Lots to like in this puzzle. WELLSHUTMYMOUTH (3D: "Huh, how about that!"), THATSABIGIF (36A: Skeptical rejoinder), and SOSUEME (43D: "I messed up ... what of it?!") are all SASSY entries! BASH (42A: Criticize in no uncertain terms) is brash, NOSEJOB (1D: Hook remover, perhaps) was unexpected, and PARKED (35A: Staying put) is well-clued. Everywhere you look, you can find something to like. Even that '80s crossing of MCRIB (26D: Fast-food debut of 1981 (which I dropped in without crosses) and NEWCOKE (29A: Noted bomb in a longtime war) (which took much longer) was entertaining.
For all this fun, long fill ripping through the grid we find some crossword dust has fallen into the crevices. ARA (5D: Only three-letter constellation other than Leo), which most of us probably came to know through crosswords, SPF, OSH, OTHO, SRS, and BTUS, but I think today it's a price well paid.
For me, things really slowed down in the middle South. I had erroneously entered JUSTDEssert, not realizing, I guess, that JUSTDESERTS (25D: Comeuppance) uses an old definition of "desert" meaning "that which is deserved, or merited, especially punishment." I really wanted TRICK (63A: Bridge unit), though, once I had thought of it, and so I removed "dessert" and put that in to see what I could see from there, and then, finally!, BOOMMICS (38D: Extended interview components) became clear. Wow, that's a tough one! SCLERA (46D: White of the eye) is not common, and REGIS (59A: Denver's ____ University) is not something I knew. Bill Murray apparently attended the school, but did not graduate. Anyway, AEGIS (52D: Backing), too, was tricky, but eventually it all came together.
1A: Amphibian once associated with bad spirits (NEWT) gets a B+. I tried both "frog" and "toad" before getting it right, but in my defense, I think many amphibians have been tarred with the ol' "bad spirits" brush at one time or another, haven't they? As for my first confident answer, hmmm.... I'm pretty sure I put in HOAX (16A: Crop circles, e.g.) off the clue, but I was more sure of the next one, SILO (17A: Part of many a rural skyline).
Overall, I rate this an excellent Friday puzzle. As Colum so nicely put it on Wednesday, each crossword is an oasis, a break from other cares, and when they're this good, it's extra nice because you get to savor them for a bit longer. Keep 'em coming, Shortz!