This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today ...
COMPLETION TIME: 36m 30s
THEME: MAKING ENDS MEET ... in the theme answers, the last two letters of the first word are used as the first two letters of the second word e.g. COMPUT-ER-ROR (computer error), ENGLI-SH-EEPDOG (English Sheepdog)
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Routine responses? : HA-HAS
One might respond "ha-ha" to a comedy routine.
6. 1961 Charlton Heston/Sophia Loren film : EL CID
"El Cid" is an epic film released in 1961 that tells the story of the Castillian knight, El Cid. The two big names at the top of the cast were Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren, but just who was the biggest star? When Loren discovered that a huge billboard promoting the movie in Times Square showed that her name was below Heston's, she sued the movie's producers.
20. Unit of energy : JOULE
James Joule was an English physicist who spent much of his life working as in the family brewing business. His work in the brewery inspired him in his work studying the relationship between heat and mechanical work. In honor of his work, his name is used for the unit of energy in the International System of Units.
21. Sculpture garden setting in N.Y.C. : MOMA
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City was a project very much driven by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, son of the oil magnate. Working with two friends, she managed to get the museum opened in 1929, just nine days after the Wall Street Crash. The MoMA's sculpture garden bears the name of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and has done since 1949.
23. Technical trouble : COMPUT-ER-ROR
25. Uncle of Levi : ESAU
Esau was the twin brother of Jacob, the founder of the Israelites. When their mother, Rebekah gave birth to the twins, "the first emerged red and hairy all over (Esau), with his heel grasped by the hand of the second to come out (Jacob)". Levi was the third son of Esau's brother, Jacob.
26. Author John Dickson ___ : CARR
John Dickson Carr was an American author of crime fiction. His most famous work is "The Hollow Man" published in 1935, a so-called "locked room mystery" in which two murders are committed in apparently impossible circumstances. "The Hollow Man" was selected in 1981 as the best "locked room mystery" of all time.
28. Items at one's disposal? : ORTS
Orts are small scraps of food left after a meal. The word comes from Middle English, where it was used for to describe scraps of food left by animals.
30. Actor/comic Brad : GARRETT
Brad Garrett, a very funny actor that stands 6 feet 8 1/2 inches tall, is best known for playing Robert Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and Eddie Stark on "'Til Death". Fox's sitcom "'Til Death" stars Garrett alongside Joely Fisher, and is a pretty good show in my humble opinion. It ran for four seasons, and was cancelled early in 2010.
32. Helper in herding : ENGLI-SH-EEPDOG
The breed is more properly called the Old English Sheepdog, and it's the dog with hair everywhere. I always remember Sam Sheepdog from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, stoically guarding his flock.
37. Bird with meat high in protein : EMU
The emu has had a tough time in Australia since man settled there. The aborigines used them for food and are very adept at hunting them using a variety of traditional techniques. There was even an "Emu War" in Western Australia in 1932 when migrating emus competed with livestock for water and food, and knocked down fences. Soldiers were sent in using machine guns in an unsuccessful attempt to drive off the emus. The emus were clever though, and broke formation and adopted guerrilla tactics, operating as small units. After 50 days of "war", the military withdrew. Subsequent requests for military help for the farmers was refused.
42. Collectible book : LIMIT-ED-ITION
45. Block legally : ESTOP
The legal term "estop" means to block or stop using some legal device. The word "estop" comes from Old French, in which "estopper" means "to stop up" or "to impede".
47. Carrier in the Star Alliance : SAS
SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the first airline alliance, created in 1997. The American founding representative is United Airlines.
50. Big name in trading cards : TOPPS
Topps was a relaunch of an older company called American Leaf Tobacco, with the Topps name used from 1938. The earlier company was in trouble because it could not get supplies of its Turkish tobacco, so it moved into another chewy industry, making bubblegum.
