My time: 11:04, which is a minute slower than my average, so yuck.
This puzzle by Chuck Deodene, whose name sounds like a geological era, lists phrases with CENTER ISLANDS ("feature of an upscale kitchen"). So you have BALTIMOREAN, with Timor hidden inside; BUSHEL BASKET, with Elba; FORMAL TALKS, with Malta; and STATION AGENT, with Iona. Iona is off of Scotland, in the Hebrides, off the Ross of Mull, which sounds like a Braveheart chieftan.
For "Affirmative in Fargo" I had, for way too long, *YUP, because I'm an idiot. It's YAH, as any line-quoter knows, and my initial guess made me question "touch in baseball" (TAG) and "really suffering" (IN HELL; I was trying to make sense of the P, thinking, IN PERL? Is that a variant of peril?)
"Julius who sang 'Anywhere I Wander,' 1953" is LA ROSA. He seems to be mostly famous for being fired on the air for having the temerity to hire a manager.
SNEE is a word I've maybe seen once or twice, but don't have it on automatic recall.
And really... that's about it for what held me up. There's no other fill in the puzzle that I haven't encountered before. So what took so damn long? I can't even blame it on vague clues, because --- and I know I've said this every day this week, but --- these are boring, boring definition clues. FAT is "liposculpture target." DUCT is clued as "channel for fumes" (what about, say, "where tears come from"?). WAR HERO, which could be clued any number of interesting ways, is clued "Medal of Honor recipient." LILY is "water ______ (pond plant)." ARCH is not about any one of many famous arches or even a foot joke but "what an insole helps support." Come on. Zzzzzz.
Clever clues: "One might stare at the Sun" for BALTIMOREAN. And an arrow pointing at 10D for the answer TEN, I guess. That's it.
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 ...