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 10-15-21 final

Today marks two months of marriage to my best friend, Calah. It feels like so long since our wedding and yet like it was yesterday. It was hard to do a wedding during COVID, but as sad as it was not to be able to have everyone there like we’d have preferred to do, I am happy that I didn’t have to spend longer not married to her.

Yesterday I missed ANTEDATE, ANTEDATED, ATTENDANT, ATTENDEE, NAAN, NADA, NANA, NATANT, TAUTEN, TAUTENED, TAXA, and TUNA.

Meatier Misses

ANDANTE: Music (especially as a direction) at a moderately slow tempo.
ENNEAD: rare A group or set of nine.

Today’s summary

Letters: HACDINR
Final score: 20 words for 69 points.
Genius minimum: 68 points.
First word: CHINA.
Pangram: ARACHNID.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-15-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 55A Kind of moment worth recording: KODAK because I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten this if I had been much younger. Does anyone still even say Kodak Moment? Is it relevant enough for hipsters to want to use the phrase? I feel like it would work fine in a Post Malone song. I mean, think about it:

I wish I could change myself
But I’m too broken
We looked so happy
In that Kodak Moment

From HighSnobiety.com

I feel like there was a theme, but I’m uncertain. There were a bunch of quote clues.

17A “Losing some illusions … perhaps to acquire others,” per Virginia Woolf: GROWINGUP. So true.
30A Cutesy “I beg your pardon?”: EXSQUEEZEME.
34A “What a shocker”: BIGSURPRISE.
35A “Heaven forbid!”: GODIHOPENOT.
7D “Put a sock in it!”: SHUTYOURPIEHOLE.

Finished this one in 17:33.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:413:499:235:1578
Tuesday9:115:2213:139:532
Wednesday15:347:3817:0315:5719
Thursday12:2112:1228:2026:545
Friday17:3310:2930:5817:3020
Saturday20:1233:3032:2718
Sunday15:1153:2843:225

NYT Spelling Bee 10-14-21 final

DODGERS WIN!!!!! DODGERS WIN!!!!! That last strike was a strike because it was called a strike. That’s what makes a strike a strike, right? :/ Would I have felt like there was injustice if that last pitch had been ruled a ball? Unlikely. So I’ll take it!

Yesterday I missed INTO, MINOR, NONPRINT, OPTION, PINPOINT, PROPORTION, RIOT, TIPTOP, TORTONI, and TRITON.

Meatier Misses

PIPIT: A mainly ground-dwelling songbird of open country, typically having brown streaky plumage.


PIPPIN: A red and yellow dessert apple.
PITON: A peg or spike driven into a rock or crack to support a climber or a rope.

Today’s summary

Letters: ADENTUX
Final score: 44 words for 241 points.
Final score: 46 words for 267 points.
New words: EXTENUATED, EXTENUATE.
Genius minimum: 237 points.
First word: ATTEND.
Last word: TENANT.
Pangrams: UNTAXED, EXTENUATED.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-14-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 19A Unusual time to start a vacation: MIDWEEK because that’s what makes it the best time to start a vacation. Flights are cheaper, traffic is less cumbersome, hotels are looking for warm bodies. And you get the weekend after you’ve gotten over the jetlag.

Theme! And as a prominent podcast host asked my wife at the Magic Castle last night while I was wearing my has-Matt suit with two Giant Microbes plush COVID-19s pinned to me, “Has [your husband] ever been in the punlympic games?” this was one that I appreciated, even if some answers were strained or tired.

16A “My allergies are really acting up!”: BLOODYNOSE.
23A “That third strike cost us the game!”: FREAKINGOUT. Such a prescient clue! It’s like the umpires in tonight’s Dodger game did the crossword and were like, “We like Will Shortz more than we like the San Francisco Giants,” which is an understandable conclusion because no matter how terrible Will Shortz is–and it is a lot–the Giants always are worse. So enjoy your extended offseason lolz.
36A “I keep losing things in the dryer!”: DARNSOCKS.
56A “My iPhone never works!”: ROTTENAPPLE.
61A “This bug spray is useless!”: BLASTEDOFF.


