Matt here, putting up a quick post (I think the weird deadline deked the joonmeister this week).
“Opposites Attract” was our title, and, with eight exceptions, every clue in the grid begins with the “opposite” first letter of its answer (A=Z, B=Y, C = X, etc.).
So ZIMBABWE at 1-A starts with Z, and its clue begins with an A [African nation that borders Botswana]. Similarly, XAVIER at 9-A begins with a C [Cugat the bandleader].
Eight clues do not follow this convention:
19-A: [___ Zane (“Callin’ Me” rapper)] = LIL, so the clue should start with an O, not a Z
22-A: [“Of course,” archaically] = TIS, so the clue should start with a G, not an O
30-A: [“Official Home of the Blues” street in Memphis] = BEALE, so the clue should start with a Y, not an O
33-A: [Temporary price hikes, e.g.] = NEW RATES, so the clue should start with an O, not a T
55-A: [Observes stealthily] = PEEKS AT, so the clue should start with an L, not an O
10-D: [Producer of Skin So Soft products] = AVON, so the clue should start with a Z, not a P
11-D: [iPod control (abbr.)] = VOL, so the clue should start with an E, not an I
24-D: [Agreement endorsers] = SIGNEES, so the clue should start with an H, not an A
Coulda woulda shoulda…take the letters those eight clues actually did start with, in clue order, and they spell out contest answer ZOOTOPIA, fittingly a Z-to-A entry.