Theme: RHYME TIME IS NO CRIME - IT'S SUBLIME. Unless I'm missing something else, the longest across and down answers are all two or more words, and they all rhyme. But wait - there's more! Each rhyming finale is spelt differently. Oh, the vagaries of the English language!
17 A. "Doesn't bother me!" : SEE IF I CARE. Contempt or sarcasm. Do I care which? Does it matter?
35 A. After "on," relying mostly on hope in desperate circumstances : A WING AND A PRAYER. This invites an obvious hockey reference, but it's too sad to explore in more depth. I'll just say A PRAYER is all the WINGS have at this point. (sigh!)
57 A. "Shake!" : PUT IT THERE. An invitation to the hand shake.
10 D. Chick flick subject : LOVE AFFAIR. This is said to be what makes the world go 'round. Or maybe it's just angular momentum.
25 D. Schoolyard handshake : PINKY SWEAR. More than just PUT IT THERE; the PINKY SWEAR is a solemn promise "that cannot be broken or counteracted by the crossing of fingers or other such trickery." So there! (from Wikipedia.)
Hi, gang, it's JazzBumpa. I SWEAR, the view from my chair is of five fresh theme answers, four of them at ten letters, and one of them grid spanning, all in perfect symmetry. Very impressive use of language and geometry. Let's check out the rest of the grid.
1. As yet : TO NOW. Shouldn't this include, "with up?"
6. "Atlas Shrugged" writer Ayn : RAND. Terrible writer and sociopath, but who am I to judge?
10. WWII carriers : LST'S. Landing Ship Tanks. These vessels were involved in U.S. military operations in France and the Mediterranean region in WW II.
15. Sautéing acronym, à la Rachael Ray : EVOO. Somebody is going to have to help me with this one. Rachel is cute, fer sure, but I have no clue.
16. Ear-related : OTIC. Is this an OTIC worm?
19. "__ Zapata!": Brando film : VIVA. Here is Marlon with Jean Peters in the 1952 Elia Kazan production.
20. Harbinger of lower temperatures : COLD FRONT. Today was about 15 degrees colder than yesterday, despite all the bright sunshine
21. Man on a misión : SENOR. OK - SENOR (with a tilde) is "Mr." in Spanish, but why is he on a misión? Lucina?
22. Biblical mount : ASS. Did you want Sinai, Horeb, or Ararat? Sorry, they don't fit. And this is a mount that you ride.
23. More than hesitant : LOATH. Reluctant; disinclined; averse.
24. Sign of puppy love? : WAG. A bit misleading, and very cutsey. Who knew it could be competative?
25. Ben & Jerry's purchase : PINT. I wanted CONE. Either way - YUM! Pick your favorite flavor.
26. Spice gathered by hand from crocus flowers : SAFFRON. I did not know that.
30. Leave no escape route for : HEM IN. That about sews it up.
33. Aquamarine, e.g. : GEM. I wanted a color
34. Carol syllables : FA LA. FA LA or LA LA, needed perp help. No room for a TRA.
39. Stinky : RANK. Which RANK smells the worst: Sergeant, Captain, Private?
40. Floor cleaner : MOP. Swab the deck.
41. __ fit: tantrum : HISSY. The urban Dictioanry says this was originally from the American South, evidently derived from hysterical. Hey - I'm just the messenger. Don't throw one at me.
42. "500" race-sanctioning group : INDY CAR. I had no idea that was the official name.
44. Boxer Max : BAER. I always thought he played the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk, but it was his brother Buddy. Another childhood memory smashed.
46. Fed. property agency : G. S. A. The General Services Administration handles all kinds of properties, not just real estate.
