Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Spelling Bee

Happy New Year!  And let me start by saying I have never understood the big deal about celebrating another year.  So, the calendar changed.  Not earth shattering news.  But that is just me, I guess.

Anyway, looking back at 2018 there were several things I did not blog about.  Life intervenes.  So, here is one topic I will share with you.

Many long time readers know that I do the New York Times crossword Monday through Saturday (I no longer spend time on Sunday).  This year a new puzzle was introduced called 'Spelling Bee'.  I am sure that many of you have played a variation of this where you are given letters and told to find as many words as you can.  I think I have played this at many a bridal shower.

The NYT version has seven letters.  Words need to be at least four letters, letters can be used more than once, but all words must contain the letter shown in the middle of the circle with the other six letters around it.  Today's letters are aihtry plus m as the required letter.  There are several levels you can reach, with 'Genius' being the top level.  There is always one pangram, but you can reach the genius level without finding it - I know from experience.  I did make it today with 22 words including the pangram.  Give it a try.

My complaint with this puzzle is that it is not up to NYT standards in my opinion.  I sent them an email way back when telling them to buy a dictionary.  It hasn't gotten any better; they just decide what words they accept.

If you do today's puzzle, do not bother with the word 'amah'.  It is not accepted in their list.  Everyday I will find at least one word that they say is not in their list.  It is like playing Monopoly with someone who makes up their own rules as they go along.  A couple of weeks ago I typed in the word "fritillary".  The message popped up that it was not in their list.  I was really miffed as you can see this is a pangram using seven different letters.  Somehow I expect better from the New York Times.

I enjoy puzzles, especially Sudoku which is a logic puzzle, not a numbers puzzle.  I still play Scrabble on the Kindle, but only against the computer.  I hated waiting for someone to make a word if playing against a real person.

I've decided that there are many things I enjoy doing and what is life for but to enjoy?  I learned years ago that life is short; too short for some.  So, while I do not make resolutions for the new year, I do hope that you look at your life ahead and decide what is really important in the greater scheme of things.  Family and just enjoying life do it for me.

Happy New Year!


  1. That is an interesting game with the Spelling Bee. I'll have to check into it sometime (not that I need something else online to do, having just recently gotten into Instagram) but I do think word games like this keep our minds sharp, especially as we age. My mom did a lot of crossword puzzles and word search ones too and was sharp as a tack until the last few weeks of her life, passing at age 85. I haven't really gotten into Sudoko, just haven't taken the time to try to figure it out.

    I agree about the hoopla of welcoming in the new year. Some do look at it as a fresh start, as long as they make themselves reasonable goals and then work on achieving them. Last time out of necessity I did make those reasonable goals and achieved about 95% of them.

    May be it be a Happy New Year for you and yours too!


    1. You are so right about keeping our minds sharp as we age.

  2. Happy New Year, Denise! Interesting word puzzle. I try to do a few a week, plus difficult Sudoku, just to exercise my brain. My mom taught me to be brave and do crossword puzzles in ink, so I do. No resolutions here - I just get up each day and try to do my best.

    1. I used to do the x-words in ink. Now I do them online.

  3. Happy New Year to you, Denise. At one time, I actually would attempt the Sunday NYT crosswords, but that was when I was in my working career and other folks were doing them. I agree on the there's no need for resolutions and believe that the nest ones are to just keep moving forward without announcing or writing anything down that may cause disappointment.

    1. The Sunday crossword just took up too much of my time.


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