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 4-10-21 final

Today would have been my bubbie’s (grandmother’s) birthday. She passed away years ago. But this would have been her birthday.

There was an article that today the vaccines are open to everyone 16+ in Los Angeles. With spikes in many places in the country, this is a good thing! Let’s get the world back on track!


Meatier Misses

MIDRIB: A large strengthened vein along the midline of a leaf.

Train in vein.

Today’s summary

Final score: 40 words for 187 points.
Genius minimum: 187 points.
First word: NAKED.
Pangram: KNEADING.

Baseball is back!

Yesterday (today when I’m writing this) was Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. This reminds of near to when Calah and I were newly dating.

My friend Joe Scala came to visit from New York, and as we had gone to a Yankee game when I visited him (story on that another time), he and I went to Chavez Ravine during his trip out here. Calah joined us.

We got tickets near the foul pole in right field.

I don’t remember who won, but it was a lot of fun. We took Uber there and back, and the Uber story is worth telling, too. I think this is the first part of a baseball series.

Aren’t you excited?

NYT Spelling Bee 4-9-21 final

Finally I got the pangram, and that it was MIDBRAIN and that it was a guess seems very appropriate for me. I certainly am glad it’s the weekend because I am wiped. A crazy thing is that in less than a week, all Californians will be eligible for the covid vaccines. Could it be that we’re getting out of this thing? I’m still waiting for the world to be declared safe to be convinced that the world is safe again.

Yesterday I missed BLIN, BLINI, and IBEX.

Meatier Misses

LIBELEE: Someone who is a victim of a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; the subject of an undue/inaccurate written defamation.

from etymonline:

libel (n.)

c. 1300, “formal written statement, a writing of any kind,” especially, in civil law, “plaintiff’s statement of charges” (mid-14c.); from Old French libelle (fem.) “small book; (legal) charge, claim; writ; written report” (13c.), from Latin libellus “a little book, pamphlet; petition, written accusation, complaint,” diminutive of liber “book” (see library). Meaning “false or defamatory statement” is from 1610s. Specific legal sense of “any published or written statement likely to harm a person’s reputation” is first attested 1630s.

Today’s summary

Final score: 33 words for 151 points.
Genius minimum: 131 points.
First word: MANDARIN.
Pangram: MIDBRAIN.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-8-21 final

Short one today! I make up for it with more etymology from yesterday’s misses. Speaking of getting things wrong, I’ve been watching The Blacklist. There are so, so many inaccuracies that pull me out of the show. Just one example: Why does Elizabeth have a clearance that lets her go to a black site? But then again, Jared. So maybe it was just ahead of its time.


Meatier Misses

AMYL: The straight-chain pentyl radical —C₅H₁₁.
LOGY: Dull and heavy in motion or thought; sluggish.

From etymonline:

logy (adj.)

also loggy, “dull and heavy,” 1847, American English, perhaps from Dutch log “heavy, dull” + -y (2); compare Middle Low German luggich “sleepy, sluggish.” Or perhaps a variant of loggy.

MAMMALOGY: The branch of zoology concerned with mammals.
PALMY: (especially of a previous period of time) flourishing or successful.

palmy (adj.)

“triumphant, flourishing,” literally “worthy of the palm” (of victory or triumph), c. 1600, from palm (n.2) in the “triumph” sense + -y (2). The meaning “full of palms” attested from 1660s.

Today’s summary

Final score: 17 words for 82 points.
Genius minimum: 73 points.
First word: BELIEF.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-7-21 final

I learned something to day about the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: They do tree trimming at no cost to you! They want to make sure that the wires don’t get taken over by trees, so they send out guys to trim the trees. I think that’s nice. They say that people who aren’t certified to trim trees around wires absolutely shouldn’t do that. There’s even a certification for it.


Meatier Misses

AGATE: An ornamental stone consisting of a hard variety of chalcedony, typically banded in appearance.

HAMATE: A carpal bone situated on the lower outside edge of the hand. It has a hook-shaped projection on the palmar side to which muscles of the little finger are attached.

You looked, didn’t you?! Anyway, here’s more of this x-ray.

Today’s summary

Final score: 28 words for 145 points.
Genius minimum: 141 points.
First word: POLYGAMY.
Pangram: POLYGAMY.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-6-21 final

There have been small earthquakes, but so far we’re OK. Also a few minutes ago I realized that I hadn’t scheduled the April 2 blog post to publish, so that’s now out. Even though Passover has concluded, matzah pizza is still on the menu. I’ll have a post about that another time because it’s remarkably good.

Yesterday I missed the second of two pangrams, INCAPACITY, as well as ANTICIPANT, PAPAYA, and TAPA.

Meatier Misses

INAPT: Not suitable or appropriate in the circumstances.
PICCATA: Cooked in a sauce of lemon, parsley and butter.

Learn more about piccata!


Promotional cel sold a decade ago at Heritage for $62.



Today’s summary

Final score: 41 points for 123 points.
Genius minimum: 123 points.
First word: HEMATITE.
Pangram: MEGAHIT.

Woodworking: First-ever cushions project (Part 2)

A cushion is made of three basic parts: the cover we all see, the padded part we know is there, and the board that is the structural foundation.

I had figured that cushions are somewhat standardized, so I should probably just be able to buy new cushions instead of making my own. I spent hours trying to find sites that sold seat cushions. I found one that sells to churches, but the reviews were mixed at best, and the cushions weren’t the proper size.

I tried to find just the boards that had been precut to the proper size.

But there was no luck.

Finally I watched enough YouTube videos to be convince that I needed to cut my own boards.

Luckily for me, Calah has a jigsaw. Unfortunately, she didn’t have blades for the jigsaw.

But that was OK because I didn’t have any wood to cut.

The boards that had been used for the old cushions were 3/8″-thick crap plywood. Just three plies, and there were gaps all over the place. Knots in the wood added further inconsistencies and gaps.

Cushions don’t have to be pretty all the way through, but since the old boards had lost integrity, I wanted to start off with something better. It’s possible that the crap boards had only recently started to sag, but there was no guarantee of that being the case. Though, of course, I had wandered around to see if there was any abandoned plywood that had been used to board up windows in the area before deciding the best move was to buy new plywood.

After some research, I decided to go with 1/2″, 7-ply plywood from lowe’s. I ordered it online for curbside pickup along with jigsaw blades.

This jigsaw is designed for U-shank blades, but quicker-change, T-shank blades are the new standard. No matter, there were many packs of U-shank shown as in stock at the local Lowe’s, so I was fine ordering those.

But when I went to pick up my order, they informed me that they didn’t have the U-shank blades after all.

I left Lowe’s with the wood I needed but nothing to cut with.

More on this next week.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-5-21 final

Oh snap! Pretty much at the buzzer. Got the genius finish. We’re getting close to the 24-hour mark to know if yesterday’s temblors were pre-shocks or if things are settling down. I don’t know about you, but I’m OK if there’s less excitement on the world-is-out-to-make-a-wedding-impossible front.

Yesterday I missed the second pangram, UNCLOGGING. Also GULLING, LINGUINI, LUGING, NULL, and UNCLOG.

Meatier Miss

OCULI: Many of a round or eye-like opening or design.

Today’s summary

Final score: 29 words for 138 points.
Genius minimum: 137 points.
First word: CAPACITY.