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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 fun Thursday crossword from Michael Lieberman, with a clever theme - a series of vertical answers, each two words - and they make sense only if you observe that the word on the bottom is under the word on top. For instance, 24D, Give a sworn statement in court, is OATHTESTIFY, and reading this (vertically), the phrase is, literally, TESTIFY under…
 
Today's crossword was a big BESO from the constructor, David W. Tuffs, with an interesting theme revolving around comparisons. Both Jean & Mike were taken in by 23A, One, in Berlin, EINS (they both thought it would be EINE), and while Jean immediately knew that was incorrect because of the cross, 15D, Root beer brand, DADS, it took Mike about 17 mi…
 
Ross Trudeau steps up to the plate, swings, and it's a hit -- because Ross Trudeaus' crosswords are always a hit. This is a more high-brow crossword than is typical for the New York Times, as there were 3 clues that tied in to 28D, Literary trio found in the answers to this puzzle's starred clues, THEBRONTES. Those clues -- 6D, Chain known for its …
 
Freddie Cheng has provided a very ARTistic start to the crossword week, with a series of clues that include multiple spellings of the word ART, e.g., 17A, Athlete who rarely gets sacked or has a pass intercepted, STARQUARTERBACK. Both Jean and Mike had a skosh of difficulty with this puzzle, because, even though solving independently, they were bot…
 
A splendid Sunday crossword from the pen of Jeff Chen, who overlays the main grid with 5 diagonal answers - it has to be seen to be believed. Fortuitously, you can indeed see that by going over to Jeff Chen's web site - xwordinfo.com - tell 'em Jean & Mike sent you. Beyond the diagonal clues, the rest of the grid was a master class in crossword con…
 
A well crafted crossword from Caitlin Reid and Erik Agard, not too soul-crushingly difficult, and not too fall-off-a-log easy, either. There was only one pop culture reference -- 17A, Pop music nickname, RIRI -- but it has been in the grid multiple times in recent months. Some other clues worth highlighting -- 6D, Check for bugs, INSECTREPELLENT (t…
 
Today's crossword had mixed reviews. Jean thought it was relatively straightforward, Mike found it a bit more of a slog, no BIGSURPRISE. They both agree, however, that 30A, Cutesy "I beg your pardon", EXSQUEEZEME, was fun to say, and that 39D, Joint application?, BENGAY, was just funny. It's Fun Fact Friday, and in today's episode Jean and Mike dis…
 
An unexpectedly gentle Thursday offering, but filed with some joyously LOL answers. Who could not break a smile at 58A, Stand by the pool, maybe, TIKIBAR, 45D, Balls in a pocket, FALAFEL (nice!), and marvel at the epic 12D, Glass elevator?, TOASTER? The author of today's mirthfest, Matt Fuchs, definitely knows how to write an entertaining crossword…
 
Today's crossword was a real EYE opener - with the names of 4 persons whose first named started with, and last name ended with, the letter I. It was ingenious, intriguing and ... tough! Jean ran into some thorns in the bottom-right corner, and Mike had to cope with the intersection of 5D, Cover for the bed of a pickup truck, TONNEAU, and 32A, "Red …
 
Today's crossword included the reappearance of 2D, Egyptian king of the Gods, AMNUNRA, whose alternative spellings are so legendary - AMUNRA, AMENRA, AMONRA , to name just three -- that he has earned the unofficial moniker, God of Dubious Spelling. The rest of the grid was entertaining, focused on the concept of 37A, Portmanteau coinage describing …
 
Today's crossword was a Monday, but it was a little "crunchier" than usual., with clues that might trip up novice solvers, such as 53D, Thai currency, BAHT, 42A, Official language of Iran, FARSI, and 27D, Feature introduced to the iPhone in 2009, VIDEO). Jean (of course) tore through today's grid, but Mike found a few speed bumps - is it CATE or KA…
 
A crunchier than usual Sunday crossword, the grid was filled with amusing clues but plenty of pitfalls. Jean had a spot of bother with 77A, Sesh on Reddit, AMA (short for Ask Me Another). Mike, meanwhile, was apparently unaware of 88D, Ike's domain in W. W. II, ETO, an answer that had appeared in the New York Times crossword a staggering 449 times,…
 
A surprisingly straightforward Saturday crossword, with joyfully few RORs (Ridiculously Obscure References™️) to slow down the proceedings. Mike still managed to find a way, however: and to learn exactly how, you know what to do: download and listen up!MP による
 
Both Jean & Mike found today's crossword to be definitely on the harder side of the spectrum -- with the top-left corner causing particular grief. Both were eventually able to rally, although it was an epic battle. For all the deets, as well as the 411 on the EVZONES that is the basis of today's Fun Fact Friday, hit download now!…
 
One look at the grid, with a series of 1 letter squares with black on both sides (something that almost *never* happens) was a tipoff that something unusual was happening. Fortunately, the puzzle was written by Timothy Polin, who's usual behavior is to crank out great crosswords, and he is in fine form today, apparently able to create cross-lesswor…
 
