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  • Sid Sivakumar

Women of Lollapuzzoola 13 (edited by Brooke Husic)

We’re not in Sid’s Grids anymore, puzzledom! Greetings from your new captain, Brooke Husic. Please enjoy these four all-new, fresh midis and one epic themeless from Rachel Fabi, myself, Amanda Rafkin, Robyn Weintraub, and Stella Zawistowski — the five women who constructed crossword puzzles for today’s Lollapuzzoola 13. The midis can be downloaded as a pack, or can be found individually with each constructor’s profile below. For even more awesomeness, each constructor has also included links to two of her own favorite puzzles. Amanda also posts daily puzzles on her blog Brain Candy, and Stella is publishing super hard themeless puzzles and a “Decrypting the Cryptic” series at Tough As Nails.

Serious thanks to Sid for working with me on this, creating the gorgeous pdf, and being an overall amazing friend/person. In addition to constructing for tournaments, these days Sid’s pioneering pangram midis and dabbling in themeless grids with super low word counts. While we’re celebrating Lolla constructors, I’d be remiss to not also point out joon pahk’s website which is currently offering subscriptions for its sixth year of puzzles!


Rachel Fabi | she/her | Syracuse, NY

Rachel Fabi is a Syracuse-based solver, constructor, and tri-weekly blogger of crossword puzzles. She is a professor of bioethics and a "Jeopardy!" champion who enjoys bad puns, good trivia, and arguing about health policy and ethics on the internet (@faBioethics on Twitter). Rachel is a member of the USA Today constructor roster, and has also been published in the Inkubator, Universal, Queer Qrosswords, and Grids for Good.

From Rachel: This sidi gridi midi puzzle is a tribute to Lollapuzzoola. Hopefully it doesn't sow too much division!

Two more radiant puzzles by Rachel:

"6/1" | USA Today | June 1, 2020


Brooke Husic | she/her | Berlin, Germany

Brooke Husic is a postdoc in mathematics based in Berlin, Germany who recently discovered the amazing world of solving and constructing crossword puzzles. She regularly contributes puzzles to the USA Today, and you can also find her work in the American Values Club, the New York Times, the Inkubator (forthcoming), and various independent outlets. She’s on Twitter @brookehus (feminist science tweets) and @xandraladee (feminist crossword tweets).

From Brooke: Personal experience helped me clue 7D. Many thanks to Steve Mossberg for feedback!

Two more brilliant puzzles by Brooke:

"Breakfast" | USA Today | June 5, 2020


Amanda Rafkin | she/her | Los Angeles, CA

Amanda Rafkin is a classical pianist, turned therapist, turned musical theater pianist and crossword puzzle constructor. She has spent the past six months making an unfathomable quantity of puzzles and seeking emotional respite in The Golden Girls. Her puzzles have appeared in all the usual outlets, and she posts new puzzles daily on Brain Candy, her puzzle site.

Two more awe-inspiring puzzles by Amanda:

Untitled | Atlantic | June 7, 2020


Robyn Weintraub | she/her | Rye Brook, NY

Robyn Weintraub has been constructing crossword puzzles since 2010. Her puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Inkubator and other publications. She also recently became a regular puzzle contributor for the New Yorker magazine. In 2019 Robyn constructed the final puzzle for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and earlier this year she provided a teaser puzzle for the Crossword Tournament From Your Couch. Say hi to Robyn on Twitter at @Robynw414.

Two more remarkable puzzles by Robyn:

"Pick Your Poison" | New York Times Puzzle Mania Emergency Edition | May 3, 2020 | This puzzle can be purchased at the link provided; the purchase includes a 10 page collection of puzzles and other pandemic distractions from some fabulous puzzle people.


Stella Zawistowski | she/her | Brooklyn, NY

Still the reigning forth-place solver at the ACPT, Stella Zawistowski decided winning Lollapuzzoola once was enough after taking the crown on a brutal final puzzle back in 2018. Last year she constructed for Lolla for the first time, with a Puzzle 2 whose first two Across entries were ASS and SPASM. Since then, she has made her solo constructing debut in venues like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. Please try her extra-hard themelesses at, and check out #crypticclueaday for ... exactly what it sounds like.

Two more spectacular puzzles by Stella:

"Themeless #9" | Inkubator | July 23, 2020

Note: The puzzle below is reproduced from Stella's website Tough As Nails Themeless #18


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