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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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What happens when board games collide? You get a great excuse for a number of punny clues, and Ray and Ellen Brunsberg take full advantage of this in today's very nice - 5 squares on the JAMCR scale nice - puzzle. For all the deets (as well as the opportunity to hear how Jean fared this Triplet Tuesday), download and listen up.…
 
The timing of this crossword - hot on the heels of The Most Exciting Football Game Of All Time - was impeccable, and the puzzle itself was nothing to sneeze at, either. There were some very nice crosses -- 5A, Top celebs, ALIST, intersected 8D, Breakout movie role, say, STARTURN; 31A, U.K. Award, OBE, crossed 17D, Obi-Wan _____ (Jedi master), KENOB…
 
JUSTRELAX is not only the answer to 26D, "Easy ... everything's going to be OK", it's also a natural reaction to seeing the authors of today's puzzle, Nancy Stark and Will Nediger, two veteran crossword constructors who have packed today's grid with scads of punny themed answers. Intrigued? We thought you might be, so just hit the handy-dandy downl…
 
Some serious MENTALGYMNASTICS were required to finish today's crossword, with the northeast being particularly troublesome. Jean managed to do the crossword in a decent time, whereas Mike eventually hid the timer, it was just that painful ... er, fun, yes, that's it, fun! Seriously it was, and to find out why, as well as which crossword won the hig…
 
A great Friday crossword - Jean flailed about a bit in the bottom-left and -center regions, while Mike at one point desperately tried to stretch out the answer to 40A, Bulb units, as WATTTS (as opposed to the correctly spelled LUMENS). In other news, it's Fun Fact Friday, so to improve your mind, as well as (it's been scientifically proven) make yo…
 
Today's crossword was a very smooth solve, some might even say it was a Tuesday or Wednesday crossword that had snuck into a Thursday slot. Bereft of rebuses and with just a few verbal fireworks raises the question -- is Will Shortz preparing to unleash a Friday crossword the likes of which have never been seen? Perhaps an entire grid of white squa…
 
There was a lot of food and food for thought, in today's grid. In addition to those mentioned in the podcast, MALTS, TOAST, OATS and ROLL (singular, after all the other food we could only eat one) made an appearance, so definitely a weighty and delicious puzzle. Yum!MP による
 
A cornucopia of corny clues awaits the solver of today's puzzle, which Jean found to be a bit thornier than usual for a Tuesday, and Mike nearly SWOONED at the prospect of TWOINKMINIMUMS: but both of the intrepid duo managed to persevere. To get all the deets, as well as see how Mike fared in an epic Triplet Tuesday, all you need to do is download …
 
A fun Monday crossword, with a clever, some might even say LOL theme, as well as enough interesting other clues to definitely warrant a 5 square rating on the JAMCR scale. Will that be enough to win the coveted JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword Of The Week Award)? Too early to tell, but it's definitely in contention!…
 
In today's crossword, the NYTimes has generously given us two crosswords for the price of one - a standard Sunday crossword, with a cryptic-crossword buried within. Fortunately, you don't need mad cryptic-crossword skills in order to solve this, because the crosses are, as is often the case, there to save the day. For all the deets on this deliciou…
 
In today's episode, Jean describes the stages of crossword solving ... from Disbelief to Elation, and a few others in between. To find out what those are, which crossword won the prestigious JAMCOTWA (Jean And Mike Crossword of The Week Award), and for a deep dive into today's grid, just download and listen up!…
 
A Friday crossword with Sid Sivakumar in the byline (as well as Matthew Stock) is often cause for quaking of knees and gnashing of teeth, but while they ratcheted back the difficulty (just a tad), the cluing was just as brilliant. Clearly, 40D, Bath water unit, LITRE, deserves a standing ovation, and 46A, Abbr. near zero, OPER, also is worth a hoot…
 
A tough Thursday crossword ... for one of the cohosts, and long time listeners will have no trouble figuring out who. SPOILERLERT -- he's the one with the wild TOE. And to understand that reference, you'll have to do what you've been itching to do since this sentence began many aeons ago, i.e., download and listen up to today's episode.…
 
Adam Aaronson is baaaack! Just a few weeks after his JAMCOTWA*-winning AA crossword, he returns with a Wednesday offering that is also definitely in the running for this week's award. To find out why, and to decide for yourself whether or not he is worthy, we invite you to carefully scrutinize the evidence, alà Father Brown, as laid out in today's …
 
A nice Tuesday crossword, because a) Ross Trudeau's the constructor, and b) Will Shortz is the editor. In today's episode, we spotlight an R&B singer definitely worth checking out, and marvel at Jean's prowess during Triplet Tuesday. For all this and more, download and listen up!MP による
 
Today's crossword had a stealthy theme, but Jean ferreted it out, whereas Mike, bereft of a liberal arts education, assumed that the theme involved medical care (ADA, CDC, and YOGA, to be precise, which Mike almost never is). For all the deets, all you have to do is download and listen up. Just a reminder ... the New York Times Crossword is terrifi…
 
