Here was another puzzle that played hard for me (note that my time is slower than last Friday's!). I broke into the puzzle at 7A: Late-night host before Carson (PAAR). And the puzzle played a little old-timey, just like that answer (Jack Paar hosted from 1957-1962). YENTL (1983), AJA (1987), PIA / ZADORA (1982 for the movie "Butterfly" - I can't show any pictures from this movie because they're too shocking), Charles READE ("Peg Woffington", published 1853).
Perhaps it's because of the theme? I mean, who actually drinks a DRYMARTINI any more? Okay, I'm kidding, because I know a few, including people who write in this blog or comment. I liked the hidden ingredients in EXTRAVIRGIN, RIVERMOUTH, and DIAPERSERVICE. I had no idea what the point of those answers were until I hit the revealer. And then we get a final twist, as it were. OLIVERTWIST, to be exact. That R is bothering me, though. There's a mini-theme addition with PEACH Schnapps at 45A.
Anyway, I'm not sure why this puzzle took longer. Yes, there are mildly tricky answers like PARTV and RVERS. The NW corner was actually pretty straightforward, but I just couldn't find any purchase initially. 1A: Soaks so as to extract flavor (STEEPS) is a reasonable answer saddled with an overly wordy clue (gets a C+). PEARLE is annoying because of the brand name aspect.
Later on, I put ArMs in for AMMO, which slowed the NE somewhat. I like POPMUSIC next to the death of good sound, AUTOTUNE, especially as the former uses too much of the latter for my taste. My favorite clue-answer is 38D: Scenes in shoeboxes, say (DIORAMAS). Nothing particularly tricky about it, but reminds me of a couple of school projects in my kids' years.
Shout out to IDRIS Elba right next to ETTA James. I love both "The Wire" and "At Last".
I didn't love this effort. ITISSO. I prefer "Make it so."