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Oh, Hi Paul! (Meta)

· By Abide · Published 5 months ago

Meta Prompt: The meta answer is a Paul Simon song that would make a good fourth theme entry. Puzzle discussion and Wednesday nudges at https://www.xword-muggles.com/viewtopic.php?t=1693
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  • Abide solved at 14:04 on 6/27/2022
  • Hector solved at 15:31 on 6/27/2022
  • Meg solved at 17:41 on 6/27/2022
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  • oldjudge solved at 19:14 on 6/27/2022
  • Emma Oxford solved at 19:22 on 6/27/2022
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  • FrankieHeck solved at 19:55 on 6/27/2022
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  • LuckyGuest solved at 17:44 on 6/28/2022
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  • Alvibu67 solved at 19:53 on 6/29/2022
  • Schmeel solved at 20:09 on 6/29/2022
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  • Teamdoubletow solved at 0:28 on 6/30/2022
  • Toast solved at 1:14 on 6/30/2022
  • Ash solved at 1:46 on 6/30/2022
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  • Naptown Kid solved at 3:59 on 7/2/2022
  • Dow Jones solved at 7:41 on 7/2/2022
  • auee89 solved at 14:41 on 7/2/2022
  • Gutman solved at 14:48 on 7/2/2022
  • michaelm solved at 3:26 on 7/3/2022
  • vandono solved at 3:49 on 7/3/2022
  • ReB solved at 13:51 on 7/3/2022
  • Qmark solved at 16:01 on 7/5/2022

Comments

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  • Hector 6:31 · 5 months ago
    Thanks, Peter!
    • Meg 3s · 5 months ago
      Now I just have to figure out why it’s correct. What a strange way to solve a meta!
      • Emma Oxford 🤓5:23 · 5 months ago
        Huh, I see you added that... too fast for it to be a response to my comment. Dunno why I didn't see it. (Also I didn't check the muggle forum until after I solved, and I see it's on there too.)
        • Emma Oxford 🤓5:23 · 5 months ago
          Oh huzzah! Is the trick that you're looking for the Paul Simon song with two state abbreviations in the title? "Paul Simon song that fits the theme" might've saved me from a couple rabbit holes.
          • Abide constructor · 5 months ago
            Yes, I was working on revising the prompt when you posted. I thought this would be sorta obvious but the super-solvers were having trouble with the backsolve...
          • woozy 🤓11:09 · 5 months ago
            Because when you have to name a Paul Simon song, always name either "Me and Julio Down in the School Yard" or "You can Call me Al".
            • woozy 🤓11:09 · 5 months ago
              What was the first title of the puzzle?
              Hmmm.... I don't think finding two sets of pairs of letters out of some 14/15 letter strings and looking for a fairly specific but unnatural attribute without any real incentive is as simple to the solver as the constructor thinks it is. I mean, sure, it makes sense once it's pointed out but it's not a natural thing to look for.
              Maybe if the title were "50 Ways (and other things) to leave your lover"..... (Um, was that the first title?)
              • Emma Oxford 🤓5:23 · 5 months ago
                I help edit/test-solve the Pandora's Blocks weekly crossword, and "Will, I know this seems very straightforward to you, but I promise no one else is going to see it" comes up a lot in my emails. 😂
                I think the trick in this one is that it's not just pairs of letters, it's specifically two-letter words. Which to be fair is not obvious when you're just looking at the grid, but it did jump out at me when I wrote out the long themers with the correct spacing.
                • woozy 🤓11:09 · 5 months ago
                  Oh... those are words. Yeah, that helps. all the two letter words are states. I tone back my criticism exponentially. Still some other clue or trigger else where (clues or titles hinting at states (very obliquely of course) or something like that).
                  • dplass 9:19 · 5 months ago
                    Same. Before the title change there was nothing telegraphing state abbreviations. WWGaffneyD?