Opinions are divided on today's crossword - Jean found it easy, finishing it in 45 minutes, while Mike ... got natticked at the corner of 51A, 1997 pop hit withy a nonsensical refrain, MMMBOP, and 33D, Westernmost sch. in Conference USA, UTEP (as opposed to MMMBOX, a popular restaurant in the UAE and UTEX, a non-existent university). For more on to…
 
Today's crossword, with an ocean of white squares and ergo a ridiculously small number of black ones, was, at first blush, a daunting sight, but upon closer inspection it turned out to be ... still daunting: but keeping in mind the adage, STEADYASSHEGOES, along with the caution to take a rest when you're TOOTIREDTOTHINK, it turned out to be doable …
 
A fun Friday crossword, par for the course when Robyn Weintraub is at the helm, but that's the only predictable part of the grid. With clues like 1D, Story that goes above your head?, ATTIC, and 32D, They can be felt, PENS, it is no wonder that today's crossword earned a perfect 5 squares on the JAMCR scale, and if Siskel & Ebert were still int he …
 
Rebuses, collective nouns, and a reference to Elmer FUDD -- a just about perfect crossword, and when you toss in the susseration of scandal, well, that just pushes it over the edge! For all the juicy deets, just hit the big download button (or better yet, the subscribe button), and enjoy!MP による
 
Regardless of whether you're a HALFEMPTY or HALFFULL sort of person, this crossword is guaranteed to EXALT, and we could WAX eloquent about it all night, but we'd rather let you get right to today's episode and ... enjoy!MP による
 
Although crosswords with quotes can be tricky and sometimes a tad annoying (if you don't know the quote, it can be a long slog), we'll give this one a pass because it is a quote by the godmother of the New York Times crossword and one of our heroes, the original puzzle editor, MARGARETFARRAR. 👏🏼👏🏼MP による
 
Happy new year, everyone! The NYTimes celebrated by providing a real WINNER of a crossword, of that we are SERTA -- although as far as the JAMCOTWA (Jean and Mike Crossword of the Week Award) is concerned, it lost out, so to find out who did win the award, and why (along with some great listener mail), hit download, play, and enjoy.…
 
There were plenty of fireworks in this New Year's Eve crossword, some sparkling clues, and some brilliant answers (as always). Jean tore through it in good time, Mike took it a bit more sedately but still managed to emerge victorious. For all the deets, and a fascinating fun fact for Fun Fact Friday, download and listen up.…
 
On this New Year's Eve Eve, we have a fine crossword by John Ewbank -- starting with that always tricky question when it comes to 1A, Flatbread from India -- is it NAAN or ROTI? (today it's ROTI) all the way to the slippery 68A, Coaster, SLED. Jean had to dig for the answer to 39A, Sounder, SANER, while Mike felt slightly vertiginous parsing 52D, H…
 
The perfect Wednesday crossword -- fun theme, some slightly tricky and in some cases LOL clues, who could ask for anything more? To find out precisely why it deserves all this praise, you know what to do -- download and listen up! A reminder that these podcasts are easier to follow if you have the solved crossword in hand. If you don't, wander over…
 
Opinions are divided on today's crossword - Jean thought it fine, and tore through it in about 7 minutes, whereas Mike didn't even understand the theme, and only managed to eke out a victory by channeling his deep knowledge of Cuban dance moves. In other news, it's Triplet Tuesday, so to hear Jean strut her stuff, intellectually speaking, all you n…
 
Adam Aaronson apparently looked within for inspiration, because today's grid is chock-full of answers that start with AA. If we were to grade this puzzle then, we'd definitely have to give it an A ... and then another A ... in short, an AA!MP による
 
An extra crunchy Sunday crossword, mainly due to a clever theme, recognition of which genuinely helped with the solve. Jean had a little trouble, being a little too HIP when the answer was merely HEP, and Mike struggled at 85D, One hanging around Queen Elizabeth?, trying to fit PRINCECHARLES into an answer that only had room for a solitary PEARL. S…
 
A tough Saturday crossword: a stack of 3 15-letter answers at the bottom, and a stack of 9-, 11- and 13-letter answers at the top made for a formidable grid. Jean had issues in the top left, and Mike was temporarily enticed into thinking that 1A, Things you might snap on, nowadays, PHOTOAPPS, was PHONEAPPS -- as the crosses for both the T and O wer…
 
A festively difficult Christmas Eve crossword -- there was no theme, but a bevy of tricky clues that made this a real challenge. Jean struggled in the top-left, but eventually her NEURALNET helped her figure out 13A, Artificial intelligence system based on the human brain, NEURALNET, as well as the rest of the crossword. Mike got temporarily waylai…
 
Today's puzzle had a tad less of the verbal trickery that we're accustomed to seeing on Thursdays, but it made up for it with a series of puns of admirably bad (by which we mean good) quality. It also did educate, as good crosswords are wont to do -- 67A, What cynophobia is the fear of, DOGS, and 26A, Heath genus that's also a woman's name, ERICA -…
 
