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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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A wonderful Wednesday crossword by Nancy Serrano-Wu, with some fascinating clues such as 1A, Composer of the piano piece played in the "Tom and Jerry" short "The Cat Concerto", LISZT (a hoot to watch); 4D, ________ suit, ZOOT (try saying that 3 times fast!); and 56A, Sports bar purchases?, TRIPLEDOUBLES (yes, that is a thing!). A few highlights fro…
 
A very effervescent Tuesday crossword by Aaron M. Rosenberg and the indefatigable Jeff Chen (he of xwordinfo.com fame). We don't want to spill the TEA, so to speak, but this was one fine crossword. We also have a winner in our Triplet Tuesday Contest (yay!), so to find out who walked away with the trophy, as well as hear our usual 4-dimensional-che…
 
The only thing MEH about today's crossword was the presence of MEH in the grid (20D, Passable, at best) -- otherwise, it was filled with LEVITY (59A, Lack of seriousness about a serious situation) and worthy of at least one HURRAH (60A, "Yay!"), possibly more. All the DEETS (61A, Juicy bits of info) are inside, just as close as your download and pl…
 
Although the title of today's crossword was With Ease, that's not how your intrepid cohosts solved it: rather, the clue for 19A, My ________ (You're never gonna get it), 1992 hit by En Vogue, seemed a more accurate premonition as as they both (solving independently, as always) flailed around in the top-left corner. But fortunately, diving into thei…
 
A challenging Saturday crossword -- Jean had an epic struggle in the north central area of the grid, and Mike had an epic struggle ... everywhere! But along the way we were able to appreciate such fine vintage clues as 12D, Earring Magic ______ (1990s doll that developed a cult following), KEN; 52A, Web portal released the same day as Windows 95, M…
 
A fine Friday crossword by Robert S. Greenfield, not too difficult for a Friday, but still festooned with fun clues and answers (which we like to call cluans™️), such as 34A, Neologize, COINAPHRASE (for an example, c.f. cluans 😀); 29A, Organization with a strong track record?, NASCSAR (nice!); and 23D, Splashy display, ECLAT (sounds like a SAT word…
 
A deliciously devious Thursday crossword by Daniel Bodily, thanks to Friday and Saturday level cluing and a theme that may leave you AGASP (and if you solve today's puzzle, saying AAH). Definitely a full 5 squares on the JAMCR scale, and while it fills us with trepidation contemplating what lies ahead for the rest of the week, we will savor this pu…
 
A wonderful Wednesday crossword, and a debut for constructor Lindsay McBride (kudos and all that!). We especially enjoyed 67A, Like matryoshka dolls, NESTED (we just like to say matryoshka); 32D, Good, in Chinese HAO (now we know!); and 24D, "_________ Flux" (1990s animated sci-fi series), AEON (because it was such a great show!). There was (much) …
 
A fine Tuesday crossword, with a bilingual theme -- the best kind -- as well as some amusing clues (9D, Phrase sung 36 times in a 1970 Beatles hit, LETITBE; 6D, Bovine:cow::corvine:__________, CROW; and Mike's favorite word of the day, 26A, "Aw, rats", DAGNABBIT. Also, it's Triplet Tuesday, and even better, our first ever Triplet Tuesday Contest! G…
 
A slightly more intense Monday crossword than usual, with several span-the-grid answers, but the cute theme (the constructor, Michael Paleos, definitely did not MAILITIN) made it all worthwhile. We've got all the deets inside, as well as the full set of rules for tomorrow's first ever Triplet Tuesday Contest, so you are cordially invited to -- in o…
 
If you like literature, you'll love today's crossword, teeming with literary references, all in the cause of a fun theme. Even if you're not particularly well-versed in the classics, though, chances are you'll know the titles -- and if not, hopefully the crosses will come to your rescue. We have all the deets inside, waiting for you to enjoy. Also,…
 
A straightforward Saturday puzzle, but it pegged the Fun Quotient meter so we will not complain. Au contraire, most of today's episode is spent singing its praises, for the clues are crisp, cute (but not TWEE!), and, oh, WHATCHAMACALLIT, compelling. Deets inside! Also, it's Saturday, time for our JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award)…
 
