Title: “And Sometimes…”
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is a band with more than 10 letters in its name.
Answer: Lynyrd Skynyrd
This was a quick thrill for me, since the answer fell in 59 seconds! Yes, I stopped the clock in Across Lite when I had it and was super-stoked to get in just before it ticked up to a minute. I solved for a bit, got WERNER KLEMPERER, looked at the theme clue above it and realized it was BANANARAMA, checked the title again, and realized it had to be Lynyrd Skynyrd in under a minute. Go me! Or, as the too common crossword entry has it, I RULE.
Backtracking from that excitement now, we see that the five theme entries each contained just one of the five main vowels apiece:
18-A: [“Venus” band] = BANANARAMA
23-A: [1988 Tony nominee for playing Herr Schultz in “Cabaret”] = WERNER KLEMPERER. Better known for playing Colonel Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes.”
34-A: [“Iris” band] = GOO GOO DOLLS. What’s this? A, E,…O? I guess there was no other way to make this theme happen or Pete would have done it, but this weird progression of A-E-O-I-U is a big aesthetic blot.
48-A [Faith Hill song with the lyric “I still like wearin’ my old ball cap, ridin’ my kids around piggyback”] = MISSISSIPPI GIRL
55-A [Phrase heard many times in a Black Eyes Peas hit] = JUST SHUT UP. From the song “Shut Up.”
So we need an 11 letters or more band with the only vowel being Y, and that of course is LYNYRD SKYNYRD, whose tour bus I have randomly spotted on I-81 here in Virginia twice over the past 12 years. Pete added the minimum on letters since otherwise something simple like STYX or XYZ would work. Not sure if there’s a specific longer-named band Pete was guarding against with the more-than-ten specification.
Fun fill: I REPEAT, PAPER BAG, SHIITAKE, EL NINO, ZABAR’S, UH-OH!
4.25 stars. Fun theme but the vowels being out of order was jarring. I’m 2-for-2 in 2020 and so are you! Let’s meet back here in a month and see what happens.