Horace and I agreed that this puzzle seemed like a bit of a struggle, but both of our solve times, relative to our respective usual Friday times, were pretty good. My time was 22:52. One slow section for me was the south west. I haven't thought of the word PSYCHED ("Eager, informally") for quite some time - somewhat fortunately, as it was never a favorite. Also, for some reason I entered SANDlOt for "Place to build a castle," instead of the correct SANDBOX, which made it difficult to come up with PEPBAND for "Rally feature". Also, difficult to guess was PHOTOOP when I had only ___TOOP at the bottom and a crafty QMC to boot ("When a poser might be presented?"). I think my only other stumbling block was at the cross between 18A and 9D. I had A_ONIST at 18A, but only the AR of ARGOT ("Cant") at 9D. My brain got stuck on 'arsonist' despite the fact that it wouldn't even fit. Derp.
Elsewhere, though, things rolled along pretty smoothly and entertainingly. I remembered LOLCATS as vaguely humorous, but as I was working on the review, I searched a few and some of them made me literally LOL. I also learned that a LOLcat translation of the Bible had been undertaken. It features the feline trilogy Ceiling Cat, Basement Cat, and Happy Cat. HASHTAG #wattba!
In case you are looking for other Web-based distractions as the we kick off the weekend, you may enjoy this video of Elvis Presley singing ALOHAOE. Or, better (?) yet, how about his "Yoga is as yoga does" from "Easy Come Easy Go"?
In the category of weekend favorites, I might also suggest "Place for free spirits" (OPENBAR). I suppose, however, that that's right out these days - as is, I imagine, an in-person HOTDATE. Maybe hitting the HOMEGYM is more like it.
Enjoy the weekend, dear Readers! Don't take any wooden nickels, and don't try to catch a GRENADE.