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We're Caitlin and Lucia, two gals who love music, feminism, and One Direction. Here on Talk Direction we discuss everything and anything 1D! This means that as Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik continue their paths as solo artists, we will be right there with them. We’ll be analyzing song lyrics for their deeper meanings, gushing about Harry's fashion evolution, and making predictions about future solo albums from the boys!
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This is Robert S. Gard's second NYTimes crossword. We reviewed his first in season 8, episode 38, and like that Saturday puzzle, this one was equally august, albeit much easier, as befits a Tuesday . We have all the deets inside, as well as Mike's valiant attempt to not make a fool of himself during the Triplet Tuesday contest, so have a listen, an…
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This is Adam Wagner's 19th NYTimes crossword, but it is a debut, in a sense - his first Monday puzzle. It was a little crunchier than usual, but the theme made it all worthwhile. Deets inside, so have a listen, and as usual, tell others about us on social media. Shownote imagery: A thaw of ICEBOATS (and if "thaw" isn't the appropriate unit, it ough…
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Sid Sivakumar dials it back as he slips into his Sunday best, and this was indeed one of his best Sundays, his fourth for the NYTimes. There were some fine clues in the grid, including 75A, Home to the Great Ziggurat of Ur, IRAQ (we just like the sound of "Great Ziggurat of Ur" 😀); 116A, What hits the ground running, SOLE (ha!); and 55D, So ... or …
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Spencer Leach and Jem Burch have produced a splendiferous Saturday crossword that entertained, educated, and ... whatever the opposite of enervated is, ah, yes, energized. The highlight of the grid was undoubtedly 60A, Finished, colloquially, DONEZO, although 61A, Drinks are on me!, BARMENU, definitely gave it a run for its money. There was much mo…
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Colin Adams has turned in a fine (debut!) Friday crossword: no theme (as befits a Friday puzzle), but plenty of sharp cluing (as one would also expect). We cover a boatload of them in today's podcast, but even the "also-rans" were quite good. Consider 30A, European airline that was nationalized from 1944 to 2001, IBERIA; 62A, [Violin emoji], OHBOOH…
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Years from now, cruciverbalists will be able to say, I remember where I stood (or, more likely, sat) when I finally solved this crossword, it's that good. To find out why, we beseech thee, with all due haste, to downloadeth, listen upeth, and enjoyeth this fine work from Teddy and Rich Katz. Show note imagery: Karl the FOG Contact Info: We love lis…
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Today is Valentine's Day, and the NYTimes Crossword team was ready, thanks to a fabulous opus by Ella Dershowitz. It was a crunchier than usual Wednesday crossword, but all for a good cause - a lovely Valentine's Day theme that we explore, in detail, in today's podcast. Show note imagery: RAPANUI, aka Easter Island Contact Info: We love listener ma…
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A lovely pre-Valentine's Day crossword, clearly a labor of love by Peter Gordon, his ninth in the NYTimes. There was a sizable ... what's the term for a collection of inspired crossword clues? Apparently there is no such word, so we therefore cheerfully seize the nettle and welcome the word clueclub™️ to the English language. Now where were we? Oh,…
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A gentle Monday crossword to get our work week going, with a theme that involved nonverbal answers. For those of you unaware, a nonverbal answer, written in [ ], is meant to evoke a sound or an action, a nonverbal answer. There were plenty of opportunities to practice that today, as you will discover when you (we hope!!) check out today's episode! …
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Depending on your upbringing and life experiences, you have found this crossword to be a breeze (Jean), or a quagmire of naticks (Mike). Both agree that it was a fine crossword, for reasons that are spelled out in today's Super Sunday podcast. Check it out! Show note imagery: Thomas Edison, on the cover of Time magazine, 1925 Contact Info: We love …
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An elegant Saturday crossword by Zhouquin Burnikel, her 79th! It was a perfectly timed reminder that today is the Chinese New Year, the YEAROFTHEDRAGON, so GONGXIFACAI, everyone! The crossword was relatively straightforward for a Saturday, although there were some great gotchas throughout the grid. For example, have a gander at 7A, "Ah, got it now"…
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A fine Friday crossword by Christina Iverson, who is, at least based on her NYTimes record, unable to write any other kind. Jean tore through this like nobody's business, Mike almost met his Waterloo in the southwest corner, but somehow managed to scrape by, ending in ALLSMILES rather than SOBS. All the deets are inside, as well as a Generally Exce…
