Puzzle 415: Freestyle 374. Let out your inner child.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 64
Mean word length: 5.97


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Forgive me, faithful Club 72 solvers, for I have sinned. I have given in to the temptation of the low word count. Not that I meant to do it; I was shocked when I counted the entries and came up with 64. I had to triple-check to make sure — it didn’t seem that wide-open when I was constructing it. It may have something to do with the two 13-letter down entries intersecting the staggered 12/13/12 stack in the middle that just happened to work. It’s not often that a long seed entry is a proper name — much less a movie. The last movie I saw in the theater was The King’s Speech… before that, it was probably Into the Wild. I haven’t, for the record, even seen the movie at 37-Across.


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Puzzle 414: Freestyle 373. I know what’s what.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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You know I like to experiment with double stacks from time to time… what makes this one a bit unusual is that the stacks are usually one row removed from the edge, but this time they’re two. There’s no real reason for that, I just felt like doing it that way.

Check out the fact in the clue for 24-Across… probably one of the more unusual hobbies I’ve read about for a famous person. This musician has sat on a highly respected international jury that annually awards the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for watchmaking.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 413: Freestyle 372. You’ve gone too far!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.46


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It’s a little unusual, the way I went about this grid. I started with the long stacks, like I usually do, but I saw that the third and thirteenth columns could be extended to 15 letters. I was happy to see that I didn’t have to compromise the surrounding areas by opening up those columns, so I went for it. I was lucky that it all ended up interlocking without a hitch.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 412: Freestyle 371.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 68
Mean word length: 5.74


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It couldn’t have happened too often that I’ve now had two grids in a row under 70 words — this is under 70 because the upper right and lower left, I found, just happened to work the way it was. The upper left and lower right are pretty isolated and didn’t have much of an effect on the rest of the grid, and so the northeast and southwest were pretty unencumbered.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 411: Freestyle 370. Party people in the house…


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 68
Mean word length: 5.68


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I normally don’t try to pull off huge, gaping stacks just for the heck of it, but I thought, “Why not? Let’s try this.” So, today’s grid was born. In two corners, a quad stack of sevens, and in the other two corners, a quint stack of sevens. I’ve done quint stacks of seven once before for this site, and it was so long ago now, that I can’t even remember any of the entries in it. It’s not often that only one out of the last fourteen (or one out of the first fifteen) down answers in a grid I construct is shorter than five letters long.


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Puzzle 410: Freestyle 369. Make the connection.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.44


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It’s funny how perspective can change when you’re looking at a grid for the last time before preparing it for posting. I had second thoughts on several of the clues juuust before doing the final export (the final export… sounds way more like some climactic sci-fi rite of passage than what it actually is). So I spent a little extra time after I thought I was done to make some tweaks in the clues… to make them harder, natch!


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 409: Freestyle 368. Things are looking up.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.54


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I’m breaking personal conventions all over the place now. Two 6×4 swaths of white squares, which is a lot for me, especially since I could have easily broken them up a bit to make 72 entries. Intersecting 8-stacks with 7-stacks. Dogs lying with cats… shall I go on? You get the metaphor.


Thanks so much to all who’ve left a tip! It’s much appreciated, believe me.


Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Friday!