Let's get that pesky little error out of the way to begin with. 7D: Pepsi Freeze is one of its flavors (ICEE) is pretty obvious in retrospect. I had tried tCby (for the frozen yogurt chain), and that T stuck around even after I fixed the last two letters. Somehow I had convinced myself that ALtA made sense for 5A: Others, to Octavia (ALIA). Maybe she was Italian? Even though that would be "altrui"? No, they were looking for the Latin version, and I failed.
The rest of this puzzle was a mix of really good and not so good. To get the latter out of the way, it's unfortunate to have not one but two RE- answers (51A: Pass again at Daytona (RELAP) and 43D: Keep treating, as a sprain (REICE)). The clues were fresh; the answers, not so much. Then, there's the very strange 3D: Math columnist? (ADDER). I'm not really sure what's being gotten at here. If anyone can enlighten me, I'd be delighted. Similarly, why are THRONES clued as "Going places?"?
On the other hand, it was a surprise to have GABRIELLE GIFFORDS complete in two different spots. I liked the two NASA destinations (CERES and EROS). 33D: Aegis (AUSPICES) is my nominee for best clue-answer pair. Both excellent words, nicely connected. We could have had TRUMP clued in a less pleasant way, so I applaud that. 1A: Event handouts (SWAG) is fine, but it would be better if I could get me some of that myself. B-.
I don't know. I think it was a good puzzle, but I didn't love it. And ILE is back again.
Always like REN.
Coincidentally, my error was in Latin as well. So embarrassing. I put in ARRuBA, perhaps conflating the island with the exuberant exclamation, and CANuS didn't trigger any red flags until I went looking for the error. Ah well...
I can't come up with anything other than a column of numbers to be added for ADDER, but think of THRONES as toilets, and maybe "going" places will make more sense to you. HA! It's funny because it's gross. (And speaking of gross, just what are REN and Stimpy doing in that photo?!?) The one I don't get is ACROSTICS. Why is it plural?
Totally agree on AUSPICES. Excellent word, and almost necessarily plural. And speaking of plurals, I would have preferred "laity" to LAICS, but one can't have everything, can one?
Oh, wait, I missed the "and others" part of that ACROSTICS clue. Weak.Delete
Now I like THRONES. Wish I'd gotten it the first time around.Delete
I had ARReBA (and CANeS), which I should have caught. Yes, THRONES is gross and funny. I sense some anti-TRUMP sentiments in Colum's review; did you know he was just in Worcester? I needed a few crosses for MACARENA (is that still done?), but GOINPEACE is, unfortunately, ingrained for me, so that went in with none. RELAP is weak, SNOG is great and MEDIACLIP is poor, I thought, as is MUS. This puzzle was a mixed bag, but at least it didn't take too long. I liked the NASA destination pair, too.