I didn't get home from quilting group until after 9:30...and the mother of all early-week puzzles was waiting to be solved.
I don't remember the last time I needed Google to finish a Tuesday puzzle. I'll be interested to see if the rest of you found it as difficult.
There must be a word to describe this theme...but I don't have a clue what it would be. The five theme answers all begin with A and end in Z:
17A: Semiautobiographical Bob Fosse film (All That Jazz).
38A: A.L. M.V.P. in 2003, 2005 and 2007 (Alex Rodriguez).
60A: 1970s joint U.S./Soviet space project (Apollo-Soyuz).
12D: Namesake of a branch of Judaism (Ashkenaz).
38D: The Rock (Alcatraz). I guess if you were to escape, there really wouldn't be anywhere to go.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I had never heard of one of them...and barely remembered another.
When all was said and done, though, how could you not love this puzzle? Exceptional fill included:
22A: Creature from the forest moon of Endor (Ewok).
43A: New Jersey's __ Air Force Base (McGuire).
50A: Arizona birthplace of Cesar Chavez (Yuma). Good guess...what else would have started with Y? Thanks to 32D: Hang on the line (air dry).
1D: Daisy developed by Luther Burbank (Shasta). We used to have several in the yard, but they've just died away over the last twenty years...go figure. I think I'll plant a few more this year.
8D: Resident of Japan's "second city" (Osakan).
11D: Supporter of the House of Stuart (Jacobite).
23D: The Beatles' "I Am the __" (Walrus).
25D: Only son of Czar Nicholas II (Alexei).
39D: Georgia city or college (LaGrange).
40D: Drag performer with a wax likeness in New York's Madame Russauds (RuPaul).
46D: Alignment of the sun, earth and moon, e.g. (syzygy).
And that's barely the tip of the iceberg.
But it's almost 11:00, and my head is pounding. I just noticed I missed a letter in the grid...the T at the cross of 56A: Decisive defeat (rout) and 57D: Hitler : German :: __ : Japan (Tojo).
Here's the grid...
...and I'll see you tomorrow.