Theme: "The King's Men" — Four theme answers are phrases that start with the words KNIGHT, COUNT, PRINCE, and DUKE.
Hey, everybody. PuzzleGirl here, still comin' at ya from my sickbed. This is getting really old, right? I think I'm just about done with it. At least the staying in bed all day part. Probably not the coughing, headache-y, feel like crap part. But oh well. I heard it's spring out there and I'm looking forward to seeing it for myself. So tomorrow I slam down some Alka-Seltzer Plus, take a shower (there's an idea!) and tough it out. Hoo-rah! (That's me attempting to psych myself up. I know. It's not pretty.)
Crosswordese 101: Today we're going to focus on EER, which is typically clued one of two ways. First, it can be a contraction of ever — e'er — which is found in poetry and means always. In these cases, it will be clued with reference to poetry (e.g., [Eternally, in verse] or [Bard's "always"]). Or, as in today's puzzle, it will be clued as the suffix -eer, which can be tacked onto oh so many words: musket, slogan, auction, market, puppet, profit, pamphlet, convention ... you get the idea. In early week puzzles, the clue will be straightforward like today's 63D: [Musket suffix]. Later in the week, it might be trickified with a question mark clue such as [Market closing?], meaning not "what time the market closes" but "something that can be tacked onto the end of the word market."
- 18A: '80s TV series with a talking car named KITT ("Knight Rider"). You know I've been dying for the opportunity to post my picture of me with David Hasselhoff. Finally!
- 23A: 1943 Triple Crown winner (Count Fleet). Just to let you know this horse was no slouch: Count Fleet held the record for margin of victory at the Belmont Stakes for 30 years — until it was broken in 1973 by Secretariat (a little horse you may have heard of).
- 36A: England's Charles, since 1958 (Prince of Wales).
- 54A: "Nothing can stop" him in a 1962 doo-wop classic (Duke of Earl). I really, really, really wanted to find a video clip of my very favorite television scene of all time to share with you, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Does anyone remember this one? NYPD Blue, Season Two, Simone and Sipowicz are on a stakeout and end up singing "Duke of Earl" along with the car radio. Priceless! If any of you know where to find it, please post a link in the comments! In the meantime, enjoy The Alley Cats:
- 60A: "Louie Louie" singers, and this puzzle's theme (The Kingsmen). Funny that we were talking about Laura Branigan yesterday. In one of those weird, it-doesn't-really-make-any-sense-but-there-it-is things I actually have her connected with this song in my head. I think it goes Laura Branigan's "Gloria" —> that other awful "Gloria" song where they just kind of yell and spell it out and sound nonsensical —>"Louie Louie," also kind of yelling and nonsensical. Oh and I sometimes get Laura Branigan confused with Karla Bonoff, but you probably don't care about that. (You clearly cared about the other stuff.)
- 4A: Former Anaheim Stadium NFLer (L.A. Ram). Did you have trouble parsing this one?
- 9A: Lawn game using lobbed missiles (jarts). Apparently another name for yard darts. Who knew?
- 26A: Chicago hrs. (CST). Central Standard Time.
- 35A: It's a wrap (Saran). Cute.
- 42A: New Zealand native (Maori). Shout-out to Sandy, my favorite Kiwi (which, by the way, is what I wanted this answer to be — but not enough letters!).
- 53A: Tiny army member (ant). Did you know that Costa Rica doesn't have an army? But they do have army ants.
- 64A: Miler Sebastian (Coe). Won Olympic gold in the 1500m in 1980 and 1984. Coe is sometimes clued as a college in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
- 69A: Muffin Man's lane (Drury). This is so weird. I was driving somewhere last week when I saw a Drury Street and thought to myself "Shouldn't that be Drury Lane?"
- 5D: Son of Valient (Arn). You've been following along with this blog, and this was a gimme for you today, right?
- 13D: Ukr., before 1991 (SSR). Soviet Socialist Republic.
- 24D: S&L guarantor (FDIC). Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It's a good day to know your federal agencies. See also, 31D: FICA funds it (SSA — Social Security Administration) and 38D: Tax collection agcy. (IRS — Internal Revenue Service).
- 42D: Boston transit inits. (MTA). It guess it's [59A: Nostalgic song] (i.e., OLDIE's) day here on the blog today.
- 50D: Zany (madcap). Great word.
- 51D: Melodious passage (arioso). Seems like ARIOSO should be an adjective, but it's a noun.
- 55D: '80s-'90s quarterback Bernie (Kosar). Never heard of this guy. Tried to find something interesting about him on his Wikipedia page and thought I had something because of a controversy surrounding his eligibility for the NFL draft. Turns out it's not that interesting though. Sorry.
Everything Else — 1A: St. crosser (AVE); 14A: Fenway team, familiarly (SOX); 15A: Gladiator's battlefield (ARENA); 16A: "__ Gold": Peter Fonda film (ULEES); 17A: Rock music's __ Fighters (FOO); 20A: Increase (ADDTO); 22A: London insurance giant (LLOYDS); 29A: Taqueria offering (TOSTADA); 30A: Mold into a different form (RESHAPE); 33A: Little devil (IMP); 43A: Prefix with cycle (TRI); 44A: Basic ballroom dance (TWOSTEP); 47A: Riddles (ENIGMAS); 56A: Ravel work immortalized in "10" (BOLERO); 65A: Expected to land (DUEIN); 66A: Artist's stand (EASEL); 67A: Venomous reptile (ASP); 68A: Filmdom ogre (SHREK); 70A: +, on a batt. (POS); 1D: To be the truth (ASFACT); 2D: Kind of doll used in magical rites (VOODOO); 3D: Israelites' departure (EXODUS); 4D: Sitting Bull's language (LAKOTA); 6D: Portuguese royal (REI); 7D: Each one in a square is 90 degrees (ANGLE); 8D: Composer Gustav (MAHLER); 9D: Trial twelvesome (JURY); 10D: "Put __ on it!" (ALID); 11D: McCarthy era paranoia (REDSCARE); 12D: Golfer's aid (TEE); 19D: Shopper's bag (TOTE); 21D: Big bang producer (TNT); 25D: Poor, as excuses go (LAME); 27D: Pampering resorts (SPAS); 28D: Gymnast's goal (TEN); 32D: Actor Holbrook (HAL); 34D: Poker kitty (POT); 36D: Small chess piece (PAWN); 37D: Soda in a float (ROOTBEER); 39D: Small point to pick (NIT); 40D: Complimentary (FREE); 41D: Skid row regular (WINO); 45D: Eve's first home (EDEN); 46D: Cleansed (PURGED); 48D: "I wish it could be!" (IFONLY); 49D: Hair stiffener (GEL); 52D: Grabs some shuteye (SLEEPS); 57D: "The Grapes of Wrath" figure (OKIE); 58D: Web cross-reference (LINK); 60D: NFL scores (TDS); 61D: "Say what?" (HUH); 62D: East Lansing sch. (MSU).