My time: 13:57.
Andrew J. Ries constructed this not-too-hard, not-too-easy Friday themeless. There's one answer that crosses the whole grid, which I got pretty quickly since it's a term of art in my profession: TEACHABLE MOMENT. Other fun fill is ICE PALACE, PINA COLADA, MOP TOP ("shaggy do"), COUSIN ITT, PTEROSAUR, HOLY SPIRIT, and GO TIME ("crucial hour, informally").
Aunt ELLER, a character in the musical "Oklahoma!," is a common crossword answer. I vaguely remember this from my pre-blog days of doing the puzzle.
I've never heard of Hanauma Bay, a nature preserve and underwater park in OAHU.
"Intuition, jocularly" is SPIDEY-SENSE. Everyone says that! So colloquial and jocular.
NIALL Ferguson is a right-wing sleazeball whose books include Civilization: The West and the Rest and The Ascent of Money, so you pretty much know where he's coming from. He's known for his defense of the Raj and his bizarre defense of WWI-era Germany. He's also been accused of trying to get "dirt" on liberal students.
I know the saxophonist Cannonball, but today it's all abut the Hall of Fame footballer Herb ADDERLEY, cornerback for the Packers and Cowboys.
In the same vein, I know the football guy John, but today it's all about Steve MADDEN, an American designer of boots, shoes, handbags, and so forth.
Remember the PTL Club, on TV? The Jim and Tammy show? Praise The Lord! Or maybe People That Love! On the PTL Network! Drugging and raping and stealing, the Lord's work.
In 1968, the Turtles had a hit with "ELENORE," which I've heard plenty of times of classic rock radio. However, I never knew that they wrote this as a satirical spoof of their own hit, "Happy Together," with deliberately silly lyrics ("Elenore, gee, I think you're swell, you're my pride and joy, et cetera").
The SCLERA is the white outer layer of the eyeball.
"European carrier" SAS appeared two days ago.
ORD is usually clued as Chicago O'Hare's code, but appeared as Fort ORD, a former military base on Monterey Bay named after Major General and living Scrabble rack Edward Otho Cresap Ord, on September 25, 2017.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian RON Chernow appeared on December 12, 2017. Here he's clued as the author whose work inspired the musical "Hamilton."
"Booker's title" is SEN, which confused me at first even though the same wordplay was run on September 23, 2017.
Clever clues: "Life preservers?" is CEREAL BOXES. "Prime rater, for short" is USDA. "Health care coverage providers?" is SCRUBS.
A very nice puzzle, just the right difficulty FOR a Friday. I feel good about it.
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 ...