Puzzle 3: Freestyle 2. So what’s the buzz?

Last week’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.44

Before I get to anything else, I would like to thank greatly Chris King, Evan Birnholz, Sam Ezersky, and Todd McClary for their generous pluggings and links on their respective websites. Go visit them and all the other fine crossword sites you see on the left!

Thanks for the feedback I received over multiple forms of communication about last week’s puzzles. I appreciate all of it!

The first thing I can say about this puzzle is that, no, BuzzFeed didn’t actually publish something called “12 Amazing Things Ferrets Do For The Ecuadorian Economy”. Somebody, please write that parody article on Clickhole. *beginning slight potential spoiler alert* This was obviously one of the seed entries, although, ahem, a certain other popular indie constructor known by three names (though I won’t mention the name) beat me to it by ONE DAY. *end slight potential spoiler alert* The only other seed was its symmetrical opposite at 63-Across. I was shocked to find that the entry at 35-Down hadn’t been used, according to the Matt Ginsberg clue database.

This puzzle’s construction went along very smoothly in three of the corners and the middle but then GOOD GOD THE NORTHEAST. I don’t know why it was so hard to build that corner, but it didn’t seem like any of the eight-letter stacks I tried were meshing quite right with any good six-letter stacks, and THEN… I discovered that I had a duplicate INTERSECTING WITH ITS OTHER DUPE (7-Down and 15-Across had dupes for the longest time, and for some ungodly reason I didn’t notice the dupes staring me smack in the face)! So I had basically spent all that time on a corner that bled into the middle, and now I had a bad entry in that middle that caused me to rip out a whole already-built corner (the southwest) to fix. Luckily, I added a cheater square, which actually made the southwest better than it was before and enabled me to build the dreaded northeast more easily.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is a tie: I don’t remember at all that Dominos tried to make a pizza with… well, that… and that the character at 56-Across was a Bon Jovi fan. Maybe you knew both of those things, but they were oddly fascinating to me.

Also, there might be one answer in this puzzle that I have a feeling my aforementioned indie crossword colleague Sam Ezersky might just get right away… amirite?

One more thing… the clue for 38-Across, like the rest of this puzzle, had been set in stone for days, until I had another one of those roll-over-in-the-middle-of-the-night epiphanies the night before this post that forced me to write it down and, in the morning, change the doc, PUZ, and PDF that I had already gotten set and uploaded. I was so excited about that clue that it was totally worth the effort for me to change that one clue and re-upload both files just to have that new clue. I won’t tell you what the original one was (I liked that one too, just not as much) because I just may use it again sometime.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better? Did I forget to turn off the light in the basement? What’s a good pet name for a parakeet who doesn’t shut up? How could you call that pass interference when he barely touched the guy?!

As always, share this link! Pass it around!


3 thoughts on “Puzzle 3: Freestyle 2. So what’s the buzz?”

  1. I found this puzzle a painful grind. It was probably more difficult than a Saturday NYT or Post Puzzler and lacked anything truly clever or engaging to redeem the slog. I’m not sure who you’re making puzzles for but it must be a select audience. I’ll try one or two more (I don’t do PDFs so those are out and I wonder why some are only in that format) to see if I just need to move on.


  2. Great crossword puzzle! I had never heard of 35-Down and 32-Down stumped me for the longest time. Also, I see what you mean about the northeast, filling that must’ve been T-D-S, amirite?

    Also, in your write-up, I’m kind of confused. Where is 36-Across, exactly? Awesome puzzle, I really enjoyed it. I will be coming here often.

    Also, a parakeet that won’t shut up, eh? Hmm…tweep? Twitter? Share-a-keet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the good word! Mistake on my part, I was going by the tiny numbering on my cell. Fixed it to 38-Across. Thanks for pointing it out.

      Heh… all three of those names are pretty clever, I like those…


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