Today's time: 26:11.
The author of this devilment is Sam Trabucco. Why must he baffle me so? The toughest part for me was the NW corner. The coinage PUH-LEASE ("you can't be serious!") right over UBER POOL ("modern money-saving transportation choice") were tough nuts to crack. And they were right under SAMOA, clued as "setting for several 'Survivor' seasons," and I don't watch TV much.
For "furnish" I had *VEND, which isn't quite right. It's LEND. Which also doesn't seem quite right. Does lend mean provide?
"Ehud Barak abandoned it in 2011:" the LABOR PARTY. He formed his own Independence Party after that, then quit politics. I was wondering, what portion of the disputed area did he abandon? That doesn't seem like him.
Totally new to me department: "Noted corporate raider of the 1980s" is ICAHN, as in Carl Icahn, who profited from hostile takeovers in the 1980s. I'm ashamed that I don't know him because he was in the news lately. He was appointed an advisor (on regulatory issues! ha!) to the dishonorable Trump, but had to resign before year's end because of conflict of interests.
CUBIT is clued as "about 18 inches," but it's technically the span from the tip of the middle finger to the bottom of the elbow. The Biblical cubit is about 18 inches, though.
"Cremona treasures, briefly," is STRADS, as in Stradivarius. Those, I'm familiar with; what I didn't know was that Cremona is, per Wikipedia, "especially noted for its musical history and traditions, including some of the earliest and most renowned luthiers, such as... Antonio Stradivari, and several members of the Amati family."
For "postgrad goal, maybe" I had *PH DEGREE, then *MD DEGREE, and after a lot of guesswork, figured out that what was wanted was MS DEGREE.
For "the antagonists" I had *FOES and briefly considered *ANTI (though that doesn't work), but it's THEM.
EL ROPO is apparently slang for a cheap cigar. It takes a man to smoke an el ropo.
"Tour grp." is pretty vague but it turns out to be USO, the United Service Organization, which does all those celebrity morale-boosting shows for the military.
For "absence of preconceived notions" I had *BLANK SLATE but it's TABULA RASA. I just thought it was funny that they both fit.
Welcome back, CHASE UTLEY. I learned about you yesterday. Seems like maybe Will Shortz should have spaced out your appearances.
Boolean is a DATA TYPE with only two values, true or false.
LLOYD Price is an R&B singer, known as "Mr. Personality." He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Sylvia SYMS was a jazz singer most famous for her version of "I Could Have Danced All Night." Her albums Syms by Sinatra was conducted by Ol' Blue Eyes. She is not to be confused with the British actress of the same name.
Northwest Nazarene University is a Christian university in Nampa, IDA. I've never heard of it, or Nampa. They believe that "the finally impenitent are hopelessly and eternally lost." What losers.
Clever clues: "Response to a riot" is HA HA HA. "Match book" is SCORE CARD; that works two ways, both as the score for a game or match, and as scoring after making a match as in dating. "Bug catcher, often" is BETA TESTER. "One with whom your relationship is working out, briefly?" is PE TEACHER. "Key used to make an exit" is ESC.
Well, farewell and ADO.
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