Programming alert: Resident CL crossword-puzzle genius Merl Reagle (profiled by CL writer Scott Harrell in March 2006) will be guest-starring on this Sunday's episode of The Simpsons. Merl has had other brushes with fame most notably appearing in the puzzle-doc Wordplay and appearing on Oprah but being animated into Simpsonsland has to rank high on his list of achievments. That's Merl's cartoon alterego above (he's on the left), but please note that he did not have a hand in the puzzles Lisa is working on. Always a a stickler for his craft, Merl points out via e-mail that, "They're not legal, American-style grids." Yeah, I knew that.
The Simpsons airs Sunday night at 8 p.m. on Fox. DVR users beware: Sometimes Fox's coverage of the NFL bleeds into primetime. Best to record the whole 8-9 p.m. hour just to be safe.