Category Archives: NYT Spelling Bee

NYT Spelling Bee 10-25-20 final

This one was no good. I only know that there is pangram because Lauren said there is. I’m going to find out soon what it is, but this is the first time in a while that I haven’t gotten it.

Misses from yesterday–some of which are embarrassing:

LIEU: In place of a comment about this word, I’m just taking the opportunity to express my appreciation for Congressman Ted Lieu.

Cannon House Office Building 236 as of April 2017. What a pro. Flags of CA, USA, POW/MIA

LUPINE: Super bummed I got VULPINE and not LUPINE.
PULE: Cry querulously or weakly.
PULI: A sheepdog of a black, grey, or white breed with a long thick coat.
PUPIL: The Spelling Bee is the best teacher.
UNLEVEL: bumpy
UNPILE: To make less of a pile.

Back to today.

Final score: 23 words for 63 points
Genius minimum: 73
First word: CAMO
Should have been in word list: TACOFUMA

NYT Spelling Bee 10-24-20 final

Another short one but not as short as they get. While I roll my eyes at these types, Calah says she likes them better.

And now for yesterday’s misses!

CHICHI: Oh that’s how this word is spelled?! Like posh, though that’s such a chringy word.
COHO: Like the salmon.
HOOK: I liked LAWYARRRR but didn’t choose hook.
PHOTIC: Ah. Relating to light. OK.
PHOTOPIC: Relating to looking at things in daylight. But also it would be a great puzzle about words that are synonyms when split apart. I’d recommend this to Will Shortz, but there’s better chance that Kenley Jansen makes the proper pitch (i.e. one not in the strike zone) at the end of tonight’s game than it is that I’ll recommend anything to that guy again. But, yeah, PHOTO and PIC are synonyms.
POTHOOK: Calah initially said that that was unfair until I pointed out that I had recently purchased some pothooks to hang the lids of the sets of pots and pans.

I had some breakthroughs as I went along tonight and ended up past genius. I decided to call it quits so I could write this post rather than run out of time and not get to Queen Bee anyway.

Final score: 29 words for 101 points
First word: VULPINE
Pangram: VULPINE

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.
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
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

NYT Spelling Bee 10-21-20 final


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
First word: DOMICILE
Absent word: CELLIE, COOLIO

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

NYT Spelling Bee 10-19-20 final

Another brief puzzle! I think there was a series of short ones toward the end of August(?) that kinda bothered me, but this I think it’s weird that right after there’s an article about the Spelling Bee that they publish a series of lame ones. Is it because they think the short ones are attractive to newer audiences? Because I do not agree. I think there’s a happy medium between impossible and interminable. Lull people into a false sense of fun and then get them with the long one that I personally like and the short ones that I detest.

And now for yesterday’s missed words.

ANDIRON: I guess it’s also known as a fireplace log grate. ANDIRON is a way less descriptive name. Don’t worry, the etymology is even weirder:
“fire-dog, one of the pair of metallic stands used to support wood burned on an open hearth,” c. 1300, from Old French andier “andiron,” which is of unknown origin, perhaps from Gaulish *andero- “a young bull” (source also of Welsh anner “heifer”), which would make sense if they once had bull’s heads cast onto them. Altered by influence of Middle English iren (see iron (n.)).
ANON: I keep missing this one. I don’t know why. It’s so easy.
APIARIAN: I’ll let GOB handle this one.

NAAN: My bad. Still, what happened to HORCHATA?
NAIAD: A Greek mythology water nymph. I think I’ve missed this one before, too.
NONPAID: Like a quarter of America right now, AMIRITE?!
PARADOR: I can’t even with this one. It’s a hotel in Spain and owned and administered by the Spanish government. But, again, no HORCHATA, no TORTA.
PARADROP: I don’t fault myself for missing this one.
RAPINI: A Mediterranean turnip.
RIPARIAN: Relating to or on the banks of a river. Cool.

Final score: 24 words for 81 points.
Genius minimum: 71
First word: JUROR

NYT Spelling Bee 10-18-20 final

This puzzle was… fine. I barely got to genius, but I got there. I feel like there’s a third pangram, but also I don’t. How’s that for being conclusive?

