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NY Times Spelling Bee

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I recently wrote that <a href="{app}/view_article.php?id=3964">Kath and I have a one-year streak going</a> in the NYT Crossword Puzzle. While that is still ongoing, we've also recently discovered a little gem called <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/puzzles/spelling-bee" source="New York Times">Spelling Bee</a>. The concept is elegant and simple: <ul> You get seven letters arranged in a honeycomb. You have to combine these letters to come up with as many words with four letters or more as you can. The middle letter is required. You can repeat letters as much as you like. Answers can overlap one another. (E.g. "glad" and "gladly" are two separate answers). The longer the word, the more points you get. You can an extra bonus for pangrams (words that use all of the letters at least once)<fn> The puzzle rates your performance with "good", "nice", "great", "awesome", and, finally, "genius"<fn> </ul> You can check your word list against the master word list only on the next day, which is kind of nice and zen. <h>Samples</h> Here are a couple of games that we've completed, just to show off. <div style="display: flex; flex-wrap: wrap"> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="balcony.png" caption="Balcony"> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="forthwith.png" caption="Forthwith"> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="glandular.png" caption="Glandular"> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="illegibility.png" caption="Illegibility"> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="lavatory.png" caption="Lavatory"> </div> </div> <h>Now, the bad news</h> Would I be reporting on this fun little game if it was all sunshine and roses? No, no, I probably wouldn't. You see, there are some words I've learned over the years, for which I've borne more than my share of ridicule for knowing, that the puzzle refused to acknowledge as being "in its word list". I was shocked and disappointed<fn> to see that certain words that I've kept in my back pocket, as it were, for just such a rainy day as this, were not recognized. Proof? Of course I have proof. The following are definitions from the <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/">Free Dictionary</a>. While not exactly <i>common</i>, these are all non-archaic words that are not proper nouns. <div style="display: flex; flex-wrap: wrap"> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="arity.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/arity">arity</a>: The number of arguments or operands taken by a function or operator </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="betel.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/betel">betel</a>: A vine or nut </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="betitle.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/betitle">betitle</a>: To bestow a name upon something </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="bokeh.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/bokeh">bokeh</a>: The effect of blurriness in the areas of an image that fall outside a photograph's depth of field </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="cloacal.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/cloacal">cloacal</a>: Related to the common cavity that serves as the opening for the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts in many vertebrates, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, monotremes, and some fishes </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="gilet.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/gilet">gilet</a>: A vest or bodice </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="gnomon.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/gnomon">gnomon</a>: The piece jutting from the center of a sundial </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="ichor.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/ichor">ichor</a>: The blood of the Gods </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="luff.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/luff">luff</a>: To flap while losing wind. Used of a sail. </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="olla.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/olla">olla</a>: A rounded earthenware pot or jar, used especially for cooking or for carrying water </div> </div> <div style="flex: 1; flex-orientation: row; width: 240px"> <img attachment="panamanian.png"> <div> <a href="https://www.thefreedictionary.com/panamanian">panamanian</a>: A native or inhabitant of Panama (which was accepted as a word, although it's a proper noun) </div> </div> </div> <hr> <ft>I made up a thing called a "natural pangram", which uses each of the letters <i>exactly</i> once (e.g. laundry), in order to prove to Kath that my pangram was better than hers.</ft> <ft>At which point we usually stop, although we've never gotten every last one of the possible words. Being called "genius" once a day by our soon-to-be robot masters is rewarding enough.</ft> <ft>The German word <i>bodigt</i>, as in "defeated to the ground", seems to do the feeling the bare minimum of justice.</ft>