Saturday, June 15, 2019

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper, by Brad Wilber, was brutally difficult. I started with 18-A, four letters, “Part of every Julian month.” That gave me 2-Down, six letters, “Talk Like a Pirate Day shout,” and I thought I was off to a good start.

But no. Too many odd facts for my taste: 16-A, six letters, “Southernmost OPEC member.” 24-D, five letters, “Mogul Empire capital after Lahore.” 25-A, four letters, “Home of” 36-D, eight letters, “Stepford creator.” 37-D, eight letters, “Coffee-flavored sponge cake.” 56-A, four letters, “‘Caffeine free’ Pez flavor.” Even when such answers are guessable, as some of those were for me, getting them isn’t particularly satisfying. I dislike clues that look like the obvious result of starting with the answer and finding a fact to go with it. “Southernmost OPEC member”? Like that’ll ring bells? For me, solving this puzzle (one hour and two minutes) sparked little joy.

But two clues I especially liked: 40-D, six letters, “Lack of pitching ability.” And 63-A, seven letters, “Half a court pairing.”

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

Related reading
All OCA crossword posts (Pinboard)

comments: 3

Michael Leddy said...


joecab said...

And here I thought it was pretty easy, with the upper left last to fall (after I changed YOHOHO to LANDHO). I guess that makes up for all the times i found ouyzzles super hard and you ripped through them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Michael Leddy said...

Good on you! The differing responses to puzzles remind me of how difficult it must be for editors to hit the mark in gauging difficulty.