Finished this one in 12:21.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:413:499:235:1578
Tuesday9:115:2213:139:532
Wednesday15:347:3817:0315:5719
Thursday12:2112:1228:2026:546
Friday10:2931:2119:4218
Saturday20:1233:3032:2718
Sunday15:1153:2843:225

NYT Spelling Bee 10-13-21 final

Dodgers won last night in amazing fashion! Tomorrow is the rubber match in this series as of course the best two teams in baseball would have it all come down to the wire. I’ll be watching the game. Will you?

Yesterday I missed CEDE, CEDED, CHIC, CHICHI, CITE, CITED, DECEIT, DIETETIC, EPIC, ETHIC, HECTIC, PEPTIC, and TECHIE.

Meatier Miss

EIDETIC: Psychology Relating to or denoting mental images having unusual vividness and detail, as if actually visible.

Etymology!

eidetic (adj.)

“pertaining to the faculty of projecting images,” 1924, from German eidetisch, coined by German psychologist Erich Jaensch, from Greek eidetikos “pertaining to images,” also “pertaining to knowledge,” from eidesis “knowledge,” from eidos “form, shape” (see -oid).

Today’s summary

Letters: IMNOPRT
Final score: 41 words for 173 points.
Genius minimum: 173 points.
First word: PORTION.
Pangram: PROMOTION.
Tweet:

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-13-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 14A Low-carb “stone age” diet: PALEO because the word simply means old.

paleo-

before vowels pale- word-forming element used in scientific combinations (mostly since c. 1870) meaning “ancient, early, prehistoric, primitive, fossil,” from Latinized form of Greek palaios “old, ancient,” from palai “long ago, far back” (from PIE root *kwel- (2) “far” in space or time).

From the Online Etymology Dictionary

I used to joke that I’m on the real paleo diet: I eat whatever I have in the fridge, and I almost never go shopping. Also I eat in the dark.

But now I’m married, so that would reflect poorly on my wife if I were to continue to make that joke.

Theme!

20A First and only female prime minister of India: INDIRAGANDHI.
32A “Red Cube” sculptor with an eponymous museum in New York: ISAMUNOGUCHI.

Untapped Cities


42A First M.L.B. player to enter the Meikyukai (a Japanese baseball hall of fame): ICHIROSUZUKI.

57A Fashion designer and judge on “Project Runway All Stars”: ISAACMIZRAHI.

65D With 70- and 71-Across, agree … and a phonetic hint to this puzzle’s theme: SEE EYE TOEYE. The answers start and end with the letter I.

Finished this one in 15:34.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:413:499:235:1578
Tuesday9:115:2213:139:532
Wednesday15:347:3817:0315:5719
Thursday12:1228:3830:324
Friday10:2931:2119:4218
Saturday20:1233:3032:2718
Sunday15:1153:2843:225

NYT Spelling Bee 10-12-21 final

By the time this post goes out, we’ll know the result of the Dodgers-Giants game. I really want the Dodgers to win. It’s hard for me to revel in the World Series win last year because the season was trash. It was abbreviated, players sat out, and Rob Manfred was being a terrible commissioner at every turn. That last one hasn’t changed, but this year was tremendous. And finishing one game back of the Giants kinda shows why the games early in the season DO count. The Giants were 16-10 in September, and the Dodgers were 16-11.

Yesterday I missed AFRO, FALOFF, FARRO, FILLIAL, FLAIL, FOLIC, FOLIO, and FROLIC.

Meatier Miss

CALORIFIC: Relating to the amount of energy contained in food or fuel. I had been unfamiliar with this word. It’s a stupid word. Hate it.

Today’s summary

Letters: CDEHIPT
Final score: 33 words for 172 points.
Genius minimum: 165 points.
First word: PITCHED.
Last word: DETECTED.
Pangram: PITCHED.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 10-12-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 35D Most common answer in New York Times crosswords (more than 6% of all puzzles): ERA because I was convinced that the answer was ETA, even 42A Info for an airport limo driver: ETA was an answer already. I’ve felt it’s just the amount of sloppiness to expect from the NYTXW. But it turned out to be ERA instead. It robbed me of about a minute, but I’m kinda relieved that it wasn’t a duplicate answer.

Theme!

17A Game that has only a single round: RUSSIANROULETTE.
23A Single item seemingly always found at the bottom of a McDonald’s bag: FRENCHFRY.
49A Entrance divided in half horizontally: DUTCHDOOR.
58A Board game played on a big hexagram: CHINESECHECKERS. SETTLERSOFCATAN also fits. Terrible game, though.

