March 11, 2021 - "Puzzling AF" - Brooke Husic and Rachel Fabi

Difficulty ● ● ● ○ ○

Puzzle Notes

Dear friends,

We're delighted to be publishing this puzzle by dynamic AF duo Brooke Husic and Rachel Fabi. We think you'll find it moderately challenging!

From Brooke and Rachel: We are so thrilled this puzzle is running in the Inkubator and love it so much. This is the first puzzle we made together(!!!), and it went from conception to fully-clued 21x21 grid in less than a week(!!!). We hope you enjoy solving it as much as we enjoyed making it (which was a lot)!

Brooke Husic (she/her) is a postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University. Since she started constructing in early 2020, she's had nearly 100 puzzles run in various publications and on independent blogs. Brooke also has her own blog -- xwords by a ladee -- where, on the 27th of every month, she posts modern and challenging themeless puzzles clued at two difficulty levels. She made her tournament puzzle debut at Lollapuzzoola 2020 and is thrilled to be one of the constructors for the ongoing Boswords 2021 Spring Themeless League (which you can still sign up for!!!!). She has also recently started assisting the Inkubator team with web content. Brooke encourages any woman or otherwise underrepresented aspiring constructor to get in touch with her if they are interested in making crossword puzzles but haven't yet taken the plunge. You can find Brooke on Twitter at @xandraladee.

Rachel Fabi (she/her) is a Syracuse-based solver, constructor, and tri-weekly blogger of crossword puzzles. 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). Rachel is a member of the USA Today constructor roster, and has also been published in the Universal, the American Values Club Crossword, Queer Qrosswords, the New York Times, and Grids for Good. Like Brooke, she is also constructing for the Boswords 2021 Spring Themeless League and contributed to the 2020 Lollapuzzoola tournament. In her non-crossword life, Rachel enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and taking care of her three pets (a cat, a dog, and a sourdough starter).

The Inkubator editors would also love to say a word for longtime puzzle artist Hayley Gold, formerly of the webcomic Across and Down. Hayley and the Maze of Games team are launching an inspired collaboration called Letters to Margaret, an interactive graphic novel that blends the art of comics with the art of solving. Cool, right? If you'd like to support Letters to Margaret, visit the project Kickstarter page to donate or pledge for a copy.

Coming up next, on March 18: a themeless puzzle from the incomparable Julie Bérubé.

All best,
Laura, Tracy, Juliana, and Stella