Monthly Archives: January 2021

NYT Spelling Bee 1-31-21 final

Hello from Day 7 of the way too early reopening of California. I got to use my new coveralls for the first time, and it was the first time I didn’t get dust stuck in my arm hair while sanding. The chairs woodworking series resumes on Tuesday.

Yesterday I missed this CHILDLIKE. I was so grumbly about having missed the pangram. It was CHILDLIKE all along. In every way. I also missed CHICK, CHIDED, HEEL, and HEELED,

Meatier Misses

CHICLE: The milky latex of the sapodilla tree, used to make chewing gum.a
CICHLID: A freshwater fish of a family (Cichlidae) that is widely distributed in tropical countries. Cichlids provide a valuable source of food in some areas, and many are popular in aquariums.

petco sells thsese.

Today’s summary

Final score: 21 words for 74 points.
Genius minimum: 73 points.
First word: HORROR.
Pangram: HORRIBLY.


WSJ Contest Answer 1-29-21

Solving by pen is pretty fun. But it doesn’t really help with the crossword contest solving.

But I solve the crossword contest by entering the grid into a spreadsheet anyway, so I enjoy the one puzzle I do on paper.

The title is MAKE HIM FROM THEM, and the clue is ONE-NAMED SINGER.

The long answers include PRONOUN, which goes with MAKE HIM FROM THEM.

Also the singer must be a him, right?

USHER it is!

NYT Spelling Bee 1-30-31 final

Hello from Day 6 of the hasty reopening of California. In the news today, California restaurants can open, but they cannot use any televisions. Why go to a bar if you can’t watch sports? To get COVID! Yaaaaaaay. But the vaccines are becoming more widely available, so PLEASE don’t listen to the antivaxx because seriously?


Meatier Misses

OUTGONE: past tense of outgo.
TONNE: dumb spelling of ton.
UNGUENT: A soft greasy or viscous substance used as ointment or for lubrication.

from etymonline: “ointment,” early 15c., from Latin unguentem “ointment,” from stem of unguere “to anoint or smear with ointment,” from PIE root *ongw- “to salve, anoint” (source also of Sanskrit anakti “anoints, smears,” Armenian aucanem “I anoint,” Old Prussian anctan “butter,” Old High German ancho, German anke “butter,” Old Irish imb, Welsh ymenyn “butter”).

Today’s summary

Final score: 29 words for 116 points.
Genius minimum: 114 points.
First word: CHILL.
Pangram: I don’t believe any pangram in this puzzle is a real word!

What’s the Difference Between Chile, Chili, and Chilli?

Is today sunny?

They say today is supposed to be sunny. By today I mean tomorrow because it’s Friday afternoon for me.

According to the National Weather Service, it will be a sunny day on Saturday. High of like 60 and low in the 40s. Too cold for LA.

Now, the gamma squeeze for $GME is crazy. I don’t blame people for wanting to go after people who are going the wrong way in the stock market.

Short selling isn’t illegal. It’s kind of dickish because you’re betting something will fail, but to some extent, you’d normally sell stock you’ve purchased because you think it will drop in price. Someone else is a sucker for buying the thing you think will lose value.

Shorting stock is risky. If it had no risk involved, more people would be OK with doing it. Stigma schtigma.

But it’s risky and it’s expensive to do.

That’s what makes it so spectacular when it fails.

Bill Ackman famously shorted Herbalife and LOST A BILLION DOLLARS.

There’s more to discuss here. But that’s all for me for now.

Have great weekend.

And remember:


NYT Spelling Bee 1-29-21 final

Hello from Day 5 of the early reopening of California. Next week is February. Whattttt. But it’s rainy here in LA. And cold. Good weekend to stay bundled up at home.

Yesterday I missed the other pangram, CARDIGAN, as well as ACACIA, ACAI, ARCADIA, ARCADIAN, CARDIAC, and CICADA.

Meatier Misses

CANID: A mammal of the dog family (Canidae).

Calah will undoubtedly fawn, “OH PUPPYYYYYYYY.”

CANNA: A tropical American plant with bright flowers and ornamental broad, flat leaves.

Tall Tropicanna Black

INDICA: A subspecies of the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa indica, having a short stem and broad leaves and grown mainly for use in drugs. Dank.
INDICIA: Markings used on address labels or bulk mail as a substitute for stamps.

USPS is a good thing!

Today’s summary

Final score: 39 words for 139 points.
Genius minimum: 138 points.
First word: THOUGHT.
Pangram: TOUGHEN

Hot dog! A dude from Frankfurt!

NYT Spelling Bee 1-28-21 final

Hello from Day 4 of the premature opening of California. It threatened rain all day today, and finally the skies broke open this evening. It’s coming down pretty hard now.

Yesterday I missed BEET, BEGET, and TEEM.

