Today's time: 15:24.
Alex Eaton-Salners constructed a puzzle with a theme based around the shape which some of the black squares form. Rising from the southern edge is a two-pronged stick of black squares. This shapes is described in the puzzle variously as THE LETTER Y, a TURNING FORK, GOAL POSTS, and a SLINGSHOT. Clever! A+ construction, would do this theme again.
Also, lots of modern and unusual fill like WHATEVS, AL FRANKEN, PEEL OUT, and GENERAL HOSPITAL (which has won a record 13 Outstanding Drama Series Emmys).
We've all heard of Francis, but have we heard of St. Clare of ASSISI? No, we haven't. She was one of the first followers of Francis, and is the patron saint of eye disease, laundry, and television. All having to do with things that ruin your eyesight, I guess. Her monastic order is known as the Poor Clares.
"Form of sum" is ERAT. That is, it's a declension of the Latin verb "to be." I got stuck thinking of math for a while.
St. PETE, "site of a spring vacay," is St. Pete Beach, a resort city west of St. Petersburg.
SFO is the airport code for San Francisco International, the seventh-busiest airport in the US.
I didn't know IVANKA Trump pretended to write a dreadful book!
"One's Nintendo avatar" is called a MII.
The Lincoln Center has a movie theater called the Walter READE Theater. And who was Walter Reade? He was "The Showman of the Shore," the owner of a chain of movie houses in New Jersey. He successfully brought AromaRama to moviegoers. He was killed in a skiing accident in Switzerland.
I remembered "oil and gas giant" HESS from its October 2 appearance as a toy truck distributor.
"Relative of cream" stymied me for too long. I was thinking dairy products, not color hues. It's ECRU.
Clever clue: "What does follow?" is STAG. "Ones involved in wishful thinking?" is GENII. "Pole star?" is SANTA. "Knight 'hood?" is CASTLE.
I RECKON I could have done that a bit faster.
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 ...