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).

NYT Crossword Puzzle 12-1-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 38A Smooths (out): IRONS because going to the Magic Castle as much as I do means that I have been wearing my button-down shirts. When I get back, sometimes I hang up my shirt on a hanger, and something I throw it over a chair. But no matter what, I have to either launder my shirts or iron them before I wear them again. The amount to iron builds up, and I had 10 shirts that were taking up space outside my closet. I learned how to iron a long time ago, and then I re-learned how to iron from the T.M. Lewin ironing video on youtube.

The video says that you should be able to iron a shirt in three minutes. I haven’t experienced anything close to that speed, but I do like the way the shirts turn out. I also don’t put water in the iron because years ago I found that there’s calcification that then flakes onto the shirts, and that’s super annoying. I use a spray bottle. I don’t use starch. My real preference is to iron shirts that are wet and just out of the washing machine. Those are the easiest to do.

Theme!

17A Play a wrong note during a violin sonata?: ERRONTHEGSTRING.
28A Little prince taking a bath?: CLEANHEIRACT. It’s like WhoCARESact.com.
44A “We all put things on TV sometimes”?: TOAIRISHUMAN.
59A Headline after Jane becomes queen?: EYRETOTHETHRONE.

Finished this one in 11:19.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-30-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 43D Notoriously fast starter: HARE because the first-ever place I ever performed for anyone at the Magic Castle was at the Hat and Hare Lounge. Some people absolutely love performing there. I prefer the Cellar. I think I like the Palace Bar as the second-favorite place to perform, but I’ve performed there the least. Weird.

The theme is all what the games really are.

20A Sign outside a Stratego tournament?: CAPTURETHEFLAG.
25A Sign outside a Scrabble tournament?: SITFORASPELL.
48A Sign outside a Taboo tournament?: DONTSAYAWORD.
56A Sign outside a dominoes tournament?: CONNECTTHEDOTS.

Finished this one in 8:02.

Woodworking: Cherry Cutting Board from Scratch Project (Part 3)

I left off last week having planed the cutting board after the first glue-up. I wanted to cut the board further, and that’s where I ran into a cutting issue with the tools I had. The riving knife on the table saw did not allow for cuts that do not go all the way through the material because the plastic blade guard is required to be on. And there’s no chance I’m going to cut anything without a riving knife–even if it’s a lower horsepower table saw with a small blade. I’m going to going to risk kickback.

See, the riving knife is a piece that sits behind the blade of a table saw. The table saw blade spins in the direction toward the operator of the table saw, so if a piece gets caught in the teeth, the blade acts like a batting cage pitching arm to hurl a caught piece of wood at the operator.

Terrifying video.

I tried to get a riving knife that sat lower with my table saw that would allow me to make slots in boards rather than cut all the way through. That way I could cut on one side and then again on the other so I could get a deeper cut all the way through. I had no luck in that area. Is it worth modifying a riving knife to do that?

But then something happened.

The DeWalt jobsite table saw went on sale on Amazon and Calah and I were about to use our 20% off all sold by, shipped by Amazon items because enough had been purchased from our wedding registry.

The DeWalt table saw has enough cutting depth to go through thicker pieces of wood. But it has a much thicker blade than the Proxxon table saw does. I’m now lucky enough to have both and use them in tandem, which I think is pretty cool.

For an understanding of scale.

I have mentioned in the past about how crosscut sleds are important with table saws. Miter gauges can work, but the cuts are harder to keep straight.

I was able to trim off the edges, but they were not as uniform as I would have liked. But the table saw worked!

So then it was on to making a sled.

I took a 1/2″ plywood board that was left over from the cushions project, some plywood pieces I glued up, and then some additional plywood pieces I cut into strips on the Proxxon table saw.

I also needed an outfeed table because I couldn’t have things fall off the end.

I had the vacmaster connected to the lower part of the table saw (you can see the hose in the bottom left corner of the picture) and the outfeed table made up of a plywood board I have used as a tabletop for my sukkah that I had finished with polyurethane so the termites don’t get it.

I put all the pieces of the sled together and put a block in place for repeated cuts of the same size.

I was about ready to cut it up for the next stage of gluing. More next week.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-29-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 4D Mouth-puckering green drink: LIMEADE because I haven’t had limeade in a long time, but I used to have it in summertime, and I like it way more than I like lemonade. I don’t know what it is about the drink, but I find it to be way more refreshing. Why is it not as popular as its yellow brother?

Theme!

20A Hoped-for experience at a casino: STREAKOFLUCK.
28A Sprinkle often paired with salt: DASHOFPEPPER. I made latkes last night and tonight. I made the recipe last night, though. Cooked more today. Anyway, I added salt and pepper, but I feel like I could have done more pepper. It would have benefitted from more pepper.
45A Fashion designer’s purchase: BOLTOFFABRIC. Just like how fabric is sold in bolts and there are bolt ends that are sold for less as scrap, that’s how I get my pieces of wood for my woodworking projects! But scrap from the hardwood store. Not from the fabric store.

