Saturday, September 26, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

I started Brad Wilber’s Newsday Saturday Stumper with a clue that seemed to me a giveaway: 1-D, seven letters, “Group with a washboard.” A giveaway, at least, to someone with my ears. The puzzle grew much more difficult as it moved to the bottom right corner, where 41-D, seven letters, “Chapter 13 of his 1984 memoir is Courted by Chrysler” gave me fits. I knew the name, but how to spell it? The final square, for me, was in the upper right: the first letter of 10-A, four letters, “Humor category” and 10-D, three letters, “#2 at Subaru.” There’s only one possible answer for 10-A. But I still have no idea what 10-D is about.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

17-A, ten letters, “Don’t move, unfortunately.” Nothing to do with Samuel Beckett plays.

27-A, nine letters, “Laser, circa 1960.” That makes sense.

35-D, four letters, “Turner of old movies.” Nice one.

38-A, nine letters, “Ovoid collectible knockoff.” That’s a thing? It’s a thing.

46-D, six letters, “Marginalize?” Clever.

57-A, ten letters, “Child's blanket.” I took inordinate glee in knowing where this clue was headed.

One clue that misses out on the OCA seal of approval: 23-A, three letters, “Numbers essential to Nebraskans.” So forced. I saw what the clue was asking for, but the answer doesn’t pair plausibly with “numbers.” This answer appeared in last week’s Stumper, by Matthew Sewell, and Wilber and Sewell construct together as “Andrew Bell Lewis,” so perhaps there’s some friendly competition to come up with the zaniest clue for this answer.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments. And I’m still on hold, waiting for the meaning of “#2 at Subaru” to dawn on me.

comments: 3

Michael Leddy said...




SKA. “Music essential to Nebraskans” would be more plausible. A form of music isn’t “numbers.”

shallnot said...

COO = Chief Operating Officer? If so, it's not really specific to Subura.

To the setter: "LASER in 1960."would be more correct as it is an acronym.


Michael Leddy said...

Chief Operating Officer — that’s gotta be it. I wondered for a second if “coo” could be Japanese for “two.” (I know it isn’t.) I guess Subaru is in there for the sake of the rhyme. Thank you, Steven.

I just looked up “laser” — the Oxford English Dictionary has a first citation with “laser” (1960), followed by “Laser” (1960), and “LASER” (1961). Merriam-Webster says the word first appeared in 1957. I’m stopping right at the edge of this rabbit-hole.