Canuckle Daily Word Puzzle Answer. What’s Your Best Guess?

(Post updated October 21, 2022)

It’s official, I’m a Canuckle nerd (nerdle?/Cannerdle?). In today’s blog I’m finally coming to terms with that and admitting it to myself and the world. My wife is already planning to have friends and family over later tonight for an intervention.

Canada’s favourite word puzzle game

I love Wordle, the 5-letter daily word puzzle game that’s taken the world by storm. And the Canadian version of it, Canuckle, is just as much fun for Hosers like me. For those of you who may not know, Canuckle is a Wordle spinoff with a Canadian theme – 5-letter words like BACON, CANOE, MOOSE, KAYAK, MAPLE, BACON, SYRUP, BACON, … etc, etc. You get the idea. (Oh, did I mention bacon?)

Wordle in 1! 

It’s true. A couple of weeks ago I finally got the coveted Wordle in 1!

On May 4, the Wordle answer for the day was TRAIN. Fun fact, it was also the word of the day for a Wordle spin-off, Canuckle. I did Canuckle first, and got it in 3. Then I turned to Wordle, and thought, what the heck. I may as well use TRAIN as my starting word. And BAM! My first and only time getting Wordle in 1.

You have to be a Wordle addict to appreciate the excitement, but I rode that high for a week!

Wordle in 1 on May 4, 2022

The Best List of Canuckle Word Puzzle Starting Words

Since I got hooked on Canuckle a couple of months ago, I started keeping a private list of words which I think are very good candidates for future Canuckle answers. In today’s blog, I’m sharing my list with other Canuckle addicts. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Maybe we could start having meetings in church basements…

I claim no insider knowledge. This list is simply what I believe to be likely candidates for future Canuckle answers. I’ve made a note next to some of the words explaining why I think they make good puzzle answers.

The Real Answer History Archive

You can find the list of my best Canuckle puzzle starting words here!

Just in case you’ve been missing out on the fun, I’m also maintaining a complete archive of past Canuckle puzzle answers, starting with the very first puzzle back in February 10, 2022.

If you are a fellow Canuckle nerd, feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think.

A little coffee humor to lighten your day

This is how I feel if I get up in the morning and there’s no coffee…

In today’s blog I thought I’d share a humour meme I created this morning. The idea came to me when I found this retro photo of a screaming woman on the internet and thought – that’s how I’d feel if I got up in the morning and there was no coffee. Any true coffee lover will easily relate to the humour in this image.

The first thing I do when I get out of bed is head downstairs into the kitchen and start the coffee. And then I stand there and wait for enough coffee to appear in the carafe to pour a cup. Fortunately my coffee maker has a ‘pause ‘n pour’ feature, otherwise it would get rather messy.

In nice weather I’ll take my coffee and laptop outside to the back deck and listen to the birds while writing or reading the news. Unfortunately in Canada the weather is crap 9 months of the year, in which case I go into the living room, turn on the gas fireplace, and sit next to the fire.

I can’t imagine starting the day without coffee. I’m not sure how non-coffee drinkers do it, but I think the government should fund a research program to study them. We need to find the answer to how they function, if not to confirm they’re human.

I find it very relaxing to make humorous memes, especially if they are coffee related. Kind of goes with the territory when your ‘thing’ is escapist adventures featuring coffee loving alien smugglers.

Here are a few more humour memes I’ve made.

Have a great day.

Why we need pulp fiction now more than ever

The dangers of doomscrolling

I’ve been spending a lot off time doomscrolling since Russia launched its brutal and unjust invasion of Ukraine, and I can’t recall when I’ve ever felt angrier with what I’m seeing in the news.

With the war in Ukraine, the global pandemic, the climate crisis, severe weather events, and the election cycles in America that never seem to end, there is no shortage of bad news to doomscroll through.

As a writer of escapist pulp fiction, I wondered if anyone would still be interested in the kind of light-hearted novels I like to write. Why would anyone want to read stories about aliens coming to Earth looking for coffee? How could I spend my time writing about such frivolous topics with all the truly serious crap hitting the fan around the world?

