Theme: "Hide and Seek" - GEO is hidden (cached) in the middle of each theme answer.
23A. *Come (to), more or less : AVERAGE OUT. This added "to" in the brackets makes the entry look like a partial. It's not.
38A. *Subject of lengthy debate : AGE-OLD QUESTION.
60A. *Union proposal? : MARRIAGE OFFER. Reminds me of the "Union agreement" for I DO.
81A. *Play it safe : HEDGE ONE'S BETS
98A. *Mitigate : TAKE THE EDGE OFF
15D. *Sulu, for one : BRIDGE OFFICER. Our Spitzboov reached "Commander" rank. Commander Spitzboov!
59D. *Trial movement : CHANGE OF VENUE. Two pairs of theme entries intersect in this grid. This often makes filling easier, but it takes skills & luck to make crossing happen..
120A. Hide-and-seek activity utilizing GPS ... and what is literally done in the answers to
starred clues : GEOCACHING
Very few word start with EO*, so Mr Ed's break pattern is consistently *GE O* (quite a few OF*).
Thought of CrossEyedDave immediately when I came to the reveal entry. He's into Geocaching. How's your knee lately, Dave?
Did any of you have trouble with the BLEW (15A. Left, in slang) clue? I just could not figure it out. Finally asked the "always there: Santa Argyle. He explained:
"Left, as in "didn't stay"
The party was a drag so we blew the joint and went to the club."
The party was a drag so we blew the joint and went to the club."
1. Head up, in a way : CLIMB. Also 19. One on the trail : HIKER
6. Future MD's exam : MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). And 71D. 6-Across takers, e.g. : TESTEES
10. Pick-me-up pill : NO-DOZ
20. Short-cut pasta : ORZO. Never had it. You?
21. Windy City hub : O'HARE
22. Opposite of a pan : RAVE. Of course I was picturing a cooking pan!
25. Many a worm : BORER
26. Emphatic type: Abbr. : ITAL
27. Adjust, as a spreadsheet : RE-SIZE
28. Company VIP : PREZ
30. Observation platform : ROOF DECK
32. E Street Band guitarist Lofgren : NILS
34. "Mr. Pim Passes By" playwright : MILNE. This I learned from PIM clue.
37. "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" musical : GIGI
43. Versailles assembly : SENAT. French Senate.
46. Line partitions: Abbr. : SEGS (Segments)
47. "Friendly Skies" co. : UAL
48. Observed : SAW. And 49. Observes : BEHOLDS
51. Former red state: Abbr. : SSR (Soviet Socialist Republic). Nice clue angle. "Red state".
52. Like the bell of a trumpet : FLARED
55. Biblical shepherd : ABEL
57. South Korean sportswear company : FILA. Very popular in China. South Korean soap operas are extremely popular in China also. Lots of girls visit South Korea just for the plastic surgery.
