Boy, they're really hammering Mother's Day this year. I'm wondering if Will Shortz has signed a deal with Hallmark...
This one seemed quite easy for a Thursday. It seemed to fall right into our collective wheelhouse, as it were. I went merrily along the acrosses filling them in like it was Monday. "Acne," of course, for 14A: Teen woe (MONO), caused a little trouble later down the line, and the NE was the last to fall, partly because of that, and partly because I don't know what AMB (1D: Government rep.) stands for, and I don't really know of any real 2D: Cartoon character with shades named JOECOOL. Is he a real character? Who knows?
I liked the clue pair 4D: Melees (ROWS) and 10D: Like melees (NOISY). And the clue for WONDERWOMAN (28A: Wearer of a red-starred tiara) was quite nice. Lots of other small, good stuff, like 21D: Personal letters (SWF) and 25D: Can (COMMODE), and the very-obvious-once-you-get-it 16D: Lawyer's need (CLIENT!). Also, 32A: One in the doghouse? (FLEA), and 20A: Hosts prefer them (ALISTS). Very nice. I'll have to look up SMEW (72A: Northern duck), and there were a few other things that were less-than-perfect, but overall, this gets a thumbs-up.
Oh, and one last thing, I'm guessing that Patrick Merrell's mother's, or wife's, name is AMY (51A: Grant or Carter), and that the horizontal line AMY LEADINGLADY is no accident. If I'm right, it's a nice touch.