11.16.08 -- Who? (The Simpsons!)

Orson Welles, Citizen Kane, 1941
Sunday, November 16, 2008
SOUNDS LIKE SOMEBODY I KNOW, Puzzle by Merl Reagle, edited by Will Shortz
It’s Punday on Sunday again -- crosswords from The Times seem to gravitate to paronomasia! Here we are treated to eight grueling entries of homophonic equivoque upon the names of personages past and passé, clued with a justifying query.

However, this puzzle is much more complex -- a day-long activity culminating in a television program in the evening on the Fox network, resulting in the first time I ever watched a full episode of The Simpsons... it's true!

See notes at the end of this commentary.
17. MARISA PTOMAINE, “Loverboy” actress who made the cast sick?;
21. RAYMOND CHANNELER, Séance-loving crime writer?;
40. ARNOLD POLYMER, Hall of Fame golfer who invented the all-plastic club?;
53. RONA PARROT, All-telling gossip queen who repeats everything she hears?;
72. ERIK SETTEE, Avant-garde composer who sat around a lot?;
82. MONICA ZEALOUS, Passionate tennis star?;
105. NIKITA CRUISECHEF, Moscow V.I.P. who liked to cook on a ship?;
111. LINDSAY LOWHAND, “I have no face cards” actress?
Torturous and tedious as those entries and their clues may be, the remainder of the crossword is equally joyless and plodding in esoterica and minutiae -- that‘s just fine, puzzles should puzzle!

Across: 1. Doodled, e.g., DREW; 5. Elvis film ”HARUM Scarum“; 10. Attorney’s favorite sweets?, TORTES; 16. Reign; 20. It’s love, in Lille; 23. Adjustment means on a radio, not a DIAL, a KNOB; 24. Yards, e.g.; 25. Obi-Wan Kenobi, for one; 26. Uris hero ARI Ben Canaan; 27. Market closing?; 28. Abbr. after Ted Kennedy’s name, DMASS; 29. Kind of tape, VCR; 31. Earthquake, SEISM; 33. Meshed foundation in lace, RESEAU; 35. Exclamation from a blockhead, this could be anything, but today, its DOH; 36. Show too much feeling?, EMOTE, which is less onerous in everyday usage; 39. “O.S.S.” star, 1946, Alan LADD; 45. Alla ROMANA (pasta style); 48. Planned site of the Geo. W. Bush Presidential Library, who cares?; 49. Piece that gets riveted, any kind of beam, today, it‘s an IBEAM; 50. Young wife (age 18) of Charlie Chaplin (age 54), OONA, sister of OMOO; 51. Restraints, IRONS; 52. Egg FOO yung; 55. Letters of commerce, GATT; 56. Laying-on of hands?, BACKRUB; 59. “You’re such ADEAR for helping”; 60. Ronny & the Daytonas hit, GTO, never heard of it; 61. Eccentric, not verb, noun -- KOOK; 62. Acapulco gold; 63. Long (for); 65. Letters of sizes, SML; 67. Yul Brynner died the same day as ORSON Welles (odd fact), not as odd as the fact that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the same day exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, e.g., July 4, 1826; 69. Relatives of TV host Tom SNYDERS; 71. Everest setting; 76. Linger in the hot sun, FRY, did you say “fry“?; 77. Loses on purpose?, not DIVES, DIETS; 78. Y-axis, for one; 79. Handy places to shop, not MALLS, MARTS; 80. Army type, for short; 81. Prima donna JESSYE Norman; 85. Yaw relative, on an aircraft, ROLL; 86. Some etiquette rules, not DONTS, NONOS; 87. Online address; 88. “Rats!” is OHHELL; 91. Regular writing, PROSE; 94. York, e.g.: Abbr., not a place, a person, SGT; 96. Hollywood’s Téa LEONI; 97. Eye the bull's-eye; 99. Trip-planning org., AAA; 100. Option for a sandwich, not MAYO, PITA; 103. Lower than: It., SOTTO; 104. Disney pirate, 1953, SMEE; 110. ABBA Eban of Israel; 112. Near Eastern port, ADEN; 113. Easter SEASON (period up to Pentecost Sunday); 114. European resort Monte CARLO; 115. Driving alternative in S.F., BART, not Simpson...?

