Weird Al Yankovic cheeses up the New York Times crossword

It's gouda. Some might even say the parody-song master's puzzle is pretty grate.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper

Two American icons met Wednesday when parody songmaster Weird Al Yankovic helped to compose the New York Times crossword puzzle -- and made it delightfully cheesy.

Yankovic worked with experienced Times puzzle constructor Eric Berlin, who's created 40 puzzles, to serve up the clues. An accompanying Times story (spoiler: it includes the answers) explains that the theme takes movie titles and gives them cheesy twists, so the Tom Cruise 1992 legal drama "A Few Good Men" becomes "A Few Gouda Men."

There are other clues that seem to be right up Al's pop-culture alley, including "supply for Wile E. Coyote" (sorry, ACME is one letter too long) and "___ dead, Jim" (Star Trek fans, boldly go try it). One is a nod to another humorous songwriter, the legendary Tom Lehrer. ("Satirist Tom" is the clue, but c'mon, that was a gimme.)

If you have online access to the Times, you can work the puzzle here. Don't like puzzles or parody? Then frankly, my dear, you probably don't give edam.