I seem to have been on the same wavelength as Mr. Trabucco today, at least for the most part. I was able to drop many of the longer entries right in, which is lucky for me because the short fill and crosswordese are often what help me break into a Friday or Saturday puzzle. But, on reviewing this puzzle, I noticed a DENSE underbrush of three-letter fill that I wouldn't know in a million years such as PKS (Tie-breaking shots in soccer: Abbr.), Most-applied-to school in the U.S. [great use of the adjectival hyphen here] (UCLA - who knew?), 55D. Asia's ___ Darya River (AMU - hunh?), 47A. Chicago airport code (ORD - I should know this one, but I don't), and 46A. D.O.J. branch (ATF - WTF?) :) If I had had to rely on the short answers to break into the grid I would have been doomed. Doomed!
Nice full grid crossing entries WELCOMETOMYLIFE and DONTWAITUPFORME. I also enjoyed PLEASESTOP and FATHEADED.
Other entries of which it could be said IMAFAN:
61A. Plant from another country (ENEMYSPY)
1D. Does some diamond cutting? (MOWS) - another good one for mows!
49D. It may pack a punch (FIST) - Ha!
53D. Thunderous sound (CLAP) - Apt!
54D. Slithery (EELY) - Yay! :)
And how about 33D. Preceder of first (ZEROTH). That's a nice word, although I am having trouble working it into a sentence. I was zeroth in line at the ticket window? I went on my zeroth date with Brad last week? There's a zeroth time for everything!
Very little in the puzzle today UPSETS me. I didn't love ICHECK, which rings a tad self-important to this poker player's jaundiced ear. And MEGADEAL for High-profile merger, e.g. strikes me as a bit ad hoc, but it's really nothing to HARPON.