My time: 10:45.
I'm putting in the hours crosswording, and I seem to be getting worse, not better!
Jerry Miccolis and Jeff Chenconstructed this puzzle deliberately to confound me, and that wasn't very nice of them. The theme is words that share a term for an "impressive basketball feat:" a TRIPLE / DOUBLE. A triple double is getting double-digit scores in three of the five scoring categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots, in a single game. So the themed answers have three double letters: SWEET TOOTH, WOOD DEER ("carved figurine popular around Christmas"?? is that a thing?), GOOD DEED, HEEL LOOP ("wheelchair foot strap"), and so on.
Triple doubles! Um, neat?
Did you know that OJ Simpson is an alumnus of USC? Me neither.
The boat in Jaws was called the ORCA. Needs to be bigger.
I am fond of the clue "P AS IN psychology (unhelpful spelling clarification)."
"Figurehead?" for BOOKKEEPER, however, is pretty week sauce. I filled this in mostly guessing it, knowing its place as the only (?) English word with three double letters in a row.
"Prez with the same initials as an NYC landmark" is BWB, for Dubya, of course, and the George Washington Bridge.
I had trouble figuring out "expense item for a political campaign." It's SPOT AD. It seems to be phrase meaning "ad." Which makes it... kind of useless?
"UN agcy. headquartered in Geneva" is ILO. That's the International Labour Organization, which won the Nobel peace Prize in 1969.
For "Snapchat's ghost" I put *ICON, but it's LOGO.
I know what AFLAC is, but I didn't know its slogan "Ask about it at work."
The LOBOS are the University of New Mexico teams. They have a pretty rad LOGO.
"Manhattan's home" is KAN. This clue baffled me for quite a while. It's Manhattan, Kansas. Arg! I know I should be on the lookout for that kind of trickery, but the old brain-gears just haven't been clicking smoothly lately.
Clever clues: "Far from fuzzy, for short" is HI-DEF. "Little sucker" is LEECH. "One crying foul?" is REF.
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: 17:47 , just one minute too slow for the record! -- Ross Trudeau collected a series of cryptids from divers geographical areas ...
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. ...