Theme: ALL TOLLED. vowel progression in the last word of each theme answer.
17A. Men's clothing category : BIG AND TALL
22A. 1993 military directive : DON'T ASK DON'T TELL
33A. Bad thing to be caught with at work, with "a" : HAND IN THE TILL
46A. Wears greatly : TAKES A HEAVY TOLL
54A. Rock and roll band whose lead singer often played flute solos : JETHRO TULL
all fun phrases to see in a puzzle, with two grid-spanners. must have been challenging to come up with them - can you think of any other phrases that end in T*LL and are 9 to 15 letters in length?
1. Pop singer Jackson : JANET. nipple-gate.
6. Create a cobbler : BAKE. yum.
10. Rubella symptom : RASH
14. Tabriz resident : IRANI. had to look it up.
15. Astonishes : AWES
16. Pelvic bones : ILIA. should be a gimme by now.
19. 53-Across et al: GEM. and 53A. Translucent stone : OPAL
20. Harmonizing groups : CHOIRS. clear ayes & barry g., anyone else?
21. Sushi bar spirits: Var. : SAKIS. usually see sake.
26. Building supporter : JOIST
27. Orbital extreme : APOGEE. the point farthest from a planet or a satellite (as the moon) reached by an object orbiting it. (perigee is the point nearest.) see?
28. Emilio Estevez, to Martin Sheen : SON.
29. Sony portable since 1984 : DISCMAN. dinosaurs now.
38. Seers : ORACLES
39. Large loafer letters : EEE. cute.
41. Droll comic Wright : STEVEN. funny guy.
44. Overfamiliar : BANAL. needed a few perps to get this.
51. Small streams : RILLS. did not know this term.
52. Prized statuettes : OSCARS. gimme. grammys and emmys wouldn't fit.
58. Musical Horne : LENA
59. Snack with a removable top : OREO. new clue for an old friend.
60. Dutch export : TULIP. so pretty. dennis's favorite flower, as i recall.
61. Shuteye aids? : LIDS. hee.
62. Exxon, previously : ESSO
63. Serene spots : EDENS. thought oases first.
1. Sail at the front : JIB. i know nothing about sailing, but this was still a gimme.
2. Jackie's "O" : ARI. nice clue.
3. Pester : NAG.
4. Passes, as legislation : ENACTS
5. Grunt's helmet : TIN HAT. if he only had a heart.
6. Javanese hand-dyed fabric : BATIK. beautiful.
7. Prize : AWARD
8. Kutcher's "That '70s Show" role : KELSO. have never seen this show, but it's well known trivia.
9. Alien's subj. : ESL
10. Trattoria tubes : RIGATONI. more yum. from the Italian word rigati, which means 'ribbed' or 'lined.'
11. It's tapped in a pub : ALE KEG. was tricky with both words.
12. Black as night, e.g. : SIMILE
13. Bother : HASSLE
18. Lavish parties : DO'S. not sure i've heard it used that way.
21. Mar. honoree : ST. PAT. saint patrick's day - great excuse for a party.
22. Party spinners, briefly : DJ'S. and 57A. 22-Down's vinyls : LP'S
23. "I'm really impressed!" : OOOH
24. Simone of jazz : NINA
29. Beloved princess : DIANA. her absence was sad at prince william's wedding.
30. "Monsters, __" : INC
31. Cardinal letters : STL. is that the official abbreviation on the scoreboard?
34. "Animal Farm" et al. : NOVELLAS. longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel.
35. Work code subject : DRESS. dress code.
36. Letterman rival : LENO.
37. Sharon of "Boston Public" : LEAL. another show i've never seen, have never heard of this actress.
40. Pipe shape : ELL
41. Leisurely walk : STROLL
42. Republic of China capital : TAIPEI
43. Bond girl Britt of "The Man With the Golden Gun" : EKLAND
44. Without thinking : BY ROTE. rote memory.
45. Like some retired racehorses : AT STUD
47. Gardeners, at times : HOERS
48. __ Park, Colorado : ESTES
49. Allergic reaction : ACHOO. bless you.
50. Alt. spelling : VAR. alternate / variant.
54. Java : JOE. coffee.
55. Gran- suffix : ULE. granule.
56. Architect Maya __ : LIN. did not know the name of this woman who, at age 21, designed the vietnam veteran's war memorial.