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).

Opening a coconut with the help of gravity: A Photo/Video Essay

Easy way to open a coconut: Throw it off a balcony.
I forgot to turn off slo-mo :/
The result of throwing the coconut down. Original sound effects.

NYT Spelling Bee 7-23-21 final

The end of a long week! Yay! I’ll save time on this intro by just saying that you should watch the The Catalpa Tree Update video in its entirety.


Meatier Misses

CATALPA: A tree with large heart-shaped leaves, clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers, and long, slender seed pods, native to North America and eastern Asia and cultivated as an ornamental.

The video just gets better and better. Watch it all the way through. Maybe speed it up to 2x.

LANTANA: A tropical evergreen shrub of the verbena family, several kinds of which are cultivated as ornamentals.

Like, a REALLY big problem!

PALAPA: A traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches.
PALATAL: technical Relating to the palate.
PALP: Each of a pair of elongated segmented appendages near the mouth of an arthropod, usually concerned with the senses of touch and taste.
PAPILLA: A small rounded protuberance on a part or organ of the body.
PINTAIL: A mainly migratory duck with a pointed tail.

Today’s summary

Letters: DCEITUV
Final score: 48 words for 226 points.
Genius minimum:
First word: DECEIVE.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-23-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I pulled out 2D Kind of treatment: ROYAL because that was holding me up from getting this pule done many minutes faster. For a long time, I’d had LOCAL in there instead. It made sense, I guess. LOCAL anesthetic, LOCAL bus, LOCAL dessert. But it was ROYAL instead. That let me knock out 17A Revelation: EYEOPENER and 4D Solid: STOUT.

No theme today, which is kind of a shame after some decent ones recently.

44A Spot of coffee?: BREAKROOM was a meh answer. I get the pun, but I don’t particularly like it.

I learned a little bit about geography with 41A Tasmania’s capital: HOBART.

64A Attraction at a water park: LAZYRIVER. I think the slides are far superior to the lazy river. I wouldn’t go to a water park to seek out the lazy river. But maybe I’m spoiled living walking distance from the ocean.

Finished this one in 33:30.

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NYT Spelling Bee 7-22-21 final

I did not get the pangram today. I could not find it. Very frustrating. I got two-and-a-half-score words, and no pangram.

Yesterday I missed LOLLIPOP, LOLLOP, and POLO.

Meatier Misses

PULI: A sheepdog of a black, gray, or white breed with a long thick coat.

“It can take THREE DAYS for all the cords to dry.” OMG.

PURL: Denoting or relating to a knitting stitch made by putting the needle through the front of the stitch from right to left.
RILL: A small stream.

Today’s summary

Letters: LACINPT
Final score: 50 words for 201 points.
Genius minimum: 197 points.
First word: CALLA.
Pangram: ???????????????

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-22-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I thought I was going kinda slow with this one, as I did it while waking up, but that was wrong! I beat my old Thursday best by almost a minute! But this did feel like an overly friendly Thursday puzzle. And you see that the streak is at 46 now. Like I said in yesterday’s post: “Tomorrow’s puzzle will show that my streak really is still alive.”

I pulled out 22A Land of plenty?: ASIA because I don’t understand this answer. I had been under the impression that Australia is the land of plenty. That’s why it’s easy for them to reject temptation.

The theme for this puzzle was far out.

17A Ones sporting man buns and ironic T-shirts, say: HIPSTERS. Did covid bring back the manbun or did it never leave. And can it please go away for forever? I mean aside, meh.
20A Closest living relatives of whales: HIPPOPOTAMUSES. How do you stop a hippo from charging?
35A They enforce discipline among legislators: PARTYWHIPS.
42A Locations of some dives: SHIPWRECKS.
63A Little dipper?: PITACHIP. Awful answer. Really dumb. Pita chips can be big.
57A Inseparable … or like three pairs of answers in this puzzle?: JOINEDATTHEHIP.

That caused doubling!

