Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015, Michael Dewey


Anybody solving this puzzle has probably already gone round the bend if they can't figure out the theme. Really lost their marbles. Off their rocker. Rung down the curtain and gone to join the choir invisibule.

Um, what was I talking about?

Oh, yeah.

A timely puzzle as MARCHMADNESS has indeed taken over the nation. Well, the pool I was involved with at work has moved on without me. I think I was stuck a few years back when current Celtics coach Brad Stevens was working his magic with Butler. Suffice it to say that Butler did not even make it to the Sweet Sixteen, let alone win it all.

So we get a theme where the second half of each answer is a synonym for a state of insanity. Although I will nitpick with KLEPTOMANIA, where the second half of the word is not a metaphor for a mildly off-kilter state, but instead an actual psychological state of mental pathology. The other four are all acceptable, with MEDIAFRENZY being my favorite.

I was gliding through this puzzle in record time, with 2/3 finished in under three minutes. I found the SE section to be a slight degree harder than the rest of the puzzle. Even 1A: Malcolm-____ Warner of "The Cosby Show" only caught me for a second. Once I filled in JOKE, JAMAL came to mind immediately.

I wanted NUDIE for 50D: Movie whose genre is taking off? but balked at the outré risqué nature (I just wanted to have two words in a row with an accent aigu). Then CSINY did not come naturally, ANYA, GAFF, OZARKS, CZAR (spelled that way) and TYKE are definitely at a Tuesday level. So that's why I didn't come in under 4 minutes.

I liked the two long down answers, BICKEROVER and ARTHISTORY, and overall would call this an above average Monday puzzle.

- Colum


  1. 4:43

    Umm... that's why I didn't come in under four either. I really did put in tsAR first, and I, too, needed multiple crosses to get CSINY. Oh well. I kind of like seeing USOFA spelled out. I think you may be being a bit too much of a doctor when you quibble over mania.

    Although I haven't really ever caught the college ball bug, I am happy to have finished this in pretty good time with no errors. That's really what I'm hoping for most this weekend. To finish with as few errors as possible. Can you tell that I'm already getting a little nervous? It's crazy! It's madness!

  2. 7:48
    I'm happy with my time. I was able to put CSI__ in right away, but didn't know whether it would be LA or NY, so I waited for one more cross. HEXES (42A Puts the whammy on) was nice, and I thought that AUDIT (49D Check of financial records) was timely, too (I care not about MARCHMADNESS). I also liked USOFA (54A Stars and Stripes land, informally), but of course, my one and only *star* was NUDIE for its brazenness, its cross with GRIND (too much?) and for its stand-alone Huygens Fill Factor. I agree with Horace regarding MANIA; that is certainly an acceptable colloquialism for a degree of insanity.

  3. You've both missed my point. MANIA is completely fine on its own as a stand-in for insanity, and I would have accepted it if, like all the other theme answers, it was part of a phrase like BEATLEMANIA (much better!). KLEPTOMANIA is a diagnosis. The others are all cultural things. Anyway...