If it's Wednesday, it must be a word ladder. Or is the opposite? If it's a word ladder, it must be a Wednesday? Anyway, in either case, I'll take a good word ladder from time to time (de temps en temps, as Frannie would say). And this one is certainly ambitious. Each entry is 5 letters long, and there are nine total steps. In an additional lovely little twist, the central answer, BLADE, which has gone from BLUNT to SHARP, is tied to two extra 5-letter answers along the E and W sides, KNIFE and RAZOR.
Still... you really want every step in the word ladder to be widely accepted English words. Maybe one proper noun if necessary. Here, we have both BLART, the name of the main character in a movie which has 33% on Rotten Tomatoes, and SLADE, a glam rock band from the United Kingdom (yes, they had 6 certified #1 hits in England, but never reached higher than 60 here in the biased US of A). So that tarnishes the ladder somewhat.
Anyway, all of that theme (-ish) material means that there are really no standout filler entries. The longest six are 7 letters long, and really, STAPLES, UKULELE, TEALEAF, STEWARD, STUDIOS, and OLEMISS are not exactly world beaters.
On the other hand, the puzzle on the whole is pretty smooth. I made a stoopid error by putting in OsAMA instead of OBAMA. I mean, really? Too soon? Check your crosses, people.
I was amused by the brazenness of 6D: Rep. or Dem., e.g. (ABBR). That's putting it right there in your face. Guess that's why there's no "abbr." in the clue! Also, 22A: No longer in bed? (AWEIGH) is a tough misdirection of a clue! Very clever. And lastly, in the clever clue business, there's 55A: Cabbage or kale (DOREMI), which is referring here to money, moolah, dough.
Don't like ICERS, partial ANERA, or ever thinking about STYES.
Otherwise, I guess on the whole I'll give it a thumbs up.