Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017, Brian Thomas


Which is less common these days, a rotary phone or a payphone? Me, I've used a rotary phone within the last few months, when I set one up in my home office. The last time I used a payphone was probably at least ten years ago. Possibly twenty.

Still, the six theme answers (including the revealer) are all pretty common phrases. I am not - happily - very familiar with PAYFREEZE (54A: Action taken by a company in distress), but it corresponds with the least well-known phone type, and maybe that was intentional, so I'll let it pass.

1A: Georgetown athlete (HOYA) - D
Worst: ENDO (11D: Prefix with -plasm)

The Downs were a little more interesting than the Acrosses today, with such lovely entries as BOOLEAN (10D: Kind of logic in which all values are either true or false), GARISH (41D: Obtrusively bright and showy), and DIFFUSE (44D: Not concentrated, as light), but they also contained a couple toughies. WICCA (6D: Pagan religious practice) and ODA (35D: ____ Mae (Whoopi's role in "Ghost")) are both on the border of Monday-ness, and ANASAZI (4D: Prehistoric Southwest culture) is most decidedly outside that range. I pity those who know even less about college sports than I do, for whom the beginning A might be just a guess.

And while I'm not LAUDING, I'll add that 53A: Place where a mother might sing "Rock-a-Bye Baby" (CRIB) was, if we want to get all fussy, a bit AMISS. The singing would be taking place beside the crib, not in it.

So overall I didn't LOVES it, but as noted, there were a few bright spots. Onward!

- Horace


  1. 6:26 (fast for me)

    Slowed down by ROToRY before ROTARY. Got HEADPHONES on crosses, which is partly just about the crosses being easy, but also reflects an amusing thought process around "hmm, iphone phones". Hmm, the more I describe that the less sense it makes, but that's the nature of split second reasoning.

    WICCA is a familiar word to me but the clue was misdirectiony, pointing to rite or circle or something. With some crosses, though, it fell into place and is legit.

    Favorite? Probably BOOLEAN, maybe HABLA or REHAB.

    1. I wasn't trying to say that WICCA wasn't legit, only that it wasn't very Monday-y. And yeah, BOOLEAN probably should have been listed as "Best," but I also liked the unusualness of GARISH. It's good when "Best" is a tough call, though, right?

    2. Agreed, WICCA isn't so Monday-ish (although I'd be more worried if the crosses were harder). GARISH is good too, and absolutely true that it is great to have several contenders.

  2. Replies
    1. Incredible. And Berman edged us both out! Nice going, Mike.

  3. 3:56
    Enjoyed a Roger Bannister moment today with my first ever sub-4:00 time - and a full two seconds faster than Mr. Fawley and Mr. Amory!

    Fortunately I didn't have to grapple with ANASAZI as I had managed to get all the crosses before looking at that one.

  4. 4:34
    Amazingly fast for me, too. ANASAZI is known to me, but HOYA is not. I posit that I may know less about college sports than Horace. Interesting enough theme. I've experienced brief PAYFREEZE periods, but they weren't too devastating. BOOLEAN is definitely the best, IMO, though I agree that GARISH is also great, and will suffice. Shout out to LUAU, LIBRAs and ACDC, which is now officially dead.