Puzzle 433: Freestyle 392. Let it all hang out!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.33


The best neologisms are ones that fill a useful need in the language that we didn’t realize was missing. 16-Across, the seed of this grid, is something I didn’t know we needed a word for, but it’s perfect. The helper square in the corner, which is something that, for some reason, constructors aren’t as willing to use as one adjacent to other black squares, is evidence of my eagerness to include that entry.

Plus, for you “Seinfeld” fanatics, I’ve got a clue for you in there. I feel like it’s been a while — too long, actually — since I used a “Seinfeld” reference in one of my grids. It references what I think is one of the funniest scenes in the whole series.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 432: Freestyle 391. This ought to raise some eyebrows.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.17


I was bound and determined to get two pairs of 15-letter entries from my wordlist to stack. I mean, my list of 15s is quite long, so it wasn’t an arduous task. The grid looks a little wonky to some, but you know I don’t care about that. In fact, that gives it a little bit of charm, I guess you could say, no?


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.


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Puzzle 431: Freestyle 390. Put on some speed!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40


You know when you find that great entry, stick it into a grid, then discover when you’re cluing that that entry has already been done before? Happened to me twice in this grid. But, you know what? It doesn’t matter to me that they weren’t debuts. Debuts would be bonuses to me. They’re still really good entries, and there shouldn’t really be a fuss about being the first one to use an entry in a grid. If an entry is good the first time, and it stands the test of time, it’ll be good every time.


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 Tuesday!

Puzzle 430: Freestyle 389. That’s awfully bold of you…


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.34


I don’t like intersecting long triple stacks with other long triple stacks — it’s hard to do and doesn’t often come out well. So here I intersected double stacks with double stacks. It has a funky shape to it, and it interlaces a lot of long entries, not many of which were preplanted. It’s funny, I was struggling for a nine-letter entry with a certain pattern (two letters fixed), and, amazingly, I overheard a coworker say something in a conversation I wasn’t even involved in that, right, then and there, I figured out would fit. The universe works in mysterious ways.


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.


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Puzzle 429: Freestyle 388. That’s so corny!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.14


I can say with fair certainty that this is the absolute most blocks I’ve put in a freestyle grid on this site — I used 40. It usually happens that the block count gets high when some sort of big stack is put in the middle, because, if you really like the stack, you make it work no matter what. The long 12-letter downs were in no way planned at the start, but they were necessary to make the stack work (and part of the reason I had so many blocks). They weren’t shoehorned in, either — I got pretty lucky that I liked both of those 12s a lot as well. That the long answers across and down in the middle fit together so fortunately well gave me some freedom to be a bit more closed-in around the periphery — not that I enjoy 3×3 blocks in the corners, but I dealt with it to make everything else work.


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.


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Puzzle 428: Freestyle 387. Meet the new year, same as the old year.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.49


Since I don’t drink, I’m not hung over… but I am weighed down since I’m tired and beyond satiated from festivities. Fun fact: if I were Korean, I would be considered a year older today than I was yesterday. Anyway, today I post a grid that brings the little-loved 12-letter entry to the forefront again. Despite appearances, I did not once get tempted to run a stack in the middle section.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 427: Freestyle 386. On second thought, never change.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31


Have something you wanna say? Got a question? Want to do a guest freestyle? Want to collaborate on a freestyle? Want to just say hello? Hit me up by email!


I went into this grid specifically wanting something with an unusual shape that wouldn’t be too hard to construct. It’s a bit compartmentalized, yes. But I avoid situations, if at all possible, where there’s only one way for a solver to get into a section (“unlike this one,” he said sheepishly, noticing the byline).

By the time I “talk to” you next, it will be the new year. I hope it is a fulfilling one in every respect for you! Boy, do I have a feeling that it will be for me…


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 Tuesday!