Happy Halloween! Tonight Calah took me on a date. Where did we go? I wish I could tell you, but I’m writing this before we headed out. I’ll write more about it tomorrow. In other news, the persistence of vision clock I have thinks that we’ve fallen back already. The clock is from 1999, which is well before the change of when we fall back and spring forward. It automatically provides the following message today: “HAVE A SPOOOOKY HALLOWEEN!” and will do so for an extra hour. It’s no big deal to live with that for another week.
Yesterday I missed CHIC, CHINO, CINCH, CINCHING, COHO, HIHG, HINGING, HOGGING, HOOCH, NIGH, UNHINGING, and UNHUNG.
CHIGNON: A knot or coil of hair arranged on the back of a woman’s head.
Letters: NACIORZ Final score: 32 words for 134 points. Genius minimum: 133 points. First word: ZIRCONIA. Pangram: ZIRCONIA. Tweet:
I pulled out 14D Uttered a sound: SAIDBOO because it’s Halloween. There’s very little in this puzzle that acknowledges that, even though it’s the obvious theme for today. Yes, I’m aware that there was a Halloween-themed puzzle the other day, but why not make it a Sunday crossword, since Halloween is on Sunday this year?
Given the opportunity to have a Halloween-themed puzzle for a Sunday Halloween, the actual theme was kinda garbage.
The title of the puzzle is Choice Words. That ultimately meant that the words on either side of OR next to each theme answer were also crammed into the multi-letter box. I’m glad I didn’t do this one on paper because seriously what the hell.
23A Haphazard: HITORMISS. 21A Noted Apple release of 1968, to fans: THEWHITEALBUM -> THEW[HITmiss]EALBUM. 4D Negligent: REMISS -> RE[hitMISS].
43A Desperate: DOORDIE. 45A Traditional British entree: LIVERANDONIONS -> LIVERAN[DOdie]NIONS. 35D Least messy: TIDIEST -> TI[doDIE]ST.
70A Approximately: MOREORLESS. 68A Noted U.S. rock group?: MOUNTRUSHMORE -> MOUNTRUSH[MOREless]. 64D Consecrates: BLESSES -> B[moreLESS]ES.
I pulled out 12D Occasions for hiring a sitter: DATENIGHT because Calah says we’ve got a date night tomorrow night. What that date night will be and where it will be, I couldn’t tell you. For all I know, we’ll be watching The Grudge and eating kettle corn.
No theme in this puzzle, but an honorable mention goes to 44A You can’t leave home with it: BASEBALLBAT because Calah and I have gone to the batting cages a couple times recently. I remember the 80 cage being a lot faster than it is now. I’m gonna need to bring a radar gun because it’s almost too easy to hit. I’ll ask Calah to take video next time to prove it.
I pulled out 3D Bygone: OLDTIME because my mustache is back! At least for a little bit. It’s tickling my nose pretty good, so it might go soon. But it took a month to grow out so I could be WIlford Brimley for the Magic Castle’s members-only Halloween party, and now that that’s done, should the mustache stay?
I pulled out 7D Classic clown name: BOBO because… what?! BOBO the Clown? BOBO the coin magician, maybe, but not the clown. BOZO the clown. I mean srsly what’s happening over at the New York Times? Don’t they know??????
17A Future zombie’s last words?: BERIGHTBACK. It’s sad because the zombie version is unrecognizable. Remove the head or destroy the brain.
27A Country music standard at zombie karaoke night?: IFALLTOPIECES.
48A Reason the zombies are, of course, skipping the empty house?: ITSANOBRAINER. Good pun. 64A Zombies’ cry in the face of defeat?: WEARESODEAD. Bad pun. They’re undead.
I pulled out 33D Made level: EVENDOUT because my recent woodworking projects have been cutting boards. One is still in progress, and one is complete. The current series of my weekly woodworking blog coves the first cutting board. The next series will be for the second one. I used my hand planes a lot to get the cutting board smooth. The one that’s drying right now will also need a lot of planing. I’ll cover this more in those series, and there’s enough variation between to the two for distinct series.
17A Classic line from the Superfans sketch on “S.N.L.”: DAAAAABEARS. 24A Classic line from the Delicious Dish sketch on “S.N.L.”: SCHWEDDYBALLS. 38A Classic opening line from an NBC sketch show: LIVEFROMNEWYORK. 49A Classic line from the Wayne’s World sketch on “S.N.L.”: WERENOTWORTHY. 60A Classic line from the Blue Öyster Cult sketch on “S.N.L.”: MORECOWBELL.
I’m not a fan of SNL. I mean they have Pete Davidson as a cast member for almost a decade. Malcolm Kelner would be a way better choice.
