Frannie here, your NYTXWP guide for the next 30 days. Welcome aboard. Fasten your seat belts. lt's likely to be a bumpy ride. :)
For starters, look how late I am with this review! Outrageous. It's been go go go all day. But now, finally, I can get down to business.
I liked the puzzle.
By Inklein at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2675916
Kidding! Here's the real review:
I'm dyin' to be a critic, but I was all a-trema solving this one. I thought it was a cute theme, featuring some of your better known diacritical marks, roughly one to a corner. My favorite has to be the "Metal Umlaut," as found in 17A. Rock's Blue ____ Cult (OYSTER). With the accent on diacritics in this puzzle came a pleasingly high incidence of foreign words, one of my few strong suits.
While I didn't have one iota of trouble with the theme answers I did have a breve spot of trouble with the 23A/23D cross. I went wrong with 23A. Orch. Section, at first going with CTR, before correcting it with 23D. "Elephant Boy" boy (SABU), but it wasn't grave.
Answers I was macron on:
27D. Arsonist, e.g. (FELON) and 41D. Deceptive dexterity (SLEIGHT) - two nice words.
46D. Champagne's place (FRANCE) - a place many of this blog's reviewers recently vacationed!
60A. E-guffaw (LOL). That "e-" can be used with anything!
Answers I was kind of eth about:
14A. Dickinson with a modeling agency (JANICE) - never heard of her(?)
44D. Steaming bowlful (HOTSOUP) - the answer was fine, but there was something I didn't like about the clue...
In addition to the foreign words and diacritics, other answers were right in my wheelhouse: 32A. Erik of "CHiPS" (ESTRADA), 41A. Muscle builder for Popeye (SPINACH), and 51D. Em and Polly, in literature (AUNTS). The constructor must be a real special character.
~ Frannie (for real this time).
P.s. 1A. Screwed up big-time (BLEWIT) gets a A-. It's a nice start to the puzzle, and I like how it's difficult to parse properly when seen in all caps with no spaces.