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 6-19-21 final

It’s Juneteenth today. I am among those who had not heard of Juneteenth until recently. The Atlanta episode about it is very well done. I saw it last year, and now I see that it’s half a decade old. I used to wish my friend Mitchell a happy 6/19 because he’s from San Diego, and the are code is 619. Now I know more.

Yesterday I missed ALTAR (after bragging about getting all the wedding words), ATILT, LAITY, MARTYR, RARITY, RATTAIL, RATTLY, TATAMI, TRIAL, and TRIMLY.

Meatier Misses

LARIAT: A rope used as a lasso or for tethering.

From Taben Western Products: Only $144.99 $119.99

MITRAL: Denoting or relating to the mitral valve.
TAMARI: A variety of rich, naturally fermented soy sauce.

Today’s summary

Letters: MACGHIN
Final score: 31 words for 186 points.
Genius minimum: 176 points.
First word: MACHINING.

NYT Crossword 6-19-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Wow! Two Saturdays in a row! And this Saturday puzzle was substantially faster than yesterday’s Friday was. And it’s a new PR for a Saturday.

I pulled out 16A “You caught me”: I LIED because it took me a long time to get there. It’s not what I had expected that answer to be. It’s kinda lame? I think that a better clue would be Busted!

The theme of this puzzle was not-as-hard-as-Friday?

There were a lot of long answers.

1A Take pregame shots?: TRASHTALK.

WARNING: NSFW. Strong language.

15A Person who will do anything for you, in modern slang: RIDEORDIE. Calah got this one immediately.

17A Cold, caramel-colored concoction: ICEDLATTE.
61A Firewall target: ADULTSITE.
65A Leave space for someone running late, say: SAVEASEAT. Saving seats soon will be a thing again. And then immediately outlawed again.
67A 2004 comedy written by Tina Fey: MEANGIRLS. I hadn’t realized that was her thing!
12D It goes for a short run: MINISERIES. Or the show Pitch. I hate Joe Buck. And the show was terrible.
13D “Can’t argue that”: SEEMSLEGIT. Checks out.
14D Something released while skydiving: ADRENALINE. This one was difficult for me. EXTRALINE? PARACHUTE?
26D Nintendo offering with more than 10 installments: MARIOPARTY. I am terrible at Smash Bros. Always have been. Mario Party has a lot of different games.
27D “Lemme see!”: IWANNALOOK.
28D Del Monte or Green Giant product: CANNEDCORN. I had CANNEDPEAS for a while.

Finished this one in a record-setting 27:43.

DayThis WkBestAverage
person holding blue and clear ballpoint pen

Survey says?

I routinely sign up for focus groups, but just as frequently, they say no.

Until Friday.

A focus group study has said that I can participate!


I can’t tell you what it is yet, but they value my opinion! Hooray!

More information to follow, unless I sign an NDA (likely), but be happy for me about this.

Sorry this is such a short post, but there will be more tonight.

Spoiler alert!

I started the Saturday crossword already (Friday), and I hope to have it done tonight.

NYT Spelling Bee 6-18-21 final

Well the stock market sure went all crazy this week! Closing down a bunch, which is fine, I guess. I have had confidence in oil for the moment (that is to say before we all ditch fossil fuels completely by the year 2095), but the market may prove me very, very wrong.

Also the new Spelling Bee app doesn’t show the updated genius status. What a ripoff. Get it together, Ezersky!


Memorable Makes

Since the words I listed are words we all know, I figured I’d use this time to point out a couple big successes.

First, I got NINE and NINETEEN. That’s pretty much never happened in the history of the world.

Second, today I got words related to betrothal. MARITAL, MARITALLY, and TIARA (amirite about that last one, fellas?!). Certain to make Calah happy that I remembered marriage words. If I don’t post on Sunday, she didn’t care for the last one, so send help, please.

Today’s summary

Letters: TAILMRY
Final score: 41 words for 196 points.
Genius minimum: 190 points.
First word: MILITARY.

NYT Crossword 6-18-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

When I looked at the grid of this puzzle, I thought I’d never finish it. I showed it to Calah, and she just laughed and laughed. Well, I showed her! I finished the thing. And it’s only 10pm now. This pushes me to a 12-day streak.

