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 Spelling Bee 10-23-20 final

Back to the trend of short puzzles! Calah beat me in total score today, so that was pretty cool.

I missed some annoying ones yesterday.

ALLAY: I’m afraid I missed this.
ARRAY: And I use Excel!
AWRY: Like how some of this puzzle went for me.
DRAY: I missed this beer cart again!
DRYAD: I missed this tree nymph again!
DRYWALL: It turns into steam when fire hits it. Who knew?
DYAD: Part of the misses in this area.
KAYAK: I miss kayaking. I went with my cousins a while ago.
WARY: 😐
YAWL: A two-masted fore-and-aft-rigged sailing boat with the mizzenmast stepped far aft so that the mizzen boom overhangs the stern.

Final score: 24 words for 84 points.
Genius minimum: 79 points
First word: HITCH
Pangram: TOOTHPICK
Missed opportunities: TIKTOK (doesn’t have an H), THOT, THICC, CHOOCHOO, HIPHOP

No crosswords today because I was busy working on the thing for Tuesday’s series about woodworking.

NYT Spelling Bee 10-22-20 final

And we’re right back to the short puzzles that are make you feel like you’re someone Trump owes money to: Go for it, but you’re probably not going to get much for your work.

Yesterday I missed a bunch!

Good news is that I got all the pangrams.

COCCI: I know I’ve missed these spherical bacteria before.
CODDLE: I don’t even like this word.
CODDLED: So of course I don’t like this one.
CODICIL: It’s like an amendment to a will.
COLLIE: I left the dogs out. Now we know.
COMEDIC: Others would say I usually leave this out, too.
COOED: This one’s for the birds.
DECO: And I like art deco 😦
DEICE: I didn’t know even what I was looking at. It’s to remove ice from. DE-ICE. Typical SoCal guy over here.
DEICED: The past tense of what I still have never done in my life.
DEICIDE: There’s no killing what can’t be killed!
ECOCIDE: According to Purple Hands McConnell, this doesn’t exist.
OLEIC: Fat chance I miss this one again!

In the roughness of today, I eked out a genius result.

Final score: 18 words for 98 points
Genius minimum: 91 points
First word: AWAY
Pangram: AWKWARDLY

NYT Crossword 10-22-20 DNF

I’m calling it. I should have a long time ago, but now that’s it.

I couldn’t resolve everything, and my guesses didn’t get me anywhere. There are probably a lot of things wrong on this, but this is as far as I’ve gotten. I’ll revisit it another day, but that’s it for today.

I really wish I could have gotten the answer to 61A, and usually I figure the one out that brings them all together after figuring out the thread and the other answers, but none of that happened today. Better luck tomorrow, right?

WSJ Crossword 10-22-20 Complete

I haven’t yet finished the NYT puzzle today, so I’ll post that later. Likely, that puzzle will be incomplete. But this one is finished, so hooray for that.

I don’t know what it is about the Wall Street Journal puzzle that perpetually disappoints me. When I complete it, it’s like I’m relieved that it’s over. I know nobody is forcing me to do it, and maybe I just haven’t found the fun in it yet.

Today’s puzzle title is Letter Carriers. This played out as the answers to the long clues were like the BEFORE AND AFTER category on Jeopardy.

16A Crew given to cursing?: FBOMBSQUAD. Look at the Wall Street Journal being all risqué using F-BOMB in the answer to a clue.
22A Musical rock?: EFLATEARTH. Clever again! The flat earther contingent doing the WSJ puzzle must be bigger than I imagine.
36A Arizona cowboy?: DBACKONTHEHORSE. Talk about shoehorning one in! I don’t really think “back on the horse” when I hear cowboy. Maybe a better clue is recovering cowboy. Regular cowboy is just on the horse.
47A Hog market?: EBAYOFPIGS. Nothing’s more fun than conjuring the Cold War and the Russians messing with us, right?
58A Gaming workplace?: XBOXOFFICE. Because we all work in box offices? Another clue that is written poorly.

And here’s the best-worst part of the whole puzzle and by that I mean the part of the puzzle that is just wrong.

66A Letter carrier that literally distributed letters to 16-, 22-, 36, 47- and 58-Across: FEDEX

FEDEX! Right, when I send a letter, I choose FedEx. Because the thing I want to do most when I send correspondence is to go to Kinko’s and deal with something so bad there’s a game about it instead of putting a stamp on an envelope and dropping it in a blue collection box.

Now, I don’t like Will Shortz less than anyone else, but I doubt even he’d let this by. Outrageous.

NYT Spelling Bee 10-21-20 final

Pfft. PFFT. PFFT!

If that had been the only one I missed yesterday, I would be livid. It wasn’t the only one I missed yesterday, but it was pretty close.

Today’s puzzle was super long! And with at least three pangrams. I guess for all those who are new to the puzzle, it was a bait-and-switch. As if to say: “Here are a bunch of short, boring ones. Now try one where the minimum genius level is 200.

I didn’t spend all day on it. I think total time was may be 45 minutes. I had work to do that includes removing a bunch of stripped screws from that end table I’m working on. More on that will be in a blog post on the new woodworking miniseries on my blog with entries coming out on Tuesdays.

Here’s what I missed yesterday.

EPEE: I really gotta stop missing this word.
PAYEE: This is Trump’s America. What does this term even mean?
PFFT: Unbelievable.
TEPEE: The same thing as a TEEPEE but with one fewer letter. Hooray alternate spellings.

Today’s score will mean tons of words in tomorrow’s list.

