We get a real stunner of a puzzle on this Tuesday! The grid art alone knocked me out cold.
Okay, enough of that. Our good Dr. Haight has given us a much tougher than typical Tuesday puzzle. I wonder if this one was originally slated for a Wednesday. The theme is beautifully placed in the grid. I imagine that 20D (VALLEYOFELAH) and 22D (BOOKOFSAMUEL) represent the two sides of the battlefield, with DAVID at the bottom, holding the slingshot represented by the large Y, with the stone flying towards GOLIATH at the top.
Speaking of which, how about that clue? 17A: One known for living large and getting stoned? Hah! Worth the price of admission all on its own.
The shape of the grid necessitates the four corners being pretty isolated. Each one is a mini-mini-puzzle, but all within reasonable grasp, IMO. The most challenging entry is in the NE with 21A: Tony ____, tennis champ of the 1950s (TRABERT). Never heard of him, and the name's unusual. But I was able to get all of it from crosses, so no complaints there. And he did win 10 grand slam titles (five in singles including Wimbledon once, and five in doubles), so he's crossword worthy.
If I hadn't already figured out the theme, 44A: Issue for a punter or field goal kicker (LOWSNAP) could have been a little confusing, as it's sitting right beneath a possible representation of the uprights!
Otherwise, I'm impressed by the extra fun stuff, like EGOMASSAGES, SHANTYTOWNS, and Bob CRATCHIT. The challenge today came from some of the other fill, like ONELS, GOTYA (instead of "gotcha"), and YKNOW. But overall I really appreciated this one.