Down: 1. Explorer Francis DRAKE; 2. Destroyer is an “er“ word, RUINER; 3. Author Leonard ELMORE; 4. Hall of Fame coach WEEB Ewbank; 5. U.S. president after Grant, HAYES; 6. Noriega’s weapons, stuck with ARMAS, a successful clue was exhumed; 7. Delgado’s rivers, RIOS, not RIAS; 8. Rear admiral’s org., USN, you see, it‘s not HAREM, but HARUM; 9. Extremely upset; 10. Detestable one, today it‘s a TOAD; 11. Former Dodge, OMNI, of course; 12. Operated; 13. Reason for overtime; 14. Top Chinese Zhou ENLAI; 15. Your future is their business, SEERS, cute; 17. Freeboot is MARAUD (yesterday, the November 15th puzzle, today’s clue was the answer, e.g., FREEBOOT (from the Dutch vrijbuiter) --Maraud; 18. Old IBM offering, PCJR, good one; 19. Useful article, plain old THE; 21. Red Roof rival is RAMADA; 22. Lip is RIM; 28. Entertainer Martin and others, DEANS; 29. Teutonic name part; 30. Tenor, perhaps, CHOIRBOY -- I was soprano; 31. Enos Slaughter’s team for 13 yrs.; 32. Roo’s donkey friend, how do you spell EEYORE?; 34. Slope, SLANT; 35. “Wagon Master” actress Joanne DRU; 36. Heaven on earth; 37. Assigner of G’s and R’s: Abbr., MPAA; 38. Tuba sounds, OOMPAHS; 40. Wild; 41. Action on Wall St.; 42. Swamps, MORASSES; 43. Monstrousness, ENORMITY; 44. “You dirty RAT!”; 45. Patrick Macnee’s 1960s TV co-star Diana RIGG; 46. Opus with singing, ORATORIO; 47. Interstate sight, MOTORINN; 48. Nonmatching item, maybe; 52. Toy store FAO Schwarz; 54. Add-on for Gator; 56. Guy who digs fossils, slangily, BONEMAN; 57. American Beauty pest, ROSESLUG; 58. Inspiration for Keats; 61. Nails but good; 63. Old aviation magazine AERO Digest; 64. Have a bawl; 66. Reshape a cornea, say; 68. Items for knitters, SKEINS; 70. Gallantry-in-war medals: Abbr., DFCS; 71. House of Representatives divider; 72. Tree with serrate leaves; 73. Big name in tea, TAZO; 74. Ocho minus cinco, TRES; 73. US Airways datum: Abbr.; 77. Vacation destination for sandwich lovers?, DELHI, oh come on now!; 80. It’s void in Vichy, not NIL, NUL; 81. English duke JOHNOF Gaunt; 83. Runner Sebastian COE; 84. Odd morsel; 86. Rummaged, ROOTED; 89. Sorority letter, LAMBDA; 90. Iron Man co-creator Larry LIEBER; 91. Mythical piper; 92. Pullman supports; 93. “Song of the Islands” co-star Jack OAKIE; 94. Old Testament king; 95. Not express; 96. Intro with centric; 99. Connoted; 100. Hit by Marty Robbins, “El PASO”; 101. Eager beaver’s assertion; 102. Really test; 103. Ilse’s “very”, SEHR, another one from the bottom of the barrel of desperate entries; 104. Swedish import, SAAB; 106. Hell INA hand basket; 107. Y.A. Tittle scores; 108. Org. with a five-ring logo; 109. United competitor: Abbr., pick an airline, any airline, not TWA.
Diagonal: 1. DUMBDADSORRYFORHISBET -- for the clue, go HERE.
The cul-de-sac for this writer was MONICAZEALOUS with her crossings, especially ROSESLUG (which will now always come to mind when I do my imitation of Orson Welles’ death scene in Citizen Kane) -- this is one of those crosswords that just wasn’t my cup of TAZO!
(This crossword puzzle is involved in the episode of “Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words” on The Simpsons, Fox, 8:00 pm, Sunday, November 16, 2008, today -- Lisa becomes an expert at solving crossword puzzles and enters a tournament, where Homer gets involved with an underground betting ring. Voices include crossword editor Will Shortz and crossword creator Merl Reagle as themselves. Read more HERE.)

NOTE: The first letter of the clues spell out DEAR LISA YOU MAKE ME SO HAPPY REALLY REALLY REALLY HAPPY SORRY HE TOLD ME I NEEDED A HUNDRED FORTY FOUR LETTERS WHAT WAS MY POINT AGAIN OH RIGHT BOUVIER OR SIMPSON I CHERISH YOU, the last line in the episode for which the crossword puzzle was constructed.
For today’s cartoons, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
THE NEW YORK TIMES -- Crossword Puzzles and Games
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1 comment:

NancyB said...

Your 48 across comment made me laugh out loud. My thoughts exactly.