THEME: "Mr. Cruel"—Three names end with synonyms for "cruel"
- 17A: Bassist for the Sex Pistols (SID VICIOUS). Not the name his parents gave him, so we have one stage name.
- 36A: Muttley's evil master in Hanna-Barbera cartoons (DICK DASTARDLY). One cartoon character, fictional. I can totally laugh just like Muttley.
- 59A: "The Wonder Years" star (FRED SAVAGE). And one real name. Child actor–turned–director. Rock out to the opening sequence:
What else? Here are my favorite answers and clues:
- 1A: Hurts with a horn (GORES). My sister's husband and kids all play horns, so I needed all the crossings here. Couldn't get tuba-related damage out of my head.
- 16A: Charm (MOJO). Great word!
- 21A: Uncommonly big (OUTSIZED) Nice to have a Z or two in the fill.
- 57A: Fast fliers (JETS). Raise your hand if you went on crosswordese autopilot and filled in SSTS here. I know I did.
- 3D: St. John's athletes until 1994 (REDMEN). The team is now called the Red Storm, and I commend them for changing their name. Wasn't the Red Storm one of the plagues of Egypt?
- 11D: Nonsense (FOLDEROL). TOMMYROT would also fit here, but not HOOEY, POPPYCOCK, or BALDERDASH.
Everything Else — 6A: Trudge (PLOD); 10A: Where E.T. came from? (AFAR); 15A: Anchor attachment (ROPE); 19A: Run off at the mouth (BLAB); 20A: Made the trip (CAME); 23A: Had a bite (ATE); 24A: Distress letters (SOS); 25A: Most irritated (SOREST); 28A: Friend you probably never met (PENPAL); 30A: Spread with cocktails (PATE); 32A: Fish eggs (ROE); 33A: Leopardlike critter (OCELOT); 35A: Skye of film (IONE); 40A: Like many a 45-Across (DANK); 41A: Hitchcock classic (PSYCHO); 42A: Swing voter: Abbr. (IND.); 43A: Singer Feliciano (JOSÉ); 45A: Underground room (CELLAR); 49A: '50s Kenyan revolutionary (MAUMAU); 51A: PBS funder (NEA); 52A: Mimic (APE); 53A: Canc˙n coins (CENTAVOS); 56A: Hebrew prophet (AMOS); 61A: War god (ARES); 62A: "Law & Order: SVU" actor (ICE-T); 63A: Sloping edge of a chisel (BEZEL); 64A: Author Zane (GREY); 65A: Big name in lawn equipment (TORO); 1D: It's replaced after a fill-up (GAS CAP); 2D: Sedative (OPIATE); 4D: Gutter site (EAVE); 5D: Go downhill fast? (SKI); 6D: Toyota hybrid (PRIUS); 7D: Pirate's haul (LOOT); 8D: Music with a number (OPUS); 9D: Stop (DESIST); 10D: The color of honey (AMBER); 12D: Steely Dan album pronounced like a continent (AJA); 13D: Stick up (ROB); 18D: Air-conditioned (COOLED); 22D: Ballet-dancing Muppet (ZOE); 24D: Pass rusher's success (SACK); 26D: VAIO computer maker (SONY); 27D: Golfer's gismo (TEE); 29D: Childhood disease mark (POCK); 30D: Rapper's entourage (POSSE); 31D: Mem. of the bar (ATTY.); 34D: Indy 500's 200 (LAPS); 35D: Golden calf, e.g. (IDOL); 36D: Agent Scully of "The X-Files" (DANA); 37D: Hall of Fame guest of honor (INDUCTEE); 38D: Permission to use (ACCESS); 39D: Perlman of "Cheers" (RHEA); 40D: Faint (DIM); 43D: Pres. inauguration month (JAN.); 44D: Uniform (OUTFIT); 46D: Childbirth education pioneer (LAMAZE); 48D: Transfer for a price, as a used car (RESELL); 50D: Not well-kept (MESSY); 51D: Acknowledge with a head movement (NOD TO); 54D: Sacramento's __ Arena (ARCO); 55D: Change direction (VEER); 56D: Say assuredly (AVER); 57D: Binge (JAG); 58D: Make a mistake (ERR); 60D: "Desperate Housewives" network (ABC).