Tag Archives: NYT

NYT Spelling Bee 8-4-20

This started out fun but got to be a lot. In the bad way. For a while I was stuck at 49 words for 177 points, and I was struggling to get the pangram. I realize that there may be more than one pangram overall, but my goal is to get to genius with a pangram, which is something I’ve done since I started posting the Spelling Bee here. Finally I got the/a pangram. And it was so dumb! Nobody uses that word! Now I’m stuck at 51 words for 190 points. I have to get to 216 points.

I say that and feel like I’m Josh Lyman and wheezing, “I have to get to Nashua!” I’m not going to waste my entire day trying to get those 26 points, and he definitely did not have to go to Nashua.

NYT Crossword 8-3-20 Complete

Ahhhh Monday. The return of the simple puzzle. Easy and educational.

30A Ancient carver of stone heads in Mesoamerica: OLMEC. Olmec or Ol’ Mec? To the googles!

They were an entire civilization independent of the Mayas. Worth a read: https://www.mexicanist.com/l/olmec-heads/

Here’s something glaringly sloppy in this crossword:
42D H2O, south of the border: AGUA
47D Light blue shades: AQUAS

But 53D “Huh, funny running into you!”: OHHI was funny because I’m a big fan of the film The Room.

The theme clues of this puzzle are related to 57A The terrible twos, e.g. (one hopes!) … or the start of 17-, 22-, 36- or 45-Across?
17A Where to go for a fill-up: (GAS)STATION
22A Firm place to plant your feet: (SOLID)GROUND
36A Viewing options popularized in the 1990s: (PLASMA)SCREENTVS
45A Cash or stocks, e.g.: (LIQUID)ASSETS

Pretty good.

NYT Crossword 8-2-20 Complete

The Sunday puzzle continues to be my least-favorite of the week. It’s huge. I’d rather go to Dodger Stadium to catch a game or go to the bar to catch a game or get together with friends, but since those things don’t exist anymore, it’s the Sunday puzzle.

This one’s theme at least got me to chuckle. The shared G.

23A Nobody but the guy gettin’ married on his feet? (STANDINGROOMONLY)
38A Winter item you’ll be wearin’ for years? (EVERLASTINGLOVE)
58A Danger when walkin’ in a silo? (FALLINGRAIN)
87A Sayin’ “Look, here’s the thing about dry land…”? (QUALIFYINGROUND)

Of those, 87A is my favorite. I’m just imagining situations where that could come about in conversation. Summertime in the San Fernando Valley? California drought? Sinkholes?

23A is the one I like least. As many of you know, I’ve been engaged for almost six months. I wasn’t looking for a prolonged engagement, and COVID persisting is really putting a damper on wedding plans. Really, super annoying. So all these wedding-themed crossword clues make me react like McKayla Maroney.

Will Shortz at it again with those wedding clues.

As always, looking forward again to the Monday puzzle!

WSJ Spelling Bee 8-2-20 final

Wow. This one. Wow.

I was chugging along no problem, but the pangram eluded me. As I have been doing daily, I checked in with my sister (twitter.com/raablauren) to see how she’d been handling today’s puzzle.

She assured me that I could resolve my pangram issues, and she revealed that there are TWO of them.


So I kept going and found the first one before finally passing out. I’d get the second in the morning.

Maybe I wouldn’t, but for sure there’d still be a way to get to genius level, right?

I couldn’t find that way and couldn’t find the other pangram. So I was stuck on awesome.

I looked and looked.


I thought I was stuck with how I had felt these past many days: INVINCIBLE.

After what seemed like unreasonable struggle, I realized that if there an invincible, shouldn’t there be a vincible?

There is.

Second pangram.

Genius level.

NYT Spelling Bee 8-1-20

Wow this pangram was tough to get. Luckily, my sister (www.twitter.com/raablauren) came to my aid to reassure me that it is a word I know.

So after some time of frustration and some pretty gross and incorrect guesses, I finally got there.

Along the way, I got words like uncock, which is fine if you think of it in sense of a gun and not think of in the context of a not-so-surehanded mohel.

NYT Crossword Special March 2020 Equal Pay Day Complete

There’s no WSJ Friday puzzle, so here’s a special puzzle from NYT from March of this year.

Overall easy, which seems always to be the case for the special puzzles. I don’t mind that. I finished this one in 6:49. And, like the other special puzzles, it taught me something.

14A Music genre from the Caribbean: SOCA

So what even is soca? I’d never heard of it. It’s Soul of Calypso from Trinidad. Its creator, Ras Shorty I, formerly Lord Shorty, born Garfield Blackman, died 20 years and a little more than two weeks ago. He had 14 kids. That’s a lot of kids!


Have a great weekend, everybody! It’s supposed to be a hot one here in the other Southern California.

NYT Spelling Bee 7-31 final

It took me a long time, but I finally got the pangram.

This was a much more satisfying puzzle than any of yesterday’s. So many words and so many words that should have been included like LAMED and [Valerie] PLAME and [Mark] HAMEL.

I know it’s Hamill! Don’t get excited.

It’s a good way to end the week for the Spelling Bee puzzles.