Title: Space Invasion
Theme: +ET (the abbreviation for Extra Terrestials)
This is one of those puzzles where I hadn’t a clue as to what the title meant until I managed to fill in enough letters for 39-Across for the proverbial light bulb to go off. The theme answers are common expressions or names with the letters ET attached to one of the words thereby creating a silly phrase.
23A. Old AMC car that came fully loaded? = Hornet of Plenty
30A. Good locale for adoptions? = Birth Market
39A. Ammo that’s still on the store shelf? = Sitting Bullet
53A. Some bleating? = Racket of Lamb
63A. Excitement over some presidential selections? = Cabinet Fever
74A. Avoid a scalping? = Escape Hatchet
87A. ID for a certain band member? = Trumpet Card
95A. Earth, in “Independence Day”? = Planet of Attack
There were quite a few movie-related answers.
26A. Minnesota Fats’s player in “The Hustler.” Answer: Gleason (Jackie). I’ve never seen the movie but knew that Gleason played that role.
49A. Director Jean-____Godard. Answer: Luc.
71A. “Shallow _____” (Jack Black film). Answer: Hal. Never heard of this movie.
79A. “Grease” singer. Answer: Valli (Frankie). Lead singer of The Four Seasons (subject of the smash Broadway hit “Jersey Boys”), he sang the movie’s theme song. A movie I have seen, as well as the stage version and “Jersey Boys.”
45D. 1992 Liv Ullmann movie. Answer: Sofie. Never heard of this one.
65D. Christian of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Answer: Bale. And another movie I’ve not heard of.