Okay...on to the puzzle. And a very entertaining puzzle it was.
Loved the theme, revealed at 10A and 37A: FROM/START TO FINISH.
The four theme answers are all common phrases, but the first letter is moved to the last space...then appropriately clued.
18A: Reason to renovate an opera house? (RUST IN MET). Trust in me...that's the only one I'll translate.
20A: One cauterizing a skin blemish? (HEATER OF WART).
54A: Narc operation on Amtrak? (RAILWAYS BUST). This was the one that made the theme make sense.
57A: Dropped "The Simpsons" from the TV schedule? (ENDED BART).
The only clue/answer I didn't like was 5D: Caught congers (eeled). I don't think of eel as a verb...this seemed like a stretch. But I liked the theme so well, I'd be willing to let most anything slide.
Did not know and still do not get:
24D: Sponsorship: Var. (Egis). Should that be all caps?
30D: From the beginning (abovo).
Thought there was a third but I'm not seeing another. Things I didn't know, but they seem to make sense:
36A: Poem about Paris, in part (Iliad). I assume they're talking about Paris, the character, as opposed to the city. Clever.
44A: Hieroglyphic symbol for the ancient Egyptian "M" (owl).
60A: Florence's __ Vecchio (Ponte). Got it from the crosses.
61A: Toni Morrison novel (Sula). I'm not familiar with Morrison's work. Again, the crosses made it happen.
6D: Battle of the __, in the Spanish Civil War (Ebro).
I really liked the vertical stacks in the northwest and the southeast: 1D: Hurry in the direction of (rush to), 2D: Make a stud payment (ante up), and 3D: Climber's chopper (ice axe)...45D: Waiting area (lounge), 46D: Given the boot (ousted), and 47D: Comes out with (utters).
45A: Bud's bud (Lou). Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Got it but didn't get it right away.
63A: Tee off (anger). A gimme...I didn't think it was about golf.
64A: Wax remover (Q-tip). Eeee-yewwww. Or however that's spelled.
13D: Boulder hrs. (MST). Mountain Standard Time made it to an earlier puzzle, with a clue that made you think it was about sports.
34D: Big bag of groceries, e.g. (armload)
37D: Hot (sexy). A much better clue than we had the other day...like a Playmate of the Month. I had a real issue with that one. I had nude for that one...which all Playmates are. But are they all sexy? I'll concede that some are.
43D: Slopes devotee (ski bum).
I'm ready to call it a night. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.