Saturday, July 25, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper, by Greg Johnson, is a solid Stumper. Personally, I found it challenging — I needed half an hour to finish. I remember a student who prefaced every comment in class with “Personally,” which I’ve capitalized here because it began sentences. Not the sentence I just wrote but sentences spoken in class.

And personally, I found the southwest corner particularly difficult.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

1-A, five letters, “Play with puddles” and 1-D, six letters, “Gaudy entrance.” This pairing made for a delightful start.

4-D, six letters, “Prepares to take tea.” I am always prepared to take tea.

6-A, nine letters, “Posts behind another user's back.” I can’t recall seeing the answer in a crossword before.

11-D, four letters, “Homeric work.” I was surprised to see this answer and not the more familiar one.

23-A, eleven letters, “With 46 Across, modern ‘Pay attention!’” and 46-A, eleven letters, “See 23 Across.” I imagine that the constructor was delighted to think of this sentence and find that it splits into two eleven-letter halves.

34-D, eight letters, “Requirement for clear reception.” The first four letters are easy; the last four might lead a solver astray.

37-A, six letters, “Bento box lacquerware.” I learned something.

38-A, four letters, “They make waiters angry.” Indeed.

41-A, four letters, “Door stop, essentially.” Personally, I think it’s a good idea to have a nice supply of these stashed in a kitchen drawer. You never know when you might need one.

53-A, nine letters, “Troubadour, for instance.” I was thinking SONGWRIT — ER, no, that doesn’t work.

55-D, three letters, “Impressive back yards.” Corny, but in a good way.

One clue-and-answer pair that feels forced: 43-D, six letters, “Use a space vehicle.” A vehicle? Really?

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 5

Michael Leddy said...





Slywy said...

Doesn't "I found" imply "personally"?

Michael Leddy said...

That’s why I kept repeating it. (Joking.)

I think my student might have been too much influenced by the They Say, I Say approach to teaching writing, where statements take various rhetorical tags. “I am of the opinion that,” and so on.

joecab said...

Personally ... I didn’t care for the 6D clue for SSE. If you’re going to use hidden for answers, you can’t have extraneous words. “Prepared” had no real purpose there.

30D. How is an ATM an “ejection seat”? Seat?

Michael Leddy said...

Those are pretty bad. I think I must have gotten them on crosses, without noticing the clues. Is it possible to think of spelling a word as preparing? No. And “seat” is really strained. I can’t make a single Merriam-Webster fit an ATM plausibly.