Tag Archives: genius

NYT Spelling Bee 5-8-21 final

So the good news is that the Chinese spacecraft that had tumbled out of control has now crashed back down to earth. They say it landed in the Indian Ocean. Sounds good to me! Or maybe “huge if true!” is a better way of saying it.

And, of course:

Never gets old.


Meatier Misses

OCOTILLO: A spiny scarlet-flowered desert shrub of the southwestern US and Mexico, which is sometimes planted as a hedge.

I guess kids only get pictures from 1985 in Arizona.

ROTOTILL: Break up or till (soil) using a rototiller.

On sale at DR Power for $1,899.99! List price $2,199.99. Wow!

VIOL: A musical instrument of the Renaissance and baroque periods, typically six-stringed, held vertically and played with a bow.

Requirements for play included wearing the throwbacks.

Today’s summary

Final score: 32 words for 169 points. Yay! 25 and 132! Can you feel the powers?!
Genius minimum: 160 points.
First word: MAYORAL.
Pangram: NORMALLY.

NYT Spelling Bee 5-7-21 final

Today the security security torx bits arrived, and I attempted to repair my PS4. The thing had been dying pretty quickly, and I have been scoping prices for the PS5. Calah has said that she doesn’t want the PS5 to appear on our registry, which is fine, I guess. I also recently read that there will be a PS5 redesign, so maybe now isn’t the time to buy a PS5 anyway. I’ve had this PS4 since 2014. The warranty is done, and the thing stopped working mid-game too many times, so what did I have to lose? Having now gone through the entire process of disassembly, cleaning out all the dust, and then reassembly, I was excited when I tried to turn on the PS4 and could! And it stayed on while I did other things today without issue. That was exciting, and I’ll be writing a dedicated post to that in the future.

Yesterday I missed IMPINGING and MINIM. That’s it. So I was the closest I’ve been to Queen Bee in ages.

Meatier Misses

Sorry to disappoint, but none!

Today’s summary

Final score: 26 words for 100 points.
Genius minimum: 100 points.
First word: TILT.
Final word: TRICOT.

NYT Spelling Bee 5-6-21 final

May gray was in full effect today in LA. For those who don’t know about May gray and are more familiar with June gloom, it’s June gloom but earlier. But the wind made for a situation that was not conducive to sanding. In an additional projects, my PS4 kept shutting off with no warning, and it was really frustrating. I decided to try to fix it myself. I got partway through, but then I found that I needed security torx, and I just have regular torx. That project will be a blog post of its own later.

Yesterday I missed a couple of the pangrams, even though I had gotten four. DOMINANT and NONDOMINANT were the ones I missed.


Meatier Misses

DIATOM: A single-celled alga which has a cell wall of silica. Many kinds are planktonic, and extensive fossil deposits have been found.

The Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh has a good writeup about the diatom.

MONOMANIA: Exaggerated or obsessive enthusiasm for or preoccupation with one thing.
TOMTIT: A popular name for any of a number of small active songbirds, especially a tit or a chickadee.

Today’s summary

Final score: 24 words for 123 points.
Genius minimum: 96 points.
First word: MINT.
Pangram: IMPUTING.

NYT Spelling Bee 5-5-21 final

Somehow I thought I’d never get to genius today. I kept running out of words. I was scraping my brain with little result. Then it happened. I got it! Hooray!

In other news, Calah somehow forgot that this season’s finale of The Circle is now available on Netflix.

As she reads this, she’ll probably be like, “OMG, Matt! Why are you telling people this?!”

Well, I do have this quote poster on my wall:

“Good communication is the key to successful relationships.”
-Bill Gates

If you don’t see a post from me tomorrow night, please send help.


Meatier Misses

GIRT: The past tense of gird: literary Encircle (a person or part of the body) with a belt or band.
RAITA: An Indian side dish of yogurt containing chopped cucumber or other vegetables, and spices.
TAIGA: The sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes, especially that between the tundra and steppes of Siberia and North America.

Northern Lights in Finnish Taiga.

Holy smokes, right? I wanna see the Northern Lights!

