It gives us great pleasure to bring you the debut cryptic from Hoang-Kim Vu, whom you already know as a constructor of (finest Tahitian) vanilla crosswords. In fact, if you're thinking, 'Didn't I just do an AVCX Classic puzzle from him last week?' the answer is yes.
Says Kim of himself: 'Hoang-Kim Vu (he/him) works on a global malaria research project in Washington, D.C. This is his first ever cryptic (be gentle!); his typical American-style crosswords have appeared in multiple venues, including the AVCX, LAT, USAT, and NYT. He apologizes if it seems he is all up in your crosswords this month, but also wants to thank the wonderful people of cryptics (especially Stella, Nate Cardin, and Steve Mossberg) for being so darn welcoming.'
Kim has collaborated with many a new constructor from an underrepresented group to get their first vanilla puzzles published. So we were thrilled to be able to give back by helping Kim get from frequent #crypticcluecontest participant to his first full cryptic puzzle. We think you're going to love the results. Enjoy!