January 19, 2023 - "Themeless #39" - by Darby Ratliff and Rachel Fabi

Difficulty ● ● ○ ○ ○

Puzzle Notes

Dear friends,

We're delighted to be publishing this vibrant themeless constructed by dynamic duo Darby Ratliff and Rachel Fabi. We think you'll find it to be one of our rare lightly challenging themeless offerings!

Darby Ratliff is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Saint Louis University. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she is a passionate Cleveland Guardians and Buffalo Bills fan whose ideal day is spent at a baseball game keeping score with one hand and drinking a beer with the other. In her spare time, she loves exploring new coffee shops, reading, doing puzzles, and hanging out with her dog Midge. She also blogs for Diary of a Crossword Fiend, is a member of the 2023 Lil AVC X roster, and can be found on Twitter at @darby_ratliff.

Rachel Fabi is a Syracuse-based solver, constructor, and writer-abouter of crossword puzzles. Rachel is a "Wordplay" columnist for the New York Times, writing about the daily puzzle and helping new solvers learn the tips and tricks of solving. She has published crosswords in a variety of mainstream and indie venues, including her own puzzle blog Just Gridding!, which she shares with fellow constructor Claire Rimkus. Rachel is also the creator of These Puzzles Fund Abortion, a series of puzzle packs that have raised over $135,000 for abortion funds. In her non-crossword life, she is a professor of bioethics and a "Jeopardy!" champion who loves bad puns, good trivia, and arguing about health policy and ethics on the internet (@faBioethics on Twitter).

When you're done solving, check out Diary of a Crossword Fiend for a write-up and discussion, every Friday after an Inkubator puzzle is published. For general updates, follow us on Twitter at @InkubatorXWords, and visit our website. Thanks to all of our subscribers for your continuing support, feedback, and kindness!

Coming up next, on February 2: a language lesson from C.C. Burnikel.

All best,
Laura, Tracy, Stella, and Brooke