/cocktail-related. Wanted to find those drinks by adding/combining “island” answers.

Lesson learned to not try to guess the answer, but rather let the meta reveal itself.

This weekend was obviously not the “salad days” of my meta solving for me.
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Cindy N
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#414

Post by Cindy N »

While I am in the "disappointed at no dressing confirmation" camp (I mean, look how many of us missed RANDOM last time, right?) I am puzzled at people substituting 60A for 19A. Just wondering why you would use a clue that asked for a city, rather than one that mentioned the Harbor and the full name is Ellis Island? Not saying anything against you, just curious.
boharr
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#415

Post by boharr »

City Island is in the Bronx.
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HunterX
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#416

Post by HunterX »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:38 am
Bird Lives wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:03 am
Wendy Walker wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:51 am

My most common nudge to baffled Muggles was "check your math." Several came SO CLOSE!
Sometimes that guy Joe Ross has a point with the spreadsheet thing.
Two-things:
  • This is the first time I've used the mathematical capabilities of Excel to solve a meta. (Are you reading this, Meg?) I started and continue to use it for it's easy & superior mark-up, list-building, & ink/toner/paper-free characteristics.*
  • To one muggle, I used variants of "Re-check your math!" 64 times. That beloved, unnamed muggle claims it was only 4, but we disagree. It's *possible* that my count is a tad hyperbolic based on extreme AYFKM?!?!? emotions, but we'll never know... ;) :shock: :roll: :?: :?
*Checkout HunterX's wonderful Suggestion for using an iPad app to solve Metas!
NEVER doubt the power of a spreadsheet! (Motto to live by, in my (work)book.)

Thanks for the plug, Joe! This particular puzzle didn't look quite as fun/colorful in the iPad app as the samples in my post. Kind of a "sea" of yellow with some tiny blue islands:


WatersAllAround.png
Andrew Bradburn
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#417

Post by Andrew Bradburn »

Al Sisti wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:04 am Two things:

1. Kudos to everyone who solved it
2. My hail mary should have counted, had I sent it in: "Java To Go." (Java and Togo are islands)
3. Jangler still hasn't solved MGWCC

and that should tell you all you need to know about how well I count.
Reminds me of The Apartment, when Shirley MacLaine holds up four fingers and says "three," or something like that. Seriously, "Java to go" is brilliant, you should have entered it! My own opinion is that they should have accepted any answer with THOUSAND ISLAND and a reasonable third word, as DRESSING is only implied. I would have.

As for MGWCC, I am not close to solving it either, and my hat is off to those who have, especially the person who started a new streak with it, after having missed last week's. Now THAT is impressive! I am growing weary of seeking nudges just to keep a (small) streak alive, so I will probably submit my own Hail Mary at the last minute if I don't figure it out today.
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C=64
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#418

Post by C=64 »

A couple of other people have mentioned it, but the fact that Matt tiptoed around the word ISLAND and never used it in any of the clues meant there was a 1000% chance that it would be one of the three words in the meta answer.

Unrelated info: The Icelandic word for ice is "ís", so they spell Iceland "Ísland".
Ergcat
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#419

Post by Ergcat »

Dplass wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:57 am My rabbit hole was "take the clue numbers of each island. find other clue numbers that *add up* to that clue number, and use the letters to spell something". This, and its 3 variants, failed miserably.
I was adding just about everything.... #letters in the island name, assigning numbers to each letter, taking any Roman numeral in the island name and adding it up, etc. So many Silly rabbits to follow! I even consulted my daughter who has a PhD in mathematics , but to no avail! ( she did suggest adding clue numbers but I had already dismissed that!).
Scraps
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#420

Post by Scraps »

ReB wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:40 am
As far as DRESSING, I pondered a bit looking for confirmation but soon decided that . . . since our puzzle author is not a sociopath, I would just have to go with that.
You’re quite sure of that? On what evidence? From how many frustrated muggles did you take depositions?
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