Today is the last day I will be filling in for Horace and Frannie. It's been a great week and a half, even if it was interrupted by an unexpected hospitalization. I've had a blast commenting on these puzzles, and I hope you (my few loyal readers) have enjoyed my remarks.
This was an outstanding Saturday puzzle, showing how you can have a grid with plenty of interesting long answers (four 12-letters) and not sacrifice really top-notch fill elsewhere. Take heed, o ye quad-stack lovers!
I started out incorrectly with "pis" at 4D: Greek consonants (NUS), immediately guessed 17A: Disappoints (LETSDOWN), and recognized the slyness of 5D: Some twins (BEDS). EDWARDNORTON showed I was on the right track. I didn't figure out that my Greek entry was wrong until much later, when I recognized JOANBAEZ as the singer clued in 1A. I had Neil Young in mind initially, thinking I suppose of his Rust Never Sleeps album. I like Joan much better. And what a great pairing with 15A (INNUENDO)!
34A: Part of many a symphony (SCHERZO) is simply a lovely answer, as is IDIOSYNCRASY. Those two answers alone make the whole puzzle glitter. And there was still room for KATMANDU, GOROGUE, and REDSOX (in a NYT puzzle!). I don't like 16A: Surround with light (ENHALO), and IZE and IVO are very crosswordese, but I'll forgive them given the rest of the grid.
A couple of clues I enjoyed: 42A: Some settlers, before settling (SUERS) is brilliant. And 55D: Group awaiting ones return, for short (IRS) is fun, although I cottoned to it right away.
Thanks for playing along with me, and let's welcome H & F back!