Chuck Deodene...the name is totally unfamiliar to me, but a quick check on Google shows that he's not a new constructor. But I don't know that I've seen his name on a NYT byline in the last year.
What I do know is that I like to run into the kind of people he's talking about in this puzzle...the helpful, courteous sort.
The theme answers, clued as Helpful person's line, are:
17A: No need to thank me.
32A (with 42A): Glad to be of / assistance.
61A: It was my pleasure.
I've always thought that people who work in a service industry should be providing a service to the customers they serve. And I'm always glad when I find them working in the stores that I frequent. Good service is part of the reason I frequent a store. Well, that and good coffee...or chocolate...or shoes...or whatever.
We've had an abundance of pangrams in the last week, and we have another one today.
I liked all the Zs in the northeast. Actually, there are only two, but the crossings give it the appearance of more than that. 9D: One of the Gabors (Zsa Zsa) shares her Zs with 9A: Districted (zoned) and 21A: Most comfy (coziest).
My favorites in the northwest include 2D: Kriegsmarine vessel (U-boat), 4D: Substitute players (B team)...one that generally stumps me..., and 20A: Spiral in space (galaxy).
Other clues and/or answers I liked:
23A: Vice squad arrestees, perhaps (johns).
25A: Perturbation (alarm). I love the clue. I hadn't heard the word in some time and thought it might be anger. It fit for a while.
46A: Like good pianos and engines (tuned). Both of mine are, although I don't use one of them as often as I do the other.
60A: Coterie (clique). Both words are great. I haven't heard clique used since I was in high school, but I'm sure they still exist.
65A: Tied up (even). I was thinking the other kind of tied up.
69A: Virtual mart (eBay). I haven't been on eBay in several months, but you wouldn't know it by my Visa bill. It's always something.
8D: "Hello, Dolly!" jazzman (Satchmo). The best.
28D: Flushing stadium (Shea). A sports clue...and it was a gimme. Finally! I mean, how many times has it been in the puzzle in the last few months.
40D: __ Artois beer (Stella). I've seen it before but didn't get it right away. I thought it might be something that started with St...the abbreviation...as in St. Pauli Girl.
43D: Agrees (says yes). Aside from the theme answers, there were only a couple of multiword answers in the puzzle, so it really stood out.
I was checking my solution online and got the nasty note that my solution was incorrect. It took me forever to find, since there were two areas involved. For 56A: Spode ensembles, I had teapots, rather than the correct tea sets. I didn't even notice that 47D: Stylish then became drossy, rather than dressy, or that 59D: Clipper's sheet was pail, rather than sail. Once I fixed that area, I was sure I had it...but no. I didn't know 26D: 1989's __ Prieta earthquake (Loma), so I didn't notice the error I made at 38A: Philosophy of bare existence? (nudism). I had nudist (along with Lota), until I realized that philosophy in the clue meant that the answer wouldn't end in a T.
48A: Levitated (arose) makes me think of "The Santa Clause"...a Rose Suchak ladder.
For a Tuesday puzzle, I struggled more than I should have. I noticed that the fastest solvers weren't fazed by it, but what about the rest of you?
Another 8:00 meeting tomorrow, so I'm off to bed. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.