Puzzle 674: Freestyle 612. G’day, mate!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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I flipped the stack a little bit this time to give the 14s some love. That made it a little harder because the 14-11-14 stack forced my hand and made me use two fifteens to intersect that stack. I thought that might make it quite a bit harder, but I found two fifteens that fit very nicely and hardly constrained the rest of the grid at all.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 673: Freestyle 611. I’ll give you credit.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.33


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With all the weird stuff with layouts I’ve been doing recently, this one is a pretty standard layout with a stack in all four corners. I’m not the most thrilled that there’s only one pair of squares adjoining one half of the grid with the others — I know it’s not optimal if your layout is such that placing one pair of black squares could completely divide the grid in two. But those are sacrifices that we have to make once in a while if that’s the only way it can work.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 672: Freestyle 610. It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40


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


May the fourth be with you, and all that. Did I think about doing something with Star Wars for this grid today? No… not at all. This may offend some people’s sensitivities, but I can’t stand Star Wars. I don’t like any of it. No redeeming qualities at all. Can’t make it through ten minutes of any of the movies without getting bored or turned off. Don’t hold that against me. Who knows, maybe you feel the same way.


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!

Puzzle 671: Freestyle 609. Not in front of the kids!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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


Did I slightly modify a clue in this grid so that I could use the above song in this post? I might have… maybe…

For a grid with pretty limited flow to it (this was a basic pattern I chose from the start, so I knew what I was getting into), this isn’t really a grid where there are any tight corners you can get stuck in. One section opens up into another pretty well. I’m usually pretty mindful of closed-off sections, so I clue the sections a little easier than normal, but I didn’t think that was necessary here.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 670: Freestyle 608. Here’s one for the books.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.46


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It was an unusual move for me in this grid — I went to 70 words instead of 72 not because the fill forced me to, but because I wanted to. It was just because I felt like it. It goes against my manifesto for this site, I know. There’s an advantage in not having any more three-letter entries than you want to, though; I could have split 24/45-Across into two, but I just wanted to leave it as it was.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 669: Freestyle 607. You’re a lifesaver!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.22


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That big sawtooth pattern down the middle was not put there for visual effect but out of necessity. Without it, I had a deceptively difficult-to-fill 5-6-7-8 stack intersecting two nines, and that just wasn’t coming together for me in either corner. It does look pretty cool, though. The seed that started this was at 11-Down, a concept I learned from a Jeopardy! clue and revisited after Prince Philip’s death.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 668: Freestyle 606. Let’s blow this joint.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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


Sorry, I’ve got no real tributes to the special day today in this grid. I mean, I don’t partake myself, but you can go for it and light one up however you want. That would certainly make your solve a lot more interesting, so I wouldn’t really suggest it if you’re trying to solve for time here. I obviously don’t solve my own grids, but I would imagine that it would be… interesting… given the occasional misdirecting nature of my clues to solve my grids under the influence. You do you though.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 667: Freestyle 605. Tanks for everything.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19


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This was obviously made for the express purpose of being an eye-popping, unusual grid. I’m breaking from my usual standard by having a staggered stack in the middle on a Friday. (I know… this is anarchy!) The flow of this grid is a bit compartmentalized in spots, but I think it’s neat nonetheless. The beauty of thinking on my feet: the central entry was originally something slightly different, but I really got forced into having a mediocre entry or two until I realized I could change the first five letters of it and make it totally work. (Don’t worry, that really isn’t a spoiler.)


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 666: Freestyle 604. Maybe it was… SATAN?!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40


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


The upper left and lower right are shining examples of how helper squares can be a great benefit to fill. Yeah, they added a couple of three-letter entries, which I initially didn’t want, but the alternative fill (especially in the bottom right) without that square would have been absolutely full of mediocre to bad entries that I would not have abided.


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!

Puzzle 665: Freestyle 603. This came out of nowhere.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40


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


There is a very subtle but very definite connection between the central across entry and the central down entry in today’s grid. How subtle, you might ask? It’s so subtle that I didn’t even notice it until literally minutes before I wrote this post. It’s so subtle that I may just be stretching this connection a little too much just to make a post out of it.


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!