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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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Once again, the NYTimes rises to the occasion with a great, great crossword, with an inspired theme and one answer in particular that has to be seen (and possibly Googled) to be believed. We won't spoil it by saying any more here, but we will say that this was a delicious crossword and are convinced that you'll feel the same. In today's listener ma…
 
Tuesday crosswords need to walk a fine balancing act - they have to be harder than Monday's, but not too much harder -- and today's puzzle would have the Flying Walendas nodding in approval (unless they were on a tight-rope: they might wait until they were back on terra firma to do so). And for listeners looking to branch out beyond Monday, definit…
 
A pleasant Monday crossword, not too difficult, we would conjecture, for newer solvers, and with a frothy but clever theme that will make them want to come back for more. Starting today, in the show notes, we are going to provide a link to the solved crossword (in xwordinfo.com) -- so if you haven't solved the crossword and do not plan to, then fee…
 
Today's crossword has some remarkable words in the clues, let alone the answers. Certainly plangonologist has to win some sort of prize (77D, Things a plangologist collects, DOLLS), but we were also pleased to see a pentad pop up (52A, Pentad for a poetry performance?, FIVEPILLARSOFSLAM), and finally stan (2A, Band stan, GROUPIE). Some of the clues…
 
Robyn Weintraub has a well-deserved reputation for writing magnificent clues, and she shows off that talent in spades today: point at any clue in the grid, and you'll find a put-a-smile-on-your-face answer. If you haven't done today's crossword (and don't intend to), then head over to xwordinfo.com and check out the entire puzzle - clues and answer…
 
A remarkably curious Friday crossword, especially the grid. How so, you ask? We could answer that here, but then a little suspense is good for the soul, so instead we will simply direct you to today's episode, where all will be revealed, we promise! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on Fac…
 
A brilliant Thursday crossword by David Kwong: a theme that make you just want to stand up and cheer, in the midst of a grid full of great clues. Yes, it's the NYTimes Crossword at its finest, and that is saying a lot. Definitely worth the full 5 squares on the ol' JAMCR (that's Jean And Mike Crossword Rating) scale: have a listen, and you'll hear …
 
A FINE crossword, a debut, in fact, by Madeline Kaplan, with an interesting cinematic twist. Beyond the clues covered in the podcast, we would be remiss if we didn't mention 50D, March madness number (not 16, nor 8, nor 4, but ... SEED ūüėÄ); 55D, #s, NOS (a rarity, a clue with a hashtag!); and the relatively novel 60A, Attention-hoarding, say, NEEDY.‚Ķ
 
There were no SNAFUs in today's crossword, and no TABOOBOOBOOs, for that matter: just a bevy of brilliant clues (especially the "themers" as we like to call them (as of today, when we first thought of it ūüėČ)). There's more inside, so you are cordially invited to download, listen up, and enjoy. Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, cro‚Ķ
 
Generally speaking, the New York Times crosswords get more difficult as the week progresses, with Monday being the easiest, Saturday the hardest, and Sunday more like a large-ish Wednesday. Today's crossword, however while ostensibly a Monday, was teetering on the edge of Tuesday, with some trickier clues to liven things up. Intrigued? Want to know…
 
They said it couldn't be done, but, amazingly, we were able to squeeze in two crosswords analyses into one podcast. Not only that, we also managed to work in: a) the announcement of our JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award); and b) (gasp! the episode is now bursting at the seams at this point!), the moment you have all been waiting f…
 
A cheery Friday crossword, with tough, tough clues (for one of our co-hosts). But the pop-culture meter was reading almost 0, which helped said co-host immensely. Deets inside, so download, listen up, and enjoy!! 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 …
 
A lively Wednesday puzzle by Michael Berg, with lots of entertaining and educational clues. If you wish for us to elaborate -- and we hope you do -- then fear not, we already have! Just download, listen up, and enjoy. Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on FaceBook, so feel free to drop by t…
 
