What it is not, in the old saying

What it is not, in the old saying

34 D/60 A. It seemed like an alarming thought like this would jeopardize my time solving. “There may be storms on the horizon,” I reached 34D, long after I had resolved a host of other clues in this corner. Even with crosshairs to help me, I was obsessed with the “cloud range”, and didn’t see a clear solution for the 60A, “feeds”. The correct answer combination is CLOUD BANK and STOKES; That “K” was the last letter I discovered in this solution.

Carolyn Davies Lynch: I contracted Covid in November 2022, and while isolated from my husband and four children, I returned to doing crossword puzzles. One day I wondered if anyone wrote anything about online crosswords (ha) – and I stumbled upon a Wordplay column. I was amazed to learn that anyone could submit crossword puzzles to major publications, and I knew immediately that I had a new hobby on my hands!

I started reading Jeff Chen’s commentary on puzzles online, and reached out to him to ask a question. When he offered to collaborate on a mystery I was stunned – didn’t this man realize how ignorant I was? I see now that he actually did, but he was kind enough to mentor a complete novice anyway. I learned a lot from making this puzzle with him, both during our first attempt and during the review process. (Our initial rejection letter included so many helpful comments that we thought we’d make another decision…and our efforts paid off!)

Many thanks to Jeff for showing me the ropes of crossword building – and also thanks to Xword Info for their amazing resources, and to all the amazingly generous people who share their expertise with creators from underrepresented groups in the Facebook Crossword Collaboration Guide. I’m now obsessed with creating for a variety of publications, including the awesome Lil AVCX. I hope you have fun solving this puzzle as much as we had making it!

Jeff Chen: Although anyone can submit a crossword puzzle to The New York Times, there aren’t many people who can put up with the hard work and iteration long enough to see a quality product all the way through. Although I try to provide feedback in worded and constructive ways, many creators get frustrated and give up after a few weeks. Carolyn stands out as one of the few who took every piece of advice as an opportunity to improve, and jumped straight into the trenches. I’m so happy to see it debut!

The New York Times Crossword has an open submission system, and you can submit your puzzles online.

For tips on how to get started, read our How to Make a Crossword Puzzle series.

Subscribers can take a peek at the answer key.

Are you trying to get back to the puzzle page? here.

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