54. Indonesian vacation spot : BALI
Bali is the most important tourist destination in Indonesia, and is an island lying east of Java. In recent years that tourist industry has been badly hit, due to two terrorist bombings. The first one, in 2002, killed 202 people, mainly foreign tourists in a nightclub.
56. Bao ___ (former Vietnamese emperor) : DAI
Bao Dai was the last of the Vietnamese emperors to serve under the "protection" of the French. Bao Dai was emperor of what was then called French Indochina, from 1926 to 1945. He remained in office after the Japanese ousted the French in 1945, and was the person responsible at that time for giving his country the new name of Vietnam.
57. Line in London : PRI-ME-RIDIAN
A meridian is a line of longitude, and the Prime Meridian is that line of longitude defined as 0 degrees. It is also called the Greenwich Meridian, as it passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich in southeast London. Of course, which line of longitude is used to represent 0 degrees is an arbitrary decision. 25 nations formally decided to use the Greenwich Meridian as 0 degrees as it was already a popular choice. That is all except the French, who abstained from the vote and used the Paris Meridian as 0 degrees on French charts for several decades.
64. Key: Fr. : CLE
Cle is the French word for a "key".
66. Like many an online password : CA-SE-NSITIVE
71. Rose who rose to fame in the 1980s : AXL
Axl Rose if the lead vocalist of the American rock band, Guns N' Roses.
76. It might have a theater and planetarium : SCIEN-CE-NTER
79. Campers, for short : RVS
Campers are also called Recreational Vehicles.
80. "Love surfeits not, ___ like a glutton dies": Shak. : LUST
"Venus and Adonis" is a complex poem by William Shakespeare, and quite racy. The poem features the line "Love surfeits not, lust like a glutton dies".
82. Chess opening? : CEE
Clever wording. The opening letter in the word "chess" is cee.
87. Singer who played Cyrano in "Cyrano de Bergerac" : PLACI-DO-MINGO
"Cyrano de Bergerac" is a four-act opera with music by Franco Alfano, first performed in Rome in 1936. It was first performed in the US at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City much more recently, in 2005, with Placido Domingo in the title role.
96. When daylight saving begins: Abbr. : TWO A.M.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Daylight Saving Time is known as "summer time". The idea is to move clocks forward an hour in spring and backwards in the fall, so that afternoons have more daylight.
99. "___ House," 1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young hit : OUR
"Our House" was a hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970. It was written by Graham Nash, and refers to the relationship that Nash was having with singer Joni Mitchell at that time.
100. Introvert or extrovert : PERSONALI-TY-PE
103. Grenache, for one : VIN ROSE
Grenache is red wine grape variety, and the major constituent of wines from the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region, my favorites! Grenache is also used to make rose wines in the Cotes du Rhone region.
105. ___ fruit : UGLI
The ugli fruit is a hybrid of an orange and a tangerine, first discovered growing wild in Jamaica, where today most ugli fruit originates.
111. Protector : GUARDI-AN-GEL
116. Future platypi : EGGS
The platypus is one of only five mammalian species that we known of that lay eggs rather than give birth to live young. The platypus is a native of Eastern Australia, and it is a weird creature, to say the least. It's appearance is bizarre enough, with it's duck-like bill, but it is also a poisonous creature. It has a spur on it hind foot that can inject venom and cause severe pain in humans.
118. "Somewhere in Time" actor : REEVE
"Somewhere in Time" is a fascinating 1980 film directed by Jeannot Szwarc, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The movie is a screen adaptation of a 1975 novel "Bid Time Return" by Richard Matheson. The movie has a real cult following, with a fan club called INSITE (International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts). Many members of INSITE meet every year, in period costume, at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan, the setting of the movie (and where it was largely filmed).
1. Boozehound's sound : HIC
A boozehound: slang term for an alcoholic or habitual drinker.
2. "Just ___!" ("Hold on!") : A MO
Just a mo (just a moment).
