When I caught on to 1A: Start to grunt? (HARDG) right away, I had a good feeling about the way things might go. Unfortunately, I tried "Lemon" for 6A: Air freshener scent (LILAC), but it was fixed pretty quickly, and things actually did move right along after that.
The theme is a tad odd, but very nicely done. The letters RSTLN and E are now given automatically in the "bonus round" of the show Wheel of Fortune. It didn't used to be that way. Remember when that giant lazy susan full of products with prices would turn, and the contestants would take the remainder on account? Those were the days… but I digress. As I was starting to say, the letters are all used as single letters, and the revealer, FREE (55D), is at least in the middle, even though it has no symmetrical clue up top.
There were some nice entries in here, but before I highlight any of them, I just want to say that I was surprised to find out that EDYS is the 58D: Brand known as Dreyer's in the West. I thought I just learned through another clue that EDYS was some guy's last name. Why would it be called by a different name in the West? Well, perhaps you've already guessed, but I'll tell you anyway. The company was started as "Edy's Grand Ice Cream" in Oakland, in 1953, by two guys named Joseph Edy and William Dreyer, but in 1947 the company was dissolved. Later, Dreyer Jr. got control somehow, and changed the name to Dreyer's, and then later still, the Edy's name was resurrected when the company expanded east of the Rockies, so the product wouldn't be confused with Breyers. Stranger still, when we were in school in the Midwest, there was a local ice cream place called Dryan's… but that has little bearing on this puzzle.
Other things I liked were CHESS (10D: Game in which pieces can be forked), NOMEN (65A: "Julius," e.g., in Gaius Julius Caesar) (as opposed to the praenomen and cognomen), RHAPSODY (3D: Liszt piece), and GREWWEARY (5D: Tired) (nice double Ws). FIST (59A: Symbol of authority) was nice, too, and it took me three crosses before I realized what it was! Also, it's symmetrical with WEAK (21A: Watered down), coincidence? I wonder. And who doesn't love the AMISH (15A: Plain people) (at least it wasn't "Otoes").
My biggest complaint might be that SAE (58A: Autograph seeker's encl.) is less familiar than "SASE," but coincidentally, there was an SAE (sigma alpha epsilon - I don't want to bother finding a Greek keyboard) fraternity at that same school that was near Dryan's. Interesting, no?