"Don't talk about yourself. We will do that after you leave." A quote, running through four long spaces, thought funny enough to carry the puzzle. I guess I agree.
But let's get right to the elephant in the puzzle, shall we? YELLOWY (22D: Blond). (Slightly related to 20D: Like some blonds (DYED.)) So? What do we think of that? I started with outrage, but slowly was converted to acceptance, and then even appreciation. We puzzle-doers want the grids to be fresh, with current language, right? I'll gladly accept TOOTOO (47D: Overdone), and SLOMO (41D: Time-stretching effect), but I frowned at "YELLOWY." Why? No more! I don't want to see it every day, but every once in a while, something like "YELLOWY" is fine by me. Especially in a puzzle with a decent amount of other strong material.
SCARCE (1D: Pretty hard to find), CABAL (9D: Ring of rebels), APPALL (29A: Severely consternate), and SHRIVEL (43D: Contract) (Oh! conTRACT! Not CONtract...), are all good words. We could do without ODISTS (42A: Some Coleridge colleagues) and OAS (52A: Alliance HQ'd near the White House) (?), and I guess I have to accept that "Epicurean" no longer has anything to do with philosophy, but those are small things. DIURNAL (11D: Active when the sun goes down), AZORES (10D: Columbus stopping point of 1493) (tricky trivia!), IDIOCY (50A: Folly), MASTS (17A: Spars) (Good clue!)... they're all solid.
It was a solid puzzle. Better than solid. What do you think?