Hello, Dear Reader! It is I, Horace. OHDEARME it seems like ages STINTS I wrote a review! Thanks, Frannie and Colum, for two months of excellent and entertaining reviews! ITHINKICAN safely say that you are both my AMIS, and my ROLEMODELS as I try to EARNSANAME for myself on this blog!
But if I could bluntly SEGWAY to the actual review, I want to start with a complaint. And it's really more of a lifestyle scold, so LISTENHERE, I hope that none of our readers actually considers a PLASTICBAG to be a "Checkout counter option." Say it with me - the answer to "Paper or Plastic?" is always, "Neither. I've brought my own!"
In actual puzzle complaints, I call "boring" on COSET (MATH subgroup), and "Ooh, that's Saturday hard!" on RAO (42A: "Kanthapura" novelist Raja ____). Or maybe it's just "non-reader hard," I don't know... TVCAMERAS (30D: Soap-making equipment?) had me fooled for quite a while, and AEROLOGY (34D: Study of the atmosphere) gets a YEAHSURE from me. Yeah, sure, it's probably correct, but it just seems so... I don't know, obvious? What wasn't, sadly, obvious to me, but should have been, was OPERASERIA (51A: Mozart's "Il Re Pastore," e.g.). I saw "Mozart," and what looked like it could be an aria name, and I had the R at the end, so I wrote in "aRIA," and waited for the first part to come in. I should have noticed that MADaRA (41D: City and county of central California) didn't look right, or, come to think of it, that OPERASaRIA didn't either, but, well, I didn't. So FWOE. (BTW, SAES is weak. Aren't they really SASEs most of the time?)
So let's see, I used to do various things every day....
1A: Noodle house noodles (SOBA) gets a B. Mostly because I like SOBA so much.
Favorite: MATINEES (37A: Early showings) (Did you notice that "previews" also fit?)
Least: Probably that SAES.
Overall, there were some peppy entries: TRASHTALKS, SALTLICK, CHINATOWN... but it didn't really wow me.
A fine Saturday, and I agree with the PLASTICBAG comment. As is well known, I cart in my own cloth produce bags in addition to shopping bags. SMITHERS went right in. TRASHTALKS is great, as was the previously mentioned OPERASERIA. SOBA was well rated, and who doesn't love a CHAI latte? I never heard of RAO, and haven't yet read the classic sci-fi novel SOLARIS.