My time: 15:58, not bad for a Friday.
Neville Fogarty and Doug Peterson serve up a tough but fair themeless. I found this puzzle a respite from the all-too-tricky Thursday, which I didn't finish.
"Classic arcade game with lots of shooting" is a clever clue for NBA JAM, which started out as a 1993 arcade game by Midway and is now a home console game by Electronic Arts.
I've never heard of Bond girl OLGA Kurylenko. A Ukrainian-born French model and actress, she played Camille Montes in Quantum of Solace, which I've seen. But, sadly, the actresses in the Bond films are never as celebrated as the man playing 007.
Apparently, the EDSEL was once promoted with the tagline "The thrill starts with the grille." But it got a lot of backlash for its vertical grille, which some said looked like a vulva (?) and others said it resembled a toilet seat.
"Speaker units" is OHMS. An ohm is a unit for electrical resistance. Speakers act as resisters to electrical impulse, having what audiophiles refer to as impedance.
I totally forgot that a Super 8 is an INN. I got caught up in the film type.
I love Wallace and GROMIT, but did not know the bit of canon that the latter graduated from Dogwarts University.
Santa ROSA is a town in California with some rather bloody spots on its history.
Did you know TUCSON is nicknamed "The Old Pueblo?" Me neither.
"Giant competitor" is PADRE. I thought for the longest time that this referred to the supermarket chain Giant Foods, and there was maybe another supermarket chain called Padre, but no. It's a sports reference. The San Francisco Giants are a major league baseball team, and their competitors are the San Diego Padres. It's not about the New York Giants! That's football. I actually have to look this stuff up.
It's Dickens' Curiosity Shop girl Little NELL, yet again.
Clever clues: "Circular parts" is ADS. "Rail center?" is MARSH, which I think is because a rail is a marsh bird. "One going against the grain?" is REAPER.
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 ...