The 1A/4D pairing formed the seed for this one. It was followed quickly by 10D, which popped into mind during a nostalgic discussion about Rocky & Bullwinkle. This cartoon (along with its show-mates Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Fractured Fairy Tales) set the bar for all future cartoons nominally aimed at kids but slyly winking at adults.
I recently heard someone say 1 Across and thought: (1) You rarely hear 1A 1A. (2) 1A could be a decent seed for a themeless, especially because I’d just listened to Buffalo Springfield (seminal ‘60s band) and 1A is the first word of the title of one of their signature songs. The other four words of the title are scattered through the puzzle, as are the names of the song’s composer/lead singer and one of his bandmates. So maybe it’s not really a themeless, but whatever it is, I hope you enjoy solving it!
I enjoy cluing well-known people’s names with obscure facts, as in the clue for 21 Down.
Spaceballs (see 53 Across) is one of my favorite all-time comedies, Mel Brooks at his irreverently silly finest. Prince Valium, Princess Vespa, 53 Across, Lone Starr, Barf, Dark Helmet, and of course, “just plain Yogurt.”
I plugged 2 Down and 7 Across in to start and then tried with “incomplete success,” in President Carter’s words, to make each intersecting across/down pair as close as possible. Come back Sunday for – drum roll, please – Themeless 50.
CORRECTION: THE CLUE FOR 68 ACROSS SHOULD READ “THREE MAKE AN O”, NOT A T.
The three seeds for this grid were 20, 36, and 57 Across. I started with 20 Across and then 36 Across immediately popped into mind. I had to find a third entry to complement 20 Across and continue the mini-theme, and a couple of minutes’ thought produced 57 Across.
By the way, if you ever get a chance to visit 36 Across, it’s a charming place to spend a few days. I was there last summer after a week hiking in Wales – you can read about it and see additional photos on my PuffinlessTravel blog here and here.
The seed for this grid was 15 Across, which is a fact I learned, appropriately enough, while playing trivia on a joint US-Canadian team (creatively called “USCAN”) on a recent trip. (Our team won the ship’s progressive trivia tournament!). For the whole story of the connection between 15 Across and Pooh, see this Wikipedia link.
The seed for this puzzle was 17 Across, which I had just finished listening to for roughly the 40,000th time when I realized it was 15 letters long. I saw Chick Corea in concert two (possibly three) times – once in California in the early 80 (brilliant), once in DC in the early 2000s (fantastic), and possibly in NYC (I remember seeing Flora Purim and he may have been playing with her, but it was in the mid 70s and I just don’t remember, for reasons having everything to do with age and nothing whatsoever to do with any recreational activities.)
When I constructed this puzzle in late November, 29 Across was “it fits and it’s not awful” kind of fill. With David Crosby’s passing, though, it gives me a chance to mention him in a clue and express gratitude for the thousands of hours I spent listening to him in The Byrds, in 29 Across, in 29 Across plus Y, and on his own. He had a pure voice and a gift for heartfelt melodies and lyrics. RIP, D.C. “I sing in silent harmony/We shall be free.” (David Crosby, Guinnevere)
3 Down and 18 Down were the seeds for this grid; of all the great sayings and quotes about wine, these happen to fit symmetrically. Other than bringing your oenological expertise to bear, you can test your knowledge of stoner comedies, Springsteen albums, and dog breeds that anagram to a brand of markers. Enjoy!