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.
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?
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.