YAANYTC (Yet Another Awesome New York Times crossword): the NYTimes is really on a tear this week, and this puzzle in particular really hit the SUHWEET spot, with a dizzying theme and brilliant clues. All the deets are inside, so have at it, and please let us know what you think: crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. P.S. Remember that there is still time t…
 
A creative tribute to the impending MARCHMADNESS, with some extra flourishes that elevate this from a merely good crossword to a great one. And speaking of contests ... we're running our own Triplet Tuesday Contest, and you are invited to participate! Listen to the podcast, send us an email (crosswordpodcast@icloud.com) letting us know how many gue…
 
A slightly spicier Monday than usual, with clues such as 64A, Regarding this point, HERETO; the terrific 36A, "_______ is a lie that makes us realize truth" : Picasso, ART; and 52D, Pro pitcher, of a sort?, ADREP leading the way. Sam Koperwas and Jeff Chen were at the helm, and they did not lead us astray with this fine start to our puzzle solving …
 
An intricate and ingenious Sunday theme by David Tuffs that must have taken forever to perfect, but perfect it he did, as a quick glance at today's crossword will reveal. Jean got through the puzzle expeditiously, while Mike took time out of his busy schedule to coin several words that, unfortunately, the rest of the world had not deigned to adopt,…
 
An ENDEARING Saturday crossword, with nary a GIMMICK to be seen (except, of course, for the answer GIMMICK), and at least an OCTET of great clues, including, 1D, Four+Four, OCTET ūüėÄ. Mike's favorite in the grid was undoubtedly 17A, Northwest of 1, ESC (wow!), while Jean was partial to 33A, Apt anagram of "I sew a whole", ELIASHOWE; but we enjoyed th‚Ķ
 
A very satisfying Friday crossword - not a lot of pop culture references, some marvelous mis-direction in the clueing, and not a "blah" answer to be seen anywhere in the grid. We appreciated that the top left of the grid, 1D, A bad joke might land with one, THUD, was paired with the top right of the grid, 14D, Jazz trumpeter jones, THAD. That's art…
 
There were no downsides to this crossword, whose theme revolved around FLIPSIDES. Jean had just a spot of bother, conflating STRAT with STRAD, and Mike felt cert. that Colombo was in the NYPD, not, as 1D, "Colombo org." would have it, the LAPD. All in all a fine puzzle, we give it 5 squares on the JAMCR scale, encore! Contact Info: We love listener…
 
Someone -- to be precise, Miranda Kany, the constructor of today's delicious crossword -- has embedded an entire (very tasty) recipe into today's grid. So, don't try this on an empty stomach, and if you do follow the recipe, send us a pic! We had listener mail today, in which our correspondent recommended the "Fifty Nifty United States" song. The Y…
 
A very pleasing Tuesday crossword, with a theme that was an echo / homage to Monday's HUMANNATURE -- surely not a coincidence, with the crossword force-of-nature Will Shortz in charge. Today's puzzle included a few spicier clues - 17A, Best competitive stuff, AGAME (cute); the combo 28D, That one and that one, in Spanish, ESOS, paired with 65A, Tha…
 
This is Lynn Lempel's 100th crossword in the New York Times, and if you ever needed proof that practice makes perfect, just check out her latest -- fun clues, a cute theme, everything you want in a Monday crossword. Just to let everyone know, we are gearing up to have -- gasp! -- another Triplet Tuesday Contest in about a week, so be sure and liste…
 
A fine Sunday crossword by John-Clark Levin - the clues are uniformly delightful, and over a grid the size of a Sunday (21x21, in case you hadn't measured lately), that's saying a lot. And we have a lot to say about this crossword, so go ahead and subscribe / download / listen and enjoy! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswor…
 
Another tough crossword for one of our co-hosts, for whom KACHINA dolls were a revelation. As part of his cunning plan to keep mementos of especially challenging clues close at hand, he hopes to soon add a KACHINA doll to his lovely SANLUISOBISPO t-shirt and KATANA sword collection. Since it is Saturday, we have once again identified our JAMCOTWA (…
 
