Oh, this is fun. What a great way to wrap up my month of blogging. I had a sense a rebus might be on the books when I had difficulty filling in the NW corner despite recalling ALONSO of all things.
So a rebus is less fun when it's predictable. There are two ways it can be predictable: the same rebus in all places, and rebuses in symmetric squares. This puzzle is predictable in where the rebuses are, namely in the three corners, but each square has a different rebus, which is very nice.
In the end, we have four examples of a CORNER / OFFICE. In the NW, it's a [BOX] office; in the NE, it's a [POST] office; in the SE, it's a [HOME] office; and in the SW it's the [OVAL] office. Very nicely done.
My favorite corner is the SW, because it took me so long to figure out what was going on, particularly because of 36D: Need for drugs (FDAAPPR[OVAL]). Tough tough clue, combined with the strangest combination of letters. Strong work, making 61A: "This puzzle is relatively easy," say (LIE) ironically true. The other two 8-letter down answers in that corner were tough also (RINSEOUT, because "De-suds" sounds like it should be a plural, and YAKITORI, because Japanese).
I was very happy to have Gavin MACLEOD right across the center of the puzzle. I did know him best from "The Love Boat," but plenty would recall him more from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Which one resonates most with you?
Love SAFEHARBOR and POOREXCUSE. 21A: Pilot's surroundings (GASOVEN) gets a nod of approval, especially with the lack of a question mark. I also enjoyed 57A: Odd group of musicians? (NONET), even though the answer lacked any specificity (note "trio," "quintet," or "septet" would all have satisfied as well). However, any group of musicians is likely odd, just from the get go.
Fave: NECK (60D: Make out). I was so ready for a non-blue answer here.
Least fave: NRA (F.D.R.-created program with the slogan "We Do Our Part"). Nice try, referring to the National Recovery Administration.
And I'm out. Enjoy a month or two of other people's reviews. I had a great time this month. I definitely felt like the puzzles were largely on the better than average side, with a few outstanding examples.