The theme can be found in the answer to 40-Across: How breakfast is served … or how the answers to the eight starred clues should be entered? Answer: In bed. Ergo, the fills for the theme clues are embedded between “B” at the beginning and “ED” at the end. While the in-between word relates to the clue, the resulting whole word is totally related.
17A. *_____Motel = BroachED
24A. *Dressing choice = BranchED
49A. *Longtime TV weatherman = BrokerED
58A. *Divide up = BallotED
3D. *Bit of hair = BlockED
11D. *Bit of excitement = BrushED
38D. *Leeway = BroomED
42D. * Like Pisces, in the zodiac = BlastED
It’s been quite a while since I last finished a Thursday puzzle error-free. Actually, that was back to April though I have finished quite a few since then but all with one mistake. Despite its rather strange theme set-up, this puzzle was relatively easy for me. In fact, for some reason known only to my brain, I had more trouble finishing this week’s Tuesday’s puzzle. Go figure!