"Please State Your Full Name" - May 21, 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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Scraps
Posts: 92
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:15 pm
Location: Gulf Coast of Florida

#361

Post by Scraps »

Even though there are no x-es in the grid, I recalled the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE meta, in which we were expected to notice the absence of the last two-word state capital, and tortured the puzzle in an attempt to make it confess TEXAS, the only five-letter state name not represented in the theme answers.
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mikeB
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:50 pm

#362

Post by mikeB »

To my untrained eye, this meta was very well crafted. As several people have noted, it had the priceless feature of 100%-sureness once it was solved. California was a glitch for me, and as in others' experiences, that was after the other four letters were revealed. So here we had four letters derived from state name abbreviations in each of four theme words, and all derived the same way, viz., complete the state's name and pocket the surplus letter. The mission was to tweeze a fifth letter out of 25A. It took only seconds to conclude that California wasn’t going to be the source, because you’d need a nine-letter word as raw material. Plainly no such words were available in the grid. Therefore, to be consistent with the other four letter reveals, one had to look at other state name abbreviations within 25A. Then it was a quick trip from ME to IAIN and the 100%-sureness experience. To me at least, the speed bump represented by California was a feature, not a flaw. As to consistency, since the method for harvesting of each of those five letters was the same, this meta arguably deserves high marks in that department. Plus it was fun.
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Limerick Savant
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:22 am
Location: Mobile, AL
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#363

Post by Limerick Savant »

Those few easier weeks were a curse
Where my fortunes appeared to reverse.
I thought I got better
At solving the meta.
Now it seems that I only got verse.

Strangely enough I intuited the correct answer because of the title and the many state abbreviations to be found throughout the grid. My original focus was on the first two letters of the five long answers but, like others, I became caught in the California fault line and never found my way out.

Found the puzzle grid simply replete
With short states. But which ones to complete?
The answer is nifty
Just five will make fifty
But the wrong ones will lead to defeat
Dedicated to no nonsense nonsense
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mheberlingx100
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:39 am

#364

Post by mheberlingx100 »

stmv wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 5:29 pm I'm a bit mystified at those complaining about DE being a two-letter word. The phrase (coming from French, yes, but used fairly commonly in English) is clearly "de rigueur", not "derigueur". In a sense, DE is much more of a two-letter word than ID is.

For me the importance of the two-letter words in the five clear theme entries jumped out at me right away, especially after I nearly got killed on the MGWCC "Please form two lines" meta where it turned out to be important to notice that each theme entry contained exactly one four-letter word.

Despite seeing the two-letter state abbreviations nearly right away, I did get sidetracked by an initial rabbit hole I haven't seen mentioned yet: Another common "letter hiding" meta mechanism is to have a key word exist elsewhere in the grid, but anagrammed with one letter changed. I noticed that MANIN = anagrammed MAINE with N substituted for E, and IWHO is OHIO anagrammed with W substituted for O; with 2/5 theme entries fitting this pattern, I was confident that I was on my way! But then looking for an anagram of Delaware but finding LAWFARE instead got me out of this rabbit hole and back on the right track.
I also have no problem with puzzle construction. Once I started filling the grid, I noticed the state abbreviations in the 5 longest clues. Admittedly, I did get hung up for a moment noticing other 2 letter combos that were state postal codes, but abandoned that pretty quickly - five long clues and five letter answer seemed a better rabbit hole to dive down.

Based on the title, I spelled out the full name of the states. From there, it was “Iain” that caught my eye and clued me in on the meta. Much more common to have “Ian” in crossword puzzles. Searched for the other 4 clue answers that had the omitted letters from the state abbreviation. “Lawfare” was actually the last one I saw. Put the extra letters in order then, Bob’s your uncle, the answer emerged.
MikeMillerwsj
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:46 pm

#365

Post by MikeMillerwsj »

Greetings--a quick update (with apologies for the brevity on a busy week):

This puzzle was another tough one! (We thought...). So many red herrings and rabbit holes. We had 1468 responses, with an impressive 79% correct. A barrage of wrong guesses: JUDGE, COURT, HONOR, STATE, many many others.

Congrats to this week's winner: Shishir Sheth of Mequon, Wisc.!
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fuggedabowdit
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:24 pm

#366

Post by fuggedabowdit »

I took the meta mechanism a step too far. After arriving at FIFTY, which I considered unsatisfyng as a final answer, I looked at the answer to the # 50 clue, and thought I had found a significant coorelatiom between the abbreviated state in the answer (HI) and the fact that it was the FIFTIETH state. Using what I then thought was a convenient and perhaps intended coincidence, I reexamined the #50 clue and arrived at what is an appropriate greeting in Hawaii - ALOHA.
IMO - Still think it makes for a more challenging meta answer !!
Never trouble trouble til trouble troubles you !
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DrTom
Posts: 1424
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

#367

Post by DrTom »

fuggedabowdit wrote: Tue May 25, 2021 1:23 pm I took the meta mechanism a step too far. After arriving at FIFTY, which I considered unsatisfyng as a final answer, I looked at the answer to the # 50 clue, and thought I had found a significant coorelatiom between the abbreviated state in the answer (HI) and the fact that it was the FIFTIETH state. Using what I then thought was a convenient and perhaps intended coincidence, I reexamined the #50 clue and arrived at what is an appropriate greeting in Hawaii - ALOHA.
IMO - Still think it makes for a more challenging meta answer !!
I believe you are now a candidate for the trophy I thought I had locked up..."Hardest, most circuitous way to arrive at an answer that really sounds like it should work!". I actually like your answer a lot, it won't help its chances that is for sure, but I like it.
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
Posts: 1424
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

#368

Post by DrTom »

Limerick Savant wrote: Tue May 25, 2021 12:13 am Those few easier weeks were a curse
Where my fortunes appeared to reverse.
I thought I got better
At solving the meta.
Now it seems that I only got verse.

