Tag Archives: rail baron

NYT Spelling Bee 10-15-20 final

TUCUMCARI was an unfortunate omission in today’s Spelling Bee. That’s not to say that its absence from the list was in error. Rather, it would have violated the rules as a place, but it hurts because it’s an ineligible pangram.

Why do I even know that Tucumcari exists? Great question! It’s because I own Rail Baron, an out-of-print board game that is Ticket To Ride crossed with Monopoly and then you throw in complex payout charts and three dice. It was a great birthday present for me when I turned 11. Now you’re lucky if you can buy it on eBay for $100.

Tucumcari factors in because it is a destination in the game. That means that its railroad history is storied.

Other things I learned in Rail Baron led me to the Cascade Rail Foundation in South Cle Elum, Washington back in December 2014. I got pictures with old cabooses.

So back to the Spelling Bee, and that means yesterday’s misses. Same range as always. But the good news is that I got both pangrams. I got CUTTHROAT right after I got back from mailing my ballot last night.

ACTUATOR: This one is annoying for me because I did an inventory audit at an actuator manufacturer when I worked in public accounting. But when do I think about actuators? I still feel like I should have gotten this one.
ARCO: Apparently this is a technique for using the bow on a violin. The gas station usage would be invalid.
ARHAT: A saint of one of the highest ranks in Buddhism and Jainism.
ATTAR: Argh! I have missed this fragrant essential oil word before.
ATTRACT: Ugh.
ATTRACTOR: Dang.
CARAT: Oops.
COACTOR: One who acts with another.
CURACAO: The liqueur named after the Dutch territory Curaçao. Silly.
HOAR: gray-haired with age? Interesting etymology.
OCCUR: I missed this? How did that happen?
ORCA: Yikes.
OUTRO: Shrug.
TARO: I could have sworn I got this.
TAROT: Same with this one.

OK so I learned something new from yesterday’s puzzle.

There will be some misses from today discovered tomorrow.

Final score: 30 words for 128 points. Genius minimum was 125.
First word: CIRCUIT.