This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today ...
COMPLETION TIME: 10m 27s
THEME: TWIST AND SHOUT ... which was a hit for THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS, and THE ISLEY BROTHERS, as well as "the Beatles"
ANSWERS I MISSED: 2 BAST (BATT), HOSEA (HOTEA)
1. Muscat's land : OMAN
Oman is lies on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, neighbored by the OAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The city of Muscat, with its strategic location, has a history of invasion and occupation. Centuries of occupation by the Persians ended in 1507 when the Portuguese took the city in a bloody invasion. The Portuguese held the city for much of the next century until finally ousted by local Omani forces in 1648.
14. Clinton's 1996 opponent : DOLE
Despite all Bob Dole's success in the world of politics, he is remembered by many as the VP candidate who lost to Walter Mondale (and Jimmy Carter) and the presidential candidate who lost to incumbent Bill Clinton. The man is a true war hero. He joined up in 1942 and fought with the Army's 10th Mountain Division in Italy. In 1945 he was hit by machine gun fire in his right arm and back, so badly injured that his comrades could only dose him up with morphine, write "M" on his forehead with his own blood (so that another, fatal dose of morphine would not be administered) and continue fighting the battle. Dole had to wait nine hours to be evacuated from the battlefield, and wait another three years before being discharged from hospital back in the States.
16. Tortoise or hare : RACER
"The Tortoise and the Hare" is one of Aesop's famous fables. Aesop lived in Ancient Greece, probably, around the sixth century BC. Supposedly he was born a slave, somehow became a free man, but then met with a sorry end. He was sent to the city of Delphi on a diplomatic mission, but apparently insulted the Delphians instead. He was tried on a charge of stealing from a temple, and then sentenced to death and was thrown off a cliff.
17. Actress Swenson of "Benson" : INGA
Inga Swenson is an American actress. Her best known role was "Gretchen Kraus", the German cook and later housekeeper on the the TV show "Benson". Ms. Swenson also appeared in a couple of episodes of "Bonanza" playing the second wife of Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene), and mother of Hoss Cartwright (Dan Blocker). This was despite the fact that in real life she was actually 4 years younger than Blocker!
18. ___ de vivre : JOIE
Joie de vivre: "joy of living" in French. We use it to mean the happy, carefree enjoyment of life, like when we finish the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle ...
19. Milo of "Romeo and Juliet" : O'SHEA
Milo O'Shea is a great Irish character actor, who has appeared in everything from "Romeo and Juliet" to "The West Wing". In the 1968 adaptation of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" directed by Franco Zeffirelli, O'Shea plays Friar Laurence, advisor to the tragic lovers.
24. With 41- and 54-Across, group with a 1967 ballad version of 39-/41-/ 42-Across : THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS
A folk group called the Magic Circle, renamed itself to the Mamas and the Papas in the early sixties. Sadly, the Mamas and the Papas weren't a happy bunch, always fighting over who was getting credit for songs and whose voice was getting mixed out of recordings, so they split up, twice. While they were together though, they wrote and recorded some great songs, songs which really do epitomize the sound of the sixties. They recorded a ballad-like version of "Twist and Shout" in 1967 for their album "Deliver".
26. Word after "does" and "doesn't" in an old ad slogan : SHE
“Does she…or doesn’t she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure" was the catchphrase for Miss Clairol Hair Color Bath. Clairol had been around since 1931 selling hair coloring products to salons, and then hit the big time with the introduction of a one-step hair coloring product for use at home. As famous as the product was the "does she ... doesn't she" advertising campign. Six years after the launch of the campaign, 70% of women in the US were coloring their hair.
27. Glass on a radio : IRA
Ira Glass is a well respected presenter on American Public Radio, most noted for his show "This American Life". I was interested to learn that one of my favorite composers, Philip Glass, is Ira's first cousin.
36. One who can't keep off the grass? : STONER
Stoner is a slang term for someone who is habitually intoxicated by alcohol or drugs (maybe someone who can't keep off the grass!).
38. One of the Mannings : ELI
Even I know that Eli Manning and his older brother, Peyton, are quarterbacks!
39. With 41- and 42-Across, 1964 Beatles hit : TWIST AND SHOUT
"Twist and Shout" was famously covered by the Beatles. It was the last track of 11 songs recorded in just one ten-hour session for their first album. It was deliberately left to the end as the producers knew that the song would take a lot out of John Lennon's voice. "Twist and Shout" was written by Paul Anka and Bert Russell, and first recorded by a group called the Top Notes.
44. "The Star-Spangled Banner" preposition : O'ER
The words "o'er the rampart we watched" come from "The Star Spangled Banner" written by Francis Scott Key. The lyrics were written first as a poem by Key, inspired by his witnessing of the bombarding by the British of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814. The words were then set to the tune of a popular British drinking song written by John Stafford Smith called "The Anacreontic Song", with Anacreontic Society being a men's club in London.
