Counterculture singer Phil / TUE 5-19-20 / View in order to mock or criticize perhaps

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Constructor: Trent H. Evans

Relative difficulty: Easy (3:07)

THEME: Tom Swifties — ugh, it's a thing, look it up

Theme answers:
  • WITH RELISH (17A: "This hot dog is absolute perfection!" said Tom ___)
  • CRYPTICALLY (24A: "You're making a grave mistake," said Tom ___)
  • LACKADAISICALLY (38A: "I can't find a flower fo 'She loves me, she loves me not," said Tom ___)
  • OFF-HANDEDLY (47A: "I've learned my lesson about feeding the tigers," said Tom ___)
  • MERCIFULLY (61A: "Many thanks for your help in Paris," said Tom ___)
Word of the Day: DDT (46A: Insecticide whose 1972 ban led to the comeback of the bald eagle) —
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, commonly known as DDT, is a colorless, tasteless, and almost odorless crystalline chemical compound, an organochlorine. Originally developed as an insecticide, it became infamous for its environmental impacts. DDT was first synthesized in 1874 by the Austrian chemist Othmar Zeidler. DDT's insecticidal action was discovered by the Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller in 1939. DDT was used in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 "for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods".
By October 1945, DDT was available for public sale in the United States. Although it was promoted by government and industry for use as an agricultural and household pesticide, there were also concerns about its use from the beginning. Opposition to DDT was focused by the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. It cataloged environmental impacts that coincided with widespread use of DDT in agriculture in the United States, and it questioned the logic of broadcasting potentially dangerous chemicals into the environment with little prior investigation of their environmental and health effects. The book cited claims that DDT and other pesticides had been shown to cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Although Carson never directly called for an outright ban on the use of DDT, its publication was a seminal event for the environmental movement and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led, in 1972, to a ban on DDT's agricultural use in the United States. A worldwide ban on agricultural use was formalized under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, but its limited and still-controversial use in disease vector control continues, because of its effectiveness in reducing malarial infections, balanced by environmental and other health concerns.
Along with the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the United States ban on DDT is a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle (the national bird of the United States) and the peregrine falcon from near-extinction in the contiguous United States. (wikipedia)
• • •

This puzzle doesn't deserve a review, so I'm not gonna give it one. Well, not a full one, anyway. Here's the deal: Tom Swifties ... are an old thing. They are in corny old "joke" books, probably, and they are definitely on websites (over and over and over again). In the end, what you have are ... adverbs. Well, one adverbial phrase, and then adverbs. That's it. You (yes you) can go to a Tom Swifties page on the internet, just find a bunch of adverbs that will fit symmetrically in a grid, and bam, you have a "theme" now, congrats. There is literally nothing to this. This one, though, is so very bad because you don't have to go any further than The "Examples" of Tom Swifties on the "Tom Swifty" Wikipedia Page to find THREE FIFTHS of the themer set!!!

It's all so shabby. It should've been rejected. I MEAN, it should've been rejected on the premise alone (it's a hackneyed wordplay phenomenon that you can spin out endlessly). The fact that the constructor barely went past the wikipedia page for answers ... I dunno, man. The fill is mediocre. The long Downs are just fine. But this "theme" is a crime. If you don't think so, then by all means, flood the damn NYTXW with your Tom Swifty submissions. They are NOT HARD TO CONSTRUCT. Any experienced constructor could churn out several in an evening. The hardest part would be finding a symmetrical adverb set, and that ... isn't hard. Just go here and Get Started! (I'm joking, though, please don't do this).

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]


Anonymous 12:05 AM  

Not to mention the 4/5 ending in -ly, adding a lack of balance to just make it feel a little bit worse.

Joaquin 12:16 AM  

Maybe Rex was just a day early when he felt the fill yesterday was dated. If any puzzle feels *dated*, it's today's. Tom Swifties are your basic mid-twentieth century dad jokes. And I was surprised to find that TCBY still exists, not having been in one for at least 25 years.

Richardf8 1:06 AM  

This went swiftly. I actually smiled at the theme and the wordplay in it. I was a little sad that Stephen King wasn’t in on the construction of this one. He does a wonderful sendup of these thongs in his On Writing. It was very easy for me. Got a PB. Of course, my battery was low, so I had every incentive not to linger.

“‘This puzzle sucked!’ Rex said, with a sharp intake of breath.”

puzzlehoarder 1:19 AM  

A little under average time. This was inspite of being unfamiliar with the phrase HATEWATCH and compounding that disadvantage with an REV/REW write over at 23A. Having already gotten the theme at 17A I just kept moving along and backfilled 3D correctly later on.

CARY/CADY was another write over. As a final mistake, I tried to fit MERCILESSLY into 61A. I got as far as the LES before I accepted that those boxes were not going to expand to fit it. Otherwise a very smooth solve.

I'm not familiar with this term " Tom Swifty" but Jeff Chen was all over it at xwordinfo.

@jae and @Z, thanks for the archive suggestions. Of the four of them three were a little above average but the Joe DiPietro from 7/11/2015 stood out a bit from the others. At least that's how they played for me.

@Roo and @pabloinh, Monday's QB did turn out to be gettable. The one outlier in my opinion was the 4 letter portmanteau. It came easy this time as I missed it on an earlier list. It's a crosswordese classic and I should have seen it the first time. Always good to have fellow SB fans.

Ellen S 1:25 AM  

Oh, pish tush. I can’t help it, I love Tom Swifties. So there. Plus, I loved PLOTHOLES. So I loved this puzzle and I’m not ashamed.

Tom 2:06 AM  

I enjoyed the puzzle, although I’ll admit that part of that was knowing how much Rex would hate it :-) I fear for his readership if he ever starts liking the NYT puzzles,

Still, I find the idea of Rex searching Wikipedia with the goal of becoming less happy with the puzzle endlessly amusing. Never change.

jae 2:13 AM  

Easy-medium. I did like the long downs.

Re SB - I too (hi @Roo & Pablo & Puzzlehoarder) got to QB yesterday, but it was a bit of struggle. However, unlike the past couple of days, I actually knew all the words...i.e gettable.

chefwen 2:40 AM  

I’m on the @Ellen S team, loved it. OFFHANDEDLY did make me wince a bit, I think too graphically. All of them brought a chuckle and I knew Rex would hate it.

Loren Muse Smith 3:41 AM  

A Swifty theme was last done in 2015. At that point I was unaware of this kind of wordplay and was gobsmacked by how clever they are. Without that puzzle, I may have gone on for several more years not being able to admire the wordplay. And sure, some are groaners, but still. I go to the page with the bajillion Swifties and am lost for like an hour just admiring them, saying the ones out loud that involve a bit of a stretch. (“I can’t accept that I’m gonna drown, “ yelled Tom, deep in denial.)

