22. Silo in a rural valley?: DELL TOWER. Cell tower. Tiny dupe with 104. Biological unit: CELL.
27. A+ for a struggling student?: AMAZING GRADE. Amazing Grace.
41. Neat places to get beers?: DANDY BARS. Candy bars.
46. Nightmare?: SOUR DREAM. Sour cream.
62. Terse Supreme Court decision for lions?: THE PRIDE IS RIGHT. The Price is Right.
80. Challenge from an ex-president?: OBAMA DARE. ObamaCare.
83. Southern tavern accents?: PUB DRAWLS. Pub crawl.
100. Wall Street bear?: SHARE DROPPER. Share cropper.
108. Classic audiophile's equipment, and a hint to eight long puzzle answers: CD CHANGER.
Some letter changes happen with the first letter of the first word, some first letter of the last word. Some in the middle, but no odd man out. A nice mix.
Also, Marks allows no straying C's in his theme entry choices. An extra layer of elegance.
1. Archaeologist's find: TOMB. Some of you have been to my hometown Xi'an and said hello to these terracotta warriors.
5. "Fire" crawlers: ANTS.
9. Cartoon explosion word: BLAM. Not WHAM.
13. Trickster: SCAMP.
18. Where the iris is: UVEA.
19. Country dance: REEL.
20. German camera: LEICA. Also 8. Camera initials: SLR. Olympus was the only brand used in my Pinkerton days.
21. Trilateral trade deal: NAFTA.
24. Allegro __: very fast, in scores: ASSAI.
25. Like some statues at night: UP-LIT.
26. Surrounded: ENCLOSED.
29. Opposing teams: FOES.
30. __ chin: CLEFT.
31. Like a sudoku solution: LOGICAL.
32. Allergic reaction: ACHOO.
35. "A Writer's Life" writer: TALESE.
37. What a red handset icon may end: CALL. This is sweet.
38. Ought to: SHOULD.
40. Humongous: VAST.
48. Authenticity on the street: CRED.
49. Pound or stone: UNIT.
50. Bier chiller: EIS. Beer. Ice.
51. Police dept. rank: SGT.
52. Place for an updo: SALON.
56. Grab the tab: TREAT.
59. Alma mater of Clinton and Ford, briefly: YALE LAW.
61. Marina sights: VESSELS.
65. House Speaker before Pelosi: HASTERT. Still in prison, right? Wiki says "Notwithstanding his conviction, Hastert continues to receive his congressional pension, which amounts to about $73,000 a year."
68. Actress O'Hara: MAUREEN.
69. Position paper, e.g.: ESSAY.
73. Many have pins at one end: ALLEYS. Boomer's favorite places.
74. Kunta in "Roots": KINTE.
75. Prefix with warrior: ECO.
77. Animation letters: CGI.
78. In a trice: SOON.
79. Rides the bench: SITS.
86. Texas' __ Duro Canyon: PALO. One of our three T's might be there: Tom (TTP), Tom (D-Otto) and Tony.
88. Grimm girl: GRETEL.
89. Tied: EVEN.
90. Afghans' neighbors: TAJIKS. Scrabbly fill.
92. Inspected prior to a job: CASED.
93. Bellamy's sister on "The 100": OCTAVIA. Unknown to me.
97. Underworld figure: SATAN.
98. Military sch.: ACAD.
102. How Albee's "The Zoo Story" is written: IN ONE ACT.
106. Grammatical separator: COMMA.
107. Senator Hatch: ORRIN. Longest-serving Republican senator.
109. Adrien of cosmetics: ARPEL.
110. Misleading move: FEINT.
111. Greeting from Kermit: HI HO.
112. Marginal mark: DELE.
113. Good __: enjoyable books: READS. Hahtoolah reads and reviews.
114. Fictional navigator Phileas: FOGG.
115. Negotiation obstacles: EGOS.
116. Note recipient, at times: SELF.
1. Arrogance, in slang: TUDE. Attitude.
2. Range feature: OVEN.
3. Sporty Spice, familiarly: MEL C.
4. Cause of a walk: BALL FOUR. I read this book at a card show ages ago.
5. Came up: AROSE.
6. Most recently made: NEWEST.
7. Aggravated, with "off": TEED.
9. "Take care!": BE SAFE.
