Saturday, May 23, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper is by Matthew Sewell. It’s a delightfully challenging puzzle, full and balanced with smoldering peat throughout, as fruit fades into oak spice and back to fruit again for a long and — no, wait, that’s a Scotch. I started solving with 27-D, ten letters, “Three-movement work for three instruments.” Yay that I know something, or some things, thought I knew something about classical music. (See the comments for an explanation.)

Clue-and-answer pairs that I especially liked:

6-D, six letters, “It’s drawn to scale.” A little forced, but I like the riddling quality.

16-A, four letters, “Quick takeaway.” A food? A précis? No.

17-A, ten letters, “Frequent TV Guide advertiser of old.” The dowdy world. That publication was known as “the Guide” in my grandparents’ households.

19-A, three letters, “Bits in some pits.” I like this clue’s economy.

21-A, seven letters, “Made to order.” A little strained, but I forgive that.

36-D, four letters, “‘The highest form of literature,’ per Hitchcock.” Spoiler: he really said it, perhaps in jest.

39-A, five letters, “Heliophilic jazz alias.” I like the timing, as May 22, 1914 was this musician’s Earth Arrival Day. But I think said musician would have disputed alias.

41-D, six letters, “One taking gut courses?” Groan.

54-D, three letters, “Stop posting.” Here too I like the clue’s economy.

One clue whose answer baffles still puzzles me: 14-D, four letters, “Carded one?” I saw it right after typing. But I still don’t quite get the answer. Now I get it, I think.

And now I will stop posting. No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

[Binny’s Beverage Depot describes Ardbeg Wee Beastie Single Malt Scotch thusly: “On the nose smoked meat on baked apples, seaweed, caramel sauce, vanilla cream, iodine, and black peppercorn. Sweetness drifts in on the palate as butterscotch and apple meet with waves of earthy and smoky peat and freshly crushed black pepper. The finish is full and balanced with smoldering peat throughout, as fruit fades into oak spice and back to fruit again for a long and lingering experience. Refreshing and beastly at the same time.”]

comments: 4

Michael Leddy said...



ACED. I had to look up the word to understand: an ACE in golf is a hole in one. Thus a “carded one” is a hole in one, an ace, as recorded on a golfer’s scorecard. But wouldn’t that one still be an ACE, not ACED?

Michael Leddy said...

Now I’ve got it: think of aced as a verb, not an adjective. “I carded one”: in other words, I recorded an ace; I aced.

Elaine Fine said...

A triosonata has two melody instruments, harpsichord, and a cello or a bassoon doubling the bass line of the harpsichord. If you didn't have the bass line doubled, the bass line would be too faint to hear. The bass line is equal in importance to the two melody instruments, and it was the custom from the very beginning of the baroque period to reinforce it with an instrument that is able to sustain.

Michael Leddy said...

Uh-oh — that’s a major blooper in the puzzle. I was so pleased with myself for getting the answer that I didn’t stop to think, Wait, Elaine used to play trio sonatas in an ensemble of four musicians.