I'm liking this Zachary Spitz fellow. He and his mom had a co-byline on a fun Tuesday puzzle back in April, and this was another good one. Great start with the thoroughly contemporary AMAZEBALLS (A), and lots of strong material throughout. ATROCIOUS (28D: Deplorable), IMMOLATES (32D: Offers as a sacrifice), CONCOCT (41D: Throw together), and RANSACKS (23D: Scours) - all quite good.
This young, male, constructor gets quite a bit of racy material into the grid today, including the former porn star TRACI Lords, SEXSCANDAL, ARSE (well-clued with "Seat in Parliament?"), and others. The cluing, overall, I thought was quite good, and I like the trivia in "6D: Castro overthrew him" (BATISTA), and "21D: Traditional rite of passage month the Masai" (LIONHUNT), although I think there was a misprint in the clue, as Wikipedia tells me it is the Maasai people in Africa, not the people of Masai, in Indonesia.
There are a few big entries, like DATESUGAR and ROCKMELON that are a little boring, but the scales definitely tip to the good today. I look forward to seeing more from young Mr. Spitz.
Yes, this is a fine puzzle indeed. I struggled some in the SE because I'd put in LAOTzu (acceptable although the spelling in the puzzle is the more common version today). ATTU is a piece of crosswordese I know only from doing crossword puzzles.
All on paper with no regard for a second hand. This was a tough one, but quite nice. I ended in the NW with AMAZEBALLS my final entry. I had only TRILATERAL, AXIS, EVA, BATISTA and SNL up there for the longest time. The remainder of that section took me at least twenty minutes. I liked the SIGMACHI clue, and the clue for OHM. Least favorite: CKS. No good.
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