FP: 0:43:41 FWOE
Horace kindly agreed to start the review for me because, as you see from the above, I was having some difficulties with it. He opined: A lovely themeless today, with some beautiful entries. Some of my favorites are:
35A: Mine field? (PERSONALSPACE)
12D: Stretch for relaxation (ALONETIME)
23D: Participate in a speed round? (DOSHOTS)
31D: Stilted performance, perhaps? (CIRCUSACT)
31A: What most online passwords are (CASESENSITIVE)
That's three QMCs and two non-QMCs.
Some of Frannie's favorites were:
Third of a dozen (ZEE). I was duped again! My thoughts ran to things there are 12 of, and I ended up with 'mar' (as in March, third of twelve), without stopping to think the abbreviation aspect of the word I was shoehorning in there. I went wrong with another three-letter answer at 40A: "Start of a cry that ends with 'bah!'". I started the cry too far back with rah. "Rah rah sis boom bah" anyone?In other three-letter entry news, I enjoyed "Coat under feathers" (TAR).
My FWOE came at the cross between "Persian word from which 'chess' comes" (SHAH), which I mis-remembered as SHAk, don't ask me why. An inheritancesque reading of the clue, "Left for" had my mind ONALEASH blocking my ability to see HEADINGTO even after running the alphabet. ODD.
Overall, I LIKED the puzzle, but the pattern of QMCs and non-QMC clues still eludes me.