So for a while I stopped work on my current project – a sequel to my humorous sci-fi series about aliens who love coffee. I didn’t feel it was the right time for writing light-hearted escapism.

It’s a very good time for light-hearted escapism

But then I thought about how popular dime novels were during the American Civil War, which featured escapist adventure stories. And during the Great Depression cheap adventure stories in the form of ‘pulp’ fiction were hugely popular.

Dime novels became very popular during the darkest years of the Civil War

During the dark days of the Civil War and the global depression, people needed the break and low-cost escapist novels came into their own as an industry.

We are in a similarly dark period now, and it’s precisely in times like this that low-cost escapism is needed more than ever. We all need to take a break from doomscrolling and find a way to unplug from everything that’s going on and relax. Pulp fiction, escapist adventures, humorous sci-fi – whatever kind of reading you prefer – is a legitimate form of recreation. So I’ve taken up my pen once again and resumed writing.

Support a worthy charity

However, I still believe we should try to do what we can to help and not ignore what’s going on in the world. As a result, I’ve made some personal changes. Instead of doomscrolling, I’ve cut back drastically on my news consumption and started doing something practical. I started giving.

Recently I did some research into charities dedicated to assisting the people of Ukraine. The Washington Post and The Globe and Mail have both published lists of reputable charities supporting Ukraine.

Charities supporting Ukraine:

Don’t ignore what’s going on, but I think you may find it more rewarding to spend less time doomscrolling and more time doing something practical. I think one of the best ways most of us here in Western Europe, Canada and America can do that is by donating to charities supporting worthy causes.

Oh, and spend more time reading great adventure sci-fi about aliens who like coffee.

And that’s my rant for the day.

My New Time-travel Adventure is Here!

The girl from the future…

What does a girl do when she can’t tell anyone where she’s really from?

I’m excited about my latest novel – a fun blend of love, romance, dystopian future and time travel. It’s about Octavia, a woman from a dystopian future who has traveled back in time to our own day. She’s here on a mission: study us and learn how we lived prior to a deadly plague that almost destroys human life and brings on the dystopian world she grew up in.

Octavia never had a family, never knew a mother or father – she was raised on a eugenics farm by robots and impersonal guardians. She arrives in our time and meets Jake, the loving single father of an 11-year old girl, and it’s not long before they fall in love. For the first time in her life, Octavia becomes part of a real family. But she can never tell Jake that she’s from the future – how could he possibly believe it? And that’s not the only secret she has to keep from him.

But falling in love was not part of her mission plan, and the secrets she carries about herself and the terrible future awaiting them soon threaten to tear them apart.

I actually started writing this in 2016, thinking it would be fun to write a story about a world-wide pandemic and time-travel. I finished it prior to 2020 under a different title, and then covid-19 broke out. When covid-19 hit, I no longer felt like promoting a novel about a plague. Reading and writing stories about an apocalypse is fun until it starts to feel like you are really in one. So I shelved the project for a while.

In early 2021 I dusted it off and re-read it, and sent it to an editor for professional proof reading. I like the story and now that it looks like we are getting to the end of the covid-19 pandemic I feel good about publishing it.

It’s a fun, clean read with a feel-good ending. I’m a huge believer in happy endings… I mean, why read a book that leaves you depressed. I can go to CNN for that.

I hope you like reading the book as much as I liked writing it. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Available on Amazon

Octavia Seven Book Review

Epic Honduran Roast from Oddfellow Coffee Roasters

Coffee farm in Honduras

It’s 6:30 AM, and I am just finishing a 3rd cup of coffee I brewed with a Honduran roast from Oddfellow Coffee Roasters. Oddfellow is a local roaster in Brantford Ontario that I ‘discovered’ last winter at the Brantford farmers market, and I’ve been hooked ever since. What I like about Oddfellow is not just the amazing flavour of his roasts, but that the owner, Ryan Wlodarek, buys direct from just a handful of small growers in Honduras, El Salvador and Brazil.

Today I am going to talk about his Honduran roast, because Honduras holds a special place in my heart – especially when it comes to coffee. But I’ll get to that momentarily, after I rave a bit on Oddfellow’s coffee.

