Very excited to be running today's puzzle! It's a guest puzzle by Matthew Stock, who's quickly established himself as a banger voice in the crossword scene. Apart from his indie site (linked below), you can also see his uniformly fun and excellent work at The Atlantic, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and more. I know I'm in for a good puzzle when I see Matthew's byline in general, but I was especially wowed when he sent the grid for today's puzzle (esp with the marquee 36-Across entry). I'm honored to be sharing his work today, and I hope you enjoy the puzzle as much as I did.
And, some words from Matthew!
I’ve been solving Paolo's incredible puzzles here since I first found out that indie puzzles existed, so I’m absolutely stoked to get to share one of my own here this weekend. I try to emulate Paolo often in my puzzlemaking, and this puzzle (especially its clues, which I had a ton of fun with) are very much a product of that. If you enjoy, hit me up on Twitter @1MatthewStock and/or check out my fledgling site, happylittlepuzzles.com. Happy solving!
The feelings are mutual—he's one of the cluing greats, (as you'll see below), and I find myself trying to bite his writing style way too often. Hope you enjoy!