Today's time: 29:14, yow.
Kameron Austin Collins and Brendan Emmett Quigley not only have names that would score high in Scrabble, they also constructed a puzzle that nearly beat me.
"Cross-shaped mil. award" I thought would be *DSC, Distinguished Service Cross, again. But it's DSO this time, Distinguished Service Order, a UK award that is also cross-shaped.
I've heard of "ABIE the Agent," the comic strip that ran 1914-1940, but I'd forgotten the name, and I never knew that it was about a financial agent, not a spy.
For "Naval Academy students, informally" I put a lot of wrong answers, sticking with *CIDS for way too long. It's MIDS, which is short for Midshipmen, of course. Doh!
"In advance of" is ERE, which I incorrectly put as the answer for another clue, "previously," which turned out to be NEE.
I've heard of GOOGLE HANGOUTS, but I'm not sure what it is. Apparently a platform for chatting. I'm too old for that foolishments.
Totally new to me department: suffragist Carrie Chapman CATT. She founded the League of Women Voters and was a colleague of Susan B. Anthony.
Also, I had no idea they made ALADDIN into a musical?!
An ETON CAP is also apparently a thing.
I am proud to say I learned the word ENNEAD over a decade ago and it came to me immediately for "the Muses and others."
A Pacific SANDDAB is a flatfish, apparently a delicious delicacy.
ALTOONA is a town in Pennsylvania with a Penn State branch.
MIATA makes another appearance, this time informing us that its name means "reward." I am stunned to find that it's a corruption of an Old German word related to the word meed, and not a Japanese term.
We've all heard of ENTEBBE, Uganda (mostly because of the 1976 hostage rescue at the airport), but did we know it's on Lake Victoria? No. We didn't.
"They can help you get jobs" I thought might be INS, as in Immigration and Naturalization Service. In 2003 it split into the USCIS, Citizenship and Immigration Services. Or more likely (?) it just means ins, like an in to a company. Especially since the clue is in the present tense.
For "senator who was one of the assassins of Julius Caesar," I had *CRASSUS, the general who was an ally of Caesar and in the First Triumvirate. It's actually CASSIUS, as in Gaius Cassius Longinus, one of the ringleaders of the plot to kill Caesar. It's said that after being overwhelmed by Marc Antony, he killed himself with the same dagger he stabbed Caesar with, also that seems too neat for real life.
UGLY CRY is a thing? Like, that people say to mean a specific face?? Yes, but I've never heard of this, and I'm pretty meme-aware. Apparently it's quite an old expression. I'm stunned. Ugly stun, even.
Whew! There were a lot more clues that I know about but had trouble with because of how they were asked (like VOLGA and ART DECO). This was a toughie.
Clever clues: "half the digits have this" is TOENAIL (I thought it might not be about numbers, but I had a hard time fingering it out). "Willful?" is TESTATE. "God father?" is TITAN.
Man, this was difficult. I don't even know if I KHAN do Saturday's.
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 ...