Wow. I liked both, actually! I didn't think the clue icons were very distracting, either.
The new intro is so epic! Especially the music at the last part where it shows the mash up of all the different locations.
What really bothered me was the Starting Line cowboy randomness (best way I could describe it). Why in the world did TAR feel a need to build a whole movie set for a Starting Line when they could have just started in a REAL amazing place in the USA? Honestly, that was just stupid.
The Old West town set is an existing movie stage set, and was used for the day; it's easy enough to rent horses and stagecoaches in Southern California, and it also explains why we weren't able to find the start line when filming started.
But the "call the number" to get the first clue -- that was a neat way of promoting Ford's version of OnStar....which also allows you to call from your GMC or Chevy truck,
I have rewatched the first part of the episode, and I do hear a strong callback to the original version of the TAR theme, as used before season 12. The additional non-western instruments are added, and give it a more global feel. So yes to the intro; and we ought to be able to identify the new font for the on-screen clue summaries. They are a different font, but I didn't find them to be a jarring change.
And as I pointed out before, I'm so glad to see the return of the truly amazing yellow line (AYL) as it was known before season 13. It's like seeing an old friend you hadn't seen in a long while.