My time: 18:25, which isn't great but is better than my average so I'll take it.
Today, Peter Gordon takes us bird-watching in Hollywood. Five themed answers are Oscar-nominated or -winning roles whose last names are birds! It's a bit abstruse for a theme, but it has the benefit of making the other answers guessable once you cotton on. I figured it out when I realized a role from To Kill a Mockingbird was a FINCH and knew Jodie Foster's role as CLARICE STARLING.
Mary Badham was nominated for her role as SCOUT FINCH. That's pretty much her only role, actually; a few movies in the 1960s and then one in 2005 make up the rest of her filmography. Jon Voight won an Academy Award for his role as LUKE MARTIN in the 1978 Vietnam drama Coming Home. Martin was paralyzed in the war and falls in love with Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda), whose husband is fighting in Vietnam. And I had totally forgotten that Janey Leigh's character in Psycho was named MARION CRANE.
"Undergoes" is HAS. Undergoes a procedure, has a procedure. Okay.
LEO is apparently a "fire sign," along with Aries and Sagittarius. Astrology is so stupid.
"Prefix with stationary" is GEO-. Geostationary means an object as the same orbital velocity as Earth so that it looks fixed in the sky.
I've heard of Nicki MINAJ, but could not have told you that she had a double album called The Pinkprint.
Santa ANITA is a place name in California. I assume I'm supposed to think of the horse racing track?
Also, "put a ring on" is ENHALO. That is RIDIC.
ERTÉ is the nom d'art of Romain de Tirtoff, taken from his initials, like Hergé. According to Wikipedia, "he was a diversely talented 20th-century artist and designer who flourished in an array of fields, including fashion, jewellery, graphic arts, costume and set design for film, theatre, and opera, and interior decor." According to the puzzle, he was "famous for his serigraphs."
Did you know BOND PAPER is just high quality paper? Me neither.
For "critic, at times" I put *HATER but it's RATER.
"Symbol of gentle innocence" is not *LAMBY but BAMBI.
The capital of Côte d'Ivoire (or as the Times calls it, Ivory Coast) is Yamoussoukro, but its economic capital and largest city is ABIDJAN.
"Golfer who you might think plays best on windy days?" is TOM KITE, which --- sort of irritatingly --- also belong to the bird theme, but not the Oscar-winning actor part.
I haven't heard of the cold medicine brand TRIAMINIC.
Old gossip RONA Barrett last appeared December 9, 2017.
Clever clues: "Checkout lines?" is UPC. "Bag man?" is UMP. "Canine coats" is ENAMELS.
Thursday, February 15, 2018
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 ...