THEME: "Torn Fabric" — theme answers contain a hidden type of fabric, and the fabric's name is "torn" by being split among two words in a phrase
Crosswordese 101: On day 3 of this blog's infancy, I mentioned the crosswordese nature of the word APER. The way crosswords abuse the verb ape is nearly criminal, I tell you. Behold 81D: Mimics (APERS). Who uses that? Who says that Rich Little or the late Vegas impressionist Danny Gans was good at APING? Who described their performances as APISH? Nobody. My dictionary tells me that APISH means "resembling or likened to an ape in being foolish or silly," or "resembling an ape in appearance." But if you're inside the realm of crosswords, APER, APERS, APERY, APING, and APISH are all about mimicry and imitation.
- 23A: As it was formerly known, channel with the slogan "play every day" (GAME SHOW NETWORK). I feel as though different fabrics can be made into MESH, but that mesh per se is not a fabric. Can any textile-savvy folks confirm or deny?
- 32A: "Enough!" (THAT WILL DO). Hidden TWILL. I want to elide the phrase into Farmer Hoggett's "That'll do, pig" from Babe.
- 43A: Waldo of kids' books, e.g. (HIDDEN IMAGE). Hidden DENIM, wily hidden Waldo. If he were stepping out on Mrs. Waldo, it would take an eagle-eyed P.I. to track his movements. Here's a cartoon envisioning the birth of Waldo's baby.
- 60A: Couldn't rush at rush hour (SAT IN TRAFFIC). Smooth SATIN.
- 82A: "That used to be the case" (NOT ANY LONGER). Hidden NYLON. Phrase feels mildly iffy as crossword fill goes.
- 96A: It can be seen from the Seine (EIFFEL TOWER). FELT is used pretty much just for hats and kids' crafts projects, isn't it?
- 103A: Safe bronzing product (SPRAY-ON TAN). Hidden RAYON.
- 123A: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, e.g. (ONLINE NEWSPAPER). Hidden LINEN. Ooh! An au courant clue, as the Post-Intelligencer ceased its dead-tree version and went online-only just a few weeks ago. This isn't an answer that could have existed a few years ago.
- 42A: Cutter's cousin (SLOOP). I suspect the sailing-related content in crosswords is way out of proportion to sailing's relevance in most solvers' lives.
- 117A: Seasonal dancing center? (MAYPOLE). Timely, as we all just danced around maypoles on Friday. Didn't we? No? The closest I got was a Facebook friend mentioning that "The Safety Dance" video includes some maypole dancing:
- 129A: Corpse sniffer of film (ASTA). A horrific clue for crossworddom's favorite cinematic pooch, Nick and Nora Charles's dog ASTA.
- 33D: Pub proposal (TOAST). As in "I'd like to propose a toast."
- 34D: "I can hardly wait!" (OH BOY). Back in the day, this sort of answer rarely appeared in crosswords but now it's commonplace. Oh, boy!
- 36D: Circ. info holder (CD-ROM). I was thinking circ. = circulation but on further thought, it may be short for circular. CDs are indeed circular.
- 59D: Biblical lion wrestler (SAMSON). First thing that came to my mind was Hercules and the Nemean lion—wrong story!
- 69D: Track long shots (NAGS). No NAGS running in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. I'm not remotely into horseracing, so I found it hilarious that the the horse favored to win was scratched and didn't compete. Hey, if you're gambling on sports, I'm going to think it's funny when things don't go your way.
- 80D: Subject of Randy Wyatt's play "Synonymy" (ROGET). Have any of you seen or read this play? Or even heard of it? It's new to me.
- 84D: '60s protest (LIE-IN). Whoops. I started with SIT-IN. Then I wanted DIE-IN. BE-IN and LOVE-IN wouldn't fit. Nope, LIE-IN was not high up on my list.
- 107D: Abbr. between a first and last name, maybe (NMI). Stands for "no middle initial."
- 114D: Foot part (INCH). I went with ARCH first. Whoops, wrong kind of foot. High fives to everyone who tried ARCH, SOLE, HEEL, or TOES.
- 119D: Bee's charge? (OPIE). That's Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show, charged with watching over her nephew's son OPIE, played by Ron Howard as a boy.