0128-22 NY Times Crossword 28 Jan 22, Friday

Constructed by: Jem Burch
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme: None

Bill’s time: 14m 29s

Bill’s errors: 2

  • CONDI (Condy)
  • SAM RAIMI (Sam Raimy!)

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

10 Chinese dynasty in which the terra-cotta army was built : QIN

The Qing Dynasty, also known as the Manchu Dynasty, lasted from 1644 to 1912. By the early 1900s, civil unrest was growing. Empress Dowager Cixi made changes in government designed to improve the social situation in China, but it was too late. The Wuchang Uprising of 1911 led to the formation of a new central government called the Republic of China, and over the coming months provinces switched their loyalty from the Qing Empire to the new Republic.

The tem “terra cotta” comes to us from Latin via Italian and means “baked earth”. Terra-cotta is a ceramic made from clay which is left unglazed. Maybe the most famous work in terra-cotta is the Terracotta Army, the enormous collection of life-size figures that was buried with Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China around 210 BC. I had the privilege of seeing some of this collection when it toured the US a few years ago, and even the few pieces on display were very impressive.

14 ___ shark : POOL

A pool shark is a player who hustles others in a pool hall with the goal of making money unfairly in competition. The term “pool shark” used to be “pool sharp”.

15 Year, in Brazil : ANO

Brazil is the largest country in South America, and the fifth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, China and the US). Brazil was a Portuguese colony from 1500 to 1815. The official name of the country under Portuguese rule was Terra da Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross). However, European sailors used the name Terra do Brasil (Land of Brazil), a reference to the brazilwood tree that was much prized in Europe for the deep red dye that it produced.

16 “North and South” writer John : JAKES

“North and South” is a series of three novels by John Jakes set before, during and after the Civil War. The titles of the individual novels are:

  1. “North and South” (1982)
  2. “Love and War” (1984)
  3. “Heaven and Hell” (1987)

18 Key next to Q : TAB

Like most features on our computer keyboards, the tab key is a hangover from the days of typewriters. When using a typewriter, making entries into a table was very tedious, involving lots of tapping on the spacebar and backspace key. So, a lever was added to typewriters that allowed the operator to “jump” across the page to positions that could be set by hand. Later this was simplified to a tab key which could be depressed, causing the carriage to jump to the next tab stop in much the same way that the modern tab key works on a computer.

21 Word before doble or Robles : PASO …

The lively and dramatic dance called the paso doble (Spanish for “double-step”) is very much associated with the Spanish bullfight, but in fact it originated in southern France, where bullfighting is also legal. The dance is based on music that is played at bullfights when the bullfighters enter the arena, and when they close in for the kill. Not a big fan of bullfighting …

Paso Robles is a lovely little city in San Luis Obispo County, California. Paso Robles is home to many, many wineries. The name Paso Robles translates from Spanish as “The Pass of the Oaks”.

22 Actor who received an Emmy nomination for playing Dr. Anthony Fauci on “S.N.L.” : BRAD PITT

Brad Pitt’s first major role was the cowboy hitchhiker in the 1991’s “Thelma and Louise”. Pitt’s life offscreen garners as much attention as his work onscreen, it seems. The tabloids revel in the series of high-profile relationships in which he has been involved. He was engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow for a while, married to Jennifer Aniston and then to Angelina Jolie.

Anthony Fauci took over as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1984. He has been an advisor to every US president since Ronald Reagan. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian award, By President George W. Bush in 2008.

24 Like bogeymen : FEARED

The term “bogeyman” seems to be derived from the Scottish word “bogle” meaning “ghost”.

26 Egg container : SAC

An egg sac is a case made of silk that contains the eggs of a female spider.

29 Occasion for kids to stay up late : PAJAMA PARTY

Our word “pajamas” (sometimes “PJs” or “jammies”) comes to us from the Indian subcontinent, where “pai jamahs” were loose fitting pants tied at the waist and worn at night by locals and ultimately by the Europeans living there. And “pajamas” is another of those words that I had to learn to spell differently when I came to America. On the other side of the Atlantic, the spelling is “pyjamas”.

