Sunday, February 08, 2009

Rico Brogna Saves The Day. Again.

The Saturday X-word is the toughest of the week. I'd never finished one, and I don't usually get too far if I do try it. But yesterday, I got the whole thing. I went through most of the clues, and had hardly typed any letters in. I finally saw an easy one: a baseball player named Brogna. Then I quickly figured out that an "association with guards" was the NBA. From there, I somehow went back through and got the whole thing, in about an hour and a half. (I'm down to about eight minutes on the Mondays--the true puzzle nerds do it in under two.)

As I started writing this post, The Simpsons came on, and in it, Lisa was doing crosswords, even name-dropping Will Shortz. And now the episode is over*, and Will ended up being in it, in cartoon form. Maybe this will spark some interest in his amazing puzzles among the part of the population who do non-NYT puzzles. (Kim, this means you!)

Great line from Homer in the episode:

"Like any prudent gambler, I know when to walk away...never!"

Oh, but the original point of this was to say that while Rico Brogna is well-known to baseball fans, the casual- or non-fan doesn't know him at all. So maybe the guy can be happy that he's a very advanced crossword clue. And maybe I can be happy that I know something from the Saturday puzzle that somebody who knows, say, all the Chinese dynasties in order, doesn't?

*It didn't take me a half-hour to write this post--I was writing during commercials

I can't watch modern simpsons episodes...Matt Groening doesn't know how to quit before ruining the show's legacy...
I don't watch it religiously like I did in all those years when it was one of, like, two shows I watched all week. But whenever I catch a new one, it still makes me laugh. Compare it to what else is on TV today, and it beats some channel's entire catalog. I'll take a Simpsons made today with no dialogue and drawn by a toddler over the show where Brett Michaels "goes around doin' stuff."

And I don't know how much Groening has to do with it besides drawing it. Which he probably doesn't do anymore anyway.
re: crosswords
You'll like this.
I'm just about finished with my Sunday only crossword book I got a while back and the last 5 puzzles are "classic" puzzles from the past. One from each decade. The 1st of the 5 is the very first NYT crossword, from Feb. 15, 1942. It's practically impossible, as it contains countless clues and phrases that are no longer relevant. Lots of questions about WWII stuff, which I at least have a shot at. But also stuff about the current administration's cabinet, geographic questions about places that don't even exist any more, etc.
The one from the 50's was not much easier. I looked up a number of answers just to get a kickstart again when I got stumped. Normally I don't bother doing that, but this was just plain interesting.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States