We finished up everything but the SE, and after staring at that, and trying different things for a long while, we finally gave up.
We are not on the same wavelength as Mr. Steinberg. I called his puzzle of March 23, 2013, "more of a boring slog than an enjoyable brain-flexing." Frannie's quote today: "This was a 'ball-buster,' and just for the sole purpose of being a 'ball-buster.'"
I suppose if you're a veteran crossword puzzler, these obscure, never-seen words and questionable constructions make it a little tougher for you. For the rest of us, it's just not very much fun.
ZASINZEBRA? How about "Z is for Zebra?" Find me a children's book with the former and I'll eat it. And HEADTOTAIL? What about "Head to Toe?"
PIROZHKI... ECCE... TEJANO... SKED... SARD... BARI... RIMA... ALYN... RANTAN?!?