Action Figures

Difficulty ● ● ◐ ○ ○

Puzzle Notes

Dear Subscribers, 

Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

~Bradley Whitford

Greetings to you all, and a warm cruciverbal welcome to our new subscribers from the U.K. and Canada. Thank you for joining our Crossword Nation family!

Today’s puzzle came about as I was trying to emerge from an emotional slump in April. I have no real, concrete reasons for my slump. Perhaps pandemic fatigue or an astrological retrograde took hold. I found myself keeping strange hours, eating at odd hours and watching too much late-night TV. 

While catching up on the disturbingly dystopian "The Handmaid’s Tale" (hardly a feel-good choice to un-slump one), I became enthralled by Bradley Whitford’s brilliant performance as Commander Joseph Lawrence. His screen presence was riveting -- so much so, that I queued up old episodes of “The West Wing” in which Whitford played Josh Lyman, White House Deputy Chief of Staff. Watching an actor perform so soulfully -- and appear larger than life on my little iPad screen -- was enormously inspiring. It made me realize how much I missed live theater, dance and concerts.

I later came across the above quote from Whitford. I transcribed it and pinned it to my "action board" of crossword ideas. Taking action, and acting “as if” – this helped me climb out of the slump. It also inspired today’s puzzle theme.

Welcome to Week 520 of Crossword Nation. We cordially invite you to solve “Action Figures” as your puzzle of the week. Be well and happy, Dear Ones.

Until next time, I remain ...

Cruciverbally yours,


Solvers of The New Yorker puzzles: Check out my latest crossword (a "moderately-challenging" diversion, per the editors) in The New Yorker!

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Happy solving and be well!

Liz Gorski