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1 puzzle by Erika Ettin
with constructor comments

TotalDebutCollabs
16/7/20210
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
0100000
ScrabbleRebusCirclePangram
1.73000
Erika Ettin
Mon 6/7/2021
ALONGCASEUPCS
LABORHDTVPLOW
PRIVATEEYETARO
ODEHARPFOYER
PAYITFORWARD
SESAMEELON
OWENMALAYAPE
HOTELCALIFORNIA
OKSARNAZONES
ACAIMISERY
HIDDENCAMERA
ADAMSBOOKTAP
LEVIROLLWITHIT
LAIRAXELNERDS
ELSEGORYGLUED

I am beyond excited to be making my NYT crossword debut… on my 40th birthday, no less!

I am a longtime fan of all things wordplay—crosswords, puns, dad jokes, you name it. For the last few years, I have been participating in pun competitions around the country (yes, these exist!), and at the beginning of COVID, I decided to try my hand (or, more accurately, my brain) at constructing a crossword puzzle. With the amazing mentorship of a fellow Cornellian, Robyn Weintraub, I was able to put together this fun Monday puzzle. I can't thank her enough for the guidance.

My favorite clues are the pair of 43-across and 46-down. I probably got too much joy out of writing those. And, though I didn't say it in the reveal of the theme, 23-across makes both FORWARD ROLL and PAYROLL for a bit of an added bonus.

When not manipulating words for pleasure, for the last 10 years (after a 7-year career in finance), I have been running a consulting business helping people with online dating. And on rare occasions, my two passions — words and love (and spreadsheets, if I'm being honest) — combine.

If you have any questions or comments for me, you can find me at @ALittleNudge on Instagram.