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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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Another challenging Saturday crossword - no surprise there, Saturdays are designed to be the toughest crossword of the week - but at least the trivia / pop culture references were mercifully few. Jean had a spot of bother in the middle of the crossword, while Apple aficionado Mike thrashed about trying to recollect 48A, Popular video editing softwa…
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An entertaining and educational Friday crossword by Kate Hawkins - just the way we like 'em! Jean knew pretty much every answer in the grid, although it took some time to connect each word/phrase to its clue! Mike, meanwhile, knew ... PHASERS and EDEN, although many of the rest of the answers looked vaguely familiar. Besides our analysis of the cro…
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Today's crossword did not have the rebuses (rebusae?) that one of us (cough, Mike, cough) forecast yesterday, but it made up for that omission with a terrific, and terrifically taxing, theme, and an accompanying throng of challenging clues. We're still gasping, in awe and exhaustion, from having gotten this puzzle solved. For all the deets, have a …
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Another fabulous midweek NYTimes crossword, thanks to a glorious theme that is about as NYTimes-ish as they come. We will leave you in suspense as to what that theme might be, or ... you could just download today's episode where all will become clear, in particular why this crossword rates a full and enthusiastic 5 squares on the JAMCR scale. Show …
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A splendid Tuesday crossword by Adam Vincent (edited most ably by Joel Fagliano), with quite a few lively clues to keep the solver interested. We are referring to (beyond those mentioned in the podcast proper) to 51A, San Fran athlete, NINER; 65A, Deserving of a fire emoji, as a party, LIT (say what? 😀); and 36D, Quartet + Quintet, NONET (awesome!)…
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We are philosophical about today's crossword (a debut by Amanda Winter), mainly because today's crossword -- particularly the theme -- contained a large dollop of philosophy. We will leave you in mild suspense as to the exact nature of that philosophy, but you may assuage that suspense by checking out today's episode! Show note imagery: Yesterday, …
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A crunchier than usual Sunday crossword by John Rippe and Jeff Chen, a side-effect, perhaps, of a brilliant theme that had Jeff Chen's fingerprints all over it. There were many clever clues - 35A, Something you might break into, SONG (ha!); 9D, Game with annoying pop-ups, WHACAMOLE (raising again, that epic question, where'd the K go?); and 97A, Ou…
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A challenging debut (!) crossword by Jess Rucks. Our intrepid cohosts found said challenge in different areas of the grid, Jean in the mid east, Mike in the northwest. But, after exploring their respective mind palaces - Jean's approximately the size of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Mike's approximately the size of a pup tent you can find for sale at t…
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A challenging Friday crossword by Evan Kalish, although not as difficult as some crosswords, it did take at least one of our cohosts a while to get any traction. But once they did, ..., well, it still took them a tranche of time to solve, and they enjoyed every minute of it! Although we covered most of the peg-the-awesomeness-meter clues in today's…
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A delightful Thursday crossword by reliably delightful crossword constructor Dan Caprera, today's puzzle has much to commend it. The theme is spot on, and while the rest of the puzzle is based on tougher than usual clues, it is all for a good cause -- as you will hear in today's exciting episode! Show note imagery: Some of the many OLIVETREES paint…
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Today's crossword was Bill Thompson's 10th NYTimes publication, and based on this, we can't wait for his 11th. The theme was extremely clever, and there were OCEANS of great clues, including 55D, "Gee, I wish I was back in the _______" (song from "White Christmas"), ARMY; an APPLEBETTY alternative, perhaps, 30D, Linzer _________ (pastry); and 42D, …
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Today's crossword had a fine theme -- discussed herein -- but the rest of the clues also did their part. We particularly enjoyed 4D, Lady Gaga hit included on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list, BADROMANCE (BADROMANCE, but great song!); 59A, Occam's _________, RAZOR (when you need to trim a conspiracy theory down to size); and th…
