25 July 2008

Sometimes you feel like a nut

I think it says a lot about my religious outlook that when faced with the crossword puzzle clue Peter or Paul, but not Mary, I was dismayed to find myself unable to remember enough trivia about the' 60s folk movement to come up with the seven-letter answer.

Only after later getting 4 of the seven letters* did it suddenly strike me that these classic names are such because they appear pretty frequently in the New Testament, and that the clue was not exactly requiring me to have a degree in Religious Studies. Or to have taken even one course in it.

Alex Trebek would be so disappointed in me-- has he wasted all these years teaching me most of what I know about the Bible?

I'm going to go with the explanation that I have replaced what little knowledge I had of the New Testament with Dan Brown's version of events, so the answer Apostles would never have occurred to me when the clue was excluding Mary.

That gives me some grounds for credibility, right?

Popular fiction-- is there any amount of ignorance or boneheadedness it can't help us explain away?

* If I hadn't gotten this many letters, upon revisiting the clue, I probably would have gone next to candy-oriented trivia.


Brittany said...

Well, my priest quoted Bob Dylan last week. I am pretty sure I was asleep in my head when I heard him up there start singing Gotta Serve Somebody. Finally, some shit I can relate to.

Sally HP said...

HA! You're great! I added you to my blogroll so that I'm sure to check you out every day. I, being forced to attend CCD every Sunday am happy that Apostle clicked before I got to the answer in your post ;)

unmitigated me said...

I did the same crossword puzzle, but went through LOTS of PP&M trivia, cuz I'm way older than you and stuff. And I found myself thinking of Dan Brown, too, when I finally got it, probably the same way you did. Dude! You owe me a beer! Long distance!

Kori said...

I didn't get the answer until I read your post all the way through; I kept thinking of songs like Blowing in The Wind, etc...STILL trying to figure it out. And this is a woman with an EXTENSIVE religious upbringing! I need to call my grandma and apologize. :)

Swirl Girl said...

My excuse for not getting that one is that I am a jew and had no formal Biblical training.

Now if the clue had something to do bagels and lox - no problemo!

I, too , am a crossword puzzle fanatic. BTW- that Peter, Paul but not Mary is a common clue like 's shaped moulding'... Oh Gee.

Anonymous said...

You realize the intention was to fool you and it succeeded. The puzzle writer could also have written John, Matthew and not Jennifer Aniston. Would that have helped? Or would you have spent the day watching old Friends episodes trying to figure it out?

Weith Kick said...

I remember when I read The DaVinci Code how much I loved it and thought it was gospel. But once I finished the book it quickly left my head. I guess because I knew it was just bubblegum. The premise may be true/it may be false. I really don't care. But I can tell you this much. The movie sucked.

Rhea said...

Do you do the Times crossword puzzle or others?

Unknown said...

That was a great crossword puzzle clue. I am not sure that I would have gotten it without the letters. That is not saying much because I am not that great at solving crosswords.

LiteralDan said...

Brittany: Your priest sounds cool-- someone like that might make me come to church. Wait, your church isn't in the morning, is it?

Sally HP: Wow, thanks. And I think God would frown heavily on you not getting that one, what with all the hard work that went into shaping you. He excuses me as a side effect of my parents' particularly harsh and thus ineffective religious schooling.

Middle Aged woman: Hey, you owe ME one, the way I see it. I'll be waiting.

Kori: Uh-oh, you may have more than your grandma to answer to-- see my above comment to Sally HP.

Swirl Girl: That's no excuse! Haven't you suffered through enough Christmas songs to soak up the basics, like I have? Actually, I think that came out wrong-- I love a lot of the old Bible-based favorites, but most people don't.

It all started when the Herald Angels sang...

Mary: Ma'am, I take that as an insult, and I'll gladly sacrifice your steady readership for righting this wrong you've done me. I have never been fooled in my life.

I was merely mislead.

And if I was going to go the cheating route, I'd just save time by Googling whatever I didn't get.

Weith Kick: Speaking as someone obviously deeply jealous of his success and denying the many hours of hard labor he put in, I thought both of his books weren't particularly well written, just because various errors or cheap construction were so glaring they stopped me in my tracks to point them out to my indifferent wife, and despite what you might think, I almost never have cause to do that with novels, because they are generally so well edited. Sure, there are typos every few books, like "there" for "their", and such, but not stuff like this guy had.

