An appropriately challenging puzzle for a Saturday, but we guessed wrong on DINKS (18A: Hardly smash hits) and BIKEL (13D: Theodore of "The African Queen") (who?), going with a G instead of the K.
This felt kind of blah the whole way through, with answers getting a "Well, I guess that could be it" rather than a "Wow, very nice." Take, for instance, 1A: Neckwear slider (SCARFRING). Well, ok, I suppose it's that thing that used to hold my Boy Scout neckerchief on, but really? Scarf ring? See also BIKERCHICK (25D: Woman in a leather jacket, maybe). Frannie particularly disliked GEAROIL (23A: Tooth coating?), complaining that most people would just say "oil." 25A: Eschews money, say (BARTERS) seems a bit contrived, and is the NYT showing a little GENDERBIAS (9D: Male issue?) by clueing INGA with "7D: 'Young Frankenstein' girl?" I'm pretty sure she was over 18.
On the bright side, the pair of "Drill specialist, for short?" clues (DDS & NCO) was nice, and FAKEIDS (29A: Minor documents?) was funny. As was ARSONIST (31D: Ignition technician?). And I kind of liked CURLUP (38D: Get comfortable, in a way).
But the puzzle had a lot of stuff that was just kind of BORERSing (35D: Orchard menaces). Like OVIFORM (11D: Not quite spherical) (ok...), and ALSATIA (19A: Part of the Roman Empire in modern-day NE France) (ok...), GARDENA (40A: Los Angeles suburb once dubbed "Berryland") (whaa?). Also, JAVERT (27D: Broadway inspector)? Is this known by Broadway people? By non-Broadway people? Not by us.
I don't know... it just wasn't doing it for us today.