Monthly Archives: January 2022

NYT Crossword Puzzle 1-11-22 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 27D “Can we talk privately?”: AREYOUALONE because it made me think of what could be a terrible pickup line at a bar for a mortgage broker: “Can I get you a loan?” Awful and creepy. Anyway, remember going to bars? Yeah, so do I. I haven’t been to a bar since last year. Friends of mine keep getting covid, and it’s like oh snap. Stop it with the covid already, you know?! I wanna go do fun stuff again without seeing new record hospitalizations on the regular.


17A With 18-Across, Emmy-winning “Ugly Betty” actress: AMERICA FERRERA. Also was very good in Superstore.
23D Oscar-winning director of “Get Out”: JORDANPEELE.

36D Grammy-winning singer of “Little Things”: INDIAARIE.

26D Grand Ole Opry performer … or a hint to 17-/18-Across and 23- and 36-Down: COUNTRYSTAR. Because they’re celebrities whose first names are countries. Good one, Ross!

Finished this one in 8:23.

Woodworking: Finally finishing a small table from woodshop class (Part 2) (Originally published 12-22-2020)

I’m rerunning this post from 2020 this week. I will return to the cutting board project next week.

I left off last week with the thought that the stripped screw extractor bits I had purchased for the end table would work with this one. Well, I ran into some issues.

The end table had wood screws that were soft. Not a lot of convincing had to be done in order to remove those. It was fun to remove those screws. This had three main things working against my effort:

  1. The screw is made of hard steel. It’s amazing that the screwhead was stripped at all, but because it was, there it stayed for decades.
  2. The screw was there at all to keep pressure for glue that was drying. It was like using loctite.
  3. The screw was a slotted round head. This is massively different from a Phillips flat-head.
Phillips flat head.
Slotted round head.

The Phillips flat head is easier to extract. All you have to do is clear out the drive (i.e. where the screwdriver meets the screw) with a drill bit and use the extractor bit to grab the sides of the cone you’ve drilled out.

But a round head screw needs to be drilled out way more in order to turn the drive into a usable cone.

After significant time trying to drill out the screw with my old Craftsman bits, I started to wonder if it was a better idea just to drill away the head and leave the headless screw where it was. But I kept going because that wasn’t what I’d set out to do. I was going to remove this screw!

That upper screw on the right side was causing me so much pain.

And I kept on going.

Feeling defeated, I decided I’d give it one last go. Out it came. My initial thought of how happy I was to be rid of the screw right before giving up was replaced by the thought that it wasn’t the first last chance I had pledged. That gave way to a feeling of relief that had built up over 20 years.

There was so much work ahead of me. I had intended to countersink the screw heads and fill with wood putty. I also had the split at the top to try to glue back together without tearing apart the entire table. I didn’t see exactly how it was going to happen, but it certainly was worth a try.

I researched wood putty and wood filler. Based on reviews, I ended up buying Minwax Stainable Wood Filler. It comes in a squeeze tube, so application isn’t so cumbersome.

The screws that needed to be countersunk were already in my possession! I had researched screws for the other end table refinish project, and this was my chance to use the Robertson wood screws. It’d be the first time I’d use a square drive screw head.

After all that, I’d have to sand everything down to smooth it out and get rid of the stains that had accumulated over time. Then the teak oil.

More next week.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 1-10-22 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 3D Perennial embarrassments for teens: PARENTS because today would have been my grandfather’s birthday. He passed away back in 2014, but he would have turned 99 today. He made custom kitchens in his sheet metal shop in Los Angeles, and I have a table that he made out of butcher block scrap that was excess from a butcher block countertop build and a stainless steel base he welded together.


17A Where to get one’s Kix?: CEREALBOWL.
25A Singer/songwriter nicknamed “Piano Man”: BILLYJOEL.
31A Forlorn, directionless type: LOSTSOUL.
40A Survey of Election Day voters: EXITPOLL.
47A Greener energy source: CLEANCOAL.

56A Categorize simplistically: PIGEONHOLE.

I don’t see a linking clue, but these all rhyme.