Final score: 43 words for 207 points
Genius minimum: 200 points
Pangrams found: DOMICILE, DOMICILED, MELODIC
First word: DOMICILE
Absent word: CELLIE, COOLIO

WSJ Crossword 10-21-20 Complete

The title of this puzzle is Bar Hopping. Remember bar hopping? Those were the days. St. Paddy’s Day, Halloween, Independence Day, Arbor Day. Good times.

44D “Dancing With the Stars” judge Goodman: LEN. I hadn’t known Len Goodman existed. Turns out he did and that he still does. Clearly I do not watch DWTS. I recently heard that Chrishell from Selling Sunset is on it? What a show that is/was.

But in the last 15 or so minutes, I’ve found out so much about DWTS! I learned that Len Goodman will not be returning this fall because he’s stuck in the UK due to covid travel restrictions. More than that, Tom Bergeron (another name I’m unfamiliar with) and Erin Andrews (finally someone I recognize!) are gone. Further, Tyra Banks is joining/has joined as a judge this season.

So back to the Bar Hopping theme.

20A Some runners’ supports: JOG(BRAS
22A It’s just one thing after another: SIRIE)S
BRASSIRIE
26A Composer Hoist: GUS(TAV
29A Orange character of kiddie TV: ERN)IE
TAVERN
43A Model plane material: BAL(SA
44A Canadian dollar, familiarly: LOON)IE
SALOON
49A Depth charge, in military slang: ASH(CAN
50A Three-time Golden Globes co-host: TINA)FEY <–Good for her!
CANTINA

Finished in 18:12.

NYT Crossword 10-21-20 Complete

A moment of silence for quibi.

That’s over, so here’s today’s crossword.

Now that the election is less than two weeks away, I do find the humor in
48A Like Barack Obama’s presidency: TWOTERM. With Trump trailing by nearly 10 points (archived here for the future), it certainly seems like a dig.

Today’s long answers were puns based on place names.
17A Ways to cross a river in Switzerland?: BERNBRIDGES. Bern is arguably but not officially the capital of Switzerland, another clear demonstration of how evasive the country really is.
28A First showing at a film festival in France?: CANNESOPENER. Because Cannes’s second claim to fame is its film festival. For sure its proudest thing to boast is that it’s a sister city of Beverly Hills.
44A Census taker in India?: DELHICOUNTER. Nobody ever gets tired of a Delhi/deli joke.
58A Police dragnet in South Korea?: SEOULSEARCH. Same goes to Seoul/soul. Who hasn’t seen the South Korea’s Got Seoul T-shirt?

I had a typo in this one that I finally resolved. Finished in 19:04. Average Wednesday 17:50.

NYT Spelling Bee 10-20-20 final

Today’s was fun mostly because I got to compete with Calah. She has her own subscription now, so that lets me compete with her. You know, friendly competition. I eked out a win today, but she reached genius for the first time. It’s only going to get tougher for me from here.

Other than that, it was a weird short puzzle along the lines of what I’ve been grousing about the last few days.

But I missed some yesterday, and some of those I really thought I had gotten. So I don’t know what happened.

DUNNO: I didn’t realize this was a word that was acceptable in this way.
ODOR: It really stinks that I missed this one.
ROAR: I really thought I’d gotten this, but nope!
RONDO: My initial thought is 2020 NBA Finals Champion Rajon Rondo, but it’s a musical term whose definition is: A musical form with a recurring leading theme, often found in the final movement of a sonata or concerto.

Final score: 23 words for 89 points
Genius minimum: 71 points
First word: PAPAYA
Omitted words: PEEPEE, TAPPET

WSJ Crossword Puzzle 10-20-20 Complete

Start Trading is the theme of today’s puzzle. Trading. Like stocks. Because Wall Street. It’s the Wall Street Journal. I get it. GG, Mr. Bhat.

58A 9:30 a.m. event at the NYTSE, and a hint to the starts of the starred answers: OPENINGBELL.
18A *It may temporarily blind you: (bell)PEPPER SPRAY
23A *Be far superior to: (bell)TOWER OVER
36A *Friendly toast: (bell)BOTTOMS UP
51A *Precocious lad: (bell)BOY WONDER

This puzzle was just OK.

Finished in 19:33

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-20-20 Complete

I did this puzzle on my phone (while watching Love Is Blind–I really like Kenny-Kelly and Cameron-Lauren), but I’m writing this post on my computer.

First off, either I’ve been out of the game for too long or SPLIFF is a new addition to the crossword. I’m just imagining a generation of people who are introduced to the term through the crossword.

The theme of this puzzle is the answer to
38A Like goods that are temporarily out of stock … or a hint, alphabetically, to the answers to the starred clues: BACKORDERED. Took me a moment, but I realized that the answers to the starred clues are in reverse-alphabetical order. And why isn’t that omegapsiacal order?
17A *Followed warnings: TOOKHEED (DEHKOT)
18A *Materialistic sort, stereotypically: YUPPIE (EIPUY) Also the etymology of yuppie is from the acronym of Young Urban Professional and dates back to the Reagan era.
23A *Marijuana cigarette, informally: SPLIFF (FILPS)
24A *Posted inflammatory blog comments, e.g.: TROLLED (DELORT)
50A *Chewbacca, e.g.: WOOKIEE (EIKOW)
52A *Autonomous cleaner: ROOMBA (ABMOR)
59A *”L’chaim!”: TOLIFE (EFILOT)
62A *Like toddlers in high chairs, often: SPOONFED (DEFNOPS)

I did this one on my phone, so it was a little slower than if I’d done it on the computer. The time was 12:49. Average for Tuesday is 14:02, so go figure.