A modern day CLASSIC from Ms. Burnikel today. With its central cross of TWITTERALERTS and FRIENDREQUEST, the "new-to-me" BITMOJIS (10D: Cartoon avatars on Snapchat), and the answers LATTEART (13A: Pouring one's heart out at a coffeehouse?) and EPICWINS (29A: Awesome successes), this had a real contemporary LUSTRE.
Keeping it real, on the other hand, were such throwbacks as KOJAK (27A: Lieutenant of 1970s TV), SHA (45A: 1950s song syllable), and ROSEANNE (32D: Show for which Laurie Metcalf won three Emmys), although I hear that last one is coming back. I used to watch - and enjoy - the show when it was first on, and if I can figure out when the reboot is happening, I might just tune in.
I couldn't help myself with the two pictures today. Don't you just always think of Looney Tunes when you hear ALUM mentioned? Who knew it was also sometimes used as an "8D: Application to a cut?"
1A: Time-tested (CLASSIC) - B+. It's perfectly acceptable. (And speaking of CLASSIC, it's always surprising to me that VLASIC only has one S.)
Favorite: SICEM (19A: Biting words?) or LANDHO (2D: Shore line?) Sometimes I'm a sucker for a question mark clue.
Least: CROSSE (7D: Sports stick). I played lacrosse in college, and no one ever referred to the stick as a CROSSE. Ever.
There's a lot of good in here, and it was a decent challenge. Thumbs up!
Tough NW corner! THIS was vague, ADAPT was a tough clue. I entered backwards from TWITTERALERTS, getting CROSSE (because what other "sports stick" is there), and then intuiting IAN. I love LATTEART, and it's clue. It was guessing STEPS that finally opened up the rest of the corner.
Also liked the clue and answer for LOOSETEA. strong puzzle today.
My only issue was 39D: CAREER (Drive like hell). I still don't fully get this, and it crossed LAMA which I didn't feel that great about either.
I did enjoy all of the contemporary clues; maybe Paolo Pasco and Erik Agard are starting to run off on everyone with their freshness.
I loved this puzzle; excellent cluing and answers. LATTEART was my final entry. Great clue for SPELT. I never heard of that person from ROSEANNE. LANDHO is excellent. I'd never heard of BITMOJIS, either.