Apr 1, 2015

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 Daniel Nierenberg

Theme: Getting Pranked, or as the plowman said to the ox team "The yoke's on you".

A thoroughly date-appropriate theme from Daniel this morning. A whole slew of "gotchas" come together in this puzzle.

17A. "Gotcha!" : I'M KIDDING

24A. "Gotcha!" : MADE YOU LOOK. Made me look for a theme, that's for sure. See my "note" on 51A.

35A. "Gotcha!" : THE JOKE'S ON YOU

51A. Significance of this puzzle's circled letters (gotcha again!) : THERE IS NONE. I had "TO PAR" for 53D at first which made this entry read "THERE IS TONE". You'd all have gotten a good chuckle out of me trying to sing "IDDI DE-YO KES-O" and crack the "tonal" theme.

60A. Today's "Gotcha!" : APRIL FOOL

Nicely done! Steve here being fooled for a while until I corrected my "TO PAR" misstep and stopped singing nonsense. In France it is the custom today to try to stick fish-shaped cutouts on an unknowing person's back. The victim is then teased as being "un poisson d'Avril" - "an April fish". Whatever floats your bateau, I guess, they're an odd lot, those French.

Let's see what else we've got going on here.


1. "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" rhyme scheme : AABA By the aptly-named Robert Frost.

5. Govt. org. with a "Safety Compass" blog : N.T.S.B. The National Transportation Safety Board. The "Safety" in the clue gave it away for me.

9. Under-the-tree pile : GIFTS. I wanted to cram "LEAVES" in here first.

14. Silly smile, maybe : GRIN

15. Snack with a white center : OREO. Crops up a lot in crosswords, but it's such a handy collection of vowels.

16. Garnish : ADORN

19. Brawl : MELEE

20. Menlo Park initials : T.A.E. Thomas Alva Edison. Filed 1,093 successful U.S. patent applications.

21. Those, in Oaxaca : ESAS

22. __ mater : ALMA

23. Gear on a tour bus : AMP. I have Marshall and Vox practice amplifiers. Here they are with my guitars.

28. They blow off steam : TEAPOTS. Peculiar clue, I have to say. A kettle would blow off steam, no?

30. Bugged by a bug : ILL

31. Like a twisted remark : WRY

32. Within: Pref. : ENTO

33. Hive-dwelling : APIAN. Do Roman bees travel on the Apian Way?

41. College declaration : MAJOR

42. Feminizing finish : ENNE. Hand up for "ETTE" first.

44. Icarus, to Daedalus : SON

47. Snooze : NAP

48. Add to a scrapbook, say : PASTE IN

54. Map rtes. : STS. Streets, I s'pose. Not an abbreviation I'm familiar with, I have to confess.

55. Drop-off point : EDGE

56. Charlie's fourth wife : OONA. And his granddaughter to keep the name current.

57. 201, on a monument : CCI. That's a heck of an old monument.

58. Carillon sounds : PEALS

62. Cookout spot : PATIO

63. Willing : GAME

64. "A __ for Emily": Faulkner short story : ROSE

65. Not in a slump? : ERECT

66. "Iliad" deity : ARES. We've seen him a few times recently.

67. Stops equivocating : OPTS


1. Stir up : AGITATE

2. Military equipment : ARMAMENT

3. Designated park trail : BIKE PATH

4. DiFranco of folk rock : ANI. I went to link one of her songs but I dozed off trying to pick one out. Not my cup of tea, I guess.

5. Greets wordlessly : NODS AT

6. Three-note chords : TRIADS

7. Have a feeling : SENSE

8. Peat source : BOG

9. Leg, to a film noir detective : GAM. Cue "LA Confidential", appropriately.

10. Model of perfection : IDEAL. AKA Kim Basinger in "LA Confidential", above.

11. Trail : FOLLOW

12. Seismometer detection : TREMOR. Plenty of these in my neck of the woods. More than 20 in the last week alone in LA County according to the local seismic survey.

13. Duplicitous : SNEAKY

18. Self-produced recording, perhaps : DEMO

25. Slangy golf term for nervousness while putting, with "the" : YIPS. Former world #1 and two-times Masters champion Bernhard Langer suffered terribly from this affliction in mid-career. He's now one of the best putters on the senior tour.

26. Everything-in-the-pot stew : OLIO

27. __ Bator : ULAN. Mongolian home of this airport. I have a friend who quit the British secret service (MI5) because she was going to be posted here. She wanted Milan, Paris or New York. Outer Mongolia? Not so much.

29. Mary Oliver output : POEM

33. __ Lingus : AER. They fly to Ulan Bator from Dublin. Who'd a thunk it?

34. Babushka's denial : NYET

36. Actress Kaczmarek with seven Emmy nominations : JANE. Crosses all the way. Apparently "best known for playing Lois on 'Malcolm in the Middle'".

37. Ventura County resort city : OJAI. "City" is a little grand for this place, population around 7,000. Chain stores are banned here by city ordinance.

38. Keystone force : KOPS. Most of their location shoots were a couple of miles down the street from me in Silverlake.

39. Kid-sized ice cream order : ONE SCOOP

40. Price per can, e.g. : UNIT COST

43. Stores in a farm tower : ENSILES. Total WAG for me here with the first "S". I wasn't entirely convinced by "STS" so I hesitated. According to the interwebs:

3rd person present: ensiles
put (grass or another crop) into a silo in order to preserve it as silage

44. Vast grassland : STEPPE

45. "Goodness gracious" : OH DEAR

46. Cancel out : NEGATE

48. "I have the worst luck!" : POOR ME

49. John Denver's "__ Song" : ANNIE'S. I'll spare you the link.

50. Corporate emblem : SEAL. Another odd clue, IMHO

52. Dig find : RELIC

53. Wall Street phrase : NO PAR. As I mentioned at the top, I had TO PAR first. I've heard of AT PAR too, but never NO PAR until today (well except for my golf game, I've had NO PAR many times over!). I discover that NO PAR means that a share of a stock has no redemption value.

59. Pink-elephant spotter, stereotypically : SOT. Did Dumbo get drunk? I can't remember the context of this in the movie.

60. Ottoman bigwig : AGA

61. To and __ : FRO

That's my lot. A Pinch and a Punch for the First of the Month and no returns! Here's the grid.


Note from C.C.: 

Please click here for a great puzzle Marcia Brott & George Barany created to celebrate the birthday of a real Minnesota Nice. If you download puz, please read Notepad after you're done. Click on View, then Notepad.