Let's start with the clue that gave me the most trouble, at 28D: Round parts? (BEERS). It only just came to me, as I am writing this blog post and drinking a Brooklyn Brown Ale, just what the clue is getting at.
I'll tell you one thing I am SUREOF: it helps in the solving of a puzzle when 1A falls right into place. I feel like we only just had MWAHAHA as an answer, so I barely hesitated at all in entering it. Perhaps I might have hesitated a little had I been solving on paper with a pen, but it was confirmed very quickly by several crosses. I sort of like that we also have MALALA in this grid. Just imagine if Ms. Yousafzai were hatching a nefarious plan. Would she laugh just like that?
Other clues that were right in my wheelhouse included 26A: What "epistaxis" is a fancy medical term for (NOSEBLEED). Also 31A: Epcot's Spaceship Earth, architecturally (GEODESICDOME).
At one point in the solve, I was considering whether a person domesticating a Canadian duck would use a whip, before realizing that MoTE was incorrect. Once I replaced it with MITE, LIONTAMER came into focus. Much more appropriate.
I enjoyed 20A: Game where you don't want to reach the top (TETRIS) as well as 7D: Like some suits and states (ALTERED).
Perhaps the SE corner isn't as strong as the rest of the puzzle, but that's just a BLIP on my radar. Good stuff.
Well, you're absolutely right - I, too, pretty much knew that MWAHAHA was correct, but waited to check 1D before filling it in. :) I also had LoON... for a hot minute, and with those two names I didn't know (the Nobel winner and the "King"), it was only good ol' Catullus who got me into that tricky area!
In the SW, I kind of like thinking that ETICKET has been sitting in these word banks since the '70s, when it was the fanciest ticket you could get at Disney World. Space Mountain, for example, was an ETICKET ride. And now they've just adjusted the clue and it's modern again.
I had to run through the song to get ONELOVE, but of course recognized the lyric immediately. GEODESICDOME went right in, as did MWAHAHA. I don't quite understand RIMSHOT (17A Response to a joke), but, unlike Colum, had no problem with BEERS. I own, but rarely use, an EGGCUP. And although a big fan of Epcot, I'd never heard of the ETICKET term going back to the '70s; nice bit of trivia, Horace. CARMEN and LIONTAMER went right in, as I was SUREOF both.