NYT Spelling Bee 12-18-20 final

Hello from Day 30 of the current California COVID constant curfew. And Chanukah has now drawn to a close. No more lighting a lot of candles each night. And now that I think about it, how bad is it to be a birthday candle manufacturing company right now? Nobody should be having big birthday parties during the pandemic, and once it’s over, who’s going to be breathing on cake and then serving it to friends?

Yesterday I missed some silly answers. EGGNOG, HOMONYM, HOMONYMY, HONEYMOON, MEMO, MONONYM. I know all these words.

Fun word from today’s bee

BANYAN: An Indian fig tree whose branches produce aerial roots that later become accessory trunks. A mature tree may cover several acres in this manner.

First off, I didn’t know it was a fig tree. Second, I didn’t know that it’s more than just a cool-looking thing with roots hanging down that I used to visit as a child at Beverly Gardens Park and was not allowed to swing from the not-yet-attached roots that were hanging from branches.

Google Maps Street View of the tree at Beverly Gardens Park in Beverly Hills

The LA Times wrote about it almost a quarter-century ago: “Planted sometime between 1910 and 1914 by the long-defunct Rodeo Land and Water Company, the regal pioneer has since grown to a near-record height of 65 feet; its stately canopy’s circumference easily stretches to twice that. It ties with two other giant specimens, in Santa Barbara and Hawaii, as the largest ficus of their kind.

But from the UnderTheBanyan.blog (and covered elsewhere, but how can a blog with banyan in its name not know about banyan trees?), “Banyans are strangler figs. They grow from seeds that land on other trees. The roots they send down smother their hosts and grow into stout, branch-supporting pillars that resemble new tree trunks.

So exactly what tree was planted? And if they had moved a banyan tree, what was the tree before it was taken over by this thing? It’s so creepy! Like when someone gives you a hug (remember hugs?) and the hug goes on for too long and is too tight, imagine that person never letting go, and even when you return home, never leaving your side until at some point that person just replaces you? It’s like The Talented Mr. Ripley but one you can believe–or not!

On the topic of that movie, Calah and I watched it in two installments. The first installment was on April 30. We paused the film close to midnight to get something refill on food, and when we tried to start it up again, it was gone. Netflix had removed it. Pay attention to what’s leaving Netflix before starting a movie on the last day of a month!

Today’s summary

Final score: 32 words for 163 points.
Genius minimum: 160 points.
First word: LOONY
Pangram: NOTABLY

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About raabidfun

I'm a guy living the #raabidfun lifestyle. I figured I would create a blog about crossword puzzles I do. The idea is to do the NYT crossword and the WSJ crossword daily as much as I can. That includes when I don't finish and have clearly failed. They can be difficult. Also I am not an attorney, and any legal analysis in this blog reflects my interpretation, which means it can be flawed and should not be relied upon for use in legal matters (especially against me).

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