Solved with my mother, in NYC, and a good thing too, or it would have taken even longer! I am very much in favor of tougher Saturday puzzles. Recently, they've seemed a bit straightforward. This sort of grid lends itself to a harder grind, with those very large sections of white space in each corner, and only a tiny little middle segment to give some entree into each section.
We got going in the NE - the NW was too challenging to get a foothold, especially when you drop Marlon Brando incorrectly into 2D (I also considered Orson Welles before finally hitting on the correct one, Peter OTOOLE, a crossword boon of a name if ever there was one, both a celebrity and chock filled with vowels).
I note that three of the four corners have one answer that's hard to IDEALIZE. In the NE, it's REALER. It's acceptable, of course, but don't we typically just say "more real?" In the SE it's ROADER. This one's a real stretch, as is 3D: Hardly the silent type (YELLER). Couldn't we just have had a clever clue about the dog?
My mother knew Anna KARINA, which certainly helped open up the SW corner.
The NW was the last to go, and once again, my mother came up with ROLLOVER. I love all those Vs in that corner, and my favorite clue is at 21A: One after another? (ELEVEN). The other clue I enjoyed was 25D: Canine's woe? (DECAY).
Even though there were no really exciting sparkling entries, this is a solid and smooth 60-word puzzle, and a fun solve overall.
One after another was my favorite clue. I’ve never heard of a snocat.
Apathy...sadly more relevant than ever.
Great puzzle. My solving experience shadows Colum's - one sector at a time, beginning with the NE and ending with the NW. I thought that one would never come together! Now this Sat puzzle is how I remember them - a LOT of staring and half baked ideas...then, one foothold and they all fall in place.
I appreciate that O'TOOLE's Lawrence of Arabia was rated the top performance of all time! Credit where credit is due, in my book. As for the solve, somehow I had "DERANGED", so I knew early on it wasn't Brando!
And, a SNOCAT is one of those big rigs used on mountain resorts and ski areas - like the rig used in that old movie "The Shining".
Last night, I wanted to take a look at the constructor of the Friday puzzle, so I looked at xwordinfo to see how young the person was. I was going to mention it in relation to my "E-ticket" comment. But it was after 10pm, and they had already put up the Saturday puzzle, and I accidentally saw that 1A was not MWAHAHA. So this morning I put in BOYSCLUB immediately, which helped immensely with that NW corner. All this to say that my time is not real.
That said, I very much enjoyed this one. It was hard, but things came in slowly, which is the best kind of puzzle. Yes, there is little flow between quadrants, but those quadrants are so chunky!
I found this one to be easy for me for a Saturday. I'll give an enthusiastic third to the ELEVEN cluing being my favorite, which was just fantastic. CLOVEN was great, and really, so many of the clues were just so top-notch, exactly what we'd expect on a Saturday. I didn't know KARINA, but the crosses were fair. I agree with Colum that the diagonal quartet of Vs up there in the NW is great.