Very topical seed for today's themeless — inspired by the enterprising crossword streamer Aaron Paulsen, whose 36-A is luxurious. I started cluing this at a Friday level, but there were too many clever ideas that came up while brainstorming, so this is probably Saturday or Saturday+ difficulty. Bring on the question marks!
I had the awesome opportunity to chat with Brian Cimmet and Ryan Hecht on this week's episode of Fill Me In. We had a lovely conversation about my journey in the Crossworld, indie publishing, and editorial decision-making in mainstream puzzles. If you're interested in that sort of thing, it should be a fun listen (although I personally cringe at the sound of my own voice — but that's on me). I also spoiled the marquee entry for today's puzzle on the podcast, so solve and then listen if you plan to do both.