The Plot Thickens (Meta)

· By Alex Sisti · Published 2023-01-16T14:00:26.647Z

Meta Prompt
The answer to this meta is a famous athlete
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Emma Oxford solved 2023-01-16T14:34:53.690Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2023-01-16T15:12:48.479Z
  • Capn Rick solved 2023-01-16T15:15:50.612Z
  • Meg solved 2023-01-16T15:29:22.746Z
  • Schmeel solved 2023-01-16T15:30:53.875Z
  • oldjudge solved 2023-01-16T15:51:32.962Z
  • michaelm solved 2023-01-16T17:26:53.331Z
  • boharr solved 2023-01-16T18:14:53.882Z
  • MatthewL solved 2023-01-16T18:23:37.178Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2023-01-16T18:33:58.833Z
  • rjy solved 2023-01-16T19:12:20.914Z
  • lbray53 solved 2023-01-16T19:48:21.185Z
  • Abide solved 2023-01-16T19:55:00.776Z
  • Laura M solved 2023-01-16T21:55:00.219Z
  • edestlin solved 2023-01-16T21:56:13.233Z
  • AaronT solved 2023-01-16T22:38:14.053Z
  • woozy solved 2023-01-16T23:04:15.978Z
  • Mwoychick solved 2023-01-16T23:21:47.210Z
  • KayW solved 2023-01-17T00:13:50.397Z
  • ReB solved 2023-01-17T01:31:35.542Z
  • Carolyn solved 2023-01-17T01:40:25.404Z
  • Hector solved 2023-01-17T11:32:29.128Z
  • DIS solved 2023-01-17T17:05:25.239Z
  • ChrisCross solved 2023-01-17T20:30:30.524Z
  • Ergcat solved 2023-01-18T02:13:21.501Z
  • JM solved 2023-01-18T15:39:54.984Z
  • Cindy Heisler solved 2023-01-18T17:02:24.138Z
  • markhr solved 2023-01-18T17:05:41.953Z
  • BrennerTJ solved 2023-01-18T17:32:44.345Z
  • ajk solved 2023-01-18T18:34:09.723Z
  • DavyGravy solved 2023-01-18T19:37:36.629Z
  • Mikey G solved 2023-01-18T19:56:57.021Z
  • Bird Lives solved 2023-01-18T22:01:49.242Z
  • Anita and Steve solved 2023-01-18T22:06:58.631Z
  • Dave C solved 2023-01-18T22:16:31.926Z
  • Johnny Luau solved 2023-01-18T23:07:04.412Z
  • SeamusOL solved 2023-01-18T23:15:23.967Z
  • BarbaraK solved 2023-01-18T23:18:32.788Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2023-01-19T00:52:42.267Z
  • Teamdoubletow solved 2023-01-19T01:44:00.915Z
  • Bbaack solved 2023-01-19T03:57:37.436Z
  • jbird solved 2023-01-19T04:07:53.117Z
  • Dow Jones solved 2023-01-19T07:16:10.785Z
  • minimuggle solved 2023-01-19T11:57:31.314Z
  • Alvibu67 solved 2023-01-19T18:17:52.996Z
  • THC solved 2023-01-19T19:32:58.125Z
  • whimsy solved 2023-01-19T21:17:14.224Z
  • Laura ED solved 2023-01-20T08:59:46.441Z
  • TMart solved 2023-01-20T16:09:32.606Z
  • Eric Porter solved 2023-01-20T21:05:18.701Z
  • Naptown Kid solved 2023-01-21T20:57:40.165Z


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  • Emma Oxford 🤓4:20 · 2023-01-16T14:41:48.804Z
    Whoa. Cool puzzle! As an occasional coder, I definitely appreciate starting at (0,0) in the bottom left, but man these coordinate puzzles always trip me up because it seems so arbitrary where to start counting from. Very helpful hint at 18A18AOrigin in a Cartesian coordinate system (and a hint to the meta)[--------] though. I still feel like I missed something because I only got STEFF from the grid and extrapolated from there. Is the IGRAF hiding somewhere?
    7A7ANorwegian bottled water brand[----]/7D7DHungarian hunting dogs[-------] was a natick for me (I got it by running through the alphabet). Learned something new!
    • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T16:55:28.529Z
      Yeah, the last "I" is at (0,0) [18A]. And I do apologize for what I knew was going to be a Natick a 7A7ANorwegian bottled water brand[----]/7D7DHungarian hunting dogs[-------]. I needed certain letters in 7D7DHungarian hunting dogs[-------] (if memory serves) and it couldn't be helped. Thanks for the nice comments, Emma...
