Fortunately, I knew or figured out a few here and there for sure (or pretty sure, I often doubt myself on Fridays and Saturdays), like METHUSELAH ("Name synonymous with longevity"), NGRAMS ("Google search strings useful to linguists and literary historians"), and NASCAR ("Its participants are always tired"). Others rezzed in pretty readily after I had a few other entries in the grid including DOGSLOBBER, which I got, but didn't want. :( Fill-wise, I liked both DEAROLDDAD and HYPERBOLIC.
C/APs of particular difficulty for Frannie were:
"Something you might write on" (SPEC)
"Some rings on a plate" (CALAMARI) - ick.
"Handled well" (DEFT) - I kept thinking verb rather than adjective - that's what was happening.
"Result of tails, perhaps" (ILOSE) - I had 'Intel' for a while - ha!
Other difficult spots for this solver included the HAYLEY (Atwell) - THOTH ("God with the head of an ibis") pairing, crossing at the bottom the very trixy clue "Short." However, thanks to the good old alphabet, I eventually sorted out the only arrangement of letters that could work for all of the above.
My final breakthrough and big finish came when I took out my guess of DREAMrOmEo ("'Someone to comfort and hold me,' in a #1 Mariah Carey hit" that I've never heard of). That allowed me to see that "Initiate post production?" was STARTABLOG and that the nicely ambiguous "Gets in line" was EVENS, and that Ms. Carey was looking for a DREAMLOVER. ROPY for "Viscous" seemed odd to me, but it worked with everything else, so I went with it.
I'm starting to wonder if I need to spend the summer listening to pop hits of the past - I didn't know the Ariana Grande song clued at 11A, either. Or, maybe I can read a book about them instead. :)