This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mr. Happy Pencil Makes a Guest Appearance!

Crossword puzzle aficionados who solve online, using the AcrossLite program, are rewarded for a perfectly-filled grid with the sight of Mr. Happy Pencil-- or so I hear.  (I belong to the ranks of the paper-and-pen, no-computer-necessary, horse-and-buggy solvers.)   I don't even have a nodding acquaintance with MHP, myself. 

However, I followed with lively interest the recent discussions on the NYT WordPlay blog about concocting a cocktail beverage to be dubbed 'The Mr. Happy Pencil.'  Contributors were quite inventive in speculating about the potential ingredients (not only the correct colors for the eraser, pencil shaft, and graphite point, but details about specific gravity and even olfactory and gustatory compatibility.One of our number, Suzy M., works as a bartender and accepted the challenging assignment......and without further ado, she presents:
   Suzy M.  is generously sharing her cocktail recipe along with some pix of satisfied taste-testers and the chef who provided expert assistance:

The Eraser:     Allow a scoop of raspberry sorbet to melt so it can be poured neatly into a Collins glass.  Place glass in freezer long enough to refreeze the sorbet.  (Suzy M.  used Ciao Bella Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet mixed with a little cream to achieve the desired color.)

The Pencil Art:  Retrieve glass and pipe a few stripes of melted chocolate down the inner sides.  (Chocolate syrup did not work as well; the chef used a parchment cone to do the piping.  Your bakery aisle may have tools or products that will serve.)  Pipe funny smile and eyes.  Replace in freezer and allow chocolate to set.  

The Shaft:  In a blender, combine orange juice with whipped cream-flavored vodka (about equal amounts) and plenty of ice; blend to “smoothie” consistency. Add to glass.

The Point:  Top with caramel-flavored (alcohol infused) whipped cream and a Hershey’s Kiss.  

The Presentation:  Position glass in proximity to the current Times puzzles in whatever setting you prefer for solving and take a picture to serve as your desktop background.  Because you may never go to all this trouble again!

Mr. Happy Pencil stands ready to assist with your solving experience!
Mr. Happy Chef with Mr. Happy Pencil
Oh, the anticipation!

Many happy imbibers with MHPs!
 Thank you, Suzy M.  But now, for some reason I'm really thirsty.....


  1. [hmmm I made a comment about 6 hours ago and only just now realized it didn't show up!]

    SOOO impressive SuzyM! What a masterpiece! And also to Elaine a.k.a. MOL, your presentation here is just great!

    Love the photos!!

  2. Elaine:

    Excellent work on this blog post. I'm really surprised that there aren't more comments here? Apparently Patricia had a problem with her first one, so perhaps others have as well? More likely, there have been a lot of people who were only " Looky-Lou's ? Anyway, I'll finish this post, and then answer your last E-mail.

    Suzy M. Once again, fantastic creation! I had no idea that you had planned on such intricate detail, vis-a-vis the chocolate piping for pencil lines and face, the infused whipped cream, and the rest of the elaborate process of construction. The Hershey Kiss for the pencil point was truly inspiring. I'm sure you won't be making any MHP cocktails per request from customers, on a regular basis? You'd need 24 hours notice. Even so, everyone in the pictures really seemed to be into it. I had fun trying to figure out which visage was yours or fivethirtyam's, but alas, it was not to be ! Such modesty ? If you ever want to contact me, Elaine has my E-mail addy. She knows it would not be conducive to her health, should she pass it on, without my express consent. LOL ! If you do decide to contact me, make sure you put Suzy in the header for the initial E-mail. Otherwise, you'll be swept into the great abyss of Cyber-Spam, that I flush in bulk everyday. Happy puzzling!

  3. Thanks for hosting this picture, Elaine. I love the amount of creativity that went into making it, and Suzy must be a real professional to come up with something like this. Being a straight-up dry martini drinker, however, this is way too fancy for me. I switch to bourbon mint juleps in the summer when the mint is fresh.

  4. I'll have Gail's please!

  5. Ah, the pictures! Thanks for posting these, Elaine. I was in Middletown, Connecticut, recently (visiting my nephew at Wesleyan) and wondered how close I was to Suzy M.'s restaurant. I have to find out for my next visit!

  6. Yep...I'd almost take up crossword puzzles to get one of these.

    Great pictures!

  7. What a wonderful surprise - Great pictures!! and thanks for the great recipe. Does Suzy M serve these at her restaurant?


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