Puns may be a low form of wordplay for some, but their semantic elasticity never Ever fails to amuse me.

I care not one whit that Trent got this group of themers from a list. I’m reminded of a theme a while back that used famous anagrams (DIRTY ROOM – DORMITORY), also taken from a list. I can understand Rex’s plaint about “stealing,” but I dunno – taking established wordplay examples, pairing them symmetrically, and gridifying them for the world to appreciate here… I see such puzzles as a way to showcase how entertaining the ambiguities of language can be.

So after the 2015 Swifty puzzle, I was listening, again, to a David Sedaris book on tape and heard something to this effect - David’s dad is admonishing his fighting family - It’s the holiday season! Cheer up, for chrissake! My world slowed down like I was underwater. What? Is David that clever that I now have to go back and scour his words for little sneaky sneak Swiftyisms? Oh. Hell yeah.

“Rage” WATCH before HATE WATCH. I try to watch Fox News every now and then so I can try to understand where my family is coming from, but I just get physically ill with rage.

Trent – I enjoyed the heck out of this. Fun Tuesday.

Some of my favorite Swifties:
“The prisoners have set up a company,” Tom confirmed.
“I’m removing the lining from my gloves,” Tom deferred.
“I’ve found the plutonium!” Tom said glowingly.
“I like German,” was Tom’s gut reaction.
“I ran out of carpet for this last step,” said Tom with a blank stare.

Can't TROT around today. “Last night I dropped the skillet on my toe,” (wait for it… wait for it…)

she said with panache.

GILL I. 3:43 AM  

Oh, I knew @Rex would hate this as well. Sometimes you just have to be a child and play some tiddlywinks.
At times I like being a punaholic. If you throw one out, though, you have to land it just right. Mine usually goes over most people's heads and I get that "did you just toss a petarade my way?" look.....
This was a fun THAR SHE BLOWS Tuesday.

Flinque 6:01 AM  

New England fuels are STONY ? What the heck does that mean!

Lobster11 6:25 AM  

If @LMS is right that there hasn't been a Swifty theme since 2005, why do I feel like I've done this puzzle a couple dozen times since then?

Diver 6:30 AM  

A bit too easy even for a Tuesday, but I enjoyed it. I grew up reading Tom Swift books, well actually Tom Swift Jr. They reflected the mood of the 50's when we thought the future was bright and anything was possible. So naturally Rex wouldn't like them.

kenji 6:32 AM  

Every shovel of dirt dug in New England--at least in New Hampshire, where I and Stonyfield yogurt are from--will be...well...stony.

Lewis 6:35 AM  

Hah! Best type of theme, where, after getting the first theme answer, you know what's going on and try to guess the others with as few letters as possible.

These were rollicking good, made me laugh, and had me smiling throughout. The perfect counterpoint to the front page, to this moment.

Trent, thanks for the ascent, and Tom, you were the balm.

OffTheGrid 6:58 AM  

I'm enjoying that others are enjoying their smug delight in "knowing" Rex would dis the puzzle.

amyyanni 6:59 AM  

Another team @Ellen S member, and @chefwen, same literal mind here. Used to shudder at work when a colleague would ask to pick my brain (now it would be nice to have a colleague nearby safely). Also not a fan of the birds & stone one, not to mention the dead horse.

Hungry Mother 7:02 AM  

Had to wait for my wife to do the breakfast dishes before getting to this one. Then it was as easy as her pie. Very fun theme which mad the solve a delight.

pabloinnh 7:15 AM  

I certainly remember when Tom Swifties were all the rage, but darned if I can remember when that was. High school? College? Before children? We all tried inventing some, back in the long ago. This was like seeing an old friend show up unannounced and finding out (they) haven't changed very much and are still amusing. OK with me.

Speaking of old friends, hello OASTS, and where have you been? This is not only a POC, it's a WOC.

@puzzlehoarder-I thought the most unfamiliar word in yesterday's SB was the six-letter animal, which I got fairly early. Finished up with a couple of obvious ones. So it goes.

Thanks for the fun, sir. You still THE man.

QuasiMojo 7:16 AM  

Not much to say today -- this does feel like a retread of a recent pun-filled puzzle. SOARed through it, although I put in PBA for Pro Bowlers Assn rather than TSA because of the "pockets" angle and proximity to ALLEY. I'm bored with TSA showing up nearly everyday. And the tiger joke fell FLAT so soon after Roy's death from Covid-19.

Is TCBY still around? I'm so addicted to YASSO bars I rarely go out for fro-yo anymore.

To refresh my memory of Star Trek, I recently started to watch the original series on Netflix. Other than the CRISP color which I adored, the overripe plots and acting and garish costumes were so god-awful (not to mention the pomposity of the themes and sexist stereotypes) that I MERCIFULLY turned it off. But, I did learn one thing. The whole ridiculous "BEAMABOARD" phenomenon was purely a cost-saving trick. Rather than shoot endless scenes of a transport ship taking the crew down to various planets (nearly all of which have earth's gravity, oxygen and AstroTurf), the producers came up with the ingenious but scientifically laughable "let's just beam them down" idea. Sadly the characters retain their personalities as well as their exact poses whenever the process is done. Kirk always had a "wide stance."

I climbed all 354 STEPs of the Statue of Liberty. Although it felt like more. Maybe there were more back then. All I remember is the stench of urine, b.o., and Brylcreem.

@Gill, tiddlywinks... "petarade"? Ha! Love it.

Good points on the value of words yesterday evening from a Mr. Geiger.

And @Nancy, wonderfully evocative comment yesterday late. I love the precise details even if through a "fuzzy" lens.

JamieP 7:18 AM  

In his book on writing well--what's it called again?--oh, On Writing Well, Stephen King warned against using anything other than "said" for dialogue attribution, lest people use your crappy prose as the basis for a party game to invent Tom Swifties.

He and his teenage friends would try to make them a little edgy.

"You got a nice butt, lady," he said cheekily.
"The plumber is finally here," he said with a flush.

As has already been said by 7 AM, Rex was a day off in declaring a puzzle musty.

Joaquin 7:19 AM  

Full disclosure: Several years ago my neighbor bought a new car, an MDX. My observation (which he either didn't get or didn't like): "I believe your new car is from the luxury division of Honda," said Tom Acurately.

SouthsideJohnny 7:21 AM  

Definitely Monday easy for the most part. I pretty much totally wiffed on the PPP - I don’t believe I have ever even heard of OCHS, CERA, CADY, VERA and APSO. The theme entries were mildly entertaining, but not really worth the effort to parse out. I agree with Rex’s assessment of this one as pretty much a yawner.

kitshef 7:23 AM  

"Don't drink don't smoke, what do you do?" asked Tom adamantly.

That is the one Tom Swiftie I ever made up. Alas, as time goes by fewer and fewer people understand it.

Puzzle was charming, alas belonged on a Monday.

