Theme: "Endives" - Parse it as "En-dives". The N dives from the top themer to the down themer.
3D. Tearjerker's quality?: SOB APPEAL. Snob appeal.
69D. Tales of social climbers?: SNOB STORIES. Sob stories.
7D. Mysterious foliage-sprouting proclivity?: CHIA SYNDROME. China syndrome. Not a familiar term to me.
88D. Ceramic dog, maybe?: CHINA PET. Chia pet.
12D. Remit with goatskin?: PAY IN KID. Pay in kind.
65D. Western hero noted for his thoughtfulness?: BILLY THE KIND. Billy the Kid.
16D. Vehicle for transporting bark spice?: CINNAMON BUS. Cinnamon buns.
83D. Farmers market baked goods?: LOCAL BUNS. Local bus.
We've seen N deletion before. Or N addition. But not this style. Very creative. David is just incredible.
The theme entries were placed in Down slots for visual effect. They look like four grid spanners, but the grid is much more challenging to design and fill.
1. Take pieces from?: DISARM. Firearm "pieces".
7. Applaud: CLAP.
11. Practice fighting: SPAR.
15. Likely to evoke an "Eww!": ICKY.
19. Big fan: ADORER.
20. Sword handle: HILT. Quite ornate.
21. Andrew Jackson carried one with a sword in it: CANE. Wow, I did not know. This just looks like a cane.
22. Not just eat: DINE.
23. Marie Curie has two of them: NOBELS.
24. Tiny bit: IOTA.
25. Juan's "yesterday": AYER. Today is HOY. Tomorrow is MANANA.
26. Grandson of Eve: ENOS.
27. Spirited style: ELAN.
28. Disney film set in Polynesia: MOANA.
30. Amphetamines, e.g.: STIMULANTS.
32. Petit four purveyor: PATISSERIE. Sweet fill.
35. West Coast ZIP starter: NINE.
36. Wore (away): ATE.
37. Econ. indicator: GDP.
39. Alcohol type: ETHYL.
40. Braided Jewish bread: BABKA. We also have 51. Hebrew winter month: ADAR.
42. Julia Louis-Dreyfus' eleven: EMMYS.
44. Deutsche darling: LIEBCHEN. Piece of cake for Spitzboov. Learning moment for me.
46. Lab dish eponym: PETRI.
47. It was inspired by Sunshine Hydrox cookies: OREO.
48. Not quite circular: OVAL.
49. Dangerous snake: ADDER. Also 99. African snakes: MAMBAS.
53. Finishes: ENDS.
56. Ill will: MALICE.
59. Something you don't see everyday: RARITY.
61. Derby favorite, say: BEST BET.
63. Black-and-white: PATROL CAR.
65. Get some rays: BASK.
66. Neighbor of Mex.: USA.
67. Rehab symptoms, briefly: DTS. Delirium Tremens.
70. Where Tennyson's "light brigade" charged: CRIMEA. Wiki says "The Charge of the Light Brigade was a failed military action involving the British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War."
71. Noble Brit: ARISTO. More familiar with "aristocrat".
73. Cloud site: SKY.
74. Very long time: EON.
75. Gift-wrapping aid: TAPE.
76. Asset in a crisis: LEVEL HEAD.
79. Trite saying: BROMIDE.
81. Happened to: BEFELL.
82. Use just one water ski: SLALOM.
86. Hamlet's first option: TO BE.
87. Letter abbr.: ENCL.
89. 1986 U.S. Open champ Raymond __: FLOYD. Hall of Famer.
91. Over with: DONE.
92. Dupes: SAPS.
94. Organic fertilizer: HUMUS.
96. Domestic platforms: TERRACES.
99. Not at all glossy: MATTE.
101. Actor Douglas and quarterback Cousins: KIRKS. Kirk Cousins is Vikings' quarterback.
102. Snowboarder White: SHAUN.
103. Cigar discard: ASH.
104. Latin lover's assertion: AMO.
105. Horse color: ROAN.
107. Playground game with a rope and a pole: TETHERBALL.
110. Wallabies and wombats: MARSUPIALS.
113. Bread source: BAKER.
114. Not much: A BIT.
117. Soft cheese: BRIE.
118. Notice: ESPY.
119. Sushi seaweed: NORI. Have any of you tried Kimbap (the Korean sushi)?
120. Ready to play: IN TUNE.
122. Over again: ANEW.
123. Silhouetted road sign animal: DEER.
124. Soon, long ago: ANON.
125. Succumbs to static: CLINGS.
126. Impertinence: SASS.
127. Span. miss: SRTA.
128. Warp: BEND.
129. Becomes aware of: SENSES.
1. Jutland native: DANE.
2. False god: IDOL.
4. Large venue: ARENA.
5. Brother, e.g.: Abbr.: REL.
6. Title assassin in a 2005 Pitt-Jolie film: MR SMITH. I like Jennifer. You?
8. Model train giant: LIONEL.
9. Vow locale: ALTAR.
10. Org. concerned with students: PTA.
11. Vocal improv: SCAT.
13. Persistent weakness: ANEMIA. I'm borderline anemic. I don't feel weak though. I grew up eating meat once a year (Chinese Spring Festival). Meat was rationed, so were sugar, oil and other stuff. We ate this kind of corn bread (salt & corn flour) for every meal. Can't stand corn now.
14. Show again: RERUN.
15. Notion: IDEA.
17. Difficult to solve: KNOTTY.
18. Words of assent: YESSES.
29. Rapper Ice Cube's first name: O'SHEA. O'Shea Jackson.
30. Senator's place: SEAT.
31. Lascivious look: LEER.
33. Gumshoe: TEC.
34. Spanish airline: IBERIA.
37. Seize, slangily: GLOM. Glom onto.
38. Met celebrity: DIVA.
41. Donkey song?: BRAY. Oh, play on Donkey Kong.
43. Come across: MEET.
45. Radar screen spot: BLIP.
46. Sheet material: PERCALE. Wiki Dictionary defines it as "a fine, closely woven fabric, made from cotton, polyester or a mix of these, and used for sheets and clothing."
47. Greek victim of the Furies: ORESTES. What a mess.
50. Glen cousin: DALE.
52. Shame: ABASH.
54. Writing __: DESK.
55. Legal suspension: STAY.
57. Desert plants: CACTI.
58. Online stock transactions: E-TRADES.
60. Moving memoir subject?: TRAVELS. We also have 72. Move, in some ads: RELO.
62. Nordic toast: SKOAL.
64. Get ready to eat?: RIPEN.
67. Card balance, say: DEBT.
68. Matador's opponent: TORO.
77. Gush: EFFUSE.
78. Pops, to baby: DADA.
80. Essence: MEAT. And 108. Steak named for its shape: T-BONE.
81. Short-term memory?: BLUR.
84. Change for a five: ONES.
85. Netting: MESH.
90. "The Wreck of the Mary __": DEARE.
93. Quechua is one of its official languages: PERU.
95. Trading places: Abbr.: MKTS. Markets.
97. Text entries named for their traditional red color: RUBRICS. We had this before. I forgot.
98. Genetic letters: RNA.
100. Historic Nile excavation site: AMARNA.
101. Roll or emperor: KAISER.
102. 2000s Israeli leader Ariel: SHARON.
106. Slanted columns: OP-EDS.
109. Virgil's language: LATIN.
111. Stitches up: SEWS.
112. Heavenly harp: LYRA.
115. Kansas-born playwright: INGE (William). "Picnic".
116. Hardy's "Pure Woman Faithfully Presented": TESS.
119. Pick up: NAB.
121. Phillies' div.: NLE. NL East.