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Wordplay on “The Simpsons”

Post by David Seago on Nov. 16, 2008 at 10:11 pm with No Comments »
November 16, 2008 10:11 pm

If you’re not a devotee of the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle, just move on right now.

But if you’re among the legions whose Sunday morning pleasures include tackling the Times’ clever, pun-filled puzzle, you’ll understand why we got such a kick from tonight’s episode of “The Simpsons.”

Little Lisa turns out to be a talented cruciverbalist. And a puzzle she completes at episode’s end is the actual puzzle that appeared in today’s Times.

That set off a scramble in our household.

Wife Anne tracked down the puzzle we had finished this morning. (We take a team approach). Sure enough, embedded in the answers was “Dumb Dad sorry for his bet” — Homer’s apology for betting on Lisa to lose the final round of a big crossword tournament.

The first letter of all the clues spelled out a “Dear Lisa” message from Homer.

Chalk it up as a sneaky surprise engineered by the show’s creators and Times puzzle editor Will Shortz and master puzzlemaker Merl Reagle. Shortz and Reagle appear in the episode’s final scene — proof that Shortz and the NYT Sunday puzzle are cultural icons worthy of “The Simpsons.”

How cool can you get?

This teaser appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday.

Taking notice
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