I feel like I really lucked out on this turn. Mr. Collins is a favorite constructor of mine, who has seemed to be absent for quite some time from the NYT. I solved once again in the car with Hope, and she gave me my first entry, Mr. Vic DAMONE. With CATT and ORK in place, followed by the yummy LATKE, we were off and running.
Does anybody here take a BANANAPIE? I'm not sure how much of a thing that really is. Round our place, banana bread (with chocolate chips) is a longtime favorite. Certainly a banana split is well recognized. Bananas Foster, even. Hmmm. I see some recipes, but I'm not convinced.
LEGARMOR (26D: Greaves, e.g.) immediately made me think of Princess Ida: "These things I treat the same / I quite forget their name! / They turn one's legs / To cribbage pegs." And there you have it. How likely was it that two blog posts in one week would find a way to weave cribbage in? All the naysayers out there... no, I might even go so far as to call them haters! They never thought it was possible. Well, I guess the foot's on the other hand now, isn't it?
Yeah, so. Um. Anyway, the two 15-letter answers are beauts. COMMITMENTPHOBE is good, but of course I'm pretty fond of BRAINPLASTICITY.
Other good answers include 16A: Champagne is one (TOPONYM), and 15A: Start of a big fight? (THRILLA). Nice stuff. I also enjoyed 6D: Weight-watchers watch it (BELTLINE).
1A: Cambridge student, informally (CANTAB) - B+. This is really referring to the British Cambridge, not the American one. Still, a nice reminder of the year I spent there some time ago.
Fave: ABHOR (2D: Not fancy at all). I stared at AB_OR, wondering how this would refer to something simple or unadorned. Nope, it's the British "fancy," meaning "have a liking for".
Least fave: Probably TNUTS (16D: Fasteners with flat heads), just because it's crossword glue, pluralized.
My error was yet again a typo, where I had put in BAYBERsY. But there's no excuse here. I had stared at 25A: Short but not necessarily sweet (CURT), where I had _UsT. So really, I should have caught that.