      • woozy 14:59 · 2023-01-16T23:05:52.551Z
        The GRAF comes because you a plotting the answer on a GRAPH
        • rjy 2s · 2023-01-17T03:09:24.898Z
          i TOTALLY41D100 percent[-------] missed that GRAPH/GRAF connection. Brilliant, Al!
          • damefox 🤓4:20 · 2023-01-17T16:37:10.544Z
            Ahahaha oh I see now. Love it!
            • HeadinHome 🤓3:43 · 2023-01-19T00:56:16.240Z
              ohhhh… right, right. it’s a steffi graff/ph. cute.
          • I K Snamhcok 🤓12:43 · 2023-01-16T15:19:23.315Z
            I first entered STEF CURRY, but then I thought, “It’s STEPH Curry, right?” And then: head slap! Steffi GRAF, of course. Nice aha. Thanks, Al!
            • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T16:56:52.586Z
              Thanks, Chris!
              • ChrisCross 🤓12:51 · 2023-01-17T20:33:59.722Z
                I did this too. I hope my list of guesses isn’t visible to the creator 👀
              • Capn Rick 🤓4:37 · 2023-01-16T15:16:44.616Z
                Great puzzle, Al! One of my favorites.
                • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T16:57:27.428Z
                  Much obliged, Cap'n...
                • Meg 3s · 2023-01-16T17:04:26.967Z
                  initially, I didn’t start with the bottom left corner as 0,0. Transferring a system of plotting dots to one of plotting squares can be challenging!
                  • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T22:13:18.722Z
                    ...and yet, that was all I did trying to solve Pete Muller's mega-meta. Cost me a couple of months worth of points... btw, this was created way before I knew what Pete's mega-meta metanism was (to Abide's delight!).
                  • michaelm 🤓2:01 · 2023-01-16T17:35:54.339Z
                    And now we know the answer to "will we ever use this math stuff in real life?" Thanks Al, stay warm in Utica and great MMM as always!
                    • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T22:13:35.109Z
                      Ah, thanks...
                    • MatthewL 🤓10:02 · 2023-01-16T18:30:12.368Z
                      Very nice puzzle, Al. Banging my head for quite a while until I realized I misread the prompt and I was looking for an athlete and not a musician. Oy.
                      • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T22:38:12.913Z
                        "that'd make"
                        • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T22:14:12.062Z
                          She could be both and that's make you a genius!
                        • boharr 4s · 2023-01-16T18:17:12.446Z
                          One day I gotta remember old Beatles, the next high school math. Although counting correctly was my bane.
                          • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T22:15:46.454Z
                            Tomorrow: The Palmer Method of handwriting.
                          • rjy 2s · 2023-01-16T19:21:48.743Z
                            Cool concept, Al! I struggled with it in not treating ZEROZERO18AOrigin in a Cartesian coordinate system (and a hint to the meta)[--------] as another pairing like the others, so I ended up with STEFF like some others (and then hamstrung thinking GRAF had two Fs). Considered other origins too... really wanted it to be something like the intersection of the "O" in FOUR35DIt takes balls to get to first base. Wait, that's not right. It takes ___ balls to get to first base[----] with the "O" in AHOY63ASailor's greeting[----], but that obviously wasn't going to work.
                            • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-16T22:19:17.239Z
                              Believe it or not, ZEROZERO18AOrigin in a Cartesian coordinate system (and a hint to the meta)[--------] was accidental, showing up in a list of possible entries for that spot, given the the crossing letters that were there. At first I didn't think I could use it... then realized I could use it as a hint to the metanism AND as the place to put the "I" I needed to finish the answer.
                            • Laura M 🤓11:30 · 2023-01-16T22:15:44.289Z
                              Like others, didn't have the 'I' at first, and it took me a beat. "Could be Steffi Graf, but that seems kind of random OH for the love..." :-)
                              • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-17T00:40:30.234Z
                                "OH for the love..."... which of course was later shortened to "OHO!"
                              • Mwoychick 🤓9:28 · 2023-01-16T23:25:48.626Z
                                Very cool puzzle, Al - I love how the title, clues, and "graf" all come together - very fun "aha" for me when I got it
                                • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-17T00:40:49.872Z
                                  I live to serve.
                                • KayW 🤓3:37 · 2023-01-17T00:14:46.670Z
                                  VERY cool metanism and love how the answer plays into the title and theme. AND... big points here - this is a sportsing person even I have heard of
                                  • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-17T04:43:50.811Z
                                    Thanks for the kind words, Kay...
                                  • ReB 5s · 2023-01-17T01:39:13.891Z
                                    Not clear from instructions if your wanted just the first name or her full name, so it took two tries since I guessed wrong and tried first her first name.
