Thank you for the feedback!
"Elitoe" was clued in Ginsberg as the lead dancer in a company (one reference). I put that in after I realized that while I thought I was filling "Elliott" (E.T.'s friend) I'd actually filled it as "Eliott" (
). I of course didn't realize this until I'd filled the rest of the grid (argh).
I thought I could perhaps get away with "Eliote" as it crosses pretty well (SMEE ALOE TINGLE PIMIENTO SKILLSET DARE).
Upon further consideration, I do think I would do better with two possible changes that would lead to a better fill on the horizontal and wouldn't affect the cross in the slightest.
First would be to fill as I originally had (accidentally) with ELIOTT (makes the cross DART) and clue it as:
"The House of _____" ('90s BBC TV series about dressmaking sisters in the '20s)
A wee bit obscure, especially for an American audience, but they started showing episodes again a couple years ago, and it's gotten renewed attention as it's similar to "Downton Abbey." And, as before, it crosses well.
My other thought is to fill it as ELIOTN (Read "Eliot N." making the cross DARN) and cluing it as:
"Untouchable" who took on mobster Al C. in 1920s Chicago.
Eliot Ness is going to be much better known, as will "The Untouchables" and I think the surrounding info in the clue makes it pretty clear we're talking about "Al Capone" with "Al C." and that it's hinting toward the needed fill of "Eliot N." to parallel. This feels a bit bogus however and, worse, inelegant.
I think either would be better than the complete obscurity of "Eliote" however. Which would you suggest?
I do have some alternate fills in some of those funny corners, but I don't know that it will result in fewer abbreviations in the end. I think I might run with it on the chance it will pass and worry about it later if it happens to not...