This one seemed easy in the fill and hard in the theme. That is, even with most of the theme material filled in, it still took some time to realize what was going on. Once we did, however, we thought it was a pretty good gag. My favorite, and the last one I figured out, was OCHNSSSTER (60A: Legendary Scottish swimmer, after 66-Across?) (LEMONDROPS (66A: Tart treats)). See what I mean? It's somewhat convoluted, but once you jam the letters of "lemon" back into that first one, you get the answer. Frannie wondered if getting to use horrible looking lines like "ochnssster" above, and EMNSHEHERDS (23A: Many service dogs, after 29-Across?) made it easier to keep the rest of the fill clean. I kind of doubted it, because the difficulty of making those things work, and then using another ten or eleven boxes on the other side to explain it and/or help it out, seems pretty tricky. Which is why the overall cleanliness of the rest of the fill seems so impressive. IACT (47A: "I don't know why ____ this way") being a notable exception (too bad they couldn't get one more space in there for "____ alea est"), but really, the rest is pretty solid. (OK, ANDA isn't all that great either, but the clue (8D: All that ____ bag of chips) makes up for it.)
We especially enjoyed IXNAYS (34A: Eighty-sixes) (Pig Latin is always a good idea), and SHELLAC (93A: Clobber) (as are amusing fighting terms)(See also: 92D: Scrap (TUSSLE)). I didn't know the world ORLE (91A: Shield border), but a friend's son wrote a book on heraldry, which was given to us, so perhaps I should have. "98A: Begins to wake" seems an interesting clue for STIRS. Not sure whether it's better or worse, easier or harder, than something like "roils" or "turns," but I mention it nonetheless, just because it caught my attention. And speaking of odd clues, howzabout 80D: Lead-in for physics ... and pieman? (META). Nice. We also enjoyed the interesting trivia in 113A: Only inanimate zodiac sign (LIBRA) and 24D: Book in which Moses is born (EXODUS).
Lastly, I'd just like to say that this might be the first time I've ever just laid in an answer to a "58D: Jackson-to-Birmingham dir."-type answer without any crosses and had it stick. (ENE). I'm not sure whether I should be happy that I got this one, or sad that it usually takes me so long with all the others...