Today's time: 19:53, not too shabby.
I didn't finish Friday's puzzle on time. I completed it eventually, but not before the new day arrived, so that's an incomplete for me.
Sam Ezersky is the author of this themeless. I enjoyed it and may have gotten a record time if I hadn't seen the V in "hit reality show starting in 2011" and promptly put *SURVIVOR, where it stayed way too long. It's THE VOICE, and "Survivor" debuted eleven years earlier, in 2000. I'm not a reality TV guy.
Paul ANKA has a star on Canada's Walk of Fame because, as it turns out, he was born in Ottawa.
The phrase in "least bit, in a phrase" is "I don't care a RAP." A rap, as it turn out, is a counterfeit halfpenny formerly passed in Ireland. Interesting!
I've heard of the Aesop fables "The Dogs and the Fox," and "The Crow and the Fox," but forgot "The HEN and the Fox." Also called "The Cock and the Fox," which is, of course, a great name for a gay pub.
A mantis has only one EAR? Now I've heard everything! It's on their belly, between the middle and hind pairs of legs. Crickets have ears on their front legs. Insects are strange.
I misread "when the PGA Championship is held annually" as "where the PGA..." and assumed AUG was short for Augusta! It's August, dummy. As to where, it moves around, mostly in the east. New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have hosted it the most.
ETHEL Kennedy is the widow of Robert Kennedy, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her human rights work.
TV host Julie CHEN is a CBS talk personality and long, long-running host of "Big Brother."
The best material for outdoor furniture is TEAK, an insect- and water-resistant wood I briefly had *IRON because of the incorrect crossfill *SURVIVOR.
"Papyrus, e.g." is SEDGE. I didn't know the Egyptian writing material was made from a plant in the SEDGE family. Actually, I kept thinking of it as the font.
"The sharp thorn often produces delicate roses," wrote OVID. Actually he wrote something like, "Saepe creat molles aspera spina rosas." I can only find it in books of quotations.
"Creatures captured in Hercules' 10th labor" are OXEN. More typically styled cattle, as in the cattle of Geryon, a monster with three heads and six legs. It was the returning with the cattle that proved to be the most difficult task, as various personages kept trying to steal them and Hera send a fly to sting them and scatter them around the country.
Clever clues: "Extra-special delivery" is OCTUPLET. "One way to go to Rome" is ALITALIA, which is the Italian national airline. I was trying to make some sort of ancient Roman way like the Appian or something fit there. "Do some course prep?" is TEE UP. "Locale for touchdowns" is TARMAC.
FACT IS, this was a pretty enjoyable puzzle.
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 ...