This is my solution to the crossword published in the New York Times today ...
COMPLETION TIME: 6m 20s
THEME: All the Cs ... the theme answers are each two words, both starting with the letter "C"
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0
1. Musical pace : TEMPO
"Tempus" is the Latin for time.
6. Tractor maker John : DEERE
36 DEERE: John Deere invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. I hear his riding mowers are pretty good too ...
11. Do (up), as a fly : ZIP
The concept of flying, led to the use of the word "flap" as a piece of extra cloth covering a seam or opening. Initially fly was used to describe a tent flap, and eventually a flap of cloth covering buttons on a garment.
14. Bird-related : AVIAN
"Avis" is the Latin word for a bird.
16. ___ Today (newspaper) : USA
The title of widest circulation of any American newspaper is an honor competed for by "The Wall Street Journal" and "USA Today", with each paper selling about 2 million copies each day (including online subscribers). "USA Today" was launched in 1982.
17. County ENE of San Francisco : CONTRA COSTA
Contra Costa County is right next door to where I live in the Bay Area. The county was one of the original counties formed when the state was formed, and the county seat is Martinez.
20. ___ & Tina Turner Revue : IKE
Ike & Tina Turner were together as a husband/wife duo recording music for 16 years in the sixties and seventies. Their biggest hit has to be "Proud Mary", released in 1971. The partnership ended, along with their marriage in the late seventies with Tina making accusations of abuse by her drug-addicted husband.
24. Hall-of-Famer Williams : TED
As well as playing for the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams served as a pilot in the Marine Corps in World War II and the Korean War.
25. End of many U.R.L.'s : COM
Internet addresses are Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).
26. ___ Easton Ellis, author of "American Psycho" : BRET
Bret Easton Ellis wrote the original novels that were adapted for the silver screen: "Less Than Zero" (1987), "American Psycho" (2000) and "The Rules of Attraction" (2002).
36. Nutritionists' nos. : RDAS
The Recommended Daily Allowances were introduced during WWII, and were replaced by the Recommended Daily Intakes in 1997.
38. "No ___!" ("Uncle!," in Spanish) : MAS
The literal translation of "no mas" from Spanish would be "No more!", or "Enough!".
40. Coup d'___ : ETAT
A coup d'etat (often just "coup") is the sudden overthrow of a government, and comes from the French "stroke of state".
42. Japanese religion : SHINTO
It might perhaps be best not to describe Shinto as a religion, but more as a spirituality of the Japanese people that encompasses folklore, history and mythology. Having said that, "Shinto" translates literally as "Way of the Gods". Most people in Japan described as practicing Shinto, also practice Buddhism.
43. Monica player on "Friends" : COURTENEY COX
Courteney Cox played Monica Geller on the incredibly successful sitcom "Friends". Before "Friends" she played the girlfriend of Michael J. Fox's character on "Family Ties" for a couple of years in the late eighties. Her role in "Friends" was her biggest success, no question, when she and her fellow female costars became the highest paid TV actresses ever earning a million dollars per episode.
46. Language in Lahore : URDU
Lahore is a large city in Pakistan, second in size only to Karachi. It is known as the Garden of the Mughals (or in English, Moguls) because of its association with the Mughal Empire. The Mughals ruled much of India from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
48. China's Three Gorges project : DAM
The Three Gorges region along the Yangtze River in China is known for its spectacular scenery. The area is attracting a lot of attention in recent years because of the ongoing project to build a hydroelectric dam that will undoubtedly change the ecology and appearance of the land both upriver and downriver. The dam itself is completed, and is the biggest electricity-generating plant in the world, although not all generators are on line yet. The total capacity is expected to be 22.5 GW.
51. Alternative to a Quarter Pounder : BIG MAC
The Big Mac's secret sauce is just Thousand Island dressing, from what I hear.
55. "Yes, madame" : OUI
"Oui", the French for "yes".
60. Observer of Yom Kippur : JEW
Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement.
61. Eating pork, to an observant 60-Across : TABOO
Most notably perhaps, pork is considered taboo by many Jewish people. However, pork is also forbidden in the Christian tradition, by the Seventh-Day Adventists.
4. Butter serving : PAT
A "pat" of butter is so called because of the tradition of forming it by "patting".
7. Grandson of Adam : ENOS
Enos, as the son of Seth, was the grandson of Adam.
8. Org. that produces college entrance exams : ETS
The Educational Testing Service was founded in 1947, producing standardized tests for students from kindergarten through college. Perhaps most famously, ETS operated the SAT testing process.
