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Do You Give Up?

· By DrTom · Published 2023-09-27T11:30:33.658Z

Meta Prompt
The answer is a sign of our times
OK, let's see if I can publish one that doesn't need to be corrected soon after it goes live! This should be a fairly easy puzzle, though I have some doozies coming up!!
Now I say that with some trepidation because some testers did not see it immediately based on the fact that they were looking for more of a Tom-like mechanism. This isn't a cryptic or will require a lot of Google, but you will have to pay attention to titles and clues to get to the answer. As always, nudges Friday, PM help anytime.
Nudge 1] If you are one of those people who subject the puzzle to letter analysis, you had to notice the paucity of something
Nudge 2] Since that is not "natural" or "common" it MUST have something to do with the solve
Nudge 3] Not only is the anomaly in the puzzle, it is symmetric
BONUS NUDGE] If you watched Jeopardy on Thursday evening, one of the $800 questions in the Double Jeopardy round was a spoiler!!!
It would appear that the nudges were not all that helpful, either that or everyone is still struggling with the WSJ like I was. OK, fine then I don't want this one hanging over your head (esp. if you are getting geared up for the MCWCC week 5), here are a few more nudges:
Nudge 4] Everybody knows about "special" places in the grid, and the one most special of all. Surely there is a reason THAT word is THERE?
Nudge 5] There is a very big "nudge clue" in the puzzle that makes use of the phenomena mentioned in Nudge 1
Nudge 6] If you are doing what the nudge clue told you to do, you might want to do it in red...
This is playing harder than I thought so two more nudges.
Nudge 7] There are two big nudge clues which, as it turns out, are both symmetric and contain one of the mechanism elements in them. One if quite near the start, the other quite near the end
Nudge 8] The title of the puzzle, given that the sword wielder is facing a dragon so we are talking a little bit of a back in time or archaic language thing, is there another phrase for "Give Up" that was used?
This puzzle came to me on a morning walk as I passed a YIELD sign. "Hmm that would be easy to draw" a voice in my mind said.
After getting back home (and feeding the cats) I started on it. The hardest part was using only a few Os. I mean most puzzles have 12 but this one had to have only 6. It made the fill harder because so many "good" words have O's (had to skip OREO completely - seemed sacrilegious). But it came together quickly and my testers felt it was a pretty fair puzzle.
1) Very few O's
2) Symmetrically placed
3) Two symmetric nudge clues - 5A Universally recognized octagonal warning, 77A Logical way to solve a mystery, connect the ___
4) one of the few and symmetrical Os in each nudge clue
5) DEFER, a synonym for YIELD, smack in the middle
6) a Title that references "Giving Up" or yielding
7) A prompt that mentions "sign of our times"
I figured that people would have it solved in seconds...not to be though because it was so different than my usual silliness that people didn't see what was right there.
Essentially you needed to connect the 6 Os which would give you an inverted triangle. An inverted triangle is a universal symbol of YIELD (or GIVE WAY in the United Kingdom). This was reinforced by the DEFER (or YIELD) in the middle and the title of the puzzle
I had almost 40 solvers so I cannot complain, I just feel badly that it gave some people such a workout. Well the good news is that you get three weeks of the Awesome Aussie, the Roo Rangling Riddler, the Wallaby Wannabe...BEN!
I'll be traveling a bit and my internet access will be spotty at best and my time for puzzles (since I am driving and it is a long trip) minimal. So, until later in October (the 25th I think) I'll say so long for a while.