Typically Friday crosswords do not have a theme, but since this was Friday the 13th, the editors (luckily) decided to take advantage of that day. Unlike some themes that only make sense after one has finished the puzzle, today's theme genuinely was useful (as well as fun). So, bypass that ladder, jump over that crack, don't trip on that black cat, …
 
A GEM of a Thursday crossword by Grant Thackray, who does some remarkable linguistic surgery, all for a good cause - a dizzying and dizzyingly good theme, in the middle of a grid-full of great clues. All the deets are inside, so rather than spill the TEA, we urge you to download and listen up ASAP! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a lin…
 
A picture-perfect crossword, with an LOL theme, a geographically wide-ranging set of clues (from 35A, Manhattan neighborhood next to SoHo, NOLITA, to 36D,Hawaiian island shaped like an apostrophe, LANAI, to 42D, Setting for many van Gogh works, ARLES), and a few other goodies that we delve into in today's episode. Remember, the NYTimes crossword is…
 
A fine, feline-themed Tuesday crossword by Emily Rourke, with a few rarities in the grid, including 15A, Darling one, MOPPET (last seen in 2014!), and 1D, Shaggy Beatles hairdos, MOPTOPS (making its 4th appearance in the crossword, ever), and finally 24A, Cereal mascot who says "They're gr-r-eat!", TONYTHETIGER ( appearing for the second time, debu…
 
It's not clear if the authors, Andrea Carla Michaels and Kevin Christian, were in the midst of a raging snowstorm when they constructed this crossword, but 9A, How revenge (or pizza) is best served, COLD, 21D, Frozen, GELID, 57A, Behaved in a laid back way, ACTEDCOOL, and 34D, "Rocks" that clink in a glass, ICE, really make us. think that that migh…
 
A slightly GNARLY Sunday crossword: Jean, we have it on good authority, tore through this in no time flat, but Mike, due to his almost total lack of knowledge of pop culture (anything more recent than 1850), to say nothing of his woeful ignorance of Spanish, found the road a little less SEDATE. Deets inside, so download now and beat the rush. Conta…
 
A sweet Saturday crossword by Adam Aaronson, not too difficult, but we are not complaining! Just the opposite in fact, and to hear us expand on that general assessment we cordially invite you to subscribe, download, listen up, and enjoy! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on FaceBook, so fe…
 
Today's crossword was just bursting at the seams with tricky clues: it seemed like the entire top of the grid was roped off with GIVEITUPYOUDONTHAVEACHANCE tape, but thanks to perseverance, grit, and in Jean's case a functional memory, in Mike's case a large dollop of good luck, both were able to persevere. In today's episode we also have a yummy f…
 
A highly educational Thursday crossword. Clues like 16A, Smallest South Pacific nation, NAURU; 1D, The flowers in Amy Lowell's "Your great puffs of flowers / Are everywhere in this my New England"; and 31D, Agricultural item that Nigeria produces more of than the rest of the world combined, YAM; were certainly eye-openers for your co-hosts. One of …
 
For those of you who remember where you were when the James Webb Space Telescope finally deployed, the NYTimes has you covered, with a great, astronomy-themed puzzle. But even if you're not a space-nerd, there was a galaxy of fabulous clues, such as 27A, Dispenser of drafts, TAP (cute!), 43A, "The lowest form of humor -- when you don't think of it …
 
A fine Tuesday puzzle by Margaret Seikel, with a straightforward theme and not too much pop culture. It helped slightly to be acquainted with The Princess Diaries, so, advantage Jean. Mike only had one gimme, 46D, Lex of "Superman", LUTHOR, counterbalanced by the curious 41D, "Should we bounce?", WANNAGO, and the overwhelming urge to spell 11D, Ita…
 
A hilarious (and we use that term very rarely) theme by Seth Bisen-Hersh in their debut NYTimes crossword appearance, a great start. We won't spoil the joke by telling it here, but the entire crossword is a setup, and the payoff is exquisite. Details within, so you know the drill: subscribe (if you don't already), download, listen up and enjoy! Con…
 
Something to sing about on this, the first day of 2023 - a great crossword by a trio of constructors - Adam Wagner, Michael Lieberman and Rafael Musa - with a brilliant theme. Specifically, it offers two clues for the themed answer, one in the usual place and t'other in a surprising location that will remain a secret until you've listened to this p…
 
