Theme: English Lessons We Never Learned - English grammatical terms are reinterpreted literally and humorously clued with question marks.
23A. Legal dispute over personal property? : POSSESSIVE CASE. The 's ending, as in Dennis' new car.
39A. Oratorical elements? : PARTS OF SPEECH. Verb, noun, pronoun, etc.
52A. Santa's minor children? : DEPENDENT CLAUSES. Sweet clue. Also known as subordinate clause. Incomplete when standing alone. We also have ELF (30D. Yule aide).
69A. Settlement negotiated by one's ancestors? : ANTECEDENT AGREEMENT. Pronoun must agree with its antecedent.
88A. Part of a broken-up prison term? : SENTENCE FRAGMENT. Again, incomplete when standing alone. Subject or verb is missing, or prepositional phrases beginning with although, because, etc.
98A. Rosy answer in a seer's crystal ball? : FUTURE PERFECT. For example: By next May, I will have been living in the US for 10 years.
120A Philatelist or numismatist? : COLLECTIVE NOUN. Words like cast, team, crowd etc. Can be either singular or plural, depending on context.
Hope my understanding of the above grammatical terms is correct. As I mentioned before, I've never received formal education here and my grasp of grammar & common idioms is pretty shaky.
Favorite today is DEPENDENT CLAUSES (52A), thinking of our Dear Santa Argyle, who should be very happy to see how MAGIC (67D. What Muggles can't do, in Harry Potter books) is clued. He's really into those Harry Potter stuff.
Fun theme & smooth solving for me. I grokked the gimmick immediately after I got my first theme answer.
1. Bojangles specialty : TAP. Bill (Bojangles) Robinson.
4. Gets into : DONS
8. Plains tribe : OMAHA. Hi there, Husker Gary!
13. If all goes well : AT BEST
19. __ mode : A LA
20. CINN-A-STACK seller : IHOP. Hmm, pancakes. What's your regular order there?
21. Unskilled work : McJOB. Added a bit of scrabbly action here.
22. Combat mission : SORTIE
26. Crew and golf : SPORTS. Crew refers to rowing I presume.
27. Map of Hawaii, often : INSET. We also have OAHU (81D. Interstate H-1 locale) & LEI (122D. Wreath of welcome).
28. Film feline : ELSA. "Born Free".
29. Sports car quality : SLEEKNESS
31. Rod's associate : REEL
32. Liquid-Plumr maker : CLOROX. Isn't it too lazy to have the "be" dropped?
35. Aspiring atty.'s challenge : LSAT. And LLB (121. Legal deg.)
36. Generic pooch : FIDO
45. Wyo. neighbor : IDA
48. What the fourth little piggy had : NONE. Does this refer to the "This Little Piggy" nursery rhyme?
50. Some avant-garde art : ARPS. Jean Arp.
51. Playground response to 111-Down : IS TOO. And 111D. Playground response to 51-Across: IS NOT.
58. Cause trouble to : AIL
59. Skipped over : ELIDED
60. U.S. currency : DOL. Chinese currency is called Ren Min Bi, the primary unit is Yuan.
61. As one might expect : NATURALLY
64. Flight segment : STAIR
65. Equip with weapons, old-style : ENARM. OK, old-style.
68. "Hamlet," e.g.: Abbr. : TRAG. Have never seen "Tragedy" abbreviated this way before.
76. Lugs : OAFS. Noun lugs.
77. Smooth move : SEGUE
78. God-fearing : PIOUS
80. Bourbon with a floral logo : FOUR ROSES. First encounter with this brand.
85. Follower of Samson? : ITE. Samsonite.
86. He overthrew Batista in 1959 : CASTRO
87. James's creator : IAN (Fleming). James Bond.
92. Online recruiting site : eHIRE. Was ignorant of this website.
95. Stand up to : DEFY
96. Bold Ruler, to Secretariat : SIRE. Should be an intuitive guess.
97. Reptilian warning : SSS
103. Beer holder : CASK
105. Detective Wolfe : NERO
106. "Tristram Shandy" author : STERNE (Laurence). Stumped me last time. See here.
