It’s Juneteenth today. I am among those who had not heard of Juneteenth until recently. The Atlanta episode about it is very well done. I saw it last year, and now I see that it’s half a decade old. I used to wish my friend Mitchell a happy 6/19 because he’s from San Diego, and the are code is 619. Now I know more.
Yesterday I missed ALTAR (after bragging about getting all the wedding words), ATILT, LAITY, MARTYR, RARITY, RATTAIL, RATTLY, TATAMI, TRIAL, and TRIMLY.
LARIAT: A rope used as a lasso or for tethering.
MITRAL: Denoting or relating to the mitral valve. TAMARI: A variety of rich, naturally fermented soy sauce.
Letters: MACGHIN Final score: 31 words for 186 points. Genius minimum: 176 points. First word: MACHINING. Pangrams: MACHINIG, CHIMICHANGA. Tweets:
Well the stock market sure went all crazy this week! Closing down a bunch, which is fine, I guess. I have had confidence in oil for the moment (that is to say before we all ditch fossil fuels completely by the year 2095), but the market may prove me very, very wrong.
Also the new Spelling Bee app doesn’t show the updated genius status. What a ripoff. Get it together, Ezersky!
Since the words I listed are words we all know, I figured I’d use this time to point out a couple big successes.
First, I got NINE and NINETEEN. That’s pretty much never happened in the history of the world.
Second, today I got words related to betrothal. MARITAL, MARITALLY, and TIARA (amirite about that last one, fellas?!). Certain to make Calah happy that I remembered marriage words. If I don’t post on Sunday, she didn’t care for the last one, so send help, please.
Letters: TAILMRY Final score: 41 words for 196 points. Genius minimum: 190 points. First word: MILITARY. Pangrams: MILITARY, MARITALLY, MARTIALLY, MILITARILY.
I went back to learning Python yesterday after a hiatus of longer than I’d like to admit. I stared to look some things up on google, and then the screen tipped back, and google asked me if I wanted to play. I was invited to google foobar! I haven’t yet started it because I want to get through the things I’m trying to get through, but I think it pretty cool. My dad has been talking about how google invites him to foobar every so often, so finally I got to tell him that it happened to me, too.
Also did anyone else notice the change to the Spelling Bee in the android app?
Yesterday I missed ARIDITY, ARTY, CACTI, DATA, DIDACT, DIDACTIC, DRAT, TARRY, TARTAR, and TRAY.
ATTAR: A fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals. DIACRITIC: A sign, such as an accent or cedilla, which when written above or below a letter indicates a difference in pronunciation from the same letter when unmarked or differently marked. DICTA: Many of a formal pronouncement from an authoritative source. RAITA: An Indian side dish of yogurt containing chopped cucumber or other vegetables, and spices.
Letters: NCEGITX Final score: 32 words for 183 points. Genius minimum: 180 points. First word: EXTINCT. Pangram: ENTICING. Tweet:
This did not feel like a Thursday puzzle to me, and I find myself on an 11-day streak. This seemed like a frustratingly hard Tuesday rather than a Thursday, but this has been me kinda rediscovering the crossword.
I pulled out 13A Twine material: SISAL because I am unfamiliar with that. And while looking it up, I came across an interesting question! “Sisal vs. Jute: What’s the difference?”
If you’d asked me at any point before 7:45pm on Wednesday (when I’m writing this) if I knew the differences, I’d say that they’re the same because they’re both words that aren’t real.
But I’d be wrong on both counts.
They’re not the same, and they’re both real things.
According to SisalRugs.com, sisal comes from agave, and jute comes from jute plants of India and Bangladesh.
So they’re two plants that look the same, right?
Wrong! So, so wrong!
This looks nothing like agave!
The theme of this puzzle was a boatload of fun.
4D Xbox or PlayStation: GAMECON(S)(O)+(L)+(E).
