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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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Robert Logan has to make NOAPOLOGIES for today's crossword, a fine Friday, challenging but accessible, with some shorter toeholds conveniently located everywhere in the grid. There were a lot of fascinating factoids in today's puzzle, such as 30A, Artist of "La Maja Desnuda" and "La Maja Vestida", GOYA; 48A, ____________ Amendment (2010s extension …
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A delightful Thursday crossword, an adjective we often find ourselves having to dust off when Rebecca Goldstein is the author, as is indeed the case today. It's not easy turning lead into gold, but she has done so magnificently, in several senses, as will become apparent once you've had a listen. Also, many of the lacunae in yesterday's crossword h…
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It's hard to miss today's theme, as it's spelled out in large letters, in the middle of the grid, for all to see (as we describe in today's episode). But it's such an attention getter that it might detract from some other Highly Hentertaining clues, such as: 12D, Hah!, IBET; 24D, Hummer's interior, EMS (a reference to its two M's, which definitely …
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A clever Tuesday crossword, with a theme that was a tad obscure by Tuesday standards (but fortunately was not essential, or really even helpful) in the solving of today's puzzle. We liked it though, for all the reasons spelled out in today's episode. We also had another stirring Triplet Tuesday segment, so check it out, and as usual, let us know wh…
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Monday crosswords always seem to be crafted to put a smile on one's face, and today's puzzle is a case in point. We'e got the deets inside, great listener mail, and -- bonus! -- a hint of an inkling of an inchoate idea about a new contest, so, after you've hit the subscribe button (gently, but with enough force so that you'll never miss an episode)…
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Both cohosts found this to be a crunchier than usual Sunday crossword, and found it particularly (46A, Difficult), TRYING, in the vicinity of 32D, Rough fabric with a loose weave, RATINE (a word that, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, nobody has ever used, or even heard of 😉). But while the clues were tough, they were also uniformly excel…
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A seriously challenging Saturday crossword by Royce Ferguson, who pulls out all the stops, making solvers work for just about every clue in the grid. Still, it was a Saturday crossword, so we expect no less. For all the deets, have a listen (and don't forget to subscribe, so you'll get every episode delivered milliseconds after it gets published!).…
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Jem Burch has crafted a fine Friday crossword to welcome in the new month, and it had everything that one would want in a Friday crossword, from puzzlers like 53A, Feature of many a documentary, VOICEOVER; 48A, Youngest White House resident since John F. Kennedy Jr., SASHAOBAMA; 37A, "Long", in Hawaiian, LOA (oh, that's what that means!); and surel…
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Jeffrey Martinovic and Jeff Chen -- who if they were producers on a television show would almost surely be referred to as the "two Jeffs" -- have instead produced a fabulous Thursday crossword, with a delightful theme involving Mike's favorite sci-fi concept, TIMETRAVEL. We have all the deets inside, plus listener mail (woo-hoo!), so for all of tha…
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Are you tired of DECISIONFATIGUE? Then let us help you make a decision -- yes, you should definitely a) do this crossword (because it is awesome) and b) listen to this podcast (because it is awesomer (except in the areas of grammar, spelling and humility)). Seriously, for all the deets on today's fine puzzle, do have a listen, and as usual, let us …
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A colorful and rhyme-rife Tuesday crossword by Gia Bosko, her 4th in the NYTimes and, more amazingly, her 4th of the year. The theme was excellent, and the cluing as crisp as a Wisconsinite in winter. Some of our favorites include: 23D, "Beam me up, ________!", ("Star Trek" misquotation), SCOTTY (huh!); 50D, Corn cake, PONE (make that two slices, p…
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Ricky J. Sirois has produced a more challenging crossword than usual for a Monday -- with just a bit of bite coming from words like 24A, Vegetarian dish on a Mexican menu, BEANBURRITO; the bugaboo of spelling-bee enthusiasts everywhere, 39A, French meat stew for which Julia Child penned a popular recipe, BEEFBOURGUIGNON; and 10D, "No Exit" playwrig…
