Saturday, September 19, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday Saturday Stumper, by Matthew Sewell, is a tough puzzle that took me forty-one minutes to solve. (Your minutes may vary.) I started briskly with 1-A, three letters, “Color close to silver”; 1-D, four letters, “Tender feeling”; 9-A, four letters, “Latter-day cheaters”; and 12-D, four letters, “Marvel debut of ’63.” And then my pace slowed considerably.

Matthew Sewell knows how to put the um in Stumper. 28-D, five letters, “Fortes”? 32-A, three letters, “Bar display”? Um . . . no idea. At least not right away.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

3-D, seven letters, “Thrown-together attention-getter.” I just discovered that the answer is in Merriam-Webster.

14-D, eleven letters, “They take the edge off.” I was thinking of files and sandpaper.

25-D, ten letters, “Medieval military governments.” Just a surprising word to see.

35-D, eight letters, “Two shovels for ‘work available,’ for example.” I should have known this one immediately.

43-A, five letters, “Rome’s ___-Shelley Memorial House.” Every crossword reference to ___ or Shelley reminds me of my friend Rob Zseleczky.

43-D, six letters, “Submits for approval, perhaps.” Clever.

57-A, four letters, “Snow the heat, maybe.” Also clever.

61-A, three letters, “Common rack range.” The clue redeems the answer.

My favorite from this puzzle; 8-D, eight letters, “Kingston trios, often.” I wrote in an answer, no crosses, no nothing. It had to be, thought I. And it was. Is the answer plausible, really? Trios? I’m not sure. But for a moment I felt that Matthew Sewell and I were having a mind meld.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 1

Michael Leddy said...



KEATS. KNEELS. ABET. SML. (Small, medium, large.)