An epically challenging Friday crossword, with delightfully devious and deceptive clues that have to be seen to be believed -- or if not seen, at least heard, and for that we've got you covered! Get the blow-by-blow as your cohosts (solving independently as always) bash away at today's puzzle. It's also Friday, which means time for our weekly segme…
 
Malaika Handa has created a terrific puzzle, and congrats are in order because this is her debut NYTimes crossword!! There were many gems in the grid, such as 23A, Child-oriented non-profit group, PTA; 3D, Hopping spots?, LILYPADS (ūüėÄ); and the cheeriest of the lot, 31D, Jaunty greeting, HIHO -- just reading that word brings a smile to our lips. Def‚Ķ
 
Today's crossword absolutely pegged the pun meter, and it also earned 5 squares on the JAMCR scale. A coincidence? We think not, and neither will you (probably) once you've heard today's episode. 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 c…
 
Anytime Dr. Seuss wanders into the grid you know you're in for a good time, and today's constructor, Gia Bosko, delivers and then some! Definitely worth a full 5 squares on the JAMCR scale, and for the SKINNY on precisely why, download today's episode, Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on …
 
A very droll Monday theme, involving bears, 3/4 of whom your co-hosts were familiar with, the 4th being a revelation. Jean cruised through this crossword like a boss, Mike meandered through it like he was on a SLOOP - except he'd have phrased it SHOOP, a fine example of why his pace was not quite as frenetic as his co-host's. All the deets are insi…
 
A terrific Sunday crossword by Will Nediger: the theme is an absolute delight, and Will didn't slouch off in the rest of the grid, either. We have all the deets inside, so have at 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!…
 
We are back, and what a welcome Trent H. Evans had in store for us - an epically difficulty Saturday crossword, with mind-bending clues in every corner. The phrase "tough but fair" comes to mind, and to find out why that's the case, you know what to do: subscribe, download, listen, and enjoy! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, cro…
 
As listeners may recall from prior episodes, puzzles by Kameron Austin Collins usually mean a challenge -- and on a Saturday in particular KAC does not hold back, and today's puzzle shows him to be in rare form: wherever you look in the grid, from 1A, Directive for the board, DONTERASE (yikes!) all the way to 65A, Something wonderful, with "the", B…
 
An excellent Friday crossword by Jem Burch, with great clues and -- whew! -- no secret L's lurking in the grid (check out yesterday's podcast to understand that reference). We have all the deets inside, just waiting for you to download and enjoy. Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also, we're on FaceBo…
 
Most of the time the black squares are just standing guard, allowing clues to not run into one another and trigger an Everything, Everywhere, All At Once moment, but not today. In this puzzle, those black squares, so easy to ignore, are absolutely critical to making sense of the grid. We have the complete 411 in today's episode, so we strongly enco…
 
A great way to celebrate Black History Month, with several famous civil rights leaders appearing in the grid, with their names slightly modified in honor of the DOUBLEV campaign of WWII. We found LOTSA interesting clues throughout the rest of the puzzle, and to find out what those are, you know what to do: subscribe / download / listen up / enjoy! …
 
A lovely Valentine's Day present from the New York Times to the world ... a somewhat challenging (for Mike) Tuesday crossword with a highly amusing theme, a very apt follow-up to yesterday's. We have all the deets inside plus ... the big news, it's our *second* Triplet Tuesday Contest! That's right, if you didn't win last time, now you have a secon…
 
A marvelous Monday crossword, and your co-hosts had a rather unique experience solving it. We'd say more, but because today is "No-Spoiler Monday", we will refrain from doing so but rather encourage you to subscribe, download, listen up and enjoy today's episode. Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, crosswordpodcast@icloud.com. Also…
 
Ooh, a tough Sunday crossword by Christina Iverson and Samuel A. Donaldson, thanks to an ingenious theme and some relatively obscure clues -- 12A, Catchy tunes, informally, BOPS; 49D, Cousin of a weasel, MARTEN; and the very droll 78D, Main antagonist?, PIRATESHIP (woah!). There was a lot to like in today's grid, and we spell out all the deets in t…
 
