Whew! What a difference a day makes! Much of the SE fell quickly, but everything else took a long, long time to come into focus for us today. When we had "_ _ _ _ NXL__E" for example, I thought we had a mistake for sure, but Frannie all of a sudden said SPHINXLIKE (31A: Enigmatic), and finally we were getting somewhere!
As usual with a Barry Silk puzzle, the fill is high-quality. The NE and SW corners are tight, and contain some of the weakest stuff today (KTS (18A: They often land next to queens: Abbr.) (strained, I think), and UEY (59A: 180) (We've seen this a few times, but we're not digging it)), but we'll suffer that without too much grousing in exchange for POOLTABLE (32D: Shark's place), HUDSONBAY (33D: Polar Bear Provincial Park borders it), CORNCOBPIPE (1A: It's made from an ear and put in the mouth), ANCIENTROME (58A: Forum setting), OKEECHOBEE (28D: Locals call it the "Big O"), and DANUBERIVER (54A: It's between Buda and Pest).
Frannie enjoyed TEACOZY (42A: Knit at a social function), and we both groaned at PURR (8D: Himalayan production), but in a good way. Really.
I don't know who ELSA (41A: Orphaned lion of literature) is, but I did remember AMAH (34A: Nanny, in Nanjing) and ISAO (9D: Golfer Aoki), so that helped a little.
Not the most exciting puzzle, maybe, but a nice challenge for us today.