For a graphic of the solve please go to:
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Mikey G solved 2023-09-11T18:38:01.413Z
  • Hector solved 2023-09-27T04:56:24.934Z
  • benchen71 solved 2023-09-27T06:48:24.799Z
  • BarbaraK solved 2023-09-27T11:39:31.473Z
  • SamKat9 solved 2023-09-27T11:40:46.282Z
  • KayW solved 2023-09-27T12:37:35.632Z
  • Katiedid solved 2023-09-27T15:01:12.425Z
  • rjy solved 2023-09-27T17:35:51.882Z
  • hoover solved 2023-09-27T18:09:23.143Z
  • kurtalert solved 2023-09-27T18:56:14.928Z
  • boharr solved 2023-09-27T19:14:17.366Z
  • Gutman solved 2023-09-27T20:23:28.255Z
  • CPJohnson solved 2023-09-27T20:33:37.621Z
  • andeux solved 2023-09-27T21:06:25.359Z
  • MatthewL solved 2023-09-27T21:50:00.146Z
  • Philip Chow solved 2023-09-27T22:03:24.058Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2023-09-27T22:06:33.265Z
  • Meg solved 2023-09-27T22:20:50.733Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2023-09-28T01:23:46.884Z
  • Berto solved 2023-09-28T02:39:44.185Z
  • markhr solved 2023-09-28T03:51:14.597Z
  • Darth solved 2023-09-28T15:37:33.493Z
  • Ergcat solved 2023-09-28T16:18:14.380Z
  • JM solved 2023-09-29T11:31:06.784Z
  • DIS solved 2023-09-29T16:47:19.233Z
  • ajk solved 2023-09-29T17:18:22.772Z
  • woozy solved 2023-09-29T18:19:44.778Z
  • Laura M solved 2023-09-29T19:23:17.299Z
  • badgey solved 2023-09-30T00:27:31.874Z
  • Carolyn solved 2023-09-30T04:50:28.065Z
  • lbray53 solved 2023-09-30T13:05:29.180Z
  • DCBilly solved 2023-09-30T13:18:09.911Z
  • whimsy solved 2023-09-30T14:59:56.853Z
  • ReB solved 2023-09-30T15:03:02.999Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2023-09-30T17:20:34.623Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2023-10-01T04:46:34.405Z
  • SeamusOL solved 2023-10-01T08:21:20.734Z
  • Mwoychick solved 2023-10-01T23:47:53.794Z
  • dooiemus solved 2023-10-03T17:28:24.240Z
  • name solved 2023-10-08T18:26:26.602Z


Sign in with google to leave a comment of your own:

  • benchen71 2s · 2023-09-27T11:30:33.658Z
    Nice aha moment! Of course, here in Oz these things are "Give Way" signs! :-)
    • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-27T12:52:09.774Z
      and that is why I added the GIVE WAY as a possibility. I've driven on the "not right" side before😁
    • SamKat9 🤓12:11 · 2023-09-27T11:42:15.525Z
      Thank you, I enjoyed it!
      • KayW 🤓8:09 · 2023-09-27T12:40:00.022Z
        Fun puzzle and meta to solve - thanks!
        • boharr 2s · 2023-09-27T19:15:09.037Z
          Why pay attention to "titles"?
          • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-27T19:34:43.014Z
            The title of the puzzle "Do You Give Up". One way that is often phrased is: "Do you YIELD!" (particularly if you are fighting a dragon like our banner person). It is also why I put DEFER (another synonym for YIELD) in the dead center.
            • boharr 2s · 2023-09-27T20:41:32.576Z
              The plural with titles made me think not the puzzle title but other titles in the clues of which there are several.
              • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-27T21:54:40.607Z
                Sorry, not intended to mislead, probably better if I had said "pay attention to the title" - mea culpa
          • kurtalert 🤓6:21 · 2023-09-27T19:01:01.801Z
            Woah. Very cool. I'm fairly surprised I managed to stumble onto this answer... I didn't pick up on any of the hints in the clues, I just used one of the meta techniques I've been regularly trying recently. I pop each letter of the title into the "Find" box, and see if anything weird jumps out at me. Sure enough... there's a weirdly small number of Os in the puzzle, and they're symmetrically located, and they make an upside down triangle. At that point, I remembered the stop sign clue, and- voila- YIELD! Lucky for me, O was part of the title... I'm pretty sure that wasn't part of your intended meta solving experience, I was just supposed to get there with the "connect the dots" clue. Oh well... I'll take a W any way I can get it! LOL. Thanks DrTom!
            • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-27T19:38:40.278Z
              Whatever works I say! Some people use mechapuzzle and if you did, it too would have shown there were LOTS less O's than expected (but would not have told you they were symmetric, for that you needed you solving skills). I can tell you, eliminating a vowel makes the fill a lot harder; soooo many good words have Os.
            • Gutman 1s · 2023-09-27T20:24:44.076Z
              Great job, Dr. Tom
              • MatthewL 🤓7:44 · 2023-09-27T21:53:53.847Z
                Got it, but only with some fairly hard shoves. Clever when you finally see it. Maddingly frustrating when you don't. Thanks for the art project!
                • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-28T02:34:55.326Z
                  Ah yes, been there, done that pulled the hair out. Thanks for staying with it and not yielding!
