Jotto - The solution to a sedated Santa.

Some of you may be traveling for Honnuchristmaquaanzadan in the next few weeks. If you'll have the company of another human, and are permitted to speak to that human, then you won't be traveling as part of a maximum security prison transfer! Kudos! Also, you may want to try playing this game we found in an Esquire Magazine from 1957 to pass the time. Try playing Jotto.

What's that you say? "You mean Giotto, one of the architects of the Italian renaissance also designed word games? LIAR! I will kill you, and I shall feast on your marrow! GRAAAH!" Is that what you say? Well, there's no need to murder me. It's "Jotto". Not "Giotto" Nobody's going to eat anybody's marrow.

Aaaanyway, the Jotto logo features some really great typography. To make your own version, start with some irregular trapezoidal kind of shapes and use Wide Latin as the font, then make everything tilty. See?

So what's with Santa popping Valium? No idea. Is Jotto implying that Jotto is relaxing? I suppose it could be. If you're a mythical holiday mascot, and need to take the edge off after a long day's mascotting around, you can try Jotto for yourself, and you don't need to buy Jotto to do it. Observe...

-Both players think of a four-letter secret word with no double letters. Ironically, "Jotto" won't work.

-Players take turns guessing each other's word. When a player makes a guess, the opponent tells the guesser how many letters are correct.

-The guesser is only told the NUMBER of correct letters, not WHICH letter, or WHERE the letter is in the guessed word, or the secret word.

-The letter doesn't necessarily have to be in the correct spot to be revealed as correct. This is why you choose four-letter words - there's a lot to keep track of in your head, and as everybody knows, you only have about seven slots in your short-term memory (Stupid lousy tiny theta cycles!).

-The first person to guess the other's word wins.

If you want to get fancy, you can use longer words, which is probably what the little booklet is for. You'll want to keep track of words you've guessed.

My friends and I used to play "The Alphabet Game" while waiting in line for things, like roller coasters, or maximum security check points. Basically, you choose a topic, like "bands from the 1980s". You then take turns thinking of examples starting with A, and proceeding through the alphabet. There's no penalty if you can't think of one, other than shame. With me and my friends, the coin of the realm was always cleverness, and having no ideas was worse than being penniless, since ideas can be used to acquire pennies.

The alphabet game is way easier than Jotto. It was not very challenging unless you chose a weird topic like "astronomy", or even worse, "renaissance people". Eff that. So, it's pretty much just an easy time killer, like when you're on a long car trip.

Ironically, playing Jotto in your head with more than four letters may lead to Mind Injury, and the desire for chemically-assisted relaxation, just like Santa. Hm. Alphabet game: Prescription drugs. I'll start by saying "adderall". Your turn.


Craig F. said...

I like how there was a Jotto Corp., like there were 400 factory workers sitting at big hydraulic presses putting these things together.

Merry Cristohanukkwanzzaastivus, Phil-Are-Go!

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Heh, check the address. Sure enough, somebody rented a mailbox at the post office, out of which to run the company. All I mean is that, a huge company would just have the mail sent to the office in the factory.

A merry Saturnalia to you, Craigf!

Steve Miller said...

Happy Seasonal Greeting of Your Choice, Phil! We'll be playing "Cards Against Humanity" in Olympia Fields. Neither the game nor the gathering, unlike Jotto, will be remembered in 55 years.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I long for a P.A.G. Christmas sonnet to help pass the time here, amongst the oil soaked rags & lug wrenches.

Perhaps a tale of a Dreamy Lathe or Industrial Metal Press from your collection?

Regale us of the "Tools of Christmases Passed", won't you?

Ever yours, Clampy Vise-Grips Jr.

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