I'll be curious to see if the rest of you had the same struggles with this one. I managed to get the bottom half of Manny Nosowsky's puzzle without too much trouble, but the top half just didn't want to give. A couple of wrong answers up there didn't help matters. Neither did the nap I took when I couldn't get past the 1A: Deadlock (impasse).
The three 15-letter stacks in the middle were tough to crack, especially the first...35A: Snap out of it (return to reality). The other two were brilliant...38A: Much work to get done (a lot on one's plate) and 39A: Place for good deals (clearance center).
It's snowing again tonight, and Leslie has to be at work at 7:30...that means another early morning so I can get her there on time. It took me 40 minutes to make a 10-minute trip on Tuesday. It's amazing that a 3-inch snow can wreak so much havoc...but the roads were so slick. That said, I'd better wrap this up so I can get six or so hours of sleep.
The gimmes and guesses that worked...8A: Watches in astonishment (gapes at), 24A: Work an aisle, slangily (ush)...that appears fairly often, 47A: Hand tool (awl), 50A Unclear (hazy), 52A: Spill the beans (tattle), 57A: Cook first, as pie crust (prebake), 5D: Bite-the-bullet type (stoic), 9D: Something to bid (adieu), 23D: Singer John and others (Eltons), 34D: Wayne W. __, author of "Your Erroneous Zones" (Dyer), 46D: It's seen on the back of a U.S. quarter (eagle), and 49D: Actor __ Cobb (Lee J)...whose full name appeared in Wednesday's puzzle.
Those answers helped me fill out the rest of the bottom half, including 59A: Cardiff Giant or Piltdown Man (big hoax), 60A: Went through (pierced), 61A: Away (on leave), 62A: University with campuses in New York and Rome (St. John's), and 63A: Zealots have them (agendas).
...which led me to the connected cluing at 36D: With 14-Down, something that can have you seeing things (Rorschach / test). That had me flummoxed for some time, but once I had the HACH at the end, it didn't take long to see the right answer.
I did have to resort to Google for a couple of things, including 22A: French city where William the Conqueror is buried (Caen), 43A: "Baudolino" novelist (Eco)...how many times do I have to see that one before I remember it?, 3D: Guam's __ Bay (Pago), and 26D: Renaissance artist Piero __ Francesca (della).
Even Google couldn't help with 16A: Luxembourg grand duke in whose name an annual art prize is awarded (Adolphe), 6D: Leader of the Alamo siege (Santa Anna), or 20D: Neighbor of Hoboken, N.J. (Union City).
That's it for tonight...I'm off to bed. Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.