58. Was duly humiliated : ATE CROW. Are crows actually edible?
64. IMO, in "Hamlet" : METHINKS. To answer your question, Dudley, there's beauty in symmetry.
66. Spare tyre sites : BOOTS
67. Old "Oyez!" shouters : CRIERS
68. "__ of robins ..." : A NEST
69. "Give Peace a Chance" co-writer, per Lennon : ONO
70. Colonial story : ATTIC. And 84. 70-Across function : STORAGE
72. Holds tight : CLINGS
75. Metal-threaded fabrics : LAMES. Fabrics with "metallic threads". Metal-threaded brought up a different image for me.
77. Diminished : LESSENED
85. Fit to __ : A TEE
86. Of no consequence : MOOT
87. London borough : SUTTON. Not familiar to me.
89. Network with a three-box logo : BBC. Never thought of them as three boxes.
90. Admission of error : I GOOFED. Lovely 7-letter fill.
92. Swipe from : ROB
95. Cedar Rapids college : COE
96. Fountain order : SODA
97. Chief Powhatan's son-in-law : ROLFE
102. Reproductive cell : OVUM
104. Lee __, first African-American to play in the Masters : ELDER. I confused him with Calvin Peete.
105. Bearing a grudge : SORE
106. Scroll key : PAGE DOWN. So, what keyboard are you using? Mine is an old Microsoft Comfort 5000. Love it.
109. Where lines may be read : PALM. Nice clue.
112. Pity-evoking quality : PATHOS. Like what?
116. St. Patrick's land : ERIN
117. Medical co. in the DJIA : J AND J. Big plant in Shanghai.
122. In __ of: replacing : LIEU
123. "Shaq Diesel" rapper : O'NEAL
124. Regarding : IN RE
125. Standing tall : ERECT
126. Facility : EASE
127. __-Croatian language : SERBO
128. Word with waffle or sugar : CONE. Are you familiar with Kakigōri? So popular in Japan.
129. Bros : DUDES
1. Scorch : CHAR
2. Like many old soaps : LIVE. Soap operas.
3. Turner and others : IKEs
4. Soft-wool sources : MERINOS
5. 2014 World Cup site : BRAZIL. And 106. Sports legend of 5-Down : PELE
6. Comedian Howard with a bowl-cut hair style : MOE. Hi there, Chairman Moe!
7. Whip handle : CROP
8. Bleu shade : AZUR
9. Aboriginal emblems : TOTEMS
10. Noodle : NOB
11. "What do we have here?!" : OHO
12. __ Criss, who plays Blaine on "Glee" : DARREN. He looks very familiar.
13. Twistable treat : OREO. National Oreo Day is March 6.
14. "Gravity" effect : ZERO G
16. Well beyond one's prime : LATE IN LIFE
17. FEMA concern : EVAC
18. Old TV host with an accordion : WELK
24. Neuter, as horses : GELD
29. Comic strip about a high schooler : ZITS
31. Flounder, e.g. : FISH
33. Complains : SQUAWKS. Another snazzy 7-letter fill.
35. __ Fáil: Irish "stone of destiny" : LIA. We just had it last Monday.
36. "Don't go yet" : NO, WAIT
38. State in northeast India : ASSAM
39. "Beau __" : GESTE
40. Heron relative : EGRET
41. Former Mideast org. : UAR. Don't google. Guess who is the second Most Powerful Arab Woman in 2015?
42. K-5 or K-6: Abbr. : ELEM
44. Freud contemporary : ADLER
45. Nicholas and Alexander : TSARS
49. Mooch : BEG
50. Puts in, as a political office : ELECTS TO
52. __ benefit : FRINGE
53. Like the town in a Ricky Nelson hit : LONESOME. "Lonesome Town". Unfamiliar to me.
54. Tops, slangily : DA BOMB. For Jayce! I Really Really Like You.
56. Fundamental : BASAL
61. Blakley of "Nashville" : RONEE
62. Digs for bats : ROOSTS. "Digs for..." is a great misdirection.
63. Prayer : ORISON. I learned from doing crosswords. Same root as Orate.
65. Canonized fifth-cen. pope : ST. LEO
72. Offer to a guest : CHAIR
73. Move on : LET GO. I've learned to let go.
74. Guiding doctrines : IDEOLOGIES
76. Starlike : ASTRAL
78. Jar Jar Binks' home planet : NABOO. We had this before.
79. Staff sequence : EGBDF
80. "Unleaded" drink : DECAF
82. Sign of approval : NOD
83. "We are __ stuff / As dreams are made on": Prospero : SUCH
88. Tot's piggy : TOE
91. Duel precursor, perhaps : FEUD
93. Signed off on : OK'D
94. Road alert : BEEP
96. Sexy, in a way : SEE-THRU. I linked this before. Fake see-thru skirts.
98. Sawbuck : TENNER. Not a word I use.
99. Lamentable : TRAGIC
100. L-__: Parkinson's treatment : DOPA
101. Honored : GRACED
103. Magic charms : MOJOS. Argyle has magic power!
107. Musical highlight : ARIA. Still waiting for the "Vegas luxury hotel" clue for ARIA, Steve!
108. Taper off : WANE
110. Fallon's predecessor : LENO
111. Poetic time : MORN
113. Ran, old-style : HIED
114. Fairy tale start : ONCE
115. Mil. base drillers : SGTS
118. Small application : DAB. I've concluded that we don't really need eye creams/eye gels. Moisturizers are enough.
119. "Idol" judge, familiarly : J. LO
121. Central opening? : CEE