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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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Just when you think that the lode of clever themes has been exhausted, someone strikes pay dirt, and today we have Dan Cabrera to thank and congratulate for his new find, a delightful theme that really soars -- thanks to a flock of fabulous themed clues and answers. Deets inside, so have a listen, and, as usual, let us know what you think! Contact …
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Jean and Mike, solving separately as usual, had distinctly different impressions of today's crossword. Jean found it to be a bit of a slog, whereas Mike -- thanks to, well, let's face it, a large but largely undeserved dollop of good luck -- was able to make it through the grid in a goodly time. Deets inside, so have a listen, and as always, let us…
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A crunchier than usual Tuesday crossword, both of your cohosts had to dig deeply for the win, with Jean struggling at the top, while Mike's bane was in the southern hemisphere of the grid. But it was a fabulous puzzle, and we have Gia Bosko to thank for that, so ... thank you, Gia! In other news, it's Triplet Tuesday, and Jean's on the hot-seat. To…
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There was lot of color in today's grid, thanks to a colorful theme -- and we mean that literally. Beyond our cutting edge analysis, in today's episode we have a heartfelt apology to the good people of Fond du Lac, as well as the origin story of the PARSNIP! Deets within! Remember that doing the NYTimes Crossword is a great way to preserve those har…
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For those of you who grew up in the era of the Beatles, Electric Light Orchestra, Cat Stevens, and the like, you're going to love this crossword; for everyone else, you're really going to need those crosses, and a quick perusal of the Top 100 hits of the 70s through 90s might also be advisable. Deets inside, so please subscribe / download / listen …
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A decidedly crunchy Saturday crossword, with a grid-full of great clues, including 39A, Good thing to stretch out before doing yoga, MAT (nice one!); 28A, Remover of dirt ... or spreader of dirt, RAG (even nicer one!); and 5D, One sans plus-ones, STAGS (oh deer, er, dear, that was brilliant!). In other news, we have a superb Oh That's How You Prono…
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A nice Friday crossword, which at least one of our cohosts found considerably easier than Thursdays, in spite of multiple daunting, grid-spanning clues. Those clues contributed to the dearth of black squares in the grid - it was pretty much a sea of white, with just 35 black squares (out of a possible, in theory, 225, although it's doubtful that th…
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A delightful Thursday crossword by Vasu Seralathan, with an eXtraordinary theme, and a surrounding cast of clues that is a joy to behold. Don't believe it? Check out today's episode, and if you are not absolutely convinced that this was a JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award)-worthy crossword, then your money will be cheerfully refun…
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A highly amusing crossword by Guilherme Gilioli, with a paradoxical theme , as well as a plethora of "huh, never heard of that" moments, most notably ... nope! we are not going to spoil the podcast by spilling the beans here. To find out what those moments were, join us in the journey through the grid by having a listen to today's episode. Contact …
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Ella Dershowitz has a reputation for crafting awesome crosswords, and she does nothing to sully that in today's puzzle, with a fine set of clues that run from funny to punny to ... some other word that ends in unny (ahem). 🙄 We were particularly fond of 11D, Patti, in the American Theater Hall of Fame, LUPONE (well known to Jean, not so much, or to…
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A fun Monday crossword, with, as usual, an unusual theme that hits the sweet spot, both accessible and amusing. We have all the deets inside, including an important PSA if you're considering ACL surgery 🙄, so please, subscribe / download / listen up / enjoy / and don't forget to give us a 5-star review wherever you're listening to this podcast! Con…
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A twisty sort of Sunday crossword, mainly because of the theme but enhanced by some rather diabolical (as always, in a good way) sort of clues, including 62A, A head, PER; 118A, Brown, for one, IVY ; and 47D, Goal that sends a game into overtime, EVENER. There was also a bevy of pop culture references that are definitely worth checking out, includi…
