"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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Bob cruise director
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#301

Post by Bob cruise director »

hoover wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 11:53 pm I have a nit to pick about the contest rules, but I don't know whom to contact, so I'll just leave my rant here.

"Midnight" should never be used as a deadline because it is ambiguous. If you're ever in a position of giving a deadline, use one minute before or after midnight instead, to make it clear which day you're talking about.
by midnight New York City time on the Sunday
Which midnight is this referring to?
  • the midnight that is one minute after 2359 / 11:59PM on Saturday night and one minute before 0001 / 12:01AM on Sunday morning
  • the midnight that is one minute after 2359 / 11:59PM on Sunday night and one minute before 0001 / 12:01AM on Monday morning
If you look at the directions on the pdf, it says 11:59 pm Eastern Time Sunday May 23. See post #296
Last edited by Bob cruise director on Mon May 24, 2021 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joe Ross
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#302

Post by Joe Ross »

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
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LadyBird
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#303

Post by LadyBird »

After getting the FIFTY, I noticed OKGO & GAZA and thought--did Matt hide all 50 states in here as another level of elegance. So I frittered some time away looking for that. I think I found 30 state abbreviations. Then I looked at last week's puzzle and found 20+. So I imagine that there are lots of state abbreviations every week.

Got back from an organized owl prowl about 35 minutes ago. We managed to find a screech owl, so that was fun.
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Richard
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#304

Post by Richard »

I think this was an excellent meta. First of all it was a "no doubter" when you got it you knew it was right. Second, for me, it had a few aha moment. Seeing the 2 letter state abbreviations at the start of the theme words, seeing you needed to find the entries for the full name, seeing that it was not the start of the theme words but the the letter "words" in the theme words that mattered. I, like many I am sure, spent a lot of time dealing with the CA. Plus USA in the grid for added confirmation.

Loved the use of the word "Lawfare."
Jace54
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#305

Post by Jace54 »

Not sure if it was intended, but I thought an additional layer of impressive construction was the order of the letters “fifty”:

fio
iain
lawfare
await
ahoy

First two letters were the beginning letter of the related grid answer, middle letter was the middle letter of the grid answer, and the last two letters were the last letter of the grid answer.
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jhseeman
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#306

Post by jhseeman »

I like I"m sure others got stuck looking for California, as the other three were the first letters of the clue. After looking for a good long time for how to force it realized (with the help of a 2x4 upside the head) that there wasn't a shoehorn big enough to fit that one into the grid.
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escapeartist
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#307

Post by escapeartist »

Gman wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:06 am I got the right answer, but man did I spend way too much time looking for the mythical LIFORNIA plus an I.
right? It was too long to fit anywhere.

Then I heard about rabbit holes too deep to get out of.

Then I thought Gaffney did this on purpose to screw with everybody.

Then I realized Gaffney isn't as diabolical as his puzzles sometimes are. :D

unless... :shock:
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DrTom
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#308

Post by DrTom »

Soooo many people (including myself for a while) fell into the California trap. Luckily if you got the other states then the F?FTY was pretty clear. There were several possible traps though:
55A MANI
26D AGAIN
19A IWHO

After I circled back to CALIFORNIA for about the 10th time I saw that I needed something else and darned if it wasn't the odd name of the star of one of my favorite shows (which until this puzzle I thought was IAN).

A typically great Matt 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.
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yourpalsal
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#309

Post by yourpalsal »

LadyBird wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:17 am After getting the FIFTY, I noticed OKGO & GAZA and thought--did Matt hide all 50 states in here as another level of elegance. So I frittered some time away looking for that. I think I found 30 state abbreviations. Then I looked at last week's puzzle and found 20+. So I imagine that there are lots of state abbreviations every week.

Got back from an organized owl prowl about 35 minutes ago. We managed to find a screech owl, so that was fun.
I was 100% looking for all 50 as an extra flourish after solving the meta. First, I thought Matt would hide all 50 in the grid. When that didn’t pan out I searched painstakingly for the two letter combos in the clues as well. And then I thought wouldn’t it be awesome if he also used the instructions and the answer to Thurs puzzle! It was just for the extra flourish, and it would’ve been so fun to uncover that! :mrgreen:
hoover
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#310

Post by hoover »

Bob cruise director wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:10 am
hoover wrote: Sun May 23, 2021 11:53 pm I have a nit to pick about the contest rules, but I don't know whom to contact, so I'll just leave my rant here.

