We came home last night, tired and tipsy, and finished all but a handful of squares in fifteen minutes or so, then fell asleep. By the time I woke up this morning, Frannie had finished it off. This must be the first time all year that our times went backwards from Thursday to Saturday. Very odd.
This wasn't terrible, but I didn't like several pieces of it. The crossing of SPICA (24A: Star in Virgo) and LITA (21D: Grammy-nominated Ford) ("nominated?") seemed especially unfair. Frannie says she tried "I" simply because the rules of the English language made it seem plausible. "E" was equally plausible, I think, but either way, it was a crapshoot. Another quibble was BOOTEES (18A: Couple seen at a baby shower). Who has ever spelled "booties" that way? And RESHOES (57A: Does some farrier's work on) was weak, but not horrible. TABUS (30D: They're off-limits: Var.), on the other hand…
On the bright side, I enjoyed that "Irani" fit into 28A: Modern Persian (FARSI), and that either could have been correct. I liked SALTON (31A: California's ___ Sea (rift lake)), because I haven't thought of that in a while, but why did they feel that adding "rift lake" was a good idea? or necessary? or helpful? Just because it's not really a sea? Does that matter? I also quite liked the three esses in a row in 13D: Tepid consent (GUESSSO). That looks great.
Tons of "scrabble letters" in the grid today. Maybe Mr. Healy was going for the highest scrabble point value ever in a puzzle. Is that a thing, I wonder? I'll check over on Wordplay after I write this. They'll mention it if it is. It might explain the unevenness and relative easiness.
ULALUME (2D: Title name written "on the door of this leg ended tomb" in poetry) twice in one month? And as Huygens pointed out recently, a knowledge of French comes in handy when solving these. Today's SAIS (44A: "Que ____-je?" ("What do I know?": Fr.)) was one of the tougher ones (although still pure French I stuff) that we've seen lately. And right after that, AUSSI (48A: Too, to Thérèse). He could have gone one step further and clued SOI (6D: "____ see") with French, too, but perhaps two was enough.
Bottom line: too easy for Saturday.