Boy, this one flew by. Maybe because I had heard the quip already. I was done in about ten minutes, but I had one problem square. I guessed wrong, and ended up having to run the alphabet, which, in my book, is a DNF. The square in question was the M in CIMINO (46D: Michael who directed "The Deer Hunter" and TCM (52A: Setting for many old films). I saw "The Deer Hunter," but I did not take note of the director's name, apparently, and having never had cable television, "Turner Classic Movies" is not something I think about. I barely even know about it. I know TBS, sure, but TCM? Not so much. So there you have it.
Aside from that, there was some stuff I liked in here, and some that I did not like. I enjoyed SLAMMER (5D: Pen), MAZE (10A: Way-out challenge?), MORNAY (27A: Sauce made with roux, milk and cheese) (Good ol' Julia...), HEAP (34A: Jalopy), NOB (53A: Bean), GEESE (64A: Simpletons), and ESCHER (45D; Tessellating artist). SINAI (43A: New York's Mount ____ Hospital) made me think of Colum (as did MED (51A: ____ school) and 50A: Rake in (EARN.)) :) And the full MAUNAKEA (3D: Highest Hawaiian peak) made me think of Huygens.
I didn't think "23D: Chisel, maybe" was just right for ETCH. Does that count as etching? Isn't that more like sculpting? Well... what do I know of it? And is LAPCAT (30D: Pet that likes to be petted) a thing? Isn't it mostly "lap dog" that people say? Oh, I don't know... I guess writing this review has talked me into liking this one. As I was doing it I didn't love it, because I don't particularly like the "quip" type of puzzle, and little things like ENAMELER and NOS bugged me. But on balance, there seems to be more that I enjoyed than stuff I did not enjoy, so let's give it a tepid thumb's up.
p.s. Is EPIC going to be in the puzzle every day now? Doesn't it seem like we've seen that an awful lot lately?