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Let's Go Orienteering (Meta)

鈼嗏梿By benchen71 Published 2024-06-11T06:00:42.906Z

Meta Prompt
The answer to the meta is the direction you are currently facing
I've had this one on simmer in the back of my mind for a while now. And then, late one restless night, the missing piece of the puzzle came to me. So don your outdoor gear, grab a map, and make your way to the starting line! Once you complete the grid you will find yourself lost in the wilderness. The answer you seek is the direction you are currently facing. Good luck! Answer & explanation:
Check out "The MOAT MEOW Mashup Pack" here: US$10 gives you access to 14 metas that don't always abide by the "rules" of the game. You won't quite know what to expect: asymmetry, 2-letter words, uncrossed letters, sometimes all of those, and sometimes none! One thing is for sure, these are some of the more creative metas my brain has been able to come up with. And there's more: this time there's a mega-meta!
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Neo solved 2024-06-11T11:53:40.147Z
  • Avlan solved 2024-06-11T12:05:49.217Z
  • Darth solved 2024-06-11T13:06:43.835Z
  • Hector solved 2024-06-11T20:49:15.587Z
  • hoover solved 2024-06-12T03:34:40.754Z
  • Berto solved 2024-06-12T11:50:00.734Z
  • markhr solved 2024-06-12T13:14:03.158Z
  • woozy solved 2024-06-12T20:00:44.458Z
  • JM solved 2024-06-12T20:33:14.222Z
  • Ninji solved 2024-06-12T23:25:23.243Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2024-06-12T23:32:38.718Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2024-06-13T11:37:33.905Z
  • Mg305 solved 2024-06-13T11:39:39.541Z
  • LarsCaine solved 2024-06-13T11:42:06.167Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2024-06-13T12:30:31.408Z
  • DrTom solved 2024-06-13T12:30:58.891Z
  • DCBilly solved 2024-06-13T13:27:46.560Z
  • kymike solved 2024-06-13T13:37:12.015Z
  • lbray53 solved 2024-06-13T15:35:10.041Z
  • omnilynx solved 2024-06-13T17:40:14.070Z
  • Johnny Luau solved 2024-06-13T19:38:15.057Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2024-06-13T19:51:25.516Z
  • Meg solved 2024-06-13T19:54:59.919Z
  • MatthewL solved 2024-06-13T21:32:25.684Z
  • Tyler Stokes solved 2024-06-13T23:51:14.646Z
  • rjy solved 2024-06-14T02:00:00.915Z
  • Abide solved 2024-06-14T02:59:44.555Z
  • Danny K Bernstein solved 2024-06-14T04:07:09.734Z
  • kurtalert solved 2024-06-14T18:46:09.709Z
  • atsiricajr111191 solved 2024-06-15T00:54:43.858Z
  • KayW solved 2024-06-15T03:28:53.309Z
  • Laura M solved 2024-06-16T22:12:04.752Z
  • Salty solved 2024-06-17T18:42:45.035Z
  • Alvibu67 solved 2024-06-18T02:20:58.422Z


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  • Neo 馃15:54聽路聽2024-06-11T11:58:04.592Z
    i saw "der" at the top middle which i thought was supposed to be red written upwards so i put north at first
    • benchen71 constructor聽路聽2024-06-11T21:19:25.761Z
      A definite red herring! Totally unintentional, I assure you.
    • benchen71 constructor聽路聽2024-06-11T23:10:33.396Z
      So who here spotted the NEEDLE in the middle of the grid? I have a feeling a few people just spammed directions until they landed on the right one!
      • hoover 3s聽路聽2024-06-12T03:36:44.690Z
        I spotted the needle! But I mixed up the head and the tail.
        • benchen71 constructor聽路聽2024-06-12T04:40:42.888Z
          I was going with the longer end pointing North. Plus it had an N at that end. :-)
          • hoover 3s聽路聽2024-06-12T04:54:13.366Z
            D'oh! My thinking was, well, the N is down there and the word runs from down there to up there, so up there must be north.
            • woozy 馃15:03聽路聽2024-06-12T20:03:54.020Z
              Yeah. I kind of assumed the same and didn't realize how circular and self confirming non valid that reasoning is until said out loud.
        • JM 13:02聽路聽2024-06-12T20:49:57.402Z
          It took a while! Woulda been funny if you had worked HAYSTACK into the grid.
