Saturday, June 25, 2022, Nova Qi and Matthew Stock

 Saturday Themeless by Nova Qi and Matthew Stock

Today I am happy to welcome two new constructors to my Saturday Puzzle Stand. I told Nova that she had one of the most amazing names I have ever heard and she shared this with us: 

Gary, So far I've only had one other publication (another collab with Matthew for Universal) so I'm really excited to debut in the LAT this weekend.

Happy to share a little more about myself- I'm originally from new jersey and I'm currently working on getting a PhD in neuroscience at Columbia in NYC. I've been slowly working on constructing puzzles for about a year now and have worked on a couple projects with Matthew, as well as a solo puzzle for the Inkubator later this summer.

Feel free to share any of this and reach out if you have any questions! Looking forward to making more puzzles in the future :)

Matthew had this to say: 

As for me, I currently live in St. Louis, though I’m moving to Gainesville, Florida soon with my partner, who is about to start her PhD at the University of Florida this fall. I’ll be teaching 8th grade math there (and continuing to make puzzles!). When I’m not doing either of those things, I enjoy ultimate frisbee, board games, and time outside.

I was pleased to tell Matthew that I started out as an 8th grade math teacher in 1968!

Today's puzzle presented a real challenge for me in the SW corner as I knew WII but had no idea on Switch or IRMA or the clever cluing of IDES. So I'll take two bad cells and try to get through the day!

Here is Scotch, the mascot of Matthew's website, which is where I made contact with Matthew after doing several of his fun puzzles.


1. USWNT star __ Heath: TOBIN - US Women's Soccer Team. (Green Bay QB in 1950___ Rote:)

6. Shock: STUN.

10. CPR crew: EMS.

13. Backbend that counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting: BRIDGE POSE.

15. Alison of "GLOW": BRIE - No cheese here; instead this Glorious Lady Of Wrestling. 

16. Finishing school concern?: SENIORITIS - Seniors in the last month(s) of school

17. "The Best of Everything" author Jaffe: RONA.

18. __ stick: POGO.

19. [Blank stare]: I DON'T GET IT - I was looking at "Switch predecessor" for way too long

21. Comfort: SOLACE.

23. Greta with three Oscar nominations: GERWIG - Behind the camera


24. Digital greeting: E-CARD.

26. Tank top: GAS CAP.

28. Laser cut, perhaps: ETCH - A laser was used to ETCH/cut my SIL's design for the dome at Lincoln, NE's Sunken Gardens

30. Leaves out to dry: HANGS - These staples of my childhood are not allowed in our housing development 

32. "I __ Girl From Africa": Elizabeth Nyamayaro memoir: AM A - Pretty easy to suss this "new to me" author's title 

33. Doctor: EDIT - What Patti and Christina do for the LA Times puzzles

34. "~ndale!": VAMOS - Redundant? 

35. Made faces, perhaps: DREW.

36. NYC airport code: LGA - One of two that come to my mind

37. Has an in-tents experience?: CAMPS - Dad joke?

38. Some Twitter trolls: BOTS How to spot BOTS and trolls 

39. World __ Health Day: MENTAL - October 10 this year

41. Former MLB commissioner honored with a statue in Milwaukee: SELIG - Turnabout is fair play for us sport's fans. I knew this one instantly but 
Elizabeth Nyamayaro, not so much

43. Gag reflexes?: LAUGHS - Gag as a joke not a tongue depressor in your mouth.

45. Hare kin: RABBIT.

48. Barely triumphed: WON BY A HAIR - I don't know the tortoise's margin of victory over the hare

50. Tres y cinco: OCHO - 3 + 5 = 8 in Español 

52. Thomas known as the "Soul Queen of New Orleans": IRMA - I had no idea

53. Comfy attire: LOUNGE WEAR.

55. Mid day?: IDES - March 15, 44 BC was the IDES or the mid day of the month and it didn't work out so well for Julius Caesar. DEES seemed right at first. 

56. Staff addition: LEDGER LINE.

57. Oft-redacted no.: SSN.

58. Consignment caveat: AS IS.

59. "Ginger Pye" Newbery Medal winner Eleanor: ESTES.


1. Kitchen abbr.: TBSP.

2. Snacks filled with "stuf": OREOS - No, I did not realize the last "f" was omitted. Didn't we just have another commercial product where the last letter is omitted? 

3. Game in which players form lines: BINGO - It can also be played as a two-line game

4. Particular way with words: IDIOLECT - "A variety of language that is unique to a person, as manifested by the patterns of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation that he or she uses" Example: My sister-in-law would say of Friday's puzzle, "We done it yesterday!"
Dialect applies to an entire group.

5. Private aid gp.: NGO - Non-Government Operation More...

6. Alter ego of Marvel's Peter Porker: SPIDER-HAM - It was fun to suss out this play on Peter Parker and Spider-Man

7. Dog who bit Miss Gulch: TOTO - I recently posted that TOTO's actual name was Terry (he was a Cairn Terrier)

8. Working with: USING.

9. Dollar stores?: NEST EGGS - It's where you're supposed to store your dollars

10. Off-color prints?: EROTIC ART - Google at will

11. Quick contests between turns in Mario Party: MINI GAMES - Okay

12. Ticket info: SEAT - It appears Mr. Reed had SEATS number 30 and 31 in the orchestra for that fateful night.
14. CNN journalist Hill: ERICA Her bio

15. Cooks up: BREWS - I need to learn how to BREW iced coffee for this summer

20. French fat: GRAS.

22. Rhineland rats?: ACH - Along the Rhine, Charlie Brown would say ACH

25. Deadens, in acoustics: DAMPS.

27. Bear hand: PAW.

28. Forum posters who stir things up: EDGELORDS - "An EDGELORD is someone on an internet forum who deliberately talks about controversial, offensive, taboo, or nihilistic subjects in order to shock other users in an effort to appear cool, or edgy." You're welcome.

29. Beijing monument whose name translates to "gate of heavenly peace": TIANANMEN - This monument is the gate that leads to TIANANMEN Square where a very famous confrontation took place.


31. Accessories for many Hindu brides: NOSE RINGS.

33. One with longtime standing on Capitol Hill: ELM - The D.C. Liberty ELM was planted decades ago

34. Installment of "Assassin's Creed" featuring Vikings: VALHALLA - I'm not a gamer but the Viking reference was a tipoff 

35. Dishes that may be adorned with bones: DOG BOWLS.

37. Hard to pin down: CAGY.

38. Catcher behind a plate?: BIB - or bowl

40. Big brass: TUBAS.

42. Soda size: LARGE.

44. Zappos buy: SHOES - They will let you buy one SHOE at a time

46. Seal the deal: ICE IT - If the kicker makes this field goal he will ICE IT for Cincinnati. BTW, he made it.

47. Macbeth title: THANE.

48. Switch predecessors: WIIS - The WII system preceded the Switch system

49. European import: AUDI.

51. Some deposits: ORES.

54. Afore: ERE.