Today’s summary

Final score: 53 words for 280 points.
Genius minimum: 273 points.
First word: DOMINION.
Final word: IMITATION.

NYT Spelling Bee 5-4-21 final

Today I finally wrapped up the chairs woodworking blog. That is to say that I shared what I’d done. I know the meaning of that is obvious, but I have the space, so I’ll use it. After I had finished the chairs as much as I could, Calah took over. I won’t spoil exactly what more she did. Rather, the Tuesday 10am woodworking blog posts for the next few weeks will be her writing and her project. Then I’ll get back to new stuff. If you’re behind on all the woodworking blog posts, check them out at Crafty.MitchMcConHole.com.


Meatier Misses

APPETITIVE: Characterized by a natural desire to satisfy bodily needs.
PEPITA: A pumpkin seed.
PICCATA: Cooked in a sauce of lemon, parsley and butter. One day, maybe I’ll remember this.
TACET: (as a direction) with the voice or instrument silent.
TIPPET: A woman’s long fur scarf or shawl worn around the neck and shoulders.

I don’t know if this is a real person or wax!

TITIVATE: Make small enhancing alterations to (something)

This is the shortest entry I’ve ever read on etymonline!

titivate (v.)

1805, perhaps from tidy, “with a quasi-Latin ending” [OED] as in cultivate.

I like the “perhaps.” I know that it’s some dude’s website, but usually there’s more!

VITIATE: formal Spoil or impair the quality or efficiency of.

vitiate (v.)

“to render vicious, faulty, or imperfect; injure the quality or substance of,” 1530s, from Latin vitiatus, past participle of vitiare “to make faulty, injure, spoil, corrupt,” from vitium “fault, defect, blemish, crime, vice” (see vice (n.1)). Related: Vitiatedvitiating.

See? That’s a little more like it.

Today’s summary

Final score: 30 words for 137 points.
Genius minimum: 118 points.
First word: GIFT.
Pangram: GRATIFY.

NYT Spelling Bee 5-3-21 final

I didn’t get to genius today, but also Calah hasn’t yet read yesterday’s blog. I know this because when I mentioned, “I’m a little duck. Quack quack quack quack quack,” this evening, she didn’t know what I was talking about. But that’s OK. Her study closed today, and she’s got all kinds of stuff she’s gotta do. She’ll probably be mad at me calling her out, but it’s not like these are time critical posts. If you don’t see a Spelling Bee post tomorrow, please send help.

Yesterday I missed CHOMP, OPINION, PICNIC, PINION, and POOH.

Meatier Misses

CIOPPINO: An Italian American stew of seafood cooked with tomatoes and wine. I always forget this one.

Today’s summary

Final score: 29 words for 149 points.
Genius minimum: 173 points.
First word: EVICT.

NYT Spelling Bee 5-2-21 final

I have some exciting news about the woodworking blog series: When my chairs series is complete, I’ll have a new series about some tables. A quick preview on those: They came from Albuquerque with no legs, and the project so far has resulted in me getting some new tools and trying new methods. As for the results? Currently unknown! Stay tuned on Tuesdays!


Meatier Misses

MYNA: An Asian and Australasian starling that typically has dark plumage, gregarious behavior, and a loud call.

“I’m a little duck. Quack quack quack quack quack.”

NETTY: A toilet, especially an earth closet. Earth closet! I understand now! An earth closet is when you poop in the ground but are in a small room! A water closet is when you poop in water and are in a small room, and the poop goes away! Amazing. Also why is this in the spelling bee?

Today’s summary

Final score: 21 words for 106 points.
Genius minimum: 97 points.
First word: PHONIC.

