I pulled out 22A Like neon gas: NOBLE because I had written INERT because it fit and worked, except that it turned out that it fit but didn’t work.
17A Athlete who rarely gets sacked or has a pass intercepted: STARQUARTERBACK -> S|TAR|QU|ART|ERBACK.
29A Run-down places: RATTRAPS -> |RAT|TRA|PS.
33A Figure to aim for, according to personal trainers: TARGETHEARTRATE -> |TAR|GETHE|ART|RAT|E.
42A Pastry made with an orchard fruit: PEARTART -> PE|ART|ART|.
56A Political group symbolized by a donkey: DEMOCRATICPARTY -> DEMOC|RAT|ICP|ART|Y.
37D Various creative mediums … or a hint to variations found in the shaded squares: ARTFORMS. Because they’re A-R-T in different forms. Yay.
Finished this one in 7:41.
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