32 Extreme athletes with parachutes : BASE JUMPERS

BASE jumping is parachuting off fixed objects such as buildings or cliffs. The term “BASE” is actually an acronym standing for the four types of objects from which parachutists jump: Buildings, Antennas. Spans/bridges, Earth/cliffs.

The term “parachute” was coined by Frenchman François Blanchard, from “para-” meaning “defense against” and “chute” meaning “a fall”.

34 Space force? : ZERO GRAVITY

The force of gravity (g-force) that we all feel is referred to as “one G”. As gravity is an accelerating force, acceleration is measured relative to that force of gravity. So, if we are sitting in a vehicle that accelerates at 3G, then we are experiencing a force that is three times that which we feel from the gravitational pull of the earth. Zero G is weightlessness that is experienced when in space, and outside the influence of the earth’s gravity.

40 Poppycock : ROT

It is thought that the relatively gentle term “poppycock”, meaning “nonsense”, comes from a Dutch word for “dung” combined with a Latin word for “excrete”. Not so gentle after all …

43 Cheesy sandwiches for snackers : RITZ BITS

Ritz Bits are sandwiches made from two Ritz crackers and a filling.

45 Structure with many layers? : COOP

The Old English word “cypa”, meaning “basket”, evolved in the 14th century to the word “coop” to describe a small cage for poultry. We still use “coop” today.

48 Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE

Icee and Slurpee are brand names of slushy drinks. Ugh …

49 Cartesian conclusion : … I AM

Anything pertaining to the philosophy of the great Rene Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

The great French philosopher Rene Descartes made the famous statement in Latin, “Cogito ergo sum”. This translates into French as “Je pense, donc je suis” and into English as “I think, therefore I am”. Anything pertaining to the philosophy of Descartes can be described by the adjective “Cartesian”.

50 Member of G. W. Bush’s cabinet, familiarly : CONDI

Condoleezza “Condi” Rice was the second African American to serve as US Secretary of State (after Colin Powell) and the second woman to hold the office (after Madeleine Albright). Prior to becoming Secretary of State in President George W. Bush’s administration, Rice was the first woman to hold the office of National Security Advisor. In private life, Rice is a remarkably capable pianist. Given her stature in Washington, Rice has had the opportunity to play piano in public with the likes of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and soul singer Aretha Franklin.\

54 Express lane tally : ITEMS

I say avoid any express checkout lane in a market that is labeled “10 items or less”. It should be “10 items or fewer”. I know, I know … I should calm down … and get a life …

Back in the mid-1600s, a tally was a stick marked with notches that tracked how much one owed or paid. The term “tally” came from the Latin “talea” meaning “stick, rod”. The act of “scoring” the stick with notches gave rise to our word “score” for the number in a tally.

55 Some trip on it : LSD

LSD (known colloquially as “acid”) is lysergic acid diethylamide. A Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD in 1938 in a research project looking for medically efficacious ergot alkaloids. It wasn’t until some five years later when Hofmann ingested some of the drug accidentally that its psychedelic properties were discovered. Trippy, man …

57 ___ Islands (autonomous part of Denmark) : FAROE

The Faroe Islands (also “Faeroe Islands”) are a group of islands lying halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark and were granted the power of self-governance in 1948.

Down

1 Some head coverings : HIJABS

Some Muslim women wear a hijab in the presence of males outside of their immediate family. A hijab is a veil covering the head and chest. Some also wear a niqab as part of the hijab, which is a cloth that covers the face. Other Muslim women wear a burqa, which covers the whole body from the top of the head to the ground.

3 Alternative to “walk” or “go by bus” : TAKE A CAB

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

6 Moving images, apparently : OP ART

Op art is also known as optical art, and puts optical illusions to great effect.

7 Badgered at length : RODE

To badger is to harass. The verb “to badger” comes from the cruel practice of badger-baiting, which dates back to medieval times. Badger-baiting is a blood sport in which a dog is used as bait for a badger in its den, to draw it out into the open. The den is an artificial structure built to resemble a natural badgers’ den, complete with a tunnel entrance. The dog is sent down the tunnel causing the badger and dog to lock their jaws on each other. The badger and dog are then removed from the den by pulling on the dog’s tail. Horrible …

8 Like many a lemon, eventually : SOLD FOR PARTS

Long before we associated the term “lemon” with a defective car, it was used to describe defective items in general.

