This was definitely a fun Sunday puzzle. The first clue I saw was the theme giveaway...52D: Ralph Kramden catchphrase on TV...and a hint to this puzzle's theme (to the MOON).
I had four or five theme answers in place before I completely figured out what was going on. The first word of each theme answer is either a moon phase...or it completes a phrase about the moon.
22A: Tarot reading, crystals, spiritualism, etc. (NEW Age movements).
33A: Traditional English festival (HARVEST Home).
44A: Little John's weapon in Robin Hood legend (QUARTER staff).
64A: Brooke Shields movie, with "The" (BLUE Lagoon). A blue moon is the second full moon to occur within a calendar month. The Blue Moon, a local restaurant/bar, always has a big party to celebrate.
75A: Its roar is worse than its bite (PAPER Tiger). That's from a sixties song by Sue Thompson. You can hear (and see her perform) it here. Paper Moon was a 1973 movie starring Ryan O'Neal and his daughter, Tatum, who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress...the youngest actress ever to win an Oscar. (Shirley Temple won an honorary Oscar some years before.)
94A: Dinner bun (CRESCENT roll).
103A: Hair removal site (WAXING salon).
119A: 1987 Kubrick film (FULL Metal Jacket). The name of this one eluded me for far too long. I'm not a huge Kubrick fan. All I could remember was A Clockwork Orange (which fit in the grid, but was much earlier than 1987) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (which wouldn't fit and was much later.) The crosses gave me this one.
And the lone down theme answer (other than the theme hint) was at 38D: Proverbial portion (HALF a loaf). It's better than none...so they say.
Not just a fun puzzle. Not just a clever theme. It's also chock-full of good fill, not just your typical crosswordese.
19A: Dow product (chemical). I was trying to make a brand name fit in there until I had enough letters to show me the error of my ways.
30A: Wheel on a spur (rowel). Didn't know this word and looked it up after the Applet accepted my puzzle.
48A: Does some file transfers (uploads). What exactly is the difference between uploads and downloads?
55A: Comparable to a fiddle (as fit). One of my favorites.
62A: __-deucy (game with dice) (Acey). I didn't have a clue, but I guessed that right off the bat.
91A: Elongated marine fish (eelpout). I had never heard of this, but there's actually an Annual International Eelpout Festival. You can find the dates through the year 2020 right here. Be sure to mark your calendars for next year's...February 15-17.
128A: Like a paradise (Elysian). I had idyllic at first, but the downs wouldn't work. Elysian Fields are in Greek mythology, but this article tells about Elysian Fields in geography and in the arts.
3D: Apple on a teacher's desk? (IMac). That's the best clue I've seen for that answer.
57D: They're blown in the winds (oboes). Again, a good clue for an often-seen word.
65D: Tied surgically (ligated). I worked with a woman who talked about having a tubalization. I wonder if she ever figured out what it really was.
96D: Burn at the end? (cremate). Morbid? Kind of...but good.
97D: Dogie catcher (lariat). Didn't see this until I had a few letters in place.
98D: Underarm (axilla). I remembered this from the last time we had it...today it gave me waxing salon.
99D: Garden fertilizer (manure). I liked its cross at 99A: Abbr. on Rockies skeds (MST). Couldn't believe I actually got that.
This is the first time I can remember not stumbling over St-Lo. I just filled it in for 86D: French town on the Vire. This is real progress.
104D: Centaur's head? (soft C). They get me every time with clues like this. I wanted human...probably others did.
The only clue I didn't like at all was 71D: Opinion pieces (op eds). I was so sure it had to be something else. I'd have clued it in relation to Molly Ivins...anything so as not to use the word opinion in the clue. I wonder if that was an editorial oversight.
There was plenty more to like about this one, but I'm calling it good for tonight. Here's the grid.
I'll see you tomorrow. Toodle-oo! (125A, clued as "Ta-ta"). I would never say either of those, but it sure looks funny in the grid.