Saturday, December 12, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

When I saw Stella Zawistowski’s name on today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper, I thought I was in for it. Zawistowski makes tough puzzles. (Her website: Tough As Nails.) I tried 2-D, seven letters, “Common umbrella holders.” Could be. And it went with 1-A, four letters, “Where many Bedouins live,” and 20-A, three letters, “Kid from/in Brooklyn.” This puzzle turned out to be surprisingly doable.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

8-D, ten letters, “Pineapples’ family.” To my ear, the answer sounds like science-fiction. I don’t know where I know the word from. Not from crosswords though.

12-D, six letters, “Word from the Greek for ‘egg.’” Huh. Or, rather, huh? (See the comments.)

21-D, six letters, “Course with a twist.” I never mind this kind of clue.

26-A, eight letters, “Bard’s players.” I’m not sure I’ve seen the answer in a puzzle before.

28-A, four letters, “Beyond buzzed.” Buzzed has entered my head via PSAs: “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.” Yes, I was thinking overindulgence.

45-A, six letters, “Small part.” Clever.

45-D, five letters, “Brats, for instance.” I had a hunch (correct) about the answer.

50-A, six letters, “Swing-stopping device.” Scotch Tape won’t do.

One clue whose answer I do not understand, 11-A, three letters, “‘2010’ monogram.”

And my favorite clue in this puzzle: 30-A, eleven letters, “‘Walking’ jazz style.” Yes!

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 8

Michael Leddy said...




ACC. I’d recognize ACA, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, but I’m lost here.

STRIDEPIANO. Here’s a sample.

joecab said...

ACC = Arthur C. Clarke

Michael Leddy said...

I never would have seen that. Thanks. “2001” I might have figured out. :)

shallnot said...

“Probably from the Greek for ‘egg’”

“Bard’s characters”

“‘2061’ [or 2001] monogram”

Sheesh.... Setters already have an unfair advantage but the accuracy of their clues has to give us a fighting chance.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, you’re right about PERSONAE. And “2061” (the future) or maybe even 2001 (italics, befitting a novel’s title) would be better.

I fought the urge to look up caviar and lost. The OED points to Turkish and Italian words, khāvyār and caviale and says the word is of “uncertain origin.” But the entry has nothing about Greek.

I’m still at the stage where I’m pretty much happy just to have solved, unless, say, someone is calling Mel Tormé a "cool jazz pioneer.“ :)

Michael Leddy said...

I’m gonna check Crossword Fiend.

joecab said...

ACC was an immediate aha and my first entry. I thought it was great.

But then there are puzzles that Michaell sails through that I practically give up after ah hour so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, mileage varies. There are puzzles I find esp. difficult that seem to pose no problems for other solvers.

I’m doing my best not to engage in further commenting on caviar at Crossword Fiend. The Persian is missing from the OED, whose entry hasn’t been fully updated. American Heritage has the Persian, but Merriam-Webster has only Turkish and Italian sources. No Greek connection in any of these dictionaries. I wonder if the constructor or editor found the assertion of a possible Greek origin at the Petrossian website.