For those who like to geek out on planetary science, you will love today's crossword; and even for those who don't, there's lots to enjoy and discover. We've culled the best clues and answers and included them in the podcast, of course, but on the cutting room floor we left the always dapper-looking 40A, Fist bump, DAP, and the truly great putdown,…
 
A fine Tuesday crossword and a fun theme in which a certain utensil plays an absolutely pivotal role. Which utensil? And in what sense did it pivot? The answers to those burning questions (as well as others, including many that you never even knew you should ask), may be found in today's installment, just waiting for you to download and enjoy!…
 
A slightly crunchier Monday crossword than usual, Jean and Mike didn't come anywhere near the their epic, some might say quixotic, quest to complete the crossword in 5 minutes. Why, you ask? Or, if you speak old English or got the Helga reference, Wyeth, you ask? To find out, you'll need to, as usual, download and listen up!…
 
A sapid Sunday crossword (and if you're unfamiliar with sapid, be sure and check out Friday's episode), Jean ate it up, tearing through it in 32 minutes. Mike, always the fussy eater, took just over twice the time, as he was temporarily naticked at the corner of 35D, Get, slangily, COP and 41A, Stage name of rapper Yasiin Bey, MOSDEF. (Mike thought…
 
Today's crossword pegged the crossword-difficulty-meter (expressed in units of Joe DiPietro's, see our December 10th podcast for the deets). Everywhere you looked in the grid there was a challenge, from the (believe it or not, relatively easy) 37D, Go out of business?, RETIRE, to the quaint 10D, Buffaloed, ATALOSS (how fitting!), and who could forg…
 
A decidedly vocabulary-stretching Friday crossword, with a dollop of food and pop culture references to amp up the difficulty level. We loved it -- giving it an enthusiastic 5 squares on the JAMCR scale. Besides that, it's Fun Fact Friday, so hit the ol' download button, followed by the ol' play button, and enjoy our dr'oll commentary on today's pu…
 
A fine, some might even say mind-bogglingly spectacular, Thursday crossword from Trenton Charlson, aided and abetted by the clever programmers who run the New York Times crossword site. We don't want to give anything away, so to find out just what makes this crossword such an excellent example of the genre, all you have to do is download and listen…
 
Jessie Bullock and Ross Trudeau are at the helm, so you know we're in for a good time (or, in case you didn't know it, they are veteran primo crossword writers). Beyond the clues covered in today's podcast, we would like to acknowledge 21D, Shortest month of the year, MAY 😀, and 54D, Volume of Horace, ODES (not as Mike originally thought, SEXTARIUS…
 
SCANDINAVIA consists of 6 countries, and crossword constructor Tao Platt managed to squeeze 4 of them into today's grid -- but since they are the size of, well, countries, that's no mean feat! And there was even enough room left over to slip in some subtler references to northern climes, 22D, Home with a northern exposure, IGLOO (cute), and 58D + 5…
 
A fine debut crossword by Tomas Spiers, built around the concept of fire safety, i.e., STOPDROPANDROLL. Jean tore through this crossword in almost record time, whereas Mike, betrayed by his (completely fictional) upbringing in a London suburb, couldn't quite wrap his head around RAILROADSTATIONS: it's a long story*, but if you want to hear the deet…
 
A great Sunday crossword by Daniel Okulitch and Doug Peterson, an amusing theme, a relatively low pop-culture rating, and we'll always let slide references to "A Confederacy of Dunces". In short, a perfect puzzle. We also announced the JAMCOTWA (Jean & Mike Crossword of The Week Award), so to find out what that was, and what made today's theme so a…
 
Relative to Friday's morass, today's crossword was easy-peasy, although it still had enough "bite" to make it interesting. Some of the clues were quite good, and the one for the official cookie of the New York Times crossword (aka OREO) was particularly well done. To find out what that was, as well as the 411 on the rest of the puzzle, download and…
 
An absolutely vicious Saturday crossword that somehow got published on Friday, one of the toughest we've seen in years. With clues ranging from a soul crushing 48A, Japanese dish of raw fish and vegetables over rice, CHIRASHI, to an equally jaw-dropping 10A, Cheek-related, MALAR, Joe DiPietro showed no mercy. Normally we'd say this should've run on…
 
A great crossword - cool theme, educational clues, and (at least for one of us, and no prize if you guess which one) a bit of a challenge, especially in the center of the grid. We go deep in today's cutting-edge analysis, so grab some popcorn, your favorite beverage, and be prepared to be entertained!…
 
Another fine crossword -- the New York Times Crossword Quality Assurance people have definitely been on the ball these last few weeks. Who would not benefit from knowing 6D, Rioja, for one, WINE? Who could not but marvel at 46D, Long time, ERA, paired with 29D, Long time, EON? And who would not wish they could unread 2D, Marsupial with distinctive …
 
We are back for a catch up episode! We talk about everything that has happened in the 1D (mostly Harry) world for the past 6 months:-Love on Tour Concerts (we went to the Vegas shows together and Caitlin went to 2 MSG shows including Harryween)-Pleasing, Harry's new company-Don't Worry Darling teaser trailer…
 
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