My time: 14:47.
Erik Agard and Andy Kravis have fun with SPOONERISMS. In that capper answer, the first five letters are circled, because all of the themed answers, if un-spoonerized, are used with spoons.
So, we have "horse races?" which is WHINNY MEETS, made from the base phrase Mini-Wheats. "Seinfeld's stringed instrument" is the JERRY CELLO, which is from cherry Jell-O. A "particularly pale Ph.D. ceremony" is PASTY HOODING, which was the first themed clue I got, even before I realized that we were doing SPOONERISMS. The joke is based on hasty pudding, which is gross oatmeal corn mush, or porridge in the UK. Worst thing with pudding in the name ever. The last themed answer is PAY GROUPON, which means to "pony up for a certain online deal." Might you have any Grey Poupon?
A very well done theme, or should I say, a theme that is very dell won.
I can't believe that I had such a hard time remembering Filipino strongman Ferdinand MARCOS, not to mention Imelda and all her shoes.
For "hot gossip" I had *ITEM but it's DISH. For "compete in a harness race" I had *DRAG (I was thinking about an Iditarod dog team harnessed up) but it's TROT. I had largely forgotten the specific horse race meaning.
Did you know the OBIES, the Off-Broadway Theater Awards, first started in 1956? Me neither. "Absalom Absalom" won for Best New Play and "The Threepenny Opera" for Best Musical.
"Catherine, to Jules et Jim" is AMIE. Those are names of the three characters in the tragic love triangle depicted in François Truffaut's 1962 movie Jules et Jim. Spoiler: there is a lot more murder in this movie than I imagined there would be.
A spinning jenny is a multi-spindle spinning frame, so its output is YARN.
"Hostlers' workplaces" are INNS.
Bad clue: "provoke a fight, colloquially" for STIR IT UP. No one says that, right? Stir things up, maybe?
The center of the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush was apparently DAWSON City, in Yukon, Canada. Its official name is The Town of the City of Dawson, which seems pretty stupid, really.
I'm not up on the modern music of today that the kids enjoy. I didn't know that THE WEEKND is an R&B singer (I'd imagined him [them?] to be a DJ or electronica type maybe?), and I've heard of the song "Can't Feel My Face," but I haven't actually listened to it.
"Cousin of a meadowlark" is an ORIOLE. They are both in the family Ictiderae.
I know what EDAM cheese is, but I've ever heard of its name in Spanish speaking regions, queso de bola, literally "ball cheese." Heh.
I'm quite ashamed that I couldn't put together that TACOMA is on Puget Sound. I lived in the Pacific Northwest for many years! I suck at geography.
UNADON, a type of eel dish with rice, appeared way back on October 4, 2017.
"Happy Days" actress ERIN Moran appeared on February 4.
Clever clues: "Doctor or engineer" is RIG! They're verbs. "Parts of springs" is MAYS. "Opposite of a poetry slam?" is ODE, ha.
I enjoyed this theme very much, but I was SRSLY slow this time around. I need a SPA DAY.
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 ...