Einstein quote: "Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
Not sure I completely agree with that, but whatever.
I'm a francofile and I don't even like the answer ABBE (15A: French cleric). The very next across, however, CAPN (16A: Superior of a bos'n) pretty much made up for it. I don't know why, but that clue and answer made me smile. Maybe because it made me think of Cap'n Crunch cereal... Nice to see cerium and samarium getting a shout out as rare EARTHS (22A: Cerium and samarium are rare ones) - I like it when I learn something new from doing a puzzle. Now if I can remember those two elements, I'll be even happier. I might remember cerium, as it was named after Ceres (the planet and the goddess, I guess), and who doesn't like astronomy and/or Classical mythology? And speaking of that, it's always nice to picture a nice crown of LAUREL (23A: Classic prize), isn't it? A RHODO is a (29A: Showy bloom, to flower enthusiasts)? Who knew? Is it really just short for rhododendron? Lame. SARA (60A: "_____ Smile" (1976 top 5 hit)) Really? Wow.
Doesn't YAR (20D: Quick to the helm) make you think of Katharine Hepburn? Me too. And what's wrong with that? The ESSO (26A: It, in Italy) / OSSIE (28D: Actor Davis) cross was a tough one. It could, I suppose, have been ESSa and aSSIE, but then Assie is even odder a name than Ossie, so I guess it was guessable. Still, not great. Also, I had never heard of a DHOTI (30D: Indian attire), and I wasn't positive that NERO (37A: 2009 "Star Trek" villain) was correct, even though I've seen that movie twice, but Nero is a known name, and could easily be a villain, so, again, guessable.
I kind of like it when two answers are clued in the exact same way, but I like it more when the meanings of the answers are completely different. This is not the case with DATED (36D: Went out with) and SAW (40D: Went out with). Both answers refer to seeing someone socially. I'd rather have seen "dated" and "exited" or something like that. I wish I had a better example, but I think you get the idea.