Theme: "Thrill-Seeker's Mantra" — A pithy saying attributed to a thrill-seeker can be read clockwise around the edges of the grid.
Theme answers: I'm not going to list them because they look like gobbledy-gook. But reading clockwise from 1-Across (inserting spaces where needed and ignoring black squares) is the phrase "IF YOU ARE NOT LIVING ON THE EDGE, YOU'RE TAKING UP TOO MUCH ROOM."
Wow. Just wow. I really like this theme a lot. And I'm not just saying that because I'm madly in love with Alex Boisvert. Why, you might ask, am I madly in love with Alex Boisvert? Well, it's because of a little program he's made available to crossword geeks that has streamlined my life to a degree far too embarrassing to talk about except with, ya know, you guys. Let's just say it gives me more time to concentrate on my spreadsheet.
Anyhoo! I really like this theme because (a) it's just quirky enough to qualify as an April Fool's Day puzzle and (b) the phrase talks about living "on the edge" and it's read along the edge of the grid. Genius, I'm telling you! Remember how the other day we were talking about how a glut of three-letter words can really dampen the solving experience? Well, this puzzle has quite a few, but if the payoff is a theme this awesome, I'm willing to let it slide.
- 16A: European car company with a prancing horse logo (FERRARI). This reminded me of a Sporcle quiz I once took, so I went over to the Sporcle site to find it and now … it's like two hours later. (Caution: Don't Click On That Link If You Have Anything Else To Do Today!)
- 24A: Poet who won the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature (YEATS). I plopped YEATS right in and then second-guessed myself because it could just as well have been KEATS. I mean, it couldn't because KEATS did not in fact win the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature, but in my mind it could have been because they're both sitting there together back in that far corner of my brain.
- 30A: Giant (TITAN). I have a feeling "Clash of the Titans" will be on the PuzzleFamily's agenda this weekend.
- 34A: 2007-'08 NBA Rookie of the Year Kevin (DURANT). My first thought? MCHALE. Yeah, about 20 years too late.
- 37A: Letter opening (SIRS). Raise your hand if you entered DEAR without thinking. Seriously. If you're opening your letter with "Sirs," you should really think about joining us here in the 21st century.
- 58A: Bandleader Puente (TITO).
- 3D: "Whatever you say, honey" ("YES, DEAR"). Now that's what I like to hear.
- 12D: "Raging Bull" boxer (LAMOTTA). With some of the letters in place, all I could think of was D'AMATO, but that's obviously a totally different guy.
- 31D: Collection agcy.? (IRS). Including the IRS in an April puzzle? That's not nice at all.
- 53D: Actress Hayek (SALMA). Raise your hand if you always want her name to be SELMA.
- 60D: German article (DER).