0503-22 NY Times Crossword 3 May 22, Tuesday

Constructed by: Julian Lim
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Reveal Answer(s): Chinese Dynasty

Themed answers each start with the name of a CHINESE DYNASTY:

  • 39A With 43-Across, historical period found in each set of circled letters : CHINESE … (giving “CHIN”)
  • 43A See 39-Across : … DYNASTY
  • 18A Mix at a mixer, say : MINGLE IN THE CROWD (giving “MING”)
  • 30A Metaphor for lies, in a Walter Scott poem : TANGLED WEB (giving “TANG”)
  • 39A With 43-Across, historical period found in each set of circled letters : CHINESE … (giving “CHIN”)
  • 50A Fit perfectly : SUIT TO A TEE (giving “SUI”)
  • 65A Surviving, but just barely : HANGING BY A THREAD (giving “HAN”)

Bill’s time: 9m 20s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

14 ___ Prize (satirical scientific award since 1991) : IG NOBEL

The Ig Nobel Prize is a series of ten satirical awards presented annually since 1991. Despite their humorous nature, the awards do have some gravitas and are presented by actual Nobel laureates. The main thrust of the award is veiled criticism of trivial scientific research.

16 Seaweed around sushi : NORI

Nori is an edible seaweed that we used to know as “laver” when we were living in Wales. Nori is usually dried into thin sheets. Here in the US, we are most familiar with nori as the seaweed used as a wrap for sushi.

17 Oolong, e.g. : TEA

The name for the Chinese tea called “oolong” translates into English as “black dragon” or “dark dragon”.

18 Mix at a mixer, say : MINGLE IN THE CROWD (giving “MING”)

The Ming Dynasty lasted in China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming Dynasty oversaw tremendous innovation in so many areas, including the manufacture of ceramics. In the late Ming period, a shift towards a market economy in China led to the export of porcelain on an unprecedented scale, perhaps explaining why we tend to hear more about Ming vases than we do about porcelain from any other Chinese dynasty.

21 Annual video game competition, for short : EVO

Evolution Championship Series (Evo)

22 Event first televised in 1953, with “the” : … OSCARS

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is the organization that gives the annual Academy Awards, also known as the “Oscars”. The root of the name “Oscar” is hotly debated, but what is agreed is that the award was officially named “Oscar” in 1939. The first Academy Awards were presented at a brunch in 1929 with an audience of just 29 people. The Awards ceremony is a slightly bigger event these days …

24 S.U.V. alternative : SEDAN

The American sedan car is the equivalent of the British and Irish saloon car. By definition, a sedan car has two rows of seating and a separate trunk (boot in Britain and Ireland), although in some models the engine can be at the rear of the car.

26 Hoppy brew : IPA

India pale ale (IPA) is a style of beer that originated in England. The beer was originally intended for transportation from England to India, hence the name.

The foodstuff that we call “hops” are actually the female flowers of the hop plant. The main use of hops is to add flavor to beer. The town in which I used to live here in California was once home to the largest hop farm in the world. Most of the harvested hops were exported all the way to the breweries of London, where they could fetch the best price.

29 Texter’s “Can you believe it?!” : OMG!

“OMG” is text-speak for “Oh My Gosh!” “Oh My Goodness!” or any other G-words you might care to use …

30 Metaphor for lies, in a Walter Scott poem : TANGLED WEB (giving “TANG”)

Here’s one most commonly misattributed quotes from English literature:

Oh, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

Often attributed to William Shakespeare, the lines actually come from the poem “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott.

The Tang dynasty of China lasted from 618 to 907 BCE.

35 Pinnacle : ACME

The acme is the highest point. The term “acme” comes from the Greek word “akme” that has the same meaning.

39 With 43-Across, historical period found in each set of circled letters : CHINESE … (giving “CHIN”)

43 See 39-Across : … DYNASTY

The Jin (also “Chin”) dynasty of 1115 to 1234 ruled much of modern-day, northeast China. The dynasty eventually fell to the Mongol Empire that was based in the north.

49 Bearded beasts : GNUS

The gnu is also known as the wildebeest, and is an antelope native to Africa. “Wildebeest” is a Dutch meaning “wild beast”.

50 Fit perfectly : SUIT TO A TEE (giving “SUI”)

The Sui dynasty was founded in 581 CE by Emperor Wen of Sui. The dynasty was short-lived, and ended in 618 CE. It was followed by the Tang dynasty.

