January 1, 2020 - "Holding Court" - Enrique Henestroza Anguiano, edited by Ben Tausig

Puzzle Notes

Dear Friends:
Our first puzzle of 2020 comes to you in the waning hours of 2019. It's a guest puzzle from the illustrious Enrique Henestroza Anguiano. 2.5/5 difficulty, and titled "Holding Court." It's his world debut!
Enrique is a data scientist based in Oakland, California. He specializes in text understanding and creative uses for machine learning. In his free time, aside from coaxing stories out of text corpora, writing interactive fiction, and playing Dungeons & Dragons, he adds themed crosswords monthly to his blog, datalexic.com. (There's an introductory puzzle up there now, if you want more from him). 
Finally, if you're signed up for both the AVCX and the Inkubator into next year, very cool, very cool. If not, be sure to sign up for Inkubator year 2 at the discounted price. And if you're somehow not signed up for Inkubator OR the AVCX, there's a great combined discount for the two subscriptions. Both discounts expire when the ball drops tonight tho.
See ya next year,
Ben and the AVCX crew
avxwords.com // @avcxword