I'm thrilled to make my constructing debut in the New York Times! I'm a corporate attorney in Frisco, Texas (about twenty minutes north of Dallas), and I've been building crosswords for just about three years now. I originally submitted this puzzle in November 2019 and, after a few rewrites and some additional minor tweaks, I got the thumbs-up in May. I'm grateful for the helpful feedback I've received from Will, Sam, Joel, Wyna, Tracy, and Andy along the way — even their rejections are always pleasant. I could not have built the grid without Matt Ginsberg's clue database and Keiran King's crossword maker, so thank you to both.
Feel free to email me (billy.ouska at gmail dot com) any comments or critiques you may have. If there are any aspiring constructors out there who have questions about the process or are looking for a resource, please get in touch. I certainly don't know as much as some veterans, but I'm always interested in working with other new constructors and getting better together.