Puzzle 40: Freestyle 24. Handcrafted from only the finest letters.

Last Tuesday’s Freestyle 22 solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.43

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!

This one has a very interesting history to it. The seed for this puzzle, which is the entry you now see at 17-Across, started at 1-Across. I started on my app and put that entry at 1-Across and went to work with manual construction. I had the whole northwest corner down into the west side of the puzzle done, but it just wasn’t coming out like I wanted. I tore it out, went back up into the northwest, tried a few other stacks, but something was just not right. I just wasn’t happy with any of what I came up with. So I did what any rational crossword constructor would do (right…?): I scrapped the app approach and took out a pencil and a sheet of graph paper. The new perspective, as it does in solving, did wonders for my construction. I decided to put the seed answer in the third row, and went to work by hand: I ended up with a completely different block formation and finished the grid by hand in about 3-4 hours.

As will happen with hand construction, the route I took to construct this grid went all over the place. It generally started in the upper left and lower right, and generally ended in the upper right and lower left, but my attention jumped around throughout the construction of the grid. Besides 17-Across, my only other seed was 55-Across. A couple mini-seeds sprang up, of course, as in 11-Down and 60-Across. Also, I gave a couple of shouts to Barcelona, which was my first ever, at 30 years old, trip outside of the United States. (I’d go back again in a heartbeat too.)

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is that 11-Down is actually a trademarked term, not just a widespread nickname.

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 Friday!

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