Tricky start for a Tuesday, no? Maybe it's just me, but I don't have GREBES (Diving birds) front of mind, as they annoyingly say at work. Maybe they're hidden behind all the terns and ern(e)s.
The revealer today, ICEDTEA, explains the amusing theme: Take a familiar phrase that starts with T, get rid of (ice) the T, and clue wackily. We love wacky, and this one made me smile. EARJERKER (Corn farmer at harvest time?) was silly, and AXDODGERS (Lumberjacks in unsafe working conditions?) was amusingly absurd. URNOFEVENTS (Caterer's coffee dispenser?) was funny - to me anyway - mostly thanks to its oddity. And "Jane Goodall, at times?" for APERECORDER? It's funny because it's true!
The long Downs, despite the presence of ODIUMS and BOREDOM, were anything but annoying and boring. PRONOUNCE and ETHERNET may not be especially BRISK, or a GODSEND to the solver, but it's not ASIF they're BAD or anything. AUTONYM (Name of self-identification, as "Deutsche" for "Germans") is pushing it, but hey, that's an Across, and we're not talking about those right now! :)
For me, any Tuesday puzzle that makes me smile is all right. It's just the second puzzle from Ms. Hobbs, who burst onto the scene last year with a tricky Thursday grid. I shall eagerly await her next byline.