I pulled out 41D Trump is named in it: EUCHRE because I was racking my brain to figure out what Donald Trump wasn’t named in. But then I realized it was a card game. You know, rather than a house of cards. AMIRITE?!

I think the theme of this puzzle is long.

1A Bill Bryson book subtitled “Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail”: AWALKINTHEWOODS.
16A Give a scolding: CALLONTHECARPET. I had never heard about calling someone on the carpet before.
17A Show whose logo replaces an “o” with a diamond ring: THEBACHELORETTE. The Bachelor didn’t fit. Bachelor in Paradise didn’t fit. Ninety Day Fiancé did fit, but it was wrong. Calah recommended The Bachelorette both to watch and to put in as an answer.
32A High-risk game: RUSSIANROULETTE. I realize that if you call anything Russian, it makes it sounds super sinister.
51A Products of Under Armour and Nike: ATHLETICAPPAREL. I’d been convinced the answer ended in PANTS. But it was never pants.
55A “Could you give more detail?”: CARETOELABORATE. One of those seems like it would get an answer. The other seems like it could yield a right hook. I’m not going to say which is which, but definitely the passive-aggressive on is care to elaborate.
57A Certain summer attire: SLEEVELESSDRESS.

Finished this one in 56:13. Super slow for me for a Friday.

I’ve decided to add this grid of my times.

DayThis WeekBestAverage
Almost twice average for today.

NYT Spelling Bee 6-17-21 final

I went back to learning Python yesterday after a hiatus of longer than I’d like to admit. I stared to look some things up on google, and then the screen tipped back, and google asked me if I wanted to play. I was invited to google foobar! I haven’t yet started it because I want to get through the things I’m trying to get through, but I think it pretty cool. My dad has been talking about how google invites him to foobar every so often, so finally I got to tell him that it happened to me, too.

Also did anyone else notice the change to the Spelling Bee in the android app?


Meatier Misses

ATTAR: A fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals.
DIACRITIC: A sign, such as an accent or cedilla, which when written above or below a letter indicates a difference in pronunciation from the same letter when unmarked or differently marked.
DICTA: Many of a formal pronouncement from an authoritative source.
RAITA: An Indian side dish of yogurt containing chopped cucumber or other vegetables, and spices.

Today’s summary

Letters: NCEGITX
Final score: 32 words for 183 points.
Genius minimum: 180 points.
First word: EXTINCT.
Pangram: ENTICING.

NYT Crossword 6-17-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

This did not feel like a Thursday puzzle to me, and I find myself on an 11-day streak. This seemed like a frustratingly hard Tuesday rather than a Thursday, but this has been me kinda rediscovering the crossword.

I pulled out 13A Twine material: SISAL because I am unfamiliar with that. And while looking it up, I came across an interesting question! “Sisal vs. Jute: What’s the difference?”

If you’d asked me at any point before 7:45pm on Wednesday (when I’m writing this) if I knew the differences, I’d say that they’re the same because they’re both words that aren’t real.

But I’d be wrong on both counts.

They’re not the same, and they’re both real things.

According to, sisal comes from agave, and jute comes from jute plants of India and Bangladesh.

So they’re two plants that look the same, right?

Wrong! So, so wrong!

Jute from Bangladesh Post.

This looks nothing like agave!

Way, way different. Thanks, The American Southwest!

The theme of this puzzle was a boatload of fun.

4D Xbox or PlayStation: GAMECON(S)(O)+(L)+(E).


From the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Sole are born with eyes on either side, but one eye migrates, and they swim parallel to the ocean floor. Halibut do the same!

8D Finishing touch on the first transcontinental railroad: GOLDENS(P)(I)+(K)+(E).


How does someone get to be featured on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game site?

37D Drink that might be served with a metal cup: MILKS(H)(A)+(K)+(E).


Brian Gay of Del. landed a hake and a spot in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources record books!

38D Vedic religious text: UPANI(S)(H)+(A)+(D).


“Perhaps nothing lights up online message boards and email inboxes of Old Dominion river anglers more than the much-anticipated arrival of spring shad from the Atlantic Ocean to Virginia’s rivers for their annual spawning run.”