Finished this one in 4:37.

Quick Answers to Questions from Google Search 3

G Site Kit has a section where it recommends blog posts to answer real Google searches. Here are some questions and some answers. The answers should be taken as my opinion rather than as anything reliable.

Question 1:

Can you leave furniture at curb on trash day for pick up can anyone pick up furniture if left at curb on trash day?

I know you’re muttering to yourself, “Objection–compound question.” But I’m not an attorney, so 🤷‍♀️.

In Los Angeles, you can leave furniture out on trash day for the city to pick up, but you have to call the city in advance to let them know that you will be doing so, or they will not pick up the bulky items. They will not pick up construction debris.

And as far as picking up abandoned furniture goes, I don’t know how to answer this because if I say that you can do it in Los Angeles and you do it in Los Angeles, there’s less for me to grab, and I like my woodworking projects to be as free as possible.

Question 2:

I have a ton of Wall Street Journal dating back to the early 1970s to 1989 are they worth anything

Throw those away! There are few reasons to retain old newspapers. One of them is if you’re quoted in them. Another is if your restaurant is reviewed in a favorable way so you can hang it up and show everyone.

Hoarding is not OK.

That all said, if you can figure out a way to turn them into chairs or other furniture by encasing them in epoxy, that might be interesting for a coffee shop. Turn the stacks of trash into stacks of cash!

Question 3:

We own a 12 room inn can we put out the outdoor furniture cushions for our guests will they need to be cleaned

If you have ask, you gotta clean it. It’s like when I ask Calah if I need to shower after spending a long time sanding. Of course I need to shower.

But this is something from an inn. As innkeepers, you have to clean things even if you could get away without cleaning them at home. People stay in your place and expect things to be clean when they arrive. That’s one of the things they pay for. Yikes!

Keep the quetions coming!

NYT Crossword Puzzle 1-9-22 Food for Thought Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 21A Hurting more: ACHIER because that’s how I’ve been the last couple days. I’ve been in the process of making a planter for Calah for her succulents, and I’ve been slaving away at the table saw. The table saw probably is a bit too low. Then yesterday I did a lot of cleanup around our home, which meant moving things from place to place and bending over and squatting down and stuff. Ugh. The soreness hasn’t stopped.

The title of this puzzle is Food for Thought.

24A Carmen McRae or Anita O’Day, notably: JAZZVOCALISTS -> (J)(A)(Z)(Z)VOCALISTS.
32A Endpoint of a Shinto pilgrimage: MOUNTFUJI -> MOUNT(F)(U)(J)(I).
69A Birthplace of five U.S. presidents, with “the”: EMPIRESTATE -> (E)(M)(P)(I)(R)(E)STATE.
85A Start of some conventional wisdom: WHENINROME -> WHENIN(R)(O)(M)(E).

98D Who was famously hit over the head with inspiration?: NEWTON.
116A Scientific contribution from 98-Down, discovered in a manner suggested by this puzzle’s theme: LAWOFGRAVITY. The story goes that Newton was hit by a falling apple and was like, ‘Whoa. Gravity.” Jazz apples, Fuji apples, Empire apples, Rome apples. How ’bout dem?

Finished this one in 36:21.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 1-8-22 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 20A Longtime distributor of James Bond movies: MGM because I had initially put in EON, but that wasn’t working. Calah and I have been watching the series from the start and are on Quantum of Solace now. We’ve seen them go through United Artists and MGM and Columbia. Desmond Llewelyn is sorely missed. But Daniel Craig as James Bond has way more chill than Pierce Brosnan did as James bond.

No theme for this Saturday puzzle, but there are some crazy long answers.

1A Number pattern named after a 17th-century French mathematician: PASCALSTRIANGLE.
16A Teddies and such: INTIMATEAPPAREL.
17A Exhausted beyond belief: TOOTIREDTOTHINK.
52A Do some modeling: SETAGOODEXAMPLE.
55A “Life is short. _” (Jacques Torres quip): EATDESSERTFIRST.
56A Captain’s phrase: STEADYASSHEGOES.

Finished this one in 49:11.