WEDNESDAY, April 1, 2009 — Pancho Harrison

THEME: APRIL / FOOL'S / DAY — three theme answers are film titles, the last words of which are APRIL, FOOL'S, and DAY, respectively

Look what I got for April Fool's Day — three movies I've never seen and don't know anything about! I've at least heard of "PIECES OF APRIL" and "THE LONGEST DAY." "SHIP OF FOOLS," on the other hand, is a painting or a World Party song to me. A Katherine Anne Porter novel? If you say so. Today's theme is simple, straightforward, coherent, and not at all tricky. Right over the plate. So much so that, despite not knowing Any of the theme answers, I solved this — on paper — in the low 4 minute range, which is supa dupa fast for me. My only hangups were at ASTRUD (42A: "The Girl From Ipanema" singer Gilberto) — I thought her name was ASTR*I*D — and TOWER (52D: Quasimodo's hangout) — I knew that he hung out in a big famous French building, and I knew it wasn't the LOUVRE but couldn't get that museum's name out of my head. Then I remembered it was NOTRE DAME, but that didn't fit either. Let's see ... there are bells there, I think ... ah, TOWER. Very good.

Theme answers:
  • 20A: 2003 Katie Holmes film ("Pieces of APRIL")
  • 37A: 1965 film based on a Katherine Anne Porter novel ("Ship of FOOLS")
  • 55A: 1962 WWII film ("The Longest DAY")
If you followed the comments thread a couple days back, you know there was a longish, statistic-oriented discussion about why the same words seem to occur in different puzzles published on the same day so often. Well, I can tell you that that is happening a lot today, as you will notice if you do all the puzzles available to you today — see Ephraim's puzzle pointers every day for links to all available puzzles, and be sure not to miss Brendan Emmett Quigley's original puzzles, published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at his website. You especially should not miss today's — which will probably post at 10am EDT. It's got some words in common with this grid. At least two. One of them reasonably uncommon. Weird.

Crosswordese 101: again, lots to choose from, but I'm going to kill two birds with one stone and go after playwrights today, specifically William INGE (24A: "Bus Stop" playwright) and Clifford ODETS (39D: "Golden Boy" dramatist). These guys are everywhere, especially INGE, who is one of the most common proper nouns in all of grid-dom. I know ODETS only because I was once thumbing through postcards at some artsy shop in Ann Arbor and I came across what I thought was a photo of my college French professor — but no, it was some guy I'd never heard of named Clifford ODETS. ODETS gets clued most often via "Waiting for Lefty" while INGE usually gets the "Picnic" or "Bus Stop" treatment. Wikipedia tells me that ODETS was married to Academy-Award winning actress Luise Rainer at one point, had a relationship with Frances Farmer, and got hauled before HUAC, where he disavowed his Communist affiliations and named names, thus keeping him from getting blacklisted.

What else?
  • 16A: "Flip This House" airer (A AND E) — parsing! if a word doesn't look like a word, it might not be just one word. You must beware the ampersandwiches. A AND E, A AND W, R AND B, etc.
  • 17A: Some dadaist art (Arps) — ARP could easily have been the Crosswordese 101 entry of the day. Usually not seen in the plural!
  • 31A: Carol starter ("Adeste") — "Adeste Fideles" — aka "O Come All Ye Faithful"

  • 61A: Outfield border (wall) — I was looking for something in a warning track or a foul line.
  • 62A: 5-point K, e.g. (tile) — no idea what this was going for until I had nearly the whole word from crosses. Scrabble! Not my game.
  • 2D: Dogie catcher (lariat) — cute — sort of playing on the job of "Dog catcher." I think.
  • 4D: Pocono 500 group (NASCAR) — like Scrabble, not my thing
  • 7D: Imaginative genre (sci-fi) — most genres involve imagination. Weird clue.
  • 10D: Spydom name (Hari) — as in Mata.
  • 22D: Links org. sponsoring the FedEx Cup (PGA Tour) — I love that answer. Looks very cool as a complete answer. So much more interesting than the simple PGA.
  • 27D: Jazz guitarist Montgomery (Wes) — learned him from xwords then promptly forgot him. "Remembered" him here only after a cross ... or two.
  • 58D: Designer Schiaparelli (Elsa) — I told you. I told you. Didn't I tell you? I did (see the inaugural "L.A. Crossword Confidential" write-up to see what I'm talking about)
Happy Fool's Day. I'm back on Friday. PuzzleGirl tomorrow.


