Monthly Archives: February 2021

NYT Spelling Bee 2-28-21 final

Hello from Day 36 of the reopening of California. I made the mistake of watching Trump speak at CPAC. I got alerted that it was live on YouTube, so I figured I’d have a listen. Errant for certain. Among the silliest points was that after he promoted the idea that we used to be able to have real discussions and debates and the ability to disagree with one another without it leading to ugliness, Trump rattled off a list of names of people he declared as RINOs who had spoken out against him and therefore should be voted out of office. So there’s that.


Meatier Misses

CANNA: A tropical American plant with bright flowers and ornamental broad, flat leaves. Somehow I always forget CANNA lily and CALLA lily. When will I ever learn?
CANTATA: A medium-length narrative piece of music for voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically with solos, chorus, and orchestra.
NATANT: Swimming or floating.

from etymonline:

“swimming, floating,” 1707, from Latin natantem, present participle of natare “to swim,” frequentative of nare “to swim” (from PIE root *sna- “to swim”). Related: Natantly.

TANNIC: Relating to tannin.
TATTY: informal Worn and shabby; in poor condition.

Today’s summary

Final score: 17 word for 72 points.
Genius minimum: 70 points.
First word: ANIMA.
Tweets: Long-time readers of my tweets are aware that I gripe about proper nouns while being full aware that they do not qualify for the word list.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-27-21 final

Hello from Day 35 of the reopening of California. The wind is picking up in LA again, and that can only be one thing: dryness, sneezing, and inability to count. Also tomorrow is the Golden Globes. I know as much now about the winners as I will tomorrow night.

Yesterday I missed BUBBLY, BULB, GLUT, GULLIBLY.

Meatier Misses

BUTYL: An alkyl radical —C₄H₉, derived from butane.

UCLA knows things!

Today’s summary

Final score: 32 words for 174 points.
Genius minimum: 172 points.
First word: ATTAINT.

A day to sleep in

Hello from Friday afternoon, everyone! I’m tired from this week and don’t have the wherewithal to write much. I do have some exciting news:

I have made more significant progress on the chairs project. I hadn’t really expected to learn so much about upholstery. But there’s that component.

When the chairs project is complete, I’ll begin a series on another end table project. This is a set of two end tables. It’s a matching set, but each table has its own set of challenges.

They had to travel far just to get to me. Here’s what they looked like in Albuquerque, NM:

Stay safe, everyone!

NYT Spelling Bee 2-26-21 final

Hello from Day 34 of the reopening of California. Today is Purim. Usually it’s like reverse Halloween where, although you dress up in costumes and drink, instead of trick or treating, you drop off baskets of food to people. But Covid, so that’s not a thing we can do this year and couldn’t do last year. Bummer.


Meatier Misses

AGORA: (in ancient Greece) a public open space used for assemblies and markets.
LOGOGRAM: A sign or character representing a word or phrase, such as those used in shorthand and some writing systems.

Today’s summary

Final score: 19 words for 79 points.
Genius minimum: 76 points.
First word: GULLIBILITY.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-25-21 final

Hello from Day 33 of the reopening of California. Tonight starts Purim. It’s usually a social and drinking holiday, but COVID has put a stop to that for this year and last year. Really annoying.

Yesterday I missed ANARCHICAL, ANARCHIC, ARCHAIC, and CHAI. The pangram is stupid.

Meatier Misses

CHICHI: Attempting stylish elegance but achieving only an overelaborate pretentiousness. Like yesterday’s pangram?

From etymonline: “extremely chic, sophisticated,” also, as a noun, “pretentious fussiness,” 1908, from French chichi “airs, fuss.” Perhaps, like frou-frou, imitative.

Today’s summary

Final score: 27 words for 108 points.
Genius minimum: 105 points.
First word: MOGUL.
Pangram: GLAMOUR.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-24-21 final

Hello from Day 32 of the reopening of California. Today Louis DeJoy was back in front of congressional committees. I had been unaware of this until late tonight. They say that he refused to step down, so we remain annoyed. OMG James Comer just invoked Adam Schiff in his quick-to-please-Trump opening statements, as DeJoy was elected by the board of governors with strong support by Trump, and DeJoy immediately dismantled all kinds of necessary equipment in advance of the election that was heavily vote-by-mail. Also it sure sounds like he called Congresswoman Maloney “Bologna.” Crazy. Jody Hice’s opening statements also included a quick appeal to Donald Trump. Gross.

