Puzzle 519: Freestyle 467. Excellent choice.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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One of the things I really don’t like happening during a grid construction is being forced into using a 15-letter entry that I wasn’t really planning on using. 15s are usually the marquee entries… they’re the seed entries. The longest entries in a grid are generally the ones you want to put in first, because those are the biggest constraints. You don’t want to be limited by a couple of letters that already have to be in place. But (you know the common refrain, say it with me) it worked out in the end.


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Puzzle 518: Freestyle 466. What are you waiting for?


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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These grids can evolve in the funniest ways. The first thing I filled in this grid was the upper left. Then came the upper right and then the other two corners. But when I came back around to the upper center, the upper left no longer worked. So I had to take it out. There’s some sort of weird quantum physics thing going on here. The whole section that the grid is based on isn’t even there anymore.


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Puzzle 517: Freestyle 465. So much to say, so little time.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19


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My first objective here was to do something I hadn’t done before: stack three seed list entries one on top of another. When you open the grid, though, know that my next original intention was definitely not to intersect that stack with two other triple stacks going vertical. It was just the way it happened to work out when I tried to make the original stack work. I might say that opening up two more triple stacks is in the “going to great lengths” category, but I actually didn’t need to force a thing.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 516: Freestyle 464. Go on, have a blast!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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You can tell by the two groups of black squares reaching toward the center like meat hooks that it took a bit of manipulation to get this grid to work in all four corners. After placing 12-Down, I spent waaay too much time with a different entry for 13-Down that I really wanted before I realized that it was unfillable. Sometimes, as a crossword constructor, you just have to let go.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 515: Freestyle 463. Keep on rocking.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40


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You can usually tell where a constructor had the most trouble in a grid by where they put the helper squares It wasn’t the big stacks that gave me the trouble but the little sections stemming from the stacks. Obviously, since I’d rather just add helper squares than remake a stack that I like, that’s an easy decision for me to make. Here, every corner but the bottom right needed help.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 514: Freestyle 462. I’m ready, willing, and able.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19


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 don’t really know if this is true, but it seems like I’ve included more child-related seed entries and clues since my son was born eight months ago. That includes the one across the middle of this grid. I guess I’m more likely to write clues about children now that it’s in my experience… write what you know.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 513: Freestyle 461. Put on a happy face.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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!


12s and 14s, as I’ve often brought up, are the forgotten lengths in the freestyle universe. I just talked about doing interlocked longer entries in a recent entry that I don’t want to go back and find right now (honesty is the best policy, right?), and I always talk about the forgotten 12s and 14s, so I figured, hey, why not combine those two concepts in one grid?


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!