                • Abide constructor · 5 months ago
                  They are not just "pairs of letters"; they are two letter words. Putting that constraint on it makes it very hard to find any lengthy "in-the-language" phrases. These may have verged on invisibility, but if you write the themers out with spacing it is more apparent.
                  The first title was Duolingo. My "post-publication test solver" (Hector) felt it was too distracting and I agreed.
                  • woozy 🤓11:09 · 5 months ago
                    Duolingo??? Now I'm very confused!
                    • Abide constructor · 5 months ago
                      Duo-(pair) Lingo. Next time don't ask--lol
              • Laura M 🤓7:15 · 5 months ago
                Would never have gotten it with the original title and prompt, so thanks for the reworking!
                • woozy 🤓11:09 · 5 months ago
                  What was the original title?
                • madhatter5 3s · 5 months ago
                  Thanks Al!
                  • Abide constructor · 5 months ago
                    Yeah, I was thinking about giving this to him -- that would have been really meta!
                  • If anyone reading this needs some joy, the low-key zaniness music video for "You Can Call Me Al" is one of my favorites of all time.
                    • dplass 9:19 · 5 months ago
                      I never understood why Chevy Chase was in it...
                    • Ergcat 4s · 5 months ago
                      Thanks, Peter!
                      • dplass 9:19 · 5 months ago
                        US state abbreviations?
                        • Capn Rick 🤓6:27 · 5 months ago
                          Nice one, Peter! Thanks.
                          • whimsy 17:51 · 5 months ago
                            Well, it this wasn't the answer, my next submission was going to be Still Crazy After All These Years! Thanks, Peter! Subtle but effective! :)
                            • Carolyn 4s · 5 months ago
                              Love it! Took me a second look after the new prompt... then aha.
                              • DIS 🤓4:48 · 5 months ago
                                Nice one!
                                • Cindy Heisler 2s · 5 months ago
                                  After many wrong submissions, I finally got it.
                                  • Schmeel 3s · 5 months ago
                                    Yet again, stumped by the state abbreviations not apparent to me at a glance! I couldn't figure out the first nudge, and I used the second without realizing the state connection. In retrospect it was a good meta if you're from the right country!
                                    • DebbieC 🤓18:19 · 5 months ago
                                      Have to be honest; I was stumped until Going Postal spoiler. Embarrassing for a lifelong Paul Simon superfan! I got hung up on The Boxer cuz of Oscar De La Hoya and coiuldn't get the other 2 themers to work . . .
                                      • Abide constructor · 5 months ago
                                        I was expecting The Boxer rabbit hole. Most of the wrong guesses are Homeward Bound though...
                                        • DebbieC 🤓18:19 · 5 months ago
                                          I think the bigger rabbit hole was Paul Simon. This isn't really about him other than one song as the meta answer/4th themer. I kept trying to find a song within the other themers. Ma & Pa Kettle became Mama Pajama etc. from Me & Julio Down By the Schoolhouse. Nice exercise, thanks!
                                      • Toast 🤓57s · 5 months ago
                                        Same as Schmeel. I smelled something statey going on, but because "DELA" and [phonetic] Oh Hi are both prefixes of state names, I never quite went to the postal abbreviations, and the whole state name fizzled out. Eventually got there via arbitrary contained postal abbreviations. Nice "Hey, waitaminute ...." (there's something simpler going on that I should'a seen earlier) moment.
                                        • THC 🤓4:28 · 5 months ago
                                          Thanks, Peter!
                                          • Naptown Kid 7s · 5 months ago
                                            Needed the nudges. Got hung up on the abbreviations that were in other words in the themers but didn’t stand alone. Thanks for constructing.
                                            • Dow Jones 4s · 5 months ago
                                              Thanks, Peter, for the nudges. Excellent meta.
                                              • michaelm 🤓6:04 · 5 months ago
                                                Thanks Peter! Brilliant concept, to state the obvious…
                                                • Abide 2s · 5 months ago
                                                  Thanks! “State the Obvious” would have been a good title!