"Midnight" should never be used as a deadline because it is ambiguous. If you're ever in a position of giving a deadline, use one minute before or after midnight instead, to make it clear which day you're talking about.
by midnight New York City time on the Sunday
Which midnight is this referring to?
  • the midnight that is one minute after 2359 / 11:59PM on Saturday night and one minute before 0001 / 12:01AM on Sunday morning
  • the midnight that is one minute after 2359 / 11:59PM on Sunday night and one minute before 0001 / 12:01AM on Monday morning
If you look at the directions on the pdf, it says 11:59 pm Eastern Time Sunday May 23.
Ah, I never look at the PDF since I don't have a printer. I was looking at the page called Crossword Contest Official Rules.
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#311

Post by hoover »

LadyBird wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 12:17 am After getting the FIFTY, I noticed OKGO & GAZA and thought--did Matt hide all 50 states in here as another level of elegance. So I frittered some time away looking for that. I think I found 30 state abbreviations. Then I looked at last week's puzzle and found 20+. So I imagine that there are lots of state abbreviations every week.
Same here. I found all but 12 using traditional word-search rules (horizontal, vertical, diagonal ok). I was hoping to find all but 5, or all but one where the one had five letters (since there are no Xs, I was thinking it might be TEXAS).
Plymouthrock
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#312

Post by Plymouthrock »

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?
Read the last words of the clues “let one go back”
Plymouthrock
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#313

Post by Plymouthrock »

California was a problem for me. So was “a,” blank space, “rho” - eking out an answer that felt woefully incorrect which was offer, not submitted. Second week of getting mechanism but execution D-. Had the celebratory IPA anyway watching that PGA even though I was SOL in RVA.
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#314

Post by Plymouthrock »

Read the last words of clues “let one go back”
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Mister Squawk
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#315

Post by Mister Squawk »

One question: What designated those five clues as "the theme clues"? I immediately got the STATE and state abbreviation question, but there are many other answers with state abbreviations (MATT for example).

I couldn't identify anything unique about those 5 answers.

Thanks for any tips!
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CallMeShane
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#316

Post by CallMeShane »

The California-Maine conundrum

I see two possibilities:

option A: Gaffney could not find a 10 letter word or phrase that began with ME (like MENSA TESTS) where he could come up with down answers to fit the grid

option B: Gaffney sits in his lair with a Snidely Whiplash sneer, stroking his mustache, silkily whispering “What can I do this week to give CallMeShane the most aggro?” Bwah-ha-ha!!!!!

I’m going with option B.
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TeamDoubleTow
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#317

Post by TeamDoubleTow »

Mister Squawk wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 4:39 am One question: What designated those five clues as "the theme clues"? I immediately got the STATE and state abbreviation question, but there are many other answers with state abbreviations (MATT for example).

I couldn't identify anything unique about those 5 answers.

Thanks for any tips!
All the themed state abbreviations were words themselves (or a spoken abbreviation for a word) in the long answers (9 or so spaces), unlike the CA in California. That eliminated the inconsistency for us when we noticed it.
minimuggle
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#318

Post by minimuggle »

Well at least now I know that Matt Damon's middle name is Paige and that Ron Beaseley's middle name is Billus. I looked at so many full names but there were too many. Oh the rabbit holes. I immediately got the state abbreviations although at first I thought it was Ca and not Me. Then I searched for other clues for these states, nicknames, state landmarks etc but no luck. I also looked at all of the acronyms but there were more than 5 of them. Finally I threw in the towel. Even when Wendy said I was on the right track and gave me a nudge, I still couldn't get it. But I did celebrate all of your genius with a Stag's Leap Chardonnay :) Have a good week.
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SReh26
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#319

Post by SReh26 »

For those who looked for California, did you also look for Alabama? It was shoehorned in there between California and Maine, well, within California (CAL).

Without a nudge, how did one identify which of the many states were the golden 5?
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Joe Ross
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#320

Post by Joe Ross »

SReh26 wrote: Mon May 24, 2021 6:47 am For those who looked for California, did you also look for Alabama? It was shoehorned in there between California and Maine, well, within California (CAL).

Without a nudge, how did one identify which of the many states were the golden 5?
These were the five that fit, that worked within the mechanism, which was easily identified by the other 4.

As mentioned, earlier, I was expecting the answer to state that the state abbreviations within the obvious long, horizontal Theme Entries were those that were separate words, or initials, but it didn't. Given that the meta clue was asking for a five-letter word & that there were 5 TEs, it was simple enough to choose one state from each.
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