Saturday, May 30, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper, by Greg Johnson, is eerily easy, nothing like a typical Stumper. I started with 1-A, eight letters, “Flaky food-truck fare” and 1-D, four letters, “Hand ball.” And then off to the races. It may be that this week is just not the week for a difficult puzzle.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

5-D, five letters, “Alternative to roasting bands.” I’ve never heard of roasting bands, but I could guess the dowdy answer.

6-D, three letters, “Word from a pro.” Concisely witty.

19-A, five letters, “Green breeze.” If you must have clues about this stuff, this clue is a clever one.

29-A, nine letters, “Out of alternatives.” Though I can’t remember where the apostrophe falls.

35-A, six letters, “Underworld boss.” He’s a legitimate businessman!

41-A, nine letters, “South American extremity.” The answer makes me think of James Joyce’s “Eveline.”

42-D, six letters, “Stone related to ‘pomegranate.’” I would like to say that the clue taught me something, though what it really taught me was that I could guess the name of a stone related to ‘pomegranate.’

One clue whose answer I don’t finally understand: 54-D, three letters, “Key carried by salesclerks.” A little help? I looked again and got it.

As for 1-A, I would like to recommend this establishment. Not a truck, but such great flaky fare. I would teleport myself there right now, but the time difference makes it much too early for lunch.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 3

Michael Leddy said...

FISHTACO. (To me they mean Los Angeles, which means Guisado’s.)


ATWITSEND. Google’s Ngram Viewer shows at wits’ end long in the lead. Now at wit’s end and at wits’ end are pretty much tied.

OSIRIS. (As in Osiris & Son Sanitation, a legitimate business.)

PATAGONIA. (“He had sailed through the Straits of Magellan and he told her stories of the terrible Patagonians.”)


ESC. (What?)

shallnot said...

re: ESC

While I don’t quite get the clue reference perhaps the following might lead to the correct linking:

ESC on your keyboard is the ESCape key

In many old MS-DOS, pre-Windows era, games the ESC key was also called the “boss key”. Pressing it would bring up a spreadsheet, or some other work-related, screen; in case you were playing the game at work and the boss happened to get too close.


Michael Leddy said...

I just edited my post before seeing your comment, Steven. That’s an ingenious explanation. But I think I found one that fits better: the word salesclerks carries the Escape key: salESCerks. Back to one cryptic-style clue per Stumper.

By the way, there’s a Boss Key program, still, for Windows machines. “Operating system: Windows 10/Windows 8.1/Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Vista/Windows XP/Windows NT/Windows ME/Windows 2000/Windows 2003/Windows 98.”