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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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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…
 
A great Wednesday crossword by Lee Taylor, a punny homage to speed that manages to walk that fine line between punny and painful. Consider 16A, "Hurry up", to a dancer, SHAKEALEG, or 50A, "Hurry up", to a zombie, LOOKALIVE. And the rest of the themed answers are even better. All the details of this clearly 5-square puzzle are inside, so download an…
 
There were a lot of famous names in today's crossword --but even if you don't know 61A, Atlanta rapper featured on Lizzo's Grammy-nominated "Exactly How I Feel", GUCCIMANE, or 24A, Runway model famous for her work as a Victoria's Secret model, CHANELIMAN, the crosses were merciful. Mike, as always, had a few hiccups - he incorrectly guessed 13A ___…
 
The trifecta of tough crosswords to wrap up our crossword-solving week, today's puzzle had 5 answers that started off running across, but ended rising vertically, with the remainder of the horizontal answer forming a different phrase that ended in ASH. There was some foreshadowing, 123A, Within arm's reach, ATONESELBOW, and 100A, What a button an a…
 
It's a Saturday New York Times crossword, and that can only mean one thing: tough cluing ahead! Both Jean & Mike ran into heavy seas in the top-right. Jean ran aground on SHOAL, and Mike nearly went mad trying to figure out ASYLA (but came this close). All in all, not a bad puzzle, we give it a 4 squares on the JAMCR scale.…
 
A brutal Friday crossword, Brendan Emmett Quigley and Paolo Pasco do not ease up for a moment, with clues like 3D, Role for Malcom-Jamal Warner on "The People v. O.J. Simpson", ALCOWLINGS (who?), 13A, Home to Waianuenue Falls, HILO (where?), and 4D, "Gah!", DOH (huh?). These made the top-left corner extremely difficult, especially if one did not kn…
 
A twofer by David W. Tuffs: the regular crossword (of course), plus a second puzzle involving hiding answers in other words/phrases. For instance, 18A, Fencer's cry, ENGARDE, appeared in the puzzle as ZENGARDEN. 51A, Roadside restaurant sign, EATHERE, appeared as WEATHERED. So, good job, Avi (er, we mean David), this clearly deserves a 5 squares on…
 
Today's grid was unique - a giant IF in the center of it, and in between the I and F ran the amusing answer to, 19D, Exclamation upon seeing this puzzle, THATSABIGIF, which got (at least here at JAMDTNYTC HQ, a big laugh). Jean made short order of today's crossword, Mike had to struggle with his old nemesis, food -- in particular, the spelling of 2…
 
A tasty Tuesday puzzle, with some delicious clues from Eric Bornstein, including 18A, Good snack for a pilot?, WINGNUTS, and Jean's favorite, 24A, Good snack for a gangster?, TOUGHCOOKIES. Between WINGNUTS, SENECA, COMET, RADAR and ETA, one could also make the argument that besides food, there was a hidden aviation theme ... but only the crossword …
 
A perfect Wednesday crossword has traveled back through time, and imperfectly impersonated a Monday crossword, which never would include such clearly Wednesday-level clues as 7D, Right-hand page of a book, RECTO, 14A, Plagued, ATEAT (um, OK), and 53A, Jose _______ (tequila brand), CUERVO. So, welcome, future crossword puzzle, we hope you brought th…
 
Julian Lim has published 25 crosswords in the New York Times, and just one glance at this puzzle will tell you why: the clues are masterpieces of misdirection (with maybe one or two gimmes thrown in for mercy's sake). Right from the get-go, with 1A Divine instrument?, TAROTCARD, Mr. Lim lets you know that you're in for a fun ride. Definitely a 5 sq…
 
A straightforward Friday oeuvre from the pen of Robyn Weintraub - Mike was reminded of Joe Friday's catchphrase, "Just the facts, ma'am", as most of the clues seemed to be quite literal. To be sure, there were a few verbal sparklers, including 1A. What takes a ticking and keeps on sticking?, STAMP (not TIMEX!), and 6D, Stuck-up couples at weddings?…
 
