Category Archives: NYT Spelling Bee

NYT Spelling Bee 1-4-21 final

Hello from Day 46 of the current California COVID constant curfew. It’s only Monday, but it feels like this week is going by so quickly. If at least 40 people explain that to me by Wednesday, January 6, 2021, one of you will be selected to win a #raabidfun T-shirt. Winner will get a one-time-use code to use on my Etsy store. Drawing open only to entrants who are both in the USA and over the age of 18.

Yesterday I missed OOMPH, POEM, and POOH as easier ones.

Meatier Misses

OHMAGE: Electrical resistance as expressed in ohms. Oh! It’s not an alternate spelling of HOMAGE. It’s a word pronounced OHWM-idge.
OOMPAH: Used to refer to the rhythmical sound of deep-toned brass instruments in a band.
OPAH: A large deep-bodied fish with a deep blue back, silvery belly, and crimson fins, living in deep oceanic waters.

Three papas and three opahs. I won’t tell you which are which.

POME: A fruit consisting of a fleshy enlarged receptacle and a tough central core containing the seeds, e.g., an apple or pear.

Today’s summary

Final score: 22 words for 95 points.
Genius minimum: 92 points.
First word: CHAIN

Not a lot of Cannondale fans out there, I guess.
Don’t believe me? Look out below!
That’s not nice!
This is the island I saw from my dorm room at UCSB.

NYT Spelling Bee 1-3-21 final

Hello from Day 45 of the current California COVID constant curfew.

It feels like it’s going to rain really soon because I’m all kinds of antsy.

This spelling bee was really short in general and especially compared to yesterday’s. I hope Monday’s is a little longer than this. Maybe in the low hundreds.

Yesterday I missed a bunch, which is fine because there were like a million words. CODED, CYCLE, CYCLED, DECO, DOLLED, EDDY, EMCEE, EMCEED, MODEM, and OLEO were the easy words I missed.

Meatier misses

MOLLYCODDLE: Treat (someone) in an indulgent or overprotective way.
MOLLYCODDLED: The past tense of the above.

My brother in law apparently got these right away. Go, him!

Today’s summary

Final score: 20 words for 61 points.
Genius minimum: 57 points.
First word: HOPE.
Pangram: HOMEPAGE.


Womp womp

NYT Spelling Bee 1-2-21 final

Hello from Day 44 of the current California COVID constant curfew.

For two puzzles in a row, I’ve not found a single pangram. Great way to start off 2021! Yesterday I missed three words. One of them was TORN.

Meatier misses

PROMONTORY: A point of high land that juts out into a large body of water; a headland.

From etymonline:

“high point of land or rock projecting into the sea beyond the line of a coast,” 1540s, from French promontoire (15c.) and directly from Medieval Latin promontorium, altered (by influence of Latin mons “mount, hill”) from Latin promunturium “mountain ridge, headland,” which is probably related to prominere “jut out” (see prominent). Related: Promontorial; promontorious.

TOPONYMY: The study of place names. I got toponym, but that’s where that word ended.

Today’s summary

Final score: 61 words for 253 points.
Genius minimum: 232 points.
Frist word: COOLED
Pangram: ?????????????

It’s a dichotomy for coders!

NYT Spelling Bee 1-1-21 final

Hello from Day 43 of the current California COVID constant curfew, and HAPPY NEW YEAR again! It’s in the high 40s at night here in LA, and it feels like there’s not enough flannel in the world for this punishment.

Yesterday’s long puzzle meant a lot of misses. HEINIE, LENIENT, LIEN, and TINT were pretty simple. Then there were the nine-based ones that I miss much too frequently: NINETEEN, NINETEENTH, NINETIETH, NINTH. More nines to come.

Meatier misses

EOLITH: A roughly chipped flint found in Tertiary strata, originally thought to be an early artifact but probably of natural origin.
HELLION: A rowdy, mischievous, or troublemaking person, especially a child.
LEONINE: Of or resembling a lion or lions.
NONILLION: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
NONILIONTH: The 1030th in a series.
TILTH: Cultivation of land; tillage.

Today’s summary

Final score: 19 words for 66 points.
Genius minimum: 64 points.
First word: MORON
Pangram: ?????????????????????
No tweets today, but I really tried for the pangram and failed. Lauren got it immediately. I got to genius level without it, so I’m quitting here.

NYT Spelling Bee 12-31-20 final

Hello from Day 42 of the current California COVID constant curfew, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! By the time you’re reading this, it’ll likely be 2021. Yaaaaay!

This was an awful puzzle to end the year on, but it was classic 2020. It took way too long to complete, and at its end, it was just relief and nothing more.

But to both of those things, we did make it to the end, and that’s something to celebrate.

Both yesterday and today I did not go for Queen Bee.

Yesterday I missed the easier EXACT, NEATEN, NUANCE, TACET, TAUTEN, UNEATEN, UNTUNE. I also missed ACETATE.

Meatier misses

CETACEAN: A marine mammal of the order Cetacea; a whale, dolphin, or porpoise.

Narwhal: A cetacean and the unicorn of the sea.

EXACTA: A bet in which the first two places in a race must be predicted in the correct order.
EXEUNT: Used as a stage direction in a printed play to indicate that a group of characters leave the stage. As the 366-day cast of 2020 is doing right now. Step lively, zozo!