Meatier Misses

ABEAM: On a line at right angles to a ship’s or an aircraft’s length.
AGATE: An ornamental stone consisting of a hard variety of chalcedony, typically banded in appearance.
AMEBA: Dumb spelling of amoeba. A single-celled animal that catches food and moves about by extending fingerlike projections of protoplasm. Amoebas are either free-living in damp environments or parasitic.
AMEBAE: Many of the dumb spelling of amoeba.
BEGEM: To adorn with gems. I’d read it as BEG-um. It’s bee-GEM.
GAMETE: A mature haploid male or female germ cell which is able to unite with another of the opposite sex in sexual reproduction to form a zygote.
YEGG: A burglar or safecracker.

Today’s summary

Final score: 34 words for 193 points.
Genius minimum: 191 points.
First word: CANDID.
Pangram: CARDING.

You simply must read this.

NYT Spelling Bee 1-27-21 final

Hello from Day 3 of the unwise reopening of California. It’s supposed to rain heavily tomorrow, so I guess we’ll see how much outside dining will be going on.

Yesterday I missed GLOOP, PELT, POET, and POLYP.

Meatier Misses

LOLLOP: Move in an ungainly way in a series of clumsy paces or bounds.
TELETYPE: A kind of teleprinter.
TOPOLOGY: The study of geometric properties and spatial relations unaffected by the continuous change of shape or size of figures. Not the same as topography. An example of a topological map is a public transportation system map. The stops and relative locations matter, but a lot of other detail is lost. Topographic maps are the ones that show the circles for hills.

Today’s summary

Final score: 33 words for 93 points.
Genius minimum: 93 points.
First word: BEAM.
Pangram: MEGABYTE.

GME TOO SHORT. This was the absolute best. Really phenomenal.
Bee Gees. Stayin’ Alive.
It’s Arrested Development.

NYT Spelling Bee 1-26-21 final

Hello from Day 2 of the improper reopening of California. I have the proper featured image today. I grabbed the wrong one yesterday initially, and now it’s like that for eternity on twitter.


Meatier Misses

DOLMA: A dish consisting of ingredients such as meat and spiced rice wrapped in vine or cabbage leaves, popular in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the eastern Mediterranean.

People love them. I can’t into them, but they’re highly rated.

MALODOR: A very unpleasant smell. I was going to joke that this is the definition. Now I can’t, and that stinks.
MARM: dated variant spelling of ma’am. The actual example sentence: I’ll jes’ git on my hoss if you don’ mind, marm!

Today’s summary

Final score: 40 words for 140 points.
Genius minimum: 122 points.
First word: GLOOPY.
Pangram: LOGOTYPE. Lauren says there’s another one. I’m not going to get it.

Woodworking: One-off IKEA table project (part 2)

When I had first partially disassembled the IKEA table, I saw that the plastic veneer had been applied to both sides of the tabletop. I thought that this was unnecessary, but I was appreciative because I gave me an idea: flip the table top over and use the underside at the topside.

I began fully breaking down the table.

Now, I’ve taken apart IKEA furniture before. It hasn’t been pleasant, but it also hasn’t been difficult.

This was difficult.

Sometimes the things that catch the bolts aren’t aligned correctly. I turned them. I jiggled. I jiggled the panels. Nothing was working.

Then it dawned on me that it might have been glued together.

Who glues IKEA stuff together? The whole point is that you just use the allen wrench the thing comes with.

When I saw some give, I decided to use arm strength. I’m no bodybuilder, but I have some arm strength at my disposal.

I found that the table had indeed been glued together. Ridiculous.

The table–like much IKEA furniture–is normally held together by the dowels/pegs and by the bolts. The bolts are what keep the parts from being disconnected, but the dowels/pegs keep the thing intact. Of course, unless they’re glued in place. When they are, they keep the thing together, too.

The holes for the dowels/pegs and the bolts are drilled only on one side. If my idea were to work, I’d have to drill through the other side.

I have a drill and drill bits, so that was no tall order.

Rather than drill from the other side, I just drilled the holes all the way through. That way there would be no misalignment.

Once drilled through, I installed the bolts.

It was looking like my plan could work.

I reassembled the table with the old top hidden directly above the drawers.

But there were now holes in the top of the table!

Now it was my turn to use glue on a piece of IKEA furniture.

I was prepared with glue gun and plastic screw cap covers that I had around.

I’d fill the holes with glue gun and then cap them off before the glue cooled down.

I’m happy with the result.

NYT Spelling Bee 1-25-21 final

Hello from Day 1 of the removal of the California stay at home order! This probably will not last long!

Bear with me as I continue to write this post. I finally got to genius moments ago. I will be updating this every sentence or two.


Meatier Misses

BEANPOLE: A stick for supporting bean plants.

There you have it.

BAOBAB: The tree that I had forgotten about… again.

Such a trippy photo.

BOLA: (especially in South America) a weapon consisting of a number of balls connected by strong cord, which when thrown entangles the limbs of the quarry. And I went to UCSB!

Can you find me in this commercial?

PLEB: informal, derogatory An ordinary person, especially one from the lower social classes.
PLEBE: informal US A newly entered cadet or freshman, especially at a military academy.
POBLANO: A large dark green chili pepper of a mild-flavored variety.

Today’s summary

Final score: 46 words for 166 points.
Genius minimum: 165 points.
First word: AIRMAIL.
Pangram: ADMIRAL.