Saturday, March 16, 2019

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper is by one Garrett Estrada. I can’t recall seeing that name before, and searching for garrett estrada crossword turns up nothing. Debut? Pseudonym? Will the real Garrett Estrada please stand up? I hope so, because this constructor has created an exceptionally challenging Saturday Stumper. (Fifty-eight minutes of challenge for me.)

I made an educated guess for 1-Down, five letters, “Bass in Berlioz’s ‘Les Troyens’” (gotta be, right?). Then I saw 4-Down, four letters, “Cousins of mandos,” and thought I was on my way. 32-Across, six letters, “Bayard who organized the March on Washington (1963),” was a giveaway, and 33-Down, four letters, “Titular Morrison nonconformist,” fooled me into thinking that the puzzle was going to fall into place. Uh-uh. Not for some time.

Clues that I greatly admired: 1-Across, six letters, “Fake to the left.” 24-Across, five letters, “Piece of high fashion?” 35-Down, nine letters, “They may scrutinize shelters.”

Grudging admiration goes to 2-Down, nine letters, “Reds coach.” Coach? Well, sort of. But “Reds manager” would be better.

Most fiendish clue of all: 43-Across, four letters, “As in C.”

I hope to see more puzzles from Garrett Estrada, especially on Saturdays. No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 4

Michael Leddy said...

PRIAM. UKES. RUSTIN. SULA. PSEUDO. (“To the left” because it’s a prefix.) GSUIT. IRSAUDITS. SOMMELIER. LALA.

La is the sixth note of the scale: A in the key of C. 43-Across is especially tricky because the Newsday puzzle does not use italics in clues. “As in C,” or even “A’s in C” would be clearer. As asks to be read as as, not as a plural.

From Garner’s Modern English Usage: “The best way to form the plural of a word used as a word is to italicize it and append -s in roman type <trim the number of ofs to tighten prose>. With letters, too, that approach usually works best <roll call was up to the Hs> <mind your ps and qs>. If italic type is unavailable, the apostrophe may be unavoidable <straight A’s> <no if’s, and’s, or but’s>.”

Elaine said...

SE and NW corners did stump me...I finally gave up and googled the manager of the Cincinnati Reds....tsk. Epic Fail.

Michael Leddy said...

Twitter says that Garrett Estrada is a clever pseudonym for Erik Argard and Brad Wilber. Any idea what makes it clever?

Michael Leddy said...

I finally get it: Garrett, as in BRAD Garrett; Estrada, as in ERIK Estrada.