1D Get back into shape: REHHAB instead of REHAB.
2D Come up: ARIISE instead of ARISE.
3D Lukewarm: TEPPID instead of TEPID.

27D Exhibited relief, in a way: EXHHALED instead of EXHALED.
33D It can be heavier in the summer: AIIR instead of AIR.
21D Admits: ACCEPPTS instead of ACCEPTS.

51D Run-of-the-mill: HOHHUM instead of HOHUM.
52D Upper echelon: ELIITE instead of ELITE.
53D Took performance-enhancing drugs: DOPPED instead of DOPED. But in the world of stonks and hodl, DOPPED seems real.

With the bonus:
32A Pelvic joints: COXAE.

I realize now that I’m disappointed the the puzzle didn’t make giant HIPs. The formatting should have extended.


Finished this one in 12:12. A new personal best for a Thursday.

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NYT Spelling Bee 7-21-21 final

Today’s Spelling Bee had a much lower point minimum for genius. But somehow it took a lot longer to get there. But a Queen Bee of more than 400 points was truly ridiculous. Also just 24 days to go, Calah!

Yesterday I missed AIRY, ARIA, AVIARY, CIRCA, and PRAY.

Meatier Misses

CARPI: The group of small bones between the main part of the forelimb and the metacarpus in terrestrial vertebrates. The eight bones of the human carpus form the wrist and part of the hand, and are arranged in two rows.

PAPYRI: Papyruses.
PRIAPIC: Relating to or resembling a phallus.

Etymology first and then numismatics!

priapic (adj.)

“phallic; of or relating to the cult and myths of Priapus,” 1786, with -ic + Priapus (Greek Priapos), son of Dionysus and Aphrodite, the god who personified male reproductive power. His name is of unknown origin. Earlier was Priapean (1690s).

There were coins that were made in honor of Priapus:

That’s not a sword. From vcoins.

Today’s summary

Letters: LINOPRU
Final score: 25 words for 70 points.
Genius minimum: 62 points.
First word: PULP.
Pangram: PURLOIN.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-21-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

Finally had the chance to do the crossword puzzle! Tomorrow’s puzzle will show that my streak really is still alive.

I pulled out 19A Action after a bad golf drive: RETEE because it reminds me of my first time in Scotland. I was playing the New Course in St Andrews with some randos, and I was having a rough time. Now, I’d been used to parkland golf, which has tree-lined fairways. But the New Course at St Andrews is a links course. It’s more like open field.

So after 11 tough holes, I stood at the 12th tee and planned it out in my mind. I hit a perfect draw to what I thought was the green. But it wasn’t the green. I found that out when the randos I was playing with asked me why I was celebrating when I’d hit the ball over there. When I said that it was exactly what I’d wanted to do because the green was right there, they laughed and pointed to the flag that was right in front of us. So to add one bizarre thing to the next, I reached the proper green on my second shot and two-putted for a birdie. Below is the markup of what I remember of my shots, seven years later. I didn’t retee.

This was another fun puzzle theme.

The grid itself has a Z in it, and there Z’s for deez. Zays for days.

17A Raucous music style similar to boogie-woogie: BARRELHOUSEJAZZ.

21A Bolivian capital: LAPAZ.
48A Spaces (out): ZONES.
53A The titular Nelsons of a classic sitcom: OZZIEANDHARRIET.
60A Dish with tomatoes and mozzarella: NEAPOLITANPIZZA. My cousin Ken makes a mean Neapolitan pizza in his pizza oven. He always seems to leave out the vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, though. I don’t understand it.
4D Columnist Klein: EZRA.
12D Partner of confused: DAZED.
13D This clue number minus deux: ONZE.
15D Passions: ZEALS.
33D Make easier to recite, as the Great Lakes via HOMES: MNEMONIZE.
34D Vodka cocktail with cranberry and grapefruit juice: SEABREEZE.
46D Construction vehicle, informally: DOZER.
47D _ Day, Down Under holiday: ANZAC.