Ryan at the Brantford Farmer’s Market

Oddfellow’s Honduran Roast is semi-sweet and fruity, with a hint of toffee and citrus and easy on the stomach. He buys the beans directly from Finca La Fortuna farm in central Honduras.

Finca La Fortuna is run by Delmy Regalado, a 2nd generation farmer who inherited the land from her father. Originally it was a sugar plantation. Perched 5000 feet above sea level, this farm receives amazing tropical heat, sun and rain fortified by cool nights. Perfect conditions to produce some of the most sought after beans on planet earth. The beans must work harder at higher elevations to develop and ripen, lending to unique fruity and sharp sweet characteristics. The blend is made up of Pacas, a natural mutation in the Bourbon bean and Typica, one of the main varieties of Arabica coffee.

I love this coffee from Oddfellows, not only for its incredible flavour, but because, as mentioned, I have a soft spot for the country it comes from.

Coffee has been part of my morning ritual for my entire adult life, so it is safe to say that I’ve enjoyed thousands of cups of coffee over the years, yet there is one cup I had more than 3 decades ago that I still remember with vivid clarity.

I was in Honduras for a short visit, not as a tourist but to help an organization setup a computer system. The family I stayed with in La Ceiba knew a local farmer, and one afternoon they took me out into the countryside for a visit. The family was very hospitable, and we spent a very pleasant afternoon visiting under the shade of a palm tree. It was not long before they served coffee, with cream and sugar.

The coffee, of course, was excellent, but I soon learned that the most amazing thing about the coffee was that the family produced absolutely everything that went into it. They roasted the beans from coffee plants they grew on their own small farm. They also grew their own sugar cane and made the sugar that went into the coffee. And the cream came from their own cow.

Later, the farmer asked me if I would like a cup of water. I said yes, and he motioned to his young son and pointed to the palm tree we were sitting under. The young boy scampered up the tree, picked a coconut, and came back down with it. He gave it to his father, who used a machete to slice off the top and handed it to me. I drank from it, feeling like I was a supporting caste member in The Jungle Book movie.

That afternoon was three decades ago, a coffee experience I have never forgotten. Oddfellow’s Honduran roast transports me back to that afternoon every time a brew a fresh cup using the beans from Delmy’s farm, Finca La Fortuna.

Oddfellow Coffee Roasters has some of the best roast I’ve ever experienced. Their website is still under construction and Ryan tells me it will be ready shortly. When it is, I will add the link to my List of Best Coffee Blogs. In the meantime, you can reach him by email at oddfellowroaster@gmail.com.

Have a great day. Stay safe and stay sane.

Alien abductions?

It’s way too hot to take anything seriously, and it is expected to reach 45c today, so here is a bit of humour I hope will give you a laugh.

This expresses in a nutshell why I am very suspicious of so-called abduction stories.

Is The Truth Out There?

Or, more to the point, is anything or anybody out there at all? Given the nature of my novels, I’m often asked if I believe in aliens. But that question can mean a couple of different things:

  1. Do you believe in the existence of extra-terrestrial intelligences out in the universe?
  2. Do you believe that UFO’s are alien visitors from space?

These are two very different topics. ‘Do you believe there might be other intelligent beings out there in the universe somewhere?’ – OR – ‘Do you believe that the UFO phenomenon is real – that UFO’s are real and they are spaceships visiting us from other worlds.’

Is there anyone out there?

Many serious scientists, notably those involved in programs like SETI, believe there may be, even likely is, intelligent life in the universe other than ourselves. They do not necessarily believe in UFOs. I fall into that camp. I am agnostic when it comes to aliens – I think there could be other civilizations out there. We just don’t know and programs like SETI are looking for scientific evidence for that.

But do I believe UFOs are alien visitors from another planet?

Well, I have my doubts. And here’s why. If UFOs are visitors from other planets, then they aren’t very smart or seem to be very confused about what their mission is.

The aliens seem to be confused about what their mission is

Consider this: The aliens either want us to know about them, and are here to reveal themselves to us, make contact, hopefully just to trade or engage in cultural exchange and other benign activities.

