August 1, 2019 - "O Whatever!" - by Joanne Sullivan

Puzzle Notes

Greetings Inkubator subscribers! Before we get to the puzzle, we'd like to announce the solution to and winner of last week's metapuzzle contest. The answer was DOUBLE HELIX, which was first identified in 1952 by biologist Rosalind Franklin; each starred theme entry contained, in order, the doubled letters H, E, L, I, and X. The contest winner, selected at random from 376 correct entries, is Max Wagner of Los Angeles, CA. Max will receive some sweet Inkubator swag -- and all of our contest enterers receive our congratulations and thanks! Now, on to this week's puzzle ... 
Wondrous friends and Muses, we sing of Joanne!
How her puzzles glimmer like Sappho's verses!
Moderately challenging? Solvers rejoice! 
Sullivan brings it.
We are delighted to feature today's puzzle, "O Whatever," by Inkubator test-solver and fact-checker extraordinaire Joanne Sullivan, who has the following to say for herself:
I'm a lifelong resident of Queens, New York, a county that has the benefit of being one of the most diverse in the nation. I enjoy constructing and test-solving crossword puzzles and leading crossword workshops. I'm grateful to all who enable my habit, including countless cruciverbalists and my one and only crossword-immune husband Kevin.
This puzzle's theme came to me as I brainstormed different options for a crossword commissioned by the Willa Cather Foundation. I'm reluctant to create puzzles on spec so I might never have made this one if Laura Braunstein and Tracy Bennett hadn't launched the Inkubator and welcomed theme queries. When they picked their favorite theme entries from my list of options, I proceeded to create the grid and clues knowing that my efforts wouldn't be in vain. I applaud Laura and Tracy for selflessly, skillfully, diligently, and sensitively promoting the work of women.
Joanne recently started assisting with puzzle submissions at The Wall Street Journal. Aspiring and underrepresented constructors are strongly encouraged to consider this venue, where theme queries may be submitted prior to grid work.
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!
Coming up next, on August 15: an exciting collaboration from emerging constructors Niamh Girling and Mira Martin-Gray.
All best,
Laura and Tracy