This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today ...
COMPLETION TIME: 11m 02s
THEME: $1 ... all the theme answers end in a word used to describe a $1 bill e.g. (SAND) DOLLAR, (PASS THE) BUCK, (SOFT SHELL) CLAM
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Dudley Do-Right's org. : RCMP
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the Mounties; RCMP) is unusual in that it provides all policing for the whole country. It works on the national level, right down to the municipal level. Dudley Do-Right appeared on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, a cartoon that appeared on television in a couple of different versions from 1959-1964. Dudley was a bungling Mountie who struggled with his nemesis, the evil Snidely Whiplash.
17. Disk-shaped sea creature : SAND DOLLAR
A sand dollar is a burrowing sea urchin found just below the low water line of sandy or muddy beaches. These creatures have a hard skeleton, which is often found washed up on beaches.
21. Bruins' sch. : UCLA
The UCLA Bruin mascots are Joe and Josephine Bruin, mascots that have evolved over the years. There were "mean" mascots, that weren't very popular with the fans, so now there are only "happy" versions at the games.
22. High-I.Q. crew : MENSA
If you ever learned Latin, you'll know that "mensa" is one of the first words you come across, the word used as an example of a first declension noun. Mensa means "table". The Mensa organization, for folks with high IQs, was set up in Oxford in England, back in 1946. To become a member, you have to score to be in the top 2% of the population's IQ. The IQ score needed depends on the test you use. For the Stanford-Binet test, that's an IQ of 132 or better; for the Cattell test it is 148 or better.
23. Actress Carrere : TIA
Tia Carrere is an American actress (as well as model and singer), best known for playing Cassandra in the "Wayne's World" films. She also plays Sidney Fox on the television series "Relic Hunter".
24. Shift blame to another : PASS THE BUCK
27. More posh : TONIER
Tonier (from tony) is an informally used word meaning more exclusive, more elegant. it's a new one to me. I must not hang out in the right places ...
29. Approx. takeoff hour : ETD
Estimated Time of Departure.
31. Routing abbr. : ATTN
For the attention of ...
35. Chowder ingredient : SOFT-SHELL CLAM
Soft-shell clams are found on both sides of the Atlantic, in tidal mudflats. They're also now found on the Pacific Coast of North America, where their growth is somewhat out of control. When cooked at a clam bake in New England, they're known as "steamers".
40. Tater Tots brand : ORE-IDA
Ore-Ida founders came up with the idea for Tater Tots when they were deciding what to do with leftover cuts of potato. They chopped up the leftovers, added flour and seasoning, extruded the mix through a large whole making a sausage which they cut into small cylinders. American eat 70 million pounds of this extruded potato every year.
41. Santa ___ (hot California winds) : ANAS
The Santa Ana winds are the very dry air currents that sweep offshore late in the year in Southern California. because they are so dry, they are noted for their influence over forest fires in the area, especially in the heat of the fall. The winds arise from a buildup of air pressure in the Great Basin that lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Under the right conditions, the air spills over the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and basically "falls" down the side of the Sierra range, heading for the ocean. As the falls, it becomes drier and heats up, so that the relative humidity can even be below 10% as it hits the coast.
43. Exclamation in Berlin : ACH
"Ach" can be translated into English as "oh".
47. Current unit : AMPERE
The unit of electric current is the ampere, abbreviated correctly to "A". It is named after French physicist Andre-Marie Ampere, one of the main scientists responsible for the discovery of electromagnetism.
49. Hit that just clears the infield : BLOOP SINGLE
A bloop single is more usually just called a blooper. It's fly ball that drops for a single between and infielder and an outfielder (in baseball, of course!).
54. Turkish money : LIRAS
The name "lira" is used in a number of countries for currency. It comes from the Latin word for a pound, and is derived from a British pound sterling, the value of a Troy pound of silver. The Turkish lira has been around since the mid 1870s.
55. Jean who wrote "The Clan of the Cave Bear" : AUEL
"The Clan of the Cave Bear" is the first of a series of novels written by Jean Auel, set in prehistoric times. I haven't read any myself, but they are on my reading to-do list as my wife recommends them. Ayla is a little Cro-Magnon girl that is orphaned and then adopted by a Neanderthal tribe. Sounds interesting ...
57. "He loves," in Latin : AMAT
Amo, amas, amat ... in Latin, I love, you love, he/she loves.
