Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cool Connections #1: The Simpsons Do the New York Times Crossword

As I've said before, I love it when cool pop-culture worlds collide -- Ichiro meets Bigfoot, Batman meets Bartman, etc. -- so I'm gonna make this a semi-regular feature, joining the Bubblegum Cards of the Week, the Now I've Seen Everythings, the We Hardly Knew Yes, and various Happy Birthdays.

So I read here that Merle Reagle created today's Will Shortz-edited New York Times crossword puzzle, with tonight's Simpsons episode in mind. Lisa enters a crossword tournament, but Homer bets against her. Later, after the two "cross words," Homer asks Reagle and Shortz (who appear as themselves) help him make amends.

Spoiler alert!

After solving today's puzzle (with a little outside help), and then reading here that "Homer puts a secret message to Lisa in the diagonals, which you see at the end of the episode," I uncovered this: DUMB DAD SORRY FOR HIS BET.

The answers also include a BART and a DOH ("d'oh" sans apostrophe), which could be referenced in tonight's episode too. Hopefully there'll be some other crossword-themed surprises in the show, or better yet, The Simpsons will surprise me with an overall quality episode, something that's long overdue.

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