We welcome guest constructor Brooke Husic this week, with a puzzle called "Initial Expression," at 2/5 difficulty. Brooke has been a recent prolific contributor to the USA Today crossword (a fantastic outlet nowadays, if ya didn't know). This is her first puzzle with the AVCX. Welcome, Brooke!
Brooke (she/her/hers) is based in Berlin, Germany where she is a postdoctoral researcher in mathematics and computer science. She solved her first crossword puzzle less than a year ago while passing the time on a very rainy vacation (we can all ignore her brief and highly unsuccessful stint with British puzzles during her year in Cambridge). She started constructing in January of this year, and has been extremely fortunate to hone her craft as a contributor to the USA Today crossword. You can find her feminist science tweets @brookehus or her alter ego's feminist crossword tweets @xandraladee.
Brooke would like to encourage you, if you are able at this late point in Pride Month, to join her in donating to the TransWomen of Color Collective and/or the Okra Project, both in reference to this puzzle. The AVCX will be doing the same! Join us.
Lastly, thanks so much to those who completed the cryptic survey we linked to last week. It was hugely helpful, and we'll make some decisions soon about a possible new feature. Meanwhile, in addition to Francis's solving guide, which was included with the recent bonus puzzle, Stella Zawistowski has an ongoing "Decrypting the Cryptic" series on her blog. Check it out here!