Monthly Archives: July 2021

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-27-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 7D Best Musical Tony winner of 1975, with “The”: WIZ and 9D Cousin of a trumpet: CORNET because when I was a child, I was in a production of The Wiz through the Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts, which was at The Coronet Theater in LA. I could have sworn there was a sign out front of a cornet, but a small crown is not the same as a trumpetlike instrument.

This puzzle has a pieceful theme.

16A Inject new life into: REVITALIZE. Literally what that means.
24A Bridge and highway designers: ENGINEERS. Nobody ever remembers the train operators.
44A Hawaii _ National Park: VOLCANOES. I had initially put in HALEAKALA, but that wasn’t it.
57A End of the world: APOCALYPSE. Yes.

36A Technology used by smartphones nowadays … or a hint to the ends of 16-, 24-, 44- and 57-Across: FACERECOGNITION.



Finished this one in 7:51.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak

Woodworking: Step-Up End Table Pair Project (Part 4)

It’s been a number weeks since Part 3 of this series, but I’m back with the new installment!

I had left off with the gluing up of the top of the second table.

Each table was ready to sand: The first table with the DeWalt 1/4-sheet palm sander and the second table with the DeWalt random orbital sander.

The potted plant rings were not limited to the lower part of the table and would be a chore to remove. I started with 3M 60-grit sandpaper and turned the the speed wheel to 7 (max).

In just two minutes of steady sanding, I had made progress and suffered the setback of seeing a ring I hadn’t known was there. So I would have to remove not two but three rings.

Three in, and things were already shaping up. Could this be easier than I’d expected?

At the five-minute mark, I started to notice some stripes in the lower-right quadrant. I didn’t know if those were spills or what, but it didn’t make me comfortable.

At 15 minutes the large ring was not giving up, and the ring in the upper-right corner remained stubborn. But those lines looked to be part of the wood! If the teak oil were to make it glow, that could be amazing.

Grit changes from 60 to 100 to 150 to 220 got me here. I could see the rings faintly, but I had stopped making progress. I felt there was little more I could do if it had gotten that deep.

I also didn’t want to run the risk of uneven sanding.

Total time from the first picture to the last for table 1: 71 minutes.

On to table 2 with the random orbital sander.

A reminder: This was done about six weeks after table 1 and with a slightly different setup.

I started with the 3M Pro Grade purple 80+ grit Cubitron II disc. What a name, right?

Two minutes in and wow. Really, wow.

The seam from the gluing would go away as I continued to sand, but that was a lot of material gone in such a short time.

I decided to see if I could use my tiny plane to make my work easier. Tiny but mighty. Also at the time, my only plane. It didn’t do much, and I figured I’d only gouge stuff out. I went back to sanding.

At the 15-minute mark, things were looking up. Now, not all of those 15 minutes were spent on sanding. I had taken the plane out, goofed around with it. Put it back. But timestamp-wise, this is 15 minutes in.

I was having trouble determining if the wood was just darker or if there was stain that wouldn’t go away. The seam was softening, and the 80+ grit sandpaper was holding up well.

Then I made my first big goof: I forgot that the sander is dangerous.

I picked up the board to sand along a side rather than using my vise to hold it in place. That was dumb. And the sandpaper sliced into my left index finger.

I don’t have pictures of that because I was too busy running to the sink to wash it out and apply pressure and then alcohol and then krazy glue. It got me pretty good and shook me up, but it could have been a lot worse.

I realized that using leather work gloves was not a bad idea after all. I put those on and changed my approach. Why risk holding things in the air?

I swapped in 100-grit regular 3M Pro Grade and followed that up with 120+, 150+, and 180+ of the Pro Grade Cubitron.

Total time from the first picture to the last for table 2: 78 minutes.

It seemed to be going well, but then I noticed something, and the table 2 process had gone off the rails.

More next week!

NYT Spelling Bee 7-26-21 final

Ever have the feeling that you’re going to write your Spelling Bee blog post and then drift off to sleep only to realize that you still have more than 40 points till the genius minimum? No? Well I am reminded again tonight that I don’t know that life.

