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Wayne Eastman
I'm a professor at Rutgers Business School.
Interests: Figuring out how value competition realizes or fails to realize social welfare. I'm also interested in puzzles, education, and a few other things...
Recent Activity
NYT--Cute theme, love the song, but lotsa problems w/ the logic of the theme...agree w/ Rex...found the long ROBERT E. LEE non-theme answer v. distracting...Motown meets Stone Mountain?! 78 word grid...some drecky fill...four so-so long downs. WSJ--An appropriate "seconds" theme for the second day...also a "make ya think" theme, w/... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2015 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
I'm very glad to see the WSJ competing with the Times with a daily puzzle! Here's my day 1 comparison. WSJ--Nice concept for the first day, with lots of thematic density...but my inner Rex tells me that the add-a-word theme isn't all that fresh and that the phrases (RATE BASE,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2015 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Caravaggio...brilliant themes...but what a lot of black squares! Pollock...powerful grid designs...the lack of letters is problematic... Vermeer...is Hockney right?...does he rely too much on data bases? Rembrandt...he may be the new Patrick Berry... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
The latest Ralph/MR puzzle-rating app is here...I had a bug when I tried it a moment ago, but am guessing that might be a limitation in my computer. The tournament at the Westport Public Library yesterday was great fun. Thanks much to Tita for motivating me to come w/ a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
The latest Ralph puzzle-rating app is here...I had a bug when I tried it a moment ago, but am guessing that might be a limitation in my computer. The tournament at the Westport Public Library yesterday was great fun. Thanks much to Tita for motivating me to come w/ a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Just entered my ratings for today on r.alph's link. I put in five sparkles and no dings, but wound up with a piedmont score 5 lower instead of higher than the comparison...a bug, perhaps. Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Click here for Ralph Bunker's implementation of the scrabbliness version of the Piedmontese system. Thank you very much, Ralph! I get Ralph's point on Rex about how the interface feels like grading exams. If I'm understanding it right, the program generates a suggested number for each word from the system,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Today by Liz Gorski--LINCOLN MEMORIAL, CIVIL RIGHTS, MLKJR, I HAVE A DREAM, WE ARE FREE AT LAST; extra feature--UP IN THE AIR parallel to TAKE A STAND; 2011 by Liz Gorski--MARTIN SHORT, LUTHER VANDROSS, KING TUT EXHIBIT, DAYDREAMERS; extra feature--ANNO DOMINO parallel to UNION CARDS; 2003 by Alan Arbesfeld--MARTIN RITT,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Some will like the sparkle and crunch plus less good stuff in today's puzz over the smoothness in yesterday's, some the reverse. What does the word by word rating system say? Results are below, first for David S.'s puzz today and then for Kevin D.'s puzz yesterday. BANANAGRAMS-- ACROSS--26+; 52+,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Today's word by word count of the good, the neutral, and the less good: ACROSS: OFFER 0, PLUS 0, COP 0, NOLTE 0, EONS -1, EROS 0, TREAT 0, PHONE CALL 9, HAW 0, IOTA -1, VILLA 0, ESS -2, RHONE VALLEY 11, GOOSES 0, AID, -1, YDS -3, ONLY... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
