My time: 4:11. Yeah, baby!
The very clever conceit of this puzzle by Gary Cee is bringing the phrase DRINKS ARE ON ME to life. Four different cocktails are clued (using their non-alcoholic definitions), and just under these Across answers run the letters ME. For example, a "motorcycle attachment" is a SIDECAR. This answer sits atop EMERIL. A MIMOSA is not just a bubbly brunch drink but a "tropical tree with hot pink flowers." This answer is placed over MEEK.
The third themed clue is GIMLET, clued as its other meaning of a borer, and this appears over NAME TAG. Last and possibly least is "Danny DeVito's role in 1975's 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'" This turns out to be an inmate named MARTINI. (In a memorable scene, he rips a ten-cent cigarette in half so he can bet a nickel in poker.) This answer runs just over ON MERIT.
Four drinks, all on ME. Hilarity!
"French ballroom dance" is GAVOTTE. It supposedly gets its name from a folk dance of the Gavot, the people of the Pays de Gap region of Dauphiné in the southeast of France. Seems a little obscure for a Monday.
The NEA here is not the National Endowment for the Arts but the largest union in America, the 3.2 million strong National Education Association.
And that's it! Only the French dance was new to me. I stayed COOL from the OUTSET and tore through this one in only about 40 seconds slower than my record.
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 ...