Tag Archives: raabidfun

NYT Spelling Bee 2-23-21 final

Hello from Day 31 of the reopening of California. I drove on the 405 northbound today for a little bit, and it was bumper-to-bumper traffic. Later there was a car in front of mine that was veering all over the place, including into the median. I got out of the way because I didn’t want the bumper cars approach to extend to my coupe.

Yesterday I missed DROID.

Meatier Misses

TORRID: Very hot and dry.

All you need for nosebleed city!

Today’s summary

Final score: 32 words for 118 points.
Genius minimum: 113 points.
First word: APPARAT.

Woodworking: First-ever chairs project (Part 6)

There’s no perfect replacement for having a proper workbench. A thick tabletop that can take all kinds of abuse, a vise permanently attached to one end, space that can accommodate that setup. It’s a dream environment. Unfortunately for me, that’s as accurate a description as any.

I have to use what I’ve got in the space I’ve got.

Now, the last post ended with me sawing off some legs and needing to replace the dowels that held the chair together.

For the dowels that had separated cleanly, it was more a matter of taking off the old glue to expose gluable surfaces.

However, the dowels I had cut right through required a different approach: drilling out the old ones and replacing them in the exact same locations so the chair would line up again.

The key to this process was to go slow and to stay on target. A misaligned pair of holes is absolute death for the chair. The old dowels were a good guide. The screw holes were a hazard I had to avoid.

While I could hold a leg down and go slowly, I couldn’t do the same with the end of the front panel.

This is where a workbench would have served me well. But I don’t have a workbench. After some thought, I realized that I could use a clamp I have. It’s heavy enough, I figured.

It was a painstaking process, but it worked.

I wanted to make sure that the chair fit back together before continuing to strip the chair of the orange paint and white primer. It was exciting to see everything align in a dry fit.

More next week!

NYT Spelling Bee 2-22-21 final

Hello from Day 30 of the reopening of California. I take walks sometimes. Not as often as I probably should, but I do it. I see restaurants that have the outdoor seating they’re allowed to have during this stage of reopening. However, I’ve noticed those outdoor areas sloooooowly being covered and closed in. To the point that it’s just footprint creep. How is that safe?

Yesterday I missed ABOIL, AIOLI (you’d think I’d learn), BOLA, LAMA, LIMO, LOBO, and MOOLA.

Meatier Misses

AXILLA: The space below the shoulder through which vessels and nerves enter and leave the upper arm; a person’s armpit.
BOLLIX: another way of spelling BOLLOCKS. Yes, I know, Calah. You told me so.
MAXILLA: The jaw or jawbone, specifically the upper jaw in most vertebrates. In humans it also forms part of the nose and eye socket.
MOIL: Work hard.

Today’s summary

Final score: 26 words for 98 points.
Genius minimum: 76 points.
First word: DORMITORY.

Spy Optic was the sunglasses sponsor of UCSB Cycling when I was on the team.

I think I got close to Queen Bee, but I don’t know for certain.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-21-21 final

Hello from Day 29 of the reopening of California. They’re no longer giving first doses of vaccine. I haven’t heard anything new on the H5N8 front. You know, the avian flu reported in Russia yesterday. I hope that’s just an early April Fools.

Yesterday I missed AEON, ALOE, DONEE, LLANO??? I could have sworn I got this! LOWLAND, NEON, NONE, ODEON, OLDEN, OLEO, WALLOW, WALLOWED, and WOODLAND.

Meatier Misses

DEADWOOD: A branch or part of a tree that is dead.
ENOW: archaic enough.
ODEA: Multiple of (especially in ancient Greece or Rome) a building used for musical performances.

I’d like to visit this ever.

Today’s summary

Final score: 34 words for 105 points.
Genius minimum: 101 points.
First word: BILL.
Pangram: MAILBOX!

How I finally found the pangram after tons of frustration.


WSJ Contest Crossword 2-19-21 Answer

This is the fastest I’ve ever gotten the meta puzzle answer. Also likely the fastest I’ve ever gotten the Friday crossword completed. That is to say that I sent in the answer at 3:02pm on Thursday, and I didn’t even print out the puzzle as soon as it was released.

I’ve said this before, but there’s something that’s just fun about doing the crossword with pen and paper that isn’t there on the screen. I don’t know if it’s the risk of crossouts or the illegibility or sometimes misread of which clue goes with which box, but I’m going to keep on doing this for the WSJ crossword contest.

The title of this puzzle is IN CHARACTER.

The answer to this week’s contest crossword is a famous novel.

For my analysis, I still have to put it into a different format, so there’s no real time saving to do it all onscreen.

I’ve learned from the past that the starred clues are important for the meta puzzle answer.

17A *Lightly fruity wine: BEAUJOLAIS.
25A *Faultfinding situation: BLAMEGAME.
50A *Meditation-while-asleep practice: DREAMYOGA.
58A *1970 chart-topping hit for the Jackson 5: ILLBETHERE.

Then there was the hint clue:

36A George Eliot novel that’s not the contest answer, but provides a hint to it: MIDDLEMARCH.

BTW, What’s that comma doing in the clue?

Whatever this thing is must be in the middle of these long answers!

As to what links JO, MEG, AMY, and BETH, Calah immediately blurted, “Little Women!” And there you have it.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-20-21 final

Hello from Day 28 of the reopening of California. There are reports that the H5N8 bird flu has appeared in humans in Russia. I don’t know if this is genuine or if Russia is trying to start more craziness as we start to emerge from the COVID mire.