George 7:28 AM  

Why did Rex put a photo of DDE next to his word of the day entry for DDT? I can't see any connection other than they rhyme...

Laura 7:45 AM  

You may have seen this too often, Rex. Doesn't mean I shouldn't get a chance to do such a puzzle. I laughed aloud. Nice clues, not just same old same old.

Z 7:48 AM  

@kitshef - I got it.

Is it possible to love Tom Swifties and think they aren’t really a proper theme?

I love HATE WATCH, as so many do when President Tweety speaks. So many PLOT HOLES. Last evening’s speculation was “is he lying or is the doc giving him a placebo.” I never watch, if I want to be lied to I’ll hire a contractor, but love the mordant humor that follows on Twitter.

VERA Wang was the subject of much vaguely jealous discussion a few days ago. We should all look so good at 70.

Hand up if you think the commentariat’s Swifties are better than the theme set.

Suzie Q 7:57 AM  

I like the theme answers just fine and liking dark humor as I do made me appreciate the off-handed joke.
However, when 1A is a so strangely spelled and the grid is stuffed with too many names I have to wonder if it was worth it.

Unknown 7:57 AM  

I liked it. Can't think of a cross word for this puzzle.

albatross shell 7:57 AM  

Bobby Frost's stone wall was made from the stones removed from New England fields. The dry-stacked wall was only a few feet wide and likely 2 or 3 feet high. Except for maybe cows not good at walling anything in or out. Just a property line marker and a place to move rocks to keep them out of the way.

Puzzle kept me amused more than the average Tuesday. Should I bother saying that griiningly or calculatingly? Was Rex upset that it was too easy to make because of the Google list or because its joke plagiarism? Or both?

Why are race car drivers hiring new pit crew members?

M&A has an array of juicy 3-letter choices. As a group, I like the central triad:

I never noticed before that the abbreviation for rewind looks like it would be pronounced "ROO" or that it's typed with 3 keys in reverse.

The 2 long downs were good.

@LMS says 2015, not 2005, or I missing something.

Because they are always retiring.

Z 7:58 AM  

@JC66 - Might have been clearer if I hadn’t inverted a date and year. FRIDAY, JULY 15, 2011, a MAS effort (abyline we haven’t seen much lately, just once in the past three years), but that’s not the reason I went digging for the puzzle. 49A was the reason.

Kathy 8:02 AM  

Trent, you had me at OFFHANDEDLY, when I realized what was up. And confidently filled in all the LYs...oops, not so fast.
I am proud to take a stand for the Swifties theme because I think they are cool. I also shamelessly relish a well-placed pun.
The puzzle was an easy but fun solve.

Stepping back on Memory Lane, this is the one I made up as a kid: “Help, I’m trapped in the steeple,” cried Tom inspiringly.

Remaining on Memory Lane, RIP to the Boomers’ favorite neighborhood wise guy, Eddie Haskell. “Mrs. Cleaver, is Wallace home?”

BobL 8:05 AM  

I've been doing Mr. Evans" puzzles on his website, Grid Therapy", and they always sparkle. Like todays.

Frantic Sloth 8:09 AM  

Is TCBY still in business?? Haven't spotted one in decades.

Second day in a row I have nothing to say about a puzzle.
Am I running out of thoughts to share or are the puzzles merely unremarkable - literally?

Either way, I guess that's a good thing.

We'll see if the same holds true after reading Rex and all y'all.

Nope. Nothing new to add, except maybe...

There is a past tense for "can do", said Tom candidly. 🙄

Until now, my ✋ was up.

Anonymous 8:09 AM  

"I've dropped my toothpaste!" said Tom, crestfallenly

Petri 8:16 AM  

Tom Swifties are definitely quaint at best and terribly outdated at worst BUT "offhandedly" gave me enough of a laugh that it was worth it. PLOTHOLES, HATEWATCH and TAKETHERAP were also fresh enough for me to enjoy it. Overall a fun Tuesday and not nearly as dire as the review suggests

Joe Dipinto 8:22 AM  

↑ 6'

"I think I'd rather watch something else. Where's the remote?" queried Tom, distantly.

↓ 6'

RooMonster 8:23 AM  

Hey All !
Kept thinking, "Who the heck is this Tom person?" Har. Have heard of Tom Swifties, but the idea never entered the ole brain during the solve.

I did find this theme corny, not sure how I found the 2015 one. Was I on this blog then? It doesn't seem like I've been puzblogging for five years, but time goes by so freakin' fast, it's tough to remember.

LOL at @albatross shell 7:57 central closed off SAD PIG USE.

Too bad more than one themer wasn't a -LY. "I'm sick o watching 'It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World'" said Tom with ire.

Four F's - said Tom effusely. (?)

Anonymous 8:36 AM  

First time,long time. Please keep in mind casual solvers like me. This was a fun puzzle for me. I didn’t know the Tom jokes, my bad I guess. Always enjoy your column.

CDilly52 8:39 AM  

Types of humor persist for ages because they are in fact clever and people enjoy them. Similarly, if solvers did not enjoy the NYTXW, they would not pay for the subscription. Personally, I find language humor particularly pleasing. I grew up in a very “wordy” family. Perhaps that colors my opinion.

I’m with @Tom 2:06. Part of my enjoyment was the expectation of @Rex’s rant. Shiftiest are clever, they require understanding of our language and creating them takes some skill. I appreciated the puzzle and enjoyed it. I enjoy spoonerisms as well.

Didn’t know HATEWATCH. I find it very sad that such a “thing” has entered our lexicon, and wish we could all just realize that we occupy the only planet we have and we could all thrive if we wanted to.

I find “old style” puzzles that are appropriate to the day enjoyable. This one ticked the boxes.

BarbieBarbie 8:41 AM  

Tom would have explained his choice of Rolling Stones neckwear, but he was tongue-tied.
“I see the Italian general has a stockade named after him,” shouted Tom, fortissimo.
“How can you believe I did that?” asked Tom, woodenly.

My Dad’s spirit is 100% represented in this puzzle. So naturally I loved it.

Greater Fall River Committee for Peace & Justice 8:52 AM  

I did not like BESOT as a verb, but I suppose it must be, since the past participle 'besotted' is so familiar to me.

Lorelei Lee 8:57 AM  

"I was furloughed so I spent a lot of time cooking and baking just for something to do," said L of the pandemic.

Not! I hate to cook, although I finally broke down and baked muffins this week.

I loved this puzzle because it was silly and retro and that's something to be thankful for right now.

Offhandedly, I'd have to say that I'm looking around and giving thanks more often than I ever have. Mercifully, family and friends are well, traffic is light, gas is cheap, the grocery store isn't crowded and lines are short. And I have time to do things like clean up and fire up the grill, which I did on Saturday. I actually did grill hot dogs and ate them with relish. That was great because I've gotten pretty lackadaisical.

