My time: 8:47.
I like the multi-lingual theme. Being a languages guy, I cottoned on right away from the French and German clues, and while I never knew the lyrics to "La Bamba," una poca de gracia looked right to me.
OSSIE Davis, actor and civil right activist, was so much more than a character in "Jungle Fever." He spoke at MLK's funeral, attended the March on Washington, and was married to Ruby Dee.
"Massachusetts' Cape" is meant to trick you into writing *COD, but no, it's Cape ANN, which according to WIkipedia, was first mapped by John Smith, who named it Cape Tragabigzanda, after his mistress in Istanbul. Why don't we learn these things in lower school? Anyway, it is now named after Charles I's mother, Queen Anne, which gives rise to the question why there isn't an E at the end.
PHI (Φ) is a lot of things, including the symbol for the Golden Ratio. Why is the Godlen Ratio important? Well for art and architecture, and according to Wikipedia, for some financial market systems, "in some cases based on dubious fits to data."
The state flower of New Hampshire is the Purple LILAC. The capital of NH is Concord, there is a variety of Concord grapes, grapes are purple; politicians visit NH first, they lie and lack principles: purple lie-lack.
Zubin MEHTA, an Indian conductor, worked at American and Israeli philharmonics. Born in Mumbai, he was in a zoo-bin, and but made-a way to New York, Florence, and then Tel Aviv.
My time: 6:43 . -- Benjamin Kramer serves us up an ace of a puzzle with this VOLLEYBALL-loving grid. The themed answers LIP SERVICE, th...
My time: 11:43 . -- Today we are treated to a themeless by Sam Ezersky. It's nothing jaw-dropping, but it's a solid Saturday. ...
My time: 17:47 , just one minute too slow for the record! -- Ross Trudeau collected a series of cryptids from divers geographical areas ...