We'd like to thank Colum for filling in for us yesterday, and for hosting a lovely New Year's Eve party. Further, we'd like to wish Happy New Year to all our readers. Thanks for checking in, and happy puzzling in 2014!
Now, sadly, we must move on to today's puzzle. We get it, but we don't get why. I knew with certainty there was a rebus at 32A: Robert Frost poem that includes "Good fences make good neighbors" (WALLM) (Mending Wall), but I wasn't sure yet what it would be. Slowly, MACHINESV (17A: Food or drink dispensers) and LITIGATIONP (24D: Future court cases) appeared to fit the same pattern of the first letter of what should have been the first word being put to the end, or, "ending" the second word. To me, this is a terrible, nonsensical theme. It's a visual pun, I guess, but it's not at all funny, and it doesn't make any sense. Yuck, yuck, yuck.
In other news, I liked SKY for 36D: It goes around the world. I don't get RUSSIA for 41D: Don's place, and I've never heard of GROFE (43D: "Grand Canyon Suite" composer).
I will end on an up note, however, with a typical New Year's idea - Here's to tomorrow!