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A delightful and (compared to Friday and Saturday) relatively straightforward crossword, with a theme that is guaranteed to grow on you, and a magnificent array of clues that will leave you wanting more. Definitely 5 squares on the JAMCR scale! To hear more, include the deets on YEET (we've waited all year to write that!), subscribe, download, list…
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A perfect way to wrap up our crossword -solving week, with a rousingly challenging (for one of us, at any rate) Saturday puzzle. Jean, aided and abetted by her eerily encyclopedic knowledge of 1972 hit singles, was able to make short order of the puzzle, whereas Mike, drawing on his uncanny ability to make up words that don't exist, with his forté …
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Today's crossword proved to be a snap for one of our cohorts, and almost a streak-snapper for the other. To keep up the suspense, we won't reveal who was who just yet, but we will tell you that there were a host of fabulous clues in today's grid, from 3-letter wonders -- 27A, Sydney's home, for short, NSW; to 4-letter pop-culture references -- 51A,…
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In honor of Thanksgiving, we have a crossword to be thankful for, a delightful brainteaser of a main course, with a dash of delectable clues as the sides. From 17D, Not play it by ear, PLAN, to 51A, What the Dutch call "klompeh", CLOGS, to 9D, Flick of a flicker, ASH (we're still working that one out 😀), the grid was a cruciverbal smorgasbord, and …
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Today's crossword is a testimonial to MALBEC and grit; the MALBEC because it's in the grid, and grit because that's what Will Pfadenhauer needed plenty of in order to get this published in such a prestigious location, i.e., the pages of the NYTimes. The crossword itself was superb, with a bit of an ODDBALL theme, and some nice clues scattered throu…
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Kevin Christian and Andrea Carla Michaels were definitely using the old bean when constructing today's crossword, an observation that might at first seem just trite and anodye, but it will become uproariously funny, or at the very least wryly amusing, once you've listened to today's episode, so have at it! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop …
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Both Jean and Mike took longer than usual to do today's crossword, Jean because she couldn't find a mistake, and Mike because he had a sudden attack of the well-known affliction, BSS (Bad Spelling Syndrome, or as it is sometimes referred to in the literature, Baaad Spellling Sindrome 🙄). Have a listen, but before you do, hit the subscribe / follow …
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An impressive Sunday crossword by veteran constructors Rebecca Goldstein and Rachel Fabi, who in preparation for Thanksgiving have cooked up a puzzle to be thankful for, stuffed with a delicious array of bad (i.e., good) puns and good (i.e., great) clues to chew on. Deets inside, so please subscribe / download / listen up / enjoy! Contact Info: We …
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A scintillating Saturday crossword by Hoang-Kim Vu -- with a grid that is jam-packed with debut answers, including 36D, Photo of someone holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, say, VISUALGAG; 37A, Writer with good taste?, FOODCOLUMNIST 😀; and one that pretty much stood up on a chair and shouted IAMADEBUTANSWER, 22A, Certain descriptor after a signat…
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A fine Friday crossword by Hemant Mehta. What it lacked for in glitzy animation (we're looking at you, Thursday!), it made up for in flashy clues, such as 47A, What may be behind the curtain, TUB (😀); 53A, Major opening, URSA (😀 😀 ); and 55A, Canvas finish, TKO(😀 😀 😀). And that's just a few choice examples - for more, have a listen to today's episo…
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Today's crossword, by veteran cruciverbalist Paolo Pasco, had its ups and downs, but that was by design, and the payoff - which we discuss in today's episode but don't want to spoil by revealing here - was an absolute delight. The clues were on the trickier side, as befits a Thursday - 33D, So called "African Unicorn", OKAPI, comes to mind (well, i…
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If you found yourself nodding off while solving today's crossword, that's probably because of all the Z's in the grid - but that was the only boring bit. How could you DOZEOFF in the face of such dazzling clues as 1A, Half of an orange? RED (we're still working that one out 😀); 67A, Apt name for a sensei, DAN (ha!); 38A, Pioneering Dadaist, ARP (th…
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A nifty Tuesday crossword by Matthew Linzer, with a remarkable theme that we wish we could talk about here ... oh, wait, we just did 😀. Precisely why that last sentence is so LOL is precisely explained in today's episode, where you can also hear Jean's epic quest to win this week's Triplet Tuesday™️ Contest. Did she succeed? Or did she go down in f…
