Saturday, December 5, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Anna Stiga, Anna Stiga, Stan has named you. Her name (“Stan again”) is the pseudonym for easier Newsday Saturday Stumpers by the puzzle’s editor, Stan Newman.

Today’s Stumper, by Ms. Stiga, is pretty easy as Stumpers go. A distinctive feature: it’s totally symmetrical. That’s the technical term, isn’t it? As in, “Man, this puzzle is, like, totally symmetrical.” The puzzle takes shape as four hearts. Top and bottom, easy. The sides were tougher. I found the real difficulties on the right.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

1-D, three letters, “Whom Emerson called ’the jingle-man.’” It’s possible to appreciate one writer sneering at another without participating in the sneer.

11-D, thirteen letters, “Youngsters’ support group.” Probably not meant as a tricky clue, but having the first two and last three letters of the answer made it tricky for me.

13-D, eleven letters, “Agent’s quest.” What kind of agent?

16-A, three letters, “Iliad mischief maker.” It’s always someone else’s fault. Right, Agamemnon?

25-D, five letters, “Board.” A nice reminder of what the word can mean.

30-A, five letters, “Sandwiches since the 1600s.” PBJS — no, doesn’t work.

40-A, four letters, “Collector’s item.” The joy of a mild pun.

51-A, eleven letters, “They’re not serious.” Google shows the singular form peaking in American English in 1932. Clearly, we need to get more serious about criticizing others engaged in their harmless endeavors.

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 1

Michael Leddy said...

POE. TEACHERSAIDES. TE- and -DES had me trying to figure out an answer about teenagers and guides.

STATESECRET. ATE. That’s Atê, whom Agamemon blames for his folly.

MEALS. (As in "room and board.“) EARLS. RENT. DILETTANTES.