Saturday, November 21, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper is by Brad Wilber, and it’s an especially good puzzle, with many clues that look impossible until a cross suggests an answer. For instance, 15-A, eight letters, “Go too far with your scheme.” Or 42-D, seven letters, “Frenzied but entertaining.” And I’m lost.

I started solving with 58-A, four letters, “Overly inventive one,” which gave me 53-D, five letters, “Make merry.” And that gave me 61-A, eight letters, “MGM Roman blockbuster.” As I filled in the bottom right corner, things got much easier. But aside from 58-A, I needed a cross for nearly every answer in this puzzle, which made the solving feel weirdly methodical. That’s me. In the words of 65-A, six letters, “See what you think.”

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked (with a slight hint or two but no genuine spoilers):

7-D, seven letters, “‘Why, oh why, can’t I?’ lyricist.” It’s a nice touch to use the perhaps less familiar closing line (and not “Why then, oh why can’t I?”). I was thinking Harold Arlen and — who? And I remembered, thought it took a cross. But here’s a name that should not need a cross to be remembered.

9-D, four letters, “Katy Perry visited their Stockholm museum.” Their ? Hmm.

17-A, eight letters, “Either half of a bonded pair.” I was thinking about atoms and stuff.

22-A, three letters, “Parisian’s ‘Rats!’” I would think first of a five-letter word. I wonder what Charlie Brown says in translation.

24-D, five letters, “High-calorie, as some crusts.” Extra credit for a hilarious adjective that looks like a misspelling.

32-A, four letters, “’60s What’s My Line? regular, pre-TV stardom.” But wait: how would someone get to be a regular on a game show before becoming a TV star? Ah, it’s a little tricky. And surprising to me.

66-A, eight letters, “Oral exams of a sort.” Well, yes.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 1

Michael Leddy said...



HARBURG. (E. Y. “Yip” Harburg.) ABBA.


ALDA. (He was known from theater, movies, and television, but TV stardom didn’t come until M*A*S*H.