Saturday, April 1, 2023

Saturday, April 1, 2023, Wyna Liu and Joel Fagliano

I'm concerned for our friends at the ACPT. The first day of the tournament is APRILFOOL! ('s Day). It doesn't bode well for the tricksiness of the puzzles today, especially the dreaded Puzzle 5.

We have a semi-themed themeless today, in honor of the day. The theme is that the accepted norm that the clue not contain any of the words of the answer is thrown out the window, as in 34A: Cry heard on April Fool's Day. The other examples are:

18A: Scientific name for the American bison (BISONBISON).

53A: Hit Will Smith song from 1997's "Men in Black" (MENINBLACK).

58A: ____ names (NAME).

3D: Pikachu's cry in Pokémon (PIKACHU).

20D: City down Lake Erie from Buffalo, N.Y. (ERIEPA).

28D: Fourth president after Adams (ADAMS) - this was where I figured out was going on. I had Tyler at first, which actually is true (the fourth president after Quincy Adams), but JAMAISVU made me reassess (this is a well-known seizure phenomenon, so a gimme for this Neurologist). 

40D: Capital of São Tomé and Príncipe (SAOTOME).

44D: Annual book prize (BOOKER).

What a silly concept! And despite all of these semi-gimmes, I still found the puzzle tough going over all. Clues like 2D: Word that means the same thing even with several letters added? (MAILBOX) - such a thing of beauty, I shook my head when I finally got it. Or 42D: It charges for cleaning (ROOMBA). Or 41D: Champs can precede this (ELYSEES). So many excellent clues.

39D: Going well? (REGULAR) - are we really referring to number 2 here? I think so.

Pretty amazing puzzle. 12:49.

Good luck, everyone!

- Colum


  1. I, too, figured out what was going on in some of the theme answers with ADAMS, which is excellent, and I, too, first entered tyler. REGULAR was great, and surprising! Fantastic cluing there, and with MAILBOX, as Colum mentions. Funny that "ADAMS" appears twice in the grid: the above-mentioned and the unknown-to-me ADAMSAVAGE (of course I know it must refer to someone named "Adam Savage" and not "Adams Avage," but it's still funny. About REGULAR for me (in another sense) for a Saturday as far as time goes: 33:11.

  2. Hello from Stamford! There was an April Fool start to the day, which I liked the idea of, but the logistics of which were slightly vexing. Anyhoo, back to the matter at hand. I loved this puzzle. I was fooled a few times - I couldn’t think of anything else Pikachu said except, PIKACHU - but caught on with the APRILFOOLS answer thanks to the Downs I had in place. I’ve always loved the name BISONBISON. BOOKER Prize was also very nice. Very sorry you can’t be here with us, Colum!

    1. So sorry not to be there with you as well! Hope you're having a great time.

    2. Missing you this year Colum!!! I was defeated by #5 this year, so you're missing a golden opportunity to lord it over me...this was a fun puzzle, nice and silly, in keeping with the day :)

  3. This puzzle put me in such a good mood this morning - perfect for going into the big six-puzzle day here in Stamford. Before things started up, I said Hi to Mr. Fagliano and told him how much I enjoyed it. I don't know if Ms. Liu is here, but I will try to find out. He did say that one of my favorite clues "Going well?" was from Ms. Liu. Obviously, a force to be reckoned with.

    So much good stuff in here. And I laughed out loud when I filled in ERIEPA. Ha!
    So good.

    p.s. So far so good here. My first two puzzles were perfect. Haven't seen three yet. But in fifteen minutes, we have Puzzle Four, which is the calm before the storm... Puzzle Five. ... ora pro nobis.

    1. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a no error weekend!

  4. Of course the answers I *knew* were right simply *couldn't* be right and so I went around and around and around until it hit me...DUH! :-) Super puzzle!