          • Neo 馃15:54聽路聽2024-06-13T02:10:53.530Z
            ohh i totally thought i was looking for the word red to show the red end of the needle so the 鈥渞ed鈥 in 鈥渞edye鈥 is in the bottom left which gives the same answer
          • hoover 3s聽路聽2024-06-12T03:36:12.218Z
            Ohhhhh... I couldn't tell which end was the head, so my first guess was off by 180掳.
            • hoover 3s聽路聽2024-06-12T04:56:13.644Z
              My red herring looks like this:
               4D UNDERDO refers to 33A RARE
              31D AANDE   refers to 28D APNEA and 47A ANGELES
              41D SATRAPS refers to 20D DAN
              44A TLDR    refers to 38A NDA
              44D TEDIOUS refers to 38A NDA
              And then I got caught up in all the permutations of AND that were present in the above list.
              • benchen71 constructor聽路聽2024-06-12T06:46:50.838Z
                I can see your point. That's a lot of cross-references for one puzzle.
              • markhr 30:47聽路聽2024-06-12T13:24:42.209Z
                I finally spotted the needle but thought it was pointing upper right. Then I saw the starting N and the letters RED indicating a downward left direction. Was the actual hint TURN NEEDLE TADA? At any rate, very clever.
                • Darth 19:14聽路聽2024-06-12T14:35:01.380Z
                  Hey Ben, I put myself standing in the forest and saw the grid from a bird's eye view looking down among four trees ++++ so I had no clear "facing" direction. I had Googled "orienteering" because it was unfamiliar, and I learned about control points and then I thought maybe "double O" (as in OOID, BOOP, REPROOF, and OOPS) best represented the two concentric circles (symbol) on the orienteering map. I also saw ADD and ADDENDA (add-END-A?) so then thought I needed to END up with an A (maybe it was the closest to the triangle symbol on the map?) and UPENDED also seemed significant. (I wasn't sure how to interpret UNDERDO but ADD, UP and UNDER all seemed directional). I also tried removing the NSEW in words since it seemed there was some reason to have "vanishing" points, but doing so seemed truly "pointless" :D Anyway, for me to move "out" of the forest (the four + "trees") meant to head in one of the diagonals. But which one? I didn't spot NEEDLE but I did see DAMN and HEEL... and so I solved by random guessing. End of story. Now where's XWord Rabbit when you need him??? Lol
                  • woozy 馃15:03聽路聽2024-06-12T20:29:25.067Z
                    Heh.... I did all of those too! I did see the needle but I figured like the E-GRID in 17A it was boggle and first. The more I thought it was relevant I eventually figured out why the sport is called "orienteering" rather than "scavenger hunt". I was pretty convinced the needle was pointing in the direction of the word. (Although if it we pointing north that mean the word has to read down to up which... things don't do.... but then every other direction but N/S needles would point in word direction)
                    • Darth 19:14聽路聽2024-06-12T22:00:54.562Z
                      Good scavenger hunting detective skills, woozy. Yes, I came across GRID at one point thinking adding A's and E's to known words might be a thing. I also found the SOS and SOS (by the word BOOP there) that form a little triangular sail shape like the orange one in the picture. ;)
                  • Hector 3s聽路聽2024-06-12T14:40:21.211Z
                    Directions spammer here. I could swear NEEDLE wasn't there the first hundred times I looked
                    • LarsCaine 馃20:23聽路聽2024-06-13T11:49:22.399Z
                      Same here!
                    • Berto 1s聽路聽2024-06-12T16:15:06.472Z
                      I was totally stuck on NDA referencing 鈥渟ign鈥 and word to the WISE having every compass point but North and referencing 鈥渟ign鈥. And with all the cross-referencing to NDA, it HAD to be relevant. But then I stuck a pin it it, or more precisely a needle, and oriented to the correct direction!
                      • Tyrpmom 2s聽路聽2024-06-12T23:36:15.541Z
                        I saw the needle! I then made some wrong guesses. Then I read a tutorial on using a compass.
                        • woozy 馃15:03聽路聽2024-06-12T20:23:54.702Z
                          I had never heard of orienteering. When I wikied it, I figured the key aspect was finding the control points and it didn't occur to me orienting yourself to a compass was a concern. I kept trying to figure what to control points could be. All the ND and references to the vowels A and E seemed to be intentional. I had red the first marker was a triangle and last a double circle and I thought that was more universal and mandatory a require than it was so I was concentrating on the A in LAPD and all the words with double O's.
