Here is an outstanding example of that difficult exercise: a fun and interesting Monday puzzle. I loved the theme, there's some great fill, and not too much crosswordese.
I did not see where the theme was going until I filled in the revealer. I often semi-intentionally leave the revealer unread and unfilled until as late as I can. If I see a clue light up multiple long answers in the app, I move on to another without reading it. I want to preserve the surprise for as long as possible!
Great theme answers: 24A: "Thanks, Captain Obvious! (GEEYATHINK) is easily my favorite, both in clue and answer, but the others are all familiar and common enough. I regularly get members of my family BEEBALM products as stocking stuffers, so that wasn't hard to find.
But the revealer, LGBTQ, repurposes each answer nicely. The first word is a homophone for one of the initials, in order from top to bottom. Thus Elle Gee Bee Tea Cue. Having the revealer in the SE corner (and crossing one theme answer) is very well done.
As is typical in a crossword, there are a number of other acronyms, five to be exact. I don't suppose it would have been possible to avoid these particular initials across those answers. In fact, there is one G and one L across the 16 letters, so that's pretty well done.
I found all four long down answers to be pleasing. My favorite may be ONIONSOUP because yum. But WINDCHIME, NEILYOUNG (extra points for full name) and TETEATETE are all good.
I'll put up with an ELMST and a BYS for the rest of the goodness.
Almost forgot! What a strange little minitheme there was with KITTY, ANTES, and STACKS. Strange that they didn't include SEE in there as well.
1A: 4.0 is a great one (GPA) - C- for starting with an acronym.
Fave: OHFUN (8D "That sounds good ... NOT!"). Such a delightfully up to date phrase clued with a passé version.
Least fave: MALIK (Pop singer Zayn formerly of One Direction). Who? And who cares?