                • Berto 🤓3:36 · 2023-09-28T02:43:28.171Z
                  I literally connected the dots and almost submitted “medial triangle” (there are 6 dots?!) - but then followed instructions: look at title, look at clues. YIELD!!
                  • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-28T03:42:36.328Z
                    Glad you didn't because then we would have needed a RE: medial discussion. Luckily you YIELDED to your inner voice.
                    Thanks for solving
                  • Darth 12:12 · 2023-09-28T15:46:57.022Z
                    I was in the midst of grading papers, so I had to 41D solving until I had time to focus. It took me a minute to sign on. 😎
                    • Ergcat 17:35 · 2023-09-28T16:21:24.713Z
                      Finally connected the dots… after playing around with all the “U”s and ways “UP” ( because of the the title …do “YOU” give “UP”) . Making it harder than it was, as usual! Thanks, DrTom!
                      • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-28T19:42:23.712Z
                        You do know constructors LOVE it when you find other possibilities for the mechanism, because of course that gives us ideas for future metas!
                        Thanks for solving.
                      • ajk 🤓8:51 · 2023-09-29T17:23:08.018Z
                        LOL my failure to solve this one until now is funny for reasons I'll mention later. Once the nudges pointed me to the shortage of Os I immediately thought to connect them, but then I got stuck. So I wound up creating various patterns by connecting them in different ways, but nothing clicked, so I needed the Jeopardy shove to get there. Seems like I should have realized it without that, but I'm bad at grid art ones.
                        • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-29T17:29:10.833Z
                          If anyone is wondering about he BONUS NUDGE and did not watch Jeopardy, the Double Jeopardy $800 question under INVEST was: Income from your investments or a triangular street sign. I think they are tapping into the Muggle site because on Monday they had a category "Finish the Malaprop"
                          • Laura M 🤓13:16 · 2023-09-29T19:33:11.062Z
                            Very clever! I usually do letter analysis but I didn't notice anything odd about the O's until the hint. Before that I was focused on the "up" part of the title which was seemingly supported by the grid (stop up, dug up, rig up, etc.), and also the preponderance of U's (explainable by another vowel being limited!). I even tried to "connect the dots" with the U's, which in retrospect, why didn't it occur to me to try that with the O's? Duh, me :-)
                            • DrTom constructor · 2023-09-29T20:37:39.742Z
                              the "ups" were not intentional herrings. I was all Os all the time from the start. THanks for sticking with it.
                            • Carolyn 3s · 2023-09-30T04:51:47.599Z
                              Thanks for the nudges!
                              • whimsy 13:14 · 2023-09-30T15:19:18.409Z
                                Another one here who got stuck on the U's and P's in the grid and the mentions of "up" in the clues. Also thought INFER was the important word in the grid, so I finally (post nudge #1) was able to infer the sign from the shape. Thanks, DrTom!
                                • ReB 3s · 2023-09-30T15:20:29.313Z
                                  DuckDuckGo behaved terribly on this one. I realized after the first nudge that we were dealing with the meaning of an inverted triangle, but I couldn't find a suitable match up for "inverted triangle", nor even a match up for "inverted red triangle" (courtesy of the last nudge)*. It wasn't until Dr. Tom shoved me via PM that I was looking for a traffic sign that meant a synonym for DEFER - only then did did I conclude that I was likely looking for a YIELD sign, which I was then able to confirm when I entered a search for "traffic sign red triangle" and found an appropriate picture with the caption "Yield Sign".
                                  Very aggravating process that unfortunately took the fun out of solving an ingenious puzzle by Dr. Tom.
                                  *DuckDuckGo was happy to provide multiple matches for a math operation sign, and later on to link to inverted red triangle as the Nazi concentration camp badge for political prisoners, but that was about it.
                                  • DrTom constructor · 2023-10-01T03:52:40.961Z
                                    Well I guess it was DuckDuckGoAstray in this instance. I don't use it, though I have thought about it. Perhaps this will convince me not to once and for all. I am glad you eventually got home with my nudge, this played a lot harder than I suspected
                                  • Mwoychick 🤓18:44 · 2023-10-01T23:50:33.011Z
                                    Finally got it with the nudges. With connect the dots, I was thinking Braille, but I couldn't "see" anything with that approach.
                                    Cutlass, e.g.
                                    1. 1A
                                      Cutlass, e.g.