Yesterday I missed the other pangram ANALOGIZING as well as AIOLI, LANAI, LINING, LIONIZING, NONAGONAL, OOLONG, and ZONAL.

Meatier Misses

GALANGAL: An Asian plant of the ginger family, the aromatic rhizome of which is widely used in cooking and herbal medicine.

It’s not ginger!

GANGLING: (of a person) tall, thin, and awkward in movements or bearing. Like Jeff Francis: All elbows and kneecaps.

GANGLION/GANGLIA: A structure containing a number of nerve cell bodies, typically linked by synapses, and often forming a swelling on a nerve fiber.
GLIA: The connective tissue of the nervous system, consisting of several different types of cell associated with neurons.
GLIAL: Related to the above.
LONGAN: An edible juicy fruit from a plant related to the lychee, cultivated in Southeast Asia.

Today’s summary

Final score: 48 words for 206 points.
Genius minimum: 189 points.
First word: ALLOWED.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-19-21 final

Hello from Day 27 of the opening of California. News broke that the Pfizer vaccine can be stored at higher temperatures than previously thought and that a single dose is pretty good protection, so maybe delay a second dose. I don’t know why they’d have made such a big fuss about the refrigeration before if it weren’t a requirement, but I’m not in charge of those things. My preference is everyone get all the shots and very quickly. Thanks. Also it’s my grandma’s birthday today. She passed a couple years ago, but she still was born on this day like a thousand years ago. So happy birthday to her.

Yesterday I missed AIDING, DIGIT, INDIGNANT, and PAID.

Meatier Misses

NAIAD: (in classical mythology) a water nymph said to inhabit a river, spring, or waterfall. I keep missing this one.

There you have it.

PANDIT: A Hindu scholar learned in Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy and religion, typically also a practicing priest.

Today’s summary

Final score: 52 words for 259 points.
Genius minimum: 255 points.
First word: GALLON.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

NYT Spelling Bee 2-18-21 final

Hello from Day 26 of the reopening of California. Today is National Drink Wine Day. Not to be confused with National Wine Day, which we all know is May 25. Rather than drink wine, Calah and I watched Sour Grapes. Wine and scandal together. What could be better?

Yesterday I missed ATILT, TIDILY, TIDY, TILT, and VIVIDITY.

Meatier Misses

LILT: A characteristic rising and falling of the voice when speaking; a pleasant gentle accent.

With not much to go on, I figured I’d find the etymology of the word.

From etymonline: 1510s, “to lift up” (the voice), probably from West Midlands dialect lulten “to sound an alarm” (late 14c.), a word of unknown origin. Possible relatives include Norwegian lilla “to sing” and Low German lul “pipe;” the whole loose group might be imitative. Sense of “sing in a light manner” is first recorded 1786. Related: Liltedlilting. As a noun, 1728, “lilting song,” from the verb. As “a rhythmical cadence,” 1840.

Lul sounds a lot like lull. I wondered if there was any relation between the two. So…

cf. lull:

early 14c., lullen “to calm or hush to sleep,” probably imitative of lu-lu sound used to lull a child to sleep (compare Swedish lulla “to hum a lullaby,” German lullen “to rock,” Sanskrit lolati “moves to and fro,” Middle Dutch lollen “to mutter”). Figurative use from 1570s; specifically “to quiet (suspicion) so as to delude into a sense of security” is from c. 1600. Related: Lulledlulling.

I guess there isn’t, then? Strange.

Today’s summary

Final score: 19 words for 102 points.
Genius minimum: 94 points.
First word: PADDING.
Pangram: ADAPTING.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-17-21 final

Hello from Day 25 of the reopening of California. There’s been icy wind here in Los Angeles. Not icy-icy like how Houston is or elsewhere in the country but like upper-40s. Brrr.


Meatier Misses

BLIN: one pancake made from buckwheat flour and served with sour cream.

LIMN: literary Depict or describe in painting or words.
TELNET: A network protocol that allows a user on one computer to log into another computer that is part of the same network. What year is this?

Today’s summary

Final score: 20 words for 95 points.
Genius minimum: 82 points.
First word: DAYLIT.
Pangram: VALIDITY.

Very proud.

NYT Spelling Bee 2-16-21

Hello from Day 24 of the reopening of California. I got an email from UCLA that I should sign up in case I’m suddenly eligible for the vaccine. What a dream situation that is right now. Since I’ve got quite some time before I’m 65, the wait continues. Biden tweeted that we’re well on track to get 100,000,000 shots in the first 100 days. I’m still waiting on my stuff, brooooo.

Yesterday I missed EAVE, LEVEE, LEVEL and LEVY,

Meatier Misses

GAVAGE: The administration of food or drugs by force, especially to an animal, typically through a tube leading down the throat to the stomach.
UVEA: The pigmented layer of the eye, lying beneath the sclera and cornea, and comprising the iris, choroid, and ciliary body.

Look at this.

UVEAL: Related to the pigmented layer of the eye, lying beneath the sclera and cornea, and comprising the iris, choroid, and ciliary body.

Today’s summary

Final score: 43 words for 187 points.
Genius minimum: 181 points.
First word: ENTENTE.
Pangram: NOPE!