58. Auto-racing designation : FORMULA ONE
In motor racing, the designation "formula" is a set of rules, which all participants and cars much meet. Formula One was agreed back in 1946, with the "one" designating that it is the most advanced of the "formulae", and the most competitive.
61. "Scrubs" actor Braff : ZACH
Zach Braff plays the central character on the TV comedy-drama "Scrubs", Dr. John 'J.D.' Dorian. He is less well known, but worthy of praise I think, for writing and directing the 2004 movie "Garden State". It's a very lovely, coming-of-age movie, and one that I would recommend for viewing.
63. Baseball great Musial : STAN
Stan Musial is a retired baseball player who went by the nickname "Stan the Man", a moniker he was awarded by the Brooklyn dodgers fans in 1946. Apparently, Stan is also quite the harmonica player.
65. Horseshoers' tools : RASPS
A rasp is a coarse file, and a farrier uses it to remove excess hoof wall from a horse's foot.
1. Stone discovery site : ROSETTA
Rosetta is a coastal city and port on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact of tremendous importance in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Carvings on the stone are actually three translations of the same passage of prose, one in Egyptian hieroglyphics, one in Egyptian Demotic language, and one in classical Greek. The stone was discovered by the French military during Napoleon's 1798 campaign in Egypt. Before the French could get it back to France, the stone somehow ended up in enemy hands (the British), so it is now on display in the British Museum. Ownership of the stone is very much in dispute. The French want it, and of course the Egyptians would like it back.
2. "Ben-Hur" racers : CHARIOTS
The celebrated Charlton Heston movie "Ben-Hur" was actually a dramatization of a book published in 1880 by Lew Wallace "Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ".
3. Global agricultural company : MONSANTO
Monsanto is the leading producer of genetically engineered seed in the world, and as such is the target for a lot of litigation and is a target for environmental activists.
4. Advanced deg. : PHD
PhD is an abbreviation for "philosphiae doctor", Latin for "teacher of philosophy".
7. Muscular Charles : ATLAS
Charles Atlas's real name was Angelo Silciliano, an Italian who moved to America in his teens. The story he told, and turned into a great advertising campaign, was that as a 97 pound weakling he once had sand kicked into his face by a bully. He went on a bodybuilding regime, developed the muscles on his body, and then marketed the concept across America. He took the name Charles Atlas after he was told his new-found body looked like that of a statue of the Greek god Atlas sitting on top of a hotel in Coney Island.
8. Union with 3+ million members, in brief : NEA
The National Education Association is the largest labor union in the country, mainly representing public school teachers.
10. Novelist Carr : CALEB
One of Caleb Carr's novels is a latter day Sherlock Holmes mystery, called "The Italian Secretary". It was written as a homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and with the permission of the Doyle estate. I am a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, and must put this one on my reading list.
12. Stand-up guy : MENSCH
Mensch is yet another word that comes to us via Yiddish, ultimately derived from the German "mensch" meaning "human being". We use the term to mean someone of integrity and honor.
25. Rival of Edison : TESLA
Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia, but later moved the US. His work on mechanical and electrical engineering was crucial to the development of modern of alternating current technology equipment which is at the backbone of modern power generation and distribution systems.
26. WWW code : HTML
HTML is HyperTest Markup Language, the language used to write most Internet web pages (including this one).
33. U.K. lexicon : OED
The "Oxford English Dictionary" contains over 300,000 "main" entries, and 59 million words in total. It is said it would take a single person 120 years to type it out in full. The longest entry for a single word is that for "put".
39. ___ Trench (deepest point on Earth's surface) : MARIANAS
I think this answer/clue is wrong. The "Marianas" is a familiar name for the Mariana Islands that lie in the Pacific Ocean south of Japan and north of New Guinea. The "Mariana" Trench (note there is no "s" on the end of Mariana) is the lowest elevation on the surface of the Earth's crust. The Mariana Trench takes its name from the Islands, as it lies just to the east of the Marianas.
45. Poet who originated the phrase "harmony in discord" : HORACE
He of course wrote this in Latin, "concordia discors".
47. Indigenous Alaskans : ALEUTS
The Aleuts live in the Aleutian Islands (part of the United States), but also the Commander Islands at the western end of the island chain. The Commander Islands are in Russia.
60. African slitherer : ASP
The asp is a venomous snake found in the Nile region of Africa. It was so venomous that it was used in ancient Egypt and Greece as a means of execution. Cleopatra observed such executions noting that the venom brought on sleepiness without and painful spasms. When opted to commit suicide, the asp was therefore her chosen method.