Saturday, November 28, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper, by Matthew Sewell, is exceedingly difficult. It's also hard, rough, tough, knotty, thorny, Herculean, and uncompromising. I’d say that this puzzle is synonymous with “difficult.” I missed by one letter, unable to rethink an answer that I knew could not be right. Oh well.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

1-A, ten letters, “Growth profession.” I defy any solver to get this answer first thing.

4-D, eight letters, “Dollar stores.” Clever.

10-D, eleven, letters, “Augustus collected them.” Nobody expects the Roman Empire!

13-D, six letters, “Bird that eats oranges (!).” This feels like a giveaway, but I’m not sure it is.

15-A, ten letters, “Brief romances, e.g.” Here’s the clue that messed me up. I never suspected that the first letter of my attempted answer could be wrong.

18-A, four letters, “Go along with, in a way.” Adding a noirish atmosphere to the puzzle.

21-D, five letters, “Candlelit performance.” Possibly. But I like the suggestion of coziness.

37-D, eight letters, “Stevenson’s ‘gift which cannot be worn out in using.’” RLS is in the air in our house, as Elaine is one of the many composers who have set his poems to music.

51-A, six letters, “Curated cuts.” I thought there must be a pun on deli meats here, but no.

58-A, ten letters, “Casual canvas shoe.” Seems very 1960s to me. I know that’s not accurate.

64-A, ten letters, “Rumble in the Jungle pairing.” At least one giveaway in this puzzle. Thanks for that.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 3

Michael Leddy said...



NOVELETTES. I thought the answer had to begin with an L.
LOVELATTES? LOVELETTES? Some slang from the Kids Today? No.



joecab said...

This was the toughest one I can remember even if the bottom came together relatively quickly.

What made it worse was that so many of the answers I put in had multiple letters in common with the correct answer, but were wrong:

Brittle ingredient: OATS (I had nuts)
Serves some fudge for: LIES TO (ladles)
Option for a caddy: TEA BOX (tea bag)
Not a blowout: CLOSE (tease, as in hair)
Many '40s premieres: WAR FILMS (rather than RKO or MGM)


Michael Leddy said...

I too was thinking of a ladle and and haircut, and I too had tea bag. (It should really be “Option for a ‘caddy’” — the word used as a word.) I thought of nuts too, but I knew it couldn’t be the answer (too plain). But I had no idea what oats would be doing in brittle, as the only brittle I’ve ever heard of has peanuts.

This was a fiendishly tough puzzle. I’ve forgiven myself for missing NOVELETTES. Elaine saw it right away when I showed her _OVELETTES.