Loved it. Yep, even with LAMINA (26D: Veneer, e.g.), and RATITE (63A: Ostrich, e.g.), and ENIWETOK (wha?) (65A: 1950s H-bomb test site), we still enjoyed this one. Why? Because it's clever, and the unknowns are crossed by knowns. (I'm pretty sure I didn't even see RATITE until we reviewed every answer at the end.)
Let's start with my favorite clue, 38A: Vein gloriousness?, for the very common ORE. Brilliant. No vainglory for Mr. Ginsberg if he pats himself on the back for that one. "It ain't braggin' if it's true," right? (This is the same constructor who, in a recent puzzle, trotted out the clue "Postal ID" for Idaho.) And regular readers will know I'm a sucker for doubled-up clues, like 7A: St. John's, for one (BASILICA) and 19A: St. John's, for one (WORT).
I also loved the sheer variety of words in this. Sure, there's AMIRS (3D: Bahrain bigwigs: Var.), and ITE (62D: Samson's end?), but it's also crammed full of REMORA, BASILICA, PARAGUAY, WOJTYLA, and YANGTZE! It's a thing of beauty, I tells ya.
And to top it off, you've got the "theme" of linked location clues. I groaned and groaned as I came across the "taking into account its 61-Across" clues. Frannie finally figured it out, and then my groans of frustration turned to groans of approval.