Debut puzzle! “Authorial Tone” is Katelyn’s first publicly available crossword. I recommend reading her constructor notes (below) after you solve. Leave her some love in the comments if you dig her work.
Thoughts and spoilers for “Authorial Tone” below.
Katelyn: It’s an unremarkable weekday in the early 2000s. Maybe someone somewhere just bought their first pair of Heelys. Perhaps they’re thumbing through Good Charlotte tracks on their iPod click wheel. I’m doing neither; I’m doing something better. The TV with bunny ear antennae is on at my babysitter’s, a treat my five-year-old self does not take lightly. We could hardly afford groceries at home and definitely not television. Because of this, I was almost always reading a book instead. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a con. Books and the stories I found in them grew me into the person I am today. But what kid isn’t mesmerized by a good television show? And the only way to make both books and TV somehow cooler? Combining them. So there I sat: criss-cross applesauce, so close to the screen that my eyes burned, waiting for the Head On commercial to finally pass. Waiting for LeVar Burton. Waiting for Reading Rainbow. Waiting to be told that I could go anywhere, be anything, through the power of a book—a message I desperately needed at that time. When I hear the opening synth of the theme song, I’m still taken back to the magic of it all. Perhaps that’s why I was so excited to co-construct this puzzle with Ross.
I met Ross through the Crossword Puzzle Collaboration Directory and he graciously agreed to mentor me through a first-time construction. I’m honored to now have my puzzle debut at Rosswords. Working alongside him was a dream. He somehow balances being a top-tier cruciverbalist and an intellectual that would warrant my ‘phone-a-friend’ on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with pure warmth and encouragement.
I was working on a farm with no reception while we created this, so I would take weekly jaunts to a nearby ice cream shop to brainstorm clues. Maybe the sugar highs contributed to such childlike fill, in the best way: talks of dessert, dogs, and ‘ants on a log’ sure do take me back to an ‘easy-peasy’ way of living. Perhaps selfishly, my favorites are the little traces of me I got to leave behind (an ode to a favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz, my birth year, and even my name snuck in). I learned a lot during the process about constructing, trivia I can use at parties, myself. I’ve also since learned that maybe color-themed puzzles are a tad overdone. That said, I wouldn’t trade my first co-construction for anything. I hope that through its simplicity, you find the magic I once felt as a kid and that I still feel when solving crosswords. I’ll let 61-across take it from here.
Ross: Katelyn is good. Freakin’. People. This was a delight to make with her. Happy solving, friends.