Very tough Saturday! In the end, I was beaten by Zeljko IVANEK and ZAZIEBEETZ. It's always popular culture that does me in. Yesterday, in the NYT News Quiz, I had ten out of ten and then missed the one about kids dressing up going to a certain movie and making TikTok videos. Well, if I have to be out of touch, I'm fine with it. I can SITBY and let the modern world go on without me. My wheelhouse is somewhere back in the TOOTSIE era. Witness my first confident entry - RATSO ("Midnight Cowboy" role), and my second, RUBATOS.
In addition to my lack of current knowledge, I had a few missteps in other areas. I tried CrAbCAKE for "Specialty of Rhode Island cuisine (CLAMCAKE). That made it difficult to see the tricky LUNARYEAR (What a snake or dragon can represent), but MADEMAGIC (Achieved something wondrous) made me make the correction. And I tried fOul for "Out of bounds, in a way" (LONG), but eventually LUNGS (Pair of pants?) (wow) set that one right.
BONEASH (Material in some china) got me into the SE, and I wasn't slowed down much by HIZZONER (Informal title in city government), DENOVO (From square one), or BICEP (Contractor at a gym?) (I'm onto you!), but I just let COTAN (Ratio of two sides in a right-angled triangle, in brief) eventually fill itself in. It's nice when you can EVADE the math questions.
So the right side went by pretty easily, but that left! I had entered CloSET instead of CORSET, and dEfT instead of NEAT (Adroit, as a trick), and was almost ready to ABORT when finally the sound of a CLARINET (Wind known for its warmth) came to me.
I was really INATANGLE in the SW, and was convinced that "placemat" should be one word, and that "Like many place mats" was looking for some kind of adverb... sheesh! The way my mind works against me sometimes! And I was thinking of a pool table for "Pool side," not of the balls, but the cushions or rails around the edge. Finally, Frannie gave me SOLIDS, and then SKIPASSES (They're sported while going on a run) came clear. Then I guessed DONEE for "Foundation, often" but didn't get the "Congratulations" screen and had to go hunting for a bad square. Turns out I had spelled BODILESS with a y, because I had no idea who ZAZIEBEETZ was.
So that's my story. A solid Saturday DNF. It's nice to be humbled by a puzzle every once in a while, and I guess I had it coming to me after this past week of reviews. :)
Hopefully, the rest of you au courant souls fared better than I did on this one.