Alex B. makes his second 2018 appearance and his first Friday since his debut in 2013. That one also had sound alike fill. Here the premise is simple - one word in a known phrase is replaced with its homonym and clued for maximum comedic effect. Unlike some puzzles depending on pronunciation, there really should not be any regional complaints about the word choices. I enjoyed the choices and the rest of the puzzle.
20A. What Darwin did aboard the Beagle? : WRITE OF PASSAGE (14). RITE of passage, a French term innovated by the ethnographer Arnold van Gennep in his work Les rites de passage, "The Rites of Passage." The Beagle is particularly notable for carrying the naturalist Charles Darwin on her second voyage. The voyage played a pivotal role in the formation of Darwin's scientific theories on evolution and natural selection. Wiki et al.
25A. London supermarket sections? : BRITISH AISLES (13). British ISLES birthplace of our Steve, Nicecuppa, Truebrit and others at the corner. There are MANY.
48A. Tie shoes professionally? : KNOT FOR PROFIT (13). NOT for profit, the silliest one. I suppose a manservant -valet - might be one who knots for profit.
55A. Lacking a critical watch-making supply? : OUT OF HOUR HANDS (14). Out of OUR hands, the most clever as you need both minute hands and hour hands to make an analog watch.
There is a boatload of sparkly fill, CHAFE AT, LAFITTE , MODULES, NOT NICE, AIR LANES, TEST RIDE, GREAT STUFF and ICE SKATING. Let us solve/
1. In need of mopping: SPILT. My childhood refrain from the sweet boys at school:
Hasten Jason, Get the basin. Oops slop, get the mop. There is more to the song.
6. Apple app mostly replaced by Messages: i CHAT. iChat is a discontinued instant messaging software application developed by Apple Inc. for use on its Mac OS X operating system
11. Clock std. : GST. Not sure about this one; maybe Greenwich Standard Time?
14. Some plankton: ALGAE. Yummy for a whale tummy.
15. Iconic Vivien Leigh role: O'HARA.
16. 2014 World Cup Final host: RIO. The site of the World Cup and the Olympics.
17. Bungles: GOOFS.
18. Stable moms: MARES. Really fun misdirection.
19. "What is THAT?" : EEK. A mouse. HMM.
23. Far from fresh: TRITE.
24. Reduced to crumbs, perhaps: EATEN.
30. Behaved like a lovestruck heart: RACED.
31. Lakeside temperature gauge? : TOE. Also useful in catching water mocassins.
32. End: STOP.
35. Love interest for WALL-E: EVE.
36. Word that may follow a president's name: ERA.
39. Carrier merged with Delta since 2010: NWA.
41. Game with Reverse cards: UNO. My grandmother loved playing cards, cribbage when I was young, and as she got older she fell in love with UNO.
42. '50s sitcom name: DESI. Arnaz.
44. Something to wrestle with: ARM. You want to WATCH.
46. Figure out: INFER.
52. Walking aid: STAFF. We have so many here with canes or sticks, including yours truly, I use
a collapsible tartan cane.
54. Distributed: DEALT.
60. Hitter's stat: RBI. Runs Batted In.
61. Sometimes plucked instrument: CELLO. Clecho- 8D. Plucked instrument: HARP.
62. Dorothy, to Em: NIECE. Aunty 'Em.
64. Common base: TEN.
65. Impulses: URGES.
66. Showman's talent: ECLAT. This back, can ELAN be far behind?
67. Braz. neighbor: ARGentina.
68. Flirt: TEASE.
69. "Voting Rights Trail" terminus: SELMA. Want to read this STORY.
1. Sink: SAG. Two weeks in a row.
2. Slam (into) : PLOW.
3. Movie lab helper: IGOR.
4. Battle of New Orleans pirate: LAFITTE.
5. Short Golf drive? : TEST RIDE. The Volkswagon model.
6. Insect with eyespots on its wings: IO MOTH. I hope John Lampkin stops by with insight.
7. Be irritated by: CHAFE AT.
9. Region: AREA.
10. Academic hanger : TASSEL. Cute clue.
11. "Nice work!" : GREAT STUFF.
12. Onslaught: SIEGE.
13. Symbolic yet insubstantial: TOKEN.
21. München cubes: EIS. Even in German it probably upsets Tin.
22. RSVP holders: SAES. I know it as SASE. But I guess they are not providing any stamp.
25. Word after well or ill: BRED.
26. Techno club event: RAVE. I never understood the rave; wrong generation.
27. Winter recreation: ICE SKATING. I enjoyed the skating this year at the winter Olympics.
28. Solar wind particle: ION.
29. Use a needle: SEW.
33. R.E.M.'s "The __ Love" : ONE I.
37. Ubiquitous rodent: RAT. I hope not.
38. Warning sound, perhaps: ARF.
40. Southwest routes: AIRLANES. The Luv airline.
43. Recon target: INFO. I wanted INTEL.
45. Interchangeable components : MODULES.
47. Mean: NOT NICE.
49. Lumber remnant, in Liverpool: OFFCUT. Definition of offcut. chiefly British. : something that is cut off (such as a waste piece of lumber).
50. Ascended again: REROSE. Meh.
51. "Blast it!" : PAH. Definition: an exclamation used to express disgust or contempt.
52. Wavering word: SORTA.
53. Potato or yam: TUBER.
56. "Try this": HERE.
57. Contemporary of Nadia : OLGA. Korbut.
58. Computer giant: DELL.
59. In retrospect, it may have sounded too good to be true: SCAM. If it does it is.
63. SFO posting : ETA. Airport code for San Francisco.
Do not forget to change your clocks Sunday and enjoy the extra sunshine. At least those who live in sunny climes. Thank you Alex and all who read. Lemonade out.