Today’s Tribune crossword puzzle had some interesting challenges, and not only because Saturday’s offering is always the toughest of the week.

   The Tribune puzzles are not quite [41 DOWN] with those in the New York Times, but they often come close. Today’s was especially enjoyable, with just the right degree of cleverness and difficulty.

      53 ACROSS: Series starter. ANS. EpisodeI

      40 DOWN: 1947 signature Cab Calloway musical. ANS. HiDeHo.

   One that would have had me stumped completely unless I hadn’t had all of the words coming down was 38 ACROSS: Rodent yielding the fur nutria.

   Not my particular expertise, I guess. I had to check with Google when I was done to be sure the answer was even a word. It was.

   Here are a few more for which I won’t give answers.

      49 ACROSS: Author said to have influenced Hitchcock. [Three letters.]

      51 ACROSS: Street boss. [Ten letters.]

      57 ACROSS: Holmesian tool. [Eight letters.]

   You probably won’t get this last one unless you have some words coming down. Here’s what I had when it finally came to me:

              HA_D_ _N_

   41 DOWN. At the same level (with). ANS. OnaPar.