I didn't do much of this puzzle, but I had the breakthrough on the theme answers, so here I am, writing the review. Speaking of the theme answers, I liked 'em. Very clever, especially 41A (CIBEFOREEEXCEPT). TIMETIME we get stumped when the answer relates to the literal words in the clue, rather than what the clue seems to mean. This one was a beaut. Another such in the grid today was 1D. Role for Helen Mirren, briefly (QEII). It just looks so awesomely weird in there.
I had a good feeling about this puzzle from the little I did do, but now that I've read every clue and answer, I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up. There were nice clue pairs like 1A. Pound (QUID) and 16A. Part of a pound (CAGE), were a nice pair, so
to speak. (I thought I'd better add some Huygens material to the review
since there wasn't much in the puzzle.) SITH 21D. Jedi foes and SNIT (23D. Pet) were pretty parallels.
Others I thought were excellent fun include:
17A. Caesarean section? ISAW
61A. One acting on impulse? AXON
68A. Start to do well? NEER - especially awesome because the clue makes it seem like good will come, but it's really the opposite.
5D. Sugar substitute? HON
36D. Pick up spot? NAPE
When I did finally get 41 A, I thought it would help me with 32D, for which I was trying, unsuccessfully, to think of a language, but it didn't. Horace finally completed the center square, and not with Paul Lynde, and the answer was RUR. Our well-informed and slightly nerdy readers might have already known whence robot, but I didn't. I looked it up and here's a slightly edited explanation from the Wikipedia:
R.U.R. is a 1920 science fiction play in the Czech language by Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rosumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots). The English phrase Rossum’s Universal Robots had been used as the subtitle even in the Czech original. It premiered on 25 January 1921 and introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole.
Fun fact in a fun puzzle.