1D With 11-Down, what each of this puzzle’s groups of circles represents: FISH.
11D See 1-Down: HOOK.

It makes a fish hook! And fish are on the hook!

Finished this one in 16:41. I’d thought it might be a record for me, but my best Thursday was 13:09 back in October of 2018.

NYT Spelling Bee 6-16-21 final

Today was the second Spectrum outages. Today they said it was a node issue. Yesterday they said that the issue I was having required a technician to come out to me. Right. That’s gonna happen for a thing that isn’t an issue on my end.


Meatier Misses

BANYAN: An Indian fig tree whose branches produce aerial roots that later become accessory trunks. A mature tree may cover several acres in this manner.

I know this tree but wanted to share pictures of it. Especially now that I have captions back.


This banyan tree in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii covers almost two acres and has 16 trunks. It was planted in 1873.

And they light it each December after 6500 lights are strung through it.

Today’s summary

Letters: TACDIRY
Final score: 33 words for 158 points.
Genius minimum: 156 points.
First word: DART.
Pangram: ACRIDITY.

NYT Crossword 6-16-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Last night we did the NYT Saturday crossword together again. But this time, Gerry hadn’t yet done it, and I had. So I had to watch rather than participate, and I did so while doing today’s puzzle on my phone. But now I have a 10-day streak going, so I don’t know whether to try to extend it as far as possible or go back to solving it Tuesday nights.

I have captions back!!!! Wow! It’s been so long since I’ve had captions. So glad they fixed it.

I pulled out 1D Item needed for burning, once: BLANKCD because this has been both a personal dilemma and some conversations I’ve had with Calah. Do we still need blank CDs? The answer is no. We do not. Can we part with blank CDs? Probably! But also somehow no? I doubt we’re the only ones who feel that there should be some use for them. But they’re not even good for coasters. You’d have to have a stack of them, and then they’re too cumbersome.

Today had a pun-based theme with movie references. Pretty much my jam.

65A Led astray … or like the films at 19-, 25-, 40- and 57-Across?: MISDIRECTED.

19A Jim Sheridan gives Daniel Day-Lewis nothing to work with in this Irish dramedy (1989): MYRIGHTFOOT. Right is wrong. Left is right. My Left Foot.
25A Rian Johnson helms this snoozer of a whodunit starring Daniel Craig (2019): KNIVESIN. In is wrong. Out is right. Knives Out.
40A Elia Kazan bungles this John Steinbeck novel adaptation (1955): WESTOFEDEN. West is wrong. East is right. East of Eden.
57A Anne Fletcher misses the mark with this first film in a dance franchise (2006): STEPDOWN. Down is wrong. Up is right. Step Up.

I finished this one in a phone-and-computer combo 18:32.

NYT Spelling Bee 6-15-21 final

Hot, hot day in LA. First day of California’s reopening. Wow! And at the same time, Spectrum decided to be garbage all day. Not at all moments. But like 90-second outages at random intervals. It’s just long enough for it to make everything stop working and long enough where there’s a question as to whether it’s worth putting up with the slower speed of a hotspot from my phone.

Also I got notified that I have 500 likes of my posts! Cool! Thanks, everyone!


Meatier Misses

BOLA: (especially in South America) a weapon consisting of a number of balls connected by strong cord, which when thrown entangles the limbs of the quarry.
DOLOR: literary A state of great sorrow or distress.

Related, from the Online Etymology Dictionary:


fem. proper name, from Spanish Maria de los Dolores, literally “Mary of the Sorrows,” from plural of dolor, from Latin dolor “pain, sorrow,” perhaps from PIE root *delh- “to chop” “under the assumption than ‘pain’ was expressed by the feeling of ‘being torn apart'” [de Vaan]. 

LARBOARD: archaic term for port (as opposed to starboard).

Today’s summary

Final score: 19 word for 96 points.
Genius minimum:
First word: BUOYANT.
Last word: BOOTY.
Pangram: BUOYANT.

My friend Daniel told me this joke years ago: “How can you tell if an ant is male or female? [OK, how CAN you tell?] You put it in water. If it sinks, it’s a girl, and if it floats, it’s a boy-ant.” We were in our late-20s when he told me this joke.