Yesterday I missed EMBLEM, MELON, MEOW, MEWL, and MOLL.

Meatier Misses

BOMBE: A frozen dome-shaped dessert.

BOWMEN: Archers..

I didn’t know archery was so big in South Korea!

Today’s summary

Letters: IABCEKL
Final score: 37 words for 170 points.
Genius minimum: 162.
First word: ALIBI.
Last word: BALALAIKA.
Pangram: Nooo idea!

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-26-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 44A Make giggle, say: AMUSE because it’s just 20 days till the wedding, and if I can make Calah giggle for years to come, that will be good, right?

The theme of this puzzle is contained in 1A With 68-Across, what the trio in this puzzle’s clues is trying to promote: JAZZ SHOW.

20A The first member of the trio said he’d …: TOOTHISOWNHORN. Very humble.
38A The second member of the trio said he’d …: PULLSOMESTRINGS. Kind.
53A The third member of the trio said she’d …: DRUMUPBUSINESS. A real go-getter.

Finished this one in 7:01.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak

NYT Spelling Bee 7-25-21 final

Wow today was humid and hot. I am beat. And wedding planning is still crazy, even though the attendance will be minimal. But they say thunderstorms tomorrow, so yay! Get them out of the way, please!


Meatier Misses



Today’s summary

Letters: MBELNOW
Final score: 19 words for 69
Genius minimum: 66 points.
First word: ENNOBLE.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-25-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I hate to do this, but I will update this post tomorrow with fuller analysis.

Finished this one in 34:53.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak

NYT Spelling Bee 7-24-21

24/7 ALL DAY.


Meatier Misses

DEICE/D: Remove ice from.
DEICIDE: The killing of a god.
EDUCE/D: formal Bring out or develop (something latent or potential)
EIDETIC: Psychology Relating to or denoting mental images having unusual vividness and detail, as if actually visible.

eidetic (adj.)

“pertaining to the faculty of projecting images,” 1924, from German eidetisch, coined by German psychologist Erich Jaensch, from Greek eidetikos “pertaining to images,” also “pertaining to knowledge,” from eidesis “knowledge,” from eidos “form, shape” (see -oid).

Today’s summary

Letters: ICMNOTU
Final score: 26 words for 145 points.
Genius minimum: 145 points.
First word: COMMIT. (21 more days!)

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-24-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 50A Deck builder’s tool: NAILER because I have never heard a nail gun called that. Also when building a deck, I recommend screws instead. Now, I’ve never built a deck, but I’ve built other things, and deck screws seem like they’d be way more durable.

This puzzle was shockingly basic for a Saturday.

But I guess when you start out with 1A Popular brand of alcoholic seltzer: WHITECLAW, how can it be anything but?

I like regular seltzer in a few different situations, but seltzer is the best for egg creams and to drink right after eating ice cream.

If you’ve not had an egg cream, you simply gotta.

You mix milk and chocolate syrup together to make chocolate milk. And then you add sparkling water.

There’s no egg involved.

Sounds nasty? It’s not! It’s wonderful.

Finished this one in 20:12.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak

NYT Spelling Bee 7-23-21 final

The end of a long week! Yay! I’ll save time on this intro by just saying that you should watch the The Catalpa Tree Update video in its entirety.


Meatier Misses

CATALPA: A tree with large heart-shaped leaves, clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers, and long, slender seed pods, native to North America and eastern Asia and cultivated as an ornamental.

The video just gets better and better. Watch it all the way through. Maybe speed it up to 2x.

LANTANA: A tropical evergreen shrub of the verbena family, several kinds of which are cultivated as ornamentals.

Like, a REALLY big problem!

PALAPA: A traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches.
PALATAL: technical Relating to the palate.
PALP: Each of a pair of elongated segmented appendages near the mouth of an arthropod, usually concerned with the senses of touch and taste.
PAPILLA: A small rounded protuberance on a part or organ of the body.
PINTAIL: A mainly migratory duck with a pointed tail.

Today’s summary

Letters: DCEITUV
Final score: 48 words for 226 points.
Genius minimum:
First word: DECEIVE.