The Turn went backwards for me this week. Thursday took me half an hour, yesterday was 26 minutes, and today was just under half that! Everything just seemed to come together quickly, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy it.
My first answer might have been UNIX (21A: System developed by Bell Labs), then PERONI (23A: Italian brewery since 1846), and from those came YOGURT, ROANOKE, and ERMINES. then JANEEYRE (6A: Classic novel written under the nom de plume Currer Bell), and that corner was done.
On the other side, I think I started with KIR (25A: Wine aperitif) which brought back fond memories of my college life in Rennes, France. From that K, BADJOKE (1D: Something a bomber delivers), and from the J, the excellent JAZZHANDS (19A: Gesture of razzle-dazzlement). (Were the Zs in the clue a sub-conscious giveaway?).
Getting into the middle was easy with the Monday-ish clue "6D: "Steel-driving man" of African-American lore" (JOHNHENRY). Was JOHNHENRY an African-American? Funny, I've known that song for as long as I can remember, but never once do I remember remarking upon his skin color. Anyway, a crossing clue that took me way longer than maybe it should have was 30A: " (INCHES).
How about SPIDEREGG (52A: Web deposit?)? Gross! I was not familiar with TRIOLET as an "Eight-line verse form." I read a lot of poetry, but maybe not enough about poetry. FAUVES (44D: Matisse, Derain and fellow artists, with "les"), on the other hand, went right in, but perhaps that's only because I know French and I have always loved the Fauvists. And speaking of art, 1A: "The Haywain Triptych" painter (BOSCH) gets a B. B for BOSCH.
It went FLYING by, but I still think Mr. Gulcynski did a BANGUPJOB.
I agree with the reverse times of the turn this week. I entered with ACURA and got BADJOKE off of that. I finished the corner without even seeing the clues for KIR and ECO. Nice open grid, fun entries, some somewhat tricky clues. I very much like HOTSPUR.
Well, I got hung up in the NE, being unfamiliar with things like HEGOTGAME and, sadly, PERONI, although I can picture the bottle. SEXIST was excellently clued, and who doesn't love WETBARS? I never heard of KIR, TRIOLET or FAUVES but they didn't slow me down since the crosses were fine. Save for the NE, I'd filled in the puzzle in well under 20.