Rescuing Missing Letters
In the meantime, let me share something vexing. TBS is running ads on the subways that are part of their "Humor Analysis" series where they invite viewers to log on and vote on various questions about what is funny. The most recent one reads as follows:
Which of these sitcoms, based on anagrams of SEX AND THE CITY, would be the funniest?
a. THE TIDY SEX CANS
b. TAXED HEN CITY
c. EX CADET SETH
d. ICY SETH AND TEX T.
There are two major problems with this ad. The first is that, in a REAL anagram, you don't repeat any of the words in the original phrase. So on the basis of elegance alone, a real puzzler would disqualify every one of those fake sitcoms except for EX CADET SHINY.
The second problem is worse. None of the purported sitcoms are actually anagrams of SEX AND THE CITY. a. has an extra S, b. has one S too few, c. is missing a T, and d. has an extra T.
Since TBS clearly needs to work harder on its anagram skills, I hereby offer the following prospective sitcoms. Which do you think sounds the funniest?
a. SHY, DECENT TAXI
b. EX-YENTA'S DITCH
c. DAN: SHITTY EXEC
d. SIXTY CENT HEAD