Ringo Live and Alive at the Beacon Theater

Pre Show Stage -- No Photos Allowed

June 7, 2022; 4/5 stars Above: pre-show stage (no photos allowed during concert)

Ringo was great, full of energy and singing really well. During Beatlemania, who would have guessed that he’d be a comfortable and capable frontman in his 80s?

Big drawback was that Edgar Winter was supposed to play keyboards, but he came down with Covid. The song arrangements seemed thin as a result, and the show probably ran 10 minutes less than it would have had he been there. Winters’ absence is the sole reason for my four-star ranking instead of five.

Ringo stuck to the numbers he performed in the Beatles’ catalog and a few of his early-career classics, which is what the audience was there to hear. He sang some of them out front, and those were his best performances, while he manned the drums for about half of his numbers and all of those sung by the other All-Starrs. Ringo didn’t exactly move like Jagger, but he bounced around like somebody decades younger, and he sang with almost youthful exuberance. The second drummer, Gregg Bissonette, matched Ringo’s style and played with a slightly heavier hand, leaving the former Beatle free to shine behind the microphone, his baritone voice warm and pleasant within his limited range.

Three of the other All-Starrs performed songs from their own careers, with mixed results to my ears. The best was Colin Hays from Men at Work, with rousing versions of Down Under and Who Can It Be Now. Steve Luthaker, who performed most of the lead guitar parts, brought along Toto’s Rosanna (fine, but a bit too long) and Africa (hard to take that song seriously, especially after seeing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3fxkhWZbx0 ). Less successful were Hamish Stuart’s numbers, but perhaps they were colored by my indifference to his Average White Band. Stuart played lead on his songs, physically swapping his bass guitar with Luthaker for them.

I feel special mention must be made of the sixth All-Starr, Warren Ham, who has toured with Ringo for years and also played with Toto and Kansas. Ham’s bio says he’s a saxophonist, and he did indeed blow a passable sax, but he also sang, played flute, bongos, tambourine, harmonica, and a little organ, often performing multiple roles on various numbers.

It was a fun show and fun to see at the Beacon Theater (which is quite near my house), and if Ringo comes back this way I’ll probably see him again.

Setlist for the show I saw is here: https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/ringo-starr-and-his-all-starr-band/2022/beacon-theatre-new-york-ny-4bb4d3e2.html

Winning Wordle: Tines, Moral, Ducky

Wordle results had been showing up in my Facebook feed for a while, though the craze seems to have tapered off. I had some free time, so I started to play it, just to see what it was, and pretty soon found it was easy to systematically win, at least most of the time.

The key is letter frequency. In English, the most-used letters in dictionary-defined words are E, S, I, A, R, N, M, T, O, D. The order is a little different in texts, but Wordle asks you to guess common five-letter words, so dictionary entries seem to be the appropriate universe.

Wordle picks a different word each day, and players get six chances it figure it out. You type a five-letter word, and the game tells you whether any of the letters appear in that day’s answer by highlighting them in yellow or green, the latter if you also guessed the right position. You then have five more chances to find the answer, using information gleaned from your previous answer(s). By guessing words with the most frequently used letters and trying all of the major vowels early on, it’s pretty easy to narrow down the possibilities.

I use the same three words as my first three guesses almost all of the time: Tines, Moral, and Ducky. They provide 13 of the 15 most-used letters in the first three answers and includes the five main vowels. The first word, Tines, also reveals if the word ends on an S, which could be good to know because plurals are reportedly possible, though they are rare.

Once I’ve typed my three words, I know whether any of the most popular letters are in the answer and also which standalone vowels. I also have information about which positions in the word those letters occupy and/or which they do not.

After my third word, I know the word contained A, C, M, and O and that O was in the second condition. The remaining letter might have been B or P and I would have been able to guess Combo and Campo before Comma, but from what I’ve read about Wordle, it sticks to commonly used words, not slang or those borrowed from other languages,

There’s also a hard mode (find it under the gear a the top right) that requires you to use the information you’ve discovered on subsequent turns. If you know where a letter goes, you have to use it in that position for all your later guesses, and if you know a letter appears in the answer, you have to use it somewhere in the answer. You aren’t prevented from using letters you know won’t appear, which you might want to do to get a dictionary word.

For that mode, you need to use as many letters as you can from MORAL and DUCKY in your second and third answers. Unusually, none of the letters in TINES was in the answer, so when MORAL revealed that O was the second letter and that M and A were elsewhere in the puzzle, you might have guessed FOAMY, mainly to test the Y. That answer would have revealed that M is the 4th letter and that A is either the first or last, and looking at the remaining letters available, COMMA is the only obvious possibility.

So, there you have it. TINES, MORAL, and just DUCKY.

UPDATE: 2/20/2023: If I find a T in the first word, I might make the third one Duchy instead of Ducky, looking for the t-h combination.

Sample Page

So I had a little blog on Tribe.net, which has become inaccessible. Here will be my new blog, and when I get around to it, I’ll copy over my old posts as well.

Update April 2022: Well, in the intervening five years, Tribe has disappeared entirely, and the old posts were kind of dated anyway. So here’s to new beginnings.