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.