54A Early advantage … or what 20-, 28- and 45-Across each have?: RUNNINGSTART. Streak, dash, bolt.

Finished this one in 4:55.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-28-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 33D Pin point?: LAPEL because I routinely wear two lapel pins when I wear a suit. Most frequently I wear a suit to the Magic Castle in Hollywood. When I go, I wear my magician member pin and a pin that another magician member friend of mine gave to me about a year ago. That second pin is of a hand and a card fan. It’s really cool both in its appearance and its meaning. Nader Hanna is immensely nice and a wonderful performer.

The puzzle’s title is Garage Sale Pitches.

23A TV, volume knob broken, only $10!: CANTTURNTHATDOWN.
43A Baseball mitt, has a small hole, just $1!: DROPEVERYTHING.
68A Guitar, never used, $15!: NOSTRINGSATTACHED. I don’t know of any guitars that come not pre-strung.
91A Textbook, a few pages torn out, $2!: LIMITEDEDITION. As long as it’s not the cover because stripped books are no joke.
114A Two fish tanks, accessories included, $5!: ROCKBOTTOMPRICES.

Finished this one in 34:59.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-27-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 24A Brilliant display: BLAZE because I had GLAZE in there for a long time, and that made me think that 24D The world’s most-visited city (20+ million travelers annually): BANGKOK was GANGNAM, which I knew couldn’t make sense. Like, it might as well be Itaewon, amirite? I don’t like BLAZE as an answer for that clue.

No theme, but there were some long answers.

16A Operative: UNCERCOVERAGENT.
53A “You can come out now”: THECOASTISCLEAR. Calah and I were in Orange County on a mini-moon, and the coast was pretty clear! We did a ton of walking, so that’s a good thing.

Finished this one in 28:08.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-26-21 Complete (contains spoilers) #nytxw

Tomorrow I’ll be back to my computer. Still on my phone today.

I pulled out 5A Onetime chain that offered Free Battery Club memberships: RADIOSHACK mainly because I love this 2007 article from The Onion: Even CEO Can’t Figure Out How RadioShack Still In Business.

Finished this one in 33:24.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-25-21 Complete (contains spoilers) #nytxw

This puzzle has a lot of oddly specifically relevant clues. I’ll expand upon that later.

I pulled out 1A Builder of a papery nest: WASP because wasps were building a nest under the eave of a neighboring building. I didn’t care much for that, but I wasn’t about to go knocking on doors like covid isn’t a thing. So I looked at Google maps and found a photo with the banner outside that advertised open units. I called the number only to find that the building had been sold and was no longer under the management whose number appeared on that banner. I set it aside for a few days to regroup and to be successful in other areas(?), and when I returned to the wasps issue, I did a Google search for newer listings in that building. I got through to the right people! I said either take away the wasps or charge them rent, but status quo is unacceptable. The nest stayed up for months, but activity stopped within a couple days of the call.

There’s a theme, but it’s difficult to write it out on the wp app.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Finished this one in 14:04.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 11-24-21 Complete (contains spoilers) #nytxw

I pulled out 31D Dark green side dish: KALESALAD because the Trader Joe’s kale something or other that’s sold in glass jars is being recalled because it may have glass in it! Moral of the story: no kale. Get your roughage from broccoli.

Writing this one from my phone, which isn’t ideal, but there you go. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Finished this one in 15:10.

NYT Crossword 11-23-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 18A Font akin to Helvetica: ARIAL because it’s not exact, but it’s kinda close? They’re both sans-serif fonts that are clean and easy to read. I also prefer Arial to Calibri. I don’t know if it’s because I was raised with Arial or what, but it’s true.

Also the #raabidfun T-shirts are in Helvetica.

The #raabidfun T-shirt available in many sizes!

Theme! Today’s has down clues rather than across clues. Weird.

3D M.L.B. record-holder for most career home runs: BARRYBONDS. *
11D Singer profiled in the biopic “Walk the Line”: JOHNNYCASH.
29D N.B.A. commissioner starting in 2014: ADAMSILVER.

20A Sort of investment suggested by the ends of 3-, 11- and 29-Down: PERSONALFINANCE. Bonds, cash, silver.

Finished this one in 4:25–a new record! The old record was 5:22 that I had set back in July of this year.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:133:499:185:0184
Tuesday4:254:2513:0611:458
Wednesday7:3816:5111:5524
Thursday12:1227:5022:1610
Friday10:2929:2318:1824
Saturday16:3330:3321:2624
Sunday15:1150:5738:3011