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A very sharp Saturday crossword, with sparkling clues / answers, and some LOL moments, including 38D, Whim whams, NERVES (that's a new one!); 12D, "So many _______, so little know" (proverb), ASSUME (see previous clue's comment); and 48D, Monthly releases?, OVA (nice!). We liked this crosswords a lot, hats off to Robert S. Gard for such a fabulous …
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A tough Friday crossword -- as Friday crosswords are wont to be -- with clues like 24A, "Skip it!", ROPE (heh, heh); 20D, "Nice to see ya today!", MORNIN (yikes!); and 61A, X, as in Ximenes? (quick, fetch the fainting couch!). There were also (for Mike, at least), some major spelling challenges, most notably 16A, Pasta whose names derives from the …
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Today's crossword was rebus-free but humor-rich, with a wry undercurrent based on the world's current obsession with all things AI. We believe that this crossword was written by a human being, one Ryan Patrick Smith, and not an AI bot claiming to be Ryan Patrick Smith ... unless ... are all those claims of the former in the grid an example of "me t…
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A nice Wednesday crossword by Blake Slonecker, with a surprising number of answers that just raised more questions (all of which we cover, of course, in the podcast). There were a few great clues that didn't quite make into that episode, though, including 60A, In the public eye, SEEN (duh!); the droll 28D, Lights up?, IRRADIATES; and 37D, Dirt-digg…
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A noble Tuesday crossword, one that reminds us (multiple times) of the virtues of having a BFF. The grid was teeming with good clues, including 11D, End piece?, CODA (heh, heh); 40D, Ficus that produces sweets favored by a 44-across, FIGTREE (we just like the word ficus!); and 32D, "Ooh, tell us everything!", DOSAY (we can hear the poshness in the …
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Any crossword that works BLOOP, DUPE and PEEKABOO into the grid (4A, Baseball hit just over the infield; 46A, Pull a fast one on; and 37D, Game for an infant, respectively) has our sincere respect and admiration -- and even more because of a theme that is clearly in the ascendant, which will make more sense once you've heard the podcast or solved t…
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For those of you who spend waaaay too much time in front of a computer screen, you should have a leg up as you solve this crossword (especially if you're doing so in a hammock 🙄). Beyond the 21st century theme, there were some great clues, such as 118A, A little help around the holidays, ELF (heh, heh); 50A, It ain't just a river in Egypt!, DENIAL …
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A nice Saturday crossword by Rebecca Goldstein, with some curious clues such as 30A, Call from a server, maybe, ADIN (we're still trying to work that one out!!); the magnificent 44A, Oxford English Dictionary's Word of the Year in 2022, describing an unapologetically self-indulgent state, GOBLINMODE (delightful!); and the devious 28D, "Just the che…
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This crossword, ITSABEAUT, and we're not just saying that because that happens to be the answer to 11D, "Would you look at that!". The grid is just effervescent, and includes an amazing 10 debuts (including ITSABEAUT). It also includes what has become, within 30 seconds of starting to listen to it, Mike's favorite group, OKGO (4D, Indie group band …
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A relatively straightforward Thursday crossword -- no rebuses (rebusae?), answers that circled back on one another, or bow-ties -- but the theme was a great one nonetheless, as it ... nope, no spoilers! If you want to know more (and we hope you do!), you'll need to subscribe / download / listen up and (we hope!) enjoy. Contact Info: We love listene…
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When we say that this was a novel crossword, we are not telling stories ... but Alex Eaton-Salners, the author of today's crossword is, in a dazzling cruciverbalistic tour de force. You can see the entire story, er, crossword, right here, and you can hear our take on it by downloading right ⬇️ or ⬆️ or ⬅️ or ➡️ 😀 Contact Info: We love listener mail…
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The best crosswords entertain and educate, and this puzzle manages to do both, in spades. To find out what the (to continue the card metaphor) deal is, please subscribe / download / listen / enjoy and prepare to be educated! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel free to dr…
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A nice Monday crossword (a debut for Brian Callahan 🎉), with an UNforgettable theme, if you know what we mean -- and you will know once you've listened to today's podcast, so please hit those subscribe, download, and play buttons ASAP (10A, "Hop to it!"). Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're …
