My time: 7:33, nearly a minute slower than average! Boo, me!
Alex Eaton-Salners found my one weakness with this devious puzzle that relies on knowledge of a musical! Apparently the song "PUT ON A HAPPY FACE," by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, is featured in the musical "Bye Bye Birdie."
(Extra crossword synchronicity tidbit: Chita Rivera, an actress I learned about in yesterday's puzzle, originated a role in this musical on Broadway and the West End.)
"What you might do if you sing" this song is BREAK INTO A SMILE, and "how you might feel if you sing" it is FULL OF GOOD CHEER.
It wasn't until I finished the entire puzzle that I realized that the grid has a large smiley face --- eyes, nose, grin, even eyebrows ---- formed with the black squares. I really ought to be more observant.
The hinged part of an airplane wing is AILERON, a word I've heard before but had trouble spelling.
The town of OCALA, Florida appeared on January 3, but here it's part of OCALA National Forest, the southernmost forest in the US, famous for its sand pines.
Prince ALY Khan was the son a Pakistani sultan, the third husband of Rita Hayworth, and representative of Pakistan to the UN.
Staying on the subcontinent, PALAK paneer is an an Indian dish which is basically just a purée of spinach and cheese curd.
"Bit of jewelry on the side of the head" is EARCLIP. Not in my vocabulary.
Clever clues: "Untagged, in tag" is NOT IT. "Medium strength?" is ESP. "Ones whistling while they work?" is REFS. "Big top?" is AFRO.
There was very little new material here for me to stumble over; I just had a needlessly hard time with the theme. I should have been more open-minded (and open-eyed); I may have subconsciously given up when I saw the clue about a musical. I'm not HIP TO those kinds of OLD show tunes, though I have nothing against them.
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 ...