53 The first “O” of O.O.O. : OUT

Out of office (OOO)

56 Intel-gathering mission : RECON

A “recon” (reconnaissance) might provide “intel” (intelligence).

59 Opening with leaks? : WIKI-

Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks, the website that is notorious for publishing information that governments and individuals would rather remain secret. Assange is currently in England and lost an appeal to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault. Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking political asylum in 2012. He was granted asylum and lived at the embassy for almost seven years before being arrested and incarcerated in a UK prison.

62 Feature of a deerstalker : EARLAP

A deerstalker is a hat that is associated with hunting, and stalking deer in particular, hence the name. The deerstalker is also very much associated with Sherlock Holmes, despite the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never mentioned the style of hat.

64 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU

LSU’s full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, and is located in Baton Rouge. LSU was founded in 1860 as a military academy, with then-Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent.

Baton Rouge is the capital city of the state of Louisiana. The name “Baton Rouge” is French for “red stick” or “red staff”. The exact reason why such a name was given to the city isn’t really clear.

65 Surviving, but just barely : HANGING BY A THREAD (giving “HAN”)

The Han dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China and lasted from 206 BC to 220 AD. It came after the Qin dynasty, and before the Three Kingdoms.

73 Site of a fabled gift horse : TROY

The story of the Wooden Horse of Troy is told in Virgil’s poem “The Aeneid”. According to the tale, the city of Troy finally fell to Greeks after a siege that had lasted for ten years. In a ruse, the Greeks sailed away in apparent defeat, leaving behind a large wooden horse. Inside the horse were hidden 30 crack soldiers. When the horse was dragged into the city as a victory trophy, the soldiers sneaked out and opened the city’s gates. The Greeks returned under cover of night and entered the open city.

Down

1 Coins that are 1.35 mm thick : DIMES

The term “dime”, used for a 10-cent coin, comes from the Old French word “disme” meaning “tenth part”.

3 Latin phrase before a year : ANNO DOMINI

The designations Anno Domini (AD, “year of Our Lord”) and Before Christ (BC) are found in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The dividing point between AD and BC is the year of the conception of Jesus, with AD 1 following 1 BC without a year “0” in between. The AD/BC scheme dates back to AD 525, and gained wide acceptance soon after AD 800. Nowadays a modified version has become popular, with CE (Common/Christian Era) used to replace AD, and BCE (Before the Common/Christian Era) used to replace BC.

4 Yule ___ (Christmas confection) : LOG

Yule celebrations coincide with Christmas, and the words “Christmas” and “Yule” (often “Yuletide”) have become synonymous in much of the world. However, Yule was originally a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic peoples. The name “Yule” comes from the Old Norse word “jol” that was used to describe the festival.

5 Like kiwis and plum tomatoes, by shape : OBLONG

What we call kiwifruit today (and sometimes just “kiwi”) used to be called a Chinese gooseberry. Marketing folks in the fifties decided to call it a “melonette”, and then New Zealand producers adopted the name “kiwifruit”.

8 Homer Simpson’s signature cries : D’OHS

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

10 The first “O” of O-O-O : TIC-

When I was growing up in Ireland we played “noughts and crosses” … our name for the game tic-tac-toe.

12 NSFW, probably : LEWD

The abbreviation “NSFW” stands for “not safe/suitable for work”. It’s Internet slang used to describe online content that is best not viewed at work.

19 Many California wines : NAPAS

The first commercial winery in Napa Valley, California was established way back in 1858. However, premium wine production only dates back to the 1960s, with the region really hitting the big time after its success at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. The story of that famous blind wine tasting is told in the entertaining 2008 film “Bottle Shock”.

20 ___ Richards a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic : REED

“Fantastic Four” is a 2005 movie about the band of comic heroes made famous in Marvel Comics. The Fantastic Four are:

  • Mr. Fantastic (played by Ioan Gruffudd)
  • The Invisible Woman (played by Jessica Alba)
  • The Human Torch (played by Chris Evans)
  • Thing (played by Michael Chiklis)

25 “Couldn’t have said it any better” : AMEN

The word “amen” translates as “so be it”. “Amen” is said to be of Hebrew origin, but it is also likely to be influenced by Aramaic and Arabic.