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A pleasing Monday crossword, a debut by Benjamin Fink, that asks that burning question, CANYOUBELIEVEIT?. The answer is yes, this was a Monday crossword, it was a debut by Benjamin Fink, and it was very pleasing indeed, for reasons that will become abundantly clear once you've checked out today's episode, which we hope you will do ASAP! On the cove…
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A scintillating Sunday crossword courtesy of Garrett Chalfin, with a gloriously serpentine theme, and an array of eye-opening clues. For example, 85A, Figure of speech in which words are reversed for effect, like "Never let a fool kiss you or a kiss fool you", CHIASMUS (definitely a debut); Chicken __________ (ancient Mayan city), ITZA (now we know…
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Today's puzzle is a tautly constructed Saturday crossword, with just 58 words -- not quite few enough for the Guinness Book of World Records, but getting close! The puzzle itself was not too difficult -- for a Saturday -- but it did have a bevy of fine clues that kept both co-hosts entertained (esp. this one). Deets inside, as well as the winner of…
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A fine Friday crossword by Kate Hawkins - her 12th in the NYTimes - and it hits the sweet spot - not too easy, not too hard, but juuuuust right. We approve, 5 squares on the JAMCR scale. Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel free to drop by there and strike up a conversati…
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A (surprising) crossword by Simeon Siegel, most noteworthy for a profusion of parentheses in the grid, all part of an intricate theme that we delve into in today's episode. We covered quite a few clues in the podcast, but alas, did not quite have room for 36A, Shrunken snack item, PRUNE; 15A, Like 80% of the Arabian Peninsula, SAUDI; and the (for M…
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A slightly crunchier-than-usual Wednesday, but a wry theme and memorable clues made it all worth while. Beyond those noted in the podcast, we'd like to give a shoutout to 3 answers that are just fun to contemplate and say -- 2D, Enthusiastic response to a bro, MYMAN; 46A, Replica, informally, DUPE; and a word that's as calming to say as the item is…
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As the episode title almost surely gave away -- it was a bit of a ttttttteaser, one might say -- today's theme involved the 20th letter of the alphabet (as well a supporting cast of the other 25). Beyond the theme there were several other amusing clues, such as 20A, Torus shaped treat, DONUT; 49A, One of 5 in a Shakespeare play, ACT (confirming, de…
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Today's crossword was crunchy - the clues were just a tad more difficult than usual, a consequence, perhaps, of a particularly demanding theme (deets inside) - and timely, in the sense that there were numerous references to time in today's grid, from 6D, "Anytime", WHENEVER, to 52A, Back in time, AGO, to 61A, Ages, AEONS. And, of course, we should …
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Jean ACED today's crossword, but Mike just DIDOK, although if it is true that you learn from your mistakes, he is now officially a super genius thanks in no small part to Rich Katz, author of today's fine puzzle (his third for the NYTimes). We have all the deets inside, so please download, listen up, and ... enjoy! Contact Info: We love listener ma…
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A just-the-right-level-of-almost-impossible crossword to wrap up our crossword solving week, one of those where the solving rate seems to follow an S curve -- tough and slow-going at the beginning and at the end, but with a glorious middle section where the clues come relatively rapidly. We liked this crossword so much that we awarded it this week'…
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Robyn Weintraub's puzzles are legendary, and today's effort shows just why: the clues are awesome, the crosswordese is non-existent, and the difficulty level is juuuuuust right. We approve, whole-heartedly, 5 squares on the JAMCR scale! Deets inside, so download, listen up, and enjoy right now! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, c…
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Today's crossword featured a h--hly entert--ng th--e, and if you can't suss out what it was from what we just wrote, then download today's episode, where all will be revealed! A reminder to check out xwordinfo.com, a fabulous resource for crossword aficionados, with the solution and meta information on the day's crossword. Highly recommended! Conta…
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A nice Wednesday crossword and a debut (yay!) by Steve Weyer, with an inspired theme, some very funny clues, and as a bonus a reference to a fascinating 16th century algebra text, ARSMAGNA (The Great Art). The theme is covered in the episode; some of the more intriguing clues not mentioned there include 51D, Bunyan's ox or Hoggett's pig, BABE 🐷; 57…
