Monthly Archives: March 2021

NYT Spelling Bee 3-23-21 final

The puzzles these past couple days have been long. SO many words. More than 80 words over the past two days just for the ones I found. Today was more than two score. I miss the short ones.

Yesterday I missed CANTINA, CYNIC, MINICAM, MINYAN, NAAN, NINNY, TAINT, and TINCT.

Meatier Misses

CAIMAN/CAYMAN: A semiaquatic reptile similar to the alligator but with a heavily armored belly, native to tropical America.

Kinda creepy that you can buy them for about as much as a portable table saw.

CANTATA: A medium-length narrative piece of music for voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically with solos, chorus, and orchestra.
CATMINT: weird word for catnip.
INCANT: Chant or intone.
MYNA: An Asian and Australasian starling that typically has dark plumage, gregarious behavior, and a loud call.

It just looks so impatient.


Today’s summary

Final score: 44 words for 240 points.
Genius minimum: 239 points.
First word: CALLA.
Pangram: CELIBATE.
Tweet:

Woodworking: First-ever chairs project (Part 10 frame finale)

I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. The chairs were physically coming together nicely. I cannot overstate the level of relief because it looked so unlikely partway through.

My favorite finish is teak oil. I’ve written before about how I like that it protects the wood from within rather than a layer that rests on top like polyurethane. I also like how it pulls out the grain of the wood rather hiding it under a stain.

Yeah, it’s very clear where I sanded right through the veneer, but based on where I stared, I kinda like it. You know, in the way that I’ll be more careful next time.

Despite the darkness of the wood, I intentionally used the Minwax stainable filler so it would stand out. For future projects, I’m considering venturing into making my own wood filler, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do for these. The wood exposed that had been hidden by the veneer played a part in this decision.

The arm that had the tear-outs couldn’t stay that way.

I repaired the damaged arm with contrasting wood filler and sanded it smooth to be flush with the arm.

The light color serves as an accent there, too, and an intentional exposure of the flaws.

Ultimately, the chairs came out pretty nicely. I learned that this type of chair is called a ladder-back chair. I’m uncertain if this is more deco than it is modern or the reverse. I feel like it’s a good fit with a modern furniture style.

Additionally exciting was that this is what I’d expected upon breaking through the orange paint.

The rich, deep color of the wood and the accompanying glowing reflection in sunlight is just what I hope for whenever I use teak oil, and I was not disappointed here at all.

But there was something very obviously missing from these.

My venture into cushions starts next week.

NYT Spelling Bee 3-22-21 final

My bracket is way, way, way busted. The random approach was interesting and worth trying, but it didn’t work this year. Next year I’ll try the random approach and the educated guess approach and see which works better.

Yesterday I missed LENT, LETUP, LOLLOP, NULL, OUTPOLL, PENULT, and UNLET.

Meatier Misses

LUNETTE: An arched aperture or window, especially one in a domed ceiling.

From Historic New England


POULT: A young domestic chicken, turkey, pheasant, or other fowl being raised for food. I guess ones that have given up, though. Otherwise they’d be poultry.
PULE: Cry querulously or weakly.
TOLUENE: A colorless liquid hydrocarbon present in coal tar and petroleum and used as a solvent and in organic synthesis.
TUPELO: A North American or Asian tree of damp and swampy habitats, which yields useful timber.

Arbor Day this year is April 30.

Today’s summary

Final score: 39 words for 187 points.
Genius minimum: 183 points.
First word: MANIAC.
Pangram: INTIMACY.
Tweets:

NYT Spelling Bee 3-21-21 final

I didn’t get to genius today, and I didn’t get the pangram. I tried a bunch of words I’d expected to have been included, but it wasn’t enough. In national news, Miami is shut down. State of emergency declared. Some say it’s the outbreak of COVID. Others say it’s the outbreak of crime. People are beating the crap out of each other there, according to videos on twitter.

Yesterday I missed BAAING, BAHT, BINNING, GIGABIT, INHABIT, INHABITANT, and TIBIA.

Meatier Misses

BIGHT: A curve or recess in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature.
GIBING: Alternate spelling of JIBING.

Today’s summary

OH SNAP JUST GOT THE PANGRAM AND GENIUS LEVEL. DAAAAAAMN. DREAMS DO COME TRUE!!!!!

Final score: 45 words for 148 points.
Genius minimum: 148 points.
First word: POLLUTE.
Pangram: OPULENT.
Tweets:

NYT Spelling Bee 3-20-21 final

It sure is windy out here in Los Angeles! And now that you bring the topic of the wind blowing, Japan has announced that there will be no spectators at the 2020 Olympic Games. That’s annoying for me because I had been under the impression that Ari Goldberg would be attending the games and would bring me a Japanese baseball. Oh well.

Yesterday I missed LOON, NONPOLAR, ULNA, and UNROLL.

Meatier Misses

ANNULAR: Ring-shaped.

From etymonline:

“ring-shaped,” 1570s, from French annulaire (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin annularis “pertaining to a ring,” from annulus, misspelled diminutive of Latin anus “ring” (see anus). An annular eclipse (1727) is one in which the dark body of the moon is smaller than the disk of the sun, so that at the height of it the sun, due to the moon’s remoteness from Earth, appears as a ring of light. Related: Annularity.

LUNULA: The white area at the base of a fingernail.

Today’s summary

Final score: 23 words for 152 points.
Genius minimum: 144 points.
First word: HABITAT.
Pangrams: INHABITING, BATHING.
Tweets:

How I picked my bracket

My March Madness bracket fails too early too frequently. After hearing about Nick Dopuch’s CoinFlipBets as a way to determine which teams would win football games, I decided to try my hand at creating a bracket with random selections.

