Simpsons 11/16: "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words"

KABF19 Written by Tim Long Crossword Puzzles by Merle Reagle

Good episode- remincent of an old-style episode, for some reason. The subplot with Homer as a break-up king didn’t really go anywhere, but the main plot with Homer’s dishonesty may have something to do with it. I’m surprised Gil is still alive, as the last time we saw him, he was shot full of holes as a security guard. Also, Duffman’s* gay! Oh, yeah!

After Bart makes the “San Francisco people mover” gay-bar segue joke, there’s a quick page of text flashed on screen: “Scene 151 Take 2 Akom & Film Roman Fix.” Film Roman is the animation studio, and Akom is the Korean overseas animation studio- the scene must have had to have been reanimated during production, and the title card must have not been removed.

The final crossword puzzle was today’s real New York Times crossword puzzle, and the two hidden messages are indeed really there. Besides this one, Reagle also did a Simpsons-themed puzzle for his syndicated crossword today, called “Simply Simpsons,” featuring a number of Simpsons characters as clues. (Reagle is known for his humor- one of the clues, answer “Bart”, reads “Homer’s imp son.” That’s clever.)

“You’re a free man…unlike me. You have all your hair…unlike me. No kids tying you down or crippling morgage that you refinanced at 26% 'cause a dancing Internet cowboy told you to…oh, God, I hate my life!”

“What is a four-letter word for hero?”
“Yes, but I meant Lisa.”

“Will and shorts- two things I’m no longer allowed to change by myself.”

“If I had $100 for every customer I’d broken up, I’d have exactly this amount- 'cause that’s what I charge!”
*Or at least the current actor who portrays Duffman is.

Bart trying to bribe the lemonade stand inspector with 35-cents was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a while!

Reagle’s syndicated puzzle also had a hidden message in it, starting from the lower-left-hand corner (okay, it’s not really a secret, since he pointed it out in the clue): FABDCAFDBBBCBBBCEFFFF. If it doesn’t make sense to you, try taking Merle’s advice and playing it in F Major.

Lot of laughs for me in this one, especially once the crossword puzzle plot got going.



I was very surprised to see that “Gunderson” beat Frink in the semifinals, but it turned out not to be Gil, which made more sense. Lisa’s speech about things always going wrong for her was touching and seemed real. Unlike some of the emotional turning points in recent years, that one didn’t contradict the show’s history, it worked better if you know everything Lisa’s been through over the years. That was very good. The same actually goes for Marge’s line about all the times she’s had doubts about Homer.

It looked like it said “Gil Gunderson” on the tournament bracket.

Since I’m not at my own place, I can’t watch it again right now. I admit it wouldn’t be like you to screw that up, and it’d be a little strange to just invent a cousin or someone obviously related to Gil. But on the other hand you have the idea of Gil as a success, so…

Thanks, MoBo! I literally just grabbed my recently solved puzzle and couldn’t believe my eyes! Awesome!

It seemed like he was in on the ruse, though, wasn’t he? It seemed to me that he intentionally dropped the glasses so Lisa would pick them up and thus lose. That would be the only way ol’ Gil would be able to win anything.

Still, Gil as a successful cheat? He’s a failure at just about everything - except selling houses in Phoenix I guess. It’s not totally out of character I suppose, but I found it surprising to the point that I said something about it out loud before the finals started.

Sorry for the late bump but as a PSB fan I just came in to say “YES YES! PET SHOP BOYS FOR THE WIN!” Oh, sucks to be you, Lisa. As usual. But then, I’m glad to see Gil win something for a change!

Also, Merle Reagle commented in my LiveJournal once. Just bragging. (That’s all I got - I’m not smart enough to finish a Sunday puzzle, heh.)

Not that it matters, but the board did clearly say “Gil Gunderson.” Anyway, does anyone know the name of the blues song that played while Homer was breaking up the couples? I think it might’ve been something by Skip James, but I don’t know.

The show runners mentioned in a Simpsons dvd commentary that they like to give all the characters at least one moment of success and happiness.