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A scary Tuesday crossword, thanks to a slash of scary movie titles in the grid. Neither cohost had seen any of them, but fortunately the answers were either almost gimmes (17A, Horror film franchise named after a holiday, HALLOWEEN (BOXINGDAY wouldn't fit 😀)) or easy to guess with some judicious help from the crosses (60A, 2011 dark comedy slasher …
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Put on your sunglasses before attempting this crossword, because it's based on a BRIGHTIDEA -- literally! There were a few other answers that glowed, in a manner of speaking: 14A, What magma becomes when it's erupted, LAVA; 35A, Light on a nightstand, LAMP; and 52A, "Suns" of some breakfasts, EGGYOLKS. Just a reminder that we love 5 star reviews, s…
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Today's crossword featured a number of rare-ish answers, making this a bit crunchier than usual for a Sunday. Notable examples include 60A, Brooklyn art school, PRATT; 100D, Country that's more than 2,600 miles long, CHILE; 70A, Latin "Behold!", ECCE; and 20A, Character who lives on the "tippy-top floor" of the Plaza Hotel, ELOISE; and there's more…
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Ryan McCarty does not hold back (much) in today's uber-challenging Saturday crossword, pegging both the difficulty and deceptivity meters multiple times. We have full coverage inside, so have a listen for that -- as well as the announcement of this week's JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award). Enjoy! Contact Info: We love listener ma…
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A fine Friday crossword by Adrian Johnson, his 5th NYTimes Crossword contribution. Considering that 39A, Pub ________, TRIVIA, was one of the answers, it should not be surprising that quite a few factoids made their way into the grid. For example ... 19A, Novelist whose "Little Fires Everywhere" became a #1 best seller, CELESTENG (parsed as Celeste…
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A fine Thursday crossword and a debut for John Donegan. That's why we didn't recognize the name, but we did recognize the tight quality control common to all NYTimes crosswords. Just take a look at a few awesome touches: 6A, Character who nails a doubloon to the Pequod's mast, AHAB, sitting right above 15A, Surfer's wish, WAVE (perfect!); and 17A, …
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Aimee Lucido has crafted an excellent Wednesday crossword, with a catchy theme and a plethora of superb clues, a truly outstanding work. Need proof? Have a listen to today's podcast and we are sure that you will agree, or, if not, your money will cheerfully be refunded 😀 Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.c…
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Today we are presented with an amusing and well-timed Tuesday crossword by Daniel Grinberg (ably edited, as always, by Will Shortz, may his beard, if he has one, grow ever longer). It manages to STAYCLASSY and never has us thinking its TIMEFORACHANGE, for a variety of reasons outlined in today's grid. Beyond those, we'd like to give a shoutout to a…
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Today's crossword was the epitome of a marvelous Monday crossword - a cute theme, and some fine clues. We particularly liked the juxtaposition of 1A, Handle difficult matters satisfactorily, COPE, and 1D, Club in a Barry Manilow hit, informally, COPA We take our usual deep dive through the grid in today's episode, so please subscribe / download / l…
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A fine Sunday crossword, Robert Ryan's third in the NYTimes, with a punny theme surrounded by a fine supporting cast of clues, including 85D, Fox coverage?, FUR; 82A, Object with one hole or two, depending on who you ask, TUBE 😀 ; 68A, Head for business?, CEO 😀 😀; 64D, Shares ones bunk?, LIES 😀 😀 😀 ; and the list goes on, and on. To see that list i…
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A fine debut crossword by Kelly Morenus, which our cohosts solved in (choose one) a) comically different amounts of time b) exactly the same time c) trick question: they got stuck, because neither knew how to spell IDOMENEO The correct answer is ... ah, that would be telling! To find out, download today's episode, have a listen, and as usual, tell …
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A very nice Friday crossword by Jacob McDermott, with some awesome clues, and no crosswordese in sight. A few sample works, 15D, Oh, the humanities!, LIBERALARTS 😀;; 27D, "Heck, yeah!", DARNTOOTIN 😀 😀 ; and 32D, Rocky road ingredient, PEAGRAVEL 😀 😀 😀. In short, a great crossword, most definitely worth 5 squares on the JAMCR scale. Contact Info: We …
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