                          • LarsCaine 馃20:23聽路聽2024-06-13T11:59:50.788Z
                            I was obsessed with 35D (ADD) and 38A (NDA) equaling 25A (ADDENDA) minus the E (for East?) I spent way too much time trying to get words to fit in the blank plus signs.
                            • Meg 6s聽路聽2024-06-13T19:57:11.850Z
                              Me, too!
                            • Pair O Ducks 7:24聽路聽2024-06-13T12:37:08.390Z
                              I was 100% convinced the black squares were important -- either the grid corners being NW, NE... or the four compass-shaped plus signs in the grid needing to take letters for cardinal directions. With such a unique grid shape, I just couldn't shake it. Spent a lot of time reading up on orienteering maps and looking for symbols, too: shapes, colors, topographical information. Then, after seeing your nudges this morning, I first tried NE/SW as well as spelled out, before looking up how to read a compass and learning you need to turn it (I'm sure my dad taught me that once upon a time, but I digress) and then still tried NW before SE. So, in spite of my many incorrect guesses, it wasn't totally just spamming the options, I really did have an intention behind each of them (even if they weren't any good!) :)
                              • HeadinHome 馃1:13聽路聽2024-06-13T11:46:14.197Z
                                Okay, now that the nudge showed me there鈥檚 a needle, I guessed all the corner directions (still not sure which end of the needle is north)鈥 but I still like my original guess: There are FOUR WORDS missing out of the grid (the 4 directions), so of course the direction I am facing is FORWARDS! (OR FOREWARD? FOUR WORDS?). Or, because I am clearly looking at a MAP here (I didn鈥檛 think of a compass, just a map), I am likely looking DOWN. Also, if you take the center letter of each of the edge words (UODOX, etc.) and go counter-clockwise (N, W, S & E) you get DUEE鈥 DUE EAST? A particularly good guess, given the title (ORIENTeering).
                                I Don鈥檛 think I鈥檝e ever submitted so many clever answers that failed. This was a good exercise in brain wracking. Thanks Ben!
                                • lbray53 3s聽路聽2024-06-13T15:38:26.361Z
                                  I found NEEDLE easily enough. And right above it on the diagonal was TURN. AND at the end of turn, if you turned, was ONCE. I spun that little ditty for quite some time. I could never get any further though.
                                  • Abide 20:50聽路聽2024-06-14T03:05:27.954Z
                                    I鈥檓 an Eagle Scout and still don鈥檛 understand this. The needle is pointing SW or NE Why is the answer SE?
                                    • Hector 3s聽路聽2024-06-14T13:47:45.180Z
                                      Two ways to think about it. The needle is pointing back-left of you as you look down on the grid, so magnetic north is back-left and forward must be southeast. A marked compass does that calculation for you: you rotate the compass face with the directional markings around the magnetically stationary needle so that the head of the needle points to the marking NORTH. If you do that here, then the markings EAST and SOUTH are forward-left and forward-right of you, so you're facing southeast. Very clever meta. I'm not sure what the invisibility of the directions is meant to suggest -- maybe that they're independent of the grid and so can rotate independently of NEEDLE?
                                      • Abide 20:50聽路聽2024-06-14T17:03:44.732Z
                                        And I had to use my picture to grasp that 馃榿
                                        • Abide 20:50聽路聽2024-06-14T17:01:03.411Z
                                          A week 4 meta needs a week 4 explanation. Thanks Mr P!
                                          • benchen71 constructor聽路聽2024-06-15T01:15:18.011Z
                                            I hid the directions to make their locations stand out. But that it also suggests they can rotate is also a great observation!
                                        • Laura M 馃14:02聽路聽2024-06-16T22:13:16.709Z
                                          I don't know how to read a compass lol...
                                          Uni eatery, perhaps
                                          1. 1A
                                            Uni eatery, perhaps
                                          2. 4A
                                            Netflix miniseries based on Deborah Feldman's 2012 memoir
                                          3. 9A
                                            Tweety's "taw"
                                          4. 12A
                                            Singer-songwriter McKenna with three "Best Country Song" Grammys
                                          5. 13A
                                            Christmas songs
                                          6. 14A
                                            Vaper's item
                                          7. 16A
                                            Spanish miss (abbr.)