Finally, I'm thankful for this blog, and all of today's posted Swifties (especially Anon@8:09).

Declanmcman 8:59 AM  

HATE WATCH is akin to HATE READ, which is what I do every day to see how joyless, bitter Rex will display his Trump-like temperament that day.

LeaveItToYourGoat 9:06 AM  

"I enjoy pointing out ERRORs so much, that I went to Wikipedia to confirm just how disappointed everyone should be with this puzzle," thought Rex, promiscuously.

MR. Cheese 9:11 AM  

Alas, she tore up my Valentine, said Ton half heartedly.

Barry G. 9:15 AM  

Here's one I came up with many, many years ago:

"I seem to have lost my arrow holder," said Tom without a quiver.

xyz 9:21 AM  

I thought the theme was punny adverbs

OffTheGrid 9:21 AM  

Seeing OASTS and SISAL made me nostalgic for NEWEL, ORIEL, AGORA, ADIT, ARETE.

Nancy 9:28 AM  

Oh, I just LOVE Tom Swifties! I did this immensely entertaining puzzle WITH RELISH and was sorry when it was over. All the Swifties were new to me, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are; I must go to Jeff Chen and find out more. If Trent just found them and used them, it's still a delightful puzzle, but if he made them up himself -- well, he should take a bow.

A few observations:

If HATEWATCH -- a term I've never heard before, btw -- is really a thing, there's something deeply, deeply wrong with our society right now. Bad enough that people even do it, but to have a special term for it...

Some people "greet the day" when they ARiSE, but not me. I don't greet the day until at least 30 minutes after I've had breakfast and coffee.

This puzzle was brimming with life everywhere -- not just in the theme. What can you say about a clue as colorful as "Pencil at the end of its life"? Wish more puzzles had this level of playfulness and imagination.

TJS 9:28 AM  

It's a Tuesday, so okay. And it's not like we have to deal with Swifties on a regular basis. I also enjoyed the idea of Rex running to the reference shelf to look up the Swifties.

What's the other way to spell "achoo" ??

I also had a "long time, no see" reaction to "oast. Talk about a "said no one ever" word ! For crosswords only.

RIP Eddie. "My, that's a lovely dress you have on, Mrs. Cleaver." "Why, thank you, Eddie." "Are Wally or Theodore home?"

pmdm 9:36 AM  

I disagree with Mike's evaluation today so strongly I would almost say it's wrong, especially after reading the comments here. If you read his comments in the past, you expect this type of humor would flat on him, and that's not a problem. But to go as far as to say that a puzzle which many enjoyed should not have been printed - perhaps that is a problem.

I am impressed that a puzzle with this many long theme entries running across the grid still allows so many long down answers that are not garbage.

Barbara S. 9:38 AM  

"I lead a sheltered life," said Tom intently.

No, really, *I* must lead a sheltered life because I've never heard of Tom Swifties until this morning. I've undoubtedly run into this type of humor before, but I didn't know it was a Thing with a Name. Amazing. I chuckled my way through the puzzle and thought it was great!

"My former wife was always so lively," said Tom expertly.

Ann Hedonia 9:50 AM  

These puzzles are so unchallenging that what I do is build on the last letter to solve the next clue - in other words it's like a ladder. I don't know how to describe it. i end up wandering all over the grid, so it's kinda fun. I guess I should find better things to occupy my time.

three of clubs 9:54 AM  

On a side note, discovered yesterday that SB will tell you when you have found all the the extra minutes just staring are not without purpose.

OffTheGrid 10:00 AM  

I used your method when I used to solve the pretty easy 11x13's in our local paper.

RAGMAN 10:04 AM  


Nancy 10:09 AM  

Couldn’t have said this better! I enjoyed the heck out of this!!

Nancy 10:11 AM  

@Joe Dipinto -- "The arrows diagram in your 8:22 comment went right over my head", said Nancy shortly.

Seriously, they did. I have no idea at all what they mean. Can you please enlighten me? Also is that masked man in your avatar today you, Joe?

@Quasi (7:16) -- Even having never watched Star Trek, I found your critique of its flaws and silliness very amusing and your explanation of the economic reasons behind the entire "beam me up" phenomenon extremely interesting.

BarbieBarbie 10:12 AM  

“Here at the Please Touch Crosswordese Museum, I can surround myself with all the cash Brian made composing,” said Tom, in all innocence.

G. Weissman 10:15 AM  

“This puzzle was crap,” said Tom flushingthetoiletty.

BarbieBarbie 10:24 AM  

Darn, should have omitted the first “are.”
“Here at the Please Touch Crosswordese Museum, I can surround myself with the Entirety of the cash Brian made composing,” said Tom, in all innocence.

I’ve been noodling on @LMS panache, which nails the visual but lacks the Swiftian aural cue. Maybe “I forgot the oil, so instead of a sautéed steak I burnt it to nothing,” said Tom with panache.
“Ewww, what’s my hand touching at the bottom of the pot?” cried Tom in panic.
Maybe not...

Gentleman Farmer 10:28 AM  

Easy and fun. As much as I hate the term “hate watch”, I have to thank Rex for introducing me to “hate googling” in his half-hearted attempt to trash this one.

EdFromHackensack 10:29 AM  

this was fun! a bit easy but thats OK. Rex is far too cruel. #kitshef - loved it!

Sir Hillary 10:31 AM  

"I can never find a good Tuesday puzzle, so I'll go with this one," said Will Shortz weakly.

Judith 10:31 AM  

Is hate solving a thing? Maybe Rex invented it! LOL

burtonkd 10:41 AM  

With Stephen King's dark streak in mind:

I witnessed my neighbor cheating on their spouse, Tom said sincerely.

Just carry my bags to the room, Tom said cooly. (sorry)

Bravo to the commentariat, today!

Tom Swifties are something I totally forgot that I knew from elementary school, probably. Trip down memory lane worth the price of admission today.

Newboy 10:47 AM  

Quick and fun...I did the puzzle Swiftly. Clearly Rex is suffering from Isolation Fatigue as are many of the rest of us. At least his link brought me to a delightful site which in turn called to mind the late Oscar Levant who riffing on Alexander Pope is credited with “A pun is the lowest form of humor—when you don’t think of it first.” His wiki entry is a joy in itself to start the day. I’m sure the commentariat will split along a chasm as deep as ... well, pick your own damn well. Well-aged Dad Jokes are elevated to Granpa quips.

CaryinBoulder 10:47 AM  

I remember reading Tom Swift as a kid and sort of guessed whom the Tom might be in the clues, but I didn’t know Swifties were a thing. Except for OFFHANDEDLY, which I chuckled at, you all have come up with some much better ones. Today’s funniest comment, though, was @Z’s “if I want to be lied to I’ll hire a contractor.” My personal rule of thumb on home reno is to take whatever time frame they promise you and triple it.

