May 9, 2019 - "A Rite of Spring" - Helen T. Verongos

Puzzle Notes

Dear subscribers,
What's this? Is this a bustle in your hedgerow? Don't be alarmed now. It's just "A Rite of Spring," a spiffy puzzle from the Inkubator's May queen, Helen T. Verongos. 
Helen describes herself and her journey to constructing as follows:
I'm a journalist by day and a crossword fan by night (and weekend and any other time), but I never thought about constructing one until I saw an old episode of
Inspector Morse, whose avocations included "setting" crosswords. That led me to the New York Times how-to series. After reading it about 18 times, I cast about for a mentor through the Facebook crossword collaboration group and struck gold immediately. Thanks to a kind and extremely responsive mentor, and some dedicated beta solvers, I became addicted to the process. 
It was intimidating to learn that the crossword cosmos is dominated by people whose talents are mathematical or musical, and who are also gifted at bending words to their will. But, like Mars, the crossword universe needs women (well, perhaps not in quite the same way) and others to diversify its profile and change the character of the general knowledge that puzzles test each day. It's terrific to find so many initiatives like The Inkubator to support us. 
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!
Our next breath of fresh air, a themeless by the delightfully creative Caitlin Reid, will be delivered to inboxes on May 23.
Here's to to the merry, merry month of May!
Laura and Tracy