9 Stadium cry : OLE!

The Greek word “stadion” was a measure of length, about 600 feet. The name “stadion” then came to be used for a running track of that length. That “running track” meaning led to our contemporary term “stadium” (plural “stadia”).

10 Like Al Jazeera : QATARI

Qatar is a sovereign state in the Middle East occupying the Qatar Peninsula, itself located in the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies on the Persian Gulf and shares one land border, with Saudi Arabia to the south. Qatar has more oil and gas reserves per capita of population than any other country in the world. In 2010, Qatar had the fastest growing economy in the world, driven by the petrochemical industry. Qatar is scheduled to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although the nation’s eligibility to do so is under question after a far-reaching bribery scandal was uncovered at the sport’s governing body.

Al Jazeera is an independent news service owned by the state of Qatar. Since 2006, Al Jazeera has been broadcasting an English language channel, hiring many top journalists from American news outlets. “Al jazeera” is Arabic for “the island”.

21 Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls : PAPYRI

The papyrus plant was commonly found in the Nile Delta of North Africa. The pith of the plant was used to make a thick paper-like material on which one could write. This writing material, which became known as papyrus (plural “papyri”), became a competitor for the most popular writing surface of the day known as parchment, which was made from animal skins.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered over a period of years, between 1947 and 1956, in eleven caves (the Qumran Caves) on the shores of the Dead Sea. The scrolls are believed to have been written by an ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although this has been called into question recently. Many of the texts are copies of writings from the Hebrew Bible.

25 Actor Emilio : ESTEVEZ

Emilio Estevez is one of the members of Hollywood’s famous “Brat Pack”, having appeared in “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire”. Estevez’s father (and can’t you tell it from looking at him?) is actor Martin Sheen. Estevez decided to keep his father’s real name, and not the stage name of “Sheen”. Charlie Sheen is Emilio’s brother, and Charlie’s real name is Carlos Estevez.

28 Director of the “Evil Dead” franchise : SAM RAIMI

Sam Raimi is a very successful director and producer. He was behind the “Spider-Man” series of films among others, and TV shows such as “Xena: Warrior Princess”. In 1993, Raimi married Gillian Green, the youngest daughter of actor Lorne Greene of “Bonanza” fame. Raimi and Greene named their eldest son Lorne, after his grandfather.

“The Evil Dead” is a horror movie franchise that includes video games and comic books, all derived from a series of three films: “The Evil Dead” (1981), “Evil Dead II” (1987) and “Army of Darkness” (1992). I don’t “do” horror, so I can’t tell you anything about them …

31 Snub-nosed dog : PUG

The pug is a dog breed of Chinese origin. Our current family pet is a boxer/pug cross, and is a good-looking mutt!

35 Words before un beso : YO TE AMO

In Spanish, one might say “yo te amo” (I love you) “con flores” (with flowers).

In Spanish, a “beso” (kiss) is an “indicación de afecto” (display of affection).

37 Some subs : U-BOATS

The term “U-boat” comes from the German word “Unterseeboot” (undersea boat). U-boats were primarily used in WWII to enforce a blockade against enemy commercial shipping, with a main objective being to cut off the supplies being transported to Britain from the British colonies and the US. The epic fight for control of the supply routes became known as the Battle of the Atlantic.

38 Met with someone online, maybe : ZOOMED

Zoom is a videoconferencing app that became remarkably popular in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The market deemed Zoom to be the easiest to use of the free videoconferencing apps. I’ve been using it, but really prefer Google’s Meet offering …

41 Literally, “fly,” in Setswana : TSETSE

The tsetse fly is responsible for the transmission of sleeping sickness, a disease that is more correctly called African trypanosomiasis. The disease is only observed in humans who have been bitten by a tsetse fly that is infected with the trypanosome parasitic protozoan.

43 Event with clowns : RODEO

“Rodeo” is a Spanish word that is usually translated into English as “round up”.

44 Endemic flora and fauna : BIOTA

The biota of a region is the total collection of flora and fauna found there.

