I am 61 years old, living in Grand Rapids, Michigan with my wife, Mary, who very patiently puts up with my crossword habits. When I'm not puzzling, I sing in a couple of choirs, and I'm currently training for my sixth marathon (COVID permitting, which it probably won't). My mom got me started doing crosswords 50-ish years ago. Last year, having retired from my job as Controller at a theological seminary in Grand Rapids, I decided to have a go at constructing.
After several false starts, my sister-in-law (hi, Carol) suggested that I "Write what I know." Thinking that 16th-century choral music and governmental/non-profit accounting would be areas of rather limited interest, Shakespeare was next on the list. After many unfruitful hours trying to think of fun things I could do with familiar Shakespeare quotes, I landed on AY THERE'S THE RUB, and hit on the notion of quotes that aren't about food, but could be clued as if they were. THE POUND OF FLESH came fairly quickly; LEND ME YOUR EARS took a little longer. The fourth was a struggle.
Many thanks to Will and the editorial team. Although they vetoed my original fourth themer as too obscure (THE SOUL OF WIT — beer reference), Joel Fagliano, bless him, came up with WHAT'S DONE IS DONE. After a bit more grinding on the grid, and a bit more help from the editors, I got my "yes."
I'm thrilled to be making my NYT debut. Hope you all enjoy it — peace, and be well, everyone.