Here’s what went wrong yesterday:

HALE: strong and healthy… if you’re an old person.
HEMAL: relating to blood. You know, like hematoma.
HEME: More blood stuff!
LECH: lust
LEECH: I thought I’d gotten this one. I know I got LEACH, but I thought I got LEECH, too. NOPE!
MAYHEM: That reminds me! I should watch Sons of Anarchy all the way through, right?
YECCH: On a scale of logical to go-away-and-never-come-back, this rates six Will Shortzes.
YECH: The above word but spelled the way a normal human being would spell it.

Today I found two pangrams. Is there a third? I don’t know. We may never know. I took a break partway through the day and found the second pangram immediately upon returning.

Final score: 43 words for 183 points
First word: PARANOID, and I don’t know what it means for me that I found that word well before I found RAINDROP.

NYT Spelling Bee 10-17-20 final

Absolutely frustrating when genius level is at 57 points. Like, seriously? The article about the Spelling Bee was published yesterday, and the first one out is this one?

Anyway, as accurately predicted, there were a lot of answers I missed yesterday.

IMAM: Sorry :/
LAMA: That’s two spiritual leaders in a row.
LAMINA: Oh! This is a layer. You know, like how you laminate. OK. I see you, NYT Spelling Bee.
LAMINAL: I don’t know nearly as much about phonetics as some in my Tuesday night board games group do, but now I know one more thing than I did before! This is where you put your tongue to the roof of your mouth to make consonant sounds in words like LamiNaL.
LIMA: The type of beans kidneys look like.
LIMINAL: Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
LIMN: First reaction is that this is not a word. Second reaction is that HORCHATA absolutely should have been a word and that I’m insulted that a word that means to depict or describe in painting or words is more important than something tangible such as a delicious beverage.
MAIM: fine.
MAMMALIAN: Seriously? They wouldn’t take MAMMALIA, they wouldn’t take ANAMALIA, but they take MAMMALIAN. Unconscionable.
MANIA: Yeah!
MINI: oh.
TAILLAMP: all right.
TATAMI: wow. I missed this yesterday. Clearly didn’t stick with me.

Today I started out with the pangram. I think there is only one. I finished with the minimum necessary for genius level.

Final score: 17 words (!) for 57 points (!)
Genius minimum: 57 points (!)
First word: ALCHEMY

NYT Spelling Bee 10-16-20 final

First off, a real congratulations to the Not a Spelling Bee Word (appropriately for October renamed to Not a Spelling “Boo” Word) twitter account for making it into the New York Times today. Rarely do I get to know about something fun before it becomes a well-known and loved thing (The Room, etc.), but this is something I’ve gotten to enjoy awhile, which is along the lines of all three seasons of Arrested Development. I’m glad the readers of the NYT will know to share in the enjoyment!

Now to what I missed yesterday:

First off, WOW! I didn’t get the pangram? Worse! I didn’t know I didn’t get the pangram. Holy smokes.

TRAUMATIC: Nothing could be more appropriate at this moment as I find this out.
CITRIC: The one above burns more.
RAITA: OK so HORCHATA is no good, but this Indian side dish I only just now learned exists is?
TACT: No surprise I missed this.
TATAMI: Straw matting used as like a rug on the floor of a Japanese home.
TRACT: Didn’t stick the LAND-ing here.
TUTTI: Missing this makes me almost as bummed as missing the pangram. I’ve written in the past specifically about TUTTI.

But I guess it wasn’t so bad that I got to genius level without getting a nine-letter pangram.

Today I had a bunch of stuff to do and spent not so long on the spelling bee. I made it to genius level with the minimum amount and then got one more for good measure.

I made sure to get the pangram today, assuming there only was one.

Final score: 35 words for 153 points. Genius minimum was 152.
First word: IMPALA.

Look out for an off-topic post on Saturday that’s a follow-up to yesterday’s Spelling Bee post. It drops at 10am PT, but you can read it later, too.