All five theme answers are two word phrases with the first word a synonym of the common clue word MIMIC, though not necessarily a synonym of each other. There are slight variations in the meaning of mimic. The resultant two word phrase has nothing to do with the meaning of mimic. As added bonus to the symmetrical 10, 11, 11, 11, 10 pattern of the theme, the 2nd and 4th clues are identical words, with varied meanings.
17A. Mimic mackerel? : PARROT FISH (10). This multicolored denizen of the deep is as colorful as its feathered namesake. When you Parrot what someone else says, you repeat without really knowing what it means.
24A. Mimic masquerades? : MIRROR BALLS (11). This fill sounds very dangerous, and potentially very painful. The Masquerade ball is a staple of society, though they seldom dance to the disco balls.
33A. Mimic magazine managers? : COPY EDITORS (11). The one who edits copy,
48A. Mimic masquerades? : APE COSTUMES.(11). A different version of masquerade, where it is what you are wearing. not where you are wearing.
57A. Mimic miseries? : MOCK TRIALS.(10). Trials and tribulations certainly are miseries (another Stephen King book/movie I like) but a mock trial is a make believe one. Like a mock turtleneck sweater.
It is always hard to keep five theme answers responsive to a single word, but Mr. Krauss has done so skillfully. The remaining fill was sparkly in places, but had too many appearances of the plural "S" for my complete happiness, though very few initalisms this week. I have marked each fill that has a gratuitous S on the end.
1. John and Paul : POPES. Not the Beatles, but the papacy (which has nothing to do with papaya) which also has Popes dubbed John-Paul.
6. Capital on its own gulf : RIGA. The capital of Latvia. A clecho with 16A. Country on its own gulf : OMAN, a country and gulf we see often in puzzles.
10. Bar or bel intro : DECI. I am sure we are familiar with DECIBEL, the measure of sound; but I did not recall DECIBAR, "a centimeter-gram-second unit of pressure, equal to 1 /10 bar or 100,000 dynes per square centimeter." per the dictionary. DECI means one tenth, from the Latin, used for example where an army was 'decimated. meaning one in ten were killed.
14. Imminent, old-style : ANEAR. Not only an "A" word but an archaic one, though if you think AFAR, ANEAR will pop to mind, but not AN EAR.
15. Shots served neatly? : ACES. Tennis serves.
19. Tolled : RANG. "For whom the bell rings, it rings for you" just does not have the same pizzazz.
20. Seed cover : ARIL. Not an "A" word but a common bit of crosswordese.
21. Tony winner Roger : REES. The British actor who I first saw as the boss/boy friend of Rebecca (Kirstie Alley) on Cheers. He won his Tony back in the 80s for the play based on Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby, and I think he is back on broadway now, but I have not been to the city this year.
22. Many an Everly Brothers hit : B-SIDE. Is this true? Who was picking the A-Sides that the B-sides became hits?
23. "___-hoo!" : YOO.
26. Early Pilgrim family : ALDENS. Speak for yourself, John.
28. Ready : ALL SET.
29. County bordering Mayo : SLIGO. Not nnaise, but in Ireland on the coast.
30. Fairy tale threat : WOLF. Like, the Boy Who Cried Wolf, not the briar patch. Took a second to understand the clue.
38. The gamut : A TO Z.
39. Obtain despite resistance : WREST. I wrestled with this one for a bit also.
42. Key of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 24 : F-SHARP. All perps, though I am sure JzB knew.
47. European tourists' rentals : VESPAS. You have to be careful to not be run over by one.
52. "___ we having fun yet?" : ARE. We are you?
53. Like much mouthwash : MINTY. Like this home made AD? (1:04)
54. Pearl Buck heroine : O-LAN. The wife in The Good Earth. C.C., what did the native Chinese people think of this book? (From C.C.: Personally I think it's the best book ever written about China by a foreigner. The portrait of Chinese country life (pre-1949) & psychology is so vivid and true.)
55. "Dang!" : DRAT. This is my favorite non-swear word.
56. ___ uncertain terms : IN NO. No relation to INNIE. Do you recognize this star who is back innie trouble.
59. Bread brushed with ghee : NAAN. But do not brush your bread with 8D. Painter's undercoat : GESSO.
60. Stationary surgical patient : TREE. I love this clue.
61. Rival of Helena : ESTEE. Rubinstein and Lauder, and I did not make that up.
62. In addition : ELSE.
63. "The War of the Worlds" foe : MARS. I had trouble thinking of anything but Martians.
64. Slurpee cousins : ICEES. Not to be confused with kissing cousins who might be slurpy. One of my favorite CLIPS. (2:08). But not, 7D. Less receptive : ICIER.
1. Tropical fruits : PAPAYAS. I warned you there would be fruit. But served in a bowl, not...
2. Hot : ON A ROLL.
3. Regular : PERIODIC. Table?
4. Rank below marquis : EARL.
5. Capacity-exceeding letters : SRO.Standing Room Only.
6. Gold-medalist decathlete Johnson : RAFER. My first memories of the OLYMPICS.(2:23).
9. ___ Wednesday : ASH.
10. Back fin : DORSAL. Anyone want to go swimming with me in the OCEAN? (1:48). Not like 25D. Finn floater : RAFT. Huckleberry, not the Irish terrorists, nor people from Finland.
11. Sends, in a way : EMAILS.
12. Taper, e.g. : CANDLE. I could not hold a taper to Kurt's work.
13. Gulp down : INGEST.
18. Speaker of Cooperstown : TRIS. Really old time baseball, and a very valuable trading card.
22. Crude meas. : BBL. Nice play on CRUDE meaning unpolished and the petroleum.
24. Letter run : M N O P. When in doubt...spell it out.
27. I problem? : EGO. A fun clue.
30. Wrong, with "all" : WET. Like the last ten seconds of this R-rated VIDEO? (1:20). Wrong, very wrong; right boys?
31. Meter opening : ODOmeter. How far you have gone in your car.
32. Dick Cheney's eldest : LIZ. Eldest daughter ELIZABETH. My dil dislikes being called Liz.
34. Blabs : YAPS.
35. Has a mortgage, say : OWES.
36. Tourist's options: Abbr. : RRS. Rail Roads.
37. Break up : SEPARATE. The referee stepped in and separated the fighters.
40. End of the slogan that starts "Everybody doesn't like something" : SARA LEE. Think COMMERCIALS (1:01) are better now?
41. African dangers : TSETSES. We get an entire fly.
42. Big food problem : FAMINE. Yes , no food is a big problem.
43. ___ column : SPINAL. So many columns.
44. Salon dyes : HENNAS. What you are DYEING to know.
45. It starts with thunder and lightning in "Macbeth" : ACT ONE.
46. Mr. Rogers : ROY. Happy TRAILS, (2:03), still singing at 83; not tobe confused with Mister Rogers.
47. Blow off steam : VENT.
49. Irish lullaby start : TOORA. More learning LISTEN.(2:36).
50. Eating may relieve its symptoms : ULCER. Do you BELIEVE?
51. Compels : MAKES. I am not sure what compels me to be so silly.
55. Frisbee, for one : DISC.
57. "Lou Grant" production co. : MTM. Mary Tyler Moore's company.
58. Portugal's Manuel II, e.g. : REI. Portuguese for King.
Well I am back from visiting and I am still recovering, need to get some rest as I got worn out rocking Charlotte to sleep, and now miss that very much. See you all next time.
Note from C.C.:
Here are two photos of Lemonade's adorable granddaughter Charlotte & her beautiful parents.