10. "Hungarian Rhapsodies" composer: LISZT.
11. Palm tree berry: ACAI. Trade Joe's has acai puree pack. You can make your own acai bowl.
12. Most of Italy, to 14-Down residents: MAINLAND. 14. See 12-Down: CAPRI.
13. Warm and cozy: SNUGGLY.
15. Company with a quacking mascot: AFLAC.
16. Crete peak: Abbr.: MT IDA.
17. Pi __, "Life of Pi" hero: PATEL. Unknow to me also.
20. Least plausible: LAMEST.
23. Ineligible for kiddie rides: TOO OLD.
27. Bass et al.: ALES.
28. Miner's find: GOLD. And 30. Digger's find: CLAM.
32. Strength: ASSET.
33. Group in a loft: CHOIR.
34. Casino, to gamblers: HOUSE.
36. Gamer's game face: AVATAR. Nice "game face".
37. City near Le Havre: CAEN. OK, let's see.
39. MASH staff: DRS.
41. Nod off: DROWSE.
42. Pops, as a bubble: BURSTS.
43. Last Stuart queen: ANNE.
44. Iranian dough: RIAL. The only Iranian dough I know. Never had the real Iranian dough or any Iranian food. This looks delicious.
45. NYSE listings: STKS. Stocks. We also have 72. Investor's concern: YIELD.
48. Missouri senator McCaskill: CLAIRE. What a fast-changing word. Eric Greitens once was so promising.
52. Most squad cars: SEDANS.
53. Alaskan native: ALEUT.
54. Stout container: KEG.
55. US Open stadium namesake: ASHE.
57. Make it to: ATTEND.
58. Unnamed persons: THEY.
60. Caps: LIMITS.
61. Ground cover plant also called periwinkle: VINCA. Gimme for our Master Gardener Katie (TTP's wife). I did not know this.
63. Hesitant sounds: ERS.
64. Nike rival: REEBOK.
65. Padlock hardware: HASP.
66. Matty with a .307 lifetime batting average: ALOU. Thank you, ALOU, A-ROD and SOSA.
67. Unkempt sort: SLOB.
70. Skedaddles: SCATS.
71. Match: AGREE.
74. Firing device: KILN.
76. Texter's "Holy cow!": OMG. I only learned that the other day that the two T's in Tostitos' logo stand for two people. The dot above the i is a bowl of salsa.
79. Really quit: SWEAR OFF.
80. "Chocolat" co-star: OLIN.
81. Mystical secrets: ARCANA.
82. Lost driver's disappointments: DEAD ENDS.
84. Exposes: REVEALS.
85. Intensely supportive: AVID.
86. Unmistakable: PATENT.
87. Cracked a bit: AJAR.
90. Sealing, as a package: TAPING.
91. Don Quixote's squire __ Panza: SANCHO.
93. Grumpy Muppet: OSCAR.
94. Task list entry: CHORE.
95. Buccaneers' home: TAMPA.
96. Dangerous companion?: ARMED. Armed and dangerous.
97. Thyme bit: SPRIG.
99. Pacific salmon: COHOS.
101. Nabisco bite: OREO.
102. "With ya so far": I DIG.
103. Tommie of the 1969 Miracle Mets: AGEE.
105. Not kosher: TREF. Learned from doing crossword. The Islamic equivalent HARAM, meaning not halal (kosher).
108. Role in "Evita": CHE.
So glad to hear AnonymousPVX and Jinx in Norfolk are safe and sound. Shout-out to Brad Niven, another faithful LAT crossword solver. Brad lives in Winston Salem. Looks like another day of heavy rain and gusty wind in his area.
Happy Birthday to dear D-Otto, who has generously helped me and this blog over the years. I rely heavily on Tom for puzzle theme/fill feedback. It's always a good idea to discard ideas and entries if they don't fly with him, unless I'm really desper-C.C. I also turn to Tom for rants or life guidance. He has this amazing ability to make complicated things easy for me to understand, from computer program to supplemental policy to comfort height toilet. I can't imagine our little corner without your wicked humor, empathy and patience, Tom, thanks for being you!