Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and fire up the word lists.
Some record-setting numbers are swirling around next weekend's Indianapolis 500. It's possible that five women might qualify for the 33-car starting grid. They are: Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher, Simona de Silvestro, Ana Beatriz and Milka Duno.
Milka Duno. MILKA and DUNO are brand new words in my list, potential grid savers. Some puzzles, especially Sunday grids, can unravel without a DUNO to connect the dots. In the crossword puzzle landscape, DUNO can "do no" harm.
Milka Duno's biography is very impressive; she's probably already shattered another record--as the most-educated Indy 500 racer. The Caracas-born naval engineer has four master's degrees. Her fields of study? Maritime Business; Naval Architecture; Fishing and Aquaculture; and Organizational Development.
I dunno . . . with that breadth of knowledge, a drive for learning new things and an engineering background--Duno would make an excellent puzzlemaker. I suspect she chose fast cars over puzzlemaking because racing is slightly more lucrative (although both professions are, of course, equally glamorous).
Here's to hoping that Milka Duno becomes a household crossword name, along with A.J. FOYT and Al UNSER. Buena Suerte to Milka and all the women competitors in next week's Indy 500 starting field.