28 “Smells Like ___ Spirit” (Nirvana song) : TEEN

Nirvana was a rock band formed in Washington in 1987 by Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. The band effectively disbanded in 1994 after Cobain committed suicide.

33 Shakespearean words to a traitor : ET TU

Julius Caesar was assassinated on the 15th (the ides) of March, 44 BC. He was attacked by a group of sixty people in the Roman Senate, and was stabbed 23 times. The first to strike a blow was Servilius Casca, who attacked Caesar from behind and stabbed him in the neck. In Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, Casca utters the words “Speak, hands, for me!” just before making the fatal blow. The following line, uttered by Caesar, is more famous though: “Et tu, Brute?”

36 With 52-Down, 39-Across leader from 1949 to 1976 : CHOU …
52 See 36-Down : … ENLAI

Zhou Enlai (also “Chou En-lai”) was the first government leader of the People’s Republic of China and held the office of Premier from 1949 until he died in 1976. Zhou Enlai ran the government for Communist Party Leader Mao Zedong, often striking a more conciliatory tone with the West than that of his boss. He was instrumental, for example, in setting up President Nixon’s famous visit to China in 1972. Zhou Enlai died just a few months before Mao Zedong, with both deaths leading to unrest and a dramatic change in political direction for the country.

40 Singer James : ETTA

“Etta James” was the stage name of celebrated blues and soul singer Jamesetta Hawkins. James’ most famous recording was her 1960 hit “At Last”, which made it into the pop charts. James performed “At Last” at the age of 71 in 2009 on the reality show “Dancing with the Stars”, which was to be her final television appearance. She passed away in 2012.

42 Greek vowel : ETA

Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

44 Feverish symptom : AGUE

An ague is a fever, one usually associated with malaria.

51 Class with angles, for short : TRIG

Trigonometry (trig) is a branch of mathematics dealing with triangles, and calculations based on the relationship between a triangle’s angles and the lengths of its sides.

53 Batman or Harry Potter, e.g. : ORPHAN

Wayne Manor is the home of Bruce Wayne, the alter-ego of Batman. It is a huge manor that lies just outside Gotham City. Looking after the house is the Wayne family servant, Alfred. Beneath the grounds of the manor is an extensive cave system where Bruce Wayne put together his Batcave. Access to the cave is via a staircase behind a hidden door. The door is opened by moving the hands of a non-functioning grandfather clock to 10:47, the time at which Wayne’s parents were murdered. It is the murder of his parents that sets Bruce off on his journey of crime fighting.

57 Tributary of the Missouri River : OSAGE

Much of the Osage River in Missouri is now taken up by two large reservoirs created behind two dams that provide power for St. Louis and the surrounding area. The two reservoirs are the Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks.

60 Jafar’s parrot in “Aladdin” : IAGO

In the 1992 Disney feature “Aladdin”, there is a parrot called Iago. Iago is voiced by the comic Gilbert Gottfried.

Jafar is the bad guy in the animated film “Aladdin”. Jafar was important enough to get his name front and center in the sequel called “Aladdin 2”, which is usually referred to as “The Return of Jafar”.

62 Breakfast brand : EGGO

Eggo is a line of frozen waffles and related products made by Kellogg’s. When they were introduced in the 1930s, the name “Eggo” was chosen to promote the “egginess” of the batter. “Eggo” replaced “Froffles”, the original name chosen by melding “frozen” and “waffles”.

66 Cousin ___ (“The Addams Family” character) : ITT

In the television sitcom “The Addams Family”, the family had a frequent visitor called Cousin Itt. Itt is a short man with long hair that runs from his head to the floor. Cousin Itt was played by Italian actor Felix Silla.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They’re altogether ooky,
The Addams Family.