Yesterday I missed RATTRAP as the only word I am really familiar with.

Meatier Misses

APIARY: A place where bees are kept; a collection of beehives. Oh, man.
IRRUPT: Enter forcibly or suddenly.
PAPYRI: Plural of papyrus.
PARTITA: A suite, typically for a solo instrument or chamber ensemble.
PIPIT: A mainly ground-dwelling songbird of open country, typically having brown streaky plumage.
PITAPAT: With a sound like quick light steps or taps. Oh, like pitterpatter.

Today’s summary

Final score: 24 words for 84 points.
Genius minimum: 86 points.
First word: CHALLAH.
Pangram: NOPE!

NYT Spelling Bee 2-23-21 final

Hello from Day 31 of the reopening of California. I drove on the 405 northbound today for a little bit, and it was bumper-to-bumper traffic. Later there was a car in front of mine that was veering all over the place, including into the median. I got out of the way because I didn’t want the bumper cars approach to extend to my coupe.

Yesterday I missed DROID.

Meatier Misses

TORRID: Very hot and dry.

All you need for nosebleed city!

Today’s summary

Final score: 32 words for 118 points.
Genius minimum: 113 points.
First word: APPARAT.

Woodworking: First-ever chairs project (Part 6)

There’s no perfect replacement for having a proper workbench. A thick tabletop that can take all kinds of abuse, a vise permanently attached to one end, space that can accommodate that setup. It’s a dream environment. Unfortunately for me, that’s as accurate a description as any.

I have to use what I’ve got in the space I’ve got.

Now, the last post ended with me sawing off some legs and needing to replace the dowels that held the chair together.

For the dowels that had separated cleanly, it was more a matter of taking off the old glue to expose gluable surfaces.

However, the dowels I had cut right through required a different approach: drilling out the old ones and replacing them in the exact same locations so the chair would line up again.

The key to this process was to go slow and to stay on target. A misaligned pair of holes is absolute death for the chair. The old dowels were a good guide. The screw holes were a hazard I had to avoid.

While I could hold a leg down and go slowly, I couldn’t do the same with the end of the front panel.

This is where a workbench would have served me well. But I don’t have a workbench. After some thought, I realized that I could use a clamp I have. It’s heavy enough, I figured.

It was a painstaking process, but it worked.

I wanted to make sure that the chair fit back together before continuing to strip the chair of the orange paint and white primer. It was exciting to see everything align in a dry fit.

More next week!

NYT Spelling Bee 2-22-21 final

Hello from Day 30 of the reopening of California. I take walks sometimes. Not as often as I probably should, but I do it. I see restaurants that have the outdoor seating they’re allowed to have during this stage of reopening. However, I’ve noticed those outdoor areas sloooooowly being covered and closed in. To the point that it’s just footprint creep. How is that safe?

Yesterday I missed ABOIL, AIOLI (you’d think I’d learn), BOLA, LAMA, LIMO, LOBO, and MOOLA.

Meatier Misses

AXILLA: The space below the shoulder through which vessels and nerves enter and leave the upper arm; a person’s armpit.
BOLLIX: another way of spelling BOLLOCKS. Yes, I know, Calah. You told me so.
MAXILLA: The jaw or jawbone, specifically the upper jaw in most vertebrates. In humans it also forms part of the nose and eye socket.
MOIL: Work hard.

Today’s summary

Final score: 26 words for 98 points.
Genius minimum: 76 points.
First word: DORMITORY.

Spy Optic was the sunglasses sponsor of UCSB Cycling when I was on the team.

I think I got close to Queen Bee, but I don’t know for certain.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-21-21 final

Hello from Day 29 of the reopening of California. They’re no longer giving first doses of vaccine. I haven’t heard anything new on the H5N8 front. You know, the avian flu reported in Russia yesterday. I hope that’s just an early April Fools.

Yesterday I missed AEON, ALOE, DONEE, LLANO??? I could have sworn I got this! LOWLAND, NEON, NONE, ODEON, OLDEN, OLEO, WALLOW, WALLOWED, and WOODLAND.

Meatier Misses

DEADWOOD: A branch or part of a tree that is dead.
ENOW: archaic enough.
ODEA: Multiple of (especially in ancient Greece or Rome) a building used for musical performances.

I’d like to visit this ever.

Today’s summary

Final score: 34 words for 105 points.
Genius minimum: 101 points.
First word: BILL.
Pangram: MAILBOX!

How I finally found the pangram after tons of frustration.