Theme: Ok, let’s start with this: Neither Across Lite nor the NY Times own software will give credit for the correct answer. How’s that for cruel. Yes, Virginia, there is a rebus hidden here. I wouldn’t normally be so direct in my hints, but the frustration of getting the right answer and being told it’s wrong was too much even for the NY Times own Wordplay blogger…and even her notion that “if the across is right, you’ll get Mr. Happy Pencil” isn’t correct either. The puzzle software wants just one letter (the first letter of the rebus) where clearly more are needed. Enough grousing and on to one basic hint: There is a key clue in this puzzle: A single clue that makes sense of all the rest. I won’t tell you which one it is, but look for it FIRST, before you struggle figuring out why clearly correct answers don’t fit. (If this you haven’t read my blog before: A key answer is one that explicitly refers to multiple other answers in the puzzle. If you want to reduce your frustration level, always scan all the clues quickly when you start to see if there’s a key clue. Still confused? See 116-Across.)
Specific clue hints:
5-Down Terrestrial: Two words, one of which is the first word that occurred to you as the answer.
94-Down Skating move: Well, personally, I prefer a lutz or axel jump, whatever they are, but this one’s another two word description for one of those amazing things skaters do.
126-Across Wall St. workers: A fancy word for “guessers”
46-Across Blazers, etc.: Think cars, not clothes
41-Across ____ hers: Think towels
122-Across Alvar who designed Finlandia Hall: I though Finlandia was a cheese. Maybe there are lots of cheeses in this hall. Anyway, it seems all architects, even one’s not named Eero Saarinen require double vowels in their names.
110-Across Infection fighter: Well, penicillin won’t fit. You don’t buy this in a drug store. Think biology, not pharmacology.
87-Down Songbirds in the Rubáiyát: Well, since it’s unfair that this crosses Author Santha Rama ____, I’ll just tell you that it’s very unlikely you’ve ever heard of this bird (or will ever hear of it again), that there’s no rebus here though you might think there would be, that the crossing letter is a vowel but isn’t A E I O or even Y, and that the first three letters and second three are the same.
21-Down Sleuth in slang: Cops may are called flat feet, right, so why wouldn’t a detective be known for the condition of his footwear?