Theme: "Double Plays" - Each theme answer is in the pattern of A B C, both A B and B C are common phrases, with B C being a baseball term.
23A. Concertina heist? : SQUEEZE BOX SCORE. Squeeze box. Box score.
38A. Formal dance for tiny, winged debutantes? : FRUIT FLY BALL. Fruit fly. Flyball. I smiled at the clue.
50A. Big push to collect singles bar come-ons? : PICKUP LINE DRIVE. Pickup line. Line drive.
66A. Gofer at a moon landing site? : TRANQUILITY BASE RUNNER. Tranquility base. Base runner.
84A. China piece commemorating a Ricky Ricardo catchphrase? : "LUCY I'M HOME" PLATE. "Lucy, I'm home". Home plate.
93A. Writing implement for Vatican edicts? : PAPAL BULLPEN. Papal bull. Bullpen.
114A. Dance for bears? : SELLING SHORT HOP. Selling short. Short hop;
Sweet theme. Rich must have been saving this puzzle for months.
I picked Gary's Royals to win the World Series before their Wild Card game against the A's. Luck of the Lorde! "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh... " Love that song. You better remember LORDE.
This puzzle has ten 8-letter entries. All stacked in the corner. Amazing construction.
1. "Let's get started!" : HERE WE GO. Great start!
9. An epicure has a refined one : PALATE. My very first fill.
15. Diamond covers : TARPS. And 72. Diamond brothers : ALOUs. "I've never seen a diamond in the flesh..."
20. Maker of smarTouch gloves : ISOTONER. New to me. Why not just "Smart Touch"?
I don't like the DirecTV spelling either.
21. Orbital high point : APOGEE
22. Abrasive mineral : EMERY
25. Some, in Potsdam : EINES
26. Takes to court : SUES
27. River of Flanders : YSER. And 28. Rivière filler : EAU. Or not, they speak Dutch in Flanders.
29. Turmoil : UNREST
30. Hunger : YEN
31. Artist Modigliani : AMEDEO. Sad life. Alcohol & drug. His beautiful wife killed herself along with their unborn baby the day after he died. I liked the movie "Modigliani".
33. Rulers before Lenin : TSARS
36. Fed. auditing agency : GAO (Government Accountability Office)
37. Barkeep's supply : ICE
42. Play for time : STALL
45. Lack of vigor : ANEMIA
48. Cutting rooms?: Abbr. : ORs. Tricky clue.
49. Chick's tail? : ADEE. Chickadee.
53. Grace verb : BLESS
54. Roger of "Cheers" : REES
55. TV's Mrs. Peel : RIGG (Diana)
56. Idiot box : TEEVEE
58. Gallery work : ART
59. Juice brand with the digital newsletter Lizard Tales : SOBE. South Beach.
60. Cries at fireworks : OOHS
63. Discharge : EGEST
73. Agnew's plea, for short : NOLO. Nixon is very well-respected in China due to his historical visit.
74. Deuce follower : AD IN
75. "Put __ Happy Face" : ON A
76. Pulse is one of them : VITALS
79. Latin 101 word : AMAT
80. "Back in Black" band : AC/DC. "Back in Black" is also Amy Winehouse's album (Rehab).
81. Weighed the container of : TARED. Haven't seen this word for a long time.
89. Hooting owl, to some : OMEN
90. Jellied item in British cuisine : EEL
91. Hoops venues : ARENAS
92. Chorus section : ALTOS
96. At least one : ANY
97. Final finish? : IZE. Finalize.
98. Much, informally : LOTSA
99. Go : DEPART
103. "How disgusting!" : EWW. Reminds me of my grandma's fermented soybeans. The whole kitchen smelled.
106. Blabbed about : TOLD ON
108. Crossword clue, often: Abbr. : DEF (Definition)
111. Level, in Liverpool : RASE
112. Abruzzo town in a Longfellow poem : ATRI. Adano is Hersey's town.
113. Dental restoration : ONLAY
118. __ trip : FIELD
119. Senior golfer Mark : O'MEARA. He'll be a Hall of Famer next year. So will be the great Laura Davies. I've met both in person.