NYT Spelling Bee 5-1-21 final

As covid seems to be winding up, I reached out to my barber to see if she’s going to be opening up again soon. The last message I’d had from her was in May of last year. It turns out she’d moved to San Diego and opened up there! I don’t know if anyone who reads this lives in San Diego, but I strongly recommend Dorie Spiegel. I went to her for the first time almost a decade ago, and until many, many months into covid, I didn’t trust anyone else to cut my hair. I forwent getting a haircut at all until it became overwhelming and I let Calah cut my hair. And while Calah has done an amazing job and put others’ covid haircuts to shame, Dorie is a cut above. You know, because she’s a professional in this field. Dorie has recommended someone who is near me, but it’s scary to go to someone new for a haircut. When you find someone you trust in this area–someone to whom you can say, “I trust you to cut my hair to the appropriate length because this is your field,” and know you’re going to come out looking good–you don’t want to that person ever to go away. I’ll miss Dorie and her dog Braxton. I can’t recommend her highly enough.

Yesterday I missed ELAN, ENTENTE, LATEN, NATAL, and TAUTEN.

Meatier Misses

ANTENATAL: Before birth; prenatal.
EXEUNT: Used as a stage direction in a printed play to indicate that a group of characters leave the stage.
LANTANA: A tropical evergreen shrub of the verbena family, several kinds of which are cultivated as ornamentals.
LATEEN: A triangular sail on a long yard at an angle of 45° to the mast.

Designs are dope!

LUNATE: Crescent-shaped.
LUNETTE: An arched aperture or window, especially one in a domed ceiling.
LUNULA/LUNULAE: The white area/s at the base of a fingernail.
NATANT: Swimming or floating.

Today’s summary

Final score: 18 words for 91 points.
Genius minimum: 90 points.
First word: PAYMENT.
Pangram: PAYMENT.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-30-21 final

Happy Arbor Day and happy Lag BaOmer! They were saying it would be record-breaking temperatures in LA today, and I don’t know yet if records were set, but it’s definitely been hot. Yet tomorrow the temperatures are supposed to drop from today’s almost-90 to almost-70. Drop in 20 degrees day over day. Do I understand? No. Am I appreciative? Very much so!


Meatier Misses

CANTATA: A medium-length narrative piece of music for voices with instrumental accompaniment, typically with solos, chorus, and orchestra.
CATKIN: A flowering spike of trees such as willow and hazel. Catkins are typically downy, pendulous, composed of flowers of a single sex, and wind-pollinated.

As if you needed yet another reason to visit New Hampshire.

Today’s summary

Final score: 47 words for 197 points.
Genius minimum: 197 points.
First word: EXTANT.
Pangram: EXULTANT.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-29-21 final

Today in the Jewish calendar, It’s Lag BaOmer, the day that marks the end of the plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students like 2 millennia ago. In normal times, it’s a celebration. Like a field day. There are bonfires at Dockweiler Beach. It’s pretty fun. Last year we were all locked down. This year, it seemed worth it to wait till next year to start celebrating again.

Now, there’s another tradition for the celebration of Lag BaOmer. From Haaretz:

In the 16th century, Rabbi Isaac Luria (“Ha’Ari”) decided that Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai, who according to (a false) tradition wrote the Kabbalistic book the Zohar, died on Lag Ba’omer, and on his deathbed he revealed to his disciples mystical traditions. From that time, Lag Ba’omer has been marked specially at Mount Meron, where bar Yochai is believed to be buried.

Haaretz: The Real Story of Lag Ba’omer

And tonight, scores are dead after a reported gathering of 100K+ went to celebrate at Mount Meron. They survived covid only to die at a Lag Baomer celebration. It’s very sad.

I kinda don’t even really want to write the rest of the Spelling Bee post, but you probably didn’t want to read the Lag Baomer part, but you did, so it would be wrong of me not to do my part.


Meatier Misses

CAMELLIA: An evergreen eastern Asian shrub related to the tea plant, grown for its showy flowers and shiny leaves.

From the Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center.

HEME: Biochemistry An iron-containing compound of the porphyrin class which forms the nonprotein part of hemoglobin and some other biological molecules.
LAMELLA/LAMELLAE: A thin layer, membrane, or plate of tissue, especially in bone.
LEMMA: A subsidiary or intermediate theorem in an argument or proof.
MALIC: involved in and especially catalyzing a reaction in which malic acid participates

Today’s summary

Final score: 31 words for 189 points.
Genius minimum: 186 points.
First word: TACKING.
Final word: CANTINA.