Theme: "Eekology 101" - Halloween puns.
23A. Ghosts' car safety devices? : SHEET BELTS. Seat belts.
25A. Witches living together? : BROOMMATES. Roommates. This and 23A has extra consonant added.
51A. Dracula's least favorite lunch? : STAKE SANDWICH. Steak sandwich. Total homophone.
70A. Monster's favorite cereal? : SCREAM OF WHEAT. Cream of wheat. Same as 23A/25A.
98A. Dracula's favorite fruit? : NECKTARINE. Nectarine. No surface meaning.
102A. Where werewolves seek stardom? : HOWLLYWOOD. Hollywood. No surface meaning.
32D. Monster's daily newspaper reading? : HORRORSCOPE. Horoscope. Sound alike.
43D. Monsters' cookie-selling group? : GHOUL SCOUTS. Girl scouts. Vowel sound change.
Another debut. Conflagrations, Joe, great grid!
Punny theme is an art I have not grasped. I would not have considered 98A & 102A as they're totally madeup words and make no surface sense other than they sound like certain phrases. But as we've seen a few other LAT puzzles this year, punny theme can involve a variety of changes as long as the result is amusing & the entries are all related to one common thread.
1. Golfer's concern : HOOK. Thought of TRAP first. We also have 16. Golf scorecard number : PAR
5. Spanish appetizers : TAPAS
10. Bill entry : CHARGE
19. Southern cuisine staple : PONE. Not OKRA.
20. __ Coast : IVORY
21. Above-ground, as a ski lift : AERIAL. Got via crosses.
22. Before, to Byron : ERE
27. Retreats : LAIRS. We also have 106. Binge-watching site : DEN
28. Warty amphibians : TOADS. Not NEWTS.
30. Pacific relative of the Canada goose : NENE
31. Muffin man : THOMAS. English muffin. Not Stud muffin.
33. Evening reception : SOIREE
34. "Just to See You Smile" country singer : MCGRAW (Tim)
36. Tool with a blade : SHOVEL
37. More sick : ILLER. Also 40. Firstborn : ELDEST. 89. More spicy : HOTTER. 92. More pleasant : NICER. 94. Most lucid : SANEST
38. Saharan : SERE. Not ARID.
39. Messed up : ERRED. We also have 60. Transpose, say : MISTYPE
42. Spanish noble : HIDALGO. Learning moment for me.
45. One of five inhabited U.S. entities : TERR. D-Otto was stationed in Guam.
46. Seed covering : ARIL. Pomegranate seeds are called arils. I've been OD'ing on them the past few weeks. The season is almost over.
47. Retreat : OASIS
48. Buzz : HUM
50. Iconic WWII island, familiarly : IWO
55. Lennon's lady : ONO
56. State of rest : REPOSE
58. Lumps : CLODS
59. __ tape : DUCT
62. Daycare banes : BRATS. And 113. Like 62-Across : SASSY
63. Anniversary celebration : JUBILEE. No couple beat Chickie & Bill on our blog. Spitzboov and Betty are close.
66. Donald, to Dewey : UNCA
67. Top-rated : PRIMO
68. World __ : SERIES. Timely. No incident. Lots of thought goes into Rich's editing process.
69. U.N. workers' gp. : ILO. Put in ILA first.
74. French vineyard : CRU
77. Unit in a gym : REP
78. Prickle : THORN. Painful to remove the one in our garden last week. Should have just left it there for Mr. Winter.
79. Viscount's superior : EARL
80. Troubles : WOES
81. Place for afternoon refreshment : TEAROOM. Retired folks in Guangzhou gather for afternoon tea & idle chat every day. Neighborhood dim sum is very affordable.
83. Saunters : MOSEYS
86. Reason : CAUSE
87. Failure : BUST
88. Emulated Paul Bunyan : HEWED
90. Help with money, perhaps : DONATE
93. Road hog? : HARLEY
95. "Ben-Hur," e.g. : EPIC
96. Common teen phase : ANGST
97. Mosaic artist : TILER. I'm impressed by Splynter's bathroom job.
107. Choler : IRE
108. Futuristic 2009 James Cameron film : AVATAR
109. Conjure up : EVOKE
110. Real estate sale : ACRE. I read the clue but pictured "estate sale".
111. Equinox mo. : MAR
112. Negligent : REMISS
114. Story : YARN
1. Officejet Pro printers : HPs. We're now using HP Envy.
2. "__ la la!" : OOH
3. Till bill : ONE
4. Faint : KEEL OVER
5. Shin-related : TIBIAL
6. Declares : AVERS. Or AVOWs.
7. D.C. bigwigs : POLs
8. Works at a gallery : ART. Also 29. Many Manets : OILS
9. Ventricular contraction : SYSTOLE. New word to me.
10. Minnelli movie musical : CABARET
11. One on a drive : HERDER. Oh, cattle drive.
12. Sprang up : AROSE
13. Kia model : RIO
14. Whale group : GAM. Not POD.
15. Slippery __ : ELM
16. Pan in the air : PETER. Peter Pan. Nice clue.
17. Quicken Loans, for one : ARENA. Home to the Cavaliers.
18. Adjust, as a faulty stitch : RESEW
24. Taught to submit : TAMED. Wild animals.
26. "Heaven Can Wait" character : ANGEL
31. Meant to lose : THREW
33. Move obliquely : SIDLE
34. Front man? : MEDIC. Oh, battlefront.
35. Wall Street debacle : CRASH. And 83. Wall Street headlines : MERGERS. Clue echo.
36. UFO-tracking org. : SETI. This will irk Barry G. SETI does not track UFOs.
38. Spanish ayes : SI SI
40. Clear : ERASE
41. Similar to : LIKE
42. Relatives of hems : HAWS
44. Smidgen : OUNCE. Also 65. Smidgen : BIT. Clue echo again.
46. Perched on : ATOP
47. Chances : ODDS
49. Speck of dust : MOTE
51. Mole, maybe : SPY
52. Curtain fabric : SCRIM
53. Budget competitor : ALAMO. Car rental.
54. __ this world : NOT OF. Not OUT OF.
57. LAX info : ETA
59. One usually has six sides : DIE. This got me last time.
60. The Sierra Nevada's Mount __ : MUIR. Guessable.
61. Bay, say : INLET
62. Fiber source : BRAN. I admire those who eat brown rice or whole wheat. I've got to eat white rice.
63. Catcalls : JEERS
64. River through Orsk : URAL
67. Salon job : PERM
68. One-horse carriage : SHAY
70. Pompous gait : STRUT
71. Stopped waffling : CHOSE
72. Origin : ROOT
73. Overrun with crabgrass : WEEDY
75. Odometer control : RESET
76. One with an instruction manual : USER
80. Port feature : WATERWAY
82. Unawares : ABACK. OK, taken unawares/aback.
84. Symbols of wisdom : OWLS
85. Boils : SEETHES
86. __ Island : CONEY
88. Animator Bill and others : HANNAs. No other famous Hanna.
89. Eponymous comet tracker : HALLEY
90. Casual jacket fabric : DENIM. Finally threw away my black leather jacket. Too many cuts and scratches. I might consider a denim jacket next. Much easier to maintain.
91. Art form with singing : OPERA
93. Part of Hispaniola : HAITI
94. Outfit at the track : SILKS. Race track.
97. Ark units : TWOS
99. Carwash challenge : TAR
100. Blvd. cousin : AVE
101. Butter from a farm : RAM. Butt-er.
103. In vitro cells : OVA
104. Andean stew veggie : OCA. Never had it.
105. '60s-'70s teammate of Esposito : ORR