When I see that the Friday Sun puzzle is a themed one rather than a Weekend Warrior, I get a little nervous. This is silly, I know. I should have been a lot nervous.
The theme here involves taking abbreviations for the 6 noble gases and inserting them into or in front of common words and phrases to get new wonkier words and phrases. I actually glommed onto the theme pretty quick when I figured out 60A: Podiatrist? was CORN WORKER. This turned out to be only a no-pun-intended toehold however, because I know less than diddly-squat about noble gases, don't know what they are, how they're abbreviated or what the hell is so damn noble about them. So let's just say it was rough going even after I threw in the towel and looked up the names of the noble gases and their abbreviations.
Most of the new words are entertaining. I'm not crazy about 41A: Action at a Danish auction? KRONE UPPING just cuz I wouldn't say DOLLAR UPPING was something that happened at an American auction. I like 48A: Asian Brazilian expert? KOREAN WAXER and SWATHE TEAM and NEW AGE SCALE are both kind of neat.
But man, oh man, that Northwest section was brutal. Who knew ISAK Dinesen had another Frenchier pen name? Or heard of Pop painter Alex KATZ? or knew that the Spanish letter after cu was ERE? Carmen is a MEZZO? Okay, if you SEZZO. And the name of the ship that brought the Staue of Liberty to the U.S. (ISERE) is that common knowledge? Personally I would have preferred to see this paired with 1D: Shout upon arrival (IT'S ME) and clued as Cockney's shout upon arrival -- I'S 'ERE.
Oh well, the weekend's here and I am ready for it. Hope yours is a great one.