"AHOUSEDIVIDED against itself cannot stand." So said ABE Lincoln, quoting, most likely, the Bible, where it appears twice in the gospels. (I looked that up.) And if you'd prefer something more secular, Thomas Hobbes used a very similar phrase in Leviathan. (I actually read that one for a class somewhat recently.)
Jesus was proving that he wasn't working with the Devil, Hobbes was explaining government, and Lincoln was talking about slavery. Today, Mr. Sessa's use of it is all about wordplay. The word "house" is literally divided in each theme answer, split into "ho" and "use," and between those two sides, letters are crammed in to create HOPELESSCAUSE, HOLDTHEAPPLAUSE, and HOWCOULDIREFUSE. It's fun to imagine these three also being associated with Lincoln - the first was what he heard from critics when he suggested that the U.S. could be preserved, the second was what he might have said after the Gettysburg Address, and the last when he was re-elected. Too much? Probably.
So anyway, today my "interesting entries" include the fun words SKIFF (Flat-bottomed boat) and HORDE (Teeming throng), the excellent QMCs "Sleep-inducing pill?" for BORE, and "What may descend before the moon?" for TROU. Hah! It's odd to see RAYKROC (Founder of the McDonald's empire) right in the middle of the grid without him having anything to do with the theme, but I guess that's fine. It probably would have been tough to squeeze in one more split house in that spot. "Hot fuse?" (Electrician's problem), "Hoop use?" (Hula-ing, e.g.), "Hop user?" (Brewmaster)... yeah, probably best that slot was left out of the theme...
I tried CHERe instead of CHERI at 40D Dear: Fr., and I still think "chère" is better. Sure, CHERI does mean "Dear," as in "Mon cheri," but it's odd to see it A. without the "mon" and B. in the masculine. Still... I get it. It was crammed in there, crossing two theme answers and I'm sure the options were limited. At least TETE (Head: Fr.) was straightforward.
Overall, a fun theme.