A shocker of a Wednesday, with (wait for it) a rebus! And a very clever rebus at that, one that might drive you coocoo, so to speak. (We won't say more about the theme here, download the podcast to get the full 411.) The crossword started off strong, with 1A, Animal that's also a plant?, MOLE (nice!), a helpful tip at 16A, Good advice during an eme…
 
If you felt HEARTBROKEN after doing today's crossword, well, that's probably just a side-effect of the theme - the word HEART, appearing in words with an increasing number of other letters being inserted in between. Otherwise this was a fun crossword, with a few notable clues -- 34D, Communication at Gallaudet Univ, ASL (marking the second time tha…
 
Mondays are traditionally the easiest crossword puzzles of the week, designed to gently welcome novice solvers to the fold, and this one definitely succeeds. It has some intriguing clues -- 1D, Handy way of communicating, in brief?, ASL; 56A, 1967 hit by the Tremeloes suggested by the starts of 17-, 27- and 46-Across, HERECOMESMYBABY; and a nod to …
 
It's hard not to like a puzzle that manages to work in 63A, Final creature encountered in "Dr. Seuss's ABC", ZIZZERZAZZERZUZZ, on its way to working a grand total of 40 (count 'em) Z'S into the grid, a genuine tour de forze, um, we mean force. Jean had trouble in the upper right, in particular with 33A, Jurisdiction of a Catholic Church official, D…
 
A thoroughly pleasurable Saturday crossword. Jean got through it fairly expeditiously, never thinking that she'd hit a brick wall anywhere in the grid. Mike flailed around for a time in the lower left corner before MNEMOSYNE heard his prayers and reminded him that, among other things, there never was and never will be any such game as CORNDART. A f…
 
A fun Friday crossword, tough but fair, with just a few potential natick sites -- all of which Mike managed to find, and details in this week's episode. Today's Fun Fact (it is, of course, Fun Fact Friday) was about ambigrams, those wonderful works of art that look the same after being rotated / reflected.…
 
A very sound Thursday crossword -- and sounds are at its heart, with a number of clues that require you mash sounds together to get an answer. Jean's favorite was 26A, [Lightsaber] + [Impatient fingers] = Boring, HUMDRUM, while Mike was partial to 48A, [Cow] + [Thunder] = Snake eyes, e.g., LOWROLL, not only for the humor but because that was where …
 
It's always a good sign when Alex Eaton-Salners' name is on the puzzle, and he does not disappoint today, with a puzzle built to AMUSE. There are multiple answers that when deprived of the circled letter in their midst become their opposite, e.g., 13A, Stay in power, RESIGN (with the S circled), becomes REIGN; and 23A, Hold on to, HEAVE (with the E…
 
A geometrically themed crossword, with various ANGLEs making an appearance, at, as one might expect, an angle. Jean solved the crossword in almost record time, but Mike, alas, fixated on the name DEBDUBOIS for considerably longer than he ought to have before finding the correct answer to 7D, Co-founder of the NAACP and author of "The Souls of Black…
 
A fun Monday, with a droll theme, revolving around 61A, Guaranteed ... or where you can find the ends to 17A (POLEVAULT), 23A (PENNANDTELLER), 37A (DAYLIGHTSAVINGS), and 50A (BOTTLEDEPOSIT), INTHEBANK. One of the more interesting clues was 51D, River of forgetfulness, in myth, LETHE, interesting because just two days ago we had a reference to the G…
 
Most crossword answers are black-and-white - but today's grid had a slew of them in gray, as part of an intricate theme involving cut classes (listen to Jean's stellar explanation for all the deets). There seemed to be a plethora of people populating the grid, such as 117A, Michael _______ of "Ugly Betty", URIE, 125A, "Spy Kids" actress Hatcher, TE…
 
If spelling is not your forte, then perhaps you might want to brace yourself before trying today's crossword. Between 33A, Site of the impact of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, CHICXULUBCRATER, 18A, Greek goddess of memory, MNEMOSYNE, and 33D, Mexican dish named after a small boat, CHALUPA, there were a lot of serious s…
 
A gentle Friday, Jean did it in slightly less time than usual, whereas Mike cleaved off 3h5m (if only we were kidding!) from his cataclysmically bad Thursday time. Jean started off slowly and picked up steam as she went along; Mike found most of the puzzle firmly planted in his wheelhouse, with the exception of the top-right corner (with 16A, Lustr…
 
An ingenious Thursday delight by Simeon Seigel, with an awe inspiring theme that surely deserves a place in the pantheon of great crosswords. It involves personal identifiable information (PII), embedded in black squares, that emerges when the puzzle is solved. If you haven't seen the solution, hop over to xwordinfo.com to admire Mr. Seigel's opus.…
 
