86. Squares #11 Revisited


I’m rerunning this cartoon from last September because of a recent comment left by Brendan Pimper on the original strip. He had this very thing (the 2nd panel) happen to him on a show that aired March 18. The video of the show can be seen here, thanks to Nancy Shack: part 1 and part 2.

After watching the video, I must say Brendan proved himself a deserving usurper of the winning podium. That’s not always the case with such occurrences.

I also noticed a few clues in the episode that seemed slightly off to me, to varying degrees:

• Less than a few or couple — ONE [Why include both “a few” and “couple”?]
• It can come off your windshield and right into your eyes — GLARE [Doesn’t the glare come through your windshield or off another car?]
• Mimic Tarzan — YELL
• If you wear too much, this is what makeup becomes — GOOK [The contestant guessed GOOP.]
• Final round: Stick your ear in the wrong end of the glass pressed against the wall — HEAR NOTHING [Wha?]

And then there was the final grid, which apparently included a theme… almost. These five entries were symmetrically placed in the grid:


Ah, the old sense of squirt. Much better than that overrated sense of smell.

8 Responses to 86. Squares #11 Revisited

  1. Orange says:

    I lost to an undeserving one-right, one-wrong contestant. He proved to be psycho as well. And his kid was psycho, too.

    Don’t you tend to squirt out of your nose when you smell things? I know I do!

  2. Patrick Merrell says:

    Yes, I thought of you, yours being the only other installment of the show that I’ve seen this year. Your version of the last minute spoiler-swipe didn’t seem to have the upside that this one did, a winner who was actually very good, as Brendan proved in the final round. But would you have gotten that nifty no-numbers watch if you’d won?

    I think of the sense of squirt as being more the inverse of the sense of taste. I think I’d prefer to visualize the sense of smell’s inverse as being the sneeze.

  3. B. Pimper says:

    Thanks, Patrick. Not to quibble, but I suppose it really happened TO Bob, not to me. I went in thinking I was a mushroom-cloud-laying crossword destroyer, and promptly got schooled for 20 minutes. Humbling. This “Squares” came out the week after I taped, and I laughed and laughed, but I had to wait until the airdate to tell you so. And I noticed the “broken theme” puzzle as I was playing it, too. It made me wonder if it was a puzzle that almost worked for a newspaper, and it was sold as salvage to the show. Strange.


  4. Jon88 says:

    As I noted to the Cruciverb-L group, SQUIRT GUN has the same number of letters as SMELL A RAT, which makes the near-theme even more ridiculous.

  5. Kos says:

    Funny strip! I’m in the minority here. As a spectator, I love the spoiler setup in Merv’s TV show. They make a boring game interesting. Great games have spoilers; Sudden Death in tennis or Final Jeopardy. And brilliant Merv has the last laugh. We’re still talking about his show. In advertising we cherish our cliches, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Great site, Patrick!

  6. Patrick Merrell says:

    I suppose good solvers tend to see the spoiler aspect as potentially unfair, where luck can win out over skill, while many viewers like it for the reasons you mention. I’ve heard the show’s staff is quite pleased with the spoiler angle.

  7. Kos says:

    It seems that the baseline shared by the contestants is that they are all good solvers. But winning requires skills beyond solving, and some luck. We poker are used to that reality. That’s the beauty of Jeopardy, where buzz-in skills and wagering strategies are key. Perhaps the spoiler rules of the MG Crosswords are seen as unfair to those who lose. Sour grapes probably, no big deal.

  8. Orange says:

    Pat, winners also receive the anumeric watch— Eric LeVasseur won eight grand on the show and was also sporting the anumeric watch at the ACPT. The short form letter that accompanied the “gents watch” alluded to my “winner” status…though I had won naught but a watch. (And a free trip to L.A.)

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