"Bit Parts" - May 7, 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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Wendy Walker
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#421

Post by Wendy Walker »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 5:34 am I got it when I looked down at my notes and saw

HAM
HERS
PO
ON
That was my first foursome, too! Then I saw HAM in the clue for 32D and searched the rest of the clues for the others -- nothing. But I knew SPOON was too good to be just a coincidence (exactly like banJO + spaHN = JOHN in the May MMMM), so I looked at HERSPOON and -- bam! -- realized that WIT would be an even better answer.
THAT FEMALES hurt this copy editor's head for a few minutes, what with THAT being singular and FEMALES (at first glance) being plural.
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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TheCatt
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#422

Post by TheCatt »

Well, we got the right answer, but using the wrong path!
otlaolap
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Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:48 am
Location: Palo Alto, California

#423

Post by otlaolap »

Had some luck. TURINSRIVER was the first of the four theme answers that suggested itself as a follow-on clue. No idea what river goes there, so google. PO. Wait a sec -- PO (2)? Immedately I added ON (2). Reflection revealed HERS (4). So then googled for 3-letter synonyms for FUNNY PERSON. Got Wit Wag Ham. I'd been writing this all of this on paper, in the puzzle order, and WIT HERS PO ON was clear.

Never heard of Witherspoon candy. What is Witherspoon? Back to google. There is something named Reese Witherspoon, but no candy connection that I could see. Finally said the heck with it, Reese is a candy, Piece is cute sound-wise, and there is after all "Parts" in the title. Off it went.

Personally I prefer the puzzles that do not have "suggest" in the official explanation.
Carter
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:22 am

#424

Post by Carter »

I have been with Isaac for weeks now and we are developing a lovely friendship.
My confusion with this puzzle is that other than 'PO' reversed in 64A, none of the answers were in the puzzle.
Is that correct?
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femullen
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

#425

Post by femullen »

My candidate answers for 17A: HUMORIST, COMIC, COMEDIAN, JESTER, CLOWN, and a few more of the like. Never WIT, alas, even after correctly coming up with HERS, PO, and ON. Figured the answer must end in SPOON, but couldn't find a candy brand that fit. That it was a hint intended to bring to mind the name of a pop singer never occurred to me; on entertainment, I am the profoundest dunce.

Some person with a sharper wit than mine suggested late Thursday or early Friday that this puzzle was so easy that it should be an exemplar for for beginners to help build their confidence. Thus is mine shattered.
SReh26
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:48 pm

#426

Post by SReh26 »

Carter wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 9:08 am I have been with Isaac for weeks now and we are developing a lovely friendship.
My confusion with this puzzle is that other than 'PO' reversed in 64A, none of the answers were in the puzzle.
Is that correct?
That’s why I call it fiendish and devilish. But seriously, I felt the same way but after rereading the solving tips in the Come Aboard section of this site a few times, and chatting with some of the board’s gurus, it’s starting to feel less arbitrary and heinously unfair.
michaelm
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:21 pm

#427

Post by michaelm »

femullen wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 9:11 am My candidate answers for 17A: HUMORIST, COMIC, COMEDIAN, JESTER, CLOWN, and a few more of the like. Never WIT, alas, even after correctly coming up with HERS, PO, and ON. Figured the answer must end in SPOON, but couldn't find a candy brand that fit. That it was a hint intended to bring to mind the name of a pop singer never occurred to me; on entertainment, I am the profoundest dunce.

Some person with a sharper wit than mine suggested late Thursday or early Friday that this puzzle was so easy that it should be an exemplar for for beginners to help build their confidence. Thus is mine shattered.
Would most agree that almost none of these are "easy" except in hindsight?
Keep on keeping on!
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anaerobe
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#428

Post by anaerobe »

I got REESES w/o much trouble, and thought, 'Oh, REESES CUPS'. Granted, CUPS doesn't quite fit with 'bit parts', but I thought: 'Well, the pic Reese's advertises usually as a 'bite' taken out where someone has 'bit' it, and there are two 'parts' to that candy bar.... " But, aesthetically, I was not quite satisfied.

Anywho, I literally had my stubby little pointer finger poised to send 'REESES CUPS' when the thunder clap of 'PIECES' hit my amygdala, like a....clap of........well, thunder. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe it was my wife screaming 'PIECES!!!' from downstairs. At any rate, I withdrew my clicker finger, corrected the error, and averted disaster.

For those keeping score, this is the 15,786th time that woman has saved me.
Ergcat
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Location: Seneca SC

#429

Post by Ergcat »

Easy one for me! I lived in Hershey PA for a while ( Jr High and High School). Fond memories of peanut roasting smells from the Reese’s factory! Other days, it was chocolate smells from the Hershey factory!
Also, while I was doing the meta, my granddog Reese was sitting next to me... I call her “Reese’s Piecey”! The aha moment was instantaneous!
Last edited by Ergcat on Mon May 10, 2021 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
sf592000
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2021 8:08 pm
Location: Florida

#430

Post by sf592000 »

For some reason I struggled with this one more than most... but mostly by overcomplicating things..

THATFEMALES and the implied apostrophe in TURINSRIVER seemed clunky at best.

