Puzzle 537: Freestyle 485. Go out on top.


Last  Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.51


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Obviously my seed entry was 35-Across. It always entertains me and saddens me at the same time when I see those attention-getting banner ads. It entertains me because I always enjoy how stupid they think I am that I might fall for those kinds of ads, and it saddens me knowing that they wouldn’t be putting up those ads if they didn’t work on anyone…


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Puzzle 536: Freestyle 484. Just what I expected.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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I don’t usually plan on a 15-letter entry splitting a central stack in half, and I didn’t here, but this is what I have here. It never goes as planned… that’s what keeps things interesting. The English language hurls its lefts and rights at you, and you have to bob and weave to get through the fight unscathed.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 535: Freestyle 483. A bit slow on the uptake.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.43


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I had so much trouble with the bottom right. It just beat me up to construct it. It doesn’t seem like much, but three letters of the stack were absolutely fixed by the construction so far (one of the down answers intersecting it couldn’t be changed)… and whether the letters are common or not, if you have one letter each fixed in place for each entry of the stack, that severely limits what you can do with the stack. Even having two possibilities for one of the letters would have helped.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 534: Freestyle 482. I wouldn’t wanna be in your shoes.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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I have to be upfront with you here and make a sheepish confession about this grid. I discovered a dupe in the grid that would have been impossible to simply extract. It would have ripped apart pretty much the whole grid. So, instead of removing it, I just… reparsed the answer a bit to make it less of a dupe. Sometimes you do what you have to do in these situations. Best not to try to hide it.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 533: Freestyle 481. Scooch over, will ya?


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.44


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It was a measly three-letter entry that prevented me from scrapping basically an entire corner. I was very close to getting rid of an entire corner because a measly three-letter entry wasn’t fitting — I had two of the three letters, and thought that there was only one possibility for the other letter. But it’s amazing what one can come up with in the shower


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 532: Freestyle 480. I see nothing but 2020 vision in the near future.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19


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I’ll be honest. I don’t have much to say about this one because I’m preparing to host a New Year’s party along with getting this grid out to you. The best to all of you in 2020, and here’s to five calendar years completed at Club 72.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 531: Freestyle 479. I can’t get a word in.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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Nathan’s first Christmas knocked out both him and his parents. I know it was exhausting for him to go to three different parties and get constant attention at each of them. So I fought through some fatigue to get this out to you. No complaints from me — I don’t think it affected the quality of the grid whatsoever. It was just an extra little layer of challenge that presented itself and that had to be conquered.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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