January 30, 2020 - "She's Not There" - by Janie Smulyan

Puzzle Notes

Dear friends,
What better treat can you imagine, in the waning days of January, with so much winter still ahead of us, than a scintillating, brain-warming puzzle by Janie Smulyan? Some Inkubator solvers may recognize Janie's byline from her puzzle-blogging days at Diary of a Crossword Fiend. Or you may have seen her once or twice or thrice at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. She's everywhere. She's a puzzle. "She's Not There" is her puzzle. It is moderately challenging, but we trust you will solve it "Without a Hitch" (the puzzle's working title, and a worthy alternate).
Native "Baltimoron" [sic] Janie Smulyan now resides on NYC's upper west side. Since 2011, her puzzles (collabs and solo ventures) have been published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Fireball Crosswords, the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, and the Goucher Quarterly (her college alumnae/-i mag). Last year she created a puzz for the Indie 500; and now, the Inkubator. Life is good! 
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!
Waiting in the wings for delivery on February 13 is a revelation from up-and-comer Allegra Kuney. Get ready!
All best,
Laura and Tracy