What I also learned today is to not try to type in answers with your off hand while eating breakfast with your other. I quickly found several of my typos, but spent minutes at the end until I discovered I’d put in ICo for ICU. Otherwise burned through this one. “Now that I’ve had my morning eats and coffee, it’s time for a steaming cup of Hydroxyquinolone wIth a Clorox chaser,” he said presidentially.

Joe Dipinto 10:50 AM  

↑ 6'

"I came up with a marketing jingle for the new product line!" exclaimed Tom adversely.

@Nancy – I'm social-distancing. I don't know who that guy is or why he's in the picture. It looks like it could be me, though. I can't really tell with the mask. Also, he's not wearing my glasses.

↓ 6'

Whatsername 10:51 AM  

Wow! Surprised at the vitriol Rex heaped up on this one. I thought it was fun and clever and a nice change from pace from the usual theme approach. Although I had never even heard the term “Tom Swiftie,” it didn’t take long to figure out what was going on. If this is considered a hackneyed old technique, I’ll take it any day over spoonerisms which just give me a headache. Also I don’t really care if the creator chose to take the random whimsical thoughts of others and turn them into a crossword. While I’ve never attempted a construction myself, I suspect it’s common practice to mine the Internet for ideas in the process.

My only quibble was I thought 59A/LOFT should have been plural to agree with the clue. OFFHANDEDLY made me laugh. Fargo is one of my all-time favorite movies. One of these days I’m going to count the number of YAHs which according to Google is 200.

And to add my two cents worth (she said sparingly), “I guess I’ll never find the buried treasure now,” said Tom cluelessly.

Dillon Welch 10:54 AM  

My friend and I have been doing the 2015 puzzles alongside each week’s Monday-Wednesday dailies because the days match up and we see who can do them faster. So not only was a Tom Swifty puzzle done in 2015, it was done five years AND A DAY exactly from today’s puzzle, which means that I played two stupid Tom Swifty puzzles in a row.

GILL I. 10:57 AM  

I meant to add: @Teedmn from late yesterday...I laughed at your RYE went awry...
"Everyone to his own taste," as the cow said when she rolled in the pig pen.

Crimson Devil 10:58 AM  

Upon pouring himself another stiff one, in presence of long-suffering wife upon two-month anniversary of quarantine, and stating “I love you so much I could not live without you” and hearing wife inquire “Is that you or the whiskey talking?”, Tom said lovingly “That was me talking to the whiskey.”

Slow Motion 11:12 AM  

Rex, I consider myself a fairly average NYT crossword solver. Early week puzzles are pretty easy, and few Wednesdays give me much trouble. Thursdays stump me sometimes when I don't get the trick -- and sometimes I don't. Fridays and Saturdays are really hard; I'm happy to solve one without a Google or two. Sundays are an hour-long challenge, or longer. Every single puzzle, almost without exception, is interesting and worth my time. Many have a theme that's fun to figure out, especially when it helps me solve a clue I couldn't get otherwise. Nearly every day I find clues so clever they make me smile or shake my head in admiration. Also, some puzzles -- meaning some puzzle writers -- astound me with their ingenuity. They're really good at this.

I read this blog nearly every day, and I've learned from you to recognize that some puzzles are, indeed, better than others, but almost none are nearly as bad as you make them out to be. You are overwhelmingly and chronically negative. To your credit, you have attracted a contributing audience of clever and interesting people. I enjoy reading their comments about the puzzle I like so much. I understand that almost every puzzle disappoints you in some way, and perhaps they disappoint other world-class solvers, too. Not me. This puzzle is just the right blend of clever, tough, and interesting. I'm sorry it nearly always fails to meet your standards, but maybe you're not its audience. Maybe I am.

Anonymous 11:13 AM  

My favorite example of a "Tom Swiftie" comes in Bored of the Rings, the wonderful parody of Tolkien. At one point, the party is approaching the evil lands of "Fordoor" and "Goodgulf" (the wizard) replies to another: "Do not speak of that black land in this black land, he muttered darkly."

mathgent 11:16 AM  

I solve the early-week puzzles just to be part of the conversation. Today is a good example. Weak puzzle, wonderful comments.

I remember when Swifties came on the scene, 1963, with the publication of a book of them, each with a drawing. There was a line cocktail napkins.

I like Swifties a lot. Loren had some great ones. MERCIFULLY was also great.

Technically, the puzzle is terrible. Almost all tiny words. Twenty-one Terrible Threes, only nine entries out of 78 having six letters or more. So light that it just got blown out the window.

dadnoa 11:24 AM  

+1 for the -ly observation. Third themer described my mood for the remainder of the puzzle.

TJS 11:37 AM  

Hey @Z, just finished the 12/05/09 that you recommended. Excellent contest. Actually had to check-puzz for the noodle to get a grip on the NW. If I did it in '09, I sure don't remember it, which is okay with me. Thanks for the tip.

RooMonster 11:43 AM  

The Bee got it's revenge on me today. Barely made it to Genius, and now can't seem to find any more words! Oh well, I'll take me Genius and wander off. 😎

"Maybe I can whip up a potion to find more Bee words" Tom said spellingly. 😀

RooMonster Bad Swiftie Guy

QuasiMojo 11:46 AM  

@Nancy thank you. @Barbara S., loved the "expertly" one.

A few possibilities...

"Here's your goddam Angostura," said the waitress, bitterly.

"I don't care if Diana Vreeland is a genius. Fire her!" said Condé, nastily.

"It's my blog and I'll write whatever I want," said Rex, sharply.

What? 11:53 AM  

Rex’s reviews, I guess we all know, say more about him than the puzzles. I hope he gets better soon.

Anonymous 11:55 AM  

Yeah, been around for more than 100 years (1910 first publication) in the Tom Swift 'adventure' books by a raft of anonymous authors under the nom de plume, Victor Appleton. Followed, in my youth, by a resurrection as Tom Swift, Jr. by Victor Appleton II. There is much to comment on by OFL, if he'd followed the bread crumbs. alas.

The 'Swifty' was one of the keys to the series' appeal. If you're 13 and a boy. In the first half (or may be, third) of the 20th century, books for kids were a big deal. My Pappy, born 1915, left an attic full of them, most by Grosset and Dunlap. [my, my. did not know that there've been *6* series. TY wiki]

Masked and Anonymous 11:59 AM  

har. @RP said it, with snarkoil.

How'bout addin more originality, then … with theme stuff like this:

"Help me, son! I'm stuck in the swamp!," said Mom tiredly.

Sorta a combo Spoonerism/Tom Swiftie deal. Could call it a Tom Shifty. (If anybody gets it, then M&A calls dibs.)

staff weeject pick: YAH. Better clue, since it's a down answer: {Bale up??}.
honrable mention to the primo SAD-PIG-USE weeject stack, tho. [yo, @albatross shell]

fave themer: MERCIFULLY. funny.
PLOTHOLES absolutely requires a clue of: {Results of road flatigue??}, M&A said, off coursely.

