I definitely had the most difficulty with the NW corner, which took up about 3 minutes of my time at the end. My first attempt at entry came at 4D: Not straight up (ATILT), where I tried "on ice", funnily enough (see below). I saw that was wrong immediately with Don LARSEN, owner of baseball's only postseason perfect game. I got none of the downs off of that answer, but 21A: "Bluebeard's Castle" composer (BARTOK) was a gimme for me, and I was off to the races.
So, let's see: the SW corner had some great long answers. REALTROOPER is great, but NOTAGBACKS is outstanding. GRETZKY is great to see in a grid. It has to be paired with NAACP in order to make all those consecutive consonants work. The price we pay is AME (which apparently refers to African Methodist Episcopal, a title I'd never seen before), RIAL, and SSR. I'm glad HARPY was not clued in a demeaning to women way, or at least not overtly so.
I was able to work the middle at this point, coming off Simon LEBON. 34A: Attraction temporarily shut down and partly moved to Siberia during W.W. II (LENINSTOMB) gets top marks for that great piece of trivia. What did they move? His beard? His suit? Enquiring minds wish to know. Ah, just his body. How boring.
Amusing to cross the hallmark of Communism with GERALDFORD. But it allowed me down into the SE. This is an outstanding stack of three 9-letter answers. OPIONEERS, RICOCASEK (well known to Boston area folks), and DESDEMONA. We pay for it a little with partial APIE and standard Spanishism ESO. But how about 54D: Motor problems (TICS)? Love me some Neurology in my Friday puzzle.
I really love 12D: Uses flowery language (WAXESPOETIC). That's a wonderful entry. IND is a good reminder of where our beloved Bernie came from. I will not let politics enter the blog. I will not! Bad.
EMBANK and TAXON... whew. Not so great. And OVATE isn't wonderful either. I do like HOTMESS and HAWED though.
I finally broke the NW when I put SWf in. I fixed the M before the end of the puzzle. I do like 1A: Anagrams (SCRAMBLES), although I think of those more as "jumbles". I'll give it an A-. WHATAJERK is also great, even more so because it allows the divine BJORK into the puzzle. And that's a nice pair of "single-named artists" with ERTE. I tried Enya at one point.
And SKINFLICKS! Very nice. It ended the puzzle for me, only it didn't, because I'd put oNICE at 28D. And that's why it was funny, see, because I was wrong twice in the same puzzle with the same answer.