Puzzle 34: Freestyle 20. Do you know how to Dougie?

Last week’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.60

Before I get into the puzzle, I’d like to wish everyone luck at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford. It is an awesome event by all accounts that I’ve heard. When it was in Stamford before it was in Brooklyn, I actually lived in Stamford — within walking distance of the hotel, actually — for a couple of years. I still live less than three hours’ driving distance away now that it’s back in Stamford. And I’ve told a few people that I might be going. But I have to admit something. I’ll be honest: big social events are not my thing. I can go to a ballgame with someone else, and that’ll be fine for me, because I’m not expected to interact with everyone in the crowd. I can interact one-one or with a small group of people just fine (that’s what I prefer). But a big social event like this one, where everybody’s interacting with everyone else on a big scale, I’m not at all good in those situations. Trust me, it would be one big awkward situation for me. I very much enjoy interacting virtually with all of you through this website, and I have no problem with phone and email conversations and small groups face-to-face; I am, however, very shy by nature and just don’t do well with face-to-face situations with a large number of people. So I know it’ll be a good time (and, let’s be honest, I know who’s gonna win!), but I’m just not cut out for these kinds of events.

OK, on to the puzzle. The primary seed for this puzzle was 17-Across. More often than not, I actually try NOT to put the primary seed entry at 1-Across because, when you’re building a stack or a building, it’s easier to start from the bottom. I say “primary seed”, because I had a few other seeds that I was able to work into this puzzle: 1-Down, 60-Across and 40-Down. 31-Across and 36-Across were not, actually, primary seeds; I got the first three letters in 31-Across, and the last five letters of 36-Across, and decided on those answers only at that point. Construction went from upper left, then through the middle, then to the lower right, and, finally, the upper right and lower left corners I could finish at any time because they were semi-closed off.

A little episode inspired me to include what may seem to you like an innocuous entry at 38-Down: it originated in a text sent by my parents. “Just heard this on the 70’s station. You have to check it out. ‘Crazy Horses’ by the [38-Down].” Well, I did, and, after you solve this puzzle, you should check it out too. SPOILER ALERT: It’s not at all what you’d expect! END SPOILER ALERT

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is the multitude of ways they use to extinguish 37-Downs. I never knew there was such a science to it!

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better? What did you think I would do at this moment? Don’t you think radio DJs should be a little more careful that they don’t blend the terminal ‘t’ and the beginning ‘h’ when they say “the biggest hits”? When seasick passengers upchuck over the side of the boat, do you think the fish are all like, “Hey, free food!”?

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

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