Strangely enough I intuited the correct answer because of the title and the many state abbreviations to be found throughout the grid. My original focus was on the first two letters of the five long answers but, like others, I became caught in the California fault line and never found my way out.

Found the puzzle grid simply replete
With short states. But which ones to complete?
The answer is nifty
Just five will make fifty
But the wrong ones will lead to defeat
Your rhyming does always amuse,
I smile at the subjects you chose.
I'm often endowed,
With a clear laugh out loud
While I try to not spit out my booze

Fret not over sine wave success
Our solve papers are always a mess
But with practice your skill
Will more accurately kill
Metas where previously you'd guess
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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Limerick Savant
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:22 am
Location: Mobile, AL
Contact:

#369

Post by Limerick Savant »

DrTom wrote: Tue May 25, 2021 3:46 pm
Limerick Savant wrote: Tue May 25, 2021 12:13 am Those few easier weeks were a curse
Where my fortunes appeared to reverse.
I thought I got better
At solving the meta.
Now it seems that I only got verse.

Strangely enough I intuited the correct answer because of the title and the many state abbreviations to be found throughout the grid. My original focus was on the first two letters of the five long answers but, like others, I became caught in the California fault line and never found my way out.

Found the puzzle grid simply replete
With short states. But which ones to complete?
The answer is nifty
Just five will make fifty
But the wrong ones will lead to defeat
Your rhyming does always amuse,
I smile at the subjects you chose.
I'm often endowed,
With a clear laugh out loud
While I try to not spit out my booze

Fret not over sine wave success
Our solve papers are always a mess
But with practice your skill
Will more accurately kill
Metas where previously you'd guess
I can say I feel nary a qualm
‘Bout accepting your metrical balm
It must please any Muggle
Seeking ease in their struggle
Getting treatment from old @DrTom
Dedicated to no nonsense nonsense
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sharkicicles
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri May 10, 2019 12:03 pm
Location: Chicago

#370

Post by sharkicicles »

Congrats Shishir! Wisconsin is about as close as the mug has come to Chicago recently so I’m counting this as a moral victory.
SReh26
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:48 pm

#371

Post by SReh26 »

sharkicicles wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 1:21 am Congrats Shishir! Wisconsin is about as close as the mug has come to Chicago recently so I’m counting this as a moral victory.
Yes, congrats! Nice to see another Muggle take home the gold!
hoover
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:26 pm

#372

Post by hoover »

SReh26 wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 8:23 am
sharkicicles wrote: Wed May 26, 2021 1:21 am Congrats Shishir! Wisconsin is about as close as the mug has come to Chicago recently so I’m counting this as a moral victory.
Yes, congrats! Nice to see another Muggle take home the gold!
Congrats! I'll count this one as a win since it's in my timezone here in flyover country.
michaelm
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:21 pm

#373

Post by michaelm »

fuggedabowdit wrote: Tue May 25, 2021 1:23 pm I took the meta mechanism a step too far. After arriving at FIFTY, which I considered unsatisfyng as a final answer, I looked at the answer to the # 50 clue, and thought I had found a significant coorelatiom between the abbreviated state in the answer (HI) and the fact that it was the FIFTIETH state. Using what I then thought was a convenient and perhaps intended coincidence, I reexamined the #50 clue and arrived at what is an appropriate greeting in Hawaii - ALOHA.
IMO - Still think it makes for a more challenging meta answer !!

In awe at the effort there.
What a wild coincidence you uncovered.
+Fifty points extra credit!
SReh26
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:48 pm

#374

Post by SReh26 »

You know you have a problem when you wake up and think, oh goody! It’s finally Thursday and the meta’s coming out!

🥃🍸

(yes I know there are metas every day, Im not there yet)
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lbray53
Posts: 279
Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 8:34 am

#375

Post by lbray53 »

I avoided the CA trap by pure luck. While trying to find the abbreviations for all 50 states, the clue for 39A "Follow me" and the fill "this way" popped into my head when I saw ME in 25A.

When I finally settled on needing to use the five themers, I wrote out MAINE as a possibility the first time through those fills. In fact, I looked for multiple state abbreviations in the other four themers.

Lawfare started me on Delaware. When I got to CALL ME BACK the weird spelling for IAIN just popped up.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
steveb
Posts: 222
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:25 pm
Location: Silicon Valley, CA

#376

Post by steveb »

SReh26 wrote: Thu May 27, 2021 8:47 am You know you have a problem when you wake up and think, oh goody! It’s finally Thursday and the meta’s coming out!

🥃🍸

(yes I know there are metas every day, Im not there yet)
Wait - that's a problem? Uh-oh...
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