I whizzed along right from the start, with nary a gray area. Going along in high GEAR, I was able to DART from OHIO to ELM, throwing CASH around like a STAR, taking care to complete the SHIPSLOG. As I sped along, I felt the GERM of an idea sprout in my mind. "AHA!" I thought, "a golden opportunity for a sub-five time." As soon as the idea ANTE'd my mind, though, and I realized what was at STAKE, instantly, AMAL butterfingers. I had some kind of SPASM and hit the 123 key on my iPad keyboard, resulting in number entries that MARRED my grid, which I then had to scramble to DELETE. I says to myself, the FATS in the fire now as I felt the sub-five slip beyond my GRASP. Color me vexed. I ended up with a completion time of 5:06 - maybe Philbo, at least, will be happy with that. :)
The silver lining was that OVAL, we got a NEAT puzzle with very little red tape. I'll save you any more purple prose and conclude by saying that while I didn't succeed with flying colors, I'll put on my rose-colored glasses and assume I'll get it next time.