Puzzle 20: Freestyle 13. Does something stick out to you in this puzzle?

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.43

Perhaps, by now, you’ve figured out why I’m posting another crossword today after the one yesterday. It’s because (spoiler alert if you haven’t done it yet; highlight to read text) I had this puzzle ready to go, but the extraordinary events of the Super Bowl and the way my beloved New England Patriots won, coupled with the realization that SUPER BOWL XLIX and MALCOLM BUTLER had the same number of letters, meant that I just had to create a puzzle to commemorate the occasion (end spoiler alert).

The unusual configuration of this puzzle owes to a couple of 12-letter seed entries that I wanted to put into this puzzle. 12-letter entries sometimes force the constructor into a multitude of 3-letter answers, which I don’t want to do; I don’t think you’ll ever see me put a 12-letter entry in the fourth row or column. But those two 12s were in a list of seed entries that I keep as a note on my phone; I couldn’t just leave them be, right?

This time, I actually had three seed entries from that aforementioned list: the two 12s at 22-Across and 47-Across, as well as 33-Down. There was a mini-seed at 10-Down; it had made its way into my word list while on a OneLook.com excursion (yes, I have some of those from time to time), but I most certainly did not expect it to work when I laid it in there. That was the last section I constructed in this puzzle, and I had already gone through several unsuccessful options in that area. 62-Across was also a mini-seed for the bottom-right corner.

This puzzle comes in at 70 words, but I had a couple of opportunities to make it 72, which you’ll see from the grid; whenever I’m at 70, though, I’m almost always unwilling to make it 72 if the addition of a pair of blocks would add 4 three-letter words to the grid. I’ll only do it when there’s no other option and the fill would get really ugly otherwise.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is the quote at 21-Across (yeah, not much in terms of trivia here, which I suppose may be a good thing)… it obviously amused me such to the point that I had to use it in the clue.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better? How come I can’t tell the free world from a living hell? Can a hipster’s car run on coconut oil? Does Mr. Peanut live a double life as a pimp and just forget to take off his costume for his day job?

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


6 thoughts on “Puzzle 20: Freestyle 13. Does something stick out to you in this puzzle?”

  1. The PUZ file on Dropbox seems to want to download as Puzzle20Freestyle13.puz.txt … I worked around it on my Mac after being unable to get it to download on my iPad.


    1. That’s the weirdest thing… I’m having the same problem with this and only this PUZ file on my iPad. It works fine on my PC, and a couple other random PUZ files downloaded just fine to my iPad. Thanks very much for letting me know… I’m probably just going to reupload it if I can’t figure it out


      1. This is very weird… I reuploaded the file and it still has the same problem on my iPad and iPhone. It still downloads fine on my PC, though, so I will probably chalk this one up to a Dropbox issue. I’m not giving up on the issue in case it’s something on my end, tho. Thanks again for pointing out the issue.


      2. I can’t get it to work on my mac (or iPad) – I’ll just go the pen and paper route. This has happened before with other indie puzzles on the mac – the tech stuff is beyond me.


  2. This was solid! Although 33-Down can’t be said to the character I play with, Sonya Blade. But maybe it just doesn’t apply because I don’t lose at Mortal Kombat 🙂 *not actually though, don’t want any false 27-Down showing!*


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