This works:
$result = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM plan WHERE begin BETWEEN '2010-09-01' AND '2010-09-30'") or die(mysql_error());

I need some version of this to work where begin and end are currently timestamped columns in my table:
$result = mysql_query("SELECT * FROM plan WHERE date("Y-m-d") BETWEEN begin AND end") or die(mysql_error());

What's the correct form? I haven't been able to tease it out of the documentation.

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Try it without the enclosed double quotes in the date parameter. Try:

date('Y-m-d')

You've enclosed double quotes with double quotes - problem. Either escape the inner set with a backslash or use single quotes on one of the pairs.

Point! Plus MYSQL Date functions did the trick.