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Samuel A. Donaldson, having completed his 39th NYTimes crossword, demonstrates that practice makes perfect. Let's run through the list, shall we? Sly, wry, and occasionally totally deceptive theme? ✅ Entertaining and educational clues? ✅ Pedestrian, phone-it-in clues ❌ So Sam checks all the right boxes, and you should definitely check out a) his cr…
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Today's crossword was (mainly) a blast from the past, featuring a series of diverse musical hits with one common lyrical feature. Can you tell what LOLA, POKERFACE, MYGENERATION and CHANGES all have in common? If not (or even if you can), have a listen to today's podcast, where we answer that poser, and have our usual erudite, witty, and chances-of…
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A terrific Tuesday crossword by Victor Barocas. We found the answer to 59D, Lacking clutter", NEAT, to be ... NEAT. We judged the answer to 44A, Perfect, IDEAL, to be ... IDEAL. Finally we found the answer to 61A, Positive Instagram responses, LIKES to be worthy of a lot of ... ok, you know how this ends 😀 . In addition to our hopefully cogent cros…
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A fun Monday crossword by Desirée Penner and Jeff Sinnock, who are about as persistent a crossword constructing duo as you'll ever meet: their first crossword (this is their second) took 123 tries before they got it published in the NYTimes. Talk about grit! Today's crossword is quite colorful, and, once you solve the crossword, we mean that litera…
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The puns fly thick-and-fast in a grid that is filled with panache, pizzazz, and other classy words that start with the letter p. Just consider 99D, School name that sounds like a Canadian territory, UCONN (brilliant!!); or 77D, What might lead to a bridge?, VERSE (bravo!); and 44A, Anatomical stabilizer, TOE (bodacious!). We've got all the deets in…
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A delightful Saturday crossword by Carolyn Davies Lynch and Jeff Chen - edited adroitly, as always, by Will Shortz. Your intrepid cohosts had vastly different experiences solving today's puzzle, but they both agreed that it contained a cornucopia of clever clues. Deets inside, as well as the winner of this week's JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword O…
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Today's crossword, a debut by Ryan Judge, was a major challenge. There was no theme, just a slew of diabolically deceiving clues, leading to a remarkably enjoyable solving experience. Beyond that, it's Friday, and we have a fascinating fact for Fun Fact Friday, and listener mail! So have a listen, and as always, let us know what you think - crosswo…
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An astonishing Thursday crossword by Simeon Seigel, with a mind-boggling theme that's almost impossible to describe, and absolutely impossible to forget, in a grid that is RIFE with NOB-scratching posers. In short, we loved it, and the author, Simeon Seigel, should take a bow. Show note imagery: Adolph OCHS, who purchased the New York Times in 1896…
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Although we strive mightily to provide a fair, impartial review of each and every crossword, that goes right out the window when our favorite cartoon bear, BOOBOO, graces the grid. Fortunately, for the sake of our reviewing reputations , that does not happen often: BOOBOO has shown up a total of 12 times in the NYTimes crossword, and only one of th…
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An intriguing Tuesday crossword, with, as usual, an unusual theme - this one revolving around tanks. Beyond that, we had a few standout clues, including 32D, High-flying metaphor for independence, LONEEAGLE, dovetailing nicely with 34D, _______ high, SKY; and the very punny 45A, Woman with a habit, NUN. In short, a nice piece of work by Freddie Che…
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Both cohosts found today's crossword to be a tad tougher than usual, a small sacrifice to be made for the greater good, that being an ingenious theme, brilliantly deployed in today's grid. The dynamic duo who constructed today's opus, Garrett Chalfin and Andrew Kingsley, have published 6 and 21 NYTimes crosswords, respectively, and that experience …
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Today's crossword was a SMASHINGSUCCESS, and although we don't want to overly HEROIZE the author, Nathan Hasegawa was clearly ATTHETOP of his game when he put this together. The vocabulary level was definitely trending upward -- see for example 13A, Like "t", "k", and "p", in phonetics, PLOSIVE, to 49A, Tremble, PALPITATE (wasn't that a Star Wars e…