11. Native of eastern South Africa : ZULU
The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated population of 10-11 million people today. The Zulu were famous for resisting the colonization by the British in 19th century, resulting in the Anglo-Zulu War. The Zulus had initial success, but the British eventually prevailed (see the excellent film "Zulu", starring Michael Caine and others, from 1964).
13. Goalie protectors : PADS
The goalie protected by pads has to be an ice hockey player, not a soccer player.
23. Largest of the Virgin Islands : ST CROIX
Saint Croix has been ruled by a number of countries, most recently the US. The first colonists were the Spanish, who named the island Santa Cruz. After Britain and the Netherlands the French took over control of the island, and named it Saint Croix. Both Santa Cruz and Saint Croix can be translated in to English as "Holy Cross".
26. A/C measures : BTUS
In the world of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, the power of a heating or cooling unit can be measured in British Thermal Units. This dated unit of energy is basically the amount of energy required to heat a pound of water so that the water's temperature increases by one degree Fahrenheit.
27. Vitamin brand promoted as "Complete from A to Zinc" : CENTRUM
The name "Centrum" translates to "center" in Latin.
29. Chief Norse god : ODIN
In Norse mythology, Odin is the chief of the gods. His wife, Frigg, is the queen of Asgard, and the deity that gave us our English term Friday (via Anglo-Saxon).
30. Missile that might be tipped with curare : DART
Curare is the name given to the toxin(s) used historically by South American peoples to paralyze their prey. The tips of arrows and blowgun darts are dipped in curare so that when a hunted animal is pierced with a poisoned projectile it asphyxiates as the curare paralyzes the respiratory muscles.
31. Old U.S. gas brand : ESSO
The brand name Esso has its roots in the old Standard Oil company, as it uses the initial letters of Standard and Oil (ESS-O). The Esso brand was replaced by Exxon in the US, but it is still used all over the rest of the world.
32. Source of some of the oil for 31-Down : OPEC
The OPEC cartel (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formerly established in 1960, and has been headquartered in Vienna since 1965.
34. Hawaiian feast : LUAU
Nowadays the word "luau" denotes almost any kind of party on the Hawaiian Islands, but to the purist a luau is a feast that always includes a serving of "luau": young taro tops baked with coconut milk and served with chicken or octopus.
41. British soldier in the American Revolution : RED COAT
Nowadays in the British Army the red tunic is reserved only for ceremonial purposes, as the vivid color has proved to be a detriment since the invention of the rifle.
42. Offspring : SCION
Scion comes from the old French word sion or cion, meaning "a shoot or a twig". In botanical terms today, a scion is used in grafting two compatible plants together. In grafting, one plant is selected for its root system (the “rootstock”), and the other plant is selected for its stems, leaves and fruit (the scion). The term scion migrated naturally into the world of family history. A scion is simply a descendant, a son or a daughter, and therefore a branching point in the family tree.
44. Political pamphlets : TRACTS
A tract is a political pamphlet, originally a discussion document. The name "tract" comes from the Latin verb "tractare" meaning "to discuss".
45. Brutes in "Gulliver's Travels" : YAHOOS
Yahoos were brutish creatures introduced by Irish author Jonathan Swift in "Gulliver's Travels". Their savage, slovenly ways gave rise of the use of "yahoo" in English to describe a lout or Neanderthal.
48. Ken and Barbie : DOLLS
Barbie's counterpart doll is Ken, and Ken's family name is Carson. Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.
50. "Play ___ for Me" : MISTY
"Look at me, I'm as helpless as a kitten up a tree ..."
"Misty" was written in 1954 by one Erroll Garner. Johnny Mathis had a hit with it five years later, and it was to become his signature tune. The song of course features prominently in the 1971 Clint Eastwood thriller "Play Misty for Me".
51. Lower California, for short : BAJA
Baja California is both the most northern, and the most western of the Mexican states.
52. Burl who won an Oscar for "The Big Country" : IVES
As well as being an actor, Burl Ives was a folk singer, his original calling. In Hollywood he had a distressing experience with the House Unamerican Activities Committee and avoided being blacklisted by cooperating to some level with McCarthy and his team. This cooperation created a rift between him and Pete Seeger in particular, a fellow singer whom he "discussed" with the committee.
"The Big Country" is a 1958 western with a star-studded cast including Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives. The film earned Burl Ives an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.
54. Pollution that may sting the eyes : SMOG
"Smog" is of course a portmanteau word, formed by melding "smoke" and "fog".
58. Deg. from Wharton : MBA
Wharton is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.