Initially had PO and ON, but abandoned thinking it correlated in the grid (funnypersON, perchedatOP).

Another rabbit hole was attempting to break the themers into Bits and Parts (Bit of Fun - RAHRAH, Part of a Person - GENE, Part of a River - DELTAS), but what is a Bit of Turins?!?

A kind nudge helped me ashore, but left with a bitter taste as opposed to the sweet answer.
MatthewL
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:57 am
Location: Atlanta, GA

#431

Post by MatthewL »

I think sometimes you just see it, and sometimes you don't. This one was the former for me. Didn't have to struggle with it like I do so many other weeks. I'm sure I will be put back in my place next week.
Matthew
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Mister Squawk
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Location: Boston

#432

Post by Mister Squawk »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 8:37 am
Mister Squawk wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 5:34 am I got it when I looked down at my notes and saw

HAM
HERS
PO
ON
That was my first foursome, too! Then I saw HAM in the clue for 32D and searched the rest of the clues for the others -- nothing. But I knew SPOON was too good to be just a coincidence (exactly like banJO + spaHN = JOHN in the May MMMM), so I looked at HERSPOON and -- bam! -- realized that WIT would be an even better answer.
THAT FEMALES hurt this copy editor's head for a few minutes, what with THAT being singular and FEMALES (at first glance) being plural.
Well my first foursome was

COMIC
HERS
PO
UPON

before I tumbled to the meaning of the parentheses...
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Richard
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:06 pm

#433

Post by Richard »

MatthewL wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 10:14 am I think sometimes you just see it, and sometimes you don't. This one was the former for me. Didn't have to struggle with it like I do so many other weeks. I'm sure I will be put back in my place next week.
Same with me. Once I had PO and ON then the meaning of he numbers was obvious. I think I next went HAM HERS PO ON which made no sense but saw WITHERSPOON in very short order and Reese's Pieces followed.

Pretty sure that int the near future I will be completely blind to what others see as obvious.
rosiegirl
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Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:26 pm

#434

Post by rosiegirl »

My mistake was making a final leap from the correct answer to an incorrect answer. I had Reese's Pieces, but didn't think of that being a "brand" so jumped to the brand that makes it...Hershey Company. Ugh!
SReh26
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:48 pm

#435

Post by SReh26 »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 10:21 am
Wendy Walker wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 8:37 am
Mister Squawk wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 5:34 am I got it when I looked down at my notes and saw

HAM
HERS
PO
ON
That was my first foursome, too! Then I saw HAM in the clue for 32D and searched the rest of the clues for the others -- nothing. But I knew SPOON was too good to be just a coincidence (exactly like banJO + spaHN = JOHN in the May MMMM), so I looked at HERSPOON and -- bam! -- realized that WIT would be an even better answer.
THAT FEMALES hurt this copy editor's head for a few minutes, what with THAT being singular and FEMALES (at first glance) being plural.
Well my first foursome was

COMIC
HERS
PO
UPON

before I tumbled to the meaning of the parentheses...
I had
WIT
SHE
PO
ON
RobM
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:29 pm
Location: Fairfax County, Virginia

#436

Post by RobM »

Solvers used to doing cryptic crosswords may have had a small edge on this one, since we're used to seeing (#) to denote the number of letters in the answer.
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femullen
Posts: 132
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

#437

Post by femullen »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 10:21 am
Wendy Walker wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 8:37 am
Mister Squawk wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 5:34 am

Well my first foursome was

COMIC
HERS
PO
UPON

before I tumbled to the meaning of the parentheses...
How interesting: those were my first four exactly. Never took the meaning of the parentheses though, mostly because I was never certain of the last clue (UPON, ON, SEATED, ROOSTING, whatever) nor whether the second was HER or HERS.
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Cindy N
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Location: Wisconsin

#438

Post by Cindy N »

I really hesitated before sending REESES PIECES because it said the meta was a two word candy brand and that's one of the Reese's candies, not the brand so I feared being pageanted. I did ultimately submit the correct answer.
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CPJohnson
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:38 pm
Location: Kingsport, TN

#439

Post by CPJohnson »

For your amusement, I offer my tortuous path to the answer: I didn't see the relationship between the parenthetical numbers and the word length at first. So, I had comic-hers-po-upon. The, I decided wit would be a better fit, since it was shorter ("bit" in the title). So then I had wit-hers-po-upon. Aha! 2 words, so withers and poupon! Mind racing. Bill Withers? Grey poupon? Isn't poupon French for baby? Baby Ruth? Sugar Babies? But what about Bill? And I haven't used the parenthetical numbers! I finally matched up the word length with the actual words and realized that upon should have been on. Once I saw Witherspoon, I got Reese's Pieces. Whew. :lol:
Cynthia
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Joe Ross
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#440

Post by Joe Ross »

WARNING: PEDANTIC NERD WAR UPCOMING!

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup consists of smooth peanut butter cream wrapped in Hershey's chocolate.
Product type: Chocolate
Owner: The Hershey Company
Produced by: The Hershey Company
Country: United States
Introduced: November 15, 1928; 92 years ago
Related brands:
  • Take 5 (candy)
  • Reese's Pieces
  • Reese's Fast Break
  • NutRageous
😋
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