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A fine and timely crossword by Peter Gordon (his 128th!!) , celebrating that rare celestial event, an incoming asteroid that only Bruce Willis can ... no, scratch that, the juxtaposition of the sun and moon causing much confusion among animals and consternation among newscasters. We are speaking, of course, of today's eclipse, and Peter Gordon, the…
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Depending on which cohost you ask, today's crossword was either a) a delicious piece o' cake, or b) the inspiration for Edvard Munch's The Scream. Both agreed that it was an intriguing crossword, thanks to a clever theme that exploited the observation that duplicate letters can form homonyms -- YYs (wise), EEs (ease), PPs (peas), etc., etc. Deets i…
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Today's crossword was jaw-droppingly difficult, each clue handcrafted to be more devious than the one that preceded it. From 44A, Notably circular formations on Mars, DUNES (they have dunes on Mars? cool!), to 48A, Flowers that are a a source of the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine, CROCI (woah!), to even 45A, Cup alternative, PINT (gasp!), it is …
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Rebecca Goldstein has a knack for creating festive, fun crosswords, and her streak is unbroken as a result of today's fine work -- so far she's having a BANNERYEAR. The crossword was tough but fair, definitely worth 5 squares on the JAMCR scale -- deets inside! Show note imagery: Oh, sure, India gave the world chess, shampoo, and cashmere, but thes…
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Today's crossword has it all! A unique theme / drink recipe, a nice piece of grid art, and as a reward for the intrepid solver, a flash color to celebrate its successful completion. Several clues we thought worthy of note: 54A, Derby participants in July, BATTERS; 44A, Gave a red card, informally, DQED; 49A, Betting recklessly, in poker, ONTILT; an…
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A wonderful Wednesday crossword by prolific veteran cruciverbalist Alex Eaton-Salners. The theme was cute, and the rest of the grid a hoot, with a plethora of entertaining and eduational clues scattered throughout. We've got the deets inside, so have a listen and, of course, enjoy! Show note imagery: An IMPALA, hoping that it doesn't get hit by a C…
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Tuesday's child is full of grace ... as is this, Tuesday's crossword. The reasons for that will become clear as soon as you check out today's episode, so have it! 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 conversation!…
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Much hilarity ensues in today's grid, undoubtedly inspired by the day (April 1st). It did make for a tricky Monday, however, and, at least for Mike, a much slower time than average. Still, a worthy attempt, definitely worth 4 squares on the JAMCR sale. Show note imagery; There's just something about this mountain ... Contact Info: We love listener …
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Another one of those sprawling Sunday grids that we all know and love, 21x21 squares chock-full of delicious puzzlement, along with a heaping side of puns -- because what would a Sunday crossword be without them? This was Spencer Leach's 4th NYTimes crossword, and his first Sunday. When he's not constructing crosswords, Spencer is studying mechanic…
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Years from now, people will sing lusty songs of praise, and recall fondly where they were, when they heard this crossword's happy music, it was that tough. Blake Slonecker made solvers work for just about every answer, and your cohosts found it a major slog (fun slog, but still ... a slog). We have all the deets inside, as well as the winner of thi…
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A tough Friday workout for the little gray cells, thanks to a debut by Jake Bunch with some nice diversions, obfuscation, and plumes of humor. We were delighted to see 40D, Computer acronym since the 1960s, ASCII; 48D, Fancy, WANT (of course!); 33A, Solving puzzles, e.g., PASTIME (still amazed that only has 1 T ...); and 43A, One of the Minecraft p…
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For those of you who haven't played with POTATO HEAD for a while, today's puzzle gives you a perfect opportunity to revisit an old friend, thanks to this fine work by Dominic Grillo. The theme was blatantly obvious -- the giant potato in the middle of the grid being a huge tipoff 😀 -- but that made it no less fun. There were oodles of 3 letter answ…
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Rich Katz is on a roll - this is his 5th NYTimes crossword in just over a year, and it is a beaut. The theme is ingenious, and the cluing amusing. Cases in point: 37D, Less green, maybe, OLDER; 51D, It might be used while boxing, TWINE (😀); 52D, Did zippo, IDLED; and 53A, Stick used for breaking, CUE (aha!). All great, and we approve, 5 squares on …
