Theme: "Universal Truth" - Theme answers are all related to 42. See here for rationale.
23A. His number 95-Across is now permanently retired : JACKIE ROBINSON. Mariano Rivera is the last one to wear #42.
36A. It's roughly 95-Across kilometers : MARATHON
55A. President number 95-Across : BILL CLINTON
80A. It contains 95-Across crude gallons : BARREL OF OIL
112A. Its first printing had 95-Across lines on most pages : GUTENBERG BIBLE. Unknown trivia to me.
9D. It has 95-Across spots : PAIR OF DICE
16D. King who died at 95-Across : ELVIS PRESLEY
59D. 95-Across appears on street signs near this Big Apple landmark : GRAND CENTRAL
74D. Its atomic number is 95-Across : MOLYBDENUM. New word to me. I had a terrifying chemistry teacher in high school.
95A. Douglas Adams' facetious answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything : FORTY- TWO.
This puzzle is for Barry G, who has mentioned Douglas Adams & "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" several times on the blog.
Only 138 words in this grid (our norm is 144). Dr. Fludzinski's grids always have low-word count. But quite a few partials (7). Rich normally allows for 4 on Sundays.
1. Gene splicer's field : BIOTECH. Nice start.
8. They have strings attached : APRONS
14. In __: sort of : A SENSE. A rare 6-letter partial.
20. Astronaut Fisher, the first mother in space : ANNA LEE. Unfamiliar figure to me. Was her name mentioned in Chris Hadfield's book, CanadianEh?
21. He played House : LAURIE (Hugh)
22. Spreads out : SPLAYS
25. Scholar : SAVANT
26. Fit to __ : A TEE
27. Habituate : ENURE. Or INURE.
28. Move up and down : BOB. Hi there Buckeye "Move up and down"!
30. Piece of cake : CINCH
31. Peruvian coin : CÉNTIMO. I thought it's unit of Peseta, Wrong.
34. Makes bubbly : AERATES
39. Busy co. on Valentine's Day : FTD. A few days away.
41. Short-lived 1765 statute : STAMP ACT
45. Hardly virtuous : AMORAL. And 92A. Vulgar : INDECENT
46. Classical theater : ODEON
48. Effervesce : SPARKLE
49. Avoids detection : HIDES
50. Pacific archipelago : MARIANAS
53. In __ and out ... : ONE EAR. And 90A. Biblical words before and after "for" : AN EYE
54. Singer DiFranco : ANI
57. Gracile : SLIM. Gracile is a new word to me.
58. Dog's age : LONGTIME
61. Op-ed pieces : ESSAYS. I tried every news source you all mentioned last Thursday and liked Washington Post the most. Loved Sally Jenkins' article last week.
62. Bridge coups : SLAMS
63. Tiller opening? : ROTO. Just roto-tiller.
64. "Understood" : I SEE
66. Bochco series : L.A. LAW. Steven Bochco created NYPD Blue as well.
69. Gambler's strategy : SYSTEM
75. Pedicab, e.g. : TRICYCLE
79. Persian Gulf land : IRAN
82. Wine: Pref. : OEN. Or OENO. As in Oenophile, wine lover.
83. Sean Combs stage name : P. DIDDY
85. Like some wine glasses : STEMLESS
86. Hosiery hue : TAUPE
88. Degree of interest? : PERCENT. Nice clue.
91. Bearing : MANNER
94. Tarzan creator's monogram : ERB. Here he is again. Edgar Rice Burroughs.
97. Arctic blast : NORTHER. Never used this word before.
99. Phil Collins gear : DRUM SET
101. Like some landings: Abbr. : INSTR. Instrument landing. Dudley knows. Not me.
104. But, to Brutus : SED. Learned from doing Xwords.
105. Verdun's river : MEUSE. I don't even know where Verdun is.
106. Den __, Nederland : HAAG. In Dutch.
110. Aquarium favorites : TETRAS
116. Hatch, as a plot : CREATE
117. Increase gradually : ACCRUE
118. Kind of watch or warning : TORNADO
119. Funny blunder : HOWLER
120. Quakes : SEISMS
121. Cheaters, to teachers : ANAGRAM. Nailed it.
1. Tijuana locale : BAJA
2. Take __ the waist: alter : IN AT
3. Back in the day : ONCE
4. Parting wish : TAKE CARE. EddyB always closed his comment with "Take care".
5. Yale student : ELI
6. Checkered start? : CEE. The first letter.
7. Legalese adverb : HERETO
8. Philatelist's item : ALBUM
10. Mysterious character : RUNE
11. Hosp. areas : ORs
12. Mournful mother of myth : NIOBE. She appeared often in the old Tribute Daily puzzle. So glad we shifted to LA Times.
13. Spanish titles : SENORS
14. Stubborn one : ASS
15. Distant traveler : SPACEMAN
17. Bread brushed with ghee : NAAN
18. Harmonize : SYNC
19. O.T. book : ESTH. Needed crossing help.
24. Getting __ years : ON IN
29. Night fliers : BATS
32. LAX postings : ETAs
33. Columbus Blue Jackets' org. : NHL
34. Aphrodite's love : ADONIS
35. Hit lightly : TAP ON
36. Taj __ : MAHAL
37. Protein-building acid : AMINO
38. "The Gates of Hell" sculptor : RODIN
40. Pond ducks : TEALS
42. "The Jungle Book" pack leader : AKELA
43. Lien, say : CLAIM
44. Contract stipulations : TERMS
46. Magic, on scoreboards : ORL (Orlando)
47. Grandma : NANA
50. Brunch cocktail : MIMOSA
51. Draft choice : ALE
52. Farm abode : STY
55. Bridle part : BIT
56. Egyptian god of the dead : OSIRIS. Brother & Husband of Isis.
60. Pull : TOW
62. NYSE overseer : SEC. Guess who was SEC's first chairman?
65. Part of RSVP : SIL
66. Painter Fra Filippo __ : LIPPI
67. Makeup mogul Elizabeth : ARDEN
68. Scottish landowner : LAIRD
70. Revolutions, perhaps: Abbr. : YRS. I liked this clue also.
71. Arg. miss : SRTA
72. High schooler : TEENER. What's wrong with TEEN?
73. Iconic bull : ELMER
75. Lean-__: sheds : TOS
76. Jazz title : COUNT
77. Cartoon stinker : LE PEW
78. Part of un año : ENERO
80. Impressionist John : BYNER. Another unknown to me. Please link in the Comments section his most famous work.
81. Honorarium : FEE
84. Adorn : DECORATE
86. London gallery : TATE
87. Sometime it goes : ANYTHING. Oh, anything goes.
89. Explosive compounds : TNTs
91. __ Butterworth : MRS
93. Brake neighbor, informally : THE GAS
95. Melt together : FUSE
96. Mobster's code of silence : OMERTA. Also Mario Puzo's book. I also read "The Last Don".
98. Elicit : EDUCE
100. Hayseeds : RUBES
101. Longing : ITCH
102. First-century emperor : NERO
103. Cassoulet, e.g. : STEW. Never had Cassoulet. But D-Otto, Lucina and TTP might. They're serious foodies.
105. Cousteau's milieux : MERs
107. "This guy walks into __ ..." : A BAR
108. "M*A*S*H" star : ALDA
109. Subj. for Euclid : GEOM
111. Sun. delivery : SER
113. Cable co. that merged with AT&T : TCI
114. Poly- ending : GON. Polygon.
115. Uplifting wear : BRA
Happy 43rd Birthday to dear Splynter, our talented and hard-working Saturday Stud, who always gives me solid feedback on my theme entry selection & other life issues. Thanks for being here, Splynter!