I figured out, after it was all over, that on the first day of the 2018 ACPT, I sat across the aisle from Mr. Gordon for the morning's solving. I would have tipped my hat to him, had I known who he was, and had I been wearing a hat. Which I almost never do, honestly. So there's that.
The revealer today, innovatively split and placed in the extreme east and west zones, is TRIGGER / WARNING. I won't go on an extended rant about this newfangled business. I recognize that there are people who have gone through traumatic experiences for whom discussion of related topics will cause distress, a la PTSD. But when, as in the experience of one of my daughters, a college satire magazine feels it must publish trigger warnings without any sense of irony involved, the practice has conceivably gotten out of hand.
Um, so that was a little extended. My apologies.
But in the lovely little make-believe land of the crossword, here, the warning is just that the theme answers have actual firearms repurposed for their phrases. Which is amusing, because discussion of such items could in fact cause some people to feel triggered, given the current state of affairs in the ole U S of A.
RIDESSHOTGUN is not a great example of repurposing. I feel certain that the phrase originated because the non-driver of, say, a Western Union mail carriage, would in fact hold the firearm for the purpose of defense. And in fact, I am correct. The other two theme answers, however, holster their weapons more secretively. BAZOOKABUBBLEGUM in particular was lovely to see all the way down the center.
I liked much of the rest of the puzzle. Your ORDERER, HRS, DDR aside, there's the lovely ALLSPICE above ZOOTOPIA (a blast of a movie), symmetric to FIREPLUG and ROUSSEAU. And who doesn't like a good WANGLE now and again? Unfortunately, there were really no clues to EMUS us, though.