Frannie here, late to the blogging. I did the puzzle last night, but I couldn't finish it! The NW had me stumped until I looked at it long and hard again this evening. I began with fete for 1A, before I looked at any of the down clues. I ran through gala and ball before BASH finally broke through. I didn't know 1D Brazilian state northeast of Sao Paulo (BAHIA), nor did I know 3D. Alaskan panhandle city (SITKA), although, I have heard of it. Geography is my Waterloo, if you will. As is music. I didn't know 17A 1987 Buster Poindexter hit (HOTHOTHOT) which added more confusion to the corner. I had to struggle for many of the theme answers, but they all solved in eventually.
Also, I hated 67A. Sport-___ (UTES).
More as time permits...