IN THE MONEY
Today's theme is an odd one, centered on a pun of sorts. The revealer - CAPITALGAINS - references the letters inserted into various national capitals (found as shaded letters within phrases), and these letters spell out "Kaching!" Why are the letters added into capitals? For the pun. Why do the letters spell "kaching?" Because it's what you say when you're "In the Money." It's a fun enough theme, and I learned the capitals of Rwanda and Qatar.
And is CHAIROFTHEFED somehow important? I mean, it does contain "Cairo," but it's also money-related. And AFTERTAX? ... probably not.
Some clever clues today - like "One who walks to work?" (DOGHANDLER), "Special collection of musical hits?" (DRUMSOLO), and the beautiful "Were, for one?" (WAS). Hah! "It's good for three points" (TRIDENT) might be trying a little too hard, but "Noted underground adventurer" was a fun one for ALICE, and "Sad ass" (EEYORE) made me laugh out loud. Poor EEYORE. And while we're on that row, is a FRIEDEGG really a burger topping option?!? What is wrong with people?
I have never heard of Daily KOS or a hotel chain called TRU, so those were tough. It also took me forever to understand that "Disneyland ride" wasn't actually talking about a ticketed ride. And what kind of a country has a LEEK as its national emblem? Poor Wales...
Today's constructors are responsible for the xwordinfo blog, which is a marvel of crossword data-wrangling, so I guess we have to allow the many programming-related clues like "Modifier in digital logic" (NOT), "Certain coding snippet" (DOLOOP), AND "Gate in digital logic."
Finally, where did CATTALO come from? I've heard of a beefalo, and, really, I guess that's just as weird, because both appear to be "buffalo" combined with words that aren't specific animals - "cattle," and "beef." Weird. But maybe, just maybe, it's actually a cross between a buffalo and a cat. Imagine that? The meat would be so tender because it would just lie in the sun and sleep all day.
OK, it's probably time to wrap this up now. Thanks to Colum and Frannie for two fun weeks of reviews. I'm glad to be back, and I'll see you again tomorrow.