9. Agcy. of the U.N. : ILO
The ILO is the International Labour Organization, which actually predates the United Nations. It was established as an agency of the League of Nations after WWI. The agency deals with important issues, such as health and safety, discrimination, child labor and forced labor. The organization was recognized for its work in 1969 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
10. "___ Kommissar" (1983 hit) : DER
"Der Komissar" was a major hit in the early eighties in German speaking countries, for the Austrian pop singer Falco. Falco was the only artist to get to number one in the US with a German language song, doing so in 1986 with "Rock Me Amadeus". Sadly, Falco died at 40 years of age, in a collision with a bus in the Dominican Republic.
11. "Bam!" man in the kitchen : EMERIL
Emeril Lagasse started using his famous, "Bam!" catchphrase in order to keep his crew awake during repeated tapings of his show.
14. Seine filler : EAU
The Seine, the river that flows through Paris, is full of "eau" (water).
15. Way out in space : ESCAPE POD
What a brilliantly disguised clue!
16. Football Hall-of-Famer George : BLANDA
George Blanda retired from Professional Football in 1976, and at that time has scored more points than anyone else in the game. He played 26 season of professional football, the most for any one player in the history of the sport.
17. Composer of "The Miraculous Mandarin" : BARTOK
The ballet "The Miraculous Mandarin" by Bela Bartok was first performed in Cologne, Germany in 1926. The storyline is quite harsh, involving a girl who is forced by three thugs to seduce men, entrapping them so that they can be robbed. The story was so harsh, that it was actually banned in Germany after its first performance.
28. Swedish-born "Chocolat" actress : OLIN
Lena Olin is a Swedish actress, first discovered by Ingmar Bergman. As well as appearing in "Chocolat" in 2000, she won an Emmy in 2003 for Best Supporting actress in the TV show "Alias".
31. Confidant, peut-être : AMI
In France, one might have perhaps (peut-etre) a friend (ami) who is a confidant.
34. 'Vette alternative : GTO
GTO stands for Gran Turismo Omologato.
35. Little newt : EFT
Newts wouldn't be my favorite animals in the world. They are found all over the world, living on land or in the water depending on the species, but always associated with water, even if it is only for breeding. Newts metamorphose through three distinct developmental stages during their lives. They start of as larvae in water, fertilized eggs that often cling to aquatic plants, unlike the eggs of frogs and toads which float freely. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, the first developmental form of the newt. After living some months as tadpoles swimming around in the water, they undergo metamorphosis, sprouting legs and replacing their external gills with lungs. At this juvenile stage they are known as efts, and leave the water to live on land. A more gradual transition takes place then, as the eft takes on the lizard-like appearance of the adult newt.
39. Play featuring Mrs. Malaprop, with "The" : RIVALS
"The Rivals" is a play written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, first performed in 1775. The character, Mrs. Malaprop, takes her name from her habit of misspeaking, to great comical effect. Malapropism is the substitution of a word for a word with a similar sound. For example, Mrs Malaprop says, "she's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile" (substituting allegory for alligator).
43. Española, e.g. : ISLA
The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean (divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic), is known in Spanish as the island (isla) of La Española.
44. Demoiselle's dressing : TOILETTE
A young French lady (demoiselle) when dressing is said to be attending to her "toilette".
51. Embroidery loops : PICOTS
A picot is a loop of thread, either for function or for decoration, at the edge of some knitted or tatted material.
54. Depp title role : BRASCO
The 1997 movie "Donnie Brasco" is about an FBI agent who infiltrates a New York City crime family. It is loosely based on the true story of agent Joseph Pistone who worked his was into the Bonnano family. Johnny Depp plays Pistone on screen, and uses the name Donni Brasco when undercover.
55. Famous 12-book story : AENEID
The Aeneid is Virgil's epic poem that tells of the journey of Aeneas, a Trojan that voyaged to Italy to become the ancestor of all Romans.
