An odd puzzle. Twelve 15s and lots and lots of 3s makes for a somewhat disjointed solving experience. Not bad, exactly, just strange.
I could feel my brain digging through its store of 3-letter crossword rubble for every last NEA, TOR, EKE, and TET. And once you punch enough holes into the 15s, they can usually be guessed. The first of those to go today was THESAHARADESERT (9D: Large portion of Africa), which seemed so straightforward. We much preferred the more clever PETRIFIEDFOREST (11D: Source of hardwood?), GASOLINESTATION (31A: It may help you get from E to F) (!), and CARELESSABANDON (41A: Bad quality for dangerous work) (a hard clue to parse, at first). My own favorite, however, might have been PROCRASTINATING (24A: Off-putting?), both for the nice clue and for the simple fact that it's a 15-letter word. It looks so cool running all the way across the grid on its own.
Surprisingly little junk, and the clues for some of the 3s were especially nice. 21A: Some bulls (ELK), 30A: Pajama-clad exec (HEF), and 46A: Google finding (HIT), for example. We will never, apparently, remember the name of Prince Valiant's son, but, well, it still sounds more familiar to me than 65A: Georges who wrote "Life: A User's Manual" (PEREC). In fact, that ANOLE/PEREC cross was pretty tough, but Frannie had a hunch about the first E in PEREC, and thankfully, she was right. Tater tots all around!