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We are back after a brief hiatus, and welcoming us back is this fine crossword by Laura Dershowitz and Katherine Baicker (edited by Joel Fagliano). The theme was a little on the high-brow side and a lot on the punny side, just what one would expect from a good Tuesday NYTimes crossword. We have all the deets inside, so please, subscribe, download, …
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This is Lynn Lempel's 102nd NYTimes Crossword (no, that was not a typo). We don't know how she does it, but we are soooo glad that she does. Check out today's episode for all the reasons (as well as our latest Triplet Tuesday segment). For logistical reasons we need to take a break this week, but we will be back next Tuesday ... in the meantime, ke…
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A fine Monday crossword by Trent H. Evans -- his tenth in the NYTimes -- and it has a number of fine clues honoring A-listers, including 59A, Artist who co-authored a book about his mustache, DALI; 38A, Game show icon Trebek, ALEX; and 42A, Queen of the Nile, informally, CLEO. Show note imagery: Dali's Mustache 😀 Contact Info: We love listener mail…
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This marks Simeon Siegel's 12th NYTimes crossword, and it is a masterpiece! There's no telling how long it took to make, but no matter how long, it was worth the wait, one of those "I can remember where I was when I solved it" puzzles that makes you glad to be alive. Deets inside, so check it out, and, as usual, let us know what you think! Show not…
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After Friday's mental melee, today's crossword was slightly easier, but still not a walk in the park, not by a long stretch. It was a Saturday, designed to confuse and confound, and it did so in spades. We have all the details, as well as our JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award) winner, plus some awesome listener mail, so for all th…
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Today is Pi Day - 3/14 - and the NYTimes is celebrating in grand style (ok, perhaps not the entire newspaper, but certainly the crossword section). To see what happens when the gray lady lets down her hair, so to speak, be sure and check out today's podcast! Show note imagery: A helpful chart for anyone hoping to try their hand at chiromancy 🙄 Cont…
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Today's crossword was the ideal middle-of-the-week puzzle; a fun but accessible theme, a smattering of debut answers and a host of intriguing clues. We have -- of course! -- all the deets inside, so do have a listen, and, as usual, let us know what you think! Show notes imagery: OSLO, showing just a few of its 40 islands and 350 lakes Contact Info:…
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Andrew Kingsley and Garret Chalfin have teamed up to produce a fine Tuesday crossword, with some good clues, some great clues, and some awesome clues. In the latter category we have 35D, Show stoppers?, ADS 😀; 51A, Liquid-ATE, MELT 🙄; and 50D, Anonymous creator of a painting sold at auction that subsequently shredded itself, BANKSY 😀 😀 . An admirab…
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Today's crossword is by award winning (!) crossword constructor Rebecca Goldstein and Rachel Fabi, and the two have constructed a wonderful puzzle that is sure to whet your appetite for more of their work. The theme -- which will also whet your appetite -- is fine, but there were some other clues worth cheering. Allow us to point out, for example, …
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Enrique Henestroza Anguiano and Matthew Stock have teamed up to rack 'em up, with a clever Scrabble-based theme. It briefly looked like today might been a four leaf clover of a crossword, a Sunday puzzle with a rebus: but in this case, the trick was to construct the rebus mentally, while writing only a single letter in the grid itself. It's complic…
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A fine Saturday crossword by John Guzzetta -- and if that name seems familiar, that's perhaps because he has had 40 NYTimes crosswords published since 2012. Of those, 50% of them were Friday or Saturday puzzles, so he's definitely in his element here. Though themeless (as is tradition for a Saturday NYTimes crossword), there were of course many fin…
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There were challenges galore in today's crossword, with the rockiest of rocky shoals cropping up in the southwest portion of the grid. There were so many great clues that it would take, oh, a 15x15 grid to list all of them, but here are a few (that didn't make it into the podcast): 13D, Butt of a joke?, WHOOPEECUSHION (ha!); 9D, Like the homes of r…
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This is Joe O'Neill's very first NYTimes crossword, and it's a doozie, with the theme revolving around one of Robert Frost's most famous poems. Now "famous" is relative: while Jean had a casual acquaintance with the poem, Mike was, as usual, clueless -- and therefore answerless -- so he had to rely exclusively on the not -always-easy crosses, and s…
