Saturday, November 5, 2022

Today’s Saturday Stumper

Holy moly. Today’s Newsday  Saturday Stumper, is by “Anna Stiga,” Stan Again, Stan Newman, the puzzle’s editor, appearing under the pseudonym that signals an easier Stumper. But I found today’s puzzle a real challenge, half an hour’s worth of challenge. I repeat: holy moly.

I shopped around in search of a toehold (yes, that’s a deliberate mixed metaphor) and started with 52-A, five letters, “Capital city closest to the equator” and 53-D, four letters, “Swimmer in every ocean.” And from there, my solving was hit or miss, words here and there. I was feeling truly 1-A, six letters, “Not very quick.”

Some clue-and-answer pairs of note:

2-D, nine letters, “They're fit for kings and queens.” Clever.

7-A, eight letters, “Be persnickety.” See 7-D.

7-D, five letters, “Potable associate of Rice-A-Roni.” When I saw the first letter, I knew what it had to be. The answer feels like a stretch to me, but I do acknowledge that “associate” is the right word. We’re not speaking of a beverage that pairs well with the San Francisco treat.

17-A, six letters, “Was in circulation.” Now there’s a Stumper-y answer.

20-A, five letters, “Target area.” Nice.

27-D, seven letters, “Red White & Blueberry limited edition (summer 2022).” Something to do with Oreos, right? THEOREO? No. And 25-D, seven letters, “Partner for a 27 Down” has nothing to do with milk.

29-D, five letters, “Fall over in elation.” I laughed.

34-D, nine letters, “Monitor monitors.” They seem to get well-deserved respect in the Newsday puzzle.

39-D, eight letters, “Refuses to even think about.” I had the first letter wrong for some time. Is it supposed to mislead?

40-A, fourteen letters, “Handler of fried eggs.” My first thought of course was SHORTORDERCOOK.

47-D, five letters, “What program notes provide.” Uh, the names of the members of the orchestra?

61-A, six letters, “Early entrant into the game console business.” A name I haven’t thought of in decades.

My favorite clue in this puzzle: 31-A, fourteen letters, “Mystic contemplation of one’s navel.” Why? Because I knew the answer right off. But I didn’t take time to read the clues for the two fourteen-letter answers as I worked my way down to 52-A and 53-D.

No spoilers; the answers are in the comments.

comments: 5

Michael Leddy said...


PEPSI. (Owned by Quaker Oats Company, a subsidiary of PepsiCo.)




shallnot said...

“Potable associate”. Is not potable here a adjective? If so: safe to drink associate. If so: are either potable or associate the right words to describe Pepsi the company let alone Pepsi the drink. It would seem that even Reed Richards from “The Fantastic Four” would have trouble matching that stretch...

Michael Leddy said...

“Potable” is a noun too, as in the Jeopardy category Potent Potables. So the soda is an associate, part of the same company or group. But still — should you need to know that Rice-A-Roni is owned by one company that’s owned by another company to get the answer? Does anyone see Rice-A-Roni and think Pepsi?

joecab said...

It's unusual to see 14s in a crossword since some find using that 'cheater square" (a black square that if replaced with a letter would not change the grid's total entry count) to be inelegant. I thought both 14s were great.

Same as you I started with QUITO and had SHORTORDERCOOK in there until I didn't. The BEDFRAMES entry (which I knew was bed-related off the bat) was MATTRESES (yes *sob* missing an S), BEDSHEETS and BEDLINENS before the final answer dropped.

Michael Leddy said...

I didn’t know that about grids. But then I don’t know much about how constructors design grids.

I thought of BEDCLOTHES (doesn’t fit) but needed crosses to see FRAMES.