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Puzzle of the Week

New York Times, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Author: Weird Al Yankovic and Eric Berlin
Editor: Will Shortz
TotalDebutCollabs
14/4/20181
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0001000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.46000
Weird Al Yankovic
TotalDebutLatestCollabs
406/23/20024/4/20183
SunMonTueWedThuFriSatVariety
1212521521
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.52261
Eric Berlin

This puzzle:

Rows: 15, Columns: 15 Words: 76, Blocks: 41 Missing: {JQXZ} This is the debut puzzle for Mr. Yankovic. This is puzzle # 40 for Mr. Berlin. Jeff Chen's Puzzle of the Week pick. See all the celebrity crosswords. NYT links: Across Lite PDF
Notepad: CELEBRITY CROSSWORD
This puzzle is a collaboration by the singer/songwriter Weird Al Yankovic, working together with Eric Berlin, a writer and puzzle editor from Milford, Conn. This is Eric's 40th puzzle for The Times.
More information about the making of today's puzzle appears in the Times's daily crossword column (nytimes.com/column/wordplay).
Jeff Chen notes: Man, did I ever think Weird Al's songs (and name) were funny when I was a kid. Heck, I still think they're hilarious and awesome! ... more
Jeff Chen notes:

Man, did I ever think Weird Al's songs (and name) were funny when I was a kid.

Heck, I still think they're hilarious and awesome! I'm jealous of Eric for getting the chance to work with the legend.

And what a fun concept they came up with, playing on "cheesy" movies, in an aptly Weird Al-esque way. Cheesy-related movie puns was a winner for me — big praise for someone tone-deaf when it comes to puns!

A FEW GOUDA MEN made me smile. Even more so when I thought of little yellow army men made of Gouda. FETA ATTRACTION … ever hear of the term "food porn"?

*rimshot*

And imagining a movie where anthropomorphic blocks of Muenster tried to scare kids made me laugh too. Good stuff all around.

Extra fun in the cluing, too, a bunch of stuff that seemed as wacky as Weird Al himself. John CLEESE doing his "silly walks." (Much to my wife's chagrin, I still do them.) A TOUPEE = a rug you don't walk on. PEEL something you might slip on. It's a bit Weird Al, a bit Fozzie Bear, and a whole lot amusing.

A bit too much crossword glue for my taste, notably OSO feeling oh so globby, but some AFTS SRS AGRI REG isn't bad for a mid-week puzzle.

Overall, a satiric delight. I kind of wish Weird Al would write a crossword parody song and debut it IN A CROSSWORD the day before he released it. I call dibs on working with him if he takes on that idea!

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© 2018, The New York TimesNo. 0404 ( 24,984 )
Across Down
1. Imperfection : DEFECT
7. Shouts made with the waving of white hankies : OLES
11. Yo-yo : ASS
14. ___ Brothers, duo who sang "Wake Up Little Susie" : EVERLY
15. Part of a bottle : NECK
16. Skin art, informally : TAT
17. Satirist Tom : LEHRER
18. Prefix with cultural : AGRI
19. Airport info, for short : ETA
20. Cheesy 1992 military drama? : AFEWGOUDAMEN
23. Aid and ___ : ABET
26. Fish with tiny scales : EEL
27. Earned a ticket, maybe : SPED
28. Cheesy 1987 thriller? : FETAATTRACTION
33. Supply for Wile E. Coyote : TNT
34. Many promgoers: Abbr. : SRS
35. Singer/songwriter Bareilles : SARA
36. Mediterranean building material : STUCCO
38. Jousters' equipment : LANCES
42. Rock that rolls? : LAVA
44. ___ G, Sacha Baron Cohen character : ALI
45. Contents of a vein : ORE
46. Cheesy 1993 legal drama? : THEPELICANBRIE
50. ___ beans : SOYA
51. Summertime setting: Abbr. : DST
52. Cluster at many a highway interchange : INNS
53. Cheesy 2001 animated film? : MUENSTERSINC
58. The CW superseded it : UPN
59. Roman moon goddess : LUNA
60. "Easy-peasy!" : NOPROB
64. Locale for a bathysphere : SEA
65. Poker stake : ANTE
66. John famous for "silly walks" : CLEESE
67. "___ dead, Jim" : HES
68. Something you might slip on : PEEL
69. "Wait a minute ..." : HANGON
1. It's SE of Penn. : DEL
2. Wall-E's love : EVE
3. Dismissive interjection : FEH
4. Typos, e.g. : ERRATA
5. Curly musical symbol : CLEF
6. "Pericles, Prince of ___" : TYRE
7. Wild equine : ONAGER
8. Tolkien elf played in film by Orlando Bloom : LEGOLAS
9. Beige-ish : ECRU
10. Result of driving on ice, perhaps : SKID
11. Resuming the previous speed, in music : ATEMPO
12. Glossy fabric : SATEEN
13. Custer's "last" thing : STAND
21. Hoses down : WETS
22. Kind of cuisine with stir-frying : ASIAN
23. Times of day in classifieds : AFTS
24. Like the wire in clothes hangers : BENT
25. Question for Brutus : ETTU
29. Songwriters' org. : ASCAP
30. Valuable collection : TROVE
31. Certain lily : CALLA
32. Coach ... or what a coach is part of : TRAIN
37. Mr. ___ : CLEAN
39. Cheesy stuff : CORN
40. Leprechauns' land : ERIN
41. Goes out with : SEES
43. Just firm enough : ALDENTE
44. Follower of John : ACTS
46. Rug you don't walk on : TOUPEE
47. Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, in "The Lion King" : HYENAS
48. Acre's land : ISRAEL
49. Inexpensive writing implement : BICPEN
50. Reduce to a pulp : SMUSH
54. Certain shot in hockey : SLAP
55. Adjust, as a piano : TUNE
56. Nonmetric measure : INCH
57. The Big Easy : NOLA
61. Gas option: Abbr. : REG
62. Spanish bear : OSO
63. Editor Bradlee of The Washington Post : BEN

Answer summary: 4 unique to this puzzle, 1 debuted here and reused later.

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