Jean solved today's crossword so quickly that several laws of physics may have been broken in the process, or at least bent. There were several related answer pairs in the grid, in particular 9D, Dweller west of the North Atlantic, AMERICAN, and 40D, Dweller east of the North Atlantic, EUROPEAN. A case could also be made for 17A, Much of Roy Lichte…
 
A fun Tuesday crossword, with some legal puns (are there any other kind?) to spice things up. Jean tore through the crossword in under 12 minutes, while Mike, convinced that 10D, Brand of caramel candy, WERTHERS, should be spelled WORTHERS, spent an absurdly long amount of time before realizing that the cross, 16A, British pop singer Lewis, was in …
 
Today's subtly themed crossword took us on a tour of the Earth's interior. It began with 17A, Pizza feature for a specialized diet, GLUTENFREECRUST, through 34A, Take on a position, along with its responsibilities, ASSUMETHEMANTLE, ending up at 52A, Lacking any moral compass, ROTTENTOTHECORE, the antithesis of this fine work by Pao Roy. There were …
 
Sometimes, what you need when solving a crossword is a FRESHSETOFEYES. Well, good news, because in today's crossword, they're already there, as in the answer to 116A, New look provider ... or a homophonic hint to this puzzle's theme. Specifically, there are multiple answers with an extra set of I's and whose removal leads to a completely different …
 
A challenging Saturday crossword (but aren't they all?). Jean had trouble in the bottom half, unfamiliar with 40A, Upgrade for a train passenger, PARLORCAR, and 34D, Humans, in sci-fi slang, MEATBAGS (ugh!), while Mike had an IMPASSE at 21D, Merle Haggard tune, "_____ From Muskogee", oscillating between ABIE and OBIE, instead of the correct OKIE (w…
 
In today's episode, we learn about the story behind 28A, Comedian Notaro, TIG, savor the awesome clue, 32A, Ground shaking stuff?, PEPPER, and for Fun Fact Friday learn why the answer to 55A, Cheese whose name is a semordnilap, is EDAM. All this is just waiting for you, so download now, and listen up!…
 
A relatively straightforward Thursday crossword - look, ma, no rebuses! -- with gentle but amusing cluing, and a clever theme involving SILVERLINING. Each answer around the periphery of the grid worked if prefaced with the word SILVER, as in SILVERSURFER, SILVERBELLS, etc. There was one groaner pun - 35D, Ice place to go?, RINK, and a few biochemic…
 
For those of you still recovering from yesterday's jammed-to-the-rafters-with-pop-culture-references grid, the NYTimes proudly presents as an antidote today's puzzle -- with barely a pop culture reference in sight -- thereby keeping the average number of PCRs close to the officially prescribed 3.5 PCRs per grid ... a regulation and a number that we…
 
Today's crossword was tough, for a Tuesday - with a bevy of popular culture references that covered a wide swathe of time. There was almost 130 years, for instance, between, 60A, Lord High Executioner in "The Mikado", KOKO and the revealer at 57A, 2013 Best Musical Tony winner ... with a hint to this puzzle's theme, KINKYBOOTS. There were also quit…
 
Mondays are traditionally the easiest crossword of the week: last week's had a bit more crunch to it than usual, so this may be Will's way of balancing the ledger. Today's puzzle did have a few TIL (Today I Learned) clues, most notably 33A, State whose flag, with eight gold stars in the shape of the Big Dipper, was designed by a 13 year old, ALASKA…
 
Today's puzzle ought to put a smile on your face ... because there's a smile in the grid! A winking smile, to be precise, the emoticon ;-). Rather than using PUNCTUATIONMARKS, however, the ;-) is ingeniously spelled out (SEMI, COLON, HYPHEN and PARENTHESIS, all arranged in the appropriate shape in the grid), and it must've taken forever to get this…
 
An amazing oeuvre by Sid Sivakumar. Just consider 1A, Cause for alarm?, BURGLAR (ha!)), 3A, Acts like a nudnik to, PESTERS (huh?), and 45A, Smartphone screen displays, ALERTS (wow!). Now imagine an entire puzzle with clues like that, well ... you don't have to imagine, because the entire puzzle is like that, a serious mental workout worthy of a Sat…
 
A challenging Friday crossword (but easier than last week's!). There were a few novel entries in today's grid, including 17A, Hybrid citrus fruit native to China, MEYERLEMON, the very 21st century 3D, "G2G", TTYL, and 35D, Marshal under Napoleon, NEY. Jean leveraged her familiarity with 12D, ________ the 25-Down, founder of the kingdom of Hawaii, K…
 
A fascinating puzzle, with several TIL (Today I Learned) moments. Most notably, the astonishing 30A, Animal whose teeth are the strongest substance in the natural world, SNAIL. For those of us who never even knew that SNAILs had teeth, this was indeed a revelation! Also, the fact that RADIAN is part of the SI (metric system) was also a bit of a stu…
 
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