7:19 (on paper)
I've lost track of how many celebrity puzzle creators we've had so far. But I'll go on record as saying that I like the concept. Today's blurb provided a big hint to the theme when it called Senator Donnelly a "basketball loving" gentleman. And in fact, he does seem to have a fondness for the game, as he has provided five basketball related terms, clued wackily. My favorite by far is 18A: Gutterball? (ALLEYOOPS). That's a winner in my book. I also enjoyed 60A: Something bleeped out of television? (FOULLINE). I'm less enamored of BANKSHOT (and its unpleasant cousin at 38D) or of FASTBREAK, which feels too close to the actual terminology for any dinner that ends a period of fasting.
I brayed at 7A: Smart farm animal? (WISEASS), and the pair of clues for The end of the British monarchy? (ZED and ARSE) also gave me no end of amusement.
I had only one place where I had to erase today, at 32D: One might say "Happy Birthday." Here I had CA__ in place already and went with CArd. In fact, and reasonably so, the answer was CAKE. It slowed my entry into the SE corner, which along with the NW corner were unfortunately segregated from the rest of the puzzle. It didn't help that LINSEEDS was an answer that entered the corner, even once I'd corrected my mistake. (Note that the equivalent answer exiting the NW is SEVAREID, another real tough one). It seems to me that if you're going to compartmentalize the grid, it's worth your while to make it a little more gettable to make the move in or out.
How many people spell 1A: Exchange of words (DIALOG) that way? My instinct is to add the -UE at the end.
It's not a puzzle I'm going to OBSESS over, but it's certainly better than MEH.