Flipping a coin 63 times isn’t difficult. However, it is error-prone, as it may depend on if you start the coin as heads-up or tails-up and other issues.

So I used the =rand() function in Excel.

The drawback of =rand() is that every time Excel does anything afterward, the cells that contain =rand() produce a new random number.

I decided to run all 63 at once and then copy and paste values.

Because these operations made me lose the first number, I jotted that one down.

I then made an A or B formula where if the random number is great than 0.5 on the 0-to-1 range, show a B; otherwise show an A.

A’s represented the team written physically above its opponent in the bracket. The B’s represented the team written physically below its opponent in the bracket.

The random A or B would determine how I would mark my bracket.

For the championship game between 15 Iona and 8 Loyola Chicago, I divined Loyola Chicago’s score of 72 over Iona’s 68.

As of Friday afternoon, this hasn’t worked perfectly. But there’s a ton of basketball left to play!

NYT Spelling Bee 3-19-21 final

The weekend is here! March Madness is here! At 10am tomorrow, my weekly Saturday blog drops. Tomorrow’s is about college basketball and how I went about making my bracket.

Yesterday I missed ABACI, BIBLICAL, CIAO, and GALA,

Meatier Misses

BACILLI: A rod-shaped bacterium.

Yours for cheap because it’s fun!


BOOGALOO: A modern dance to rock-and-roll music performed with swiveling and shuffling movements of the body, originally popular in the 1960s.
CABALA: Oh just a weird spelling of Kabbalah.
CALLALOO: The large edible leaves of a tropical American plant, widely used in Caribbean cooking.
CLOACA: A common cavity at the end of the digestive tract for the release of both excretory and genital products in vertebrates (except most mammals) and certain invertebrates. Specifically, the cloaca is present in birds, reptiles, amphibians, most fish, and monotremes.

Today’s summary

Final score: 23 words for 78 points.
Genius minimum: 78 points.
First word: LUNAR.
Pangram: UNPOPULAR.
Tweet:

NYT Spelling Bee 3-18-21 final

With projects piling up, I’ve decided finally to buy the DeWalt sander I’ve been eyeing on amazon. There will be some pretty cool things on the horizon for the woodworking blog series.

Yesterday I missed INUNDATING, DIGIT, DING, INDIGNANT, NAIAD, and UNDID.

Capable Clarification

I had failed to mention yesterday that I had gotten another pangram. That pangram is AUDITING. As a former financial statement auditor, it would have been a shame to miss that. That said, I’m glad I’m out of audit.

Meatier Miss

DUDING: informal North American (dude up) dress elaborately.

Etymonline doesn’t even have dude as a verb.

Today’s summary

Final score: 40 words for 159 points.
Genius minimum: 155 points.
First word: ACACIA.
Pangram: ILLOGICAL.
Tweet:

NYT Spelling Bee 3-17-21 final

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! I’m completely sober and home. I’d much rather be out at bars and, you know, not sober. But COVID is still around, so that takes care of that. Apparently there are yet more waves of COVID outbreak in Europe, and I don’t want any part of that. Like, come on, people. Be smart.

Yesterday I missed CHOKE, COCK, COKE, HELLHOLE, HOCK, HOOK, LOLL,

Meatier Misses

HOKE: (of an actor) act (a part) in an insincere, sentimental, or melodramatic manner.

From etymonline:

hoke (v.)

“overact, act insincerely,” 1935, theatrical slang, probably back-formed from hokum. Often with up (adv.).

hokum (n.)

1917, theater slang, “melodramatic, exaggerated acting,” probably formed on model of bunkum (see bunk (n.2)), and perhaps also influenced by or based on hocus-pocus.

bunk (n.2)

“nonsense,” 1900, short for bunkum, phonetic spelling of Buncombe, a county in North Carolina. The usual story (attested by 1841) of its origin is this: At the close of the protracted Missouri statehood debates in the U.S. Congress, supposedly on Feb. 25, 1820, North Carolina Rep. Felix Walker (1753-1828) began what promised to be a “long, dull, irrelevant speech,” and he resisted calls to cut it short by saying he was bound to say something that could appear in the newspapers in the home district and prove he was on the job. “I shall not be speaking to the House,” he confessed, “but to Buncombe.” Thus Bunkum has been American English slang for “nonsense” since 1841 (it is attested from 1838 as generic for “a U.S. Representative’s home district”).

KOHL: A black powder, usually antimony sulfide or lead sulfide, used as eye makeup especially in Eastern countries.

There’s stuff written about it here. Also I can’t seem to get this caption to align left.

Today’s summary

Final score: 20 words for 117 points.
Genius minimum: 115 points.
First word: DAUNTING.
Pangram: DAUNTING.

NYT Spelling Bee 3-16-21 final

One year ago today, Calah and I got engaged. But for COVID, she and I would be married by now. But that’s in the works still, so I’m stoked about that for sure. Early this summer will be two years since our first date, and I’m definitely better for knowing her.

Yesterday I missed LONE, LOOM, LOON, MELEE, MULE, MULL, NOEL, OUTLET, TELL, TOOTLE, and TULLE.

Meatier Misses

LENTO: Music (especially as a direction) slowly.
TELNET: Computing A network protocol that allows a user on one computer to log into another computer that is part of the same network.
TOLUENE: Chemistry A colorless liquid hydrocarbon present in coal tar and petroleum and used as a solvent and in organic synthesis.

Wow it’s super cheap!

UNLET: not rented.

Today’s summary

Final score: 27 words for 78 points.
Genius minimum: 73 points.
First word: HEMLOCK.
Pangram: HEMLOCK.