I had to fight every step of the way on this puzzle. Very little came easily. For example, I started off with "boos" for 1D: Fun house outbursts (EEKS). So while STOLE was a gimme, the rest of the corner was unknowable for a while. I got 14D: Huns by the hundreds, say (HORDE) and then had to move on.
Thank you, high school French, for it allowed me my NON, ICI, and DROIT. In fact, it was the last that allowed me entry into the SW, my first finished corner. And there's a lot to like immediately in this section! SELFIE crosses FACEPALM, two excellent examples of modern entries. ANAPESTS is great. My mind did not come up with that until much of it was filled in by crosses. I recalled trochees and dactyls, but that was it.
Unfortunately, finishing that corner, even with OVA in place, I was unable to move further. EFILE (an annoying example of the all-too-common E____ answers) opened up the SE. I love how RINTINTIN just flows down. And what an unusual clue for OLEO (Imperial bars?): I assume that was the company that produced the margarine that infests so many crossword grids. The fact that it crosses GERITOL is just hi-larious.
GOO led to the correct guess of SAGAMORE, and each clue in the NE was a challenge. 11D: Hot potatoes and cold fish? (IDIOMS) was far from clear. Whoever heard of Joe LANDO? Another obscure TV actor. BODED feels... off. I would say, "That doesn't bode well." But who ever refers retroactively to how something was forecast prior to now? ZIMBABWE's 16 official languages is a nice piece of trivia; it was given away when I got ZILCH.
The W of that country finally made NOSHOW clear (31A: Runaway bride, e.g.). That's a great clue: I'd wanted "eloper" which would have been terrible, but it was a nonstarter due to the N I had from my French knowledge.
GEOCACHING took forever! (9D: Coordinated activity?) Once I had that and IMALOSER, the rest of the NW finally fell into place. My last square entered was the L of PLEX.
I like the trio of nine-letter answers in the NW far better than the corresponding trio in the SE. LIGAMENTS is great, and its clue is outstanding also (66A: Hip bands). The other two I could do without. KALAMAZOO crossing KILOHERTZ is great.
I like a challenge, and this one forced me to work the whole way. Nicely done overall.
Wow...apart from the fact that I erred in the SW, I came very close to Colum's time, which is highly unusual. I didn't know DROIT, FALDO or ANAPESTS, and ended up guessing a "c" for the cross of the former two. I loved the OLEO clue; it's the best I've seen for that entry. IMALOSER went right in, but I had megaHERTZ in at first before I got ESKIMODOG (not my favorite answer). Another not-so-great answer was XYZ (41A Run pas the W?), which I filled in right away but wanted to be wrong. PLEX and ROXY right next to each other was a nice tough. For me, though, this didn't seem much more difficult than Friday puzzles of late. Maybe it was just an off day for Colum.
I was very happy to get ANAPESTS with only a couple crosses, and that opened up the SW which was the first quadrant to go (hands up if you had "Woods" instead of FALDO for a while), but the rest went more slowly. Some very nice stuff in here, as has been mentioned already. Lots of stuff eight and over, and much of it very good. I liked it.