Well, thanks to Colum for a month of excellent reviews! Now you're stuck with me for a while. That's how it is here at Horace and Francis and Colum - we're blogger-fluid. Eww... that sounds gross. And come to think of it, GENDERFLUID also sounds gross if you think about it too much.
Sorry. Not really that great a way to start off my month. So let's move on.
When I was having so much trouble up in the NE (sixteen squares took me at least six minutes), I took a moment to confirm the theme and count up the M/F squares. Unfortunately, I had already gotten them all, but maybe just that short break allowed me to finally get XEROX (27A: Run off, in a way) off the X in EXHAUSTS (23D: Tires), and then GONEXT (13D: Follow) followed, and allowed me to infer TNT (32A: AC/DC single with the lyric "watch me explode"), and slowly the rest worked itself out. 12D: Snake's place, partly (OREGON) is pretty tricky! They're talking about the Snake River. Doesn't that always make you think of Evel Knievel's ridiculous attempt to cross it in some kind of a rocket? What? You're not a middle-aged man who had older brothers who watched "Wide World of Sports" and every other quasi-sports-related thing on TV, which includes demolition derbies, professional wrestling, and Evel Knievel's stunts? I am.
So anyway, about the puzzle... we've seen the swappable-letter squares thing before, but it's a theme that has not been overdone, and one that is always fun. For the record, I entered ROOF/FAKE, FUSTY/FESSUP, FATE/PREFIX, and MIRE/SAME, but all those answers work equally with the Fs as Ms, and vice-versa. Honestly, I didn't even notice the binary option until I had filled them all in, but now I especially like the combo in the SW - 61A: Topic to ask a fortuneteller about (FATE/MATE) and 45D: It's combined at the beginning (PREFIX/PREMIX). Nice. The theme is well done, except for one thing - the F in GENDERFLUID cannot be replaced by an M, which really is a pity.
This kind of a stunt must be somewhat tricky to pull off, because the grid is broken up into segregated sections (ironic, given the theme?), and there's a fair amount of standard fare. UTE, ENO, ALVA, TNT, UGH. I like SPUNK (7D: Mettle), EQUUS (54A: Hyundai model with a lot of horsepower?) (cute), and DYSTOPIA (40D: "The Hunger Games" universe, e.g.).
1A: Part of a house (ROOF/ROOM) gets an A. I know it's a part of the theme, but I enjoyed the theme. The first clue I put in that I was absolutely sure of was probably USAUSA (6D: Patriotic chant), but I'm not really positive about that. I'll try to pay more attention tomorrow.
Overall, I like the theme and much of the fill, and will tolerate the small concessions that had to be made.
Happy September! (Rabbit, rabbit!)