Or, they are here on a secret mission and don’t want us to know about them.

Either way, they seem to be doing a lousy job of it. If it is a secret mission, then they’ve screwed up big time. Thousands of people are on to them, and if the UFO conspirators are correct, then apparently the US Government knows all about them too.

If they are not on a secret mission and are here to reveal themselves and make contact, then that is not going very well either because the vast majority of us rational people aren’t convinced that they even exist. It’s still a big secret only the conspiracy theory people and the US Government seem to know about. And the government is involved in a massive cover-up to keep it from the public.

Alien Cover-up?

If aliens from other worlds are really visiting us and want us to know about them, then HOW could the US Government cover that up?

I mean, wouldn’t it be a simple matter for our alien buddies to make themselves known and initiate cultural contact? Why don’t they just land a big ship in Times Square, or the front lawn of the White House, or Red Square for that matter.

Or how about in front of parliament in Ottawa? Canadians are generally pretty nice and aren’t as likely to start shooting.

But conspiracy believers will say they don’t do that because they aren’t ready to reveal themselves, or we’re not ready for them yet, so they still have to keep their presence secret. Well, if that’s the case we still have a big problem because they’ve been photographed and spotted literally thousands of times. And they seem to be obsessed with hanging around top secret US government airfields and stuff – and getting spotted.

Why are the photos always so fuzzy?

Again, not very smart of them.

But no, apparently they only reveal themselves to fruitcakes. Because from the documentaries I’ve watched about people claiming to have met or been abducted by aliens, the people involved don’t seem to be entirely well balanced.

And why is there NEVER any hard evidence? Just lots of fuzzy pictures.

Sure, lots of pictures but those are easily faked. Of course, this is where the conspiracy believers will say – “but there is hard evidence…and the US Government is hiding it and keeping it from the public… and they’ve used the tech to build spaceships that get us to Mars in 3 days… and there is a colony on Mars already…but it’s all a secret because people can’t handle the truth…”

Yup, you can watch documentaries on Netflix where people go into great detail ‘proving’ these very things.

The aliens are making a lot of rookie mistakes

But here’s the thing. Suppose for a moment that all this is true. I don’t think the cover-up is necessary any more because I’m pretty sure the public is long passed caring. What I mean by that is not that people wouldn’t be interested, it’s just there wouldn’t be panic in the streets. If the ‘truth’ came out, most of us would watch it on the morning news shows while drinking our coffee, mumble something like: “It’s about time the government finally came clean on UFOs”, then finish getting dressed and get on with our day. Sure, it would be cool, but we’d hardly panic.

Maybe the aliens coming here are cadets, spaceship pilots in training, and that would explain all the rookie mistakes they seem to be making.

Well, I think I’ve ranted enough. I’m sure the US Government has a lot of secrets they are keeping from us. I think they have to – how could they function otherwise. But I don’t think UFOs are one of them.

Why are the aliens always hanging around US Air Force bases?

I think all that stuff that gets spotted in the sky, sometimes hard to explain, is exactly what a rational person would suppose. Advanced drones from China or the latest generation of advanced aircraft technology that the US is working on.

Think about it – at any given time the Air Force must be working on the next generation of technology, and of course it has to be kept secret. And of course they have to test fly this stuff. When they first started working on stealth bombers, it would have been top secret and someone who happened to spot a test flight might easily mistake it for a UFO. I mean, after all, we don’t have anything like that on Earth, right???

Interestingly enough, the vast majority of so-called UFO sightings are in the vicinity of military bases. Now, I don’t think aliens who have the ability to travel light-years across the galaxy would be all that interested in our primitive military gear!!

While my fellow bloggers on this site will disagree, I don’t think UFOs are visitors from space. If they are, they certainly make a lot of rookie mistakes. They keep getting spotted, and one of them flew dangerously close between two Navy fighter jets, almost causing a collision. That doesn’t strike me as very bright! I’m pretty sure any alien astronaut arriving here is going to be smarter than that.

Whatever these UFOs turn out to be, the explanation is likely to be very earthbound and mundane.

(Updated November 3, 2022)