Finished this one in 14:27. It’s better than my overall Wednesday average, but it’s higher than my four-week Wednesday average. To be fair, I was distracted by Calah breaking open a coconut.

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NYT Spelling Bee 7-20-21 final

So the Wall Street Journal sent out a disappointing headline.

Why they couldn’t use the any of the following terms: Uighur, Uyghur, genocide, ethnic cleansing, slave, slavery is beyond me. Also the focus should be on the kidnappings, reeducation programs, brainwashing, etc. I remember I first hear of the Uyghur people when I was in my hotel room in Port Ellen, Islay, Scotland. It was heavy news to hear straight from a distillery, but that was two years ago.

Yesterday I missed only three words FIFING, WIGGLING, and WOOING.

Meatier Misses

None. I could have gotten them all.

Today’s summary

Final score: 17 words for 78 points.
Genius minimum: 77 points.
First word: PIRACY.
Pangram: PRIVACY.

NYT Crossword Puzzle 7-20-21 Complete (contains spoilers)

I decided to add a four-week average to the table at the bottom to see how my daily time compares not only to my overall as logged by the NYTXW site but also how I’ve been doing recently. Have I been doing better? Have I been doing worse? Am I right on? Since it’s not too difficult for me to track, I figure I might as well.

I pulled out 29A Almost unfathomably large number: GOOGOL because that’s a word whose spelling I know only from the NYT Spelling Bee.

Theme time! Wait, no theme? Just long answers?

19A Kind of headlight on older cars: SEALEDBEAM.
26A Observation deck feature not for the squeamish: GLASSFLOOR.
44A Stored deeply and securely: INTHEVAULT.
52A Chocolaty treats that you might “break me off a piece of”: KITKATBARS.

Finished this one in 9:54.

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Woodworking: One-off IKEA table project (part 2) Revisited

The instructions for the table saw I got has the following section:

9. Dust suction

At the back of the housing of your FSK [table saw] you will find a connecting piece for dust suction, see fig. 9: a vacuum cleaner is connected here.
This should always be operational while working! Not only because it guarantees a clean working environment, but also because this prevents the interior of the saw from becoming contaminated with sawdust.

Well, I got a vacuum that is rated for this type of use, and I can’t wait to try it out and make a real table to use. But for now, the project concluded below has been working fine.

When I had first partially disassembled the IKEA table, I saw that the plastic veneer had been applied to both sides of the tabletop. I thought that this was unnecessary, but I was appreciative because I gave me an idea: flip the table top over and use the underside at the topside.

I began fully breaking down the table.

Now, I’ve taken apart IKEA furniture before. It hasn’t been pleasant, but it also hasn’t been difficult.

This was difficult.

Sometimes the things that catch the bolts aren’t aligned correctly. I turned them. I jiggled. I jiggled the panels. Nothing was working.

Then it dawned on me that it might have been glued together.

Who glues IKEA stuff together? The whole point is that you just use the allen wrench the thing comes with.

When I saw some give, I decided to use arm strength. I’m no bodybuilder, but I have some arm strength at my disposal.

I found that the table had indeed been glued together. Ridiculous.

The table–like much IKEA furniture–is normally held together by the dowels/pegs and by the bolts. The bolts are what keep the parts from being disconnected, but the dowels/pegs keep the thing intact. Of course, unless they’re glued in place. When they are, they keep the thing together, too.

The holes for the dowels/pegs and the bolts are drilled only on one side. If my idea were to work, I’d have to drill through the other side.

I have a drill and drill bits, so that was no tall order.

Rather than drill from the other side, I just drilled the holes all the way through. That way there would be no misalignment.

Once drilled through, I installed the bolts.

It was looking like my plan could work.

I reassembled the table with the old top hidden directly above the drawers.

But there were now holes in the top of the table!

Now it was my turn to use glue on a piece of IKEA furniture.

I was prepared with glue gun and plastic screw cap covers that I had around.

I’d fill the holes with glue gun and then cap them off before the glue cooled down.

I’m happy with the result.