Title: Word Combinations - The first word of the first three long climbers can be placed ahead of the word, FIGURE.
3. Manual transmission : STICK SHIFT. Stick Figure
9. Husband of a fabled storyteller, in an L. Frank Baum title : FATHER GOOSE. Father Figure
24. One on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list : PUBLIC ENEMY. Public Figure
31. Ship's bow decoration ... and, literally, the first word of 3-, 9- and 24-Down : FIGUREHEAD. 3-, 9-, and 24-Down are the FIGURE HEADS.
Argyle here. Neat getting the reveal into the last spot. I had 3-Down and 24-Down filled in and looked for a theme. I thought I had it but thought, "EWW!". They had TICKS and LICE. I was relieved to find there weren't any more, shall we say, nits.
1. Old West chasers : POSSE
6. Child in the kitchen : CHEF
10. Sleep under the stars, with "out" : CAMP
14. Stage performer : ACTOR
15. Dance often accompanied by a ukulele : HULA
16. Heavenly bear : URSA
17. A Marx brother : CHICO
18. Be the lookout for, say : ABET
19. Angler's gear : REEL
20. Sounds of time : TOCKS. I know where the TICKS are.
21. Pretense : CHARADE
23. Hold on to : KEEP
25. 43-Down alum Cheri : OTERI. "Saturday Night Live" alumna, Cheri Oteri.
26. __ of thousands : CAST
28. GM labor group : UAW. (full name: International Union of United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America)
30. Seaman's double-breasted jacket : REEFER. This link may be TMI but interesting. LINK
34. "Excuse me?" : "HUH?"
35. Fit for the task : ABLE
36. Upscale chocolate brand : GODIVA
37. Bush spokesman Fleischer : ARI. White House Press Secretary.
38. Take to the skies : FLY
39. Letters in some email addresses : AOL
40. Ring insert : GEM
41. Spotted cats may be spotted on one : SAFARI. Cool cross with AFRICA.
43. Column-lined walkway : STOA
44. Game name often shouted during play : UNO. Kids love this game.
45. Like grams and liters : METRIC
46. Wii forerunner : NES. (Nintendo Entertainment System)
47. __ and crafts : ARTS
48. Immune system component : T-CELL
50. Otherwise : ELSE
52. Miss Teen USA contest, e.g. : PAGEANT
55. Cigar remains : ASHES
58. Proctor's handout : EXAM
59. Like a frittata : EGGY
62. Talk show interviewee : GUEST
63. Height: Pref. : ALTI. (altitude)
64. Glutton's demand : MORE. Was Oliver a glutton then?
65. Use a soapbox : ORATE
66. Some undershirts : TEEs
67. The "Y" in YSL : YVES. (Yves Saint Laurent)
68. Honda Accord, e.g. : SEDAN
1. Treaty : PACT
2. Tres y cinco : OCHO. 3+5=8 (Cinco de Mayo Thursday)
4. Place for a plug : SOCKET
5. Unevenly notched, as leaf edges : EROSE
6. "__-ching!" : CHA or "KA-ching!
7. Wheel center : HUB
8. Vote into office : ELECT
10. Like a spicy Indian chicken dish : CURRIED
11. Locale : AREA
12. Teacher's graduate deg. : MSED. The Master of Education (M.Ed., Ed.M., M.A.Ed., M.A.E., M.S.Ed., M.S.E., or M.Ed.L.)
13. Lacking color : PALE
22. Colored part of the iris : AREOLA. I'm confused; the iris is the colored part of the eye. I did enjoy searching for an image of an AREOLA though but nothing iris related showed up.
25. What borrowers do : OWE
26. Deep gap : CHASM
27. Surrounding glows : AURAE
29. Prince __ Khan : ALY
32. Blessed __ : EVENT
33. 1990s Philippine president : RAMOS. Fidel V. Ramos, Wiki LINK.
35. Kilimanjaro's locale : AFRICA
39. Wolfed down : ATE
42. Greek goddess of the hunt : ARTEMIS
43. NBC sketch series, briefly : SNL
47. Guarantee : ASSURE
49. Statehouse official: Abbr. : LT.GOV. (lieutenant governor)
51. Old Nigerian capital : LAGOS. 1991, the Federal Government was relocated to Abuja. However, Lagos still remains the financial center of the country.
52. __ moss : PEAT
53. Wheelbarrow shaft : AXLE
54. Scandal suffix : GATE
56. This, to a señora : ESTA
57. WWII machine gun : STEN. British tommy gun.
60. LSAT cousin : GRE. (Graduate Record Examination)
61. Word of assent : YES, and a roundabout way of saying I'm done.