Today's time: 10:58, which isn't too bad.
This one's by David Kwong. Celebrating the magic of Sin City, he asks us to identify "what some performers saw in Las Vegas?" Why, they saw LADIES / IN HALF. That's the capper to the theme, which might only become visible after it's been filled in: the names of four Ladies have been cut in half and placed in the puzzle on the east and west borders.
GAG ORDER across from BODEGA gives us [Lady] GA ... GA. GOD OF LOVE across from SHIVA gives us [Lady] GOD ... IVA. JANET across from AGNES GREY gives us [Lady] JANE ... GREY. And CHATTY across from ADDERLEY gives us [Lady] CHATT ... ERLEY.
I filled in RBI for "sluggers' stat" right away, probably thanks to its appearance on September 4.
On September 21 we had the dreadful "miscall," and now we have the only slightly better MISPLAY for "error at cards."
I had not heard of Anne Brontë's first novel, AGNES GREY. The titular Agnes is a governess who eventually marries a fine gentleman.
I'd vaguely heard the name Cannonball ADDERLEY, but could not have told you that he was a saxophonist. Born Julian Edwin Adderley, he worked with Miles Davis and had a hit with "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." Good stuff. Also interesting to note: his nickname derived from the original "Cannibal," based on his voracious appetite.
For "CIA's forerunner" I put *NSA (whoops, that still exists!), but it's OSS, or Office of Strategic Services.
I've never heard of the Frankie Avalon hit "DEDE Dinah." It sounds like a song written and sung by the Muppets.
INERTIAL mass (of F=ma fame) is opposed, sort of, to gravitational mass.
In "West Side Story," TONY is a member of the white gang, the Jets, who falls in love with Maria, who is the sister of Bernardo, leader of the Puerto Rican gang the Sharks.
Apparently the musical note E is the enharmonic equivalent of F FLAT? Why? Why even call it that, then? I'm so confused. Is A the same as B flat?
There are many movie theaters called RIALTO. Originally, it's the central area of Venice.
Clever clue: "Message from a short person?" is SEND CASH.
This was a DAM fine puzzle. I just don't SEA why I didn't do it faster. There wasn't very much new to me today.
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 ...