I should have been on “Rock & Roll Jeopardy!” There has to be a way to use all my knowledge of the insects of rock and roll instead of useful things like U.S. Presidents. I can see it now:
BRENDAN: I'll take “Indie Rock” for $1000.
JEFF PROBST: This mid-90s New York "supergroup" was comprised of members of Fish & Roses, The Information and Vietnam ... Brendan
BRENDAN: Who is Run On?
(Most people reading this are asking “who is Run On indeed?”)
So anyway, Will calls me up in January and says that he had just done a taping for “Jeopardy!” where the category was “The New York Times Crossword Puzzle,” and that he was using yours truly's. The gimmick was that he was going to read the theme clues for the puzzle that was running the day the show was aired. So the puzzle was going to run sometime in the spring and he'd let me know.
Course, the brain trust at “Jeopardy!” dropped the ball. They called up Will on Tuesday to give him the heads up that it was running on Wednesday. They probably didn't stop to think that Will was going to run some April Fools puzzle that day, instead of my G * X puzzle. They also didn't know The Times puts the puzzle to bed at least a week in advance. So, Will had to run the puzzle on Thursday instead.
Patrick Merrell e-mailed me this morning and wondered why this puzzle? Why not a puzzle that was already somewhat related to “Jeopardy!”; five Jeopardy!-like entries that start with "J" and end in "!" He proposed Jumping Jehosaphfat! Jiminy Cricket! Jeez Louise! (Pat, you've got yourself a theme)
It's a totally valid question. My guess is that due to the time constraints Will needed to pull something out of the already accepted pile. And I read somewhere that writers for "Jeopardy!" had to come up with seven questions per category in case something goes wrong with the taping. Ergo: my seven entry themed 15x.
Props to Sony Pictures for running a superimposed graphic of the actual puzzle. At first, I didn't realize that they had zoomed in to that section of the puzzle. At first I was like: Jesus, this is embarrassing that they can't even put together a correct looking grid. But nope, it was the actual grid. And props for Will to dreaming up a suitable, easy-to-describe theme for the puzzle (“movie ratings from G to X"). I guess that's the great thing about editors. They've always got your back and are trying to improve your stuff for the better. I made the puzzle under the guise of something beginning with G and ending in X just looked cool. No other reason. The fact that Will concocted one: even better.
But where the heck was any mention of who wrote the effing thing!?? At the 1:19 mark you can see my submitted manuscript sitting atop Will's desk. And the manuscript makes another cameo at the 2:23 mark. But you'd need some beyond-amazing vision to read the “Brendan Emmett Quigley” at the top of the page! Amazing! I mean, what's a guy gotta do to get some props in this business? I'm only tied for 6th-most prolific constructor under Will Shortz's editorship. You watch this show and you'd think Will wrote the puzzle! (Sidebar: I remember when I first told some friends back in 1996 that I sold my first crossword to the New York Times, they all went: “doesn't just one guy write all of them?”)
Anyway. Thanks Will for using my puzzle. And I hope the fact that now I've technically written for “Jeopardy!” won't automatically negate me from getting on the show. (Stay tuned.) And no, I don't expect I'll get a pay check from “Sony Pictures” for the use of my puzzle. Keeping the "free" in "freelancing!" Yay!
Oh, and while I'm here. Thanks again to Rex Parker for filling in on Wednesday. And thanks to Nancy Shack for the video. Enjoy this puzzle and I'll post a new one on Monday.