                                                • ReB 6s · 5 months ago
                                                  My previous attempt (Let me live in your city) also fits the pattern, though it does repeat IN. Fortunately I persisted to the end of the list. Funny how many songs with two 2-letter words I missed seeing yesterday, included the two alluded to here.
                                                  1AIn the saddle (again)
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                                                  46
                                                  Across
                                                  1. 1A
                                                    In the saddle (again)
                                                  2. 9A
                                                    Bit of remorse
                                                  3. 13A
                                                    It may go to blazes
                                                  4. 14A
                                                    Bassoon's little cousin
                                                  5. 15A
                                                    "C'mon, make up your mind"
                                                  6. 17A
                                                    Assault, as with water balloons
                                                  7. 18A
                                                    Puny arms?
                                                  8. 19A
                                                    Ingvar Kamprad, for one
                                                  9. 21A
                                                    Word with chop on a menu
                                                  10. 22A
                                                    Ang Lee's "Life ___"
                                                  11. 23A
                                                    Where the MLB's Astros have played the last five seasons
                                                  12. 24A
                                                    It's easy as 1-2-3
                                                  13. 27A
                                                    Rustic film couple with a Universal franchise
                                                  14. 30A
                                                    Cape ___; ___ Arbor
                                                  15. 31A
                                                    They're brought to a CPA
                                                  16. 32A
                                                    Torts and Contracts student
                                                  17. 33A
                                                    "Your Majesty"
                                                  18. 34A
                                                    Gyeongbokgung Palace city
                                                  19. 35A
                                                    Doodle on a sheet of music?
                                                  20. 38A
                                                    Home of the NCAA's Banana Slugs
                                                  21. 39A
                                                    Welterwight champion dubbed "The Golden Boy"
                                                  22. 43A
                                                    Trotter's trot
                                                  23. 44A
                                                    Beatles song with the lyric "Although I laugh and I act like a clown; Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown"
                                                  24. 45A
                                                    Church section that's not a nave
                                                  25. 46A
                                                    "Free Fallin" rocker
                                                  Down
                                                  1. 1D
                                                    Museum curator's deg.
                                                  2. 2D
                                                    One cause of inflation?
                                                  3. 3D
                                                    Skillet for making thin pancakes
                                                  4. 4D
                                                    Entered, as data
                                                  5. 5D
                                                    Total jerk
                                                  6. 6D
                                                    Promote big-time
                                                  7. 7D
                                                    "Woe ___" (grammar best-seller)
                                                  8. 8D
                                                    Hamilton
                                                  9. 9D
                                                    Bess's beau
                                                  10. 10D
                                                    Leigh Hunt poem "___ ben Adhem"
                                                  11. 11D
                                                    Cookie, garden, or yarn, e.g.
                                                  12. 12D
                                                    Has an aha moment about
                                                  13. 16D
                                                    Of ample proportions
                                                  14. 19D
                                                    Literary drug of forgetfulness
                                                  15. 20D
                                                    NYC sports radio station with an apt call sign
                                                  16. 21D
                                                    Web mag that includes Matt Gaffney as a contributing writer
                                                  17. 23D
                                                    Incentive for some high-achieving students, in brief
                                                  18. 24D
                                                    Gratis
                                                  19. 25D
                                                    Cordon ___ (master chef)
                                                  20. 26D
                                                    Don't leave home without it
                                                  21. 28D
                                                    Like a martini with less vermouth
                                                  22. 29D
                                                    Footwear that's on point?
                                                  23. 33D
                                                    Go with the flow
                                                  24. 34D
                                                    Dandruff shampoo target
                                                  25. 35D
                                                    Class with warrior poses
                                                  26. 36D
                                                    "I need it yesterday!"
                                                  27. 37D
                                                    Long-running CBS crime drama
                                                  28. 38D
                                                    Biblical name that sounds like a mother and offspring
                                                  29. 40D
                                                    Jimmy Eat World genre
                                                  30. 41D
                                                    "Are we there ___?"
                                                  31. 42D
                                                    Secret or mission ending
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