Puzzle 8: Freestyle 5. Don’t feel guilty regifting this one.

Last week’s Add Water and Stir solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.39

I hope all who celebrated had a merry Christmas… I sure did.

I start with a basic grid formation for every crossword I construct… 72WordStartingGridwhich I definitely don’t expect to finish with. (I usually don’t.) For eight-stacks, like this one, the standard formation I start with is stacks of three eights across in the upper left and lower right intersecting with stacks of three sixes down. Then I form the two long diagonals of black squares. You’ll see the vestiges of this grid in the grid that I actually ended up with.

The reason for this crossword’s existence is 60-Across. Not because it’s a brand-new entry — the word for this phenomenon has been around for a few years now — but because of (a) the letters in it, and (b) the very concept of it. I didn’t want it at 1-Across; in fact, I even tried to put it at 65-Across at one point. Fill got too forced for me when I tried that, so I figured the optimal place for it was where you see it.

There are other entries in a puzzle that aren’t quite seed entries, but are, I guess you could call them, mini-seeds. You don’t have them in mind when you’re starting to construct the puzzle, but you discover that they fit as you’re building it and you decide to build around them. 35-Across, 38-Across, 35-Down, and 1-Across were those such entries here.

You’ll notice the reference to “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in this puzzle… I think it says a lot about me that this is my favorite movie, far and above any other.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle, far and away, is in the clue for 7-Down. CB slanguage can be pretty awesome.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better? Was it a rat I saw? Why are you at all surprised that my nose is shaped like the Eiffel Tower? How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

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

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