Sole are born with eyes on either side, but one eye migrates, and they swim parallel to the ocean floor. Halibut do the same!
8D Finishing touch on the first transcontinental railroad: GOLDENS(P)(I)+(K)+(E).
37D Drink that might be served with a metal cup: MILKS(H)(A)+(K)+(E).
38D Vedic religious text: UPANI(S)(H)+(A)+(D).
1D With 11-Down, what each of this puzzle’s groups of circles represents: FISH. 11D See 1-Down: HOOK.
It makes a fish hook! And fish are on the hook!
Finished this one in 16:41. I’d thought it might be a record for me, but my best Thursday was 13:09 back in October of 2018.
Today was the second Spectrum outages. Today they said it was a node issue. Yesterday they said that the issue I was having required a technician to come out to me. Right. That’s gonna happen for a thing that isn’t an issue on my end.
Yesterday I missed BATBOY, BAYOU, BONY, BUYOUT, NANNY, OATY, TABBY, and YUAN.
BANYAN: An Indian fig tree whose branches produce aerial roots that later become accessory trunks. A mature tree may cover several acres in this manner.
I know this tree but wanted to share pictures of it. Especially now that I have captions back.
This banyan tree in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii covers almost two acres and has 16 trunks. It was planted in 1873.
And they light it each December after 6500 lights are strung through it.
Letters: TACDIRY Final score: 33 words for 158 points. Genius minimum: 156 points. First word: DART. Pangram: ACRIDITY.
Last night we did the NYT Saturday crossword together again. But this time, Gerry hadn’t yet done it, and I had. So I had to watch rather than participate, and I did so while doing today’s puzzle on my phone. But now I have a 10-day streak going, so I don’t know whether to try to extend it as far as possible or go back to solving it Tuesday nights.
I pulled out 1D Item needed for burning, once: BLANKCD because this has been both a personal dilemma and some conversations I’ve had with Calah. Do we still need blank CDs? The answer is no. We do not. Can we part with blank CDs? Probably! But also somehow no? I doubt we’re the only ones who feel that there should be some use for them. But they’re not even good for coasters. You’d have to have a stack of them, and then they’re too cumbersome.
Today had a pun-based theme with movie references. Pretty much my jam.
65A Led astray … or like the films at 19-, 25-, 40- and 57-Across?: MISDIRECTED.
19A Jim Sheridan gives Daniel Day-Lewis nothing to work with in this Irish dramedy (1989): MYRIGHTFOOT. Right is wrong. Left is right. My Left Foot. 25A Rian Johnson helms this snoozer of a whodunit starring Daniel Craig (2019): KNIVESIN. In is wrong. Out is right. Knives Out. 40A Elia Kazan bungles this John Steinbeck novel adaptation (1955): WESTOFEDEN. West is wrong. East is right. East of Eden. 57A Anne Fletcher misses the mark with this first film in a dance franchise (2006): STEPDOWN. Down is wrong. Up is right. Step Up.
I finished this one in a phone-and-computer combo 18:32.
Hot, hot day in LA. First day of California’s reopening. Wow! And at the same time, Spectrum decided to be garbage all day. Not at all moments. But like 90-second outages at random intervals. It’s just long enough for it to make everything stop working and long enough where there’s a question as to whether it’s worth putting up with the slower speed of a hotspot from my phone.
Also I got notified that I have 500 likes of my posts! Cool! Thanks, everyone!
Yesterday I missed DROLL, FALLOFF, ODDBALL, OFFLOAD, and ROLLBAR.
BOLA: (especially in South America) a weapon consisting of a number of balls connected by strong cord, which when thrown entangles the limbs of the quarry. DOLOR: literary A state of great sorrow or distress.
fem. proper name, from Spanish Maria de los Dolores, literally “Mary of the Sorrows,” from plural of dolor, from Latin dolor “pain, sorrow,” perhaps from PIE root *delh- “to chop” “under the assumption than ‘pain’ was expressed by the feeling of ‘being torn apart'” [de Vaan].