51. Western defense grp. : OAS
The Organization of American States has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. All the independent states in the Americas are members of the group (except Honduras, suspended after the 2009 coup in that country).
63. 12:30 a.m. or p.m., on a ship : ONE BELL
A ship's bell is used to indicate the time, and regulate the duty watches of the crew. One bell is sounded on the first half-hour of each 4-hour watch, such as 12:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
65. Cord material : BAST
Bast fiber is collected from many different plants, most commonly flax, hemp and ramie. The bast fibers run the length of the stem, supporting the conducting cells of the plant's phloem. It's the phloem that moves water and nutrients through the plant's stem.
67. Et ___ : ALIA
Et alia is the Latin for "and others" is of course always in the plural. The masculine form is at "et alii", the feminine "et alliae", and the neuter is "et alia".
68. Zellweger of "My One and Only" : RENEE
"My One and Only" is a 2009 comedy about the early life of actor George Hamilton on the road with his mother and brother. Renee Zellwegger plays the mother and Logan Lerman the 15-year-old George.
69. Button between * and # : OPER
The operator button is the zero on the phone, which lies between the * and the # keys.
73. Some jeans : LEES
The Lee company was formed in 1889, by one Henry David Lee, in Salina, Kansas.
1. Keats, for one : ODIST
John Keats wrote a whole series of odes in 1819, including the very famous "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and Ode to a Nightingale". The first in this series of poems was "Ode to Psyche". In this case the Ode is to Psyche, the mortal girl who was loved by Cupid.
2. The 6 in 6/8/10, e.g. : MONTH
I still have trouble with this one. Where I come from, the 6 is the day and the 8 the month.
3. Pond buildup : ALGAE
Algae are similar to terrestrial plants in that they use photosynthesis to create sugars from light and carbon dioxide, but they differ in that they have simpler anatomies, and for example lack roots.
6. Parkinsonism drug : L-DOPA
L-3,4-DihydrOxyPhenylAniline, thankfully can be shortened to L-DOPA. Swedish scientist Arvid Carlsson won a Nobel Prize for showing that L-DOPA could be used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson's Syndrome.
7. Israeli arm : UZI
The first Uzi sub-machine gun was designed in the late 1940s, by Major Uziel Gal, who gave his name to the gun.
12. Thistle or goldenrod : WEED
The thistle may be a weed, but Scots are very proud to have it as the national flower of Scotland. And goldenrods might also be considered a weed, but can be edible if cooked, used for decoration and the making of tea.
13. Ladies of Spain: Abbr. : SRAS
Ladies of Spain are senoras.
23. Villa d'___ : ESTE
The Villa d'Este is a beautiful villa close to Tivoli near Rome, Italy.
30. Job rights agcy. : EEOC
Equal Opportunity Employment is a term that has been around since 1964 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was set up by the Civil Rights Act.
31. Grad : ALUM
An alumnus (plural ... alumni) is a graduate or former student of a school or college. The female form is alumna (plural ... alumnae). The word comes into English from Latin, in which alumnus means foster son or pupil.
40. With 9-Down, group with a 1962 hit version of 39-/41-/ 42-Across : THE ISLEY BROTHERS
The Isley Brothers had the first hit with "Twist and Shout", released in 1962. It was also the first major hit for the trio.
46. About, on a memo : IN RE
The term "in re" is actually Latin, derived from "in" (in) and "res" (thing, matter). It literally means "in the matter", and is used as "in regard to", or "in the matter of".
52. O'Neill's "The Hairy ___" : APE
"The Hairy Ape" is a play by Eugene O'Neill, and tells of a laborer on an ocean liner who leaves the ship and tries to make his way in Manhattan. He finds it hard to fit in, and finds most empathy with a gorilla in the zoo who he regards as a kindred spirit. At the end of the play, the hero dies in the arms of the gorilla.
55. Old Testament prophet who married a harlot : HOSEA
Hosea is one of the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, or in terms of the Christian Old Testament, one of the Minor Prophets. He was commanded by God to marry Gomer, a prostitute.
56. Martinique volcano : PELEE
Mount Pelee on the Caribbean island of Martinique is still active and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the planet. When it erupted in 1902, it killed over 30,000 people, most of whom perished when a cloud of hot gases settled over the town of St. Pierre, instantly igniting everything that was flammable.
57. Dior-designed dress : A-LINE
Christian Dior introduced the term A-Line with his 1955 collection. Prior to this, he described his pencil skirts as "H-Line".
61. Table salt is composed of them : IONS
Sodium chloride is an ionic compound, a crystal lattice made up of large chloride ions in a cubic structure, with smaller sodium ions in between the chlorides.
62. PlayStation 2 competitor : XBOX
Xbox was made by Microsoft (I'm sure the kids have one around here somewhere!) and introduced in 2001. The current version is known as Xbox 360. PlayStation 2 was a competitor to Xbox, produced by Sony. The latest Sony game system is PlayStation 3.
66. Auto loan inits. : APR
APR: Annual Percentage Rate.