In crossword puzzles, the majority of the most commonly-used words begin with a vowel. Today's puzzle included ten such words: ALOT, AMP, ANTE, APU, ELI, ERA, EVE, IRA, ODE and OPIE.
The answer to "Time After Time singer" was Cyndi LAUPER, but Chris Montez had a 1966 hit with that title. MONTEZ would have also fit...but of course the intersecting words wouldn't have made sense.
The puzzle included POLOPONIES. I immediately thought of an episode of The Honeymooners in which Ed Norton is helping Ralpk Kramden rehearse for a play at the Raccoon Lodge. Norton reads from the script, "I don't possess a mansion, a villa in France, a yacht or a string of palopponies." Ralph questions the word, then looks at the script and says, "That's polo ponies!"