January 2, 2020 - "Check Your Calendar" - by Andrea Carla Michaels

Puzzle Notes

Dear friends,
Happy New Year! And welcome to year two of the Inkubator. In these early days of a new year, we pause to look back at what's gone by and look forward to what lies ahead. While you're in this mode, we invite you to 'Check Your Calendar' and make an appointment with the 'acme' of puzzle-makers. The first month of the year feels sort of like the first day of the week, doesn't it? In keeping with that analogy, we start the year off gently, with a lightly challenging, timely theme from one of two esteemed constructors who've worn the 'Queen of Mondays' tiara: Andrea Carla Michaels. 
Andrea has constructed puzzles for more than 40 years in Games Magazine, TV Guide, The New York Times, and other syndicates. She lives in San Francisco where she names companies and products (ACME Naming) and spends her afternoons as "Pizza Lady," feeding her neighbors on the street. A former stand-up comic and game show writer, she once won a motorhome on "Wheel of Fortune."
CONTEST RESULTS: Thanks to all who entered last week's meta contest! The puzzle, 'Cell Service' by Anna-Marie Ruoff, had four theme entries -- HEALTH LAWS, HEARTY LAUGH, HELLO LADIES, and HEDY LAMARR -- each of which had the initial letters HE and LA. If you've read the bestselling nonfiction account by Rebecca Skloot, or if you know a little about cell biology and bioethics, or perhaps if you googled 'HeLa,' you got the answer: Henrietta Lacks, the African American woman whose cancer cells, taken without her consent in 1951, have become important, 'immortal' tools in scientific research. Our winner, chosen from 225 correct entries, is Patchen Barss of Toronto, Ontario, who will receive some Inkubator swag. 
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 January 16, Christina Iverson has the last word.
All best,
Laura and Tracy