Saturday, December 19, 2020

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper is by “Lester Ruff,” one of the names Stan Newman uses with easier Stumpers of his making. This puzzle could be the work of P. Soffkayk — it’s that easy. Certainly the easiest Stumper I’ve seen. Look at the start: 1-A, seven letters, “Snow job.” And 1-D, seven letters, “Carrot kin.” See? There some a couple of tough spots in the lower left: 38-D, seven letters, “Calixa Lavallée’s best-known tune” and 63-A, seven letters, “They’re hysterical” had me thinking that I would have to guess. But things fell together after all.

If you noticed the sevens: like the December 5 Stumper, also by Stan Newman, this puzzle is fully symmetrical. Thirty-six of its seventy-two answers have seven letters.

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

7-D, seven letters, “’60s TV superstar.” I was surprised at how obvious the answer was once I had a cross.

14-D, seven letters, “China groups.” Pairs nicely with its downstairs neighbor, 44-D, seven letters, “‘Free gift’ ads.”

19-A, five letters, “Pens that don’t write.” I’ve found the Pilot G-Tec-C3 prone to skipping.

39-D, seven letters, “Foolish folks.” A word that’s seen a revival of late.

46-A, seven letters, “Western associate.” My first thought: COUNTRY. But it’s not that kind of Stumper.

64-A, seven letters, “Lavalava wearers.” Does everyone already know this?

No spoilers: the answers are in the comments.

comments: 3

Michael Leddy said...


GLEASON. (“The Great One,” he was called.)



joecab said...

This was the easiest Sat Stumper I ever sailed through. Whoosh! I'm going to recommend it to solvers who normally avoid Saturday puzzles.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, we got off easy this week. Today’s LA Times puzzle was a greater challenge, I thought.