68 Basis for some vaccines : RNA

A vaccine used to be a modified virus administered to an individual to stimulate the immune system into developing immunity, until RNA vaccines were introduced to combat COVID-19. British physician Edward Jenner came up with the first vaccine, injecting people with the cowpox virus in order to prevent smallpox. The term “vaccination” comes from the Latin “vaccinus” meaning “from cows”, with “vacca” translating as “cow”.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Lines at the cinema? : DIALOG
7 Trim, as text : EDIT
11 What a winner takes, it’s said : ALL
14 ___ Prize (satirical scientific award since 1991) : IG NOBEL
16 Seaweed around sushi : NORI
17 Oolong, e.g. : TEA
18 Mix at a mixer, say : MINGLE IN THE CROWD (giving “MING”)
21 Annual video game competition, for short : EVO
22 Event first televised in 1953, with “the” : … OSCARS
23 Finishes : ENDS
24 S.U.V. alternative : SEDAN
26 Hoppy brew : IPA
27 Gobbled up : ATE
29 Texter’s “Can you believe it?!” : OMG!
30 Metaphor for lies, in a Walter Scott poem : TANGLED WEB (giving “TANG”)
35 Pinnacle : ACME
37 Took without asking : STOLE
38 One day ___ time : AT A
39 With 43-Across, historical period found in each set of circled letters : CHINESE … (giving “CHIN”)
43 See 39-Across : … DYNASTY
45 Long, long time : EON
46 Add up to : TOTAL
49 Bearded beasts : GNUS
50 Fit perfectly : SUIT TO A TEE (giving “SUI”)
53 The first “O” of O.O.O. : OUT
54 Fled : RAN
55 Cube root of 1,000 : TEN
56 Intel-gathering mission : RECON
59 Opening with leaks? : WIKI-
62 Feature of a deerstalker : EARLAP
64 Baton Rouge sch. : LSU
65 Surviving, but just barely : HANGING BY A THREAD (giving “HAN”)
69 A braggart has a big one : EGO
70 Opposite of “for here” : TO GO
71 Humble response to “How do you do it?” : I MANAGE
72 “Unbelievable!” : WOW!
73 Site of a fabled gift horse : TROY
74 Snags : SNARES

Down

1 Coins that are 1.35 mm thick : DIMES
2 “Go ahead, tell me the answer” : I GIVE
3 Latin phrase before a year : ANNO DOMINI
4 Yule ___ (Christmas confection) : LOG
5 Like kiwis and plum tomatoes, by shape : OBLONG
6 Astonished exclamations : GEES
7 Competition participant : ENTRANT
8 Homer Simpson’s signature cries : D’OHS
9 Vexation : IRE
10 The first “O” of O-O-O : TIC-
11 Gazillions : A TON
12 NSFW, probably : LEWD
13 Young chaps : LADS
15 Aboveboard : LICIT
19 Many California wines : NAPAS
20 ___ Richards a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic : REED
25 “Couldn’t have said it any better” : AMEN
27 Partner : ALLY
28 “Smells Like ___ Spirit” (Nirvana song) : TEEN
31 Divine Father : GOD
32 Needed further explanation : WASN’T CLEAR
33 Shakespearean words to a traitor : ET TU
34 Howls at the moon : BAYS
35 Terrific, in slang : ACES
36 With 52-Down, 39-Across leader from 1949 to 1976 : CHOU …
40 Singer James : ETTA
41 In the near future : SOON
42 Greek vowel : ETA
44 Feverish symptom : AGUE
47 “Good going!” : ATTA BOY!
48 Suspicious (of) : LEERY
51 Class with angles, for short : TRIG
52 See 36-Down : … ENLAI
53 Batman or Harry Potter, e.g. : ORPHAN
57 Tributary of the Missouri River : OSAGE
58 Unclothed figures : NUDES
59 “I’m glad that’s over!” : WHEW!
60 Jafar’s parrot in “Aladdin” : IAGO
61 Have memorized : KNOW
62 Breakfast brand : EGGO
63 Green dispensers : ATMS
66 Cousin ___ (“The Addams Family” character) : ITT
67 Neither’s partner : NOR
68 Basis for some vaccines : RNA

5 thoughts on “0503-22 NY Times Crossword 3 May 22, Tuesday”

  1. 8:55, no errors. Always nice to review my extensive knowledge of Chinese dynasties … 😜.

  2. 15:08. Julian Lim special. I’m more used to seeing him on Saturday puzzles. This was a good Tuesday – more Wednesday-ish.

    I always blame slow times on jetlag after traveling and taking a few days off from crosswords. But the slow times indeed seem to always happen after traveling so maybe there’s something to it.

    I didn’t realize there was an entire Chinese dynasty based on an orange drink the astronauts took to the moon.

    Best –

  3. 17:00. ‘Out Of Office’ was a new acronym to me. I agree that this felt more like a ‘later in the week’ puzzle; but I’ve always been impressed with the way the NYT calibrates puzzle difficulty through the week.

  4. 16:07, no errors. I also struggled with this one. Got a slow start but the second half fell much more quickly.

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