Saturday, May 9, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper is by Stella Zawistowski, whose name I’ve seen on just one other Stumper, constructed with Erik Agard. Zawistowski deals out cryptic-crossword clues on Twitter and keeps a crossword website, Tough As Nails — and yes, her puzzles are difficult. I like what she says about crosswords and cultural literacy:

I don’t mind having to know who Ralph KINER (a baseball player of the 1940s and ’50s) is, but you should have to know who LIZZO is, too.
Check, and check. But I remember Ralph Kiner as a Mets announcer on TV. He would do beer commercials — I think I remember this — in the broadcast booth, pouring a glass (Rheingold?) and letting it sit. You couldn’t show drinking in commercials.

But I digress.

Today’s Stumper was deeply satisfying — clever, surprising, but never out of range. I started with a giveway, 5-D, three letters, “Part of a Gretel goodbye” and followed it to a non-giveaway, 17-A ten letters, “It’s pitched low.” Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

1-A, ten letters, “Bails.” You don’t hear this word much outside the dowdy world.

1-D, four letters, “Marches, in lit.” The lit is telling.

11-A, four letters, “Woman wrapped in flannel.” I saw it, or her, immediately. I’m getting used to this stuff.

22-D, eleven letters, “Magnavox introduction of 1972.” News to me.

23-D, eight letters, “Flag.”

35-A, five letters, “She stands on her own two feet.” Noteworthy for the pronouns, I’d say.

39-D, seven letters, “AFI’s #5 male Screen Legend.”

Best of all: 48-A, nine letters, “It’s beside the point.”

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

[I had to check: yes, Kiner poured, and it was Rheingold. Here’s another Mets announcer selling Rheingold.]

comments: 1

Michael Leddy said...


SKEDADDLES. SIBS. (Colloquial, like lit.) ANNE.

GAMECONSOLE. (The Magnavox Odyssey.)