Car Talk

New York Times crossword Sept. 30 / Constructed by Elayne Cantor and Victor Fleming

What a great tribute to retiring mechanics/radio hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi. The brothers who have broadcast the funny and (mostly) helpful “Car Talk” show for the past 35 years hung up their microphones this month, and today’s grid would seem to be an homage to them. (Reruns will continue, with some new best-of shows and occasional updates, according to NPR.)

I couldn’t find any specific references to the duo in the grid, unless you count RAYONS (“Synthetic fabrics,” 54 Down) and the alternate spelling of THOM (“___ McAn shoes,” 7 Down). But all the theme answers consist of auto parts portrayed in a different light: CRUISE CONTROL is “What Katie Holmes lost in divorce court?” (23 Across), while a REAR BUMPER is “Commuter on a crowded bus, e.g.?” (28 Across).

Others: “Epiphany?” is a HEAD LIGHT (55 Across). “What ‘Send’ triggers?” is AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (69 Across). “Legal proceeding over a meth bust?” is a CRANK CASE (80 Across). “Smell of sour milk?” is TURN SIGNAL (110 Across), and “Bling-bling?” are HOOD ORNAMENTS (118 Across).

Happy retirement, Click and Clack.

Dynamic Duo Dept.: “Company with a 2004 I.P.O.” is GOOGLE (124 Across), while “Company with a 1996 I.P.O.” is YAHOO (106 Down).

Election 2012 Dept.: The NYT’s political leanings surely will be questioned since this puzzle features both BARACK (“First name in the White House,” 1 Across) and BIDENS (“Vice-presidential family,” 101 Across). Unless, of course, next week’s grid has both MITT and RYANS.

Philly Shout-Out Dept.: “___ Landing (part of Philadelphia)” is PENN’S (100 Down). It’s a multipurpose waterfront space along the Delaware River that’s badly in need of reinvention.

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