To answer the question posed in the episode title, yes we can, because this crossword is an absolute delight -- a fun but not impossible theme, and the "aha" moment if you get it will keep you energized for hours. Jean does a great job explaining the theme, so rather than re-explain it here, we exhort you to simply fire up whatever it is you listen…
 
If you like droll comedy, you'll love today's crossword. From 17A, "Please continue your generous support of the church", MASSAPPEAL, TO 58A, "This medicine will reduce your temperature in no time", FEVERPITCH, everywhere you turn in this grid you'll find something that will make you laugh or groan, or in the worst (i.e., best) case, both. For us, …
 
The authors of today's crossword, Jessie Bullock and Ross Trudeau, just got engaged - and this crossword was their announcement! The theme revolved around the song from Aladdin, ICANSHOWYOUTHEWORLD, and various clues that suggested representations of the earth (POCKETATLAS, GOOGLEEARTH, etc.). Hopefully they'll find married life as enjoyable as we …
 
HOWSWEETITIS and TWOTHUMBSUP pretty much summarizes our review of today's frothy , fun, and nostalgia-hued puzzle by Bruce Haight. Who can't help but smile at 49A, "The Jackie Gleason Show" catchphrase, HOWSWEETITIS, or the delicious twist that would always follow 39A, "Columbo" catchphrase, JUSTONEMORETHING? Probably all the people who weren't eve…
 
A perfect Sunday crossword by Stephen McCarthy, with some extraordinary anagrams. For your consideration we offer 5A, It might be put on for stage PAGEANTRIES, GREASEPAINT, and 42A, You might be MARVELING AT this as it whizzes by, MAGLEVTRAIN. These are just two of the 10 jaw-droppingly good anagram-related clues that grace this puzzle. The other c…
 
Today's crossword was a Saturday, hence the call for all SYNAPSES on deck. Jean's responded as usual, and she whizzed through today's crossword; Mike's also responded as usual, which is why, although he did TRY, he ended up BTEN in the vicinity of 50A, Synthetic material also called frozen smoke, AEROGEL (not AEROSOL). Life is just FULLOFSURPRISES!…
 
There was not a STALEJOKE to be found in today's grid. There might have been one at some point, but Will Shortz undoubtedly would've ULTIMATELY exercised his VETOPOWER to set things straight. There were lots of fun clues in today's puzzle, too many to list here, but we do have to give a shoutout to 48A, Superhero misidentification, ITSAPLANE, as we…
 
A crisp Thursday offering from the pen of Oliver Roeder, today's crossword had lots of sparkling clues. The pièce-de-résistance was 36A, Life preserver? ... or a hint to six squares in this puzzle, CEREALBOX (and we'll just pause here to let that sink in 😀). Other clues worth applauding for included (this is not an exhaustive list by any stretch) 1…
 
A BLANKCANVAS is how crosswords (and podcast episode write-ups!) begin, but then with a little AGILE thinking you end up with ... a WHITELEPHANT? No, a PLUM puzzle that's just ready to pick! We hope that you'll pick, download and listen up to today's podcast, featuring Jean's deft explanation of today's theme, as well as a loving recitation of a Wi…
 
Today's crossword had lots of dipping - a NIB in INDIAINK, BREAD in CHEESEFONDUE, etc. Jean's favorite clue in the grid was 18A, Small part in a superhero film?, ANTMAN, and Mike was enthralled with 14A, Parts of clown costumes, REDNOSES, just because he likes the idea of REDNOSES. It's Triplet Tuesday, and Mike flames out spectacularly -- the deta…
 
Monday's are generally regarded as the easiest of the New York Times crosswords, but that doesn't mean that they aren't a lot of fun. This one had a lively theme, the opportunity to misspell 14A, Visually challenged "Mr." of cartoons, MAGOO (Mike thought it was MCGOO for a time), and a clue that's guaranteed to induce a chuckle or three, 45A, One w…
 
