"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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DrTom
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#341

Post by DrTom »

Goodness me (or ME as the case may be) of all the controversy in these METAs I did not expect the assumed inconsistency to be so prominent in people's displeasure with the puzzle. I certainly do not know why Matt would apologize.

Yes I started looking at the FULL names of people like MATT DAMON, MATT DILLON, IAIN ARMITAGE, ELON MUSK, RON WEASLEY and NERO (who has enough names that he could almost be a whole answer) and realized there was no consistent way I could get letters (besides why two MDs).

I then looked at completing abbreviations TLC, HSN, SDI etc. (though not FUBAR!) and again ran into the "no mechanism" thing. That is when I employed Mr. Occam. "I have 5 long answers, I need 5 letters, where might I most logically get them". After I saw the states I again did the "Matt wants FULL names, where would I get the other letters to the name AND also get a letter I can use for a solve?" Since the "use another GRID word and add or subtract a letter" is a common mechanism, and there was a word like LAWFARE I realized I had the path. I fell into the CA Conundrum (the problem not the wine or at least not right away) and ended up with F?FTY but the partial answer was just too revealing given the name of the puzzle (never even thought about the USA thing except for my abbreviations attempt at solving) so I went back and looked at how I could use CALIFORNIA when I saw that EACH theme word had a TWO LETTER word in it and that was the state each time. So, no inconsistency, clean solve and remarkable construction.

Now had I NOT solved it my tune might well be different, but I would have had to accept that the solve was straightforward, logical and consistent. I just hope I can remember all of this for the next puzzle.
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.
31 Down
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Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:16 pm

#342

Post by 31 Down »

After going around the block a few times, you learn in 90% of the metas, the long or asterisked answers and sometimes the center answer provide the first solution step. Even if other parts of the grid are involved, they are usually after step one. If you stray from this, you're likely to end up splitting HARES.

That's why those other state initials were easily disregarded.
Thomas W (since there's already a Tom W)
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KayW
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#343

Post by KayW »

I got this one after a detour down the LIFORNIA rabbit hole, but as others, once I realized the resulting entry would not fit in grid I moved to ME. Which wasn't a stretch for me because at one point I had highlighted every state abbreviation in the grid I could find. And later, a helpful muggle pointed out to me that each of the relevant states are "stand alone" words within the TEs.

What truly impressed me is that Matt found entries where the missing letters in each state appear in the same order as they do in the state names:
OH-(f)IO
M-(i)AIN-E
DE-LAW(f)ARE
H-AWAI(t)-I
ID-AHO(y)
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Wendy Walker
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#344

Post by Wendy Walker »

As soon as the puzzle drops each Thursday, I force myself to pause before starting to solve (as painful as that is for this somewhat competitive Muggle). I use this self-imposed timeout to study the puzzle title and allow some possibilities to enter my brain before even looking at the grid. This week, that brief delay totally paid off, as I was already primed to look for states and to think about spelling out their full names. Did CA throw me for a loop? It did, briefly, but then I realized it that the key state abbreviations were the 2-letter words in each theme answer. A perfectly consistent mechanism.
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.
jrdad
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Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:42 am

#345

Post by jrdad »

sf592000, that video is hilarious! Thanks.
MatthewL
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#346

Post by MatthewL »

So I got stuck in a weird rabbit hole. I saw the state abbreviations almost right away, and did not fall into the California trap because the other 4 were two-letter words, so I figured it had to be ME, and not the CA in CALL. But then what to do? Spent a long time staring at IN AWE and OK GO, as those had two-letter words that were state abbreviations. But kept coming back to it had to be the five long answers. So then I just spelled out the full names and then took the next letter (i.e., if you spell out Ohio in 17A, the next letter would be "P"). But that led to gibberish. Then I looked at 39D and the clue was "Follow Me" and the answer was "This way" going down. AHA!! There it is -- you take the letter underneath the last letter ... except, no --just more gibberish. Tried various permutations using different state words and got no where. Finally, I reached out to Dr. Tom who suggested I needed to find the missing letters to state names somewhere, and then the mechanism became obvious. I didn't submit, because I never would have gotten that on my own. Just could not dig out of that hole without some outside help. Fun puzzle though. I'll get 'em next time.
Last edited by MatthewL on Mon May 24, 2021 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Matthew
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Cindy N
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#347

Post by Cindy N »

TeaJenny wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 9:24 am
38D was the one I should have focused on: Dos Passos trilogy (USA).
I noticed that afterwards. When I filled the grid initially, that ended up being done with my Across fills and I hadn't read the clue or answer until later. I figured that would have been a "confirmation" by Matt but it wasn't even mentioned in the solution, so an interesting coincidence, I guess.
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DrTom
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#348

Post by DrTom »

sf592000 wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 8:12 am
I also was heavily distracted by watching this over and over again during the solve.

EASILY one of the funniest clips I have seen in a long time. Tears in my eyes....thanks for sharing.
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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femullen
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#349

Post by femullen »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 10:29 am ...but then I realized it that the key state abbreviations were the 2-letter words in each theme answer. A perfectly consistent mechanism.
I have no beef with the mechanism or solution this week: they beat me no more badly than I'm beaten 80% of the time anyway.

But I would like to ask Wendy, when did "DE" became a two-letter word? Unless you're Quebecoise or sumpm.

