Puzzle 583: Freestyle 526. If you want something done, do it yourself.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.22


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Way off-topic, but I feel like I have to say this. Father’s Day was this past Sunday, and it’s been on my mind.

I saw an ad for diapers that showed a dad on the box. My first innate reaction was surprise. It wasn’t surprise that a dad was changing a diaper, it was surprise that an ad was showing a dad changing a diaper. In 2020, surprise should not be the innate reaction in a scenario like that. Advertisers, I know it seems like it’s so hard — you have to hit Ctrl-F to find-and-replace in your scripts, and I know that’s so much effort — but there is no reason that you cannot change “mom” to “parent” in your ads. It is not required that you are a female parent to know what diaper, what cereal, what juice, what frozen premade chicken dinner, what peanut butter, whatever, is best for your kids. All you hear in ads is “moms agree”, “moms know”, “as a mom”, “mom-approved”, “hard-working moms”, but substitute “parent” for “mom” and all those phrases are just as applicable, yes? Dads can do all those things, shockingly enough.

Good dads know just as well as good moms what’s best for their children. Dads can have it all too. Dads’ opinions matter just as much as moms’. It doesn’t make you feel too good when your opinions are disregarded, does it? So why do you do it to millions of good dads everywhere in one fell swoop time after time?

When you deliberately exclude dads from the conversation for anything but “get your dad a drill!” ads around Father’s Day, you are displaying nothing but ignorance. You are making good, conscientious dads like us tune out of your ads immediately. And you are further shaping the untrue but widely held public opinion that dads are the afterthought in raising their own children. You don’t see how that might be frustrating to us?

Sorry I don’t have anything crossword-related to say.


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