Geez, the second DNF in as many days for us. Today it was the TEASELS/SAHEL crossing. I've seen TEASELS (22A: Prickly plants) many times, as it turns out, but I never knew their name. And I was completely unfamiliar with SAHEL (23D: Semiarid region of Africa). Tough crossing in an otherwise moderately challenging, but doable grid.
We've seen themes similar to this, I'm pretty sure, where the physical location is used as a rebus to make compound answers. As in SEAS (17A: Literally, with 20-Across, ski resort purchases) sitting on PASSES (20A) to make "season passes." Cute. HARRIS on FORD was the last one we got today.
Some unpleasantness, with AAHEDAT (30A: Reacted to, as fireworks), MAESTRI (52A: Toscanini and Maazel), and the double Latin crossing of ALII and OLEA in the NW. But then there were plenty of bright spots, too. I enjoyed the other plant clue 43A: Common daisy (OXEYE), and SMACKER (47A: Buck) and SCARFED (44D: Gobbled (down)) was a great crossing of slang. BELTWAY (45A: Baltimore's I-165, e.g.) was good, KISSCAM (4D: Between-innings feature on a Jumbotron) was fun (Frannie got this one!), RUTABAGA (9D: Vegetable whose name comes from the Swedish) was great, and I'm a big fan of the HAIKU (15A: Exercise in brevity).
Lastly, on a personal note, I just accepted a new DESK (68A: ____ job) today! I hope my new boss isn't too EXACTING (40D: Strict). Wish me luck!