Saturday, February 1, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper is by the puzzle’s editor, Stan Newman, constructing as Lester Ruff. Les Ruff? I found today’s puzzle Justus Ruff as many another Saturday Stumper. I started with two giveaways: 1-D, six letters, “Luthier’s product” and 32-A, fifteen letters, “Fleeting classroom opportunity.” That second giveaway provided paths into all five of the puzzle’s territories.

Clue-and-answer pairs I especially admired:

13-D, eight letters, “Unravels.” You’d think yarn, no?

19-A, six letters, “Fifth     .” There are many suspects.

25-A, four letters, “Senior moment.” A nice bit of misdirection.

33-D, eight letters, “Convenient place for wall art.” ENTRYWAY? No.

35-D, eight letters, “Video sequel of the ’80s.” How many quarters in the pizzeria on Commonwealth Avenue?

36-A, three letters, “Toon with an uncle Lubry Kent.” I should have seen this answer immediately.

51-A, five letters, “City northwest of Toledo.” Uh, AKRON? My trace of acquired midwesterness showed in my first guess.

58-A, eight letters, “Big Apple’s Mr. Mayor.” As long as the answer applies to, say, Alfred E. Smith and not Rudolph Giuliani.

Two clues I’d quarrel with:

1-A, eight letters, “Only Big Four Sports boss ever named Angelo.” Okay, true, but he wasn’t known as Angelo — or Angie or Ange, for that matter. How do you spell “Ange” anyway? I think of this clue as a dubious way to complicate its answer.

50-D, four letters, “Her films have grossed 7+ billion worldwide.” Here’s what I’d call unhelpful-factoid-as-clue. Unlike 1-A, it’s straightforward. But it’s a bit of trivia that is unlikely, I think, to spark recognition for many solvers. Seven billion, and not six or eight? Who knows? Who cares?

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 3

Michael Leddy said...

GUITAR. TEACHABLE MOMENT. (I’ve hated that term for a long time, ever since I heard it applied to the events of September 11, 2001. But here’s a funny one. PROM. EYELEVEL. MSPACMAN. OYL. AVILA. (Oh, the other Toledo.) HIZZONER. GIAMATTI. (He was A. Bartlett Giamatti, or Bart.) DIAZ.

Michael Leddy said...

Oops — I forgot DOPESOUT.

Michael Leddy said...

Oops — the answer for 19-A: BEATLE. There are several candidates.