Author Archives: raabidfun

About raabidfun

I'm a guy living the #raabidfun lifestyle. I figured I would create a blog about crossword puzzles I do. The idea is to do the NYT crossword and the WSJ crossword daily as much as I can. That includes when I don't finish and have clearly failed. They can be difficult. Also I am not an attorney, and any legal analysis in this blog reflects my interpretation, which means it can be flawed and should not be relied upon for use in legal matters (especially against me).

WSJ Crossword 1-11-21 Complete

I’m trying something new here, and I’m hoping you’ll bear with me. Since the WSJ crossword takes up time during the week, I figured I’d try to do all of them each Sunday and time their posting to go out each day but a week late. EXCEPT for the Friday puzzle. That one will be posted on time on Sundays.

I pulled out 66A Lease signer: TENANT because I’ve been watching Because This is my First life, and it’s pretty good! It’s the fourth K-Drama I’ve started and the third I think I’ll make it through. Start-Up and Crash Landing on You were easy to watch. Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol wasn’t for me. Because This is My Frist Life has a lot of promise.


The title of this puzzle is Going to Pot.

17A Something with negligible value: HILLOFBEANS.
25A Scouting activity, quaintly: WEENIEROAST. Does KROQ still have the Weenie Roast concert?
39A Is motivated by self-interest: HASANAXETOGRIND. When did ax become axe? I remember ax growing up, but now it’s axe? It’s like how Australia is a continent but now Oceania is a continent?
48A “Double, double toil and trouble” concoction: WITCHESBREW.

61A Unremarkable sort, or what you’re left with after 17-, 25-, 39- and 48-Across: ORDINARYJOE.

Of course a Monday puzzle is the one about coffee. Though I guess that could also be a Friday puzzle. Or a Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday.

COFFEE BEANS, ROAST COFFEE, GRIND COFFEE, BREW COFFEE.

Finished this one in 8:44.

NYT Spelling Bee 1-17-21 final

Hello from Day 59 of the current California COVID constant curfew. With just a few days left of the Trump presidency, when are the massive pardons going to drop? Remember that you can play Pardon Me! bingo.

Yesterday I missed KNEE and KNEEING.

Meatier Misses

KEPI: A French military cap with a flat top and horizontal brim.

The creepiest picture I could find.


KIPPA: another term for yarmulke. I have only seen this with an h at the end.
NANKEEN: A yellowish cotton cloth.
NAPKIN: A square piece of cloth or paper used at a meal to wipe the fingers or lips and to protect garments, or to serve food on. Now, I know what this is. Calah thinks I don’t. But I do. I have manners.

Today’s summary

Final score: 43 words for 149 points.
Genius minimum: 147 points.
First word: HATCH.
Pangram: POTLATCH.
Tweets:

Because a dreidel is a top.

WSJ Crossword Contest 1-17-21 Answer

This puzzle started off with a busted WSJ puzzles site. I couldn’t do the crossword puzzle on my screen no matter which computer or browser I used. So I printed it out. I did the puzzle in pen, and that got Calah to call me a lunatic or something to that effect.

As I went through, I did have some errors, so I had to overwrite some of my answers. It’s not the prettiest of grids, but it’s honest.

It was a lot of fun, but I knew I couldn’t get the meta puzzle answer from this nonsense.

So it was off to Excel!

Way easier to read and to highlight!

The clues fell into place, as did the highlighting.

And, of course, the missing word of the movie titles.

AMERICA
BLACK
ULTIMATUM
GAME
SUNDAY

A BUG’S with the missing LIFE because I WON’T SPOIL THE ENDING.

So the answer: A Bug’s Life.

NYT Crossword 1-17-21 Complete

On this day in 1994, LA woke up to a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. With an epicenter near Northridge, it’s one of the worst things to come out of the Valley, and that’s saying something. (I know I’m going to be paying for that statement later, but it’s totally worth it.) I don’t remember the shaking itself, but I remember my dad driving us around to look at the rubble. It was pretty bad. Freeway overpasses had collapsed. Lots of stuff was broken. Generally bad times.

