My time: 7:52.
Jonathan Schmalzbach and Bill Albright put a FRENCH TWIST on some famous names. "Nickname for a glitzy author?" is JEWELS VERNE. A "clumsy composer" is CLOD DEBUSSY. My favorite is the "sloppy painter" TOO-LOOSE LAUTREC. And finishing the set is "fiery philosopher" BLAZE PASCAL. To a Francophone like me, this theme is delightful! Very clever, messieurs; I doff my chapeau.
"What a current flows through" is ANODE. An anode is an electrode through which the conventional current enters into a polarized electrical device. This contrasts with a cathode, an electrode through which conventional current leaves an electrical device. A common mnemonic is ACID for "Anode Current Into Device." Thanks, Wikipedia! I thought of this one: CLAIM, for "Cathode Leaving, Anode Into Machine."
I forgot the monkey in Aladdin is ABU and not *APU.
John AMOS played the older Kunta Kinte in "Roots." He was also in "Good Times," which is where I know him, I guess, but he's had a great deal of other work. He was in Die Hard 2, Coming To America, and 22 episodes of "The West Wing," which I don't recall him in even though I've seen the whole series.
I've never heard of AUDRA McDonald, graduate of Julliard and actress/singer. She's mainly known for Broadway work, though she's done some television which I haven't seen.
"Get Happy" composer is Harold ARLEN. The song has been sung countless times, by Sinatra, Ella, and even Rufus Wainwright, but it's most associated with Judy Garland. It's very much in the tradition of Christian revival and blues songs ("Hallelujah, get happy, before the Judgement Day"). Harold ARLEN wrote the music for dozens of songs embedded in the popular consciousness, such as "Over the Rainbow," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," "It's Only a Paper Moon," "That Old Black Magic," and many others.
Never heard of A LA Grecque, which in cooking means served in a sauce made of olive oil, lemon juice, and several seasonings.
"City where trap music originated" is ATL. It's a kind of dark, synthesized rap music. The term "trap" is used to refer to the place where drug deals are made. The term originated in Atlanta, Georgia, where rappers Cool Breeze, Dungeon Family, Outkast, Goodie Mob, and Ghetto Mafia were some of the first to use the term in their music.
We all know Indian prime minister Jawaharlal NEHRU, but did we know he was addressed as "Pandit"? Wiki says it's due to his roots with the Kashmiri Pandit community, while others say it is just Hindi for "teacher."
I didn't know Pennsylvania zip codes start with ONE. I shall endeavor to remember this crucial fact.
More car trivia: The Toyota coupe sold from 1970 to 2006 is the CELICA. The name is supposed to come from the Latin for "heavenly." And Hyundai makes the SUVs Santa Fe and Tucson.
DULUTH, Minnesota. It's a port on the west coast of Lake Superior.
"Old blues singer" Johnny OTIS is not the old black man you're picturing, but the son of Greek immigrants, born as Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes. He wasn't just a singer but a composer, arranger, bandleader, talent scout, disc jockey, record producer, television show host, artist, author, journalist, minister, and impresario. He is called "the Godfather of Rhythm and Blues."
The term PEG in baseball means a hard fast throw to take a runner out.
I remembered chair designer Charles EAMES from August 29, 2017!
Clever clues: "It contains MSG" is NYC! "The bay in the fifth, for one" is TIP.
Man, that is a lot of new and uncertain fill for me! But I still didn't do too badly, timewise. Figuring out all the themed answers before the rest of the fill helped. ONCE I got those letters in the rest just fell together.
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 ...