Puzzle 122 – “Knee Deep in the Hoopla”

puz here / pdf here / solution here

Okay, so let’s talk about 17-Across, the seed entry here (and source of the title of this themeless). I have a Grand Theory about that song: if it had been recorded by two British art school boys with Casios, people would love it, and it would be firmly enshrined as a beloved Eighties Song. But instead, because of who did record it, it has polarized people for nearly 40 years. Either way, though, when you notice that a great phrase or title is 15 letters long, suddenly it just *needs* to be in a crossword.

Anyhoo. Favorite clues here: 42-Down for the misdirect, 33-Down for the fun fact.

In other news, on occasion recently, my notifications about comments here have been getting booted to spam, so if I’m slow to respond, that’s likely why. My bad.

Speaking of comments, though, they’re always welcome here, as you know. Hope you enjoy this one. Happy solving, yall.


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  1. Good one! Thanks!

    A little on the easy side of your range, but fun. I had no idea 17A was polarizing.

    I liked 1A. Hadn’t thought about that in years.

    • I think the whole thing is, it came from a band that was once this huge icon of the counterculture, and then we hit the 80s, and look at the sellout.
      That’s not an inaccurate read, but it says more about the world at large than it does about the song itself.

  2. Hi Matthew, and thank you for creating puzzles that I always find to be fun, educational, and that also include some kind of music references. (I’m 69 now, and the mid-60s to the mid-90s is my favorite musical era.(

  3. I struggled with this puzzle but made it through cleanly. And I remember the “hoopla” about how nonsensical the song’s lyrics are (“Marconi plays the mamba”), but it’s still got a great beat. Factoid: It topped a 2011 Rolling Stone poll of worst songs of the 1980s by a wide margin.

  4. As always, a good time. 34A is one of my favorite words I don’t get to use anymore.

    And I’m not much of a peach person, so 11D is news to me! 🫨

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