Today’s summary

Final score: 51 words for 221 points.
Genius minimum: 219 points.
First word: LENTIL.

I passed the CPA Exam almost a decade ago. Becker CPA Review was pricey, but EY reimbursed me. Good times.

NYT Spelling Bee 12-30-20 final

Hello from Day 42 of the current California COVID constant curfew. We’re about to close out 2020, and we’ll still be fighting COVID-19 in 2021. Good times for sure. In other news, I found out tonight, my weekly Corner Gas night ever since we finished Twin Peaks, that Amazon’s watch party no longer covers IMDb TV, which is where Corner Gas is. So after trying a British documentary series called Paranormal Pornstars, which is both NSFW and something you wouldn’t want to watch with your parents but only because it’s so deathly boring, we started watching The Prisoner. Way better to watch Patrick McGoohan than random porn stars stuck in some deserted building where there for certain are no ghosts. There is no nudity.

Yesterday I was so close to Queen Bee, and today was too long for me to go for it.

All the misses

RAPT: Completely fascinated by what one is seeing or hearing.
TARTAR: A hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and contributes to their decay.

Today’s summary

Final score: 35 words for 161 points.
Genius minimum: 160 points.
First word: TENET

NYT Spelling Bee 12-29-20 final

Hello from Day 41 of the current California COVID constant curfew. It was announced today that the stay-at-home orders will be continuing… indefinitely. I was right to count yesterday as Day 40. I mean of course it has to continue because otherwise there would be NYE parties within the law, and that’s not happening.

All three missed words

ENCAGE: to put in a cage.
GANACHE: A whipped filling of chocolate and cream, used in desserts such as cakes and truffles.
GELEE: That gelatin dessert.

So close to Queen Bee! Probably today, too.

Today’s summary

Final score: 28 words for 106 points.
Genius minimum: 79 points.
First word: PART
Pangram: TRACKPAD <- This took a lot to figure out.

NYT Spelling Bee 12-28-20 final

Hello from Day 40(?) of the current California COVID constant curfew. The stay-at-home orders were set to expire today, but it was more like they couldn’t expire before today. Gov. Newsom said today that we’ll hear from someone tomorrow about more stay-at-home orders. I guess if he had complete information, he’d be Gavin Newall.

Today I tried for Queen Bee. I’m writing this post at 7:44pm, and although I have more than four hours left, I don’t think I’m going to find more. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t look at the sites that say how many words there are with the starting letter and length, so I have no idea how tall the mountain is. There have been a few puzzles I’ve missed Queen Bee by a single word, but that’s how it goes. In my experience, the surprise of getting to the Queen Bee level makes up for the disappointment of when yet another found word doesn’t exhaust the list.

And on the topic, I missed just two yesterday.

Meatier misses

BINNING: The act of throwing things away.
GIBE: An insulting or mocking remark; a taunt. Fitting!

A note on yesterday’s pangram: If I had missed BEEKEEPING, for the spelling bee, that would have been completely unacceptable.

Today’s summary

Final score: 53 words for 208 points.
Genius minimum: 167 points.
First word: ALGAE


Final score: 54 words for 214 points.
New word: GALENA
Still no Queen Bee.


Heavy outpouring of support for this one! Thanks, everyone!

NYT Spelling Bee 12-27-20 final

Hello from Day 39 of the current California COVID constant curfew. The earliest we’d emerge from this is tomorrow, but according to the LA Times today, we’re not close to being out of the woods.


Meatier misses

AGAR: A gelatinous substance obtained from various kinds of red seaweed and used in biological culture media and as a thickener in foods.
APPARAT: The administrative system of a communist party, especially in a communist country. Oh, I knew this!
ARGOT: The jargon or slang of a particular group or class.
ARHAT: (in Buddhism and Jainism) someone who has attained the goal of the religious life.
ATTAR: A fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals. Somehow, this also is spelled otto.
GRAPPA: A brandy distilled from the fermented residue of grapes after they have been pressed in winemaking.
HOAR: Grayish white; gray or gray-haired with age.
PARATHA: (in Indian cooking) a flat, thick piece of unleavened bread fried on a griddle.
TROTH: archaic, formal Faith or loyalty when pledged in a solemn agreement or undertaking.

It bears reminding that TORTA was not in the word list.

Today’s summary

Final score: 17 words for 91 points.
Genius minimum: 85 points.
Pangram: wait a second, did I not yet get the pangram?


Final score: 19 words for 114 points.
Additional words: BIKINI and BEEKEEPING.

NYT Spelling Bee 12-26-20 final

Hello from Day 38 of the current California COVID constant curfew. The rules are set to expire tomorrow, and I don’t know yet of any extension.

I’m laughing at myself for yesterday’s missed pangram that would have put me over the edge to genius level.

I had tweeted this:

And when I looked at yesterday’s answers today, I saw that NONDAIRY was a pangram. Unbelievable.

The other pangram was ORDINARY.

I also missed ONIONY.

Meatier misses

DRAY: A truck or cart for delivering beer barrels or other heavy loads, especially a low one without sides.

DRYAD: (in folklore and Greek mythology) a nymph inhabiting a forest or a tree, especially an oak tree. It’s been a while since this has come up. I didn’t remember it then, and that hasn’t changed.
NINNY: A foolish person.

Today’s summary

Final score: 47 words for 198 points.
Genius minimum: 194 points.
First word: GRAPH