So, under fifteen for a Friday. I'll take it. It FELT like this one was right in my wheelhouse. I seemed to have a guess for every clue and, in an odd turn of events, my guess was often correct. For example, although I didn't know "Bird named for its black-and-white markings" I thought immediately of ZEBRA. I was able to confirm the Z with the down "Full-figured" (ZAFTIG), so in it went. True, I didn't know what kind of Zebra bird was wanted, but as the old saying goes, a word in the band is worth two in the mush, or something like that. The rest of the downs in the north east helped me identify the bird as a FINCH. Also, for reasons we don't need to go into here, I am familiar with the ingredients of a FUZZYNAVEL cocktail, so that answer went right in. And thus I went along at a brisk TROT.
The only real trouble I had was in the south east. I was a FOOL and entered CHALKmark instead of the correct CHALKLINE, even though the word "mark" is right in the clue. Double derp. So I had that wrong, When I looked at the clue "So on and so forth" with an initial letter of A from ROMAN (Kind of type) I applied too much ZEAL, or rather, not enough, and kept thinking along the lines of "Adinfititum," or "Adnauseum." The correct answer, ALLTHATJAZZ, is much better PHIL.
I got "It comes from Mars" (TWIX) right away, but I was temporarily duped by "Rock and roll, e.g." (VERBS). Also, I entered bILKS at first for "Uses shamelessly" but when I checked the resulting across, I realized bUSTNT was a no-no, so I was able to clear that up before I got into any real trouble.
But enough about how I went SARONG, here's what was so right in this puzzle:
Their players are often benched (PIANOS)
Was charming? (CASTASPELL)
Reason for going out a lot? (NARCOLEPSY)
Dough nut? MISER - ha!
Not to mention a HEAP of good fill like AQUAMARINE, CRABAPPLE, and
THANE. Plus, two great words in the clues: Pismire and Foofaraw. I'm a FAN.
There was some fill that was not EQUAL to the rest. The one clue/answer pair I would put EXES on is "Demand" (ENTAIL). SAGO is fine, but not fun. And "___ soda" (SAL), is even less fun, especially if you happen to mistake it for a refreshing beverage. Speaking of which, there's some peach schnapps and orange juice calling my name.