108. "__ Not Seen the Sun": Dickinson poem : HAD I
112. Committed : DEDICATED
117. Hurt badly : MAIM
118. Peacock and rooster : MALES
119. Real estate hires : AGENTS
124. Walk softly : TIPTOE
125. Euripides play in which the title heroine never goes to Troy : HELEN. Really? Helen never made it to Troy?
126. Lamb alias : ELIA. Charles Lamb.
127. Sgt., for one : NCO
128. Fur fortune family : ASTORS
129. Heavenly path : ORBIT. Heavenly clue.
130. Prog. listing : SKED. Schedule.
131. "__ a life!" : GET
1. Piglike forest dweller : TAPIR. Hi, there.
2. How the cheese stands? : ALONE. Got me. "The Farmer in the Dell": ... The cheese stands alone.
3. So last week : PASSE
4. Japanese lawmaking body : DIET. Nailed it. Often constructors use "Diet" in clues to trick solvers.
5. Sounds of surprise : OHs.
6. Rocket section with a heat shield : NOSECONE
7. Tell, slangily : SPILL
8. 1998 Masters champion : O'MEARA (Mark). Tiger's best friend. Nice person.
9. Turn-of-the-century year : MCC. 1200.
10. 1977 Steely Dan album : AJA
11. Cartwright son : HOSS. "Bonanza".
12. Genesis shepherd : ABEL
13. Evaluate : ASSESS
14. Palace of the Ottoman sultans : TOPKAPI. Well, maybe Hahtool & Lucina know. Both have been to Istanbul. I've got no idea.
15. 19th-century literary sisters : BRONTES
16. Raison d'__ : ETRE. Also 71. Latin being : ESSE. Two "Be".
17. Is sidelined : SITS
18. Hardy heroine : TESS. "Tess of the D'Urbervilles".
24. Righteous beginning? : SELF. Self-righteous.
25. Cognac initialism : VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale)
33. Like some surgery : ORAL
34. More, in adspeak : XTRA
37. Bony labyrinth : INNER EAR. Tricky clue.
38. Longtime publisher __, Mead and Company : DODD. Stranger to me.
40. Twisted into thread : SPUN
41. Mount south of Olympus : OSSA
42. Series ender : ET AL
43. Curl up : COIL
44. Word with cats or cow : HOLY. Have never heard of "Holy cats".
45. Bad day for Caesar : IDES. Ides of March.
46. Mouth formation : DELTA. River mouth.
47. Beelike : APIAN
49. Put a stop to : ENDED
53. Time management figure : EDITOR. Time magazine.
54. Ring __ : TONE
55. Highland families : CLANS
56. Major addition? : ETTE. Majorette.
57. Unfailing : SURE
62. Mob activities : RAMPAGES
63. Senioritis? : AGEISM. Fun clue: -itis.
66. GPS suggestion : RTE
70. Money-managing execs : CFOs. Real money, not Money magazine.
72. "__ Nacht" : GUTE. Good night.
73. Perils at sea : REEFS
74. Staff additions? : NOTES. Musical staff.
75. They might be left on the road : TURNS. Great clue.
79. Ones sitting tight? : SOTS. Why?
80. Feudal estate : FIEF
82. Army detachment : UNIT. New definition of "detachment" to me.
83. "Momo" author Michael : ENDE. No idea. Was this guy very famous?
84. Joke ending? : STER. Jokester.
86. Siena sweetie : CARA. Cara Mia.
89. Pair of officers? : EFFS. Two letter F in officers.
90. Medvedev's denial : NYET. Just Russian for "No". Medvedev is Putin's shadow.
91. Vegan beverage : RICE MILK. Have never tried it. Soy milk, yes!
93. Meet by chance : RUN INTO
94. Builder : ERECTOR. And 101. Builder's material : CEMENT.
99. Undoes : ERASES
100. Proverbial kettle critic : POT. The pot calling the kettle black.
102. Ford Explorer Sport __ : TRAC. No Gillette razor today.
104. Top Tatar : KHAN. As in Genghis Khan or Kublai Khan.
107. Dark times, informally : NITES
109. How a noted spider came? : ALONG. "Along Came a Spider".
110. Tennis tie : DEUCE
112. Bank deposits? : DATA. Don't get this one either.
113. Sponsorship: Var. : EGIS. Variation of Aegis.
114. Part of LAPD: Abbr. : DEPT
115. Return from the canyon? : ECHO
116. One who walks the walk : DOER
118. Subject of an annual Colorado brewing festival : MEAD. Not familiar with this Mead Festival. A quick Google search shows it's held in Denver.
123. "No mortal could __ with Zeus": Homer : VIE. Easy guess.