In celebration of the new year, we have a jam-packed episode. First, we have our usual meticulous dissection of today's puzzle; then, the big reveal for the JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award); next, a first, our predictions for the new year in NYTimes Crosswords; a return of "Oh, That's How You Pronounce It!", and last but not lea…
 
Brendan Emmett Quigley has crafted an elegantly enjoyable Friday crossword -- clues that are brilliant (54A, One who is mean as the Dickens?, SCROOGE), enlightening (15A, Whom the New York Times co-named athlete of the year, with Babe Ruth, in 1920), MANOWAR, and impossible to spell (21A, Missed-the-turn maneuver, UEY). We liked this crossword ATON…
 
A fine crossword by Claire Rimkus and Rachel Fabi, with a brilliant theme that left us eLATEd, and a few words and phrases to add to the ol' lexicon, including: 64D, Body part affected by heterochromia, EYE (for the record, we knew EYE; it was heterochromia that we were unacquainted with) 40D, Euphemism for a lesbian couple, GALPALS 15D, "I really …
 
An homage to female ROCKANDROLL artists who have been inducted twice into the HALLOFFAME -- once with collaborators, and once as a solo act. Several other musicians managed to slip into the grid: to find out who they are, as well as some other absolutely fascinating TIL (Today I Learned) areas of the grid, all you need do is subscribe, download, li…
 
Lynn Lempel had her first NYTimes crossword published in 1979, and this was her 99th! According to xwordinfo.com, which tracks these sorts of things, most of her crosswords appear on Monday (71), with most of the rest (16) appearing on Tuesday. Jean found today's crossword to be fairly straightforward: Mike found it a bit of a challenge, especially…
 
Once again, like CLOCKWORK, the NYTimes has come up with a fine Monday crossword to start our problem-solving week. Apart from a few snags - 1A, Floating ice chunk, BERG (not FLOE); 33A, College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, COE (not UNI); 30D, Bitter part of an orange, PITH (not PEEL or RIND) ; and 61D, A rainbow may be seen as a good one, SIGN (not OMEN…
 
A challenging but fair Christmas Eve crossword, with 2 full width, and 2 full height answers that were reasonably familiar, although the clues that led to those answers suitably cryptic (e.g., 57A, Symphony originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, BEETHOVENSTHIRD, and 2D, Revenue source for a Girl Scout troop, DOORTODOORSALES). Jean tore through…
 
A fine Friday oeuvre by Brandon Koppy, and a timely one too, esp. 11D, Follower of an arctic blast, COLDSPELL, 4D, Character in "Frozen" who says "Some people are worth melting for", OLAF, and when things get really nasty outside, 51D, Relief org., FEMA. We also have a very cool Fun Fact Friday segment, so gather your favorite hot beverage and then…
 
A dizzying, dazzling, delightful Thursday crossword by David Steinberg that has to be seen to be believed -- and even then you might not! Clearly DS is in a league of his own when it comes to crossword construction, we are in awe, as in, aww, that was great! Can we have an encore? 😀 Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodc…
 
A highly educational Wednesday crossword, with a slew of TIL (Today I Learned) entries, including the fascinating 9D, Metal next to tungsten on the periodic table, RHENIUM, which neither Jean nor Mike, in spite of having taken several chemistry classes, had ever heard of. It is true that a number of heavier elements have been added to the periodic …
 
A clever Tuesday theme, great clues and the opportunity to pronounce the word slivovitz - in short, a perfect crossword, and short is how these show notes will be as well, since everything you need to know about this crossword is in today's podcast - subscribe, download, listen up and enjoy! For today's FB tie-in, let us know on our Facebook page w…
 
A fine and definitely seasonally-appropriate Monday crossword from Jennifer Nutt, creator of today's puzzle. You didn't need to have a brain the size of an ENIAC, or even an IMAC, for that matter, to succeed, really just a GIFT with language, to solve this GIFT of a crossword. Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@ic…
 
