March 21, 2019 - "Cryptic #1" - by Stephanie Cerra

Puzzle Notes

Dear friends,
We're delighted to be publishing our first bonus, a cryptic crossword from debut constructor Stephanie Cerra. Since your mileage may vary with cryptics, we're rating this one very challenging!
A longtime fan of cryptic crosswords, Stephanie began constructing them a few years ago, and this is her first published puzzle. She's a book reviewer for Kirkus Reviews and a freelance writer, editor, and tutor with a master's degree in English literature/Victorian studies from Indiana University. Stephanie lives in Redwood City, Calif., with her husband, Paul, and cat, Mr. Pancks. Find her on Twitter at @StephanieCerra.
When you're done solving, check out Diary of a Crossword Fiend for a write-up and discussion, every Friday after an Inkubator puzzle is published. For general updates, follow us on twitter at @InkubatorXWords, and visit our website. Thanks to all of our subscribers for your continuing support, feedback, and kindness!
Kickstarter backers: Check your account for an update about a special bonus puzzle packet, The Best of Inkwell Crosswords, 2004-2014.
Next week: The Inkubator's first collaboration by talented newcomers Wendy L. Brandes and Martha Jones.
If you'll be at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford this weekend, please say hello! 
Laura and Tracy