                                    2. 5A
                                      Universally recognized octagonal warning
                                    3. 9A
                                      Chocolate source
                                    4. 14A
                                      Something dished up at a coffee klatch
                                    5. 15A
                                      Oscar follower?
                                    6. 16A
                                      Cause a scare
                                    7. 17A
                                      Heavy cart
                                    8. 18A
                                      What you hear when the flock stops for a second
                                    9. 19A
                                    10. 20A
                                      Glossy linen or cotton fabric
                                    11. 22A
                                      Helen Mirren; there is nothing like her
                                    12. 24A
                                      Grooved on
                                    13. 25A
                                      Place to find oil
                                    14. 27A
                                      The word, so to speak
                                    15. 28A
                                      Area where one can find very large schools
                                    16. 29A
                                      January 26th for everyone, and every Tuesday for Muggles
                                    17. 35A
                                      People will take this if they cannot take anymore
                                    18. 36A
                                    19. 37A
                                      Remnants in the crayon box
                                    20. 40A
                                    21. 41A
                                      A word meaning waiting for (or the outside of a cat?)
                                    22. 44A
                                      Hold onto
                                    23. 46A
                                      Josip Broz, familiarly
                                    24. 48A
                                      Party time, maybe
                                    25. 49A
                                      Doctor's exam, usually
                                    26. 50A
                                      Happening without fanfare or warning
                                    27. 54A
                                      Initials on the Pennzoil can
                                    28. 57A
                                      Old sailor
                                    29. 58A
                                      Upper limit
                                    30. 59A
                                      Something to bring up and chew on for a while
                                    31. 60A
                                      Tough to keep up, especially when you are in trouble
                                    32. 62A
                                      Expel from law practice
                                    33. 67A
                                      "Gladiator" setting
                                    34. 69A
                                      Offering often found at the top of a page
                                    35. 71A
                                      This often precedes a big headache
                                    36. 72A
                                      Plant branch
                                    37. 73A
                                      Loch Ness may have Nessie, but this lake has Bessie
                                    38. 74A
                                      "Key" part of a pitch
                                    39. 75A
                                    40. 76A
                                      Logical way to solve a mystery, connect the ___
                                    41. 77A
                                      Bed board
                                    1. 1D
                                      "What are the ___?"
                                    2. 2D
                                      Italian dough from long ago
                                    3. 3D
                                    4. 4D
                                      Eye problem
                                    5. 5D
                                      Don Quixote, e.g.
                                    6. 6D
                                      Flat hat
                                    7. 7D
                                      Kind of column
                                    8. 8D
                                      "A Man, a Plan, a Canal, ___"
                                    9. 9D
                                      Alley Oop, for one
                                    10. 10D
                                      Pint purchase, perhaps
                                    11. 11D
                                      Baseball collectables.
                                    12. 12D
                                    13. 13D
                                      Alpha's opposite
                                    14. 21D
                                      Display your humanity
                                    15. 23D
                                      Stuff smeared at a spa or slung at a sap
                                    16. 26D
                                    17. 29D
                                    18. 30D
                                      Millimeter, centimeter, meter or kilometer.
                                    19. 31D
                                      Road-hog, at times
                                    20. 32D
                                    21. 33D
                                      Deduce from clues and available evidence
                                    22. 34D
                                      Canadian territory whose capital is Whitehorse
                                    23. 38D
                                      Titanic mistake, briefly
                                    24. 39D
                                      Mammal with flippers
                                    25. 42D
                                      Antithesis of good
                                    26. 43D
                                      Cinders and dregs
                                    27. 45D
                                      Toilet paper characteristic
                                    28. 47D
                                      Pariah or black-sheep
                                    29. 51D
                                      "Go team!"
                                    30. 52D
                                    31. 53D
                                      ___ Amin
                                    32. 54D
                                      Warrior's identifiers
                                    33. 55D
                                      Based on sound data
                                    34. 56D
                                    35. 61D
                                      Fiddler on a hot tin roof?
                                    36. 63D
                                      Natural pouches
                                    37. 64D
                                      Animal you can throw or fight
                                    38. 65D
                                      Length x width, for a rectangle
                                    39. 66D
                                      "Adam and Eve on a ___" (diner speak for poached eggs on toast)
                                    40. 68D
                                      Sister who will probably never give you a nephew
                                    41. 70D
                                      Minor quibble