Monthly Archives: March 2021

NYT Spelling Bee 3-31-21 final

It’s the last day of March right now, but the month will expire by the time you read this. I’ve been watching updates on Matt Gaetz, and I’m convinced that the Establishment wants to get rid of him because he’s looking to leave politics and make real money working at Newsmax. Everything else is just made up. He seems like an honest, hardworking guy, and everyone else is just jealous. You know, because April fools.


Meatier Misses

I knew all the words that I missed!

Today’s summary

Final score: 48 words for 151 points.
Genius minimum: 151 points.
First word: BOBBLE.

NYT Spelling Bee 3-30-21 final

Wowza! I’m so out of practice that I got really close to not completing this puzzle. That’s almost as bad as Matt Gaetz telling Tucker Carlson that the people who are extorting him would get Joe Biden to pardon him. “I don’t need a pardon; I’m not seeking a pardon. I’ve not done anything improper or wrong.” Conspicuously that leaves out improper and wrong, so I’ll just take his word for it that I should assume that what he did was improper and wrong.


Meatier Misses

EDUCE/D: formal Bring out or develop (something latent or potential).

Today’s summary

Final score: 37 words for 148 points.
Genius minimum: 146 points.
First word: CARBONARA.
Pangram: CORNBALL.

Woodworking: First-ever cushions project (Part 1)

This cushions series is related to the chairs series. Last week I shared that the frames turned out pretty nicely, but my college roommate’s reaction to a picture of them was that they “looked like a torture device from [2006 James Bond film] Casino Royale.” No link or picture. You can look that up.

My initial idea was to wrap the original cushions in a fabric. There are many YouTube videos that explain how easy it is to reupholster cushions simply by rewrapping them.

Given the work it seemed like it would be to entirely redo the cushions, that sounded ideal.

The cushions couldn’t be used as they were. The one in better condition looked like it had been stabbed a bunch of times with a paring knife.

The one that was in worse condition looked like it had been sliced open by Doug from Scrubs.

Wrapping the stabby one seemed like it could work! And I have fabrics galore for that to be a valid approach.

But first I decided to see if there was any significance to the markings on the cushions.


Tyson 23 x 20?

21 x 25?

What I didn’t want to do was destroy something that would be Antiques Roadshow-worthy.

Mind you, the chairs had been painted orange, and I had refinished them, including tearing through some veneer, but maybe there was something to these chairs after all.

I went to reddit with these questions. If anyone would know, it would be various reddit communities. The woodworking ones certainly are eager to o-pine.

There were various interpretations. None of them was correct. Also none of them indicated that the chairs and cushions had any value. I was free to do what I wanted.

I had fabric, Calah’s staple gun, cushions to reupholster.

But then I realized that the boards for the seats were sagging.

If I couldn’t trust the integrity of the seats themselves — and now clearly I couldn’t — simple reupholstery would not suffice.

I had to start anew.

More next week!

NYT Spelling Bee 3-29-21 final

I’m back after the hiatus for the first two days of Passover. It’s good to be back. Definitely rough not to be with family for the seders, Really hoping for next year together.

Meatier Misses

There’s nothing specific to report here because I did not play yesterday. But the list seems crazy long.

Today’s summary

Final score: 24 words for 114 points.
Genius minimum: 110 points.
First word: DETECTED.
Pangram: UNTUCKED.

Passover Seder: Wise and Wicked Sons

Hello from the first day of Passover! There will be no Spelling Bee post tonight because I won’t be at my computer again until tomorrow night. I’ve started writing this post in advance. It’s actually the evening of March 1 right now.

Each Passover means something different to me, and each part is a reminder of how the core of the holiday is to remember to challenge what you’re told.

That’s not to say that all that you’re told is wrong.

It’s important to try to figure out if it makes sense.

The rules of Passover (e.g. no leavened bread) are unusual. That there’s tons of cleaning involved in order to avoid even the chance of consuming leavening is extreme. And crazy.

But that’s the point.

We’re supposed to ask why we’re doing weird stuff.

It’s easy to fall into a rut. it’s easy for every day to look the same. If you’re numb to everything going on around you, it’s easy to become complacent. This holiday is a real shakeup.

But for those who still just follow along, the Seder has many points where it reminds just to ask.

Why is this night different from all other nights? is the most famous of them.

There’s a section with the Four Sons. There’s a wise son, a wicked son, a simple son, and a son who doesn’t even know to ask.

The wise son and wicked son ask very similar questions:

Wise son essentially asks: “What are these things that the almighty has commanded you to do?”