ACROSS--CANADA BLUEGRASS 10, TRADITIONAL IRAS 9, NAVAL ENGAGEMENT 10, STEMLESS GLASSES 6, LAY 0, HIES -2, CDR -3, SKI 0, SOS PAD 1, RAID 0, RAPS 0, NEALE --2, IN NO WAY 2, IT'S A LOT 0, SIGMA 0, ORZO 0, RENO -1, POSSUM 1, OER -2, SEX 0, KERT... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Today's v. 3.1 sparkle v. gruel numbers (an explanation of v. 3.1 is here): ACROSS: ACCENT (1); KASDAN (0); TRALEE (0); TRIPOLI (2); MURDER (1); CHILL OUT (4); SIDE DISHES (3); ARMS (-1); SPRY (0); CENSUS (1); WELL (0); CRACK SHOT (5); I SAY (-1); OATERS (-3); NAG (-1); SHY... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Here's how it works in general in the latest iteration: 1) Ya get a negative count of the less than good stuff AKA ESE, w/ the blocks counting as less than good stuff; 2) Ya get a positive count of the good stuff AKA PIEDMONT; 3) The total = PIEDMONTESE.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Strongly agree w/ OFL on the principle that WS's or another editor's allowing LEILA (or ERI or THA or DREW U, etc.) in a particular puzz should not be taken as carte blanche for constructors to treat the given fill as AOK across the board. That presents a practical problem... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Which of the following is right, or closest to right, and why? Is another answer better than any of these four? Answers (and explanations if you want to give them) are welcome...I'll report responses back to all of us in RexVille sometime early in 2014. The ethical constructor v. 1:... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
NW = 19 [6] = 21 - 2 [15 - 9]. WING = 1 [-1/2]; ESAU = 0 [-1 1/2]; BANE = 1 [-1/2]; ABASH = 1 [0]; PENT-UP ANGER = 11 [ditto]; PLASMA = 2 [1]; WEB APP = 2 [ditto]; ISABEL = 1 [ditto]; NANANA = -2 [-3];... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Wednesday, January 15, 1992: N = 0--RANT = 0; NUKES = 0; WAFT = 1; E. LEE = -3; ORATE = 0; ALIA = -2; BEARING THE CROSS = 16; APPROVES = 3; ODETS = 0; OUI = -2; IRE = 0; REBA = -1; ALEP = -4; NEAP =... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
NW = 9; JUMBO FRIES = 7; ONION RINGS = 6; GUNSLINGER = 5; SMA = -2; EDGER = -1; PAGO = -2; JOGS = 1; UNUM = -1; MINA = -1; BOS = -2; ON LEAVE = 2; FRIDGE = 1; RINGO = 1; INGE = -1; EGER =... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
Tried a new take on scoring with Ian Livengood's + JASA's puzz...the basic idea is to score every word, using the PIEDMONTESE length indicators and other indicia as guides. The spur for trying a different system was realizing that the Piedmontese system of counting Scrabble points minus puzz squares overvalues... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
PIEDMONT = 126 pts for Scrabbliness (high) + 59 pts for theme density (pretty high) + 10 pts for non-theme long words + 8 pts for sparkle (BONG, BREASTS, SPERM WHALE, TOMCAT, etc. + 2 pts for theme) = + 203 pts ESE = 32 pts for CCS, etc. +... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
PIEDMONT = 157: 4 for sparkle (1 for NY, 3 for the theme w/ its incorporation of the shape of the original CWP), 76 for Scrabbliness, 39 for theme density, 38 for long words. ESE = 92: 29 for BBS, etc., 43 for blocks, 20 for short words. PIEDMONTESE =... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
The good: 5 for sparkle (mine were MANCAVE, MUGSHOT, GAS MASK (anything good on the bottom row or right column is a plus), ERSATZ, and PHANTOM), 108 for Scrabbliness (high), and 60 for long words (low for a themeless) = 173 PIEDMONT The less good: 20 for YEOWS, etc. (low!... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
A slender theme w/ above avg. sparkle and Scrabbliness...it all makes for a fairly avg. total of the puzzes I've looked at so far... PIEDMONT = +10 for sparkle for AWAY WITH WORDS, BUBBA, I SMELL A RAT, etc., +43 for theme, +30 for long words, + 82 for Scrabbliness... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
The good = 81 pts. for Scrabbliness (321 - 240 squares), 6 pts for sparkle (highlighted by RIGOR MORTIS and BLOODSTAIN...also included SARGENT...like him a lot and also kinda liked the assonance w/ SERGEANT), 108 pts for long words = +195 PIEDMONT The less good = 42 pts for DTEN,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit
A new high today, somewhat to my surprise. The total of today's good stuff (PIEDMONT) = +180. The total of the less good (ESE) = -70. PIEDMONTESE = +110. How today's themeless got a slightly higher total than the v. impressive themer yesterday: The positive count was lower (180 vs.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2013 at MetaRex aka MetaKen, plus Lit