37A Portmanteau coinage describing this puzzle’s theme: ALLITERNATION. I now understand the theme. It’s alliteration with names of countries. Not terrible.

Finished this one in 9:11.

DayThis WkBestAverage4-Wk AvgStreak
Monday4:413:499:235:1578
Tuesday9:115:2213:1310:482
Wednesday7:3817:0414:5318
Thursday12:1228:3830:324
Friday10:2931:2119:4218
Saturday20:1233:3032:2718
Sunday15:1153:2843:225

Woodworking: Kitchen Cart Workbench Project (Part 1)

Years ago I got an IKEA kitchen island from a couple that was moving. and was going to discard this piece of furniture had I not relieved them of it. While writing this, I have learned that the item is the FÖRHÖJA, and a new one costs a little more than $100.

FÖRHÖJA From the IKEA website.

When I got it, the surface was covered with contact paper. Why was it covered in contact paper? Ostensibly it was there to protect the wood surface from food, but that’s weird, and it didn’t work out because knives used on it cut right through. You know, obviously.

I removed the contact paper and used Goo Gone to get the goo, you know, gone.

I have no pictures of this process because it was long before the woodworking blog.

For a long time, the drawers were used for decks of cards, pens, Post-it pads. The shelves had board gams for a while, but that gave way to a storing some of my larger tools.

With acquisition of additional furniture, we ran out of room for this cart. While I like my coffee table workbench, I figured the cart could be great for doing work while standing up. Whoa, right?

The idea is the same as for the coffee table workbench: embed mounts in the surface to allow me to install and remove the various tools and clamps sustainably.

Once I’d taken down the sukkah that had been on the balcony, it was time to start work making mounts for my vise.

Just like with the coffee table, I’d start with sinking the mounts for the vise into the corner.

And initially that means drawing the circles from the base holes onto the table. I had some flexibility, but a better fit is better.

I started with the 1/8″ drill bit and worked my way up from there. In order to make sure that I was on target with the holes, I put the vise over the holes. I also decided to hold a bubble level against the back of my drill to ensure that the holes were vertical to make my life easier later.

I got the final holes almost perfectly in the circles and well within the error tolerance. I went one bit beyond where I needed in order to sink the anchors flush with the table surface.

Mounts like these are notorious for being tough to get in straight. As you can see, they’re all wonky when dropped in place without adjustment. Vertically drilled holes would not overcome a poorly inserted anchor.

It was painstaking work, but I got the first one in flat.

While the second one looked pretty good from this angle,

other angles proved less accommodating.

Good thing it’s not complicated to resolve.

Two down, two to go.

And then there was one.

The concept remained the same.

And so did the result.

It’s a four of a kind…

…and a flush at the same time!

Note the knife scars because contact paper doesn’t (and shouldn’t) protect that way!

Success at alignment!

Pretty, right?

I’d say so!

More in next week’s post!

NYT Spelling Bee 10-11-21 final

Today’s Dodger game was rough to take in. Lots of chances and no follow-through. The solo home run off Max Scherzer was enough to carry the Giants all the way, and the defense kept snuffing out would-be Dodger rallies. The wind with gusts that turned the sky to grays and browns did nothing to help the boys in blue put any runs on the board. Really disappointing, but maybe tomorrow will be better.

Yesterday I missed AGITA, ATILT, ATTAGIRL, IOTA, RAITA, RIOT, ROTI, ROTOTILL, TILT, TRATTORIA, and TRIO.

Meatier Misses

Some of these are real random words that show how ridic this thing is.

ARIL: Botany An extra seed-covering, typically colored and hairy or fleshy, e.g., the red fleshy cup around a yew seed.
GIRT: past participle of gird
GLIA/GLIAL: Anatomy The connective tissue of the nervous system, consisting of several different types of cell associated with neurons.
GRIOT: A member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa.
LITTORAL: Relating to or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake.
OTALGIA: Medicine Earache.
TAIGA: The sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes, especially that between the tundra and steppes of Siberia and North America.

Today’s summary

Letters: FACILOR
Final score: 37 words for 149 points.
Genius minimum: 144 points.
First word: FRAIL.
Last word: COLORIFIC. That was a desperation play. I did not know that was a word.
Pangram: ???
Tweets:

It’s like the Fail Whale, but also it’s not.