Thanx for the Tomfoolery, Mr. Evans.

Masked & Anonymo3Us


pabloinnh 12:12 PM  

At some point the Swifties morphed into verbs instead of -ly adverbs, as in "Here I go on my first skydive" he explained.

I read a lot of the Tom Swift Jr. books as I kid which led to looking up the originals with such wonderful titles as "Tom Swift and His Giant Searchlight". No, really. In one of Tom's adventures he takes his amazing submarine to the South Pole, where the water is boiling hot. This is because it's the SOUTH pole. They don't write them like this anymore. And yes,there were a lot of Tom said ____ly sentences. Also there was Uncle (?) Ned who was always blessing things. "Bless my pocketwatch!". And so on. I thought these were a hoot.

egsforbreakfast 12:18 PM  

“OFL won’t like this one” was my thought initially. “He’ll probably suggest it should be thrown in the trash receptacles” I thought cannily. “He’ll hate it so much, I probably won’t even go to his self-referential blog today” I absently reflected. “ But then I’d miss the delicious comments of Loren” I mused.

Nancy 12:19 PM  

Of course, it represents social distancing, @Joe D! How dumb of me not to have have seen it, say I dimly. Very cute, Joe.

@Quasi -- You're welcome. And I love all your Swifties just now (11:46). Especially the Rex. They're all right on the money, tone-wise -- making them "fortunate in their coinages and worthy of note," as Tom might expound.

Anonymoose 12:19 PM  

"Let's make out", said Tom fondley.

Ethan Taliesin 12:31 PM  

I didn't mind it and actually found it quaint.

It's like saying "I don't like this particular kind of food/book/movie/car,etc." If you get rid of those kinds of offerings you "may" have improved the overall quality, but you've also just made your options more restricted which could be argued lowers its richness. You against diversity now?

Maybe I just liked to key in LACKADAISICALLY, but this kind of corn seems perfect for a breezy Tuesday.

I learned what a Tom Swifty is today at least.

Aketi 12:36 PM  

MONOPOLY was to my siblings and I the same as scrabble was to my grandmother and her sisters. At some point someone was accused of cheating and the board went flying. My grandmother and her sisters could make scrabble last as long as the longest MONOPOLY by seeing how long they could take to put down a word before someone decided to toss the board. I never understood why they didn’t use timers.

Our two small relatives of tigers haven’t yet taken OFF our HANDs when they decide we should feed them. They have, however, bitten and clawed our calves if we don’t heed their earlier and politer requests. Charlie, our bigger cat decided he would be MERCIFUL last night by licking my forehead when something I ate disagreed with me. In the nine years we’ve had him, he’s never done that before.

I have been a Star Trek fan since I was a tween (even though I though I detested the original Kirk as a total sleazebag). So BEAM ME ABOARD was one of many instafills in today’s puzzle solve. I watched some of the various spinoff series haphazardly over the years until Netflix started offering them. Then I binge watched a few. With the shutdown, however, I’ve been watching so many Star Trek episodes recently that I can detect PLOT HOLES within episodes and between the different series. I can also spot the duplicate themes that crop up in many of the series. My current favorite is Picard. Picard leaves you hanging at the end of each episode and much more of a story arc than its predecessors.

hieutonthat 12:43 PM  

Nobody thought OFFHANDEDLY was “too soon” after “Tiger King?”

ghthree 12:50 PM  

"I'm glad my surgery was successful" said John Bobbitt ridiculously.
This one requires a non-standard (but common) shift in emphasis: REE-diculously.
I enjoy puns that apply to the ear, as well as (perhaps more than) the eye.
This also applies to "I have only six days to do a week's work," said Tom (38 Across).
Easy puzzle. My worst overwrite was "ARENA" in 57 across. Clever misdirection. Many ballparks today are called Arenas.

Otherwise, the solve was easy and fun. I got Naticked at 47 Down and 63 Across, never having heard of OASTS or TARA. But my wife helped me on that one. (I print out two copies and we solve together after breakfast.) She usually finishes first early in the week. (She's fast and intuitive.) I usually do better late in the week. (I'm methodical and persistent.) But neither of us regards our joint solving sessions as competitive.

jberg 1:04 PM  

Ok, it's very late so I'm gonna do a modified @Nancy-style comment -- I've read Rex, but no one else. I'll go back and check you all out later.

Anyway, I LOVED this puzzle, because they're some of the best Tom Swifties I've ever seen. As soon as I saw what they were, I tried to get the rest without crosses (well, I had the initial C for CRYPTICALLY, which may have helped.) I gouldn't guess two of them, LACKADAISICALLY and MERCIFULLY, which to me makes them good.

I kind of liked "Like some minds and marriages," too; but on reflection, I'm not sure those are sufficiently different senses of OPEN.

"Fargo" assent, though -- shouldn't that be, "Yah, sure, you betcha"?

28A got me thinking about the relation of the NUB of a pencil to the nib of a pen. With some effort I could work up a sentence that contained nob and nab, too -- but I'm left standing in front of neb, with no idea how to proceed. Let's see if the dictionary helps .... oh, it's just another (maybe Scottish) way of saying nib. Too bad.

Now to go back and find that all my brilliant comments have been made already.

CT2Napa 1:06 PM  

At least Rex is consistent. From his 2015 review -
If this is the first time you've ever encountered a Tom Swifty, well now that milestone in your life has passed. I hope you enjoyed that. This particular pun form is old as dirt. I will say one good thing about this puzzle—the fill is pretty darned clean. Now if only we could get clean fill and Reasonably Decent Theme to show up on the same day. Today's theme ("theme") is out of a box. Canned. Stale. Conceptually bankrupt. Ridiculous. Not NYT-worthy—not by a long shot. When your theme is, essentially, four adverbs (honestly, you could remake this grid infinitely, with symmetrically placed adverbs), you don't have a theme.

Teedmn 1:11 PM  

I'm so glad some commenters liked this puzzle because I smiled at every one of the themes. LACKADAISICALLY is hilarious.

I took longer today than the usual Tuesday. I totaled at 6D and with mAY in at 45D (mAY = Perhaps, yeah, maybe not), I was finding the TSA hard to see (and I really wanted IRS with its hands in my pockets!) And I left 39D blank while I looked for a prefix that would start with D and fit in front of student for a "Student leader?" The question mark on that clue seems superfluous.

I remember the last Tom Swifty puzzle in 2015. I don't remember Rex's reaction to it but I remember laughing my head off at all the additional Swifties the commenters added. The reception seems a bit cooler this time. But Trent Evans, I had fun, thanks.