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It's Warrington & Warrington - not a law firm, but a daughter-father team responsible for this fine bit of Saturday cruciverbalism. Jean found it to be quite straightforward. Mike latched on to the little-known (because it doesn't exist) DANCER insect -- not to be confused with the correct answer to 36D, _______ bug (long-limbed predatory insect), …
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Sarah Sinclair and Rafael Musa have turned in a festive Friday crossword, with that joy coming from all quadrants of the grid. We appreciated 24D, Pandemic health worker, UNSUNGHERO (sadly, quite true); 4D, Starts off-key?, HOTWIRES (😀); and the nicely deceiving 44D, Gave a hoot, YELLED. In other news, today's episode has both Fun Fact Friday and O…
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Sam Ezersky, he of Spelling Bee fame, is at the helm (under the fine leadership of Admiral Shortz), and he has turned in a fine bit o' work. He had us at 1A, Three-point letter you won't find in Scrabble?, PSI, and never let go, with a fusillade of great and occasionally groan-inducing clues/answers. We've got full coverage inside, so have a listen…
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A worthy middle-of-the-week crossword, with all the requisite elements that we would expect, but a few that we did not. For example, we did not expect 46D, Siberian sled dog, SAMOYED; nor did we expect 67A, Logical operators that output "true" only if both inputs are true, ANDS; and finally, into that same category of "color us surprised" we would …
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A classy Tuesday crossword and a debut by Patrick Maher, with an LOL theme and edutaining clues all 'round. For example, 34D, Greek letter shaped like a pitchfork, PSI (true, true); 49D, Camelid sometimes used to guard sheep, LLAMA (that's a new one -- camelid, not LLAMA); and the uproarious 26D, Bad match on tinder, ARSON (😀). In short, a fine cro…
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Just how many crossword themes are possible? We'd argue for infinite, and while we have no proof, thanks to today's crossword we have even more empirical evidence: a unique and ebullient addition to the pantheon. See (or rather hear) for yourself: download, and be prepared to be uplifted, by Jake Halperin's fine opus. Show note imagery: Hess, a toy…
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Today's crossword is entitled "Funny Business", and it definitely lives up to its name. The themed clues were a stitch, and there were lots of intriguing clues, which we had a lot of fun with as well. So, for a guaranteed laugh a minute (or at least a chortle or two), we heartily encourage you to subscribe/follow (so you never miss an episode!), do…
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Caitlin Reid and Matthew Stock have produced a breezy Saturday crossword -- with a slew of educational and entertaining clues such as 52A, Bad drawing?, SHORTSTRAW; 30D, Greek who originated the expression, "Leave no stone unturned", EURIPIDES (huh!); 50A, It's on the house, EAVE (ha!); and 41A, Signature items?, PENS (uh-huh). There were more, to …
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Today's crossword was a delight -- not soul-crushingly difficult, as Friday crosswords sometimes are, but just a joy to behold and to solve. We give numerous examples in today's podcast, but we'd also like to celebrate 2D, "Well, well, well!", LOOKIEHERE(😀); 39D, Got hitched?, HITASNAG(😀 😀); and the fascinating 23A, Grand _______, town in Nova Scot…
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We'd like to say that the Michnovicz brothers have done it again, but since this is their debut NYTimes crossword all we can say is that they've done it! -- written a thought provoking puzzle that will test your spelling props like they've never been tested before (or at least since yesterday's puzzle). We cover most of the hot shot clues inside, b…
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A fine Wednesday crossword by Morton J. Mendelson, and to answer the question raised in the grid, yes, ITISART: artfully designed, wittily clued, and with an astonishing number of themed clues. We were also delighted to see echoes of yesterday's stellar crossword crop up today - Tuesday revolved around ONEL, while today we had 59D, Top-notch, AONE.…
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Every now and then the NYTimes publishes a crossword for the ages, and today is one of those days, because this work of art, by Marshall Hermann, is sublime, stunning, stupendous, and a slew of other words that start with the letter S -- ironic, considering that the theme ... nope, we are *not* going to spoil it here: check out today's episode and …
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A crossword that's bound to tickle your fancy, a statement that will appear quite droll once you've heard the podcast / soused out the theme. Beyond the clues already mentioned on the podcast, we'd like to highlight 45D, Pain relief brand with an oxymoronic name, ICYHOT; the appearance of yet another French word in the grid (62D, the S of RSVP, SIL…