A super Saturday crossword by the NYTimes Spelling Bee editor, Sam Ezersky, who occasionally wanders over into the crossword section to work his magic. And he did so today, with some nicely worded clues and juicy juxtapositions. We enjoyed the rarely seen 58D, Like swampland, MIRY (if you say so!); 5D and 23A, both "Ah", follower, respectively ISEE…
 
Ah, the NYTimes Crossword at its best -- slippery clues, devious double-entendres, all designed to trip up the unwary solver. Both our co-hosts had to dig deeply, and the whole story -- as well as a Fun Fact based on 8D, Annual competition that starts on the first Saturday in March, IDITAROD -- is revealed on today's episode. A reminder that this T…
 
The presence of 32D, Symbol of sharp wit, RAPIER, seems appropriate, because this crossword was brimming with the stuff (sharp wit, not RAPIERs), and the theme was also noteworthy. For both our co-hosts, though, the highlight of the crossword had to be 73A, __________ Midas Wolf (Disney's "Three Little Pigs" antagonist), ZEKE. Who knew that the Wol…
 
Chase Dittrich turns in a stellar performance, with a puzzle-full of joyous clues and an ingenious theme, the joie de vivre just bubbles off the page (or screen, as the case may be). Definitely 5 squares on the JAMCR scale, and certainly in the running for this week's JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award). Contact Info: We love liste…
 
A charming Tuesday crossword, with a theme that wasn't too difficult to SUSS out, and any grid that manages to work both LOOKSUPTO (2D, Admires) and STANDTALL (36D, Act confidently) into the same grid deserves some sort of HONOR, and we give it here: 5 squares on the JAMCR scale. On a side note, next Tuesday we are going to be hosting our *second* …
 
Not to namedrop ancient Greeks and their deities, but one of our Achilles heels' is our infatuation with the Apollo program, just one of the reasons why we found this to be such a great crossword. The theme is ingenious, the clues a tad crunchier than usual -- in particular 9D, Ancient tool for hunters or warriors, SPEARTHROWER, and 23A, Dogs with …
 
If you're into movies, you'll love today's crossword, a punny homage to the Oscars, with a theme that Jean loved, and Mike ... is still trying to wrap his head around. There were some excellent (non-theme-related) clues in the grid, such as 33D, Historic builders of rope bridges, INCAS (huh!); 79D, Things pandas have 20 of, TOES (yikes!!); and Jean…
 
A marvelous Saturday crossword by Kate Hawkins, with tough, fair, and entertaining clues everywhere you look in the grid. Among our favorites, 8D, Didn't go fast?, ATE (heh, heh); 40A, Floors, AWES (awwww... ūüėÄ); and the twin clues 2D and 12D, Booty, the answers to which were respectively, HAUL and SEAT (nice!). Since today's Saturday, that means it‚Ķ
 
A delightful Friday crossword by Barbara Lin, with a bevy of very twee clues. Jean's favorite was 1A, Finishing-line cry?, BINGO, and Mike's was 47D, Edges of a diamond?, DEES: but both found gems -- and not just SARD* -- throughout the grid. *as discussed in yesterday and today's episodes! Contact Info: We love listener mail! Drop us a line, cross…
 
Today's crossword is a victory for STEM education, as the NYTimes crossword managed to get millions (?) of its solvers thinking about the problem of DARKMATTER. There were a few notable clues, the most prominent of which is the aforementioned 51A, Orangish-brown gem, SARD. That almost sounds like a debut, but in fact it has appeared a whopping 154 …
 
A very TWEE theme in today's crossword, involving TRACTORBEAMS. Both Jean and Mike were primed to see ENTERPRISE in the grid, but the constructor of today's fine piece, Dan Caprera, had other ideas and designs, so there were absolutely no United Federation of Planet vessels anywhere in the grid (unless, of course, they had deployed a cloaking devic…
 
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