Anyway, I agree they were bubble gum, though very well researched (even though many points may not be considered accurate) and plotted for thrills.

I haven't seen the movie, though I'm sure I may record it off cable one day.

Rhea: I do the crossword in the Tribune, mostly, though I used to do the NYT one regularly when I was in college, because the (fantastic, award-winning, formerly-employing-of-me) student paper reprinted it.

I thought I was a hot shot, flying through them every day, until I came across a Sunday one somewhere. Then I knew what people were thinking of when they scoffed at me always using a pen. Hey, with most crosswords, it's not a problem. What did I know?

Mekhismom: I love that comment-- that's the way I think about things. All you'd need is to throw a footnote in there and we'd be twins.

Jen said...

Cross Word puzzles!?! Not for me, to much brain power. I have to save what little I have to keep children from unrolling the toilet paper yet again. ;)

BTW, thanks for stopping by. Nice to "meet" you. very funny blog.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Please go back to posting everyday ... sigh ... just when I started relying on your blog to be there, a new post to make me smile, you decide to post less, but chuck each post with an added shot of quality.

Harumph, maybe it's time to start drinking coffee.

LiteralDan said...

Jen: I hate the toilet-paper unrolling! It never goes back on right. But better that than them just destroying the evidence and "using" it all.

Thanks, and it's nice to "meet" you, too.

Mrs. B. Roth: Sorry, but I think the laptop might start fusing itself to my legs if I don't take some time away to do more things to blog about. That, or my family might kidnap me and then hide it for good.

So I figure skipping the weekends (when most people don't stop by, anyway) is probably best for them, me, and all of you. I kinda miss posting everyday, too, if that's any consolation.

You can always go around and read new comments on previous posts, right? That's one of the best parts about comments-- added value and entertainment throughout each day!

(Did that perky little ending do the job? No? Dang.)

Momo Fali said...

I never have a problem remembering names from the Bible. My nephews (from my three different sisters) are named Stephen, Paul, John, Peter, Matthew, Daniel and David. Can you say Catholic? You should've seen their faces when I (jokingly) said I wanted to name my son Tyler. Instead I went over all their heads and picked Adam. I'm competitive like that.

Anonymous said...

Um....I totally did not get the answer until you told me. And I grew up Mormon. Enough Said.

Keith said...

I have no clue what you are talking about. I really need to open up my Good News. Um, Dan Brown rocks!

kel said...

I prefer the Dan Brown version of things, anyway. I think Jesus does, too, or he wouldn't have let that book do so well on the New York Time's Bestseller List....or in the Hollywood movie version.

One Crazy Chick! said...

Mary isn't an Apostle?


LiteralDan said...

Momo Fali: You should teach him to lord it over all his cousins. Until the new baby Jesus comes along. Then you'll be eating crow. But you'll feel better when that kid has to go around washing everyone's feet and turning the other cheek and such.

Kel: Well, I feel a lot better. Those crafty crossword puzzle masterminds!

Keith: You and me, both, buddy. I think they should make a Bible for Trivia Purposes that cuts to all the basic facts to allow one to pretend to be a Biblical scholar without absorbing all the feel good messages, teaching of basic human decency, and fundamental morality.

kel: You know, I think you're right. Jesus likes to mix things up, to keep people guessing. Too bad Jesus didn't let them make a decent movie, cause it just encourages those Hollywood bean counters in their War on Art.

Kandace: Whoa, 4 straight K names? That's gotta be a record.

She's supposedly the 13th Apostle, so maybe it was just her superstition rather than an ancient patriarchal conspiracy that left her off most of the existing roll call sheets.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I believe you there, LiteralDan. I haven't heard from you since you won my free chocolate. I see how you are. Did it give you the squirts or something?

Anonymous said...

OH CRAP, I just commented on the wrong post. You're probably thinking, "what the HELL is she talking about??" I'll remedy that in just a moment.

LiteralDan said...

Oh, great, so I can be deeply hurt twice over?? Thanks a lot, lady. (sniffle)

And P.S., I always think that. Zing!!