Rabbit Rabbit, Readers! It's February already. Where does the time go?
Today's puzzle is all about the HIVE MIND. Workers, drones, and a queen are found in the grid-spanning answers. And I thought it was great to see ESSENTIALWORKER in the puzzle. My own sister is one such worker. She came down with a bad case of COVID last April, I think it was, but she went right back to work when she could, and now, even though she has received both her shots, she still works all day in uncomfortable, full COVID armor. Here's to you, Sue!
And there's another woman I'd like to mention. The constructor of this puzzle, Soleil Saint-Cyr, has today become the youngest female constructor to be published in the New York Times. She's just 17. She is also kicking off "Black Constructors Week" at the NYTX. Making history in Black History Month.
And a good Monday puzzle it is! I like BEARHUG (Tight embrace) (remember those?) and MARIANAS (____ Trench (deepest point on earth)) (one of my cousins used to terrify me by talking about how deep it was just before we went to sleep), and I'm sure most Democrats will have enjoyed seeing the names Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff (GEORGIANS) in the grid. I was surprised by OCULI (Circular windows), but luckily, I was able to come up with CUZ (Since, informally) to avoid disaster.
Congratulations on the debut, Ms. Saint-Cyr. I look forward to seeing more from you.
p.s. Before I go I just want to put in a plug for the good folks at boswords.org, who put on a one-day tournament called the "Winter Wondersolve" yesterday. Frannie and I competed in the Pairs division and had a lovely time doing it. We were this close to a perfect tournament, but while panicked and trying to power our way through the final puzzle by Joon Pahk, I made an orthographic error by spelling "lycopene" with an I instead of a Y. Sigh. We still ended up 16th out of 200+ in our division, so we did great, and we still have our "perfect tournament" to look forward to. And fortunately, the Boswords folks have announced another multi-week affair (Mondays, I think) in March and April, so we'll have another chance to try for perfection. If you enjoy crosswording (and if you don't, what are you doing at the bottom of this review?!?), I recommend you consider signing up for it.