LARBOARD: archaic term for port(as opposed to starboard).
Letters: Final score: 19 word for 96 points. Genius minimum: First word: BUOYANT. Last word: BOOTY. Pangram: BUOYANT.
My friend Daniel told me this joke years ago: “How can you tell if an ant is male or female? [OK, how CAN you tell?] You put it in water. If it sinks, it’s a girl, and if it floats, it’s a boy-ant.” We were in our late-20s when he told me this joke.
Today is supposed to be very, very hot. I still have extra water bottles in the freezer in preparation for a loss of power. I hope it doesn’t come. Instead, Spectrum has decided to be unreliable since last night, so that’s been a blast.
With the wind and dryness, it will be like living in a convection oven. We’ll live with fans as long as makes sense, but then the air conditioner is going on for absolute certain.
I pulled out 9D Tex-Mex offering that lacks a crunch: SOFTTACO because Calah makes these amazing soft tacos. Sometimes she uses ground beef. Sometimes she uses brisket. Slow cooked with onions and other stuff. Then fresh, homemade guac. I’m salivating right now thinking of them.
The theme of this puzzle is something near and dear to many millennials.
20A Unchangeable: WRITTENINSTONE. 34A Dressy floor-length garment: OPERACLOAK. 41A Something a kid might blow right through: BUBBLEWAND.
51A Set of legendary objects from the Harry Potter series found at the ends of 20-, 34- and 41-Across: DEATHLYHALLOWS.
STONE, CLOAK, WAND.
Now, I have read through the fourth book in the series, but I got through the Goblet of Fire right after it was released. I haven’t read past it, I haven’t seen the movies, and I didn’t get past the first few pages of The Sorcerer’s Stone in the early days of COVID.
I finished this one in 7:36 while watching The Amazing Race with Calah Monday night.
These two oak tables were going to be a challenge. The first challenge was to get to the oak.
Table 1: 1/4-sheet palm sander.
Definitely a rough time.
The main board of the table started out pretty gross. I mean it wasn’t the worst I’ve dealt with, but it was bad. Water damage was the main issue. It looked like a potted plant lived on it, and then either smaller flowers or tea.
After 18 minutes of sanding. I was making some considerable headway.
There was still clearly more to do.
I kept going, and almost 10 minutes later
I think this water stain is the worst I’d dealt with. The prior step-up end table project also had some crazy water stains, but those were manageable. I wasn’t sure what would happen with these.
Let’s switch over to the the other table.
Table 2: Random Orbital Sander
But first a little bit about the sander and the sandpaper.
I had waited for the DeWalt sander to go on sale on Amazon. When it did, I got it. But the sandpaper for a random orbital sander is different from the sandpaper for a 1/4 sheet palm sander.
After some research, I came across the 3M Pro Grade sandpaper that claimed not to clog. Also that it had grit of varying size and sharpness, so rather than 80-grit, there was 80+. I got a variety pack.
It says not for retail sale on the real box, too. I don’t understand. That’s amazon for you.
I expected the random orbital sander to be much more powerful at removing material. And it was.
Water stains not as bad. Could be easy!
Four minutes of progress with the 80+.
Eight minutes in, and I saw stains I hadn’t seen before. Including a familiar big circle! Another potted plant or flowerpot, I imagine.
At the 30-minute mark, the DeWalt random orbital sander with 3M Pro Grade 80+ sandpaper had blown away the DeWalt 1/4-sheet palm sander with 3M regular 60-grit.
And the amazing thing after an hour of use:
How is there no clogging? I’d swapped out the 60-girt numerous times at this point.
The other surprise: It was never oak. I’m working with maple!
I like maple better, anyway.
More next week!
Note: This post is a little lighter on text. I’ve been struggling with WordPress to get captions back on my photos. No luck just yet, but that has eaten up a lot of time. More cool stuff later.