My time: 17:15.
This puzzle, by Benjamin Kramer, shows you how to MAKE AN ENTRANCE ("arrive with fanfare"). But with a slight change in pronunciation, you also can make an entrance, as the three clued answers do: FRENCH ANTILLES, DRIVE-THROUGH, and SIDE LIGHTING.
It has to be a quick and straightforward one today, so let's get to it.
For "certain chemical weapon" I was thinking, gas something? Then... *GAS BAGS?? But it's the pedestrian GAS BOMB.
"Org. concerned with reactions" the NRC last appeared September 12.
Long forgotten by me and last seen August 11 is "Irish coronation stone" LIA Fáil.
But I sort-of remembered "Mr. White Sox" Minnie MINOSO, "who played MLB in five different decades," from October 18.
Old Swedish coins are ORE. One hundredth of a krona, they are properly spelled öre, although in Norway and Denmark it's spelled øre.
We've heard of El Cid, but did we know his full name, Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar? No, we did not. Interesting fact: the Christians called him El Campeador, or "outstanding warrior."
I thought Optimas and Sedonas were fonts, but they're KIAS.
Is a TOE POKE an actual "unconventional soccer kick?" Yes, yes it is.
I was too eager with the *AMBUSH when it was WAYLAY, and that slowed me down.
I'm not sure I'm familiar with SIRENE, an Eastern European Feta-style brined cheese.
A TATER TOT is a "spud puppy?" Cascadian Farm brands calls them that.
URAL comes up a lot as a crossword answer. It's a mountain range, a river that flows into the Caspian sea, and apparently the territory north of Afghanistan in the game Risk.
MESA Verde National Park is in Colorado.
Clever clues: "Mars produces billions of them each week" is M AND MS. "Cabbage" made me think of money slang so I put *SALAD, but it's BREAD.
Not too much unfamiliar, but the clues were just clever enough to make this quite difficult. Today's time is more than my Wednesday average.
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 ...