Grid: quarter-hour; meta: wanted a nudge
Mike Shenk’s Wall Road Journal contest crossword, “Energy Play” — Conrad’s writeup.
This week we’re on the lookout for a 4 letter phrase. There have been 4 lengthy theme entries:
- [Question from a recalcitrant child]: WHYSHOULDI
- [Hardly remarkable]: NOGREATSHAKES
- [Was harmful]: HADABADEFFECT
- [Second power’s counterpart]: SQUAREROOT
I noticed the “second energy” a part of the final themer, however ran proper previous it and pursued a bunch of useless rabbit holes. I obtained caught on SOLAR (the middle horizontal entry, clued as “Power supply”) and META (clued as “Like a play about performs”). They each related to the title, however went nowhere. Listed below are another doomed concepts that I pursued:
- I checked squares 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, and so forth., and tried to type phrases
- Amps, volts, and so forth.
- TACHS (appeared power-related)
- Numerous chemical sugar compounds
- Energy = power/time
- Hockey (energy play, 5 on 4 entries, and so forth.)
I spun my wheels and reached out to my good friend Gideon for a nudge because the Fiend deadline neared. He despatched me again to my first (and proper) rabbit gap: SQUAREROOT. I seen that every every theme entry was comprised of quite a few phrases with various lengths, for instance: WHY SHOULD I has a 3, 6, and 1 letter phrase in it, resulting in the quantity 361. The sq. root of 361 is nineteen. The opposite themers additionally mapped to good squares:
- WHY (3) SHOULD (6) I (1): 361 -> 19
- NO (2) GREAT (5) SHAKES (6): 256 -> 16
- HAD (3) A (1) BAD (3) EFFECT (6): 3136 -> 56
- SQUARE (6) ROOT (4): 64 -> 8
The sq. roots map to squares 19, 16, 56, and 64, forming the phrase MATH, our contest resolution. One other superb meta by Mike. I wanted a nudge (and didn’t submit for the mug), however that’s on me. We use the mnemonic PICNIC in my trade (Drawback In Chair, Not In Laptop). This was a PICNIC puzzle for me (Drawback In Chair, Not In Crossword). At any time when I miss a meta I attempt to brainstorm methods to enhance sooner or later. I obtained distracted by varied rabbit holes, however Gideon didn’t, saying “59a was such a transparent sign that I didn’t get distracted.” Word to self: belief a robust sign, and camp out in that rabbit gap. I had the same expertise with Will Nediger‘s current epic MGWCC: I famous there have been no I’s or L’s within the grid and listed that as a possible rabbit gap. Incorrect: it was the rabbit gap. Solvers: let me understand how you fared, and please describe the all rabbits you chased. I’ll finish with Love Spreads by the Stone Roses.