July 23, 2020 - Themeless #9 - by Stella Zawistowski

Difficulty ● ● ● ● ●

Puzzle Notes


Tonight we have yet another bonus for you -- a tough themeless from editorial team member Stella Zawistowski. It is our largest and most challenging puzzle yet! To ease your eyes and tease your brains, we've included a large-print version of the puzzle, with clues on one page and grid on another.

A competitive solver for nearly two decades, Stella Zawistowski is an eight-time top-ten solver at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Constructing was a natural offshoot of so much solving, and she published her first puzzle in the Los Angeles Times in 2002. Between 2002 and 2010, she published more than 300 puzzles with co-constructor Bruce Venzke, and eventually quit constructing to pursue other interests. Over the past few years, Stella has paid intense attention to the underrepresentation of women in the crossworld, and in 2019 she decided to be the change she wanted to see in the world. She now constructs as a solo artist so that she can make puzzles with her own, female, voice. Because she loves solving the hardest puzzles, hard puzzles are also her favorite area of construction, whether it's a themeless or cryptic. Though making and solving crosswords consumes much of Stella's free time, she would also like you to know how much she enjoys moving heavy objects, whether it's bench pressing a barbell or throwing a 100-pound sandbag over her shoulder.

Visit toughasnails.net for a biweekly themeless puzzle from Stella, and follow her on Twitter at @stellaphone for a #crypticclueaday.

Coming up next, on July 30, Jennifer Nutt takes us for a spin.

All best,
Laura, for the Inkubator team