51 Animated snippet : GIF

A bitmap is an image file format used to store digital images. Basically, each pixel in a bitmap file is stored as a “bit” of information, hence the name “bitmap”. In 1987, CompuServe introduced a new type of image file called the Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). A GIF image takes the same information as a bitmap and then compresses it, resulting in a smaller file size. However, during compression the image may lose some resolution. The GIF format also handles short video clips, usually animations.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Solicit, in slang : HIT UP
6 About : OR SO
10 Chinese dynasty in which the terra-cotta army was built : QIN
13 Not appropriate : INAPT
14 ___ shark : POOL
15 Year, in Brazil : ANO
16 “North and South” writer John : JAKES
17 Source of a big scoop : LADLE
18 Key next to Q : TAB
19 Egyptian sun deity : ATEN
20 Begotten : SIRED
21 Word before doble or Robles : PASO …
22 Actor who received an Emmy nomination for playing Dr. Anthony Fauci on “S.N.L.” : BRAD PITT
24 Like bogeymen : FEARED
26 Egg container : SAC
27 “Let’s see here …” : HMM …
28 “Whew, that’s hot!” : SO SPICY
29 Occasion for kids to stay up late : PAJAMA PARTY
32 Extreme athletes with parachutes : BASE JUMPERS
34 Space force? : ZERO GRAVITY
36 Less clear : FUZZIER
39 Were present? : ARE
40 Poppycock : ROT
42 Grow on trees, so to speak : ABOUND
43 Cheesy sandwiches for snackers : RITZ BITS
45 Structure with many layers? : COOP
46 Sentences : DOOMS
48 Drink with a polar bear mascot : ICEE
49 Cartesian conclusion : … I AM
50 Member of G. W. Bush’s cabinet, familiarly : CONDI
51 Insinuated : GOT AT
52 Had : ATE
53 Kid’s cut, perhaps : OWIE
54 Express lane tally : ITEMS
55 Some trip on it : LSD
56 Not taken by : ONTO
57 ___ Islands (autonomous part of Denmark) : FAROE

Down

1 Some head coverings : HIJABS
2 Caught : IN A TRAP
3 Alternative to “walk” or “go by bus” : TAKE A CAB
4 Flip : UPEND
5 Spread makeup: Abbr. : PTS
6 Moving images, apparently : OP ART
7 Badgered at length : RODE
8 Like many a lemon, eventually : SOLD FOR PARTS
9 Stadium cry : OLE!
10 Like Al Jazeera : QATARI
11 “Be right there!” : IN A SEC!
12 Chopped liver, so to speak : NOBODY
17 Student of the classics, say : LIT MAJOR
20 Regained one’s composure : SIMMERED DOWN
21 Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls : PAPYRI
23 Introduce gradually : PHASE IN
25 Actor Emilio : ESTEVEZ
28 Director of the “Evil Dead” franchise : SAM RAIMI
30 Add some flair to : JAZZ UP
31 Snub-nosed dog : PUG
33 Less forgiving : STRICTER
35 Words before un beso : YO TE AMO
36 It may involve a mask : FACIAL
37 Some subs : U-BOATS
38 Met with someone online, maybe : ZOOMED
41 Literally, “fly,” in Setswana : TSETSE
43 Event with clowns : RODEO
44 Endemic flora and fauna : BIOTA
47 “Will do!” : ON IT!
50 Crib sound : COO
51 Animated snippet : GIF

8 thoughts on “0128-22 NY Times Crossword 28 Jan 22, Friday”

  1. 11:13. The last thing to be filled was PTS for “spread makeup” and I had no idea for a while until I realized it was referring to a gambling spread. I think in my entire life I’ve wagered less than 20 bucks on sporting events.

  2. 19:09. Nice way to end the week….the work week anyway. Impressive to cross QIM and QATARI. I almost always put an automatic “U” next to a Q in crosswords. Not this time.

    Nice to see the site up and running again too.

    Best –

  3. Did a lookup on 21A.. needed PASO and finished it off. Rest was enjoyable. Several “traps” but I got through them (except for PASO BESO).

    Had absolutely no idea about FAROE Islands. Crosses filled that in for me.

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