I pulled out 48A Sniffed (around): NOSED because I had originally and for a long time had CASED there instead. Why wasn’t it CASED? Other than that because it was NOSED. I get the nosed-sniffed link, but meh. That slowed me down a whole bunch.
20A Basic, practical details: NUTSANDBOLTS. 34A What expensive things cost: ANARMANDALEG. 42A Magnet for criticism: LIGHTNINGROD.
58A Doctor whose shopping list might include 20-, 34- and 42-Across?: FRANKENSTEIN. Right before the world shut down, Calah and I saw a version of Frankenstein at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. This version of Frankenstein was done by Four Larks. It was unexpected in its level of interpretation and executed exactly as intended.
When Calah and I were choosing things to put on our wedding registry, Calah and I debated the legitimacy of adding a table saw. I was in favor of putting it on, as evidenced by me having done so. Calah was opposed.
So I broke down why the table saw (and other tools) were not just reasonable and appropriate.
First I asked what she had against the table saw. She took the position that the gifts on the registry are intended for both the bride and groom. I agreed and said that that’s why the table saw should be on there. She disagreed and said that that’s why it shouldn’t be on there.
So I brought up that kitchenware and cooking appliances are standard items.
I understood that I was at a slight disadvantage with this point because both Calah and I cook, so kitchen items would benefit both of us directly. I had to go the conceptual route: Generally it isn’t the case that both members of the couple are involved in baking and cooking, and that just because we’re nonstandard in that doesn’t change the fact that people are totally cool with that inequity.
“But cookware benefits both of them because food is made for both.”
Well, my woodworking projects benefit both of us. Whether it’s turning junk furniture into something good or making something from scratch, it’s not just for one of us after all.
The table saw stayed on the registry.
Now, I hadn’t owned a table saw before, so I watched a lot of videos on YouTube to make sure I didn’t slice my fingers off. The chance was lower because the table saw has less than a 3/4″ cutting depth, and I was certainly going to install the riving knife assembly with the shield, but I still didn’t want to play it wrong.
What I saw over and over was that it’s beneficial to have a sled for crosscutting. Essentially, you build a tray with skis that fit into the slots on the table so you can push the piece of wood through while never putting your fingers in harm’s way.
That sounded great to me, except that with such a low cutting depth, how could I take up any of that space? I turned to reddit, and I got advice to use hard plastic or 1/8″ high-density fiberboard.
Ultimately, I turned to the world of 3D printing and asked my cousin to print a thing I had found specifically for this table saw:
Rather than having the board underneath, I’d just have the pusher.
Unfortunately for me, my cousin was prepping to be out of town for a month, so I’d have to wait until his return.
I went to my local hardwood supplier, House of Hardwood in West LA, and I picked up some walnut and maple from the scrap area.
Finally my cousin got back.
He printed out the pusher, and it fit right on. I mean, I had to knock off a little bit of excess plastic, but once I did that, it was perfect.
I set up the my dust collection system (aka my vacmaster), attached the table saw to my coffee table workbench, made sure all moving parts were clear of obstruction, and then I plugged everything in. I was ready to make my first cuts.
I pulled out 2D Thorny tree: ACACIA because cutting boards are important to me, and acacia cutting boards are inexpensive and in abundance. Even Williams-Sonoma has acacia cutting boards for cheap.
But as you’ll see in tomorrow’s woodworking blog post, I like other woods for cutting boards.
17A Former CNN anchor with a true-crime series on the Investigation Discovery channel: PAULAZAHN. 24A Places where kids can feed goats and sheep: PETTINGZOOS. 40A Classic Nintendo character named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife: PRINCESSZELDA. 52A Warsaw currency: POLISHZLOTY. Will they ever join the euro? No.
64A So simple … like 17-, 24-, 40- and 52-Across?: EASYPEASY. Because P Z for all the answers.
I pulled out 12D One hell of a writer?: DANTE because this year’s theme for the Magic Castle is Dante’s Inferno. Well, it’s Dante’s Inferno II because the theme a decade ago was regular Dante’s Inferno, and a fire did break out, and it was bad.
But this year they have a specialty drink called El Diablo, and it comes with an awesome souvenir cup.
The title of this puzzle is Sports Nuts.
22A Your ex’s new date whom you just can’t stand?: OFFENSIVEREBOUND. 34A Kegels, e.g.?: FLOOREXERCISE. 51A First square of a crossword?: STARTINGBLOCK. 68A “I’ll be your waiter tonight,” e.g.?: SERVICELINE. 82A Conspiracy theory so wild that it can’t be aired?: UNPLAYABLELIE.
96A Plan to leave at a very specific evening time?: SEVENTENSPLIT. I learned in college the theory of how to knock down both pins. I’ve tried but haven’t been successful. I also rarely get the opportunity. 114A Blackjack dealer?: DESIGNATEDHITTER.