Today's crossword was themeless, but there was a lot of music in the grid. Between 7D, Pink Floyd co-founder Barrett, SYD, to 87D, Soul singer Thomas, CARLA, there were numerous other references: 31A, All-woman rock band with the 1982 hit "Vacation", GOGOS; the curious 43A, When doubled, a classic Mardis Gras tune, IKO; and finally 52A, 2017 chart-…
 
A fine Saturday crossword, arguably less challenging then yesterday's slogfest, but with some deftly written clues, such as ... 53A, Detail-oriented sort, IDOTTER (😀); 54A, Clerical worker?, PRIEST (😀 😀 ); and 18D, "I spilled _______ on my dog, now he's gone": Steven Wright, SPOTREMOVER (too many 😀's to list). We liked this crossword a lot, and we'…
 
An exhausting, exhilarating, and, let's just say it, excellent crossword by Kameron Austin Collins, with a grid-full of superb clues and answers, as one would expect when KAC is in charge. All the deets are inside, as well as a Fun Fact Friday exploration of a very popular fish (challenge to the reader: can you guess it before you listen? -- let us…
 
What can we say about a crossword that includes the word VICHYSSOISE? First, that we are in awe of it, and to be more precise its constructor, Bruce Haight, as we are just amazed that he can even spell VICHYSSOISE -- Mike took about 3 running starts to get it sorted out. Second, it reminds us once again of Will Shortz's towering genius, as we now r…
 
A delicious Wednesday crossword by Matthew Stock, with references to PANERA, CRONUTS and -- well, OEUF is a bit, ahem, oeuffy, er, iffy -- but regardless, it was a good crossword, with a delightful theme. We have all the deets inside just waiting for you to sink your teeth into, so subscribe, download, listen up, and enjoy! Contact Info: We love li…
 
An intriguing Tuesday crossword by Julietta Gervase, who undoubtedly put her soul into today's crossword, but also managed to sneak in her name - at least a part, as in 54D, James in both the Blues and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame, ETTA. Very clever, Julietta, we saw what you did there! There were also a few askew clues, as in 5D, Takes a dive, perh…
 
At least one of our dynamic duo found this crossword to be woof, er, we mean rough, owing to a highly improbable series of poor word choices, and a loss of situational awareness causing this individual (who will remain nameless, at least until you listen to the episode) to mistake one country for another approximately a hemisphere apart. And, just …
 
If you suffer from entomophobia, then whatever you do, don't do today's crossword! But it should be safe to listen to today's podcast, as we only mention insects -- the bane of entomophobia sufferers everywhere -- en passant. Beyond the insect kingdom, the grid had a lot of educational clues and answers: both cohosts were surprised to learn that 33…
 
An exceptional Saturday crossword by Sid Sivakumar, who seems to be incapable of writing any other kind. The clues were fabulous (as we explore in depth in today's episode), and even the crossings were praiseworthy - most notably 38A, Rock forming mineral that makes up over half the earth's crust, FELDSPAR intersecting 17A, Meets expectations, in a…
 
A challenging Friday crossword, although our intrepid co-hosts -- solving, as always, independently -- ran into difficulties in different areas of the grid. Jean got stuck in the center left, remaining INASTUPOR until she wasn't; whereas Mike encountered headwinds in the southwest, almost done in by his unfamiliarity with Spanish and the Italian li…
 
A fantabulous Thursday crossword by Grant Thackray, with a brilliant theme, great clues all round, and the shocker that the answer to 69A, Misnomer for the character Fritz in the original "Frankenstein", (1931) was ... wait for it ... IGOR (gasp!). There were other equally entertaining and educational clues, of course, and to find out what those we…
 
A fascinating theme by Karen Steinberg, as a consequence of which Europeans might, for once, have a SKOSH of an advantage. There were a few relatively unfamiliar names in the grid - ________ Achebe, "Things Fall Apart" author, CHINUA; 59D, Little ________, who sang "The Locomotive", EVA; and the very rare, 22A, Six-time MLB All-Star Mookie, BETTS (…
 
Today's crossword almost pegged the pop-culture-reference-meter, but, as you will discover in today's episode, it was for a very good cause (which we will refrain from expounding upon here in the interests of generating just a frisson of suspense). We will also refrain from defining frisson, because a) we always thought it involved a poor lifestyle…
 
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