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Brad Wiegmann has produced a fabulous Wednesday crossword, and for those keeping track this is the second crossword this week where the theme was on the subtle and cerebral side. We loved it for a number of reasons, detailed inside -- as well as some exciting listener mail that will be of special interest to residents of PARAMUS, NJ. Deets within, …
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Today's crossword was by veteran crossword constructor Christina Iverson, who has a knack for writing absolutely effervescent puzzles. Just consider a few of the clues in today's grid: 51A, Queen's pawn?, ANT (nice once, CI); 42D, Swift to fill a concert hall?, TAYLOR (who else?); and 24A, Like a tightrope, ideally, TAUT (we tought, er, thought so …
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This is Samantha Podos Novak's debut NYTimes crossword, and it is a delicious treat, thanks to a tasty theme and a generous sprinkling of cromulent clues throughout the grid. And if you're sensing a food theme, you are correct! For all the deets -- including which food, and how many calories it has -- you are heartily encouraged to download, listen…
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You can always count on Hoang-Kim Vu to produce a splendid crossword, and today you can also count on him to ... count, because that's the theme: countdown, to be specific, is the title of the crossword as well as a large hint as to what you have to be able to do to solve said crossword. We have all the deets inside, so have a listen, and let us kn…
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Natan Last has constructed 39 crosswords for the NYTimes, and this latest one shows exactly why the NYTimes keeps coming back for more - the clues are simply inspired, dancing on that fine line between uber-challenging and cruel, but always landing on the right side. So, without doubt, this crossword should be in the running for our JAMCOTWA - Jean…
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A roaringly good Friday crossword to end the business week! There was no theme, but there were a host of awesome clues, including: 38A, Shade akin to peridot, LIME (peridot, what a word!); 33D, Where you might run into some real characters, THEMEPARK (brilliant!); 9D, Never again, ONCE (can't argue with that!); and 18D, Luxury brand, or non-luxury …
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Whether this was in honor of Leap Day or not (only Will knows, and he's not saying), today's crossword was extra special, most notably because of some of the clues weren't just text, but in fact cute line drawings of assorted animals playing musical instruments. The line drawings were endearing, and we were enamored, for reasons that we expound upo…
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A debut crossword by Greg Snitkin, but you wouldn't know it based on the quality of today's puzzle. The theme was terrif, and was abetted by a passel of captivating clues to round off the grid. While a lot of old friends showed up (looking at you, 15A, McFlurry flavor, OREO), and 61A," _________ you vera much!", (punny valentine), ALOE, there were …
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A lot of INK went into today's crossword, in such answers as SLINKYDOG, WINKYFACE and 5 (!) more of that ink, er, we mean ilk, 😀. Numerous clues got our attention and podcast time, but we would also like to celebrate 49D, Tatted, INKED (yay, more ink 😀); 9D, "It's Raining _______", MEN (meteorologically unlikely, but still...); and 10D, Like a dres…
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This is Joe Marquez's second NYTimes crossword (congrats, Joe!) and a very nice piece of work it is. Several clues had a wry twist to them (and we are not just saying that because the theme involved alcohol 🙄). The humor started early, with 1A, Little spheres in a pod, PEAS; continued with 15A, Out-spoken, ALOUD; and by definition the most humorous…
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Once again the puns come thick and fast, so if you like puns, well, step this way and download this episode, because it's teeming with them, seven at last count. They're not that bad though, in fact several have groan, er grown on us (and now we're up to eight 😀) A reminder, the NYTimes Crossword is an excellent vehicle for helping you keep mentall…
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A tough but fair Saturday crossword, and, coincidentally (since they always solve independently), both Jean and Mike ended up at the same spot, 20A, Pink-headed mushroom in Mario games, TOADETTE. There were at least two portmanteaus in the grid -- 8A, Hybrid fruit akin to an apium, PLUOT; and the aforementioned 30A, Feline hybrids, TIGONS. There we…
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