Joe Ross' Guide to Solving the WSJ Meta with Excel

This is a place to learn about the Muggles community and some of the terminology we use. It also contains suggested strategies for solving meta crosswords, as well as a repository of all past WSJ crossword contests and solutions.
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Joe Ross
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#181

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The following links are the latest 15x15, 17x17, & 21x21 grid-sized Excel blank templates. These links will continue to be up-to-date. They also include instructions on how to customize for puzzles. (All feedback is welcome & requested.)

202104XX WSJCC — — Excel form 15x15

202104XX WSJCC — — Excel form 17x17

202104XX WSJCC — — Excel form 21x21

I am publishing these because I may not be as reliable on posting links for puzzles in a timely manner, going forward. I want solvers to be able to create their own, should they desire. With COVID easing, I expect that I will be resuming consulting work, which has mainly been based on the travel & restaurant industries.

As it is, I tend to create & post links for Excel forms for the public metas that I solve. Those are the WSJCC, MMM, & MEOW. I also create them for MGWCC & MMMM, but do not publicly post links for these subscription-based metas.

I PM the links to the MGWCC forms to 15 to 20 muggles who subscribe within an hour of the puzzle dropping. If you'd like to receive these links, let me know, please.

Other puzzles I try my best to attempt to solve, such as the great Pandora's Box metas, seem to want the online form to be used for solving & entering. If I am incorrect about this, please tell me. 🙂

I wish to respect all creators' wishes. To that end, if any creator would want me to or not want me to create or publish links to Excel templates of their puzzles, PLEASE PM me. Thank you!

If creators DO want me to create & publish links to their puzzles, I request that you send me any form of or link to the puzzles as far ahead of their drop dates & times as possible. This will allow your solvers the quickest use of them to solve. This will also give me the freedom to create on my schedule and not feel guilty about not publishing soon after dropping.

For any metas that I do receive ahead of time, I will not post myself as solving until the 2nd page within its topic, so as not to annoy the more competitive solvers. (N.B. I am not requesting early access for WSJCC, MGWCC, nor MMMM.)
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qvart
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#185

Post by qvart »

Just saw this thread. That's handy.

I guess I do something similar with the WSJ contest - I use Across Lite to solve, take a screenshot of the entire filled in grid, paste it into Photoshop, then highlight the theme answers and work through them visually (using either the paint bucket tool to add color to individual squares or the shape tool to draw rectangles). Then I add blank space to type the theme answers/notes.

Image
Last edited by qvart on Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joe Ross
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#186

Post by Joe Ross »

qvart wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:14 pm Just saw this thread. That's handy.

I guess I do something similar WSJ contest - I use Across Lite to solve, take a screenshot of the entire filled in grid, paste it into Photoshop, then highlight the theme answers and work through them visually (using either the paint bucket tool to add color to individual squares or the shape tool to draw rectangles). Then I add blank space to type the theme answers/notes.

Image
Welcome! You may also enjoy HunterX's excellent Suggestion for using an iPad app to solve Metas
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qvart
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#187

Post by qvart »

Joe Ross wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 1:31 pmWelcome! You may also enjoy HunterX's excellent Suggestion for using an iPad app to solve Metas
I'd give that a shot but I can't load any new apps on my iPad (it's a 1st gen Mini and doesn't get updates anymore). All I use it for is to play Word Streak - which is pretty much identical to Boggle but I think this app is better than the Boggle app (although Word Streak was discontinued a long time ago).
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Joe Ross
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#190

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Joe Ross
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Posts: 1671
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:46 am
Location: Cincinnati

#191

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Joe Ross
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Location: Cincinnati

#192

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