                                    The mechanism seemed clearcut from 18A18AOrigin in a Cartesian coordinate system (and a hint to the meta)[--------] plus the numerical pairings, and once I place the origin where it had to be, everything fell into place. And the title fits so well, along with the clever wordplay on Steffi's last name. Nicely done.
                                    • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-17T04:46:04.855Z
                                      Thanks. And I thought I added an alternate answer in Crosshare... maybe I said "Steffi Graf" for my main answer and just "Graf" for my acceptable alternate answer. Oh yeah, now I remember... I didn't include Steffi alone because I wanted people to see the Graf/graph connection.
                                    • Carolyn 3s · 2023-01-17T01:45:32.306Z
                                      Very cool! Ditto to many of the other comments... forgot the 0,0 etc. Submitted STEFFI at first and on the second try I added the last name. Never made the GRAPH connection!
                                      • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-17T04:46:34.649Z
                                        Thanks much!
                                      • DIS 🤓9:14 · 2023-01-17T17:07:20.191Z
                                        This was brilliant -- thanks!
                                        • ChrisCross 🤓12:51 · 2023-01-17T20:32:34.064Z
                                          This was driving me crazy. I had STEFF for so long. I even then added (0,0) into the mix and got STEFFI. But I had somehow missed the prompt that this was an athlete. I googled Steffi athletes and saw Graf among them, tried it thinking it wouldn’t work, and now my mind is at ease. I enjoyed the interlocking number clues.
                                          • Ergcat 13:21 · 2023-01-18T02:14:18.726Z
                                            Got it! Thanks, Al!
                                            • BrennerTJ 🤓1:05 · 2023-01-18T17:36:48.867Z
                                              Nice puzzle and thanks for the cool shout out.
                                              • Mikey G 🤓4:39 · 2023-01-18T19:58:38.014Z
                                                Brilliant! Wanted the origin to start smack-dab in the center of the grid, but I realized we're just looking at Quadrant I. And, of course, the GRAPH/GRAF was an absolute lock. Thanks for the great mathy puzzle!!
                                                • Bird Lives 7s · 2023-01-18T22:07:16.084Z
                                                  I had the mechanism from square one. I just kept getting the wrong square one. I even tried using the O in the bottom line (in IOS62AWhat Apples run on[---]). And using one of those wrong origins -- , I got the letters in CHRIS.
                                                  • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-19T06:05:32.674Z
                                                    Eerie... But knowing me, I might've had it spell out SIRHC -- as if the name was "evert"ed.
                                                  • HeadinHome 🤓3:43 · 2023-01-19T00:54:49.585Z
                                                    Took a while not to think of zero-zero being the grid not the first ROW (was thinking of that “I” as being in the one-one spot, so i didn’t have the I, and everything was shifted over one and not making a thing! The nudges on Muggle site cleared that up. Great idea, and fun grid!
                                                    • Teamdoubletow 4s · 2023-01-19T01:49:58.617Z
                                                      We had the same problem as HeadinHome! Once we figured out Steffi... It took a beat to get the play on the last name... Very clever!
                                                      • Bbaack 14:23 · 2023-01-19T04:01:40.451Z
                                                        Needed the nudge to adjust the starting point. Finally got an answer to pop up, and enjoyed the punny answer. Thanks for the fun!
                                                        • Alvibu67 14s · 2023-01-19T18:33:14.048Z
                                                          Oh, Al! So good! I was tearing my hair out thinking I was plotting incorrectly, and then thought the answer was STEFFI and just submitted that. I took a break, took a shower, and mid-shower realized what the answer had to be. I was so distracted, I shampooed but forgot to condition, and now my hair’s a mess — thanks for that. Seriously, great puzzle and great AHA!!
                                                          • THC 🤓3:44 · 2023-01-19T19:33:24.274Z
                                                            Thanks, Al!
                                                            • whimsy 🤓11:11 · 2023-01-19T21:23:00.228Z
                                                              At first I thought I needed remedial Jr. High math; turns out I needed remedial spelling! Fabulous, Al! Thanks!
                                                              • TMart 🤓10:33 · 2023-01-20T16:13:08.509Z
                                                                Great puzzle, Al! I anagrammed before I realized the coordinates put the letters in grid order. Sweet construction.
                                                                • Alex Sisti constructor · 2023-01-21T15:59:29.639Z
                                                                  Thanks, Tom. Now what's it going to take for you to get back into the fray? I always liked your metas...