Z 1:22 PM  

@Anon 11:55 - Interesting info, but almost more of an indictment of the puzzle than what Rex wrote.

Tom R 1:39 PM  

"Rex, you forgot to mention here was no revealer clue," Tom said swiftly.

Generation Gap! I went through this admittedly easy puzzle with a grin on my face. I am old! But just because I am old doesn't mean I don't count. Its been years since I heard a Tom Swifty so it was enjoyable and I don't care if it was a puzzle that was easier to make because of some web site. All Rex wants are puzzles that dwell on pop culture no older than 10 years, preferably one year, and icons of whom I have never heard nor care about. I do puzzles from lots of sources at lots of different difficulty levels. I subscribe to the NYTimes puzzle BECAUSE of this blog. I like to read about how others viewed it. Look at the number of comments - 96. That's a lot.

Rex, much as I like your blog, this write-up by you today is a fail.

BobL 1:41 PM  

Most fun blog ever! You are a clever lot!

And go back and read @Slow Motion 11:12. He speaks for many.

jberg 1:41 PM  

@Loren, @BarbieBarbie--MERCIFULLY doesn't work aurally either. I'm all in favor of having different types of Tom Swifty, but it's always a weak point to have 4 answers that are alike and one that stands out. (One could argue that both 17A and 61A stand out, but not in the same way. Maybe.)

I had never heard of Tom Swifties until the 2015 puzzle @Loren mentioned; but only today have I learned that the actual (fictional) Tom Swift actually made them. I'd figured someone else was just riffing on the name Swift. That makes me like the concept even more, though not enough to actually read the books.

@QuasiMojo -- beaming up (or down) is ridiculous in a scientific sense, but it has become a great plot device in science fiction. First, it just makes things possible that wouldn't be otherwise; but then you can vary it in fun (for the reader and writer, if not for the character) ways. You can kidnap people by rewiring a beaming device to send them into a locked room; you can kill them by taking them apart but not putting them back together again; you can play around with how to make them consistent with the conservation of angular momentum; and you can alter human bodies by tweaking them mid-beam. It's lots of fun.

@Flinque, it's fields, not fuels, that are stony.

QuasiMojo 1:46 PM  

@RooMonster, I'm in the same boat. I got the QB yesterday but today has me flummoxed. I need 16 more words and I've exhausted my abecedarian reservoirs.

One more...

"Looks like the tide is nearing ebb," Liza said with candor.

Adam 1:49 PM  

@Rex, I expect to see HATE SOLVE as an answer in your next puzzle. These made me smile, and frankly I don't care how easy or effortless it may have been to construct, it was fun to solve. To each his own, of course, and I gather that you don't like Tom Swifties. Okay.

kitshef 1:52 PM  

Reading all the extra Swifties in the commentariat, and wondering how anyone could not love this? Stupid question, of course. Takes all kinds and I hope tomorrow's puzzle is more to your taste.

DigitalDan 1:53 PM  

So the Tom Swift of Victor Appleton's (Sr. and Jr.) series of novels for young nerds of their days was wont to say things like this, Tom said adverbially, thus the term. I did enjoy the books, which made design, engineering and construction of ever more powerful vehicles (including anti-gravity space ships) seem laughably easy.

Clearly the opposite of FF is ppp, Tom said softly.

Joe Dipinto 1:56 PM  

↑ 6'

"I threw myself a huge birthday party," confessed Tom, abashed.

↓ 6'

rosebud 2:01 PM  

A little silly humor on a cold rainy shelter at home day was kinda fun...and then to top it off, 40 down celebrates upcoming100th anniversary of the women’s vote, honoring Elizabeth CADY Stanton, a nice shout out, especially after watching Mrs. America. .

SharonAK 2:45 PM  

I thought the puzzle was fun. I agree with the long comments by LMS
Agreed even more with whomever suggested that while a person may or may not lenjoy Tom swifts, saying a puzzle with Tom Swifties should not be published was not reasonable.
Well, those weren't the words, but can't find that particular comment

Newboy 2:45 PM  

“Thanks all for a second helping of the cheesiest blog posts in a long time,” said @Newboy gratefully.

Aketi 3:04 PM  

@jberg, you left out that when you BEAM two people UP and an anomaly occurs you can turn them into one person, like Tuvok and Neelix when they merged to become Tuvix.

Whatsername 3:05 PM  

@Crimson Devil (10:58) Your whiskey story made me laugh. Also reminded me of another one about a man and woman who disliked each other intensely and were forced to sit next to each other at a social event. As dessert was served, the woman said to the man, “If you were my husband I’d poison your coffee.” The man responded “And if if you were my wife I‘d drink it.”

@Slow Motion (11:12) @BobL at 1:41 said “Go back and read @Slow Motion 11:12,” so I did. And I agree with Bob, you speak for me and probably many others when you say that every puzzle, almost without exception, is interesting and worth the time. Even the ones I don’t particularly like, the ones I struggle with, or the ones I think are too easy are products of someone’s effort which was good enough to be chosen for a world-class Crossword publication. For that reason if no other, yes they are deserving of fair and objective consideration.

Cliff 3:19 PM  

Other than perhaps DDE being an entry just prior to DDT, I cannot understand why Eisenhower's picture was cryptically featured in Rex's word of the day, DDT. Did he place it there offhandedly? with a lackadaisical carelessness? Or did he include it with relish, hoping that we would beg for a merciful explanation?

Anonymous 3:35 PM  


DDE was a bald 'eagle', in the WWII sense of leading the ETO

Lewis 3:43 PM  

@BarbaraS -- Your maiden two Swifties were terrific.

On the WordPlay blog, one commenter had the following, which I really liked: 'This has a pH of 3.5,' said Tom half-acidly.

Frantic Sloth 3:53 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frantic Sloth 3:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
RooMonster 4:04 PM  

Hope your Alphabeticalization word isn't in the Bee one day! Why is today's so tough?

And @Tom R 1:39 beat me to it, however - The Captain Obvious Award -
"I must go, I'm ln a hurry!" Tom said swiftly.


Frantic Sloth 4:15 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pabloinnh 4:16 PM  

Hwy @quasi and @Roo-Agree that today's SB is a bear. Finally got to the G level with 41! answers, and some nice long ones too, and find that I'm missing 20! For the QB. Eek.

I'm thoroughly sick of these letters and will settle for what I've got. I mean, really.

Anonymous 4:44 PM  

I loved the puzzle, and when it got to LACKADAISICAL I was so very happy with it!

BarbieBarbie 5:07 PM  

“I hate bad fill, but to keep my hair neat I have to stand ALEE,” said Tom disgustedly.

Bruce Fieggen 5:13 PM  

I’m with you here, slow motion. About the same skill level. I usually skim Rex and go straight to the comments.

Frantic Sloth 5:16 PM  

"Oh, no! Who got cantaloupe all over the dog?" asked Tom with melancholy.