Puzzle makers introduce non-English words into their creations all the time, of course, so even allowing a bit of French in here should not provoke undue grumbling. But I would not like to give Gaffney, et al., the impression that we Muggles are sitting out here eagerly awaiting the appearance of more from the Tower of Babel. I can fight my way through a word or two of French, even of Spanish if the subject is confined to beer. But my Tagalog is weak, and my Urdu rates no better than a B-minus. Please, let's not encourage the puzzleers.
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hunkra
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#350

Post by hunkra »

sf592000 wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 8:12 am I also went down multiple rabbit holes on this one:

Happy accident that 17A - OH and 50A - HI are the 17th and 50th states?

IN AWE and OK GO also threw me for a loop.

FIO Laguardia - FL, Matt Damon - MD, IAIN Armitage - IA, Nero Claudius - NC

I also was heavily distracted by watching this over and over again during the solve.

I love Gary Gilman so much 😆👏. If you haven’t seen his new-ish special on HBO called The Great Depresh, I highly recommend it.
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Wendy Walker
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#351

Post by Wendy Walker »

femullen wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 11:20 am
Wendy Walker wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 10:29 am ...but then I realized it that the key state abbreviations were the 2-letter words in each theme answer. A perfectly consistent mechanism.
I have no beef with the mechanism or solution this week: they beat me no more badly than I'm beaten 80% of the time anyway.

But I would like to ask Wendy, when did "DE" became a two-letter word? Unless you're Quebecoise or sumpm.

Puzzle makers introduce non-English words into their creations all the time, of course, so even allowing a bit of French in here should not provoke undue grumbling. But I would not like to give Gaffney, et al., the impression that we Muggles are sitting out here eagerly awaiting the appearance of more from the Tower of Babel. I can fight my way through a word or two of French, even of Spanish if the subject is confined to beer. But my Tagalog is weak, and my Urdu rates no better than a B-minus. Please, let's not encourage the puzzleers.
F.E., one of my "nudgees" also took issue with "de" being considered a standalone two-letter word. You are absolutely right, it IS originally a French phrase, but I suspect that even someone who had never suffered through conjugating ETRE would realize that the phrase comprises two words: DE and RIGUEUR. And "foreign" words are used all the time in crosswords -- where would we be without those German numbers and articles?
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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Kas
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#352

Post by Kas »

I'll be hanging out on the ship this week. I'm left with the thought that yes, "Sometimes even a blind squirrel gets a nut," but then again, "Sometimes you're the windshield...sometimes you're bug."
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camandsampowercouple
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:58 am

#353

Post by camandsampowercouple »

I was going crazy trying to figure out if I needed to find all instances of state abbreviations in the grid. I saw a couple of MAs and a couple of GAs and the repeats made me feel really strongly that I could probably just stick with the big 5 theme entry abbreviations. At some point, LAWFARE just shot out at me like a bullet and the rest was history.
JetStream
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:56 pm

#354

Post by JetStream »

Conrats. I missed this one but I think I'm learning more meta 'tricks' with every time. I'll have to pay more attention to the odd-ball answers (LAWFARE ???) next time instead of just rushing through the grid. See y'all next Friday.
Ergcat
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#355

Post by Ergcat »

Dplass wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 7:48 am
KRM wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:07 am So, after one gets the names of the states, where is the clue/hint that tells the solver to look for answers in the grid with the remaining letters of the state names? Is it that there is no such hint/clue and is something one just notices by staring at the grid?
+1
I think the Title of the puzzle “Please STATE your FULL NAME” is what gave me the most direction/clue to solve this meta. First, the word “state” lead me to see the state abbreviations in the long clue answers. Second, Then “full name” lead me to search the other answers/clues to see if the rest of the state name was somewhere.Third, based on studying past puzzles, and the contest clue that the answer was a 5-letter word, I knew to look for an extra or incorrect letter of the state name I found to form a 5-letter word.
KRM
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#356

Post by KRM »

Joe Ross wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:15 am
KRM wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:07 am So, after one gets the names of the states, where is the clue/hint that tells the solver to look for answers in the grid with the remaining letters of the state names? Is it that there is no such hint/clue and is something one just notices by staring at the grid?
Here are two Topics that will give you a lot of help & history on how puzzles are solved & designed:

FAQs - Community / Solving Resources
Thanks
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sphorning
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#357

Post by sphorning »

Matt threw me down the rabbit hole where I found Matt(hew), Nat(han), Bea(trice), Cal(vin), Ron(ald) and a possibly even Eve(lyn) all FULL NAMES...
I did briefly think of STATES, and saw OH for Ohio, but never would have thought to look for the remaining letters to create the full name of the state.
I often find this with the metas rated three stars and up...my brain simply doesn't think that way.
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802puzzler
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#358

Post by 802puzzler »

I got the grid early and then got sidetracked. By the time I got back to the puzzle (on Sunday evening!) I was too tired from a weekend of gardening to dig in 😉. Better luck next week!
JeanneC
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#359

Post by JeanneC »

Did not solve but this was an elegant puzzle. Once again, I enjoyed reading the solution almost as much as if I had actually solved the meta. Looking forward to Thursday!
“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions”. Lillian Hellman
stmv
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#360

Post by stmv »

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.
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