My time: 10:23.
Today's theme, by Andrew Ries, is as clever as yesterday's. There are four extra answers made up of circled squares which extend inward from one of the four borders, make two right angles, and head back to the side they began, forming a block U shape around two or three black squares. This "often-forbidden maneuver" is, as I guessed early, a U-TURN. But the capper on this theme is that the circles squares spell out the name of universities: CLEMSON, PRINCETON, CAL TECH, and NOTRE DAME. That makes them literal U. turns! Haw!
LILI Taylor, best known for her role in Mystic Pizza, is someone I recognize by face and not name.
EMI (Electric and Musical Industries) was one of the big four recording labels, back when anyone cared about that. It was founded in 1931.
Did you know Ad ASTRA per Aspera is the state motto of Kansas? Me neither, but I know the phrase well.
I got N.L. EAST from remembering the similar August 8 entry. Apparently Bobby Cox won that division every year for ten years straight. And Bobby Cox was a third baseman who became the manager of the Atlanta Braves. More interestingly, he holds the all-time record for ejections in Major League Baseball with 158.
I haven't heard of the lawn mower brand TORO.
There's a Viking Ship Museum in OSLO! Another thing to add to the bucket list.
For the singer of 2012 #1 hit "Somebody That I used to Know" I put *GOTSE, which, whoops, is nearly something horrible. It's GOTYE. I don't listen to much modern hit music, unless I can help it. And so here it is!
The URAL is, in addition to mountains, a river that, like the Volga, flows into the Caspian Sea.
I'm pretty ashamed that I forgot the name of former FBI director James COMEY, and instead put in *COMES. What a dummy I am. But not quite as dumb as his stupid, vindictive, lying moron of a boss.
Hermann HESSE is the famed novelist, but apparently HESSE is also a German state. And even more fascinating, the element hassium was named after it.
Clever clue: "Stick in a lake?" is OAR.
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 ...