003: “GLASS OF RIESLING” (5/5/17)

map_img_0f997986-2ff2-4492-9097-da571e1aef5aHello and welcome to the newest episode of “On the Grid” (originally taped in late March). In this episode, Lena returns to glorious Binghamton, NY, and joins Michael on a trip to Ithaca, NY for the Fifth Annual Finger Lakes Crossword Competition—a charity tournament benefiting Tompkins Learning Partners, an adult literacy program in Tompkins County. For our drinking segment this episode (“Drunkenship!”), we taste a variety of Finger Lakes Rieslings, and discuss the crossword answer type known as “Green Paint” (an arbitrary adj/noun pairing, or any phrase that might be reasonable in conversation but isn’t really strong enough to stand on its own in a crossword grid). We also make lots of dumb Riesling puns and sing Riesling-based parodies of a Tracy Chapman song, so you’ll definitely want to hang around for that.

Timings for Episode 003:

  • 0:00-3:00: Lena and Michael, introduction
  • 3:00-18:00: Interviews from the Finger Lakes Crossword Competition (taped Mar. 18, 2017—warning: lots of ambient noise at first, but it settles down quickly). With:
    • Adam Perl (Official Judge and author of all tournament puzzles)
    • Brian Cimmet (convivial contestant, and also co-organizer of the indie crossword tournament Lollapuzzoola (NYC, Sat. Aug. 19, 2017—register here))
    • Gary Weissbrot (Finger Lakes Crossword Competition organizer)
  • 18:00-34:50: Michael and Lena drink Finger Lakes Rieslings and discuss the crossword phenomenon of “green paint”
  • 34:50-37:38: Lena and Michael outro / silliness

We’re hoping to be able to tape several episodes this summer, including one at Lollapuzzoola in NYC (the weekend of August 19), so let us know if you have suggestions for topics. Please (pretty please!) send any fan/hate mail to rexparker at icloud dot com, and find us on Twitter at @dunzothud (official “On the Grid” handle), @rexparker (Michael), and @finitealright (Lena).

Also, you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. Just search [on the grid podcast] in the store and we’re right there!


  • To see all of Howard Barkin’s “Kitchen Confidential” puzzle (Buzzfeed, 2/3/16), go here.
  • Of all the Finger Lakes Rieslings we tasted, Lena and Brayden liked the Treleaven Riesling best—here’s a link to that vineyard/wine.

See you again soon, I hope. Thanks, and enjoy.

Michael (aka Rex Parker)