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John Kugelman, cybersecurity expert and crossword constructor extraordinaire, has outdone himself with an extremely punny Sunday opus. INAILEDIT shows up in the grid, and may also have reflected his feelings when he got the last answer to slip into the grid. We liked this crossword a lot, for all the reasons covered in today's podcast. Enjoy! Conta…
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An easier than usual Saturday crossword (for at least one of our cohosts, no prizes for guessing who!), which means that -- according to the Law of Conservation of Crossword Difficulty -- Sunday is going to be a toughie! This puzzle did have some fine moments, though, including 13D, Caped crusader?, TORERO; 14D, First garment, perhaps, ONESIE; and …
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A lively Friday crossword by Hemant Mehta, with a fusillade of clever and/or educational clues guaranteed to delight the diligent solver. We cover most of them in today's episode, along with a fascinating fact for Fun Fact Friday, plus a bonus: listener mail! For all that and more, download, listen up, and ... enjoy! Show notes imagery: Where's Wal…
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Today's puzzle, by Damon Gulczynski, has an ingenious and well-disguised theme: and thanks to the revealer's position in the bottom-right, we are kept in suspense / befuddlement, until the very end -- just the way we like it! A few clues that didn't make it into the episode but are worthy of note include 26D, Groups of hands, CREWS (brilliant!); 41…
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There was one TYPEO in today's grid, but that was by design and quite amusing (20A, What's tolerated by every body?), as we can count on one hand (without resorting to any phalanges chicanery) the number of genuine TYPEOs in the NYTimes Crossword. Some real gems lay lurking in the grid, from subtle clues such as 61D, Its ways are numbered, RTE (lov…
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This is Adam Wagner's 18th crossword, and it was a doozy, with 4 debut answers, including both cohosts' favorite, 6D, Exploded, WENTKABOOM. The grid was replete with many other less explosive but still notable clues/answers, such as 24D, "The Way" in Chinese Pinyin, DAO; 9D, New Jersey city named for its most famous former resident, EDISON; and 1D,…
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TEDLASSO might've been shutout at the Golden Globes, but he won big by appearing in today's NYTimes crossword, thanks to Nate Cardin, constructor and (by his own account) TEDLASSO fan. We suspect that Nate Cardin might also have liked rodeos, as today's theme definitely implies: you can almost smell the PETRICHOR (see yesterday's episode for the de…
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A superb Sunday crossword by Michael Schlossberg, meeting the cruciverbal RDA for: old-timey clues -- 5A, "Yikes!", EGAD, and 19A, "Sounds 'bout right to me", IRECKONSO; birds that Mike has never heard of -- 3D, Bird also known as a lapwing, PEWIT, and 84D, Bittern, e.g., HERON; and a word that neither of the cohosts had heard of -- 2D, Petrichor, …
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After Friday's grueling workout, today's crossword, even though it was a Saturday, seemed relatively straightforward. We are not complaining, though, because the clues were entertaining, the answers educational, and the overall effect soothing. A few examples of the constructors' craft: 55A, They change colors, DYERS; 33D, Where pizza is said to ha…
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A tough, tough Friday crossword by David P. Williams -- his third, and his third to use the exact same grid pattern! The grid was daunting, with many a long answer, and there were almost no "gimme" clues to get a foothold. Mercifully (at least from Mike's perspective) there were relatively few pop culture references, just a lot of joyous word play.…
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An excellent Thursday crossword, marred by an unfortunate technical glitch. The themed clues contained underlined letters, but the underscores did not appear in the app (they appeared as expected in a web browser). Needless to say this caused much consternation and gnashing of teeth, and the NYTimes crossword editorial team leapt into action, quick…
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Any crossword that works both FIE and IRONHORSE into the grid deserves our respect and gratitude, and we give it freely to this fine opus by Jared Goudsmit, his second to be published in the NYTimes. The theme/gimmick is a delight, and bolstered by a fine supporting cast of clues, from 24D, Bring up, REAR and 68A, Bring up, CITE (nice combo!); to 2…
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We are back, after a brief holiday on the Riviera (or it might've been Green Bay, there seemed to be an inordinate amount of ice for the Riviera), and we are being welcomed back by an excellent Tuesday crossword. We tackle that in depth, as well as run our first Triplet Tuesday segment of the year, so for all that and more, please subscribe, downlo…
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