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If you like alliterations, you'll love today's crossword, as the grid is crawling with them. as well as some other fabulous answers. Who can resist the absolutely magnificent 104D, Singer Jon with the 1992 hit, "Just Another Day", SECADA (seriously, if you haven't heard this song, you need to drop everything you're doing right now and listen!). And…
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A supremely challenging Saturday crossword, but Jean once again demonstrated why she deserves the monicker "Queen of Crosswords", sailing through it without a care in the world. Mike's trip was a little bumpier ... less "sailing" and more "going over Niagara Falls in a barrel". A few samples: 11A, This might change your mind, LSD (uh-huh); 37D, See…
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It is not clear if there is an English word that describes "a collection of stunningly good clues", but if there isn't, we would like to recommend the "Musa", after the author of today's crossword, Rafael Musa, as that's definitely what we have here. Deets inside, so please subscribe, download, listen up, and ... enjoy! Contact Info: We love listen…
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A joyously unique Thursday crossword, with an absolutely ingenious theme that has to be seen to be believed. Fortunately, you can do so right here, and of course read all about it right here! 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 conve…
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A delicious Wednesday crossword by Michael Lieberman, with a cool theme, clever clues (like 45A, End of a two-player Harlem Globetrotters play, OOP ; and 49D, Source of a scandalous comment, HOTMIC), and the irresistible opportunity to pose the question, if trucks bearing SALTINES and OREOS collided at a high rate of speed, would you end up with SQ…
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A splendid Tuesday crossword, a debut for Jay Silverman, and if you find yourself breaking out in song while doing this crossword, you will be forgiven (um, unless you're a very bad singer 😀). In addition to the clues that we cover in the podcast, we'd like to give a shoutout to 29D, "Oh, dang!", AWSNAP (a debut!), and the very popular "Being _____…
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Hold the (homo)phone!, it's another delightful Monday crossword by Jennifer Nutt (her 9th, in fact). There were some revelations in the grid, such as 2D, "Bear" in a eucalyptus forest, KOALA; 33D, It broke up on December 26, 1991, USSR; and Mike's favorite, 8D, Fur tycoon John Jacob, ASTOR (yay!). Deets inside, so download, listen up, and ... let u…
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A great start to our crossword solving week, courtesy of Michael Schlossberg, who seems to be pathologically unable to construct anything less than a stellar crossword -- and we offer as evidence, exhibit A, in fact, today's puzzle. Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel fr…
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A nice Saturday crossword, and a debut by David P. Williams, so kudos not only for getting published, but for constructing such an excellent puzzle, with such tremendously enjoyable phrases as the aforementioned GILDTHELILY, MOLLYCODDLE, and one of our favorite words, PROSAIC. Today's WYMSA (Words You Might See Again) entry is 33A, Asian appetizer,…
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Kameron Austin Collins is another reliably fabulous cruciverbalist, who specializes in Saturday puzzles but occasionally produces a Friday (such as the fine one we dive into in here). In other news, it's Fun Fact Friday ™️, and today's star is none other than the lady we met for the first time in. yesterday's grid, Effa Manley. Contact Info: We lov…
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They say that practice makes perfect, and this crossword is a perfect example, It's by Erik Agard (his 77th for the NYTimes), and is a master class in great cluing. For example, we were very chuffed to see ... 48A, Chuffed, GLAD; we were also thrilled to see an answer from yesterday make a reappearance, but in an entirely different clue: 59A, Part …
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In honor of Indian Independence Day, we have this visually stunning crossword (click on the link to see what we mean). It doesn't look quite like the original, but considering the medium is crossword squares, it's pretty good. Deets inside, and, a first, we have some episode artwork! Remember, the NYTimes crossword is a great way to stay sharp and …
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A trendy, Tuesday crossword by Malaika Handa, with a smattering of rarer clues, such as 18D, Gun control activist David, HOGG; 11D, Payment after a split between unmarried partners, PALIMONY (amusing word for a decidedly unamusing subject); and 12D, Italian sparkling wine, PROSECCO (not to be confused, as Mike was wont to do, with PROSCIUTTO). It's…
