Boy, two great puzzles in a row! This one was nice and tough, too, and it took a combined effort to finally slay the beast.
I like the tricky clues for usual fare, like 31A: Composers of some rhapsodies (ODISTS) (ok, it's usually just "ODE," but I'm still counting it) and 34A: Cousin of an agave (ALOE). 7D: Old dynasts (TSARS) and 12A: Rebel in a beret (CHE) don't really count because they were still pretty easy. CHE was so easy, in fact, that I kept thinking that it must really be something else, because it is Saturday, after all. But no.
Loved the clues for DOCENTS (42A: They often provide illumination in galleries) ("windows" also fit) and DANGS (31D: Alternative to shoots?) (I had "hangs" in there briefly, which kind of grossed Frannie out). And I was thinking of 17A: Diet, e.g. in the right way for a long time, but still didn't come up with CONSULATES until we had a ton of crosses. I guess I was thinking more "governments" or something.
Frannie finally came up with MRROARKE (10D: "Fantasy Island" host). I don't know how she remembers this stuff. And coincidentally, the "Space Seed" episode of Star Trek was on one of those retro channels last night. We watched a bit of it.
Nice timing, too, on the COLBERTBUMP (1A: Popularity boost due to a certain TV endorsement). I wonder if this puzzle was rushed into the lineup by Will Shortz, hoping for his own Colbert bump.
Lastly, PYEDOGS (11D: Stray mongrels)? What's up with that? The Free Dictionary says it's from a Hindi word, pahi, which means "outsider." Huh. Well, that's part of the great thing about the Saturday puzzles - you often learn a thing or two. Like who knew two famous explorers both had the first name VASCO (29D: Balboa's first name) (wasn't it also DaGama's? Yes. Yes it was.).
A nice, challenging puzzle with very little (ACC, SELA, URU, ASCI) to complain about. Lovely.