The theme of this puzzle seems to be the letter J. So many Js… It's probably really authors who are known by their first two initials, the first (at least) of which is J.
I don't know what to make of this. In a way, things like OOOH (10D: "I'm intrigued") and OOOLA (12D: Alley Oop's girl) just look so wrong, but in another way, they look kind of cool up there in the NE, being crossed by the equally odd-looking SODOI (15A: "Same with me").
MAHALO (21A: "Thank you," in Hawaii) is a nice word, as is HANKER (43A: Itch (for)), and ACHOO (32D: They often elicit blessings) was kind of funny, but on the whole, the puzzle might have had too much ANON, ILIE, JAI, CROCI, ARB, ARCO, ERS…
Lastly, I've never seen the HAJJ variant of 1D: Muslim's trek. I usually see "hadj," but I really only knew that through Scrabble, and I see now that that is listed as a variant of the double-J version, sooo… my mistake.
Let's call it a wash. Interesting, but not great.