Everything Else — 1A: Impetuous fervor (ELAN); 5A: Cong. work period (SESS); 9A: Not on the up and up (SHADY); 14A: Tibetan holy man (LAMA); 15A: Dark purple (PUCE); 18A: Bone-dry (ARID); 19A: Hardly sensitive (CRASS); 23A: Leftovers covering (SARAN); 25A: Robin Hood's wood (YEW); 28A: Everlasting (ETERNAL); 33A: Cheery (UPBEAT); 36A: Is situated (LIES); 40A: Genesis twin (ESAU); 43A: Composer Andrew Lloyd __ (WEBBER); 45A: Clytemnestra's son (ORESTES); 50A: Prefix with skeleton (EXO); 51A: Himalayan legend (YETI); 54A: Gear parts (TEETH); 59A: Escargot (SNAIL); 63A: Scout rank (EAGLE); 64A: Grandson of Adam (ENOS); 65A: San __ Obispo, Calif. (LUIS); 66A: Butler of fiction (RHETT); 67A: First name in country (REBA); 68A: Give off (EMIT); 1D: Go by, as time (ELAPSE); 3D: Current unit (AMPERE); 5D: Relaxing retreats (SPAS); 6D: Pisa dough? (EURO); 8D: Sable or Impala (SEDAN); 9D: Like some cows (SACRED); 11D: In-depth examination (ANALYSIS); 12D: Oral surgeon's deg. (DDS); 13D: "Amen!" (YES); 21D: Listless feeling (ENNUI); 26D: Summer on the Seine (ETE); 29D: Clothing (APPAREL); 30D: Wall St. deals (LBOS); 32D: Extension forming a right angle (ELL); 34D: Young salamander (EFT); 35D: Hendrix haircut (AFRO); 37D: Enemy agent's strategy (SABOTAGE); 38D: Center of activity (HUB); 40D: Meadow mom (EWE); 41D: Census datum (SEX); 44D: Place for a lace (EYELET); 46D: Agree out of court (SETTLE); 47D: Monotony (TEDIUM); 48D: And others, in bibliographies (ETALII); 49D: Most bashful (SHYEST); 53D: Vacuous (INANE); 56D: To the __: fully (HILT); 57D: Handful of mud, say (GLOB); 59D: Talk about sin, e.g.: Abbr. (SER); 60D: "Uh-uh" (NAH).


Jeffrey said...

Awesome write-up PuzzleGirl! You and Orange rock! Too bad about that you allow Rex in here. Why do you include him, anyway? He couldn't solve his way out...oh, Rex did this one?

Awesome write-up up Rex! You and PuzzleGirl rock! Too bad about that you allow Orange in here. Why do you include her, anyway? She couldn't solve her way out of a paper bag...

Sandy said...

I kept wanting the last movie to have "of" in the title because I wasn't getting the theme. D'oh.

INGE and ODETS are each going to have to get their own flashcard if I'm ever to remember them.

Am I missing something with Robin Hood? Is he particularly about the yew tree? I kept wondering how I was going to fit SHERWOOD in three spaces.

John said...

Robin Hood's wood refers to the yew tree which is what his bow is made from.

Orange said...

Ditto on ASTRID vs. ASTRUD. The PGA TOIR sounded French but very, very wrong.

PIECES OF APRIL was a fairly well-received indie movie about a young woman estranged from her family. Her boyfriend is played by Derek Luke, who was so good in Antwone Fisher. Despite the "April" in the title, the movie takes place at Thanksgiving, and April (Holmes' character) invites her family over for dinner. Patricia Clarkson plays her mom, and Clarkson is one of the queens of indie film.

Not that I saw it, but I do enjoy a good movie review, I do.

mac said...

It seems so normal here after reading the write-up and comments on the other side of the country....

Quick Wednesday, no real problems, but having seen the Ship of Fools already today helped a little.

xyz said...
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xyz said...
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Orange said...

Yeah, redanman—you had me convinced that the LAT puzzle does a better job avoiding the Biblical names and then bam! ENOS and ESAU argue the point.

addie loggins said...

Like Sandy, I was looking for "of" in the third long answer, but eventually saw the theme (although, at that point, I already had DAY through the crosses, so figuring out the theme didn't do me any good).

Nice to see the one-l lama.

Finally coming to realize that part of my struggle in doing these things is that I'm not a very good speller. I'm ok when writing across, but when filling out the down answers, I get tripped up on words like APPAREL and ANALYSIS. Who knew?

Oh, and I've been meaning to send a big THANK YOU to the LAT for bring lefty-friendly. When I print the puzzle, the grid is in the lower left hand corner and I can see the clues without moving my hand. This is very helpful as I'm getting up to speed.


Orange said...

Addie, when you print puzzles from Across Lite, you can set your print preferences to specify which corner you want the grid to appear in. On my Mac, you access this via the Edit/Options/Print menu.

xyz said...
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chefbea said...

Liked this puzzle better, for april 1st.

But what I really liked was learning how to whip cream over at BEQ. St. louis shake???? Sounds like a dance to me

Anonymous said...

awesome whipped cream directions on your other blog

addie loggins said...

@orange: thanks for the tip, I'll check it out

hazel said...

Is that an April Fool's joke about not knowing the novel Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter? If so, you got me....

Never seen the movie, but the novel sure made an impression - although, admittedly, it was back in the days when I was more impressionable.

Anonymous said...

The Links org. sponsoring the FedEx Cup is the PGA (Professional Golf Association)and not the tour sponsored by the PGA. Just saying.

- - Robert

Rex Parker said...

O no, I really honestly have no clue about the KAP novel.

*David* said...

I gues crosswordese is getting into my head via osmosis, ORESTES came to me immediately. My hardest cross was ET ALII and TILE. ASTRUD was figured all by crosses.

hazel said...

OK, for some reason, that has allowed me to feel vaguely superior for a few short minutes today.

I had to look up SOF and just learned that it was the #1 best-selling novel in 1962. Would never have guessed. I recall it being sort of heavy on symbolism, but in an interesting way - lots of good satirical human nature stuff. I don't think it would fall into the best seller category today.

hazel said...

Oh, and it was published on April Fools Day in 1962!