Wicked son essentially asks: “Of what purpose is this work to you?”

Every year I’ve wondered what the difference is because the explanation to each is different.

The wise son is told some cool stuff about the holiday while the wicked son is told to scram.

Neither the wicked son nor the wise son necessarily comes with prior knowledge or belief. Neither son necessarily leaves agreeing with what’s said to him.

I realized only this year that a difference is the willingness to discuss openly. The wise son is willing to have a conversation. The wise son is challenging in order to hear something. The wicked son is challenging to, you know, be a dick.

But you can’t learn anything simply by being a dick.

NYT Spelling Bee 3-27-21 note

No Spelling Bee for me today because I’m off for the first two days of Passover, but here’s something funny for me from yesterday’s puzzle.

I found the word BONANZA!

That’s not the impressive part.

Once I found BONANZA, I was kinda buttonmashing, as we all tend to do with this sometimes.

I tried ORGANZA.

It was a joke attempt because, come on, bone->bonanza, so organ->organza? So silly!


organza (n.)

“thin, stiff, transparent dress fabric,” 1820, from French organsin (1660s), and Italian organzino, a strong kind of silk thread, a word of unknown origin; perhaps from the same source as organdy.

Mind blown!

NYT Spelling Bee 3-26-21 final

The rule of threes. Yesterday Jessica Walter. Today Larry McMurty and Beverly Cleary. I hadn’t heard of Larry McMurty, but still sad. I’m getting ready to take a three-day break for Passover, and I’m kinda scrambling to write this post.

Yesterday I didn’t miss any easy words. That’s exciting for me because it’s the closest I’ve gotten to Queen Bee in a while, and I don’t recognize the missed words.

Meatier Misses

GEWGAW: A showy thing, especially one that is useless or worthless.

From etymonline:

gewgaw (n.)

early 13c., giuegaue, contemptuous reduplication, of uncertain origin, possibly connected with Old French gogue “rejoicing, jubilation; joke, prank, mockery, game;” or jou-jou “toy,” baby-talk word, from jouer “to play,” from Latin jocare (see joke (n.)).

WIGWAG/WIGWAGGING: North American informal Move to and fro. I had not heard of this.

Today’s summary

Final score: 33 words for 107 points.
Genius minimum: 106 points.
First word: CHICKPEA.
Pangram: GARBANZO.

NYT Spelling Bee 3-25-21 final

Passover starts Saturday night, and I’m still heavily involved in cleaning and prep. It’s annoying that I won’t be able to have the Seders with my family, but the hope is that this is the last year of Seders in isolation. We’re so close to being able to emerge from this nightmare pandemic. And today California announced that everyone will be eligible for a vaccine on April 15.

Also Jessica Walter passed away today. I can’t imagine anyone else doing for Lucille Bluth what she did.


Meatier Miss

UNCTION: formal The action of anointing someone with oil or ointment as a religious rite or as a symbol of investiture as a monarch.

Today’s summary

Final score: 40 words for 199 points.
Genius minimum: 155 points.
First word: AWAKENING.

NYT Spelling Bee 3-24-21 final

As everyone else is well aware by now, the Spelling Bee went down last night. I didn’t get to play before going to bed, and that kinda… stung. But we’re back, so hooray!

I posted earlier about the fallen tree that was offered on free stuff curbside in Los Angeles. The picture bears reposting because hilarious.

More of the post here.


Meatier Misses

BALLETIC: Relating to or characteristic of ballet.
CALCITE: A white or colorless mineral consisting of calcium carbonate. It is a major constituent of sedimentary rocks such as limestone and is deposited in caves to form stalactites and stalagmites.
ECLAT: Brilliant display or effect. Not to be confused with ELAC, the school that is the subject of the basketball edition of Last Chance U. The show asks as the beginning what you think of when you hear East Los Angeles. It turns out that it’s exactly what you think of… if you’re from the Los Angeles area.
LACTEAL: Of milk. Recently I was playing Codenames online with friends of mine. My opening clue was “NONDAIRY,” attributed to three tiles. The first selection by my team was “MILK.” That was not one of my tiles.

Today’s summary

Final score: 23 words for 118 points.
Genius minimum: 116 points.
First word: NONFICTION.
Pangram: FUNCTION.

Arboreal upset in windy Los Angeles

Whoosh! LA has been crazy with sustained winds in the teens and gusts in the 30s and above. This has led

From the craigslist post

Someone posted on craigslist free stuff that there’s a tree for free with curbside pickup.

I find it extra funny that the tree itself picked up part of the curbside.

I saved a copy of the post to so it would last for forever.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!