                                                                Muggle Brenner (graphical revealer extraordinaire)
                                                                1. 1A
                                                                  Muggle Brenner (graphical revealer extraordinaire)
                                                                2. 7A
                                                                  Norwegian bottled water brand
                                                                3. 11A
                                                                4. 14A
                                                                  "Stranger Things" stranger
                                                                5. 15A
                                                                  Worldwide: Abbr.
                                                                6. 16A
                                                                7. 17A
                                                                  Most congenial
                                                                8. 18A
                                                                  Origin in a Cartesian coordinate system (and a hint to the meta)
                                                                9. 20A
                                                                  With 37A37AWith 31A, Aaron Judge's height[---], hip hop band ___ Mafia
                                                                10. 21A
                                                                  Biblical queendom
                                                                11. 22A
                                                                  In one session, say
                                                                12. 24A
                                                                  Gen-___ (boomers' kids)
                                                                13. 28A
                                                                  Journey segment
                                                                14. 30A
                                                                15. 31A
                                                                  With 14A14A"Stranger Things" stranger[------], convenience store chain
                                                                16. 32A
                                                                  U-turn from WSW
                                                                17. 33A
                                                                  USN rank
                                                                18. 34A
                                                                  Mississippi River explorer
                                                                19. 35A
                                                                  Passing fancy
                                                                20. 36A
                                                                  "The A-Team" star
                                                                21. 37A
                                                                  With 31A31AWith 14A, convenience store chain[-----], Aaron Judge's height
                                                                22. 38A
                                                                  Beer barrel
                                                                23. 39A
                                                                24. 41A
                                                                  Danson of "Cheers"
                                                                25. 42A
                                                                  Disney collectible
                                                                26. 43A
                                                                  City on the Mohawk
                                                                27. 44A
                                                                28. 45A
                                                                  Silent communication: Abbr.
                                                                29. 46A
                                                                30. 47A
                                                                  ___ more than one can chew
                                                                31. 49A
                                                                  One-eyed "Futurama" character
                                                                32. 51A
                                                                33. 54A
                                                                  In the end
                                                                34. 57A
                                                                  Type of watch
                                                                35. 59A
                                                                  ___ Lanka
                                                                36. 60A
                                                                  1450, in old Rome
                                                                37. 61A
                                                                  File menu option
                                                                38. 62A
                                                                  What Apples run on
                                                                39. 63A
                                                                  Sailor's greeting
                                                                40. 64A
                                                                  Captain Hook's first mate
                                                                1. 1D
                                                                  With 35D35DIt takes balls to get to first base. Wait, that's not right. It takes ___ balls to get to first base[----], cop's "Gotcha"
                                                                2. 2D
                                                                3. 3D
                                                                  Auto repairman (abbr.)
                                                                4. 4D
                                                                  C, in class
                                                                5. 5D
                                                                  Roll back to the start
                                                                6. 6D
                                                                  Mammals of the suborder Vermilingua
                                                                7. 7D
                                                                  Hungarian hunting dogs
                                                                8. 8D
                                                                  Kind of wonder?
                                                                9. 9D
                                                                  Throat bug
                                                                10. 10D
                                                                  Untidy one
                                                                11. 11D
                                                                  With 13D13DTerrible age?[---], boxer's combination
                                                                12. 12D
                                                                  According to
                                                                13. 13D
                                                                  Terrible age?
                                                                14. 19D
                                                                  Reference lines in the 3rd dimension
                                                                15. 23D
                                                                  Minimal change
                                                                16. 25D
                                                                  Brings to mind
                                                                17. 26D
                                                                  Narrate anew
                                                                18. 27D
                                                                  Make out, in Manchester
                                                                19. 28D
                                                                  Simple shelter
                                                                20. 29D
                                                                  Breaks up
                                                                21. 31D
                                                                22. 34D
                                                                  Followed the Hippocratic oath
                                                                23. 35D
                                                                  It takes balls to get to first base. Wait, that's not right. It takes ___ balls to get to first base
                                                                24. 36D
                                                                  Kingston Trio song
                                                                25. 37D
                                                                26. 40D
                                                                  French school
                                                                27. 41D
                                                                  100 percent
                                                                28. 42D
                                                                  Lounging robes
                                                                29. 44D
                                                                  "I'm on it!"
                                                                30. 47D
                                                                  It may be combed over
                                                                31. 48D
                                                                  Of a greater quality
                                                                32. 50D
                                                                  Humorist Bombeck
                                                                33. 52D
                                                                  ___ digger
                                                                34. 53D
                                                                  ___ run (an odd term, since it involves very little running)
                                                                35. 54D
                                                                  "___ was saying..."
                                                                36. 55D
                                                                  To's partner
                                                                37. 56D
                                                                  "Angela's Ashes" sequel
                                                                38. 58D
                                                                  Start to whiz?