Tag Archives: raabidfun

NYT Spelling Bee update

I did it! I reached genius! Whatttttt. I didn’t know that was possible.

I’m down to play this game more.

NYT Crossword 7-29-20 Complete

I’m still watching the hearing, and it’s driving me crazy. Why should these guys even show up if they’re not going to tell the truth?

I was going to write a long thing about how Jim Jordan is hurting America (Matt Gaetz just said pundint instead of pundit. Ugh. How easy must the Florida Bar Exam be?!) and how his opponent Shannon Freshour https://twitter.com/ShannonFreshour should be able to capitalize on Jim Jordan’s lunacy to make up the war chest gap, but that’s an off-topic post for another time.

This crossword has a tech safety theme. 49A It may require letters, a number, and a special character — as seen in 20-, 33- and 39-Across: STRONGPASSWORD.
20A Reduced-fat option: TWOPERCENTMILK
33A Mobile device that debuted in 2016: IPHONESEVENPLUS
39A Highly sought-after restaurant rating: ONEMICHELINSTAR

I like the story about how the Michelin rating system started. Michelin, yes, the same Michelin as the tire manufacturer, is the Michelin that started the restaurant ratings. They did in 1926 what people have been relying on AAA for for our entire lives: helping people figure out where they should go and therefore creating a need for the company to be needed. See, if you hear about an amazing restaurant, don’t you want to go there–to drive there? You wear down your tires whenever you drive, and then you need more tires! AAA cares about you needing roadside assistance, and I never would have gotten a flat if I never drove. (Interestingly enough, the AAA tow truck that came to my aid was hanging out around the corner and was was very familiar with the pothole that sliced through the sidewall of my Michelin Primacy. I now have a set of Michelin Pilot tires on my car. I am very happy with them.)

WSJ Crossword 7-29-20 Complete

Another day, another hearing. I’m watching the testimony of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Tim Cook in front of the House Judiciary Committee, so I’m not going for time today. Also if prosecution for perjury is on the table, these guys are only going to avoid jail time due to covid concerns.

Hang on, I gotta write something about what I’m hearing right now in this hearing.

Congresswoman Jayapal asked Jeff Bezos about an Amazon employee’s prior testimony that Amazon does not “use any specific seller data when creating its own private brand product.” To me, that sounds like they’re seeing what sellers are doing in aggregate, so what does it matter if it’s not specific to a seller? Like if Lou Bega’s wife asked him if he’s faithful to her and he said, “I am not seeing one girl outside this relationship.” But he’s seeing many girls, so that would make Lou Bega still unfaithful, right?

Congresswoman Jayapal asked if Amazon ever accesses third-party seller data when making decisions. Jeff Bezos just said, “Uh… I can’t answer that question yes or no. What I can tell you is: We have a policy against using seller-specific data… but I can’t say that’s never been violated.” Jayapal cited a Wall Street Journal (Hey! that’s the paper whose puzzle I’m supposed to be writing about! I’ll get to it soon. Don’t worry.) that says that they do look at popular sellers and then aggregate the data to figure out what Amazon should do on their own. Bezos says that they’re looking into it, which Jayapal said that clearly he’s not denying it.

She continues. A former employee testified to the committee: “There’s a rule, but there’s nobody enforcing or spot-checking. They just say, ‘Don’t help yourself to the data.’ It’s a candy shop. Anybody can have access to anything they want.” She asks if category managers have access to nonpublic data about third-party sellers and their stuff.

Bezos’s reply is what follows:

“Uh, I–here’s what I can tell you: I–uh, we do have certain safeguards in place… it’s a voluntary policy [not to look at third-party seller data].” Congresswoman Jayapal clarified that observance of their safeguard policy voluntary and there’s no enforcement of the policy? Bezos, still stammering: “Sorry! I, uh, may have mispoke (sic). I was trying to say that Amazon’s–the fact that we have a policy is voluntary.”

Jayapal concludes that whatever policy they have isn’t working, so shenanigans.

Also they’re using aggregate data even if there’s only seller of a thing, so aggregate=specific in those cases, and Amazon is screwing the seller. Hooray.

OK back to what you likely came here to read.

Oh, Steube just said pundint several times when he meant pundit. Good times.

Now back for real (unless something else is notable).

What’s cool about this hearing (don’t worry, this is about the crossword) is that everyone in this committee is mad at these fellows, and the theme of this puzzle the answer to 37A The start of a Lincoln line, and a hint to the circled letters: AHOUSEDIVIDED. This committee is united in its ire, though not necessarily in its arguments. The clues related to the theme:
17A Cry from Michelangelo & 19A Humble: COWA(BUNGA■LOW)LY
23A “Jabberwocky” word for four o’clock in the afternoon & 26A Purchasable grab bag in a video game: BRILL(IG■LOO)TBOX
49A Land agent Charles who was collectively shunned for not reducing rents 52A Lists for chairs: BOY(COTT■AGE)NDAS
57A Barista’s creation & 60A Sluggish: MO(CHA■LET)HARGIC

I didn’t know that boycott was named after “Capt.” Chuck, who seemingly was as much a captain as Dr. Phil is allowed to practice medicine. Fun reading https://www.historyireland.com/18th-19th-century-history/captain-boycott-man-and-myth/

NYT Spelling Bee 7-29-20

Don’t worry, I’m not going to skip out on the regular puzzles. But here’s an early one from my phone. I think I’ll start doing these, too, but who knows!

After being proud of a few long words such as OFFAL, AIOLI, WILLOW, WALLOW, FALLOW, FOLLOW, I finally quit after I got AIRFLOW to push me over to the penultimate dot. Also it used all the letters, so I didn’t mind that.

I got 28 words out of the thing and a score of 89 out of 109.

