When I saw Ms. Weintraub's name today I got my hopes up for an entertaining puzzle, and I was not disappointed. This puzzle is loaded with good entries - There are fourteen (!) of nine letters or more, and all of them were solid. Let's list them all, shall we?
ARTHISTORY (Major for a future museum curator) - straightforward
RICECOOKER (Steam-powered device?) - amusing
LICKETYSPLIT (Pronto) - excellent entry and clue
PRESCHOOL (Nursery) - fine
DECODERRING (Useful cryptography tool to have on hand?) - cute
ADOLESCENT (Not mature) - nice entry
LIBRARIANS (One's turning up the volume?) - SEXY!
TIMEISMONEY (Adage suggesting the value of working expeditiously) - somewhat tortured clue, and not in the hilarious way, as was true for SHE
SLAPSTICK (Monty Python genre) - Say no more!
DIRECTORSCUT (DVD special feature) - fine
SHOWERCAP (Headwear almost never worn outdoors) - unexpected
STRIPMALL (Shopping destination that sounds risqué) - amusing
MINORCHORD (This might sound sad) - great clue
ACTYOURAGE ("Don't be such a baby!") - really nice, exact clue.
That's a lot of very good material. And even the small stuff is elevated by cluing today, as in:
SYR (Setting for 44+ miles of the Euphrates: Abbr.) - Everyone loves geography!
OMAN (Arab nation once colonized by the Portuguese) - Everyone loves history!
NINE (Value not appearing on any Scrabble tile) - Everyone loves trivia!
SHE (Marine mollusk exoskeleton vendor, in a tongue twister?) - Everyone loves absurdly odd clues about tongue twisters!
LAO (Language in which "thank you" is "khob chai") - Everyone loves learning a new language!
ERGO (Post hoc, ____ propter hoc (common fallacy)) - Everyone loves Latin! ... or is that also a common fallacy?
HOW (The way) - Everyone loves being tricked into dropping in "Tao!" ...
There's just so much good! I was enjoying the solve so much that I even smiled at ASLOPE (On the up and up?), which, in a different puzzle, with a different clue, might have generated a different reaction. But not today. Khob chai, Ms. Weintraub, for getting my Friday off to a great start. :)