I pulled out 14D Fading process for jeans: ACIDWASH because I joked(?) a couple months ago that anyone in LA who wanted acid wash jeans should leave them outside because it was going to rain that night/day. The next day was beautiful because all the smog was gone.


The title of this puzzle is Double-Crossed, and the grid looks slightly different in the print edition.

23A Way into a garage, typically: OVERHEA(DD/OO)R. That’s true about half the time for me. If I go in through the overhead door, I go out through the pedestrian door. If I go in through the pedestrian door, I go out through the overhead door.
7D Subject of a Sleeves Up campaign: BL(OO/DD)RIVE. There are lots of reports of blood shortages in more places than just Transylvania. COVID has made it almost impossible to get people to donate blood. There’s less coverage of how the chocolate chip cookie industry is affected. Maybe Nutter Butter can shed some light on this type of blow.
34A Nickelodeon competitor: CART(OO/NN)ETWORK.
13D Classic dorm room meal: RAME(NN/OO)DLES. I still have not yet had ramen. And I see a lot of it in the K-Dramas.
61A Prominent women’s rights lawyer: GLORI(AA/LL)RED. And she’s not letting Harvey Weinstein get away with it.
45D Beer in a green bottle: STE(LL/AA)RTOIS. Green bottle made me think Heineken then Beck’s. I think of Stella Artois as being in a brown bottle. It’s not.

Just try to get one of these in America.

76A Visual phenomenon created by short flashes of light: STROB(EE/FF)ECT. Long exposure with a strobe makes for amazing photos.
66D Nestlé creamer: CO(FF/EE)MATE. The perfect amount of coffeemate is just get better coffee and use milk and sugar.
104A Some entertainers at children’s birthday parties: BA(LL/OO)NARTISTS.

Dennis Forel is not just an amazing balloon sculptor but a really nice guy!

85D Sallie Mae products: SCH(OO/LL)OANS. What will happen when there’s free college for everyone?
119A Awards show that airs at night, ironically: DAYTIM(EE/MM)YS. It seems like everyone in the industry has at least one Emmy. I don’t, but I’m also not in the industry.
101D Pool competitions: SWI(MM/EE)TS. Can anyone forget Ryan Lochte’s American Flag grill? Does anybody even want to?

It’s perfect.

I thought this puzzle was pretty good.

Finished in 1:11:55.

NYT Spelling Bee 1-16-21 final

Hello from Day 58 of the current California COVID constant curfew. It seemed like a pretty dull day today. I’m not complaining about that. But there was a guy who was stopped with firearms and 500 rounds of ammo in DC? And then he said it was an “honest mistake” to have been there with that? I’m just glad they got the guy.

Yesterday I missed ELEVEN, LANAI, VALCE, VANILLA, and VANILLIN.

Meatier Misses

VENAL: Showing or motivated by susceptibility to bribery. Rudy, Trump, Bannon.
VENIAL: Denoting a sin that is not regarded as depriving the soul of divine grace. As opposed to mortal sins. Like a misdemeanor, I guess.
VILLANELLE: A nineteen-line poem with two rhymes throughout, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with the first and third lines of the opening tercet recurring alternately at the end of the other tercets and with both repeated at the close of the concluding quatrain.

Today’s summary

Final score: 23 words for 102 points.
Genius minimum: 91 points.

UPDATE

Final score: 24 words for 103 points.
New word: PIKE.
First word: PEEKING.
Pangram: PEAKING.
Tweets:

How’s everyone doing?

I write this at about 4:30pm on Friday, so the world currently is in limbo between the impeachment and the trial. Also between the impeachment and the inauguration.

We’ve got a heat wave in LA, and that’s going to last the long weekend.

And then there have been rumors of all kinds of civil unrest. That is to say MAGA rallies at every state capitol. If DC were a state, it would have the two capitols. Crazy.

