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Episode 47: The Word Puzzlers II

Katja Brinck picture.jpg

Laura Braunstein

Katja Brinck

Jess Goldstein

Allegra Kuney

Quiara Vasquez

That Word Chat returns December 7 with its second foray into word puzzles with four puzzle-creators from The Inkubator. Audience members will have a chance to buzz in to answer puzzles and compete for fame and prizes (mostly fame).

The Inkubator is a subscription-based puzzle site with the mission of providing an outlet for women new to the traditionally male-dominated field. We'll talk with co-founder Laura Braunstein and hear from constructors Katja Brinck, Jess Goldstein, Allegra Kuney, and Quiara Vasquez.

Braunstein, a librarian at Dartmouth College, has had puzzles published by The New York Times, Puzzle Society, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Women of Letters, and is a team member with the American Values Club Crossword. She also blogs for Diary of a Crossword Fiend. When not crossing words, she advocates for open access to scholarship, edits Wikipedia, bikes and skis on mountains, and discusses politics with her kids.

Brinck works in IT and lives in Healdsburg, California. She started competing at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in 2015 and started constructing in 2018. She has had puzzles appear in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Universal crossword, and other outlets. She is part of the Beyond Wordplay team, where she recently published an article on long German words. Outside of puzzles, she is also into classical piano, skiing, travel, high-impact interval training, hiking, and running.

Goldstein is a math teacher and curriculum specialist in San Francisco. She started constructing crosswords in 2020 and has been published in USA TodayCrucinova, and The New York Times app. Look out for more of her work in Universal and The Atlantic in 2022, and find crosswords deemed too spicy for the newspapers at her blog site. She spends most of her non-crossword time riding bikes, camping, and going to the library.

Kuney is a media researcher based in Queens, New York. She writes about words for Beyond Wordplay and She presented a puzzle for the 2020 puzzle episode of That Word Chat based on spoonerisms.


Vasquez runs the site QVXwordz. You may have seen her work in Newsday, USA Today, and The Atlantic — or, if you're a true puzzlehead, in Boswords, Fireball, or the AVCX. She is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Sign up below and we'll send you more details and the Zoom link before the show. Then join us at 4:30 p.m. EST (21:30 UTC) on Tuesday, December 7.


Past episodes with links to YouTube

Most episodes are linked to their videos.

Videos generally post eight to ten weeks after the live show on Zoom.


Episode 1 (April 7): Mary Norris

Episode 2 (April 14): Steve Kleinedler and Kory Stamper

Episode 3 (April 21): Roy Peter Clark

Episode 4 (April 28): Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett

Episode 5 (May 5): Ellen Jovin and Brandt Johnson

Episode 6 (May 12): David Crystal

Episode 7 (May 19) Ammon Shea and Peter Sokolowski

Episode 8 (May 26) Lynne Murphy

Episode 9 (June 9): Karen Yin

Episode 10 (June 16): Mignon Fogarty

Episode 11 (June 23): Jesse Sheidlower with special guest Colleen Newvine

Episode 12 (June 30): Jane Friedman

Episode 13 (July 14): Stan Carey and James Harbeck of Strong Language

Episode 14 (July 28): Steve Bien-Aime

Episode 15 (August 11): Ben Zimmer

Episode 16 (August 25): Alaina Lavoie and Caroline Tung Richmond of We Need Diverse Books

Episode 17 (September 8): Heather Bonikowski and John Kelly of

Episode 18 (September 22): The Quad: Erin Brenner, Sarah Grey, Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, Adrienne Montgomerie, Lori Paximadis, Laura Poole, Amy Schneider

Episode 19 (October 6): Carol Saller

Episode 20 (October 20): Linda Kass of Gramercy Books

Episode 21 (November 10): The Word Puzzlers

Episode 22 (November 17): Merrill Perlman and Teresa Schmedding of the ACES Academy

Episode 23 (December 1): Rob and Teresa Reinalda

Episode 24 (December 15): Emily Brewster




Episode 25 (January 5): The Word of the Year: Ben Zimmer, Peter Sokolowski, John Kelly, Katherine Connor Martin plus Wendalyn Nichols and Lynne Murphy

Episode 26 (January 19): Malini Devadas

Episode 27 (February 2): Kory Stamper

Episode 28 (February 16): Cynthia Williams

Episode 29 (March 2): Grammar Day Celebration with Martha Brockenbrough and Special Guests

Episode 30 (March 16): Iva Cheung

Episode 31 (March 30): June Casagrande

Episode 32 (April 13): Dennis Baron

Episode 33 (April 27): Barbara Wallraff

May 11: Patron Happy Hour (private event)

Episode 34 (May 25): Maisha Maurant and Sangeeta Mehta

Episode 35 (June 8): Lisa McLendon

Episode 36 (June 22): Hannah Franz

Episode 37 (July 6): Arika Okrent

Episode 38 (July 20): Megan Figueroa

Episode 39 (August 3): Ann Friedman

Episode 40 (August 17): Gretchen McCulloch

Episode 41 (August 31): Russell Harper and Daniel Heuman

Episode 42 (September 14): Erin McKean

Episode 43 (September 28): Denise Cowle and Louise Harnby

Episode 44 (October 12): Crystal Shelley

Episode 45 (October 26): Fred Shapiro

Episode 46 (November 9): Paula Froke

Episode 47 (December 7): The Word Puzzlers II

Thank you to our That Word Chat patrons

Word Chat Sponsor

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf of KOK Edit

Word Masters

Kate Karp          Merrill Perlman        Carol Pickerine

Word Lovers

Ann Bourne   DeAnna Burghart   Susan Karcz   Molly McBeath   Alexandra Peace

Word Nerds

Chris Aldrich

Rebecca Benner

Patty Boyd

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Lee d'Anjou

Mary-Jane Doherty

Pam Eidson

Susan Fitzgerald

Henry Fuhrmann

James Gallagher

Melissa Hellman

Mallory Herrmann

Karin Horler

Ellen Jovin

Amanda Miller

Voncille Meyer

Mary Norris

Lori Paximadis

Sarahni Pecson

Deb Ring

Carol Saller

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David Yontz

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Word Fans

Christina Allen

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Brianne Hughes

Donna Marks Pleasant

Amy Schneider

Amy Spungen

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