Guest bonus! We're beyond delighted to run a puzzle by the legendary Stella Zawistowski called "Queening It Up," at 3.5/5 difficulty. It's team-edited by Francis Heaney, Paolo Pasco, and Ben Tausig. As with bonus puzzles always, beware that there may be some inside baseball.
For those who don't know Stella, she's a perennial top solver at crossword tournaments -- including winning last year's Lollapuzzoola in New York City -- as well as a great constructor, though she's been on hiatus for a minute. Great to welcome her back. She's also a top human who is well-loved in crossworld. Thanks for the puzzle, Stella!
ICYMI, the AVCX was mentioned in this past week's New Yorker, in an article by Helen Rosner that also profiles the wonderful Natan Last.