December 30, 2009

This one's for the hipsters

In case you haven't solved it yet, may I direct your attention to my latest Onion crossword, which would be titled (if the Onion used puzzle titles) "Double Bills". Getcher Across Lite here to open the file, if you need it.

Posted by Francis at 08:09 PM | Comments (1)

December 25, 2009

It's a Do What I Tell You to Do Christmas

Obviously the ideal Do What I Tell You to Do holiday song would be "Children, Go Where I Send Thee"...but that's not what I've chosen for your yuletide listening. Instead click here for a download link to a mash-uppy Christmas tune by the Wonderful World of Joey entitled "What Sweet Child o' Mine Is This?" (And if you missed the Fall's version of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" from last year, here's a link to that.) Happy gen-Xmas!

Posted by Francis at 07:23 PM | Comments (1)

Yes, yes, merry Christmas. Now let's talk about advertising

I am not a frequent frequenter of Wendy's, but sometimes proximity and time constraints make it an appealing enough option, and thus it was that I recently found myself in one, musing over the current ad campaign's slogans, emblazoned on the various containers and wrappers.

The first one to make me do a double take went like this: "If we sliced today's tomatoes yesterday, they'd be yesterday's tomatoes."'s tomatoes are tomatoes you had yesterday, but didn't slice? Doesn't that mean they're still yesterday's tomatoes? I don't know. Obviously they're trying to convey the concept of "we use fresh ingredients" , but it sounds more like they're pitching a concept for an episode of Doctor Who. "So then the Doctor transports the tomatoes 24 hours backward in time, and slices them, and then transports them 48 hours ahead, so they're simultaneously yesterday's, today's, and tomorrow's tomatoes. No, I don't know why he does it, that's all I've got right now."

Next was "Fresh beef tastes better than frozen. For proof, eat one of our hot 'n juicy hamburgers." I don't think that would actually prove the point unless you ate two hamburgers, one fresh and one frozen. And as Lorinne pointed out, this blurb doesn't actually directly state which of those the Wendy's burger would be. "Yup, this isn't very good, they were right!"

Lastly was this one, which definitely felt off, but I had a harder time putting my finger on exactly why: "Taste buds can't tell time, so even when it's late we make everything fresh." So, if the taste buds would only cut you some slack, you'd care less about serving fresh food? I think not, because you know what else can't tell time? The health code.

Those are all the ones I saw, but some online research turned this one up too: "Today's salads didn't exist yesterday." Philosophical! The lettuce existed, but not the salad. I think Hobbes wrote about this.

Posted by Francis at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)

December 18, 2009

Next can we get Ladysmith Black Mambazo to sing "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)"?

As requested in the comments to the previous entry, I do have some music recommendations (and a couple more puzzle book recommendations from authors besides myself), but I don't have the time just this second to type them all up. But I can quickly link you to a song to download: here's mandolin player extraordinaire Sam Bush doing a live bluegrass/reggae cover of Hall and Oates's "Maneater," featuring a guest appearance from Oates himself. That's right, you really did just read all those words in a row. I know it's kind of crazy. But give it a shot.

Posted by Francis at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2009

The Heaneyland holiday shopping guide

Hello, readers. It's December again, which means one thing: shopping online so you don't have to go to stores and be forced to listen to holiday music against your will. And as it happens, I have a number of suggestions about gift ideas. (By a strange coincidence, many of them are things I've written.)

If you are flat broke: This Thursday's New York Times is fairly inexpensive, and will feature a puzzle cowritten by me and Patrick Blindauer.

For a lover/spouse: Obviously the appropriate gift here is Crasswords: Dirty Crosswords for Cunning Linguists (Amazon, B&N)

For a friend who is an insufferable know-it-all: Trivial Pursuit Crosswords is just what snobs like that enjoy, and I should know. (Amazon, B&N)

For a saucy librarian: Holy Tango of Literature will have them eating out of your hand, or possibly off a plate at a restaurant. (Amazon, B&N)

For someone who hates Christmas but has a birthday coming up next June: Quick & Easy Crosswords is just the thing. (Amazon, B&N)

For someone who would like to post an Amazon review that isn't crazy and/or discusses content instead of a now-corrected production error: I suggest Sip and Solve Word Searches or Scratch and Solve Trivia Games.

For people who don't own my Sit & Solve Crosswords #3 and would like to own it plus puzzles by someone else who may or may not be a well-known constructor using a pseudonym: These are very specific needs! I recommend Sunday in the Park With Crosswords. (Amazon, B&N)

For people who are tired of waiting for me to finish my fantasy novel and would like an actual book to read: My pal David Dickerson's memoir "House of Cards" is hilarious, and if you're not watching his Greeting Card Emergency videos, you're missing out. (Amazon, B&N)

If you like sudoku: Well, honestly, if you can wait a while, I'll have a book of hand-constructed sudoku variants out eventually. If you can't, I think The Sudoku Code is the best of my sudoku books thus far. (Amazon, B&N)

I'd recommend music too, but honestly, I can't guarantee anyone you know likes anything I like. Happy holidays, y'all.

Posted by Francis at 02:01 AM | Comments (3)

December 07, 2009

Now see there

I'm not giving up on this blog, appearances to the contrary, but I am also periodically going to be one of the contributors to Daniel Radosh's now-it's-a-group-blog I just posted a short entry on one of his semi-regular topics, cussing in the New York Times. It's over here if you'd like to check it out. (Comments there, please, obviously.)

Posted by Francis at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)