Double, double, toil and trouble refers not only to a witch's spell, but also to this crossword, which caused a lot of toil and trouble -- specifically at the junction of 6A, Sarcastic internet laughter, LOLZ, and 9D, Star man?, ZAGAT; both Jean and Mike (working independently, as always) decided that the answers should be LOLS and SAGAN. The autho…
 
The misdirections were flying fast and furious in today's epic by Nam Jin Yoon. Consider 48A, Marvel producer, MIRACLEWORKER, not KEVINFEIGE (it doesn't fit, and Marvel ≠ MARVEL). Right above that, 45A, Background for someone who's good with numbers, MUSICALTHEATER (!), and 34A, Star clusters?, FANBASES (!!). One of those classic Saturday puzzles t…
 
Jean found today's crossword to be a bit of a slog, but Mike (surprisingly) cruised through it in excellent time, although it was touch-and-go at the beginning. There were a lot of amusing clues in today's offering, such as 26D, Traffic directors?, CONES, 51A, That's a wrap!, SARAN, and 61A, Person who is willfully alone, SOLEHEIR. If these didn't …
 
HOHO, another exciting crossword from Jake Halperin (with, we presume, a dollop of assistance from Will Shortz), who CALLSITLIKEITIS, calling a spade a spade, and a funny bone a FUNNYNERVE -- because that's what, it turns out, it really is. There are three other misnomers that he lays to rest in this fine bit of gridsmanship: to find out what they …
 
Today’s crossword featured a fine example of grid art — a face that definitely HADABLANKLOOK, and SHOWEDNOEMOTION - which coincidentally is what Jean & Mike look like when they have their puzzle-solving faces on. Apart from the Mona Lisa-like grid, there were some interesting answers: 56A, Brand with the record for a single car driven the most mile…
 
Today's crossword was a colorful one, well, red, at least, thanks to the theme -- 4 multi-word answers, the first word of which could be preceded by LITTLERED, as in 17A, Educated, but not streetwise, BOOKSMART, as in LITTLEREDBOOK (as in Mao's bestseller). Mike had a spot of difficulty, uncertain of and therefore focused on 11D, Judicial capital o…
 
A slightly more difficult Monday than usual -- crunchier, as they say -- but that's to be expected when Alex Eaton-salners is at the helm. You know that trouble's ahead when one of the first clues, 2D, Wake-up calls played on bugles, REVEILLES, requires that you spell REVEILLES. Not too long after, 20A, Spiral shapes, HELICES, requires that you rec…
 
Today's crossword puzzle was ... a puzzle, literally, with 5 shaded areas that when fitted together spelled out that homage to Kodak (maybe), PICTUREPERFECTMOMENTS. There was not a lot of humor in the clues, but 74A, Beehives, but not hornets' nests, UPDOS, and 100A, Songs that can be trilling, ARIAS, were noteworthy. There was a lot to like in tod…
 
There are many reasons to love today's crossword, and a new world's record for use of words containing GHTs is not the least of them. With a minimum of cultural references (Mike's bane), and the pun-meter dialed up to 11, it was one of those puzzles that starts of as Impossible and then ... well for many people it stays there's but if you're lucky,…
 
Both Jean and Mike had issues with today's crossword - Jean missed class the day they covered the moons of Saturn (41D, Moon of Saturn, TETHYS), and Mike is utterly convinced that the only true 23D, Director Cameron, is JAMES Cameron (not CROWE). They also are convinced that an 's' made a break for it in 49D, Just deserts, DUE. Apart from this, the…
 
Today's crossword involves two animals, both clued as Hybrid creature of myth, that are either ancient and indeed mythical or possibly escapees from S.T.A.R. labs: MERMAID and CENTAUR. And these are central to today's theme, details of which Jean spells out in her inimitable style in today's episode. Beyond that, there were some very clever clues, …
 
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