my mouseover links here.
is there a way to “highlight” the links while the slideshow starts, so that people know the links use the map?

How is the highlight achieved? Via a CSS hover selector, such as this?

#nav a:hover {
    background: silver;

You’ll need to create a duplicate class name selector, perhaps called hover, so that you can manually apply that same style by using scripting to set and unset the class name.

#nav a:hover,
#nav a.hover {
    background: silver;

$('a', context).addClass('hover');

Do not attempt to duplicate the above code samples and apply them directly to your page. They are merely example pieces that are aimed at helping to demonstrate the technique involved.