Puzzle 235: Freestyle 200. Good for the soul.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31

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The construction of the upper left necessitates that wide-openness of the upper right and lower left corners. I generally don’t like to leave four-box-wide swaths more than five letters wide in any corner, but I pretty much had to extend 29-Across like that in order to make everything work. I worked very hard on that upper right corner, and, given 21- and 29-Across extending into that section, I’m pretty sure I found the only fill that worked with my list and my restrictions. It had to have been. I was pretty lucky that it worked out like that, because there aren’t any stinkers in that corner.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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Puzzle 234: Freestyle 199. Give me a hand here!

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.33

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The top two answers in the upper right stack, where I started, were originally in the second and third rows. (It’s nice to find two good entries that stack so well that you can do that.) I worked for a little while with the stack like that until I realized that it’d work even better with those two entries where you see them now.

In the upper left, the stack I started with (and, in fact, the one I had when I started to do the cluing) was a little different than the one you’ll solve. But I came up with a better idea for fill at the worst time to think of a good idea — in bed just before I was about to fall asleep. I usually keep a pen on my nightstand for such a purpose, but, for some reason, it wasn’t there. So I reconstructed it in my head to make sure it would work, then shuffled out of bed to put it into the grid. I couldn’t let it go, because it was a big improvement over what I’d had at that point. I still think it is.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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Puzzle 233: Freestyle 198. Catch some fresh powder.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.33

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!

You know how when you really like somebody, so much so that you’re willing to change anything to keep them in your life or get them in your life? Even do some things that you’re not normally willing to do? That’s what happened with this grid for the upper right stack. (“Boy, that guy must be a real nerd if he’s comparing crosswords with girlfriends!”, spoken in the silly Jim Gaffigan imitative audience voice…) I don’t usually form a “pocket” like I did in that upper right, but I liked the way that upper right stack came together so much that I was willing to do that.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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Puzzle 232: Freestyle 197. A likely story…

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19

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Another grid at the max number of black squares that I’d reasonably want in a grid, but it’s for good reason — a staggered 13-stack in the middle. My ability to run two 12-letter entries crossing this stack allowed me to be a little more flexible in the corners, to run double stacks there instead of forced triple stacks that might not have come out as well. 33-Across was the proto-seed for the grid, but 37-Across was a seed list entry that stacked well with it and allowed me lots of flexibility with the bottom 13 of the stack.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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Puzzle 231: Freestyle 196. Drop the gloves!

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31

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Usually, when you see a grid spanner in the center of a grid of mine, you see another one intersecting it going the other direction. Not so today. I wanted to make this one stand out. As I alluded to in my previous post, this seed answer was the product of a real-life experience — namely, I signed off social media for good. I wasn’t exactly a Facebook or Twitter addict by any means, but it was having a very negative net effect. No one needs things in their lives that end up affecting them negatively, especially things that they choose to do. That’s the reason I keep on doing this site — it is a way, way positive net effect, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime close to soon.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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Puzzle 230: Freestyle 195. Drop the mike.

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.33

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!

Recently as of this post, I quit social media. Frankly, already, I don’t miss it at all. In fact, I seeded an upcoming puzzle (the next one in line) with an entry directly inspired by that experience. As for this one, I made sure to finish cluing this one before the Super Bowl. Frankly, I’m glad I did. As a Patriots fan, I feared, by halftime, that my attention would be more upon cluing or constructing a grid than upon the game itself… but then the seas parted, heaven and earth were moved, and the miraculous became real.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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Puzzle 229: Freestyle 194. It all comes back around eventually.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.33

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!

Another bit of fortune befell me while constructing this grid. I constructed the upper left first, and had a completely different 1-Across than what you’ll see. Next I built the lower right, and after that I went on to the lower left. I put together a fill that I really liked, but, after a little while, I realized that I had a dupe between that section and 1-Across. I was heartbroken, because I had an entry that I really liked in the lower left. But, after a while of trying to rebuild that corner again, I had a thought — could I change 1-Across instead? By some small miracle, I discovered that, yes, I could! I found an entry that had four letters in the same place as the original 1-Across, but was, language-wise, completely different. I hadn’t constructed the upper right yet, luckily, so I could make 28-Across completely different than my original intention to accommodate this new 1-Across. Can you figure out what my original 1-Across was?

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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