                                          8. 17A
                                            Funereal piece
                                          9. 18A
                                          10. 19A
                                          11. 21A
                                            "My hands ___" ("No can do")
                                          12. 23A
                                          13. 24A
                                            "___ bin ein Berliner"
                                          14. 25A
                                            Book supplements
                                          15. 29A
                                            Eyes closely
                                          16. 33A
                                            Order for steak that might bleed onto your plate when you cut into it (mmmm...)
                                          17. 34A
                                            Australian women's national basketball team (with "The")
                                          18. 36A
                                            Zion locale?
                                          19. 37A
                                            "Stardust" character played by Kate Magowan
                                          20. 38A
                                            Sign this and your lips are sealed (abbr.)
                                          21. 39A
                                            "It's ___-win situation!"
                                          22. 40A
                                            Sounds like a crow
                                          23. 42A
                                            Try a new hue
                                          24. 44A
                                            No way am I wading through all the terms and conditions of this 38 across! (abbr.)
                                          25. 45A
                                            Shield volcano on Hawai'i's Big Island
                                          26. 47A
                                            The A of LAPD
                                          27. 49A
                                            Australia-only-release AC/DC album (and track on "High Voltage")
                                          28. 50A
                                            Matthew McConaughey title role
                                          29. 51A
                                          30. 55A
                                            Cleaner (US English)
                                          31. 59A
                                            "La ___ Bonita" (Madonna song)
                                          32. 60A
                                          33. 62A
                                            "My bad!"
                                          34. 63A
                                            Cartoon character inspired by Esther Jones (with "Betty")
                                          35. 64A
                                            The Belt's most important port location (for all "The Expanse" fans out there!)
                                          36. 65A
                                            Aussie pickups
                                          37. 66A
                                            City roads (abbr.)
                                          38. 67A
                                            Chicken Joe line in "Surf's Up": "Cody. I know ___. I can feel it in my nuggets!"
                                          39. 68A
                                            Harry, to Charles; or Archie, to Harry
                                          1. 1D
                                            Company with an "inc." in their name
                                          2. 2D
                                            Commedia dell'___
                                          3. 3D
                                          4. 4D
                                            Cook one's steak 33 across
                                          5. 5D
                                            (From Wikipedia) Small (commonly <2 mm in diameter), spheroidal, 'coated' (layered) sedimentary grain
                                          6. 6D
                                            German determiner
                                          7. 7D
                                            Eldest Prozorov sister
                                          8. 8D
                                            BMW SUVs
                                          9. 9D
                                            Sheer, informally
                                          10. 10D
                                            Amazonian superfood
                                          11. 11D
                                            "Word to the ___: never sign something without reading it first"
                                          12. 12D
                                            Baton Rouge sch.
                                          13. 15D
                                            HS equivalency test (for Australian solvers: House of Representatives member, ___ Kearney)
                                          14. 20D
                                            "Beast" of an actor, ___ Stevens
                                          15. 22D
                                            Field of pedagogy focused on learning through play (abbr.)
                                          16. 25D
                                            Amazed, astonished
                                          17. 26D
                                            Okoye portrayer, ___ Gurira
                                          18. 27D
                                            Speak slowly
                                          19. 28D
                                            Sleep disturber
                                          20. 29D
                                            Costa del Sol attraction
                                          21. 30D
                                            Drag one's feet
                                          22. 31D
                                            Vowels required to spell 28 down and 47 across (for US solvers: cable network founded in 1984)
                                          23. 32D
                                            Richest family in America for more than a century
                                          24. 35D
                                            Sum up some numbers
                                          25. 41D
                                            Provincial governors in the ancient Persian empire (cf. 20 down 3:2)
                                          26. 42D
                                            Alter, as a photograph
                                          27. 43D
                                            As a group
                                          28. 44D
                                            Boring, like a long 38 across
                                          29. 46D
                                            "I only have one card left!"
                                          30. 48D
                                            Flexed bicep, perhaps?
                                          31. 51D
                                            Barbecue offering (and I'm hungry again!)
                                          32. 52D
                                            Those, in Spanish
                                          33. 53D
                                          34. 54D
                                          35. 55D
                                          36. 56D
                                            Dorothy's dog
                                          37. 57D
                                            Unwrap, as a present
                                          38. 58D
                                            Blog feed letters
                                          39. 61D
                                            Test for college srs.