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.