Saturday, October 12, 2019

Today’s Saturday Stumper

When I saw the credit for today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper, I thought I’m in for it. Or uh-oh. Or other short words to that effect. Because today’s puzzle is by “Garrett Estrada,” Brad Wilber and Erik Agard. But I did solve it.

I began with a hilariously elaborate clue for an obvious answer: 19-A, three letters, “‘I pity the fool who don’t eat my cereal’ guy (c. 1985).” And then my pace slowed. Two clues that opened up the puzzle’s left: 23-D, four letters, “Siberian railway hub,” and 34-D, five letters, “Gershwin’s Blue Monday.” If I ever find myself in Siberia, I will ask how to get to 23-D, not only because it’s a railway hub but because it’s the only Siberian place name I know. To the right, far from Siberia, 18-A, six letters, “Sea monster of Norse sagas,” and 66-A, eight letters, “Brat’s cousin,” gave me places to start.

So many clever and tricky clues in this puzzle: 9-A, six letters, “Dinner-and-a-show platform.” 29-A, eight letters, “Synagogue props.” 33-D, five letters, “Motion capturer with cameras.” 55-A, eight letters, “Red (or brown or black) snapper.” And especially 45-A, six letters, “Mini bar fixture.” Notice that there’s no hyphen.

Do co-constructors split the payment? I think Messrs. Peterson and Agard should be paid double for this puzzle.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 3

Michael Leddy said...


A spinet would be a small (“mini”) fixture in a piano bar. In a recent puzzle, Erik Agard had this clue: “Dueling venues.” Answer: PIANOBARS. He must love or hate piano bars, or something.

joecab said...

That SPINET one took me a while to get. I always associated that word with a very old style of piano. And the "Synagogue props" was fantastic: at first I went through MENORAHS and MEZUZAHS, and I was shocked that someone would call them mere props :/

Michael Leddy said...

Same here: thought I must have been misspelling MEZUZAHS until I saw MAZELTOV. Especially tricky because of that first Z.

The thought of a genuine piano bar with a spinet seems immensely sad to me. People with their drinks sitting and standing around a spinet?