"Lucky for me I knew that answer", Tom said happily.

"It's not FIBONACCIsequence, it's FIBONACCISERIES", added Tom.

"Frantic Sloth is so stooped", said Tom ad homonym.

Dorothy 5:18 PM  

@QuasiMojo "All I remember is the stench of urine, b.o., and Brylcreem."

"Ooh you are teleporting me", Tamsin said beamingly.

Barbara S. 5:27 PM  

@Quasi and @Lewis

Thanks! And now I can't get my mind out of the groove (she said trenchantly).

Birchbark 5:43 PM  

My dad introduced me to Tom Swifties, so yes, it is ancient Dad humor. How can I not smile to remember.

Tom Swift himself has a lot of almost-but-not-quite Tom Swifties, e.g., "'I might make a sale,' assented Tom listlessly." -- From my copy of "Tom Swift and His Big Dirigible," by Victor Appleton (1st ed. 1930, Whitman Publishing Co., p.118 (cf. @anon (11:55)).

Tom, a/k/a "the young inventor", also does way more than his share of "crying" and "exclaiming", as here: "Of course!" he exclaimed and, there being none to see, he put his arms around her and he kissed her (p.92). Get an ALTAR, why don'tcha?

Tardigrade 6:52 PM  

"I'll take the prisoner down the stairs," Tom said condescendingly.
"Of course I know what an eponym is," Tom said swiftly.
"We'll have to drive the rest of the way on the rims," Tom said tirelessly.

I love 'em...

Anonymous 7:59 PM  

Why is SAY the answer to the clue "Perhaps"? Just not getting that one

Z 8:41 PM  

I read, SAY, one hundred Tom Swifties today.
I read, perhaps, one hundred Tom Swifties today.

webwinger 9:15 PM  

Finally catching up after a few days of distraction. Thought Sunday’s was a winner, though spent way too long trying to figure out what the theme was…

Had a good time with today’s puzzle. Tom Swifties are one of the comfort foods of jokedom, like knock-knocks. Favorite example of the latter (way too many swifties already in today’s comments): Knock-knock. Who’s there? Sam and Janet. Sam and Janet who? 🎶Sam and Janet Evening...🎶

BarbieBarbie 10:08 PM  

“@webwinger, I was thinking of that exact song,” said Tom, specifically.

Anonymous 11:02 PM  

Thanks, Z!

Joe Dipinto 11:45 PM  

↑ 6'

"I just can't figure out what angle she's working," fretted Tom obtusely. "She's a cute one though." That, he was right about.

↓ 6'

Maisie 1:59 AM  

@kitshef, I love your Adam Ant Swiftie.

I made my first (and best...really only) Tom Swiftie in 8th grade—“I’m out of toothpaste,” said Tom, crestfallen.

It was fun to see old Tom, but have to agree with Rex that it was a lazy theme.

Unknown 2:16 AM  

I've monitored these comments for about a month now, especially looking for feedback on the tougher weekend puzzles that I only recently tried to tackle. I've been doing the Sunday for almost 40 years and usually manage to complete it with maybe a couple of errors. As a diversion during the pandemic I've been solving archived Saturday puzzles at the rate of a month a day, with mixed success. Six years of them to date. With that in mind, I can scarcely believe that anyone would not find this a fun Tuesday, and the "Tom Swifty" reference and how it shouldn't be used is pseudo-intellectual brow beating at its worst. Would someone out there please direct me to another forum where I can compare my experiences on the tougher puzzles without having to go through Rex? Thanks in advance, as I cannot wait to drop this blowhard like a bad habit.

rondo 10:59 AM  

I know that TCBY has been in puzzles before, but I get it by crosses. There are 2 TCBY stores in MN and the nearest is 70 miles away; have never seen it. In the Midwest the OFFHANDEDLY swifty usually has to do with a corn-picker; not an uncommon accident years ago. So not funny. The four corners will get you the seven SEAS. I have TARA Lipinsky circled. "I love frankfurters," said rondo doggedly. Meh.

spacecraft 11:49 AM  

Most of us just don't read him any more. If he was a Muppet, there's no doubt he'd be Oscar the Grouch. I always enjoyed the Swifties; the first one I cn recall was "There's a hole in my tire," said Tom flatly.

Today's set was pretty witty--though the central pun was a real groaner. My tiger was hungrier than Trent's: I wrote in DISARMINGLY. Quickly fixed, but an ink mess there. I like both answers equally. (Hmm..."Two plus two is actually FOUR, Trent!" said Tom equally.)

Fill-wise, the long ones are interesting, introducing me to HATEWATCH, which must be akin to OFC's favorite activity HATESOLVE. The shorter stuff gets a little desperate, including the RMK AFLAT--which brings us back to Tom's tire. Refreshing to see TARA clued not as a plantation but as DOD Lipinski. Birdie.

Burma Shave 12:57 PM  


Un-MERCIFULLY Spock handled an ERROR,
WITHRELISH Kirk and crew SOARed,
But OFFHANDEDLY Uhura HAS a wayfarer


Diana, LIW 3:04 PM  

Disclaimer - I haven't yet read any comments, including OFL's.

As I started the puzzle, I noticed two things that Mr. W would enjoy. First was AMES, the town where he went to college.

The second was a Tom Swiftie. Years ago, on a plane coming home from vacation, I showed Mr. W a Tom Swiftie where he (Tom) mentioned feeding the alligators "OFFHANDEDLY." It was one of my all-time fav answers in a puz, and was laugh-out-loud funny to Mr. W. Now here it is again. It's not quite plagiarism, but isn't it kinda cheating? What say ye?

P'raps I haven't done enuf Swifties, tho I've seen my share in the 8 +/- years I've been solving, including completing many an anthology of puzzles in my attempt to catch up with my life-long-solving friends.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting like a fish on a hook (WITHBAITEDBREATH)

Diana, LIW 3:23 PM  

I forgot to mention - I LOVE SWIFTIES!!! Compared to the dreaded rebus that so many love, I'll take a TS any day.

That said, I did just now scan thru the comments. And to @Unknown 2:16, I'll ditto @Spacey - many of us merely skip the comments by OFL (our fearless leader) because they are almost always negative. There must be a back story to that - we don't know what.

I'm With @Teedmn - laughing my head off.

Diana, Lady-in-Waiting for the funny stuff, like Swifties

leftcoaster 3:56 PM  

Amused by the Swifties and liked the long downs. Very nicely done puzzle, Trent.
Like @spacecraft, was introduced to HATEWATCH. My ERROR on that one, I moped SADly, was guessing an M instead a W in the middle of the term.

Anonymous 4:15 PM  

Seems OBL's rant has caused a flood of the Swifties he proclaims hatred for. Kinda like how Carsons' hysterical and unproven rant responsible for the ban on DDT caused more deaths than world wars.

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