Super Mega Bummer

(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 2)

I think I've told you before that I love doing the crossword puzzles in the Sunday Boston Globe and the Sunday New York Times. (With a strong preference for the Times.)

(I know I've told you this. But you may or may not remember because it's probably more fun for me to write about my crossword puzzle experiences and preferences than it is for you to read about them.)

I promise not to write about crossword puzzles too often.

But this week I'm going to, because recently the Times put out a special edition crossword puzzle.

And I have some good news and some bad news to share with you.

The good news? I solved the giant puzzle.

99% of it I did by wasn't a super-hard puzzle - it was like a Wednesday (average) difficulty. It was just very long.

But there was another puzzle within the puzzle - there were 8 clues you needed to find and put them in order to form something close to a familiar saying.

I got 7 of these clues perfect, but the last one I wasn't sure about.

(Warning: Puzzle Spoiler Coming)

I had 'udder', 'shun', 'hissed', 'acidy', 'ness', 'roughen', and 'dumb'. The last one I had 'vint' but I wasn't sure that was right. So finally I asked Kathy for help, and she corrected the cross-clue so that it was 'vent'. It was a French saying. I'm not so good at French.

But once we got 'vent' in there, voila! (I know a little French), we very quickly figured out the familiar saying was "Necessity is the mother of invention." (ness acidy hissed dumb udder roughen vent shun)

Now the bad news. You had to e-mail the New York Times with your answer and you would be put in the drawing for a grand prize (three people) of a year's subscription to the print paper, or 50 consolation prizes of a crossword book.

I really wanted that print subscription. (It's so expensive!)

But I would have settled for the book.

They announced the winners this week, on Wednesday. I was really looking forward to Wednesday.

But I didn't win anything. There were apparently about 7,000 entries - meaning about 7,000 people are about as clever as me...

But I guess there are at least 53 of them who are luckier.


The writing year is getting underway. Not a lot to report on right now...but I did finally submit my article on Cleveland. We'll see what else comes along. Right now we're off to a better start in the new year with the comedy than with the writing. Speaking of which...


This was an A-plus week on the comedy front. 100 First Jokes last Sunday night was great - tried three new jokes within my 90-second window - one I wrote Sunday morning and two others I hadn't done on stage yet but had come up with in the last week of December. The first joke was OK, the other two were so good I've been using them all week. I had a show in Allston Tuesday night which was a lot of fun, and then Thursday and Friday had two great shows in Portland, Maine. Hadn't done shows there since the summer of 2015, and I'm a much better comedian now than I was then. I love the rooms up there - it's a great city and it has a great comedy scene. I will be back much sooner than the year-and-a-half between appearances this time.

What I've Been Enjoying

When the calendar turns to January I don't automatically turn my thoughts to baseball, but it does enter my mind that we are that much closer to spring training and the start of the new baseball season. I'm a little preoccupied with the NFL Playoffs right now, but I did see a baseball video this week that got me excited for the upcoming season. The video, put out by SNY on their website this week, shows David Wright swinging a bat. Now, you need to understand a couple of things: David Wright is just the best. He's the best. I love him. He's the star baseball player I've always wanted to root for. I've followed him since he was a minor league player and loved every second of his professional career - the way he's played on the field and the way he's carried himself off the field. But he is suffering from a degenerative back injury and it is unclear whether he will be able to play again. And all I want is for him to have one last season where he can perform at his All Star level and help the Mets win a World Series and then retire at the top of the game. And this video shows that maybe - even though he's hitting balls pitched at maybe 60 miles an hour - maybe he'll be healthy enough for that to happen this year. Here's hoping.


*This is one of my favorite weekends of the year - probably Top 10 favorite weekends. I always get excited about the start of the NFL Playoffs, so there's that. It's also the weekend when I take down the Christmas tree, which is a little depressing, but I try to do that before the games start so that I get the football games to bring my spirits back up. (Also a spirit-lifter, this is always the cleanest our living room gets when we de-decorate for Christmas.) Then, this weekend, throw in a snowstorm so all obligations were canceled - it was a perfect lazy Saturday. I got the tree out before the snow started, cleaned up a massive amount of needles, and stood the Christmas tree up on the lawn so that the snow will cover it and look nice until it gets picked up on January 23rd. 

*The beard's going OK. I like it. I think it looks good. I like not having to worry about shaving. But it'll probably only be around for another month or so...I'm still the only one in the house who likes it.

*If you're keeping score at home, started a new container of Vitamin D yesterday. 100 capsules, which takes us right to the kids' April break. Crazy, huh? Vitamin C is a little out of sync. I had a smaller container that'll run out later this month and then I'll throw that estimate your way. 

*I'm having a pretty great start to 2017 - lots of bookings, and as I mentioned above, the shows I've done have been great. Can't ask for more than that a week in.