Sometimes you don’t get the theme at all ’til after you’ve solved the whole puzzle…and sometimes you need to get the theme early to have much of chance with the puzzle. This is one where the sooner you get the idea of the theme, the better off you are. So, let’s look at the theme: “Bye-Lines” Keep that in mind and do as much of the crossing down answers (all the theme answers are across this time; not always the case) as you can. Do you see any familiar words appearing that are, in some way related to the clue for the long answer? They are all related in the same way and this is not a normal clue/answer relationship. No question mark at the end, so not puns or fancy word play. Something very specific is going on here. The only one that’s “tricky” is 64-Across (Porky Pig), and it’s just like he says it.
Some specific hints:
1-Down Downhill run: do think skiing, though not necessarily through those flags they set up to see if they can kill the skiers.
1-Across Former Belgian national airline: The name sounds like a famous Audrey Hepburn role
38-Down Jesse and Leo of TV sitcoms: Sam’s one of these, too.
43-Down Onward: Or Sally ______.
76-Down Lace’s End: A common crossword puzzle word that no one ever uses. Could it be a very small Texan steer?
106-Down Preceder of “di” or “da” in a Beatles song: You might think there should be one more “o” in this answer
32-Across Base, e.g. & 57-Down Base: Usually matching clues like this involve completely different meanings of the same word, but not this time.
9-Down Nickname for Huntington Beach, Calif. A likely name for a beach in California; 2 words.
Enjoy my hints? Check out my blook (blog + book = blook).