Theme: GAIN WEIGHT (56A. What 18-, 23-, 37- and 46-Across do to become puns?) - TON is added to the last word of each common phrase.
18A. Center of Swiss Oktoberfest celebrations? : BEER CANTON. Beer can.
23A. Tiny sea thugs? : GANG PLANKTON. Gangplank. One word.
37. More equitable church official? : THE FAIRER SEXTON. The fairer sex.
46A. Cigarette buyer's bonus? : BUMPER CARTON. Bumper car.
C.C. here, giving the hard-working Lemonade a break. Blogging once is fun. But blogging every week under time pressure is certainly not an easy job. Somehow Lemonade always achieves a nice balance of seriousness in his theme/entry explanations & whimsy humor in his links and passing remarks.
So, it's Friday, the theme is, more often than not, letter(s) addition/deletion/replacement, mostly "addition", since they produce more colorful and fun phrases (while deletion tends to offer dry and boring phrases). Marti is our expert in this theme type.
Today's reveal, GAIN WEIGHT, elevates the normal Friday for me. It gives a rationale why TON is added. Five theme entries with 59 squares is a lot, but Gareth delivered. He always does. You don't see light theme in his grids. Always meaty.
1. RR sched. listings : STAs
5. Hollow stone : GEODE
10. Some Siamese : CATS. Then we also have 54. King Mongkut's domain : SIAM. Slight dupe.
14. Flamingo hue : PINK. "Gentlemen Prefer Pink"!
15. Memorable number : OLDIE
16. Vibes : AURA
17. Queen, in some Indo-Aryan languages : RANI
20. Like the Baha'i faith, by origin : IRANIAN. Hey, no IRANI today.
22. Kicks out : BOOTS
27. "Phat!" relative : RAD
28. Friend abroad : AMI
29. Punching tool : AWL
32. Filmmaker Coen : ETHAN. Born and raised here in MN.
35. Fed. agent : G-MAN
36. Pre-coll. catchall : EL-HI. It just won't go away.
40. Cover, as with paint : COAT
41. Rail family bird : COOT
42. Ecological community : BIOME
43. Drillmaster's syllable : HUP
44. Tight do : BUN. I like loose buns. This is flawless.
45. Boozer : SOT
52. Totally flummoxed : AT SEA. Does today feel like Friday, Argyle?
55. Erode : EAT AWAY
60. Mange cause : MITE
61. Computer science pioneer Turing : ALAN
62. '90s FBI chief : FREEH (Louis). From September 1993 to June 2001. I have no memory of him. I came to the US in May 2001. Never paid attention to politics or news until Sept 11th.
63. __-à-porter: ready-to-wear : PRET. Also a star-studded fashion movie. Our Xword staple Stephen REA is in it too.
64. 18th-century French winemaker Martin : REMY
65. "La __ Nikita": 1997-2001 TV drama : FEMME. Oh, I loved it. I watched the Cantonese version.
66. Some 35mm cameras : SLRs
1. Hint of mint : SPRIG. A sprig is more than a hint to me.
2. Part of a princess costume : TIARA
3. 2001 Nobel Peace Prize recipient : ANNAN (Kofi). He studied here in MN too. Nice! Minnesota Nice!
4. Plastic surgeon's procedure : SKIN GRAFT. Sounds painful.
5. Become unlocked? : GO BALD. Fun clue. Why do men go bald? We don't.
6. John Paul's Supreme Court successor : ELENA (Kagan)
7. Shelley work : ODE
8. Hollywood VIP : DIR (Director)
9. Continental trade org. : EEC
10. Lexmark rival : CANON. Printer.
11. Prefix with pilot : AUTO
12. Bouncy gait : TROT
13. __ serif : SANS
19. Blood typing system : ABO
21. Hygiene product with a Disney-created mascot : IPANA. Bucky Beaver.
24. "Give me an example!" : NAME ONE. Excellent entry.
25. Craftsman tools seller : KMART
26. Pantry array : TINS
29. __ sax : ALTO
30. It's "no longer current in natural colloquial speech," per the OED : WHOM. Hard clue.
31. Place to wait : LINE
32. Write permanently : ETCH
33. Commandment word : THOU. Thou shalt not steal others' identity on this blog.
34. Car that's seen better days : HEAP
35. Put together : GROUP
36. Cloverleaf components : EXIT RAMPS. Great answer as well.
38. SDI defense target : ICBM
39. WWII torpedo craft : E-BOAT. Or U-BOAT. I don't really know the differences, Spitzboov!
45. Verbally attack : SCATHE
46. Hope contemporary : BENNY (Jack). Bob Hope.
47. Motor City org. : UAW
48. Turn into a mini, as a midi : RE-HEM
49. Spin : TWIRL
50. Wayne feature : OATER. Never liked John Wayne.
51. Politburo objections : NYETs. "No" in Russian.
52. Petri dish gel : AGAR
53. Chaucer chapter : TALE
57. Gee preceder : EFF. Alphabet.
58. Fury : IRE
59. Bit of treasure : GEM
Here is an adorable picture of the cute Charlotte, Lemonade's granddaughter.
Two month ago, she was only a tiny baby:
Click here for more Charlotte pictures.