I’m going to have the usual news sources up on the screens so I can see what’s going on and so I can play Pardon Me! bingo. I’ve created bingo boards with the names of people who may be pardoned in Trump’s last days in office. There are more names than there are spaces on the boards, so of the (free version capped at 30) iterations of it, not all of them have all the same names.

PLAY PARDON ME! BINGO WITH ME!

Stay safe and healthy. I hope the day is uneventful.

As usual for a Saturday post, I’ve written this Friday afternoon. If a ton has happened since time of writing that makes yesterday a distant memory, here’s what the world looked like then:

Tommy Lasorda passed away.

Betsy DeVos has resigned.
Elaine Chao has resigned.
Mick Mulvaney has resigned.
Hope Hicks will be leaving next week.

Ben Carson was trending because people are making fun of him.

Trump remains divisive.

Tucker Carlson has been abusing this audience with

Biden says he’s been saying that Trump is not fit to lead for more than a year. “That’s why I ran,” he said today.

Reported domestic single-day COVID-related deaths topped 4000 for the first time.

Kim and Kanye are splitsville.

No one knows where Melania is.

Ted Lieu announced that he’s bringing articles of impeachment on Monday.

This came after Nancy Pelosi has asked Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and later demanded Trump resign. Doesn’t look like either will happen.

But the impeachment articles on Monday and Ben Sasse saying that he is willing to consider convicting in the senate. We can’t forget that Mark Kelly has replaced Martha McSally in John McCain’s old seat.

Ossoff and Warnock may be sworn in next week.

They need only 66 votes because David Perdue of Georgia bounced a few days ago when his term expired. Kelly Loeffler is still the appointee until they certify the votes in GA.

I have all kinds of news feeds set up to inform me of developments throughout Shabbat.

Local:
KTLA

Domestic:
Los Angeles Times Left-Center
Washington Post Left-Center
New York Times Left-Center
Wall Street Journal Right-Center
CNN Left
Fox News Right

International:
Deutsche Welle Left-Center from Germany
BBC Left-Center from the UK
NHK Right-Center from Japan

Opinion:
Newsmax

Commentary/Trump bashing:
Lincoln Project twitter

Spelling Bee 1-15-21 final

Hello from Day 57 of the current California COVID constant curfew. Really slow news day today, too. What’s going to happen this weekend? I’m going to have all kinds of sources up, and I’ll be playing Pardon Me! bingo. You can play along!

Yesterday I missed ARROYO and OKRA.

Meatier Misses

FARRO: A type of hulled wheat, especially spelt or emmer, typically used in salads, soups, and side dishes.

It’s farro plus!

FORA: Another word for forums.

Today’s summary

Final score: 39 words for 136 points.
Genius minimum: 132 points.
First word: JAVELIN.
Pangram: JAVELIN!
Tweets:

NYT Crossword 1-15-21 Complete

None too bad for a Friday puzzle. The timer went on kinda long because I got up from the computer partway through and didn’t realize the timer was still going. Not that it matters, of course. I mean the WSJ Friday puzzle didn’t work on the website at all, so I had to print that one out to do it. You’ll see that post on Sunday because I also figured out the meta puzzle answer super fast.

I pulled out 41A Game that can be played on bicycles or elephants: POLO because it’s crazy to think about all the different types of unusual polo. Harvey Mudd notoriously has a unicycle hockey, which is kinda like polo.


The theme of this puzzle seems to be GET TRUMP OUTTA THERE.

