Saturday, May 14, 2022

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper, by Stella Zawistowski, is about half as difficult as the last two Stumpers. Difficult, yes, but not sitting-at-the-kitchen-table-for-half-an-hour difficult. I began by filling in five letters of 14-D, seven letters, “Disgorge.” And the last letter made 33-A, six letters, “Nethermost” easy to see. 51-A, four letters, “French Toaster Sticks brand” was a gimme (though not a breakfast food I’d choose for myself), and that made 42-D, seven letters, “Largest Arab country by area” and the rest of the southeast corner relatively easy to work out. The toughest part of the puzzle: the northeast corner. 11-D, five letters, “Where to grab your spears”? My first thought was of asparagus.

Some clue-and-answer pairs of note:

1-A, seven letters, “Acting appallingly.” Improves a familiar crossword word.

8-D, six letters, “Fancy footwork.” Not really. Footwork is in the origin, but the word’s meanings in English leave the feet behind.

19-A, five letters, “Take over.” A bit forced.

30-A, three letters, “How Timon of Athens originated.” If I understand this clue, the answer is exceeedingly forced.

36-A, four letters, “Use soap and water.” A word I learned from reading Nabokov.

36-D, eight letters, “Order to proceed.” A nice clash between the dignity of the clue and the abandon of the answer.

37-A, six letters, “Brit billiard player’s outerwear.” I don’t know why I know this word.

37-D, seven letters, “Hard to hobnob with.” Why bother?

45-A, seven letters, “‘Eighter from _____’ (casino dice roll).” Sounds like something from a Frank Sinatra–Dean Martin movie.

53-D, four letters, “Call it.” It wouldn’t hurt to have added a pronoun.

No spoilers; the answers are in the comments.

comments: 6

Michael Leddy said...

SPEWOUT. (I left out EW — SPITOUT is also plausible.) LOWEST. EGGO. ALGERIA. HAFTS.

EMOTING. GAMBIT. RENEW. TAU. (Because the name Timon began with that letter?)

LAVE. (From the game of word golf in Pale Fire. LOVE to HATE in three: LOVE, LAVE, HAVE, HATE.)


joecab said...

SW was the bad corner for me. I never heard of a WESKIT and I had SHIRKER instead of SLACKER for way too long. Nice puzzle!

shallnot said...

In cryptic crosswords it would probably be “Timon of Athens head”

Given the formality of snooker I’d say WAISTCOAT would beat out a somewhat forced WESKIT.

Michael Leddy said...

Joecab, there’s some debate at Crossword Fiend about whether SLACKER fits the clue. As I remember it from my stock-clerk days while in college, to goof off, at least at work, was to be what we would now call a slacker or shirker. I’m not sure that makes someone a goof-off, which to me suggests antics and hijinks.

Steven, I like your clue.

Elaine said...

I had SHIRKER and never got the NE, continuing my long string of INcomplete SatStumpers.
I am enjoying ROSSWords puzzles (free weekly) ...Ross Trudeau (who gave us a NYT puzzle last week) is very creative/inventive.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, the northeast was tough.

I just tried the 5/15 Rossword. Thanks for the tip. A really good puzzle, though I had to reveal some letters to get everything. (“Mo”?!) I was surprised to see the late Jamie Tarses’s name. We once wrote a fan letter to her dad Jay, who created The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.