58. Alma mater of some engrs. : RPI
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a private school in Troy, New York. The university is named after its founder Stephen Van Rensselaer, who set up the school in 1824. The goal of RPI has always been the "application of science to the common purposes of life", an objective set by the founder. Given that, an apt name for the sports teams is the Engineers.
59. "Cheers" actor Roger : REES
Roger Rees is a Welsh actor. He played the character Robin Colcord on "Cheers", the posh love interest for Rebecca Howe, played by Kirstie Alley.
61. Year that Emperor Frederick I died : MCXC
Frederick I Barbarossa was Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until he died in 1190.
67. Not even once, in Nürnberg : NIE
"Nie" is the German word for "never".
77. Resident of New York's Murray Hill, e.g. : EASTSIDER
The Murray Hill district of Manhattan is named after a wealthy, Quaker merchant called Robert Murray who lived in the area in the mid-1700s. The area just south of Murray Hill has a high concentration of Indian restaurants, and apparently is known by some as "Curry Hill" ...
78. Batch that's hatched : NESTLINGS
Nestlings are birds that have just hatched, and are too young to leave the nest.
84. Relative of fusilli : ROTINI
Rotini is the corkscrew-shaped pasta that is often used in pasta salads. Fusilli is also a corkscrew-shaped pasta, but is much longer.
90. Pests : NOODGES
Noodge is a slang term, meaning "to nag", or as a noun it can mean "a nag". It comes into English from the Yiddish word "nudyen" meaning "to bore, be tedious".
91. T. S. Eliot's "Theatre Cat" : GUS
"Gus: The Theatre Cat" is a poem by T. S. Eliot included in the "Old Possum's Book of Practical Magic", the source material for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "Cats". Gus is a nickname, short of Asparagus.
94. University V.I.P. : REGENT
A regent is a member of the governing body of a university.
95. Dahl of "A Southern Yankee," 1948 : ARLENE
Arlene Dahl is an American movie actress, quite famous during the 1950s. Among her screen credits was playing the female lead in 1959's "Journey to the Center of the Earth", alongside James Mason and Pat Boone.
102. Brick-and-mortar alternative : ETAIL
Etail is the term used these days for online shopping. It is often compared to regular shopping in the "real world", by juxtaposing it with a "brick and mortar" store.
104. Dancer Jeanmaire : RENEE
Renee "Zizi" Jeanmaire is a ballet dancer, and wife of the dancer and choreographer, Roland Petit. Zizi's most famous role was that of Carmen, performed on the London stage in 1949. If you know the 1969 song "Where Do You Go to (My Lovely)?" by Peter Sarstedt, you'll remember the lines "You talk like Marlene Dietrich, And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire ...".
108. "Rule, Britannia" composer : ARNE
"Rule Britannia!" was a poem by James Thomson, for which Thomas Arne composed the famous music.
111. Herd of elephants? : GOP
What a great clue! The Grand Old Party.
112. Initials in news : UPI
United Press International was one of the biggest news agencies in the world, sending out news by wire to the major newspapers. It ran foul of the change in media formats at the end of the last century, and lost many of its clients as the afternoon newspapers shut down due to the advent of television news. UPI, which once employed thousands of people, still exists but with only a handful of employees.
113. 1950 Anne Baxter title role : EVE
I must confess that I have a problem with movies starring Bette Davis. I think I must have seen her play one of her more sinister roles when I was a kid and it gave me nightmares or something. So, I have never seen the 1950 classic "All About Eve", given that Bette Davis gets top billing. But, the title role of Eve Harrington was played by Anne Baxter, and Ms Baxter's movies I do enjoy. Coincidentally, on the epic television series "Hotel", when Bette Davis became ill, it was Anne Baxter who was chosen to take on her role.
114. Évian-___-Bains, France : LES
Évian-les-Bains (or simply Évian) is in the very east of France, on the shores of Lake Geneva, directly across the Lake from Lausanne, Switzerland. As you might imagine, Évian is the home of Évian mineral water, the most successful business in town.