My time: 27:38.
This was tough!
How many people are familiar with "Por UNA Cabeza," a 1935 tango? Now let's not all raise our hands at once.
Crossword mainstay ARN is the son of Prince Valiant, which I knew, but not well enough to write out his name without some crossfill help. According to Wikipedia, "The infant Prince Arn was named after the friend of Val’s youth, Prince Arn of Ord." The latter, elder Arn was Val's quondam rival for the maid Ilene, until she died. Then they were buddies! Yay!
The YAZOO isn't just a street where there was a scandal, but a tributary of the Mississippi. More interestingly, it was named for a now-extinct tribe who lived on its banks, the Yazoo. They were annihilated by the French and their other native allies after the Yazoo attacked a fort.
Never heard of John von NEUMANN, but he's one of those Hungarian super-geniuses who pioneered many fields, including computer science. He also first proposed the theory of global warming, predicted the structure of DNA, worked on the Manhattan Project, and on and on.
Here's where everyone got annoyed: "school of whales" required GAM, not *POD. A gam is also when two whaling ships exchange information, per Moby-Dick.
Hey, it's MAUNA KEA again! It's not just the tallest mountain in Hawaii; it's the tallest mountain in the world, if you include the underwater part.
Cars I don't know: the Chevy NOVA and the Chevy AVEO (ugh).
For "beseeach," instead of ADJURE, I had *ABJURE, which means to give up or renounce.
Objection: SEARS is not a "retail giant" any more.
Other objection: "Peter Fonda's role in Easy Rider?" Really? Who remembers that? There isn't a better clue for WYATT? Ugh!
I was not fooled by "Celsius, for one" and knew they were trying for SWEDE; I know Parker POSEY, queen of the indies, quite well; I have heard of the movie DR. T and the Women, so the traps others fell in didn't hurt me much. Still, this was a slog.
Clever clues: "Sound from a silencer:" SHH. (I thought it might be *PHT?)
My time: 6:43 . -- Benjamin Kramer serves us up an ace of a puzzle with this VOLLEYBALL-loving grid. The themed answers LIP SERVICE, th...
My time: 11:43 . -- Today we are treated to a themeless by Sam Ezersky. It's nothing jaw-dropping, but it's a solid Saturday. ...
My time: 17:47 , just one minute too slow for the record! -- Ross Trudeau collected a series of cryptids from divers geographical areas ...