NYT Sunday Puzzle – April 1, 2012

Yikes! No April Fools’ joke. Four perfect Sunday puzzles in a row! I haven’t checked, but that may be a record for me.

NYT Sunday Puzzle - April 1, 2012

Title: Of Course!

The theme is golf. My brother is an avid golfer. My Dad golfed. Michael hates it. I golfed many years ago. Actually, I should say I tried to play golf. Even took lessons. But when your score is regularly 20 (No, that 0 is not a typo) on a Par 4…. Well, best to give it up. But my knowledge of the game made it easy to get the theme answers – common expressions that include a golf term.

22A. Golf club repositioning? = Change of address
40A. Hole in one? = Stroke of luck
49A. Comment after hitting a tee shot out of bounds? = Bye-bye birdie
69A. Wedge shot from a worn-out practice range platform? = A chip off the old block
90A. Use one club for all 18 holes? = Putter around
101A. Course not listed in the guidebooks? = Missing links
122A. Woods stowed in the rear of a golf cart? = Backseat driver
14D. Duffers shot? = Foreplay
88D. Club thrown in disgust? = Cast Iron

For those of you who are not familiar with golf terminology:
22A. One “addresses” the ball.
40A. Each swing when you hit the ball is a “stroke.”
49A. A “birdie” is one stroke below “par” (the number of strokes assigned to each hole)
69A. Wedge: Club used for short chip shots
90A. Putter: Club used on the green to stroke the ball into the hole
101A. Links: old term for “course”
122A. Driver: Club used for long distances
14D. “Fore”: Term shouted to alert others that a ball may be flying their way
88D. Iron: Club used for medium-length distances

There are also some other golf-related clues.

2D. 1970’s Wimbledon victor over Connors. Answer: Ashe. That would be Arthur Ashe.

19A. Augusta National Golf Club, for the Masters. This one had me going. I was thinking the Club might have another name, but that was not it. Augusta is where the Masters Tournament is played each year at this time. So, the correct answer turned out to be simple: Home.

37A. Jennifer in tennis. Answer: Capriati.

48A. Shoot two under. Answer: Eagle. That’s two under par.

Some non-golf-related clues:

77A. Disappearance of 7/2/1937. My first thoughts were of the Lindberg baby and Judge Crater, but neither had the correct number of letters. I needed to fill in some of the surrounding clues to get the right answer: Earhart. Of course, I know about Amelia Earhart but didn’t remember when she disappeared.

93D. Early Wagner opera. Answer: Rienzi. I’m not familiar with much in the way of Wagner’s operas. However, I do like the “Overture to Rienzi.” Here’s a clip:

And speaking of music, “Bye Bye Birdie” (49A) is the name of a famous Broadway musical also made into a movie. The main character, Conrad Birdie, is patterned after Elvis Presley.

A couple of literary clues:

54D. Cassim’s brother in a classic tale. Answer: Ali Baba.

108A. Robert Frost’s middle name. Answer: Lee

109A. “Now We Are Six” author. Answer: A.A. Milne. Better known for Winnie the Poo.

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