47. Prefix suggesting savings : ECONO- ECONO-Whatever, cheap and worth every penny.
49. Sox, on scoreboards : CHI. Lucky guess. Could have been BOS. Either way it's baseball! Tiger's won again tonight.
52. Creep : CRAWL. A verb, not a noun
54. Deli sandwich : TUNA SALAD. I'll have a pastrami on rye.
56. Brit of Fox News : HUME.
58. Most draftable : ONE-A. Most eligible for the long-defunct military draft.
59. Fortitude : GRIT.
60. Cardiologist's concern : AORTA. The main supply-line from the heart. In an adult, it's about the size of your thumb. In a new-born, it's about the size of a pencil lead.
61. Cold War initials : USSR. IIRC they were the bad guys.
62. Year, on monuments : ANNO. That was the year that was.
63. Small fry : TYKES. Little kiddies, riders of trikes.
1. Puccini opera : TOSCA. The big OTIC event in an opera is an aria - a crossword evergreen. Here is one from TOSCA.
2. Butterlike products : OLEOS. Ersatz?
3. Bohr of the Manhattan Project : NIELS. Also a Nobel Prize winner, and father of a Nobel Prize winnerl. That's some family tree!
4. Ancient Roman poet : OVID Chick flick appropriate quotes (from brainyquote.com): "Ah me! love can not be cured by herbs." But -- "All love is vanquished by a succeeding love."
5. Hemming and hawing : WAFFLING. The condition of being torn between two loves, maybe. Let's ask OVID.
6. Apply more varnish to : RECOAT. Straight forward.
7. __-garde : AVANT. Literally, advance guard; refers to experimantal or innovative ideas in art, culture and politics.
8. Waters between Great Britain and Europe : NORTH SEA. English Channel wouldn't fit
9. Fawn's mom : DOE. A deer, a female deer. (I hate that song.)
12. DVR pioneer : TIVO.
13. Battle reminder : SCAR. You win some, you lose some.
18. Wrinkle remover : IRON. Not recommended for facial wrinkles.
21. Personal ad abbr. : SWF. Single White Female. Also, a scary movie.
27. Sound system part : AMP.
28. Cheers for a torero : OLES. Looks odd in the plural.
29. Not a one : NARY. Countrified slang.
30. Mata __ : HARI. Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle (7 August 1876 - 15 October 1917) was a Dutch woman who became a mail-order bride, circus performer, exotic dancer and courtesan, who was accused of spying for the Germans in WW I, and executed by firing squad in France. (more Wikipedia)
31. Obi-Wan portrayer : EWAN. Could have been ALEC.
32. Psychological tricks : MIND GAMES. As in SWF, the movie.
33. Econ. yardstick : GDP. Gross Domestic Product. Something I think about a lot. Really.
36. Org. with a much-quoted journal : A. M. A. American Medical Association. Is there a doctor in the house?
37. Like beer cans before recycling : NO RETURN. Remember disposables? My lovely wife dislikes dealing with returnables, but I don't mind.
38. Dimming gadget : RHEOSTAT. A variable resister that can raise or lower the amount of current flowint to a device, such as a lamp.
43. Lo-__: lite : CAL. The ECONO- of the culinary world.
44. Mackerel-like fish : BONITO. The Spanish word for "pretty." Eye of the beholder, I guess.
45. Pre-med subj. : ANAT. Astronomy is the study of heavenly bodies. ANATomy is the study of earthly bodies.
48. Replace a dancer, perhaps : CUT IN. This one had me stumped for a while. Anyway, it doesn't always work.
49. Paper-pusher : CLERK
50. Gold rush storyteller Bret : HARTE
51. "Don't get any __" : IDEAS. Did your parents even give you this warning?
52. Dynasty during Confucius' time : CHOU. I believe it's pronounced "Joe."
53. Legs it : RUNS. As to first base.
55. Hail in a harbor : AHOY. Aquatic "yoohoo," not frozen rain.
57. Sports tour organizer, for short : PGA. Profesional Golf Association.
Even with 13 3-letter entries, this puzzle has an above average word length for a Wednesday, thanks to 15 entries with 7 or more letters. Lots of freshness in the fill, too. Overall, an enjoyable outing. Hope you liked it as much as I did.