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Today's crossword is a real deal - two puzzles for the price of one, and the second involves math (or at least arithmetic). Fear not, though, a calculator is not required, but a willingness to have fun is -- and if you're listening to this podcast, fun is guaranteed. In other news, we have more on MOCHAS thanks to listener mail, and a reminder that…
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Good crossword puzzles, like those that grace the pages of the NYTimes, are a celebration of English - its history, present, and future. So, when we come across a word we haven't seen before (but, it usually transpires. everybody else has), we want to raise a toast in honor of a newly-found friend. Today's nouveau ami, is INSPO, short for ... nope,…
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A more than CROMULENT Saturday crossword by the dynamic duo of Rachel Fabi and Christina Iverson. Jean found it to be a bit of a slog, thanks to the double-whammy in the northwest of 1A, Perfectly acceptable, humorously, CROMULENT, and 15A, Serpentine symbol of rebirth, from the Greek for "tail-devouring", OUROBOROS. There were challenges in the re…
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A relatively straightforward Friday crossword, but a great mental workout nonetheless and with some terrific clues. As a tasty example we have 39D, Meal, REPAST; as a head scratcher we have 44D, Travel that doesn't require a hotel reservation (DAYTRIP, not, as Mike had originally surmised, LSDTRIP); and as an historical fun fact we have 66A, One of…
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Is there anything cheerier than seeing Natan Last and the JASA Crossword Class in the byline for a Thursday crossword? Maybe, but not much, and the class has outdone itself today, with a brilliant grid and clues that deserve a chef's kiss. For all the deets, and to see why this is definitely in the running for the JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword …
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An adorable Wednesday crossword by Caryn Robbins and Matthew Stock, the latter a familiar name among NYTimes crossword aficionados, the former less so -- this being her second (congrats!). The theme was fun, and there were many educational clues in the grid. For example, did you know that both CHAD and LESOTHO are land-locked? That Jean ARP is a Da…
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A fine Tuesday puzzle by Zachary David Levy, not too terribly difficult (as expected: Tuesdays are supposed to be on the easy-ish side), but still impressive, with a stately theme (that will seem hilarious once you've listened to today's episode) and a few answers that are just fun to say, such as 29A, Sticky stuff, GOOP; 1A, Bit of foolish mockery…
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A fun and frothy Monday crossword by Chloe Revery and Alissa Revness, perfect for novice crossword solvers trying to learn the ropes . In today's episode we also have an impromptu and unnamed version of OTHYPI (Oh, That's How You Pronounce It!"), based on two of our favorite South Dakota place names. Enjoy! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop…
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Lisa Senzel and Jeff Chen have teamed up to create a mind- (or at least answer-) bending crossword, which if you're familiar with DROPLEAFTABLES will be relatively straightforward, but if not ... be forewarned, it will be a slog! So, naturally, Jean tore through the crossword, and Mike, initially thinking IMTOAST, eluded the TRAP that Lisa and Jeff…
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An eminently and appropriately challenging Saturday crossword by veteran cruciverbalist John Guzzetta, this is his 39th NYTimes appearance, and practice makes perfect, which basically describes today's puzzle. And we will elaborately describe today's puzzle in today's podcast, so have a listen, and as usual, let us know what you think, and tell oth…
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A brilliant Friday crossword by Brandon Koppy, no theme (of course: Fridays are almost always themeless), but a grid that was chockfull of clever clues/answers, such as 58A, Asteroids system, ATARI; 23D, In shorthand, it's written with 2S's and 2T's, WEEK; and 8D, Charm, to King Charles, ENAMOUR. But, incredibly, there are more, and even (arguably)…
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The perfect blend of entertaining, educational, and 'ead scratching, today's crossword has something for everyone. A theme that makes you reach for it (in both senses of the phrase!); some thought provoking clues/answers, including Jean's favorite, 44A, It is usually blue, DENIM, and Mike's fave, 6D, 1872 Utopian novel whose title is an anagram of …
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