Mr. Deodene has a real ear for "eyes." Four long across answers and the revealer all end with different spellings of the "eye" sound, including DRAMATISPERSONAE and FIGHTINGILLINI to name two. The revealer "doomsayer's assertion or a phonetic hint to 18-, 24-, 51- and 61-Across" hits a bull's eye for accuracy: THEEND ISNIGH. Apt! As I review the theme answers just now, it occurs to me that none of the words containing the "eye" sound in the answers are English. Nigh, on the other hand, has a solid Germanic language origin. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, its comparative and superlative forms spawned the cognates near and next. Cool.
The puzzle also includes, possibly ASASET, HIGH, FISHFRY, and ACAI. Also SUNDAE. Interesting.
I liked two possibly chance juxtapositions including MIAMI MICE and PEARL DAM. I also enjoyed NEARFATAL, WINGINGIT, SNUB, YAW, and LADES. And who doesn't like GORP, SOBA, and SMORES. Mmmm, smores...
If asked, I might say IXNAY to IRT, XER, and LXI, but I could be convinced to turn a blind eye.