29A Eclipsed everyone else: STOLETHESHOW. Trump has talked about having a rally at the same time as Biden’s inauguration. What a crazy guy.
32A One getting fired up for competition?: STARTERPISTOL. This one is kind of on the nose.
48A Complete loss of self-identity: EGODEATH. Reports are that Trump is all mopey after the second impeachment. I would be, too, but also I wouldn’t have done all those harrible harrible things like you wouldn’t believe.
51A Where one might hear a call for action: MOVIESET. If only Trump had stuck to that instead of using his office as bully pulpit to bring the worst out of people.
52A Metaphorical incentive: CARROT. Completely ineffective against Trump.
12D Honcho: LEADER + 33D Captured, in a way: ONCAMERA. Trump is a leader on camera, but he’s garbage in reality.
36D: Employs as a backup plan, with “to”: RESORTS. Reports are that Jared and Ivanka aren’t allowed to join the country club near their new $30M Indian Creek Island home. Whoops!
37D Blanked on: FORGOT. Person, man, woman, camera, TV.

and finally

7D Topic in property law, colloquially: SQUATTERSRIGHTS. That’s what these past few months have been about. Now scram!

Have a great, safe weekend, everyone!

NYT Spelling Bee 1-14-21 final

Hello from Day 56 of the current California COVID constant curfew. Really slow news day today. Depressingly slow because there’s so much actually going on. Unless there isn’t because nobody’s talking to anyone?

Yesterday I missed ALFALFA and FALLOFF.

Meatier Misses

ALARUM: archaic term for alarm. But no AROAR.
AURORAL: relating to auroras.

Today’s summary

Final score: 19 words for 68 points.
Genius minimum: 57 points.
First word: ARRAY.
Pangram: HAYFORK. It’s like that old joke. You know, the one where you say, “It’s like a hayfork,” and then then someone says, “What’s a hayfork?” and you say, “About five pounds.”
Tweets:

NYT Crossword 1-14-21 Complete

What a day today may be! People are calling for Liz Cheney’s head, and that’s a real shame. We need unity now, and the way to do it is to excise the things that continue to tear us apart. My take is that if Trump has won reelection and done this, they wouldn’t have minded getting him out right now, installing Pence, and then have an easy Pence inauguration on January 20. But that’s not the world right now.

I pulled out 53A “90 Day Fiancé” network: TLC because Calah and I binge watched that show together around the time we got engaged. There are so many things wrong with that show, and that’s, of course, why we had to watch all of it. Then we watched the spinoff, The Family Chantel. More trainwreck. So good.


I didn’t realize what the circles were until the end. It had seemed like they were all T’s, but that turned out to be incorrect. In this case, it was good that NYT automatically filled in the circles with the letter choices.

18A Relative of a croc: GA(T/B)OR. I took the clue to mean crocodile, so it was GATOR for alligator. But it can be taken like the shoe. Now I know that GABOR is a shoe brand.
7D Garage jobs: LU(T/B)ES. I took the clue to refer to cars, so it was LUBES. As for LUTES, I have zero idea how this applies.
24A Desires: WAN(T/E)S. I figured it was WANTS. That makes sense. I guess desires can wane. Like the desire to understand this puzzle because now I’m feeling that there’s a chance that the first letter is for the across and the second letter is for the down, and each word exists with the other letter.
4D What a letter needs: LEAS(T/E). I just don’t get this one. Oh, wait, letter like tenant. Contract to live or work somewhere. Now I understand.
27A Awesome time: B(L/O)AST. Having a blast is a good thing. You can later boast about it.
10D Brief appearance: CAME(L/O). A brief appearance is a cameo. As the Australians know, camels tend to stick around.
51A Have a Pavlovian response: DRO(O/L). Ring the bell = getting fed. Can’t wait. Droll means “Curious or unusual in a way that provokes dry amusement.” Could work! Feeling like it’s more and more likely that it’s just across/down.
55A Moves like molasses: S(E/T)EPS. Molasses seeps. Oozes might be better. I don’t think of molasses as stepping.
56D Spud: (E/T)ATER. This can only be the TATER for potato.
62A Ancient unit of length: CU(B/T)IT. Cubit is a thing. I don’t think that there was any CUTIT measurement.
54D Petrol unit: LI(B/T)RE. Only can be LITRE.

38A Classic party game … or a hint to solving the answers that intersect circles: SPINTHEBOTTLE. Oh, now I get it! Clockwise, it’s
T/B
L/O
E/T
B/T
O/L
T/E

Good times.

Finished this one in 28:21.