I did yesterday’s also, so I’ll post that later, but that’s what I’ve got for you for an earlier morning post.

LA Times Crossword 7-27-20 (7-28-20) Complete

I decided to try yesterday’s LA Times crossword puzzle. I tried for time because I didn’t for the two earlier today. Certainly it uses a different logic and has no NY-specific clues.

There isn’t a lot of overlap with the NYT and WSJ puzzles, but there is one that I should unashamedly mention each time one of these comes up: 61A Online craft shop.

Of course it’s ETSY!

That’s where my #raabidfun products are, too! If you haven’t yet, check it out at shop.raabidfun.com.

I think I can get used to the LA Times puzzle if I feel the need to do another one. No matter what, though, there’s great advice from this setup: Remember to share puzzle with your friends! And I have.

NYT Crossword 7-28-20 Complete

Ask and ye shall receive, right? Yesterday I said that I was surprised there wasn’t a lot of baseball stuff yet, and here we go!

BASEBALL SEASON 2020:
38A So-called “twin killings” in baseball, for short: DPS (double plays)
41A One who brushes off a plate, informally: UMP (umpire)
44D Some building beams: IBARS (a stretch, but former Angels infielder Erick https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erick_Aybar and current Red Sox Minor Leaguer but included in the Major League 40-man roster Yoan http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=646243)
55D Meh Feeling: BLAH (attitude toward this baseball season and 2020 overall)

Of course Will Shortz decided to be racy with 63A Object of dirty looks? SMUT. Classic.

BTW so much sniping right now during the Bill Barr hearing. Aren’t these people adults? Whose decision was it to hire this group?

I wish I could reclaim my time.

WSJ Crossword 7-28-20 Complete

I’m doing the crosswords while listening to Bill Barr’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, so I’m not counting times today. The audio keeps getting lower and lower in the transmission, and I don’t know what’s going on. It could be the Washington Post feed on YouTube, but I don’t want to go elsewhere because they’re really good at showing the raw footage without any overlays.

I got the theme of this puzzle kinda late. The clue: 59A Feature of Manhattan, and of this puzzle’s answers that contain circles. The answer: CENTRALPARK. Another NY-specific clue. I think of Central Park so little that it’s always a surprise to me when people on TV walk in front of skyscraper after skyscraper and then happen upon a endless greenery.

Now, the theme is related to the following clues:
16A Pelt by a fireplace: BEAR(SKI)NRUG [SKI PARK]
24A Public projects of questionable merit: BOON(DOG)GLES [DOG PARK]
35A Award show rollout: RED(CAR)PET [CAR PARK]
51A Bought some time, in a way: FEED(THEME)TER [THEME PARK]

THEY REALLY HAVE TO FIX THIS AUDIO SITUATION. Come on, Congress. Get it together.

WSJ Crossword 7-27-20 Complete

There’s too much TMI. Seriously. Today’s crosswords had TMI answers. It was 51D Texter’s “I didn’t need to know that” in the NYT and 7D “You’re oversharing!” in the WSJ puzzle. I don’t know what that says about the New York Times that they need to clarify texting is involved while the Wall Street Journal felt it unnecessary.

Either way, they need to get some original ideas. No overlap between papers in the same city. Where are my OREOs and AARPs and NEONs?

This puzzle took me 8:38. A little up from last week, but it’s still below the 9+ I’d done for WSJ before.

Pardon me for failing to talk about this in the NYT one, but they put PORN as an answer. Leave it to Will Shortz to step it up from what was in the prior week. And shame on the Wall Street Journal for trying to one-up him with SEXAPPEAL as an answer in today’s puzzle. Don’t encourage Will Shortz. You’re better than that.

NYT Crossword 7-27-20 Complete

Pretty easy Monday puzzle. Took me a little over seven minutes. I’m happy that it’s the part of the week that lets me fill the boxes quickly.

I learned of the existence of someone today: 52D Actress Anne of “Wag the Dog.” (HECHE). I looked her up and saw that she was in a relationship with Ellen from 1997-2000. I also haven’t seen Wag the Dog, so I can be excused for not knowing about her.

Baseball season has started, and I hope that there will be a lot of baseball clues in upcoming puzzles.

And on the topic of baseball: It used to be where there were player-managers on Major League Baseball teams. That is to say that there used to be players who were on the team who had to decide about themselves if they should play or sit. They also had to be teammates and their teammates’ boss.

There are no more of those in Major League Baseball, but I do not think it is prohibited. The manager wears a uniform just like a player wears a uniform. (Side note: I was happy that Dave Roberts got to wear 30 again for the Dodgers when he became the manager. I miss the days when I could see him wearing that number in center field.) The coaching staff wears the team’s uniform. Nobody but the players are members of the union, right? Can coaches be part of the MLBPA? If there is another player-manager, would it be a violation for management to be part of the union for players?

NYT Crossword Special May 2020 Intl Day of Pink Complete

What is the International Day of Pink?

I didn’t know what it was before doing this crossword.

International Day of Pink has one purpose, to create a more inclusive and diverse world. We do this by encouraging young people to challenge social norms, ask more of their educators, and stand up against bullying towards their 2SLGBTQIA+ peers. Over the years we have worked with countless educators, politicians and organizations around Canada to spread this message and create young activists for this mission. We hope to continue this work and reach more communities with every passing year. We can only do this with your support and involvement.
https://www.dayofpink.org/en/home

Well, cool. I’m against bullying. Good on NYT for raising awareness!

This puzzle was the second puzzle I did today that has Molly Ivins as an answer. I didn’t know her name until today, either. The puzzle took me longer than I’d wanted it to, but I struggled with other answers, too, until finally I got them all. Total time was 17:27.

Back to Monday tomorrow.