Today's time: 19:06.
This Thursday Timothy Polin advises us to BURY THE / HATCHET, and indeed the ax is buried: "butt out!" is NONE OF YOUR BEESW[ax], "everyone's duty?" is PERSONAL INCOME T[ax], and "chill out" is SIT BACK / AND REL[ax]. Very clever!
Lots of words with multiple meanings for fill this time around, like "fall apart in competition" being TANK and "discards" being SHEDS, for example. Also clues with equally possible answers, such as ELECT (but not *ELITE) for "chosen few." And the ones that gave me a lot of trouble, LAB MICE (but not *LAB RATS) for "involuntary test subjects," while ANT TRAP (and not *RAT TRAP) is a "defense against infestation." That's devious!
"2800-mile river to Laptev Sea" is the LENA. (No, not Lena Olin.) The Laptev Sea is in the Arctic Ocean, north of Siberia. The Lena is the 11th longest river in the world and one of three Siberian rivers to the Arctic, the others being the Ob and the Yenisei.
"Model company?" is LIONEL. The Lionel Corporation was a toy company that was famous for its model trains.
The hero of dangerously ignorant nonsense The Fountainhead is named Howard ROARK. An equity firm that specializes in leveraged buyouts is named after him. I bet they're fun at parties!
TIN is the anniversary gift (10th) between pottery (9th) and steel (11th).
I think maybe back in the murky mists of time I learned Grace's last name on "Will and Grace." it's ADLER. That's nice.
The "effect used by scientists to measure distance" is STELLAR / PARALL[ax]. That is the shift in position of an object such as a star that results from the actual shift of the observer.
For "extraction target" I kept thinking of a *VIP in a bad spot needing paramilitary rescue, but it's actually the extraction of ORE.
I'm familiar with Chuck COLSON, but couldn't come up with his name unaided. His Wikipedia article makes him sound like some sort of philanthropist and holy man and not the cheap crook and hatchet man that he was. (Hey! Hatchet man! Another buried hatchet!)
Clever clues: "Some wind blowers" is OBOISTS. "Store with magazines" is ARMORY. "It's well rounded" is ORB. "Very basic things" is LYES. "Wrapped up in court?" is ROBED.
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 ...