Saturday, September 3, 2022

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper is by “Anna Stiga,” Stan Again, Stan Newman, the puzzle’s editor. The pseudonym is meant to signal an easier Stumper, but I found this one difficult. I missed by two squares, stumbling on 3-D, four letters, “Record-breaking 30th tropical storm of 2005”; 15-A, ten letters, “Florida’s ‘Inland Sea’”; and 19-A, five letters, “Dumbledore’s double agent.” Three proper names, all unknown to me. (I read exactly two pages of the first Harry Potter book before giving up on the prose.) If I had thought about 3-D for a few seconds, I would have figured out the answer, and that would have given me the other two. But no. I was adrift in an inland sea, beset by a double agent and a storm.

Some clue-and-answer pairs of note:

1-A, ten letters, “Flamboyant stuff.” A wonderful way to begin the puzzle.

4-D and 37-D, five letters each, “One of the brothers in a garbage can on a Time cover (1932).” The possibilities are many but not infinite.

30-A, four letters, “Bitter ender.” Nice.

33-D, four letters, “Spot checkers.” Also nice.

45-A, six letters, “Nine-decade actor, ‘the best there has ever been’ per Olivier.” I was going with LIONEL until I realized that I needed, as per the clue, a last name. The answer took me by surprise.

54-D, five letters, “Many a seal.” Clever.

67-A, ten letters, “Poetic inspiration for Lolita.” I haven’t seen this association in a crossword clue before.

I have a quarrel with 27-D, ten letters, “Biannual celebrant with Taylor Swift as its ambassador for 2022.” That’s not what it’s called. I misread the clue. But there’s still a problem with the clue, which is why I misread it. There’s an explanation in the comments.

My favorite clue in this puzzle is 69-A, ten letters, “What mixers get a lot of.”

No spoilers; the answers are in the comments.

comments: 2

Michael Leddy said...



Michael Leddy said...

I did misread the clue, which asks about the celebrant, not the event. But there’s still a problem with the clue: “Biannual celebrant with Taylor Swift as its ambassador for 2022.” The problem is its: Taylor Swift isn’t an ambassador for a record shop. She’s an ambassador for the event.