Wow, this was a tough Friday! Hope and I worked hard at it for over 15 minutes before finally finishing the center section, which had us scratching our heads for some time. As always, some false assumptions had us behind the proverbial 8-ball.
We got to break in with the classic U.S. State riddle at 2D (OHIO), and the classic crosswordese RHEA. I love 1D: Challenge while sitting (BRAT). Not sitting down, but babysitting. Perhaps a few of those BABYGATES would have come in handy.
Of course, both Hope and I dearly wanted "Top drawer" at 19A, in memory of one Gloria Upson. TOPNOTCH is fine.
I sensed a theme of multiword phrases here, from HASNOIDEA to UPTONOGOOD to ASIFICARE. I particularly liked that last one. I had never heard the phrase TUXEDOCAT before, but it's quite evocative.
Some of our early miscalculations included 6D: 72 answers and 34 black squares, for this puzzle (SPECS) - we had StatS initially. 46A: Everything one could possibly offer, with "the" (WORLD) - we had WORks. That one came close to really working! 35A: Empanadas and patatas bravas (TAPAS) - we had TAcoS. Clearly wrong, and it led to GOBox as well. Fixing that last error finally got us to 37A: Nice position to be in? (STEADYGIG). We really wanted STEADYjob...
Favorite clue of the day was 24D: Giant in chip manufacturing (LAYS). Hah! Did not see that one coming at all. We also appreciated 42D: Its participants are in for a wild ride (RODEO). Look at those lovely non-QMCs! Please keep them coming.