Theme: This is one where it really pays to get the theme relatively early in your solving. Once you see the “trick” (the particular wordplay that goes on), you’ll be able to use it in all the long answers. This puzzle follows the most common Sunday NYT crossword pattern for the theme (long answer) clues: The “?” at the end tells us it’s word play, a simple pun. The phrase, when answer, when said aloud, is a common phrase while the literal answer (the exact words you put into the grid) fits the clue. One more hint: The literal answer is 3 words, while the more common phrase is just two words.
10 Specific hints:
1. 76-Down “___ I hear” : 2 words
2. 84-Down One side in the War of the Worlds: The opposite side of the answer to 8-Across
3. 8-Down Irish city near Killarney: Sounds like something you’d take to get from one part of town to another
4. 98-Down Jacket part: An unseen part, at least when you’re wearing the jacket
5. 53-Down Allergic reaction: Or, “Blessing elicitor”
6. 62-Down One’s making intros: More common to see this as a six letter word when it’s plural
7. 92-Down “just Arrived” — No pun/word play here, but there’s a touch of theme in this answer
8. 71-Across Immortal PGA Nickname: It’s a first name.
9. 91-Across “Baby” singer’s nickname: Ask your pre-teen daughter, she’ll know
10. 80-Across Poetic preposition: Thing above, not before