120. Spouse : HELPMATE
121. Grows faint : FADES
122. Low plants : BUSHES
123. Buttercup kin : ANEMONES. Delicate flowers.
1. __ fit : HISSY
2. Relative of -ish : ESQUE
3. Where Joan of Arc died : ROUEN. Also where Madame Bovary met with her lover every week. That book touched my heart.
4. Hot times in Paris : ETES. Just plural for "summer".
5. Heartache : WOE
6. DNA polymerase, e.g. : ENZYME
7. Hornless honkers : GEESE
8. Spherical : ORBED
9. __ Romana : PAX
10. Cathedral area : APSE
11. Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida __" : LOCA. Where were you in 1999?
12. Rainforest rodent : AGOUTI
13. Thrice, in Rx's : TER
14. Letters on some loafers : EEE
15. Itty-bitty : TEENSY
16. Boy in "The Kite Runner" : AMIR. Thank God they named him AMIR, otherwise this would need a dreaded "Var" mark.
17. Deserter : RENEGADE. I like this word.
18. Events for select customers : PRE-SALES
19. Cardiac contractions : SYSTOLES. New word to me.
24. Argentite, vis-à-vis silver : ORE. Hence the Ag symbol.
29. Clickable addresses, for short : URLS
31. Censorship-fighting org. : ACLU. My brother cannot see our blog right now. Blocked in China. No idea why. Lots of sites are blocked.
32. "Part __": Katy Perry hit : OF ME
34. Pot boiler : STOVE
35. "It's __ country!" : A FREE
37. Sorts : ILKS
39. Purged : RID
40. Nasser's confed. : UAR. United Arab Republic.
41. Substance used by whales as a feeding filter : BALEEN. Another learning moment for me. Inside their teeth.
42. Weight watcher of rhyme : SPRAT. Fun clue.
43. __ del Fuego : TIERRA
44. Perfumery compound : ACETAL
45. Out : ALIBI
46. Duran Duran bassist __ John Taylor : NIGEL. I drew a blank.
47. An official lang. of Malta : ENG. I thought it would be Italian.
51. "Remembrance of Things Past" author : PROUST
52. "__ possibility" : IT'S A
53. Kicked off : BEGUN
57. Cinéma __ : VERITE
59. Mollusk with an ink sac : SQUID. Squid with salt and pepper is delicious!
60. Chiwere speaker : OTO
61. Olive __ : OYL
62. "Veep" airer : HBO
64. Transport on treads : SNO- CAT
65. Take care of : TEND TO
67. Catholic devotion : NOVENA. Nine days of prayer. Gimme for Lucina, who attends church even when traveling.
68. Etched: Abbr. : INSC. OK, inscribed.
69. Pago Pago's land : SAMOA
70. Semi-hard cheeses : EDAMS
71. Hurries : RACES
77. Alaskan native : ALEUT
78. Puts to sleep : LULLS
79. Philip of "Kung Fu" : AHN. Korean name. Same character as ANG (as Ang Lee), or just AN (as in my hometown Xi'an).
80. Partner : ALLY
81. "As if there weren't enough," after "to" : TOP IT OFF. This is a long partial then, no, Marti?
82. Vast rainforest : AMAZONIA
83. Driven away : REPELLED
85. Sharp bark : YAP
86. Dander : IRE
87. Sew up : MEND
88. Sound after running : PANT
90. Poet's deep black : EBON
94. Insurer of Bob Dylan's vocal cords : LLOYD'S. Gimme. I used Bruce Springsteen last time.
95. Soup scoops : LADLES
96. Specialized cactus branch : AREOLE. New term to me.
100. Fraction of a joule : ERG
101. Old Turkish bigwig : PASHA. AGA is another one.
102. Visibly frightened : ASHEN
103. One of the Coen brothers : ETHAN. MN is a fertile ground. Honeycrisps are now $1.69/lb, by the way. I bought a tote of SweeTango last week when they're on sale. Even better than Honeycrisps. Not available in your area.
104. Created, in a way : WROTE
105. Erases : WIPES
107. Cartoon chipmunk : DALE
109. Valley where David fought Goliath : ELAH
110. Let go : FIRE
112. Prefix with sphere : ATMO
114. React to a jilting, maybe : SOB. Remember this girl?
115. Big bird : EMU
116. "Stillmatic" rapper : NAS
117. Tach measure : RPM